As Friends wrapped up its fourth season in May of 1998, Ross and Rachel’s on/off relationship still provided the show’s emotional core, with the other four roommates serving as the platonic Greek chorus to the couple’s climactic kisses and “on-a-break”-dom. But then, in the second half of the season’s hour-long finale — the one with Ross’s ill-fated London wedding weekend with Emily — another duo surprisingly hooked up, much to the glee of audience members: Monica and Chandler.
Their relationship would evolve as the complete opposite of Ross and Rachel’s: long-kept secret from the other roommates, and healthy and strong until the series ended with them married, parents of adopted twins. Although pairing off sitcom characters is always a risky venture, especially when a show already has one successful couple, Monica and Chandler quickly became a fan-favorite romance, with viewers loving the chemistry between Courteney Cox and Matthew Perry. Back in 2013, when this story was first published, former Friends exec producer Scott Silveri, who co-wrote the episode with future wife Shana Goldberg-Meehan (and, as with most sitcoms, lots of input from the rest of the show’s writing staff) explained the genesis of the relationship, the reservations that nearly stopped it from happening, and why he thinks it added years to the show’s life.
Season 2 starts with Ross and Julie dating, and Rachel pining after Ross, in a reversal of the previous season. However, this ends up resolved when Ross finds out that Rachel has feelings for him, and he ends up leaving Julie to be with her. This is also the season of the ‘list’ that nearly stops them dating again, and the prom video that launches them into full-blown coupledom, and they wrap up the season still happily in a relationship.