Connect with us

Everybody’s Favorite ‘Will They Won’t They’ Couples: Ross & Rachel and Nick & Jess

Entertainment Analysis

Everybody’s Favorite ‘Will They Won’t They’ Couples: Ross & Rachel and Nick & Jess

Illustration By Miranda Sepúlveda

Since it first aired, “Friends” has remained the powerhouse of sitcoms everywhere. Everybody at least knows of “Friends” and has stumbled upon an episode or two, even if they haven’t watched the entire series already. With 10 seasons and a loyal fanbase, “Friends” has truly made its mark on pop culture and the entertainment industry. It was one of the first shows to revolve around a group of young adults living together. The show aired over 20 years ago at a time where most sitcoms revolved more on family household relationships or work/life. It’s not surprising that “Friends” became so popular so fast and is a timeless classic.

Once again: spoiler alert. This one’s packed with a lot of them.

The show explores the lives of a group of friends living in New York City — Ross, Rachel, Chandler, Monica, Phoebe and Joey. While there are many storylines explored throughout the 10 seasons, one of the most prominent ones is the turbulent romance between Ross Geller, who is played by David Schwimmer, and Rachel Greene, played by Jennifer Aniston. 

Ross and Rachel are commonly known throughout popular culture as Roschel for their on-again, off-again — or perhaps better known as a “will they/won’t they?” — relationship. As a fan of “Friends,” I always admired Ross and Rachel’s romance and rooted for them to get together in the end. After 10 seasons of comedy and drama, myself and other “Friends” fanatics were rewarded with that famous line: “I got off the plane.”

Of course I’m referring to Ross running after Rachel to the airport where she is about to board a plane to start a new life in London. After he catches up to her and confesses his love, despite her feelings, Rachel turns him down and boards the plane. It’s only after when he goes back to his apartment, it is revealed that Rachel got off of the plane, met up with Ross and confessed that she is equally as in love with him. 

Thank God for this touching moment, because for a second there, it seemed like these two would never get it right. In my opinion, Ross and Rachel’s lesson is that sometimes love is worth waiting for — even if it’s difficult. However, I will say, although that may seem like a term of endearment, Ross and Rachel were really toxic. I could list out so many things about their relationship that were normalized but, in actuality, were really bad. 

Although I will defend the couple and adore them together, one thing the show did was make it seem like they needed to be together, or they would have nobody else. While the pair did explore other relationships while they were apart (which was every season except one), none of those lasted and fell short compared to the relationship Ross and Rachel had. The fact that they are — as the show refers to them — “each other’s lobsters” is a sweet and romantic gesture, however, it’s telling viewers that there isn’t anybody else to make them happy. Sometimes, we get carried away with great love and don’t realize all of the other types of love that can come into our life. 

Another big thing for me is the whole “we were on a break” fiasco! I can’t even get into that or the debate behind which party was right or wrong, but I will say from personal experience that holding something over someone’s head for years (or in this case, 10 seasons) is a bit much … 

All of these elements lead me to the second couple I want to address here, Nick Miller and Jessica Day.

Nick, played by Jake Johnson, and Jess, played by Zooey Deschanel, are main characters and loft roommates in the popular comedy series “New Girl.” This show is the reason why I want to delay domestic, family life and live in a loft with my friends until my thirties. I’m not kidding.

Anyways, for those of you unaware, Jess moves into a loft she finds on Craigslist and her roommates are three guys: Nick, Schmidt and Winston. For a while, there was another roommate, Coach, and then Jess’ best friend Cece moved in after falling in love and getting engaged to Schmidt.

The story of Nick and Jess is a lot like Ross and Rachel. They are yet another in the long list of “will they/won’t they?” television couples. Much like Ross and Rachel, Nick and Jess meet in a circumstance that, from the first episode, communicates to the viewers that they will most likely be together or at least be in a romantic relationship at some point during the show. For example, in the pilot of “Friends,” Ross is seen sitting at Central Perk saying, “I just want to be married again” after his marriage to his first wife fails. Immediately after, Rachel’s character is introduced walking into the cafe in a wedding dress. Similarly, Nick and Jess meet when Jess is being interviewed by the loft roommates, and she is talking about her difficult breakup, which is the reason she needs a new place to stay. It is revealed that Nick is also going through a tough breakup with his longtime girlfriend, Caroline.

Also like Ross and Rachel, Nick and Jess’ friendship is filled with sexual tension and leaves the audience wondering when they will finally get together. They start dating at the end of season two, but by the end of season three, they are already broken up. Much like the other couple, they enter various other relationships and go back-and-forth with their tension after dating and trying to just be friends again.

One of the stark differences between the two couples, however, is that Nick and Jess are actually rooting for each other in their other respective relationships. Ross and Rachel, despite their seemingly soul mate connection, lash out at each other and often do not seem happy when they are in other relationships and resort to jealousy. As for Nick and Jess, the two of them try to get past their complex emotional obstacles by truly trying to be happy for the other, even if they secretly still harbor feelings.

