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The Only Condom in New York

  • In "The One Where Dr. Ramoray Dies," a couple of subplots end like this: Monica is about to have sex with Richard, Rachel is about to have sex with Ross. They both run to the bathroom for the same reason, and SURPRISE, there's only one condom in the box. This leads to Monica and Rachel to bicker, bargain, and finally end up doing Rock, Paper, Scissors to see who gets it. Rachel wins, and Monica and Richard have to do without. Problem being, why did Monica just give up? First off, Chandler was right next door. Why couldn't she have asked him (Chandler probably wasn't using them, and even if he didn't have any, there's the possibility that Joey left some before he moved into his own place.) Barring that, she lives in New York! She couldn't have thrown on a pair of sweatpants long enough to go outside and find a drugstore, supermarket, or maybe even the bathroom in Central Perk? It's not like they're hard to come by.
    • Isn't that kind of a mood killer, though? Monica would have to get dressed, go down what is implied to be a lot of stairs, find a shop... and Chandler or Joey would probably make fun of her, try to get her to trade a condom for stupid favours, something like that.

Carol and the Divorce With Ross

  • Is there any reason at all we're supposed to feel anything towards Carol besides vague disgust? I mean, she cheated on her husband, left him for someone else, then all but tried to cut Ross out of his child's life. The fact that she was gay may somewhat justify the former, but there was no call for her to treat Ross like she did. For God's sake, she decided, without consulting the father, that the baby was going to share a last name with her new lover and, most importantly, not with Ross. It's not like Ross was a sperm donor here; he was the father, the baby was conceived while they were still married, and they supposedly loved each other but for the fact that she liked boobies.
    • Liberal guilt makes it wrong to have negative feelings for homosexuals and woman. But yeah, Carol is just not a very good person. Yet people make fun of Ross for having married a lesbian. How was he supposed to know?
      • Less cynically, this was shown in the mid-90s, when Gay Rights were still more issue than they are today, and so the risk of presenting the only prominent lesbian character in an explicitly negative light, especially given that the negativity was directly related to her lesbianism, could run a greater risk of appearing somewhat bigoted than it may do today.
        • Except the negativity has nothing to do with her sexuality, and everything to do with her behavior. Carol would be just as terrible a person had Susan been a Samuel.
    • In fairness, that's the first series and she does get better.
    • This lesbian agrees with you 100%. She did, after all, have an honorable option; when she started to have strong feelings for another woman she could have talked to Ross then instead of committing adultery. Part of it may also be that Jane Sibbett frequently comes off as smarmy -- probably intentional casting, since we aren't supposed to like Carol until much later in the series.
    • While you can arguably have some sympathy for Carol, Susan deserves no sympathy whatsoever and in fact deserves nothing but disgust. She never failed to insult Ross when she had an opportunity, and Ross was just supposed to sit there and take it. If Susan were a guy, she would not get any of the sympathy she does as it is.
    • Ross seems to attract such treatment from women -- note that Rachel wanted to take Emma to Paris with her and Ross agrees with barely a whimper. And everyone's really upset that they're losing a friend when Rachel is leaving -- but no-one thinks to point out that Ross is losing his daughter (and Chandler and Monica are losing their niece).
    • Out of curiosity, was it ever implied that Carol actually cheated on Ross? I know she'd met Susan at the gym prior to divorcing him, but was it ever stated Carol slept with her before telling Ross anything? Aside from that, yeah, Carol and Susan aren't the nicest people.
      • It was. There's an episode that revolves around Ross, Carol and Susan supposedly having a threesome and Ross ending up watching the women get it on. It's not really cheating though, since he kinda agreed on it.
      • Well, Ross and Carol mention many times about how much time Susan and Carol spent together before Carol and Ross split up, but it doesn't actually say they were sleeping together. In one episode, where Susan is out with Emily, Ross asks Carol if she thinks they're having 'the kind of fun YOU and Susan were having while we were married' and refutes Carol's claim of 'Susan is in a loving, committed relationship' with 'So were we', which pretty strongly implies that Carol was unfaithful and, since she doesn't argue the point, acknowledges that she was wrong to do that.
      • In a similar case, in the episode where everyone except Ross goes on a ski trip (shortly after his initial breakup with Rachel) he goes to visit Carol. Carol learns some of the circumstances surrounding their "break", and says "You slept with another woman?" in a disbelieving/judgmental tone, to which Ross replaces "Well, you're one to talk." Again, while this doesn't specifically state that Carol and Susan were having sex during her and Ross' marriage, it's pretty strongly implied.
