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The Rachel And Chandler Fan Theory That Changes Everything On Friends

When you think of iconic "Friends" duos, the first names to come to mind are probably Ross (David Schwimmer) and Rachel (Jennifer Aniston) — the series-spanning will-they-won't-they that goes through many ups and, yes, breakups. Then there are the roommates and best buds Joey (Matt LeBlanc) and Chandler (Matthew Perry), who never fail to amuse with their shenanigans, like their adopted duck and chick. Monica (Courteney Cox) and Chandler become a precious couple, maybe unlikely at first, but perfectly paired.

But Rachel and Chandler are, just as the title puts it, friends. They've known each other for a long time: Rachel and Monica were friends when they were teenagers, while Chandler and Ross met in college, so Chandler first met the younger two when he visited the Gellers for Thanksgiving. By the end of the series, Rachel and Chandler become part of the same family, since they marry the Geller siblings. However, a fan theory claims it's possible that Rachel and Chandler are actually related to one another.

Could Rachel and Chandler be cousins?

The theory began, as many do, on Reddit, where original poster u/wintersparrow22 pointed out a small detail that could link Rachel and Chandler's families: They both have a relative named Muriel. In Season 5's "The One in Vegas Part Two," Rachel says she looks like her great aunt Muriel after she's unable to clean Ross' handiwork — a marker beard and mustache — off her face. Then, in Season 8's "The One with Rachel's Date," Chandler finally reveals that the "M" in Chandler M. Bing stands for Muriel. He's embarrassed by it but says it's a family name, so we can assume one of his older relatives is named Muriel. This was something several other Redditors on the thread found plausible, with u/DisplacedNovaScotian noting that it was an "excellent catch."

Theoretically, if this is the same Muriel, they could be cousins — first, second, or otherwise. The OP pointed out their family's similarities, writing, "I am not aware of any other connections between the families, except that both families (Green and Bings) are/were in proximity and have amassed great wealth therefore, may have knowledge of one another." Plus, they lived close enough to each other that Chandler heard a rumor about a cheerleader at another high school who actually was Rachel.

u/wintersparrow22 acknowledged that while a connection like this probably would have come up in conversation at some point, "Chandler does not reveal much about his family except through off comments because the topic makes him uncomfortable." Chandler's family is a sore spot for him after his parents' divorce. In retrospect, Rachel and Chandler being related would make the few times they kiss far more awkward and add complexity to their linked families, but they'd end up in the same place either way.