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Why Matt LeBlanc Wasn't A Fan Of This Friends Storyline

As much as there were longstanding storylines in "Friends," there was one shocking romance that seemed to appear out of nowhere, causing a stir among the characters and the audiences that loved them. 

The story that split "Friends" fans right down the middle was the surprise love affair that sparked between Rachel (Jennifer Aniston) and Joey (Matt LeBlanc) near the tail end of the series. Sparks began to fly shortly after it was revealed that the former Central Perk employee was pregnant with Ross' (David Schwimmer) baby, and she was living with Joey at the time. The "Days of Our Lives" star confessed his true feelings for Rachel, only to be met with rejection. Eventually, he got over the heartbreak, only for Rachel to soon start gaining an attraction to him, which led to them finally getting together. The briefly blooming romance came at a cost, though, as it caused a rift between Joey and Ross, who most certainly not "fine" with the whole thing.

In the end, Joey and Rachel realized that the connection between them just didn't work, and it was best for them to remain friends ... thankfully putting the latter back on track to get back with Ross at the end of the series, as was always the intention. As it turned out, though, fans weren't the only ones that didn't approve of the brief love triangle. LeBlanc himself disagreed with the story altogether, believing that in the end, it just wasn't the thing a real friend would do.

Matt LeBlanc took some persuading for Joey to fall for Rachel

In an interview with Digital Spy, "Friends" producer and director Kevin S. Bright revealed that Matt LeBlanc wasn't initially on board with how the show wanted to take Joey and Rachel's relationship. "He was very firmly against it," Bright recalled. Apparently, for LeBlanc, it was an issue of character consistency, as Bright says the actor argued, "he's Ross's friend, and that the type of friend that Joey is would never go and take someone else's girlfriend."

Eventually, LeBlanc came around to the idea, but in the end, which Bright still thinks was the right move. "I think, if she's not going to be with Ross, who else would you want her with?" he asked. "That went okay with the audience. No big letters on that one!" 

Nonetheless, it remains a plot twist that many fans are still unhappy about. Even years after the show's end, it's still debated if giving Joey and Rachel a short-lived romance was a good move. One Darth Mcree on Reddit deemed it as "doomed from the start. The whole thing had 'cheap trick to get more viewers' written all over it. Also they dumbed down Rachel's character to new extremes so she'd seem compatible with Joey." Zxols agreed with this but spotted the silver lining, saying, "I didn't really enjoy that relationship, but at least because of that we got the amazing 'What is love?' scene." 

Surely that's something everybody had L-O-V-E love for?