    • So Carol cheated, big deal. Almost the entire cast cheated on a boyfriend/girlfriend throughout the series, at least Carol's cheating was due solely to discovering her true sexual orientation. And she never tried to cut Ross out of their son's life, she showed up and told him specifically he could be as involved or excluded as he wanted to be. Yes, she and Susan discussed things on their own, of course they would, but Ross' opinions were always taken into consideration. And why should the kid have Ross' name? They weren't married anymore and kids from unmarried mother's tend to default to their mother's last name anyway. Susan's behavior wasn't all that nice in the beginning but she didn't have any reason to be, Ross was nothing but hostile to her, admittedly in a toned down way, and that's just how their relationship was. He's her girlfriend's ex-husband and the father of their baby, of course she'd feel threatened and defensive around him. Once their feelings are out in the open Ross and Susan get along a lot better, though they still don't really like each other. Honestly, a lot of the things that Susan says that seem really bad are probably just untrue and said solely for the purpose of teasing him, such as her Bobo the Sperm Guy comment. So, was Carol at fault? Yes, she made mistakes but she'd already been forgiven for them by the time we meet them (and the friends even say that the situation would be treated differently if Carol had just cheated normally and not for the sake of her sexuality).
      • what? she is suspected of cheating repeatedly, I guess the first time it could had been passed but she kept at it, and didn't told Ross right away, plus actually no they don't take Ross much into consideration since they excluded his last name from the baby's name, it's true that they do what you said, but Ross was still the father, it was not a hidden fact, how is he considered when they just made a huge decision like that without consulting with him? even if you re-married, if the father is present and is going to be active in his child's life then last name is something that should be discussed with him. Also Susan took Ross away from his wife, she could had been a little more sympathetic, and Carol said that she is not bisexual, she's really plain gay so why should she be so jealous? her attitude pretty much rubbing it in Ross' face that Carol is with her now, even worst, rubbing that she has more say in his son's life than him, and you say Ross was hostile? can't the guy be a little upset with the person who took his wife away?
    • What infuriated Ross was the implication that Susan's name should be included. Yes, he was annoyed at the idea of "Willick," but including "Bunch" but not "Geller" pushed him over the edge. And I don't recall any of the other Friends breaking marriage bonds, with the exception of Janice who was thinking of divorce even before she started e-mailing with Chandler. And why in the world does Ross have to like Susan? This is the woman who awakened his ex-wife's true sexuality and broke up his marriage. Civility is all anybody can expect from him.
      • Carol only broke her marriage bonds because they were no longer applicable to their situation. The moment she realized she was a lesbian her marriage was over, there is no way to recover from that. It's not like she could have asked Ross if she could go experiment to see if she was. And I agree, Ross has no obligation to like Susan, does anyone ever say he does? All Carol wants is for them to be civil to each other, likely to spare the baby from having to take sides in a conflict. As for the name thing, while he should have been consulted about it before Carol went and agreed to it (of course adding it in could have been Carol's idea in the first place to make sure Susan knew she was being acknowledged as a future parent as well, it's not like Ross needs that validation he's got a legitimate claim on the baby no matter what happens) she has every right to include Susan, just as Ross has every right to include Rachel or any serious girlfriend in the child rearing decisions. Regardless of how well Susan and Ross get along the point remains that Susan was Carol's partner and was acknowledged as being a parent to the child that was on the way. She's just as much Ben's mother as any adoptive parent would be.
      • But that's the point, she didn't end it "right" away after she found out she was a lesbian, she continued with Ross and kept on having sex with Susan, so it's adultery no matter how you see it, I'm sorry but, I'm not trying to attack you or anything but it seems by all of your comments that your argument is pretty much, Carol and Susan are right because they're women.
      • You couldn't be more wrong about the marriage bonds. Marriage vows are more than empty words; they're promises made before a representative of the courts. And the marriage contract is legally binding. Just because someone discovers they're same-sex oriented doesn't mean the contract is null and void, because marriage is a lot more than sex. And you know what? Carol could have--SHOULD have--talked to Ross about how she felt, and knowing Ross and all his doormat ways, he would have let her experiment. Emerging lesbianism isn't a valid reason to commit adultery, break a heart, and destroy a marriage.
