FRIENDS' 25th Anniversary: Why the Heck Did Ross and Emily Get Married?! - Give Me My Remote : Give Me My Remote

FRIENDS’ 25th Anniversary: Why the Heck Did Ross and Emily Get Married?!

September 6, 2019 by  

Friends Ross Emily

Photo by NBC – © 2012 NBCUniversal, Inc.

[On Thursday, September 22, 1994, NBC debuted the pilot of FRIENDS. The sitcom, about a group of six 20-something friends, went on to become a pop culture touchstone. In honor of the milestone, we’re doing 25 Days of FRIENDS, looking back at the show in big and small ways.]

After Ross and Rachel’s second breakup in season 4, the duo were strained and justifiably annoyed/angry with each other—but they were able to move on with other people relatively fast.

For Ross, the most serious prospect was Emily, an accidental date (to appease Rachel, who had agreed to take Emily to the opera, but really wanted to go out with her crush, Joshua) turned into a very fast engagement and wedding. Rachel was originally not going to go the couple’s London wedding, but her realization she still loved Ross prompted her to make the trick. Unfortunately for all involved, that may have just been enough for Ross to accidentally say Rachel’s name at the altar.

Look, there’s no denying this was a pretty awful moment for Ross. The relationship moved fast, but surely seeing an ex shouldn’t have been enough to just say the wrong name at the altar. But, um, HOW DID EMILY GO THROUGH WITH THE WEDDING?

To be clear: Ross absolutely deserved Emily’s anger. Her punching him? I get it. At the very least, you’d think she’d ask to talk alone for a moment to verify what the heck was going on and make up her mind about marrying Ross.

But even if she wanted to save face, absolutely nothing she did helped her cause. She shoved the ring on his finger. She barely tolerated him kissing her and didn’t want to be touched. And then when they got to their reception—at her father and stepmother’s home—they had a fight and she locked herself in the bathroom…where she escaped.


For the show’s sake, it makes sense they doubled-down. It was never going to be a long-term relationship, and the mistaken name helped things spiral for everyone, including the post-divorce Ross losing his apartment and job break. But as a human?? Yikes.

I rewatched the show (for, um, not the first time) while doing these pieces, and it struck me how crazy it is they went through with the wedding. The couple had such a stacked deck against them from the start, and rushing into the wedding (at Emily’s dream venue, which, as it turned out, started to get torn down early…which maybe should have been a sign?!) seemed to break both of them. Emily became possessive, jealous, and completely unreasonable. Ross teetered between unhinged and Eeyore.

I’m sure part of it was shock; what can really prep you for something that insane? And Ross freaking out about even potentially having to delay the wedding, when their location was in doubt, probably didn’t help. But my goodness, Emily should have never agreed to go on with the wedding. It ended up making the dissolution of the relationship feel like death by paper cut.

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