Relive the ups and downs of the show's most dramatic, iconic couple
Credit: Paul Drinkwater/NBCU Photo Bank/Getty

In honor of the Friends reunion, which dropped on HBO Max on Thursday, we’re taking a look back at the Friends couple that brought tons of drama (and tons of sweet moments) throughout the series’ history: Ross (played by David Schwimmer) and Rachel (Jennifer Aniston).

The One Where Rachel Finds Out: Season 1, Episode 24

After 23 episodes of watching Ross pine over Rachel, it’s only fitting that the season ended with Rachel finally discovering his love for her – in the form of a very expensive pin. After some much-needed back-and-forth with Phoebe and Monica, Rachel decides she is interested in Ross, marking the beginning of this double-sided saga. (Which gets all the more dramatic when Rachel goes to the airport to greet a returning Ross – and his new girlfriend.)

The One with the Prom Video: Season 2, Episode 14

It’s hard to narrow down just which of the many Ross-and-Rachel-centric episodes in season 2 is the best, but really, you can’t deny the magic of “The One with the Prom Video,” in which Rachel finds out, via home video, that Ross was prepared to take her to her senior prom when it appeared that her date was standing her up.

The One with the Morning After: Season 3, Episode 16

It’s a toss-up between this one and the episode that precedes it, “The One Where Ross and Rachel Take a Break,” in which they, of course, take a break (depending on who you ask). But it’s this episode, arguably one of the most emotional in Friends history, where we see them break up officially, that really hits us in the feels.

The One with Ross’s Wedding, Part 2: Season 4, Episode, 24

By the end of season 4, we still aren’t over Ross and Rachel’s season 3 breakup. Neither is Rachel, who goes to London to try and stop Ross’s wedding to Emily; and neither is Ross, apparently – he says Rachel’s name at the altar while reciting his vows to Emily.

The One Where Phoebe Hates PBS: Season 5, Episode 4

There isn’t a ton of Ross and Rachel drama in season 5, as Ross spends the bulk of the episodes trying to win back Emily (and then suffering a breakdown when he fails), and Rachel falls out of love fairly quickly after returning from what was supposed to be his and Emily’s Greek honeymoon. But we see the depth of their friendship in “The One Where Phoebe Hates PBS,” when Ross grapples with the decision on whether he should abandon his marriage or never see Rachel again.

The One Where Ross Hugs Rachel: Season 6, Episode 2

In the days after their drunken wedding in Las Vegas, Ross makes the ill-advised decision to stay married to Rachel despite telling her he got an annulment. At first, we think it’s because he doesn’t want to be divorced for the third time. But then, after he hugs Rachel, Phoebe realizes it’s because he’s in love with her, too!

The One with Monica’s Thunder: Season 7, Episode 1

Season 7 is seriously lacking in any romantic Ross and Rachel time (which is more than made up for in season 8), so we’re going to have to go with the opener, “The One With Monica’s Thunder,” where the two almost have a one-night reconciliation.

The One Where Rachel Has a Baby, Season 8: Episode 23

Like season 2, it was hard to narrow this one down. There’s the one when Rachel finds out she’s pregnant, the one when the two see Rachel’s first sonogram and the one in which they recount Emma’s conception. But ultimately, the arrival of Emma (coupled with the return of Janice!) and the will-he-or-won’t-he proposal trumps everything else.

The One Where Monica Sings: Season 9, Episode 13

Things are a little murky for Ross and Rachel in season 9: they’ve bonded over their love of Emma, but living together and parenting together without actually being together makes for some awkward moments. This comes to a head in “The One Where Monica Sings,” in which Rachel decides to move back in with Joey after discovering that Ross had hidden a message from a guy from her.

The Last One: Season 10, Episode 17

You knew this was coming. After 10 seasons of romantic turmoil, Ross and Rachel finally realize what the rest of us knew all along: they belong together. And just in the knick of time, too: She got off the plane!

Catch Friends: The Reunion, streaming now on HBO Max.