ICYMI over 20 years ago and don't live on planet Earth, early on in their relationship Ross and Rachel went on a break... maybe. There were and still are endless debates on the matter, but here are the facts:
1) Ross and Rachel were fighting about her skipping their anniversary dinner because she had to work late and he couldn't seem to understand how important her job was to her.
2) As she's explaining it's importance, Ross decides to be a jealous little bitch and ask if it's about Mark, her co-worker.
3) If looks could kill, Rachel would have devoured Ross at that moment, but instead she drops the infamous:
3) Ross agrees, suggests they go get some frozen yogurt, and then Rachel calmly clarifies she means a break from "us."
4) Ross, looking completely heartbroken, leaves her apartment, gets wasted, and ends up sleeping with the copy place girl.
5) Rachel is devastated when she finds out. Ross says it wasn't cheating because they were on a break. Rachel says they weren't on a break, they were in a fight.
That one episode created decades of arguments, discussions, and even websites created solely for the purpose of uncovering who was in the right.
And that's where I think people have the whole situation twisted: neither person was right; they were both wrong. Ross was acting insecure, selfish, and unsupportive of his girlfriend. Rachel was being neglectful, selfish, and unsympathetic to his needs. She had the ol' break card in her back pocket, just in case. And he had the copy girl in his front pocket, just in case.
Is sleeping with someone you've flirted with on the night your girlfriend asks for a break a total dick move? Absolutely. Then again, if Ross genuinely thought it was over, he wasn't thinking about the girl who just shattered his heart, he was just trying to not feel like dump for a few minutes.
But if you're Rachel and you only said it because he was acting like as ass and you were upset - and we all say things we don't mean when we're upset - and he says nothing, you don't take his silence to mean it's over. After all, you said "maybe we should take a break." So the next morning you go over to his place to talk things out and just as it seems you two are past this silly fight, you find out some chick he just banged was hiding behind the door of his apartment, less than 12 hours after your fight! Yeah, that's gonna feel a little like he cheated on you.
Ultimately, they both screwed up, but if I have to pick a side, I side with reason. It comes down to the second "break." The first time she said it, it was in a moment of rage - something you could easily ignore and get past. But when Ross didn't receive it as it was intended, Rachel took a few seconds to breathe and instead of rethinking her proposal, she doubled-down on it. That's what led Ross to believe it was over and that's why he got drunk and slutty.
And that's why all these years later, David Schwimmer stands by Ross's quick bang.
But let's be honest, this conversation is far from over, and with the Friends reunion episode in the works, it's only a matter of time before Jennifer Aniston comes to Rachel's defense.
“We’re going to wait and see another week or two if we all determine it’s really safe to do,” Schwimmer said. “If not, we’ll wait until it’s safe.”
Whenever that is.