Of all the pairings that were featured on Friends, only two members of the show’s core friend group never kissed.
Friends ended its 10-season run on television almost two decades ago, but the series has remained a crucial part of modern pop culture.
Most of the Friends characters shared a kiss with their fellow friends at one point or another throughout the course of the show, except for two friends, who never kissed at all.
David Crane and Marta Kauffman’s hit sitcom, Friends started airing back in 1994.
But the story of these six friends, including Rachel Green (played by Jennifer Aniston), Monica Geller (played by Courteney Cox), Phoebe Buffay (played by Lisa Kudrow), Joey Tribbiani (played by Matt LeBlanc), Chandler Bing (Matthew Perry) and Ross Geller (played by David Schwimmer) and their various relationships, experiences and professional struggles have gone on to become entrenched in modern pop culture, even years after the tenth season ended.
The only Friends characters who never kissed on the show
Over the course of Friends’s 10-season run, many of the show’s characters became more than just friends.
Of course, Ross and Rachel’s on-again, off-again relationship has now become one of the most infamous and long-lasting romantic relationships in television history.
Additionally, Monica and Chandler’s secret hookup during their vacation in London has become the blueprint for the friends-to-lovers trope.
Most of the Friends characters eventually ended up kissing most of the other Friends characters by the time that the series finale aired in 2004.
And if you count the off-screen kisses, like the time when Rachel and Monica had to kiss to win back their apartment, or the instance in season three where Chandler apologizes for drunkenly planting one on Monica and Rachel, and Ross responds that he is forgiven, there is only one friends “couple” who never kissed on the show.
These two characters are Monica and Phoebe, who, despite their years-long friendship, just never shared a kiss on- or off-screen throughout the show’s history.
The one Friends relationship that never was
Even though Phoebe and Joey kissed multiple times in Friends and Joey even proposed to Phoebe at one stage during her pregnancy in season four, these two characters ended up being the only two in the friend group who were not together at one stage by the end of the show.
Crane explained years down the line that the creators of the series felt like a Phoebe and Joey relationship was “too tidy and too complete” and that ultimately all plans related to such a romance were axed before they even made the script.
The Friends cast members may have kissed off-screen too
The Friends actors did such a convincing job portraying all of their on-screen romances in the decade that the show was airing, that it frequently sparked rumors about possible relationships starting off-screen.
The rumors that Aniston and Schwimmer had started dating after her divorce from Brad Pitt, or that Cox and Perry had struck up a real relationship, have never been confirmed.
However, Schwimmer did let something slip during the recent Friends Reunion special.
During this special, which was released on HBO Max in 2021, the host, Andy Cohen, asked the cast whether they had been forced to sign contracts prohibiting them from sleeping together.
Schwimmer then jokingly responded, “Well, that was broken!”, seemingly confirming that some of the rumors about the cast’s off-screen hookups were indeed true.
When all of the other Friends characters kissed
When rounding up all of the Friends cast’s on-screen smooches, it is easiest to start with the two long-term couples.
Rachel and Ross kissed multiple times throughout the series, but their first kiss was actually shared in the first season of the series, in episode five.
Monica and Chandler, on the other hand, only had their first kiss later in the show in the fifth episode of the fifth season.
The “The One with the Flashback” episode from the third season also made for some unusual pairings, and featured a kiss between Rachel and Chandler, Monica and Joey, and even Phoebe and Ross.
Some of the other unexpected Friends kisses can be summarized as follows:
|Rachel and Joey||Season 9, episode 24||“The One in Barbados”|
|Phoebe and Joey||Season 1, episode 16||“The One with Two Parts”|
|Phoebe and Chandler||Season 5, episode 5||“The One with the Kips”|
|Rachel and Phoebe||Season 7, episode 20||“The One with Rachel’s Big Kiss”|
|Joey and Ross||Season 2, episode 24||“The One with Barry and Mindy’s Wedding”|
|Chandler and Joey||Season 1, episode 10||“The One with the Monkey”|