Jennifer Aniston and Brad Pitt have gone from film's hottest couple to husband and wife to nemeses to...great friends? It seems so: Pitt and Aniston have been seen more and more together in the years post-split. And now that Pitt and Aniston are both single once again, following Pitt's divorce from Angelina Jolie and Aniston's divorce from Justin Trudeaux, debating whether or not they will (or should) reunite has become a national pastime. In honor of The Great Debate, let's take a look back at their love story and the latest developments.
Brad and Jen go on their first date after being set up by their agents—a true Hollywood romance, right? They try to keep things quiet for as long as they can, but this proves difficult since Brad is one of the biggest movie stars in the world and Jen is America's sweetheart.
(Also, big ups to their beauty lewks in this photo.)
Brad and Jen make their public debut as a couple on the red carpet for the Emmy Awards in 1999—forever immortalizing Brad's sunglasses.
Just a few months after that initial debut, Brad and Jen crash the stage of a Sting concert (ha ha ha ha) in New York City and flaunt their engagement. In their defense, there was no Instagram back then.
Brad and Jen tie the knot in a lavish Malibu wedding, which is naturally hounded by paparazzi—thus the aerial shots. Look at all those tents! The phrase "media circus" couldn't be more apt.
There are literally fireworks the night of the wedding. It was that lavish.
Brad and Jen make another appearance at the Emmy Awards, this time as newlyweds (and looking classy AF, we might add).
Jen talks about Brad in an interview with Rolling Stone. She admits that her friends worried Brad would be a "conceited f*ck" at first, but immediately came around because he's actually just the best person. She also talks marriage and being in it for the long haul.
To quote: "You know if there's ever an argument, it's not like you can go, 'Screw you, I'm outta here!' You're there for the long haul. It's a beautiful thing to actually realize that for the first time, to have that knowing. It takes the heat and the weight out of things."
Brad Pitt guest stars in Friends (specifically, "The One with the Rumor") where he wears a jaunty sweater and frosted tips and, oh yeah, hates Rachel Green. It's a major moment for people into his relationship with Jen, AKA everyone.
Brad and Jen attend the Golden Globes, where both she and Friends are nominated. Neither wins, but Jen and Brad matched outfits, so there's that.
When an interviewer for a W magazine profile refers to Brad as the love of Jen's life, her response is...interesting.
"Is he the love of my life? I think you’re always sort of wondering, 'Are you the love of my life?' I mean, I don’t know, I’ve never been someone who says, 'He’s the love of my life.' He’s certainly a big love in my life...And I know that we have something special, especially in all this chaos. In this nutty, brilliant, wonderful, hard business that we have, it’s nice to have somebody who’s anchored and knows you, really knows all of you."
In an interview with The Guardian, Jennifer talks about the end of Friends and her desire to start a family with Brad: "It's time. It's time. You know, I think you can work with a baby, I think you can work pregnant, I think you can do all of it. So I'm just truly looking forward to slowing down."
Brad Pitt and Angelina Jolie meet on the set of Mr. and Mrs. Smith, and sparks fly/explode all over the place—specifically, all over Brad's marriage. Angelina later described falling for Brad while filming the movie during an interview with Vogue:
"Because of the film we ended up being brought together to do all these crazy things, and I think we found this strange friendship and partnership that kind of just suddenly happened. I think a few months in I realized, 'God, I can’t wait to get to work.' Whether it was shooting a scene or arguing about a scene or gun practice or dance class or doing stunts—anything we had to do with each other, we just found a lot of joy in it together and a lot of real teamwork. We just became kind of a pair. And it took until, really, the end of the shoot for us, I think, to realize that it might mean something more than we’d earlier allowed ourselves to believe. And both knowing that the reality of that was a big thing, something that was going to take a lot of serious consideration."
Brad and Jen officially split, offering the below joint statement:
"We would like to announce that after seven years together we have decided to formally separate. For those who follow these sorts of things, we would like to explain that our separation is not the result of any of the speculation reported by the tabloid media. This decision is the result of much thoughtful consideration. We happily remain committed and caring friends with great love and admiration for one another. We ask in advance for your kindness and sensitivity in the coming months."
Jen addresses the split in an interview with Vanity Fair, and famously describes Brad as "missing a sensitivity chip" thanks to a W magazine spread featuring him and Angelina.
"Brad is not mean-spirited; he would never intentionally try to rub something in my face," she says. "In hindsight, I can see him going, 'Oh—I can see that that was inconsiderate.' But I know Brad. Brad would say, 'That’s art!' There’s a sensitivity chip that’s missing."
Brad and Jen's divorce is finalized.
Jen talks Brad and Angelina again, this time with Vogue. She explains that she was hurt by stories Brangelina shared with the press about falling for each other during their marriage.
"There was stuff printed there that was definitely from a time when I was unaware that it was happening," she says. "I felt those details were a little inappropriate to discuss. That stuff about how she couldn't wait to get to work every day? That was really uncool."
Brad Pitt and Angelina Jolie officially marry.
Angelina Jolie files for divorce from Brad Pitt.
It's reported that Brad and Jen are in contact. Sources say he tracked down his ex's number so he could wish her a happy birthday, and that they've "been texting." What's more, apparently Brad "told her he’s having a hard time with his split and they exchanged a few texts reminiscing about the past." Hmmmm.
Brad Pitt starts "casually dating" in the wake of his split from Angelina Jolie, with a source saying: "He has been going out but there is nothing serious in the dating area at all, nothing to speak of at this point."
Jennifer Aniston and Justin Theroux announce their separation. Twitter explodes with hope that Jen and Brad are getting back together, mostly in the form of Rachel Green GIFs.
Jen celebrated her 50th birthday with a star-studded party at the Sunset Tower Hotel in Los Angeles. Brad, who was spotted at the venue, was among the guests, according to People.
Don't freak out, but Jen is definitely back in the dating game, reports ET. Her Friends co-stars encouraged her to get back in the saddle, so she's been casually treading the waters. Also, she's still in contact with Brad, a source told the outlet, and they talk occasionally.
So, Jen threw an "intimate" holiday bash for her close friends...and guess who came? You guessed it: Brad. According to Entertainment Tonight: "[Brad] was among the first to arrive and the second to last guest to leave around 11 p.m." Other guests at the star-studded (but intimate!) party included Gwyneth Paltrow, Tom Hanks, Kate Hudson, Lisa Kudrow, and Reese Witherspoon.
Now self-professed "good friends," Jen and Brad's support of each other was on full show at the 2020 SAG Awards. First, Brad cracked a joke about his failed marriages, and Jen laughed and applauded; then Jen won an award, and Brad watched tenderly from backstage. Then they ran into each other afterwards and were photographed together for the first time in years. Plus, is this body language a little flirty, or is it just me?