On Sunday night, almost all but not quite all of the cast of Friends will gather to celebrate famed comedy director James Burrows. The news has rocked lovers of laughs, who, years after their favorite show was taken off the air, still glom on to any Friends-related tidbits the way Chandler and Rachel did that cheesecake that fell in the hallway that one time.
“Did you all sign contracts saying that you wouldn’t sleep with each other?” Andy Cohen apparently asks during the tribute/“reunion,” to everyone but Matthew Perry, who was shockingly not off attempting to star in whatever new pilot he’s working on that will not make it past a season, but doing a play in London, baby!
In the preview that includes this exchange, all we see is Lisa Kudrow pushing David Schwimmer to answer the question—“David, say something!” while Schwimmer looks mock flustered in response.
It is highly unlikely that this episode of “Must See TV” will give us an answer that’s finite about this question that we all want resolved, but that doesn’t mean it’s not worth speculating, right?
Hooked up on the show? He’s her lobster!
Hooked up in real life? In 2009, the National Enquirer reported that Aniston was looking to get pregnant and “her top candidate for artificial insemination is David Schwimmer!” But the next year, they had moved away from having a child together, as Schwimmer was reportedly furious with Aniston for saying she was unaware of who his new fiancé was. More recently, when Aniston became engaged to Justin Theroux, there was drama over Schwimmer not being invited to her wedding. Some might argue that this sounds a lot like the fire that burns between two friends who once dated and then struggled to handle their new, platonic relationship. Others would say that that the two had a good acting chemistry but that that was about it.
Verdict: Probs not.
Hooked up on the show? Once, in a flashback, when Ross was very sad about his wife being a lesbian and Phoebe was trying to console him. The pool table was too precarious to allow them to get far in their gropings, and then the pair was interrupted by the other Friends. Buzzkill!
Hooked up in real life? Kudrow was married for almost the entirety of filming friends, and remains with her husband, which puts a bit of a damper on the idea that they hooked up during filming (she also had a baby during that 10-year span). But more recently, in September, the pair “stepped out” for a double date with their significant others at the movies. Sounds... sexy.
Hooked up on the show? Ew, they’re siblings (with weird boundary issues at times, it’s true).
Verdict: No (except in one bizarre flashback episode where they kiss by accident).
Hooked up in real life? Last year, Courteney Cox blamed Schwimmer for why the cast never actually reunites, and Schwimmer did not really respond. And while Schwimmer has been in and out of relationships during the time they’ve known each other, Cox was married to David Arquette for the second half of the series, and after they divorced, engaged for a time.
Hooked up on the show? In an alternate reality episode, we see Chandler meet Rachel and be attracted to her, and though Rachel rebuffs him, later she has a fantasy about him in a dream. In the real show, Chandler and Rachel are arguably the least close of any of the Friends.
Verdict: No (except for in that same bizarre flashback episode that we had Monica and Ross locking lips).
Hooked up in real life? Matthew Perry was not invited to Jennifer Aniston’s second wedding to Justin Theroux, though he was invited to her wedding to Brad Pitt (he had to miss it because of work, and regretted it). Though he said there was no ill-will, that seems suspect—especially because of highly unsubstantiated rumors that have flown for years that they hooked up during the filming of the show.
Verdict: Seems possible.
Hooked up on the show? In one of the best episodes of Friends, Phoebe pretends to want Chandler in order to get him and Monica to admit they have been secretly dating for ages. They share one brief, very awkward kiss.
Hooked up in real life? The two are buds, but that seems to be about it.
Hooked up on the show? It’s London baby!
Hooked up in real life? While Perry has had a number of buzzed-about romances, none have ever stuck. When Cox was still married to David Arquette, she and Perry were photographed together looking quite chummy, and later, they reunited on his show Go On.
Last year, the single buds were rumored to be dating each other—“There isn’t any pressure to put a label on it just yet, but they’re excited to see where this might go,” a source told Star—but no evidence ever came to support this fantastic claim.
Verdict: Maybe once.
Hooked up on the show? Ugh, don’t remind me. (Joey and Rachel also kiss in the alternate reality episode, briefly.)
Hooked up in real life? Last year, Matt LeBlanc’s father claimed that the two “would make out in the dressing rooms” when Aniston was married to Brad Pitt, which Aniston denied. But this, combined with similar old rumors about Aniston and LeBlanc dating earlier, and LeBlanc not being invited to her recent wedding, really fuels the fire for a more solid argument that they boned.
Hooked up on the show? A brief lip lock during the episode where Phoebe finds out she’s really older than she thought she was was pretty sexy and tender, but despite hints throughout the years (and other kisses), we never get any indication these two Did It.
Hooked up in real life? There is no evidence these two ever locked anything IRL (though look at him adjusting her suit at the Emmys). He did make an appearance on her show Web Therapy, but so did everyone.
Hooked up on the show? These two had several misses. Again during a flashback episode, we see Monica was very into Joey when he first moved in with Chandler across the hall from her, but was quickly deterred when he moved too fast and mistook an offer for lemonade for an offer for sex. Monica also famously goes to find Joey to sleep with when she is depressed at Ross’s wedding to Emily, but ends up in bed with Chandler. Joey also worries later on that he’s in love with Monica, before realizing he just craves the domesticity the pair have.
Hooked up in real life? Quite recently, rumors FLEW that the two were dating because of a picture taken at the Burrows tribute where they looked like they were lockin’ lips. LeBlanc’s rep denied the claims.
I haven’t broken each of the women into relationship-by-relationship dynamics because neither on the show nor in real life have any of them indicated they are anything other than straight. There was at least one episode where the three discuss whom of each other they would want to date, with Monica becoming very offended when Phoebe does not pick her. In real life, the three are all close, while Jennifer Aniston and Courteney Cox are the closest—so much so that each dated Adam Duritz (though Aniston apparently did not sleep with him).
I also haven’t broken each of the men into relationship-by-relationship dynamics because neither on the show nor in real life have any of them indicated they are anything other than straight. That being said, as many have pointed out before, the show’s use of gay jokes and homoerotic vibes certainly suggested a chemistry between the male leads, one that never seemed to spread to their real-life personas.
They’ll always be Friends though.
Contact the author at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Image via Getty.