Nick and Jess do this so well that it leaves “New Girl” fans wondering if they even are getting back together and ponder if they are better off in other relationships. In season five, Nick meets Reagan, a medical sales representative who moves into the loft while Jess is sequestered for jury duty. Undoubtedly, Reagan is his other serious relationship in the series, and although Jess comes back and realizes her feelings, she is jealous. Yet, she still lets the two be happy together, because she believes this to be the best for Nick.

One thing I admire about Nick and Jess is how, throughout their relationships with others, they realize things about themselves that they need to fix. The pair didn’t work out in season three, because, for lack of better words, they didn’t have their shit together. Nick was a bartender with no bank account, and Jess was going back-and-forth between jobs and at least thought she had her shit together more than Nick but not that much. 

Only when the two sorted out their personal issues (often in other relationships) all the while maintaining their close friendship do they finally become the best versions of themselves. 

At the end of season six, Nick accepts a meeting with a publisher for his book, “The Pepper Chronicles,” and Jess is promoted to her dream job, becoming a principal. Only then, when they are at the best versions of themselves and achieve their personal aspirations, do they finally come together and the timing seems right for them to start dating again.

To jump back to “Friends,” what I don’t like is how Rachel was forced to leave her dream job in order to stay and be with Ross. Although the writing of the show seems as if she needed to pick one or the other, what I enjoyed more so about Nick and Jess is how they both achieved their dreams and by then could finally get together. It reminds me of the age-old saying, “You can’t love someone until you love yourself.” For me, Nick and Jess truly got this concept and loved who they were and only then did they start to understand how to love the other person. 

While there are many couples that relate to this ‘will they/won’t they?’ trope, I feel as if “Friends” and “New Girl” started a generational pull toward their two respective couples that is unlike any other I’ve seen on television. 

We can debate over which one is better, but I’d rather leave this on a note that each couple is unique and their complexity is what makes them so entertaining to watch and follow — even for various seasons when they aren’t together. You have to admit, it makes it all the better when they actually do get together in the end. 

SUPPORT STUDENT MEDIA

Hi, I’m Holly Liptak, a senior journalism student from Akron and the editor-in-chief of The Burr this semester. My staff and I are committed to bringing you interesting, humorous and hard-hitting stories that tap into current events, trends and the lives of those who have made a home in Kent, Ohio. We are full-time students and hard-working journalists. While we get support from the student media fee and earned revenue such as advertising, both of those continue to decline. Your generous gift of any amount will help enhance our student experience as we grow into working professionals. Please go here to donate.

Continue Reading
Click to comment

You must be logged in to post a comment Login

Leave a Reply

More in Entertainment Analysis

Facebook

Trending

Staff Playlists

Playlists

Playlist: Heartbreak Songs

By February 27, 2021

Playlists

Playlist: On Our Radar

By February 13, 2021

Playlists

Playlist: The End Of An Era

By December 12, 2020

Playlists

Playlist: The End of The World

By December 5, 2020

Playlists

Playlist: Moments In Movies

By November 14, 2020

Recent Stories

Season of Justice

Evelyn Kay Day

By May 11, 2021

Entertainment Analysis

Dead Poets Society

By May 11, 2021

The Art Outlet

My Journey As An Artist

By May 5, 2021

Celestial Conversations

Taurus Season

By May 5, 2021

Talking With Taylor

Trying Budget-Friendly Recipes

By April 30, 2021

Picture Books Aren't Just For Kids

Bridge To Terabithia

By April 29, 2021

A Step Forward

A Step Forward #6

By April 27, 2021

Season of Justice

Esther Hollis And “Crime Junkie”

By April 26, 2021

FEATURES

Off The Hook

By April 23, 2021

Greetings from the Burr Magazine

Black Lives Matter: Moving Forward

By April 7, 2021

Celestial Conversations

April Forecast!

By April 6, 2021

GUEST BLOGGERS

Kent Love Blooms Every Spring

By April 5, 2021

Picture Books Aren't Just For Kids

“Charlotte’s Web”

By April 1, 2021

Real, Good, Human

Feed Your Soul, Feed Your Pocket

By March 31, 2021

A Step Forward

A Step Forward #5

By March 30, 2021

Celestial Conversations

What Do The Planets Represent In Astrology?

By March 23, 2021

GUEST BLOGGERS

Coffee Connoisseur

By March 22, 2021

Talking With Taylor

Ways I Relieve Stress

By March 19, 2021

Talking With Taylor

Ways I Relieve Stress

By March 19, 2021

Picture Books Aren't Just For Kids

The Books of Roald Dahl

By March 18, 2021

A Step Forward

A Step Forward #4

By March 17, 2021

Real, Good, Human

New Beginnings and Old Memories

By March 17, 2021

FEATURES

Can Totemism Save The World?

By March 15, 2021

FEATURES

Thrift Store Gentrification

By March 12, 2021

GUEST BLOGGERS

(Almost) Legally Blonde

By March 12, 2021

Entertainment Analysis

Entertainment Analysis: Fight Club (1999)

By March 11, 2021

The Art Outlet

Everyday Art

By March 10, 2021

Celestial Conversations

Zodiac Signs And What They Represent

By March 9, 2021

GUEST BLOGGERS

Terry And Reality

By March 8, 2021

Talking With Taylor

My Typical Day At Kent State

By March 5, 2021
To Top