Monica was NOT Supposed to End Up with Joey in FRIENDS

Friends could have had a very separate main couple if the creators had stuck to their original plan of bringing Joey and Monica together. And it would have been extremely strange. Friends aired on NBC in 1994 and ended after 10 seasons in 2004. It was made by Marta Kauffman and David Crane. The show followed six young adults (Monica, Phoebe, Rachel, Chandler, Joey, and Ross) as they navigated adulthood in New York City.

Viewers got to know the characters well throughout ten seasons, as they watched them mature on many levels. The chemistry between the main cast was indisputable. Which aided the writers in improving the stories of their characters. As a result, Rachel and Ross became the series’ main couple. And Monica and Chandler ended up together. The creators, on the other hand, had a different plan for Monica. Which would have been very strange (and probably wouldn’t have lasted long).

Monica and Joey were assumed to be a couple. They were supposed to be Friends’ main couple. This was eventually changed. And it was one of the wisest choices they could have made.

Why Monica and Joey Wouldn’t Have Made a Good Couple

The group that viewers met in the first episodes is not the same group that they see in the series’ final seasons. Each character had its backstory and evolution. Joey was the womanizer stereotype in the pilot episode of Friends. Even hitting on Rachel after she ran away from her wedding. And he wasn’t the goofy type that everyone now knows (and loves). Monica dated a lot of guys, sort of like a “woman version of Joey,” to the point where the audience had to intervene to prevent NBC from slut-shaming her. The show’s creators thought they were too similar and planned to pair them up. But doing so would have ruined more than just their dynamic.

The on-screen chemistry among Matt LeBlanc and Courteney Cox wasn’t romantic. Which is why they lasted longer as friends. And watching their characters meet up would have been strange because they weren’t compatible. As happened later with Joey and Rachel. Joey was alienating himself from the group by hitting on his friends. And dating Monica wasn’t going to change that. LeBlanc noticed this and suggested that Joey treat Monica, Rachel. And Phoebe as if they were his little sisters. Making him feel more like one of the friends. Having Monica and Joey together would have necessitated significant changes in Joey (no more ladies’ men, for example). As well as affecting the arcs of the other characters, particularly Chandler.

The concept was discussed briefly in season 3’s episode “The One With The Flashback,” which takes place just before the events of the pilot. Joey becomes Chandler’s roommate in it, and Monica is instantly smitten with him. She invites him over for some lemon, but Joey misreads this and strips naked and that was the closest they came to sticking to the original plan.

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