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Carol And Susan's Entire Friends Timeline Explained

The classic TV comedy "Friends" was full of iconic characters. Aside from the main cast of friends, including Rachel Green (Jennifer Aniston), Monica Geller (Courteney Cox), Phoebe Buffay (Lisa Kudrow), Joey Tribbiani (Matt LeBlanc), Ross Geller (David Schwimmer), and Chandler Bing (Matthew Perry), there was a host of recurring characters who added their own flair to the show. From Central Perk's grumpy barista Gunther (James Michael Tyler) to the nasally yet lovable Janice Litman-Goralnik (Maggie Wheeler), "Friends" introduced several lovable characters through the years.

One of the most important recurring duos was that of Ross' ex-wife Carol Willick (Jane Sibbett) and her new wife, Susan Bunch (Jessica Hecht). Though they didn't appear after Season 7, the loving pair was an integral part of the "Friends" cast and had plenty of significant moments on the show. Let's take a look at their entire timeline, from the start of their relationship to where they ended up.

The unexpected start to Carol and Susan's relationship

In the very first episode of "Friends," we learned that Carol recently left Ross to be with a woman, and she'd already moved her stuff out of their home. Ross was understandably devastated, and obviously hadn't yet come to terms with the situation. We later discovered that Carol and her new girlfriend Susan met at the gym, where their friendship quickly turned to romance.

Some fans have an issue with the start of Carol and Susan's relationship since it's highly likely that Carol cheated on Ross during their marriage. Aside from the messiness of their introduction, the couple became a crucial part of the show once Carol dropped some big news — one of her and Ross' last "encounters" ended in a pregnancy. The three corners of the unfortunate love triangle ultimately decided to embark on the journey of parenthood together, which culminated in an equal measure of touching and hilarious moments over the show's run.

Carol and Susan faced plenty of homophobia

"Friends" premiered in the '90s, and it's no secret that until recently, the mainstream media has been overwhelmingly heteronormative and mainly featured male-female romantic pairings. Once Carol and Susan were introduced, their relationship changed the media landscape — but not without plenty of criticism and tasteless jokes at their expense.

Though "Friends" was progressive for its time, the characters on the show made plenty of borderline-homophobic and stereotypical jokes about lesbians and same-sex couples. For instance, in the pilot, Joey first mentioned that Carol is a lesbian, which was meant to be a punchline in and of itself. To their credit, Carol and Susan were depicted as two confident women who were secure in their sexualities and proud of who they were, so one can assume that they wouldn't have taken the ignorant jokes to heart. Still, the fact that it took so long for their relationship to be accepted as well as the constant jokes at their expense further showed how strong Carol and Susan's relationship really was, since they were able to stick together through it all.

Ross struggled with their relationship

One of the biggest offenders in regard to immature comments was — unsurprisingly — Ross. He coped with his wife leaving him for a woman by making questionable remarks, like when he noted Susan's good handshake when they first met, or when he said he should've realized Carol was a lesbian because she liked to drink canned beer.

Ross and Susan also had plenty of awkward tension before they got used to each other. They seemed to be in competition, which usually ended in Ross feeling insecure or incompetent. Eventually, Ross learned to accept Carol and Susan's relationship as legitimate, and we saw plenty of sweet moments when the trio (almost) co-parented in harmony. One of their breakthrough moments happened while Carol was giving birth. Phoebe, Ross, and Susan got stuck in a custodial closet in the hospital, and through a mix of frustration and stress, vented to each other about their respective insecurities. Phoebe noted how lucky their baby was since it had three loving parents, and Ross and Susan realized how childish they were being, right before they got to meet their son. It was a sweet moment that marked a turning point in their dynamic.

Their wedding had some hurdles

In Season 2, Carol and Susan told Ross their plans to get married. He had yet another mini-existential crisis while Monica and the rest of the friends did what they could to help plan the festivities. At one point, Carol's parents told her they weren't going to their wedding, as they didn't accept her relationship. The heartbreaking moment left Carol questioning her and Susan's entire relationship, and she almost called off the wedding until Ross unexpectedly convinced her that she should go through with the ceremony.

After Ross saved the day, we got to watch Carol and Susan's wedding. In yet another heartwarming moment, we saw that a surprising person offered to walk Carol down the aisle since her father refused, and once again, it was Ross. This was a stark contrast from his earlier disapproval of Carol and Susan's relationship, and it showed how much he grew over those several episodes. Susan also had a tender moment of her own when she thanked Ross for being there for Carol, and the two shared a sweet dance.

They lived happily ever after — we think

After the wedding, the pair appeared on "Friends" mostly when interacting with Ross and Carol's son, Ben. They dealt with Ross' disapproval of Ben's Barbie doll, his sadness at being dumped by Rachel, and his many insecurities of being left again — usually for another woman. We saw less and less of the pair as the main cast of "Friends" had big life changes. Eventually, after Ross and Rachel had a child of their own, we stopped seeing Carol and Susan completely, though their names were brought up in conversation.

While we never learned exactly what happened to Carol and Susan (and Ben, for that matter), Jane Sibbett revealed that she and her on-screen wife Jessica Hecht came up with their own theory. In a 2019 interview with Today, Sibbett said that Carol and Susan would have been living in London, Ben would be a recent college graduate, and the overbearing mothers would be keeping a close eye on their son to make sure he was on the right track.

Though we wish we could've seen more of Carol and Susan during "Friends," we're glad to know that Sibbett had high hopes for the pair, and everything points to them living happily ever after. Here's hoping we'll get to hear from them in the upcoming "Friends" reunion special.