Content Warning: The following article contains spoilers for the HBO show Euphoria, as well as discussions of drug addiction, abuse, and self-harm.
As the stars of HBO’s Euphoria, Rue Bennet and Jules Vaughn are among the show’s most well-liked characters. The show owes much of its genius status to the complexity of their dynamic, which is growing increasingly toxic. Rue was instantly drawn to Jules, the optimistic and adventurous newcomer to the boring suburbs. As they grew closer, both characters’ insecurities started showing.
RELATED: 10 Couples In Euphoria Ranked From Worst To Best
Rue found the perfect substitute for drugs in her new best friend/romantic interest, but when Jules realized just how much Rue’s mental health depends on her, she started growing increasingly distant.
SCREENRANT VIDEO OF THE DAY
Updated on March 10th, 2022, by Hannah Saab: As fans eagerly wait for season 3 of Euphoria, they’ll have to rely on the events from the most recent episodes to examine the relationship between Jules and Rue. The pair have been the backbone of the teen drama for the past two seasons, which is why it’s shocking to see their romantic partnership potentially end after the shocking events in season 3. That said, most fans would agree that as much as they love Jules and Rue, their actions on the series have proven that they’re not good for each other for a number of reasons.
They Bonded Over Psychedelic Drugs
Rue was instantly mesmerized by the new girl in town, Jules. After she cut herself at Nate’s party, Rue went home with her and they got high together. The experience clearly made them connect on a deeper level right away, making their friendship incredibly intense from the start.
It’s not that all friendships that start under the influence of any kind of substance are doomed to fail, but substance abuse can definitely warp reality and give users a fake sense of belonging. The fact that their relationship started out with self-harm and drugs speaks volumes about why it now seems to be finally ending.
Rue Isn’t Relaxed Around Jules
While Jules is always her bubbly self around Rue, Rue is pretty nervous around Jules, and for a good reason. She’s always trying to anticipate what kind of behavior would Jules approve of rather than act genuinely, which just leads her to hide problems that need to be addressed.
Of course, that isn’t to say it’s Jules’ fault that Rue makes these decisions, since fans know that Rue’s inner critic speaks up whenever she feels awkward around Jules. In one of Rue’s most memorable quotes, she is asking Jules whether she wishes Rue were different, highlighting her insecurity and low self-worth.
Rue Is Emotionally Dependent On Jules
Much of the show’s controversy stems from the fact that everybody, not just Rue, is addicted to something. Drugs, medication, validation, beauty, money – it’s always something. A dependency of any kind can block true intimacy and healthy relationships, which is obviously true in Rue’s and Jules’ dynamic.
RELATED: 11 Major Friendships In Euphoria, Ranked From Worst To Best
Rue’s well-being depended on Jules being there for her at all times. She simply switched from being dependent on drugs to becoming obsessed with another person, which is extremely toxic.
They Pretended The Kiss Didn’t Happen
Jules and Rue kissed for the first time in the third episode of the first season, which also happens to be one of the best episodes of Euphoria. Rue felt remorseful right away, so she asked Jules if they could pretend that what she did wasn’t super weird. Jules was instantly on board with the notion of not having to talk about it.
The kiss was clearly something that deeply affected Rue since she even talked about it with Ali. They both wanted to distance themselves from messy emotions that started to creep into their friendship, which is not very healthy. Not being able to talk about starting a relationship before getting into one means not being able to set clear boundaries and expectations.
Jules Hates Being Responsible For Rue
As Rue grew more dependent on Jules, Jules started feeling suffocated and overly responsible for her actions. Many people have told her that she is good for Rue, which understandably put a lot of pressure on her.
Jules had issues of her own, but there was barely any room for her to show her vulnerabilities with Rue, since Rue needed her to be okay and above all, always on her side. It also doesn’t help that Jules’ issues also revolve around drug addiction, but this time about her mother. She hesitates to talk to Rue about it because she fears she may take it the wrong way.
Rue Meddled In Jules’ Life Without Asking Her First
When she was in a manic state, Rue took matters into her own hands and made Fezco approach Nate and threaten him. Rue correctly assumed that Jules and Nate are somehow connected, but she shouldn’t have meddled without asking for Jules’ permission first. Rue had no idea just how dangerous Nate is. What’s worse, she sent Fezco to do her dirty business for her and got him in trouble.
Her actions in those moments are indicative of the lack of communication between Jules and Rue. This has caused problems in their relationship more than once and has even prompted unwarranted hatred from Rue towards Jules at times.
