Just when we thought we exercised enough of the Ross and Rachel discourse, here’s a rose-tinted piece of Friends intel that’ll make you horny for 1994 all over again. As revealed during the show’s HBO Max reunion, Jennifer Aniston and David Schwimmer had a real-life, non-Central Perk crush on each other during Friends’ early seasons, feelings that were acutely noticed by the four other actors. However, the duo never acted upon this romantic reciprocation, thanks, in part, to timing and the fear of an implosion. “I had a major crush on Jen. At some point we were both crushing hard on each other,” Schwimmer explained. “But it was like two ships passing. One of us was always in a relationship and we never crossed that boundary. We respected that.” Aniston — who went on to date Friends guest star Tate Donovan and, ya know, Brad Pitt — also expressed relief that they never became romantic. “I remember saying one time to David, ‘It’s going to be such a bummer if the first time you and I actually kiss is on national television.’ And sure enough, the first time we kissed was in that coffee shop,” she recalled. “We channeled all of our adoration and love for each other into Ross and Rachel.”
“I thought back on the very first year or two,” Schwimmer continued. “When we had breaks from rehearsal, there were moments we would cuddle on the couch. I’m thinking, How did not everyone know we weren’t crushing on each other? It was a situation that we couldn’t do anything about it.” Courteney Cox, Matthew Perry, Lisa Kudrow, and Matt LeBlanc all teased the duo about their failed attempts at hiding such obvious chemistry (and the aforementioned cuddling), with Cox in particular expressing gratitude that they never rounded any bases. “How great though, ultimately, because if you had and it didn’t work out,” she noted, “it probably wouldn’t have been as great.” Yeah, and poor Gunther would’ve been crushed all over again.