Look, I LOVE Chandler and Joey’s friendship and I love Monica and Ross’ relationship and duh, I love Phoebe and Joey’s friendship. But I’m here to tell you, I also love the weirder pairings on Friends. Chandler and Rachel have a very special kind of under-the-radar friendship (eating the cheesecake, when he sees her boobs) but my favorite Not What You’d Immediately Think About friendship is Phoebe and Ross.
On the surface, Phoebe and Ross have virtually nothing in common. She’s spacey and hippie-adjacent and he’s a nerdy paleontologist who’s in love with one of her best friends and the brother of the other. They seem more like accidental friends than anything deserving of a capital F. But once you delve deeper you see they have a very special connection.
1. When Phoebe Cleanses Ross’ Aura
This is from the very first episode of Friends so please enjoy the sartorial choices of 1994!
The early episodes of Friends basically paints a picture of 6 stereotypes hanging out…for some reason. And Phoebe and Ross play their parts perfectly in this first show of their budding friendship.
2. When Phoebe Doesn’t Believe in Evolution
Silly Phoebe! Ross is a scientist!
This is the episode when their annoying downstairs neighbor, Mr. Heckles, dies. I’ve been thinking about Phoebe’s argument against evolution and gravity a LOT while watching Cosmos and now have an intense desire for Phoebe (the character) to have a chat with Neil deGrasse Tyson…so, whoever can make that happen, hit me up.
3. When They Kiss In the Flashback
Chandler’s on-again, off-again love, Janice, asks the gang one day who of the group has hooked up. Which obviously starts a whole flashback sequence to when Phoebe is trying to move out of her apartment with Monica and Chandler has Joey move in and they run into Rachel, in her old spoiled persona, at the bar that is about to become a coffeehouse.
But guess who kisses? Phoebe and Ross! It’s weird but kind of funny and also doesn’t make sense but does make sense. If Friends had ever really gone there with these two there would never have been a need to make Dharma and Greg though, so…
4. When Ross Tells Phoebe He and Rachel Are Still Married
Like so many things, it all starts in Vegas. Ross and Rachel get wasted and (un-remembered by them) then married and the next morning they finally find out. Phoebe calls Ross “divorcing guy” and then Ross, later, reveals to Phoebe that he and Rachel are still married because he can’t handle divorcing again.
5. When Ross Smells Rachel’s Hair
That all leads into Phoebe realizing Ross still loves Rachel and that’s why he won’t get the divorce which she proves to him by asking if he smelled Rachel’s hair when he hugged her. (He did.)
Phoebe likes having the secret so keeps it from him and thus begins the most beautiful friendship of Friends.
6. When Phoebe is Mad At Ross
Obviously we find out she’s just mad at him because in a dream – while playing chess – he called her boring. Oh, Phoebe!
7. When Phoebe Is There When They Name Ben
Okay, Phoebe is not one of Ben’s moms (but pretends to be in a later episode to get tickets to a Sting concert) but she is crucial to the naming of Ben.
Susan, Ross and Phoebe get trapped in a janitor’s closet and Phoebe is wearing hospital worker Ben’s coveralls while they’re inside and she tries to escape through the vents. Susan and Ross decide to suggest Ben as a name to their new son and everyone “awwws.”
8. When Emma Was Born and Phoebe Knows Ross Still Loves Rachel
Combining two of the last Phoebe and Ross storylines is the fact that again, when Emma is born, Phoebe is the one who talks to Ross about how he loves Rachel again and now they have a baby and shouldn’t they be together.
For whatever reason, this pair is really there for each other and once again, Phoebe is the one who knows the truth all while the fake Joey proposal is happening and all that confusion erupts.
9. When We Find Out Phoebe Mugged Ross As a Teen
The ultimate Ross and Phoebe storyline though is when we find out Phoebe mugged Ross when they were kids, and stole his self-written “Science Boy” comics. Phoebe even says she loves that they have a history now.
But then he gets “Science Boy” back and everyone’s happy! Yay!
Ross and Phoebe: the best of Friends, guys.