They Didn’t Talk About Their Expectations
Teenagers from Euphoria don’t seem to care that much about labels, which is fine as long as both parties in a couple know what to expect from a certain relationship. Jules and Rue clearly became more than friends, but saying they were dating would be a bit of a stretch as well.
RELATED: The 10 Best Flashbacks In Euphoria
What’s worse, Rue certainly was preoccupied with their status, while Jules was out kissing other people like it was no big deal. It goes back to their initial issue of never really openly talking about what they expect from each other and what they think their relationship should be. It’s not always about labeling something, but just about knowing that both partners are on the same page.
Jules Left Without Rue
Jules leaving Rue behind at the train station was one of the most emotional scenes in Euphoria. While it’s true that Rue initiated the escape to the city, Jules was the one who kept pushing Rue despite the fact that running away is the last thing that Rue should be doing considering her mental state.
Rue expressed her worries about leaving her family and medication behind, but Jules was determined to go. That said, Jules’ special episode revealed her state of mind at that moment, as fans learned for the first time that things weren’t going too well for her behind the scenes. They’re both partly at fault, which only further emphasizes how bad they are for each other.
Jules Pretended To Not See Certain Facts
Jules acted very friendly towards Rue from the start. The way she showed affection clearly made Rue feel uncomfortable. Jules asked Rue to take nudes of her, which is something that is normalized in Euphoria.
Rue was clearly very tense and frustrated during the photo session, but Jules just pretended to not see Rue’s discomfort. Surely, a good friend would address such an issue, but these two just went along pretending. When no one bothers to point out that the other person is crossing the line between awkward and plain uncomfortable, that’s not a good sign.
They Are Incompatible
“I want you to wanna kiss me so bad that you don’t even ask,” Jules told Rue in the bathroom stall at the school dance. The fact that she sought out a dominant man like Cal Jacobs to sleep with implies that she prefers others to take the lead when it comes to all things physical, which is something that Rue doesn’t feel comfortable doing.
RELATED: 15 Most Controversial Scenes In Euphoria, Ranked
Jules has also mentioned to Elliot how their sexual drives, needs, and urges don’t really match. Aside from sexual compatibility, there’s also the fact that Rue craves stability and comfort, while Jules wants to remain free, adventurous, and unattached – it’s just a mismatch all around.
Jules Cheated On Rue With Elliot
One scene that most viewers likely hated or even found cringeworthy happened in season 2, when Jules decided to cheat on Rue with Elliot. Things weren’t going well between the couple, but that is, of course, not an excuse to cheat. What’s even weirder is that Elliot decided to come clean about Rue’s substance abuse right before sleeping with Jules, who still decided to push through with the act after learning that shocking fact.
With Jules cheating and Rue taking drugs behind her back, it’s not an overstatement to say that the relationship was doomed to fail at that point.
Jules Went Behind Rue’s Back To Stage An Intervention
There’s no doubt that planning an intervention with Leslie is the best thing Jules has done on the show, but it also means she once again had to keep something important from Rue (much like how she has been hiding her drug use from her).
It’s the clear point of no return for the two, as the trust between them has broken down so much by then that Rue couldn’t even stand to look at Jules. Hurtful words were spoken and Jules saw Rue in a way she never had before. It’s not surprising that Rue hasn’t been able to muster up the strength to reconnect with her after that chaotic event.
Jules Takes Rue To Events That Could Trigger Her
While it isn’t Jules’ responsibility to take care of Rue and make sure she’s staying clean, at the bare minimum, as her girlfriend, it would at least would be nice for her to be supportive by steering clear of events that could trigger Rue’s addiction. That’s easier said than done, as Rue says herself how it’s strange to not be able to do all of the things teens like her are supposed to enjoy.
Group events like those are arguably forgivable, but fans may recall how Jules seems to think it’s okay for her and Elliot to steal beer and get drunk, while prohibiting Rue from drinking in the backseat. It’s common sense that it will be harder for Rue to maintain her sobriety when she can see her girlfriend and best friend drinking in the car right in front of her. No one is asking Jules to make those kinds of sacrifices for Rue, but she should know that if she can’t, it’s better for Rue that she’s not around to influence her in that way.
NEXT: The 10 Most Powerful Scenes In Euphoria, According To Reddit
Butcher With Superpowers Teased By The Boys Season 3 Poster
About The Author
(248 Articles Published)
A wordsmith by day and cinephile by night, Anja is a globetrotter who writes for ScreenRant, TheTravel, and TheThings.
More From Anja Grcar