        • Yes, marriage is about more than yes and yes, Carol was wrong to cheat in any way shape or form, but the point remains that as soon as she realized she was a lesbian the marriage was over. Yes, it takes some time to have the legal side undone but Ross was already not fulfilling her needs (it's been hinted and outright stated before that Carol had been unhappy even before she realized she was a lesbian) and once she realized why things became unfix-able. One partner discovering they are same-sex oriented while in a heterosexual relationship is an obstacle that can not be overcome. Carol and Ross loved each other, that's clear even after they split up and Carol has been with another woman for a year but as they addressed it in the episode where they run into each other at the restaurant, there's no working around the lesbian thing. And we have no idea how much Carol cheated, even if she did sleep with Susan while still with Ross. Maybe it was a one time thing that escalated out of control and then afterward Carol told Ross she was a lesbian. Like up till the actual cheating there had only been sparks and flirting and then something happened and Carol told Ross after. She might even have tried to ignore the part of her that was attracted to women in order to stay with Ross, which would explain Ben's conception, but had it ultimately fail.
      • First of all, it's "Susan," not "Suzan." I've just fixed your spelling for the second time, and it's getting annoying. Had Carol left Ross immediately upon realization of her sexual orientation, you can argue that she's innocent. But Ross clearly said that the conception of Ben occurred after her coming out. And Susan's name doesn't have to be part of Ben's for her to be a valid parent. The two are completely disconnected issues.
      • Here's the problem. The claim that the "marriage was over" is only valid if Ross knew about it. The fact that she was not in love with Ross anymore doesn't change the fact that he was in love with her and she knew it, and she had an obligation to at least be honest with him. The conversation should have been, "Ross, I love you, but I'm gay, and I can't pretend to be someone I'm not," rather than, "Ross, I'm gay, and I'm leaving you for my gym buddy that I've been having crazy sex with behind your back." The implication we get from their back story isn't that Susan and Carol just happened to have sex in a moment of weakness, leading Carol to find out she was gay and immediately confess to Ross. They had a long-term relationship behind Ross' back, which I'm prepared to say is wrong.
      • But that's the point, she didn't end it "right" away after she found out she was a lesbian, she continued with Ross and kept on having sex with Susan, so it's adultery no matter how you see it, I'm sorry but, I'm not trying to attack you or anything but it seems by all of your comments that your argument is pretty much, Carol and Susan are right because they're women.
      • When all is said and done, Carol is in the wrong. She may have discovered the she was a lesbian while in a heterosexual relationship--married at that, but that doesn't give her a reason to be unfaithful. Is her reason for adultery valid because of her sexual orientation? I think not. It isn't as if Ross was a bad husband, but they weren't at a great place. Ross did care for and love her, so she should have been sensitive to his feelings on the most basic level. Also, Ben sharing a last name with Susan to prove Carol's commitment isn't a good enough reason. Carol should be proving her commitment through the relationship. I understand giving her son her girlfriend's last name is a big thing, but she did not take Ross, the father, into account. I know a lot of single mothers do it, but Ross wanted to be involved in his son's life. From Carol's perspective it seems like a kick the dog moment. Ross had to find out that he was wife was cheating on his with a woman and giving their child her lover's last name and not his. Any way you spin it, Carol's new found lesbianism doesn't valid treating Ross like crap.
      • I think Carol stayed with Ross even after he started seeing Susan because she was unsure and scared. As pointed out, this was the mid-90s. Even today (2012), a woman would think twice before leaving a hetero-normative relationship for another woman. For one, spousal rights, social stigma, reaction of friends in family--and Carol did leave him, before he found out on his own, which indicates she was thinking everything through. I don't agree with her having an affair, but her actions afterward make sense.
    • Can't we see things with nuance? If Susan cheated, that is a terrible thing to do regardless of circumstance, but if she discovered that she was a lesbian after previously thinking she'd found the male love of her life then you can kind of understand why she might end up doing something drastic and impulsive. Also, Ross has to have some sort of relationship with her, as they have a child together. She undergoes Character Development and becomes a good friend to Ross (e.g. listening to him whine about Rachel when she's planned a romantic evening with Susan, which the show points out is annoying). If he can forgive her, surely the viewer can do the same? She didn't cheat on US.
      • Chalk it up to us not having any any sympathy for the character when we don't feel like her actions would be justified in any light, even if Ross (the noted Extreme Doormat he is) can forgive her. I certainly can't imagine any person, in any gender, sexual orientation, anything, making this justifiable. Liberal guilt be damned, when discovered lesbianism is used as, essentially, an excuse for an affair, and then the caring husband is mocked for it? That's when some people just take a step back and say "Dude, Not Funny" So why the writers kept it going for so long is something I just don't get... Had this been taken seriously, any of the friends actually supported Ross instead of crack jokes, Carol and especially Susan suffered some form of Laser-Guided Karma, anything? Then we wouldn't be as infuriated with this situation. But then, would that be Friends?

