We Were on a Break?!


Allie Weber

To many viewers, Ross and Rachel were on a break, but others speculate whether Ross’s actions were appropriate or not (Photo courtesy of Allie Weber).

The 90s sitcom Friends contains a plethora of hilarious and witty quotes, but the line “We were on a break!” said by the show’s resident nerd, Ross, is undoubtedly the most famous one. It is constantly mentioned throughout the ten seasons, which always brings the audience’s attention back to the issue. Were Ross and Rachel really on a break?

“I think they were. [Rachel] made it very clear that she wanted a break,” said sophomore Katelyn Morgan.

Let’s set the stage: Rachel had recently gotten a job in fashion that was taking up a significant amount of her time. This, of course, caused Ross to become very jealous because she was not making enough time for him or their relationship. After a failed attempt at an anniversary dinner and a heated argument, Ross immediately jumped to the conclusion that Mark, Rachel’s handsome co-worker, was the reason behind her dedication to her job. The frustration caused by Ross’s comment prompted Rachel to say, “Maybe we should just take a break!” Ross then left the apartment and headed to a bar where he ran into a girl from the copy store. Almost immediately after, Rachel got a call from Mark, so he came over just to talk with her. Then after talking with Joey and Chandler, Ross called to apologize and talk things out, but heard Mark at the apartment, and assumed something else was going on. This caused him to go home with the girl from the copy store, which Rachel found out about.

“I feel like they could have communicated more, and heard each other out. They both had different ideas of a break, which could have been fixed with talking things out. Communication is key, kids,” said sophomore Brigitte Pinochet.

Rachel clearly had reason to be mad at Ross: showing up to her work on the brink of an important deadline, catching her desk on fire, expecting an apology from her, and making an assumption over something they had consistently fought over. Especially in the heat of the moment, both of them needed a breath of fresh air away from each other, so a break seemed like the perfect escape. She had valid reasoning, however, that taking a step back and getting some physical space, as opposed to a formal break, probably would have avoided everything that followed.

Ross also had a reason to be mad. He was always jealous of Mark, and hearing that he was with Rachel immediately after the decision to take a break only caused him to become more infuriated. However, he should have listened to her instead of making an assumption based on his previous feelings. This probably would have lead to a less serious situation, but most certainly would have made him upset. However, he should have listened to Rachel in the first place when she said she did not have the time to celebrate their anniversary. This could have completely avoided the entire situation.

“Ross didn’t react appropriately. I was so annoyed with him at that point because he wasn’t listening to Rachel. The fact that he went and [reacted that way] made me even more upset,” said Greenville Tech Charter High School sophomore, Sara Kallio.

Were Ross and Rachel really on a break? Rachel actually said she needed a break from “them” so that quite literally answers it. But the real questions are: did each person react appropriately to the situation at hand? And if they had more perspective, would the whole “we were on a break” situation been avoided? This can never truly be answered, as the series didn’t discuss it. But, it is certainly up to the opinion of the audience, as is the main question at hand: Were Ross and Rachel really on a break?  This fictional relationship can offer some advice to any present day, real-life relationship. Hearing each other out, taking a step back, and gaining some perspective can aid in avoiding unwanted and maddening arguments and situations.

“[Rachel] could have told him a time and place to meet and talk when they are both cooled down, so they could get out of the heat of the moment. This way, they could avoid the whole situation,” said Morgan.