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Friends: Who Does Joey End Up With?

What happens when you take a will-they-won't-they romance subplot, divide it between six people, and stretch it out over the course of 10 seasons? You get "Friends," of course. This legendary sitcom is acclaimed for many reasons, but there's no denying that watching to find out just who exactly ends up with who by the end of the show is a major part of its appeal. Rachel (Jennifer Aniston) and Ross (David Schwimmer) work it out, Chandler (Matthew Perry) ultimately gets together with Monica (Courteney Cox), Phoebe marries her sweetheart Mike (Paul Rudd), and Joey (Matt LeBlanc) ends up with... wait, who does Joey end up with?

If fans of "Friends" are having trouble remembering who Joey's ultimate love interest is at the end of the series, it's because he actually doesn't have one. Though he's involved with plenty of romantic shenanigans over the course of the show, Joey stands out as the only member of the main group who isn't in a committed relationship when the credits roll on the final episode. Not only does this result adhere to the character's penchant for avoiding commitment, but it was actually also a purposeful creative decision on the part of the show's team.

Joey wasn't meant to be with any of his friends

While the writers of "Friends" experimented with pairing Joey up with other characters at various points in the show, these dynamics just weren't what would be natural for the character. For instance, one of the show's later seasons saw a brief romance spark between Joey and Rachel. In an interview with Vanity Fair, series co-creator David Crane said that this arc for the characters was intended to feel strange and unnatural. "Matt kept saying, 'It's wrong. It's like I want to be with my sister,'" he explained. "We said, 'Yes, it's absolutely wrong. That's why we have to do it.'"

Some fans may find it strange that Joey and Phoebe were never really explored as a romantic pairing, as that would have paired up each of the core "Friends" characters neatly. In an interview with Metro, Crane said that they avoided taking this route as it would ultimately feel unrealistic. "It all would have been too tidy and too complete," he said. "When your goal is to keep the six characters' stories together, it would be really easy to go down that road but I think we all felt it would be a mistake."

Joey did find a long-lasting romance in his own series

While keeping Joey single in the "Friends" finale was true to his character and kept the show's romantic elements from feeling a little too contrived, superfans of the "Friends" franchise know that this actually isn't where Joey's story ends. Matt LeBlanc proved to be the only "Friends" cast member to land their very own spin-off series after the main show wrapped up. Indeed, the aptly-titled series "Joey" ended up having a very different sort of romantic resolution for its leading man.

The end of that show sees Joey finally starting to settle down with his neighbor and newfound love interest Alex (Andrea Anders). While the pair haven't tied the knot by the time the show ends (it was canceled after just two seasons), the pair are shown to be in a deeply committed relationship for the long haul. It seems that Joey found true love after all — just not in his original show.