Joey and Women

  • How many women in real life would fall for Joey's come on? The man is dumb as a brick (especially in later seasons), and it's obvious to anybody that he just uses and discards women left and right. But when he says, "How you doin'?", women just fall on their backs. Are beautiful women in New York just that gullible?
    • That's the joke. Besides, he's handsome and, while you're actually dating him, sweet, charming, funny, and good in bed.
      • How is that "the joke"? The character, especially in his early years, is just a womanizer, unfortunately the writers cast someone, who while maybe funny, doesn't look like a womanizer, and didn't write him to be someone who you could realistically accept as being one. When he goes "how you doin???" and gets all the women, there is no joke intended, it is just supposed to be accepted as a normal occurrence.
      • Same reason Charlie Sheen got all the chicks on his show. "Womanizer" is just part of his character makeup. Plus, Joey IS a minor celebrity, after all.
      • Truth in Television. There are a lot of women out there who'll fuck a guy just because he has a nice car, or what have you. Of course, men will jump on women just because they have tits are breathing, so what can you really expect?
      • The point is that "how you doing?" it's the his signature start of the flirting, not the whole flirt per se, it's not that they just fall to his feet with just those words, he is handsome but not a god, that is why he made up that "almost-sure-to-get-some" story, which means he "is" soo a womanizer.
      • The joke is that it's a terrible come on but it works anyway! Maybe you just don't think that's funny? It's kind of abstract, it's funny because it makes no sense.
      • In one episode, the women are dubious and mocking Joey for his "How you doin?" He responds by using it on the skeptical Phoebe, who giggles and blushes despite herself. The joke is that it's a magic phrase. MST3K Mantra.
  • Did I miss the episode where one of Joey's women had a pregnancy scare? If he had as many women as he claimed, shouldn't there have been at least one? The couple of lines during the ep when Phoebe was covering for Rachel doesn't count...
    • The women Joey sleeps with probably have casual sex often enough that they don't just rely on condoms, and even condoms don't split that often if you're sensible. Not to mention that if it was a fling, you wouldn't necessarily tell the guy unless you were pregnant. Even if you did tell the guy, there's no reason for him to tell his friends unless it's true, hence why it wouldn't be mentioned in the show.
    • That's a fair explanation. It just seems that over the course of a 10-yr show, even if played for laughs, Joey would have a woman show up claiming to be pregnant w/his child. He did bring some of them back to the apt. The writers were good enough to get laughs out of R/R's pregnancy story, so they would have been capable. NOT saying that I wanted to see Joey as a dad, but just acknowledging that with his history, you'd think it come up. Kind of like how it would be ridiculous if Charlie Harper didn't have pregnancy scares with random women

