Throughout its ten season run, Friends cycled its main characters in and out of numerous relationships. From Chandler and Janice to Monica and Richard, many fans have fond memories even for the ones that didn’t work out, but there is, of course, no Friends relationship that looms larger than Ross and Rachel. Sorry, Chandler and Monica, but you know it’s true. The on-screen chemistry between Jennifer Aniston and David Schwimmer was so strong that it led to speculation and rumors the two may have been secretly seeing each other off-screen. Well, leave it to Howard Stern to get some direct answers decades later.
Jennifer Aniston appeared on The Howard Stern Show earlier this week, and given the recent Friends reunion, her most iconic role obviously came up. The beloved radio host asked her why she never “banged” her co-star, and she provided a pretty direct answer. You can check out a portion of her quote below via People…
We were in relationships and it was always never the right time and it wouldn't have worked. The beauty of that was that whatever feelings we had we just literally channeled everything into Ross and Rachel and I think that's maybe why it resonated the way it did. But no, we never, on my life [got together]. And Courteney and Lisa would know if it did because they would've heard about it. They can vouch for me… I would proudly say I banged Schwimmer if that happened. But no.
Jennifer Aniston’s longtime BFF and Friends co-star Courteney Cox was part of the interview, and she spoke up and verified the account was true. It also tracks with other statements Aniston and Schwimmer have made in the past, most recently at the Friends reunion when they admitted to having crushes on each other. That’s pretty obvious when you watch the show. There’s just something about their mannerisms and the looks they give each other that indicate there’s a true fondness there.
There’s a big difference, however, between making an on-set relationship work in the moment and making a relationship work long-term in the real world. Anyone who has developed feelings for someone at summer camp can speak to that. So, maybe it’s best these crushes never went anywhere. After all, as much as some fans like to see these relationships jump off the screen, most of us would have been pretty furious if Aniston and Schwimmer tried to make it work, broke up and the resulting awkwardness ruined everything great and upsetting and relatable about Ross and Rachel’s relationship.
I say most because there are some people out there who despise Ross (because he sucks!) or despise Rachel (wrong, she’s mostly great) and never bought into their relationship. Those fan disagreements, however, are part of what keeps Friends relevant enough decades later for us to still care about who was sleeping with each other off screen.