The Best and Worst of Rachel’s Boyfriends on ‘Friends’

Jennifer Aniston And Owen Wilson Promote 'Marley & I'

This is the fourth week in our quest to rank all of the boyfriends and girlfriends that the main characters of Friends dated during the show’s ten-season run. Last week, we took a look at all of the men that Monica was involved with over the course of ten years. If you have not read that article yet, it can be viewed by clicking here. This week, we are analyzing all the guys that Rachel dated on Friends. Most of the men you will remember, including Ross, who she dated during seasons two and three; Tag who she got with during the seventh season; and Joshua, her client that she was attracted to the minute she met him. Here is the list of the boyfriends Rachel had on Friends, ranked from worst to best.


Paolo was the first man that Rachel got with after she broke off her engagement to Barry. They would date for a few months during season 1 of Friends, but would break up after he tries putting the moves on Phoebe when she was giving him a massage.

Boyfriend Grade: F


You may not remember Josh as he was only on one episode from season four of Friends. Rachel was really only dating him to get back at Ross after they tried to get back together and it did not work out. When she finds out that Josh is stealing from her, he gets the boot.

Boyfriend Grade: D-


Ben Stiller played Tommy on a season three episode of Friends. Early on, Ross finds out that he yells at people over the smallest things. No one will believe Ross when he tells them what he has witnessed Tommy doing, but when the gang catches him yelling at the chick and the duck, he leaves the apartment and Rachel’s life for good.

Boyfriend Grade: D


Rachel dated Russ for one episode during season two. Once she realized he was a creepier version of Ross, she decided to break up with him.

Boyfriend Grade: D+


Rachel walked out on her wedding to Barry in the pilot episode of Friends. She came to the realization that she wanted more in life than marrying someone like him. That was the best decision she ever made since she would soon find out that Barry was cheating on her with her best friend Mindy.

Boyfriend Grade: C-


Rachel met Paul during the sixth season of Friends. He is Elizabeth’s father and although he did not approve of the age difference between Ross and his daughter, he had no problem dating someone much younger than he was. Rachel would break up with Paul after she realized how big of a baby he was when he cried for an entire day after talking about all of his issues from the past.

Boyfriend Grade: C


The relationship between Rachel and Danny did not start off well. She and Monica were in the basement at the apartment complex looking for a waffle iron when they saw what they thought was a yeti and then fog him with a bug bomb. It turns out it was Danny the new neighbor with a long beard. Rachel flirts with him later on after he has shaven and he thinks all she cares about is looks. Monica asks Danny out for Rachel and he accepts. However, Rachel quickly ends things when she believes that the relationship he has with his sister is a tad incestuous.

Boyfriend Grade: C+


I am not sure how many fans thought that the Joey/Rachel relationship was a good idea during the show’s eight and ninth seasons. Despite all of that, Joey still ranks rather high on the list of men that Rachel dated on Friends. The relationship between the two would only last for a few episodes because they realized that they were better as friends and not as lovers. Joey was a perfect gentleman with Rachel during their entire courtship, which is not something he has been known for in the past.

Boyfriend Grade: B –


Gavin filled in for Rachel at Ralph Lauren when she went on maternity leave during the ninth season of Friends. At first, it did not appear that they would get along. That would all change when they would share a kiss on the balcony at her birthday party. Gavin soon realizes that Rachel still may have feeling for Ross, so the two decide to not pursue a relationship any further.

Boyfriend Grade: B


Jennifer Aniston and Tate Donovan were dating in real life when he took on the role of Joshua during the fourth season of Friends. Joshua needed a new wardrobe and sought out Rachel’s assistance. She falls for him as soon as she meets him. Finally, he revealed his feelings for Rachel at a fake going away party she threw for Emily. Their relationship would be short-lived, as Rachel goes a little crazy and decides she needs to find someone to marry when she discovers that Ross and Emily are getting married. She scares him away for good when she answers the door wearing a wedding dress.

Boyfriend Grade: B+


Tag was the most fun of all of Rachel’s boyfriends and appeared in the seventh season of Friends. A lot of that has to due with the fact that he was just a few years younger than Rachel. The two end up meeting when Tag wants to apply for her assistant job. Rachel creates a big EEO violation when she decides to hire him over a much more qualified candidate. Sadly, the two would break up when Rachel realized he was just too young and not looking for a committed relationship. The last straw was probably when he bought her a scooter for her 30th birthday.

Boyfriend Grade: A-


Personally, I do not like Ross for the lone fact he is a whiner. Sometimes it is hard to re-watch episodes of Friends because of this, but I know how many die-hard fans of the comedy would be upset if Ross was not voted the best of Rachel’s boyfriends. They did make a cute couple. Ross was in love with Rachel for years before the feelings were reciprocated. How could you not love him after he tried to escort her to prom when she thought her date ditched her? There were a few tough years due to the “We were on a break” shenanigans. However, the two would eventually have a child together and end up being a couple in the series finale of Friends. 

Boyfriend Grade: A

Which of Rachel’s boyfriends on Friends is your favorite? Let us know in the comments section below.

Photo by Florian Seefried/Getty Images

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