Ross and Rachel's Breakup

  • In the third season, when Ross and Rachel break up (after they were on a break) it's pretty clear that they were both wrong and that, while Rachel had every right to break up with Ross for what he did, it was understandable why he'd done it. Even Rachel doesn't seem that unsympathetic. So where did this eighteen page letter about him cheating on her come from? "How dare you think we were broken up after I told you we were broken up and then my attractive and flirtatious male coworker answered the phone in my apartment!"
    • It's because the writers decided it was "funnier" to start making out that every problem in that relationship and subsequent situations arising from it were all of Ross's doing, so that Ross could be made a figure of fun and laughed at again and again, rather than objectively look at how both Ross and Rachel's behavior caused the situation.
    • That's the joke. Rachel actually got called on it in one episode.
      • Okay, granted. What just bugs me is that it got really mean-spirited after a while. Although watching Hugh Laurie lay into her on the plane to London was glorious.
    • She didn't say that they were broken up, though. She said that they should "take a break [...] a break from us" which is suuuuch a vague term that neither Ross or Rachel are really "right" and thus, it's funny.
      • Yes, but what bugs the original troper (and myself) is the fact that Ross is always the butt of the jokes about it, when Rachel almost never gets called on the fact that she was at fault as well. As mentioned, it got very mean spirited and Ross was on the receiving end of it 9 times out of ten, and Rachel seems to get off scot-free.
      • While it is true that they were both at fault over the technicalities of the cheating/not cheating, broken up/not broken up part of it, and Rachel should have either got over it or NOT got over it, still this troper finds it hard to work up much sympathy for Ross given that he, ultimately, seems to get away scot-free for his incredibly possessive, downright contemptuous behavior that led to the "break" in the first place, which ceases to be mentioned the minute a source of conflict where the blame is more elusive turns up. So I'd say it kind of evens out. That being said, it bugs me that we're supposed to be at all happy these clearly unsuited people ended up together.
        • Ross really doesn't "get away with it" though. Think about it, after this incident, his relationship with Rachel, someone he has supposedly loved forever, ends, and never really returns. His "punishment" for his actions, is the wrecking of the one thing he holds dear.
      • This Troper is convinced that the writers simply wrote themselves into a corner with the whole Ross and Rachel relationship (with the aforementioned possessiveness and paranoia) and rather than convincingly try to have them work through the relationship troubles, they decided to bail themselves out by introducing a contrived and simplistic plot device with which to end the relationship.
      • This troper used to have long conversations with his female Friends fanatic friend about the whole issue of Ross and Rachel. The thing which always bugged me the most was how even though 'On a break' is a very vague term, what that part really showed was how self-centred Rachel was about their relationship. Ross is clearly an emotionally needy, relationship obsessed (See Carol, Rachel herself, marriage crises) young boy inside. What exactly did Rachel think would happen when she told Ross they were on a break. Probably she was self-centred enough to think that he would spend all his time obsessing about her.
      • This troper has an argument with his girlfriend over this every time that damn episode airs. I say she was the one who wanted to take a break, that take a break means to break up, and that he was depressed and didn't know she'd come crawling back the next day. Her response is that Ross should have waited more than a few hours to sleep with someone else. Then I point out that many people would handle their depression the way Ross did. Then she says... you know what this just goes back and forth for hours every time. That's why this is the ultimate It Just Bugs Me moment in an otherwise great show.
      • What bugged me is that Rachel herself obviously meant it as a break up. The next morning she asks "Can I be your girlfriend again?", which clearly means she didn't consider herself his girlfriend during the few hours the break lasted. And I've always thought that she was aware of this all along, but didn't want to acknowledge it even to herself because putting all the blame on Ross was easier. I figured that was the reason she later refused to admit that they were on a break at all.
      • This whole sequence seemed absolutely brilliant to me, since both parties have reason to be frustrated with one another. It was great because it was a totally believable sequence where both characters moves were justified. Plus, it seems like most men I know take sides with Ross and most women with Rachel. There's good reason why one of the last lines of the show is about being "on a break".
      • Except that she DID say they broke up. When talking to Monica about it Monica asks how their anniversary went and Rachel says they decided to "break up instead". And as mentioned as well she asked at Ross's apartment "Can I be your girlfriend again?" which suggests that it was more than just a 'break'.
    • This Troper recently re-watched those episodes, and wonders at the fact that nobody ever points out how pushy and even slightly aggressive the copy girl is. She repeatedly makes advances at Ross, buys him drinks, is quite aware that he is in a relationship and yet seems uninterested when he talks about it to her, and then forcefully kisses him while she is aware that he is emotionally vulnerable. Ross than later has to go beg her to not tell anyone about him sleeping with her, even though she essentially took advantage of him. Granted, since Ross was drunk at the time, he may have been unable to remember that she initiated the whole thing, but that just makes it worse. The whole argument could probably have been averted if Ross was able to tell Rachel that he was taken advantage of by an aggressive nymphomaniac.
      • If this were Rachel getting swooned by Mark (from work!) while she was obviously vulnerable and drunk, I'm sure this would be a completely different argument, and she would no doubt get off scot-free...
      • Would the argument be different? I think people would still stick to their gender's argument, even though roles would technically be opposite. The reason why the plot is so great is because most people want to defend their sex, because the other challenges their values.
    • A HUGE It Just Bugs Me for this Troper is that fact that Mark WAS in fact trying to get with Rachel! This gives Ross good reason to have been jealous of him, but Rachel just mocks him about that. The fact that Rachel even later goes out with Mark on a date doesn't help her case at all (it was partly to make Ross jealous... but still, HE'S THE REASON ROSS FELT ABANDONED IN THE FIRST PLACE!!) Way to go Rachel! way to go...
      • Mark was not trying to get with Rachel. Remember, he already had a girlfriend at work, one Ross overhears him talking to and assumes Mark is putting the moves on Rachel. Mark made no move on Rachel until weeks, maybe evena couple months, after they'd broken up. There's a difference between liking someone and actively pursuing them.
      • But he should have felt secure that Rachel would never have cheated on him with Mark. Because she wouldn't! It takes two people to cheat and Ross was implying that Rachel would fall for Mark and ditch him. Which is understandable on his part, because of how badly his marriage went, but it still leads him to act possessive and jerk-ish-ly.
