'We just channeled all our love and adoration for each other into Ross and Rachel.'
Spoiler alert! Major spoilers ahead for Friends: The Reunion. Turn back now if you don't want to know whether or not Rachel got off the plane!
Ross and Rachel are one of the most iconic couples in TV history and -- as the Friends reunion special has revealed -- it was thanks in part to some off-screen chemistry between Jennifer Aniston and David Schwimmer!
The pair, along with castmates Courteney Cox, Lisa Kudrow, Matthew Perry and Matt LeBlanc, sit down with James Corden during parts of the new HBO Max special, Friends: The Reunion, and the late-night host grills them on everything from on-set secrets to behind-the-scenes romances.
The whole cast denies any actual hookups among "friends," but apparently, there was a pretty big almost between the real-life Ross and Rachel.
"The first season, we-- I had a major crush on Jen," Schwimmer admits, to which Aniston replies, "It was reciprocated."
"At some point, we were both crushing hard on each other," Schwimmer continues. "But it was like two ships passing, because one of us was always in a relationship. So and we never crossed that boundary. We respected that."
At this point, LeBlanc, in typical Joey fashion, jokingly fake-coughs, "Bulls**t."
But in fact, it seems the only romantic resolution the pair ever got was onscreen. "We just channeled all of our adoration and love for each other into Ross and Rachel," Aniston insists.
"I remember saying one time to David, 'It's gonna be such a bummer if the first time you and I actually kiss is gonna be on national television,'" she adds. "Sure enough, first time we kissed was in that coffee shop."
But that doesn't mean there weren't a few...moments between the two along the way.
"I thought back on the first year or two, you know, when we had breaks from rehearsal, there were moments when we would cuddle on the couch," Schwimmer recalls with his castmates later in the special, when they're gathered on the reconstructed set of Monica and Rachel's apartment.
"We would spoon and fall asleep on the couch," Aniston confirms.
"And I'm thinking, how did not everyone know we were crushing on each other?" Schwimmer muses.
"We knew," Perry replies, and Cox agrees, "We knew, for sure!"
"It was a situation that we, we couldn't do anything about it," Schwimmer notes, though Cox points out that it may have been for the best: "If you had, and it didn't work out, it would have probably not been as great."
The cast also gathers for a table read of Ross and Rachel's thrilling first kiss scene from the season 2 episode, "The One Where Ross Finds Out," which Cox admits she watched recently and is still touched by.
"I was, like, weeping. The tension... it was just palpable. It was just perfect," she says. "Man, that was something."
"We were really just not great actors," Aniston jokes.
Friends: The Reunion is streaming now on HBO Max. See more in the video below.