The “Friends” Dilemma: Were Ross and Rachel on a Break?

Clarissa Segura, Staff Writer

The infamous question that has been up for debate for twenty-four years: were Ross and Rachel on a break?

Let’s be honest, the iconic “Friends” needs no introduction. Consistently ranked as one of the most popular shows in television history, the motley crew of 6 twenty-something New Yorkers trying to find their way in the world still resonates with today’s audiences.

And, no storyline from the show captured the imagination – and gossip – of Americans quite like the on/off relationship of Ross (David Schwimmer) and Rachel (Jennifer Aniston).

I have watched this show numerous times and after a bit of research, I have come to the conclusion that they were indeed on a break. Why do I say that? Well, let us dive into the facts.

Season 3, Ross and Rachel are dating living life happily as ever. Rachel gets a job at Bloomingdale’s causing her to work a lot more and not give Ross much time. On episode fifteen, “The One Where Ross and Rachel Take a Break,” a fiasco happens at work causing Rachel to ditch Ross on their anniversary.

Ross proceeds to bring a picnic basket to Rachel’s work, not understanding she has to work and making her kick him out. Later that night, Rachel comes home and both of them expect apologies from one another sparking a huge fight between the two and Rachel saying it is best that they take a break from one another.

Ross being devastated goes to a club with Joey and Chandler and proceeds to drink and dance his problems away with a girl named Chloe. Ross and Chloe wind up getting carried away, Rachel finds out, and is upset that Ross “cheated,” while Ross proceeds to justify it by saying they were on a break.

Thus starting the argument that continues on for 2 decades. Were they  REALLY on a break?

The reason I say they were on a break is that Rachel specifically said they were. Rachel wanted time apart from one another to think about things. Ross considers it to be the end of them and is devastated leaving him to do what he did.

However, does that justify his actions? No it does not. Does it mean he cheated? Yes it does. Taking a break from a relationship doesn’t mean you are broken up. It simply means you are taking space from each other to reflect.

That is not what we are arguing here however, the question here is if they were on a break or not. The answer to that is yes.