    • In re-watching the end of season three something else occurs to me. Rachel is jealous of Bonnie, so she basically tells Ross to dump her. Ross does as Rachel asks, and only now does she reveal the eighteen pages ("front and back!") of her grievances. Um, didn't Rachel just say that she's still in love with him and wants to be with him? I didn't hear any caveats in that discussion, did you? Ross says that he's tired and wants to read the letter tomorrow (presumably after making out with her for awhile). Rachel makes him read it before they can go to bed. This troper calls foul. "Hey Rach, this has been a big night for both of us. I'm tired and this deserves my full attention. I'll read it in the morning and then we'll discuss it." If Rachel finds this unacceptable then she doesn't deserve him.
      • She didn't say he had to read it that night; she said he had to read it before they were physically intimate together. If he'd said, "I'll read this in the morning." and accepted that he wasn't getting lucky until then, it probably would have played out differently.
      • That still doesn't forgive the sudden appearance of caveats where none had existed. Hey Rach, you mention your grievances before you ask him to break up with another woman, okay?
      • It seemed to be implied that she wouldn't accept him back if he gave the wrong answer. So... yeah. It was either tell her what she wanted, or try to fix things with Bonnie to the point where she at least wouldn't badmouth him to her friends, if not actually forgive him.
      • Watching it again, I note that she doesn't ask him to break up with Bonnie immediately - in fact, after they kiss, she advises him to wait on breaking up with Bonnie until they leave the beach, which could be interpreted as "don't ruin the vacation", or could mean, "I still have things I want to clear with you", given the letter that followed. Rachel is still definitely not blameless (the content of the letter was just plain condescending), but with that in mind, it's not as bad.
  • What this troper doesn't get is why nobody mentions the difference between being on a break and breaking up. Ross says over and over and over "We were on a break!", and sometimes couples take breaks from each other for whatever their reason. But being on a break (most of the time) means the couple plans on getting back together. Couples may also to agree to see other people during a break, but Ross and Rachel made no such agreement. So unless Rachel meant "I want to break up with you", Ross was clearly in the wrong.
    • Ross thought they were broken up. He says as much to Chandler and Joey when he's at the bar. Poor Communication Kills Relationships.
      • It doesn't matter. Ross was the one continuously trying to make it a point that they were on a break. Rachel never seemed to care for that particular technicality. Ross lost her trust, because he went ahead and rebound-f***ed another woman a couple of hours after their break-up. That's what hurt her.
  • After having watched the episodes in question, I think I can come up with a comment that will hopefully put this to sleep. Ross is in the wrong, but Rachel isn't in the right. Ross thought she had dumped him. Rachel thought they'd had a fight and they would sort it out later. Was Ross wrong to sleep with the copy girl? At the time, no, he thought it was over, but he obviously regretted what he had done in the morning. He was blinded by grief and stupidity. It's has actions afterward that propel him into the wrong territory. First he hides her presence from Rachel, then goes around trying to cover it up, then he tries to smooth everything over with Rachel. One of his attempts is to start kissing her, which is probably the worst thing he could have done. If Ross had handled it better, then maybe things could be salvaged. All that said, Rachel can't easily claim the high ground. What does a "break" mean? Was Ross supposed to stay away from other women until Rachel decided they could date again? Do both of them? Or is Rachel allowed to date, and Ross is kept on the sidelines as a fallback? It's never made clear just what a "break" means, other than Ross isn't allowed to have sex with anyone. Hence his "we were on a break!" excuse, which is just awful, never being an effective counterargument because we have no idea what it means. The absolute worst thing she could have done was invite Mark over - which she does, of course - because there's no way he wants something else. Come on, even if you don't believe she should've known Ross had massive issues with him, the best thing to do was to keep him away. It's what drove him to have sex with the copy girl, he thought all his suspicions were correct. So, in the end, mostly Ross's fault, though Rachel isn't scot free either. The real issue, as I see it, is how things evolved after all this. The writers obviously thought Rachel was right - even though the Friends don't agree - and this slowly became more and more pronounced. See Ross being told to move on, and Rachel getting sympathy every time Ross did move on. And all the "we were on a break!" gags that got even more tired and mean as the series went on. And Ross continually being shit on for having three (really one) failed marriages, and for being a nerd. Bottom line? At the time you can see the breakup for the convoluted and messy thing that it was, with neither side (especially Ross) coming out well from it, but after watching the series you sympathize more and more with Ross as the writers invent new ways to prove they hate him and love Rachel.
  • Speaking of Mark, the scene of Ross and Rachel on the phone bugs me. I don't ever recall it being shown that Mark and Rachel were sooo close that he can just invite himself to their apartment. Then when Ross calls Rachel, he's so oblivious to his surroundings that he's interrupting Rachel's phone call to ask if she wants wine or apple juice. Was he really that into the fridge that he couldn't tell she was (likely) talking to Ross?
  • Being a female troper, I have always disagreed with Rachel. Ross is wrong for being so jealous, but I think that's as far as it goes. They go on a break. Ross has only been in one relationship, so he's not exactly an expert on relationship terms. He goes to the bar, gets drunk, calls Rachel. Mark picks up, he has every right to think that his suspicions about their affair are correct, he gets even more drunk. He thinks he's lost the girl he's been in love with for 9 years. Of course he's going to be vulnerable and have sex if someone comes on to him. I can see how Rachel might be angry at first when she finds out, but if I was her, I would give him some leeway. And then she just rubs it in with that ridiculous letter, which BLAMES HIM ENTIRELY for all of their problems. Rachel is completely in the wrong here.
  • This troper thinks they were on a break, but Ross was wrong to sleep with the copy girl, and his actions before that were utterly appalling (marking his territory, throwing things at Mark, bursting in on Rachel while she was busy with dinner even though she politely had asked for a rain check). Ross and Rachel should've been over for good after Ross slept with Chloe. For all Ross claimed to love Rachel, his smothering her, yelling at her, and attempts to shift blame and turn his crappy actions into a joke, certainly didn't prove his love for her at all.
  • You know, I was completely on Ross' side for many years, but thinking it over recently I've changed my mind. The thing is that Ross had the chance to have the woman he was supposed to love back if he'd only admitted he was wrong, but his pride was more important to him. Even if he didn't think he was wrong (I don't think he was), isn't being with the love of your life more important? It bugs me that during the break-up episode Ross was willing to say he was completely wrong and only later started with this "WE WERE ON A BREAK" crap just (it seems) as an excuse by the writers to keep them apart.
    • I'm on Ross' side. Rachel was just so condescending in that scene I'm not surprised he blew up at her, I would have done the same thing. Eighteen pages? Front AND back? Making out so the entire thing was Ross' fault?
    • They were both wrong. Ross shouldn't have jumped into bed with someone else, but Rachel should have been more specific. Taking a break from their relationship is breaking up. She should have said she needed a few days to think, then her reaction and further actions would be justified. As things stand, she and Ross should have discussed things like adults. Then they could have broken up about something legit later on.

