Contrary to popular belief, Rachel is the best character on Friends. She's the only one to get less irritating as the series goes on, and she's one of the very few examples of characters on any show who becomes less of a caricature season by season, instead of getting totally flanderized. Rachel's self-assured, great at her job, and hilariously laid back at the best times (remember when Ross did her makeup after she broke her ribs? Or when she had her wardrobe malfunction with Joshua's parents?) Also, she shows courage, integrity courage again, and not-litigiousness.
For all these reasons and more, it's very important that we go through all of Rachel's love interests one by one and judge her choices. Here they are, from worst to best:
#9: Tag Jones
Oh, Tag. So young and so useless. Rachel hired him completely on his looks, despite his lack of intelligence that should have been obvious when he didn't realize she already had a plant in her office. He loses interest in Rachel the second he finds out she's pregnant, which is uncool. Also had the misfortune to own a clone of that really ugly red sweater. And he's from Colorado. Ew.
Also, Tag is not a name. Last place for you, youngster.
To quote Ann from Parks and Recreation, "I just couldn't deal with his...face."
I'm not holding Joshua's divorce against him (I mean, his ex-wife burned all his clothes; she doesn't sound like the best company). But his baggage got annoying, especially when he acted like Rachel was unreasonable for wanting to know about a future. And he didn't realize the tickets Rachel offered him were her asking him out for the first time...and what finally got his interest was her prancing around in her cheerleader uniform? Oh, Joshua, I'm surprised at you. An allegedly hot divorcee should be better.
Not your best move, Ray-Ray.
I'm not sure how Rachel managed to carry on a relationship with someone she literally could not communicate with, but hey, he's good-looking, I'll take it. Plus he's a cat-owner, which always rings someone up a few notches in my book. Bonus points off for not only cheating on Rachel, but by doing it with a totally uninterested party in a seriously threatening way. And a billion bonus points to Rachel, who tossed him to the curb the second she found out.
#6: Barry Farber
I can't explain it! I have kind of a soft spot for Barry. At least he was going to put a ring on it, unlike any of the bottom three. Even if he was going to cheat on her forever. And he did tease her all through Mindy's wedding. And approve of those bridesmaid dresses. Hmm. Maybe I should rethink this.
But I kind of think he's sort of cute, and he's got a good job, and...what can I say, I like socks.
The hairpiece and whatever else it was...a chin implant? Didn't help matters, and he probably had all the same issues Ross did.
#4: Joey Tribbiani
Oh, Joey. You coulda been a contender. See, in theory, I like it, but it was botched so hard by the writers that it's hard to give it a higher ranking. It's like Izzie and George on Grey's Anatomy; we thought we wanted it, but as soon as the romantic tension was introduced, we missed the friendship. Luckily, Joey and Rachel managed to go right back to being friends...probably because the writers hoped we'd forget this whole thing ever happened.
Joey's also lowered because of the fact that he later dated Janine, who is the worst human, and therefore lowers Joey's stock by proxy.
#3: Ross Geller
Eh. I don't know. By Rachel's-boyfriend standards he's not the worst, but of the six friends he definitely is...or at least he would be if his parents had stuck with one child. Ross is largely inoffensive, except for that whole homophobic oh-God-not-a-male-nanny scenario, and he's a good dad to Emma, even if he seems to forget Ben exists most of the time (but who doesn't). He was there for Rachel when her father had his heart attack and didn't take advantage of her that night, which is pretty cool of him. And, you know. Like it or not, he's her lobster.
#2: Paul Stevens
Paul's got some good things going for him: he's kind to Rachel, he's the only person concerned enough about the grossness of Ross and Elizabeth's relationship, and he's Bruce Willis. And sure, he ends up being weepy, but I like some vulnerability in my men. At his core, Paul's just a love machine.
#1: Gavin Mitchell
I like that he's interested in fashion, I like that he's reasonably afraid of infants, and I like his love-hate chemistry with Rachel. But you know what I love? His face. Well done with that face, Gavin.
The Best of Rachel
Christina on October 09, 2017:
S4 E13 at the end of the episode, they find Joshua's wallet. The driver's license says his name is Joshua Burgin.