Ross and Rachel Being an Official Couple

  • As the previous troper pointed out, it also bugs this troper that we're supposed to be happy that Ross and Rachel got back together. Even though in all the years that they were apart there doesn't seem to be any indication that either of them matured enough to actually be in an adult relationship. The other Friends are insisting that they belong together. Why? Because They Are Ross And Rachel! That's it! What's to keep them from having yet another fight over the same dumb stuff as before and having another "break"? Nothing!
    • Yeah, Joey even gives the sentence "You're Ross and Rachel" as if it's some grand argument that no-one can possibly counter.
      • Joey when through big changes in his relationship with Rachel, then it was like the producers just ended it so she could be with Ross in the end.
      • If you mean the episode "The One Where Ross is Fine," they might have been lampshading/ deconstructing that, or at least how long Ross and Rachel had been apart. Ross says, "Except we're not. I mean, we haven't been a couple in like... six years. Oh my god, is that right? Has it been that long?"
    • Quite apart from the fact that they were constantly fighting, Ross and Rachel had nothing in common. She was into fashion and clothes and openly said several times that she found Ross' work boring. He, on the other hand, really loved his work as a scientist and didn't seem to find what she did at all interesting. Their hobbies were completely different - he liked foreign films, reading and museums, and she liked shopping and watching soaps. I mean, I know opposites attract and all, but what on earth would they even talk about as a couple??? It seemed like Ross just had a crush on her in high school because she was pretty and popular, and continued it for no reason.
      • TRUE LOVE LASTS FOREVER DAMMIT! But seriously, Chandler/Monica didn't make much sense either, him becoming increasingly whiny and immature, her becoming a "manipulative shrew" (Chandler's words...) who insulted him constantly. What happened to cool, witty Chandler of the early seasons, and smart, mature Monica of those same early times?
          • Chandler only said that so they could temporarily break-up long enough to have sex.
        • Because this was Friends:Employing Flanderization since 1997! Joey- Fairly simple/slow guy, but pretty sociable and normal despite his constant womanizing. Joey 2.0- Almost legally handicapped and unable to function in a social setting without his idiocy ruining it. Monica- Tightly wound, a little compulsive, but generally a mature person able to work as the center of the group. Monica 2.0- Absolutely balls friggin' crazy. Chandler- Quick witted, lovable guy with a slight Born Loser complex that he takes in stride. Chandler 2.0- I ran out of jokes, so I am just going to be immature and ambiguously gay, K? Ross- Typical nerd. Ross 2.0- Hollywood nerd. Rachel-See Rachel 2.0 Rachel 2.0-See Rachel. Phoebe- Actually, Phoebe became a somewhat more balanced character after she was upgraded from gimmick to primary character. (Uber-Kinkyness notwithstanding.) This is kind of a 'Just Bugs Me' in itself for me. Don't most people become at least slightly more intelligent, capable, mature, and date-wise as their lives go on? Do all of these characters lack the capacity to learn from life?
    • This is probably the best place to put this, but while I didn't really ship Ross/Rachel, I didn't mind them getting together near the end (it was really foregone), but what really bugged me was Rachel deciding that she needed to go to London to tell Ross she loved him before his wedding. And the audience cheered. At that point, Emily hadn't done anything wrong, but we're supposed to root for Rachel to cause humiliation on her special day?
      • No, we're not. Everyone said Rachel's actions were wrong, Phoebe said it, Hugh Laurie said it, and eventually Rachel agreed and did nothing.
        • Ross screwed it up himself. Subconsciously he didn't want to marry Emily, so he screwed it up.

Leaving the twins alone

  • At the end of season 10, just after Monica and Chandler come home with the twins, Monica goes across the hall to break apart the Foosball table. It's hard to believe that new parents of newborn twins would leave them alone in a completely separate apartment to go across the hall to do a time-consuming and noisy task. This bugs me in the same way that it bugs me that Emma is NEVER AROUND. I don't know any new mum that would be away from her baby as much as Rachel is away from Emma.
    • She went across the hallway, the distance between where the twins were and where she was was less than if they had been up in a bedroom and she downstairs in a house. Plus she had the baby monitor on her, the kids were hardly abandoned or anything.
    • It should be noted that the two previous pregnancies in the series (Carol's and Phoebe's) managed to pull in the ratings without the lasting issue of shooting scenes with real babies and children. However, based on the amount of intrusion that Ben and Emma, as well as the twins, appear to make in their lives, four of the Friends could be construed as absentee parents.

Ross is big

  • Why doesn't Ross, the largest Friend, not simply EAT the others?
    • They were saving it for sweeps.
    • He's not Monica.
    • To quote our strange friend Willy, "But that is called 'cannibalism,' my dear children, and is in fact frowned upon in most societies."
    • I don't see the logic in that, but it would have been awesome.
      • Logic doesn't come into it; it's a Futurama reference.

The Reasons For Breakups

  • Like with most sitcoms, the fact the characters break up with boyfriends/girlfriends over such minor garbage makes me hate them.
    • A particular standout is Phoebe breaking up with the cop after he shot a bird. It's believable that she would do so, but it was such an arbitrary way to write out the character.
      • Think about Phoebe's backstory. She lived as mugger for a while, and (possibly) a prostitute. No doubt while she lived like this she dated (was made to date?) some really abhorrent men (gangster types - possibly). I'll bet that the trigger happy nature of shooting something for fun would be quite the throwback to those days she'd really much rather put behind her.
      • I always assumed it had more to do with her being a vegetarian and animal lover and considering casually shooting a bird offended her. Remember how she reacted when Mike killed a rat and she felt so guilty she raised its rat babies. Not to mention the time she thought a cat was the reincarnation of her mother.
      • The police officer breakup made perfect sense to me. He didn't just kill a bird. He drew his pistol and shot it just because he didn't care for the singing. He just proved beyond a doubt that he was willing to resort to deadly violence for an extremely minor annoyance. That is not the kind of person you want to be near, much less dating.
        • Exactly, if he is willing to shoot a bird just for doing some chirping what is he going to do to his and Phoebe's (potential future) kids if they keep him up all night crying? Or even to Phoebe herself if she ticks him off? Definitely a bad 'un there and Phoebe was right to get rid of him.
          • The original comment was over the arbitrary way they wrote him out. No-one is saying he was right, or that she was wrong for breaking up with him, but that having an otherwise dutiful and conscientious cop suddenly discharge a firearm out a bedroom window is a damned stupid way to engineer the break-up.
          • I agree with the original troper. That was so over-the-top for a guy dating Phoebe. It's not like she hides her love of animals. By the time they were ready to move in together, if that was something he'd done before (which I doubt), he most certainly would not have done it in front of Pheebs.
          • It's not the bird which bothers this troper, it's the fact that it was all done in 5 minutes. It was a 5 episode relationship, it deserves at least one and a half episodes to let the breakup pan out. The writers obviously couldn't think of a way to get rid of him.
          • And are we really supposed to believe that a cop would be so cavalier about using his sidearm when off duty? It was a stupid move, no matter how you slice it.

Monica and Chandler's Relationship

  • Both Phoebe and Rachel have made digs at Monica about the fact that she's going out with Chandler. In the episode where Rachel moves out of the apartment, she tells Monica that she was about to go and stick a post-it note on him labeled "What Were You Thinking?" Just to be clear, Chandler is supposed to be one of her best friends.
    • Part of it is Flanderization, as Monica and Rachel got progressively meaner as the seasons went by. But Chandler has been repeatedly presented as a commitment-phobic neurotic mess, and being someone's friend doesn't necessarily make you think that they'd be a suitable significant other.
    • My understanding of that was she was insulting Monica, as the two were fighting at the time and by writing "What were you thinking?" on Chandler she was saying how could he date Monica?
      • The one above was, but there were plenty of occasions that were just outright insults towards Chandler. For example, there was the time Rachel and Phoebe were discussing Monica and Chandler's upcoming marriage, and how if they were ever going to find love, and Rachel is like "I'm going to marry someone good. Better than Chandler" and Phoebe just nods in agreement. Another time when Monica and Chandler had a fight in Vegas, Phoebe tells Monica "so you had a fight with Chandler, big deal. It's only Chandler." Or where Phoebe brings the person she thinks is Monica's soulmate to the coffee house to meet her, and just dismissively waives away Chandler's annoyance. And so on...
      • Chandler is the Butt Monkey...
      • That's a cop out if I ever heard one. Being the Butt Monkey has always been Chandler's shtick, but it wasn't until the later seasons that it went from being a role that his friends helped him with to something they contributed to. Seriously, go watch some episodes from the first and last seasons; the disparity between how the cast treats Chandler is incredible. It's almost understandable why he became more immature and emotionally crippled the longer the show went on.
      • It really doesn't seem like that big an issue. Chandler takes the piss out of himself and others all the time, and therefore wordlessly invites others to do the same.
        • Exactly. I think it's MORE normal that they'd make jokes about their relationship considering that they're friends. I'd make jokes about a boyfriend of a friend if he was a mutual friend, but not if they were in a new relationship. Haven't you ever made a slightly meaner joke with a friend than you would with an acquaintance?

Rachel's Hypocrisy

  • Has anyone ever noticed the pure irony when Ross and Rachel get back together at the conclusion/opening of the third/fourth season? Rachel had absolutely no qualms being the other woman, placing Bonnie in the precise situation she felt she was in when Ross 'cheated' yet when Ross 'cheated' while they were "On A Break" he was heartless in not understanding her feelings; yet despite all this had the audacity to demand Ross accept all responsibility for their break up.
    • Truth in Television if I ever saw it.
    • Rachel was also the other woman when Ross was with Julie.
  • When Ross and Rachel got drunk in Vegas and got married, Rachel demanded an annulment once they sobered up. Ross wanted them to stay married since they already have a history, and Ross didn't want a third fail "marriage", but Rachel was dead against it. The two eventually divorced. Then suddenly, Chandler and Monica announce they're getting married, Rachel gets jealous and... attempts to make a pact with Ross to get married if they're both single by the age of 40. Um.... if Rachel was worried about being single, why didn't she take Ross's offer of remaining married?
    • She wasn't 40.
      • And she wouldn't have been able to get married to someone else if she had found someone before she turned 40. Neither would Ross
    • In the same vein of the annulment, Rachel finds out the Ross never got one and he agrees to get it, fine. What really irks me is that when she fills out the paperwork she proceeds to dick around and put down the reason for the annulment being that Ross is gay, addicted to crack (which she may or may not have actually mistaken for an intravenous drug), and he could not consummate the marriage. She does this mainly to get back at Ross, I guess, but why would you do that when you know if the judge thinks these outlandish reasons aren't true you'll have to get a much more expensive divorce?
  • Not exactly hypocrisy, but in the vein of Rachel's A Horrible Person, in "The One With The Beach" Rachel convinces Ross's girlfriend to shave her head bald in an effort to split them up because she's decided she wants Ross back. She's laughing about it when Ross sees it. She maliciously split up a happy couple because she decided she changed her mind about hating Ross's guts. Why the hell is Rachel still treated as a sympathetic character?
    • Because ovaries. Also boobs and popular looks.
    • It wasn't a great thing to do, BUT I think Bonnie would have eventually shaved her head anyway. Her eagerness to do it so impulsively thinks she was going that way anyway? Also, Ross dumping her suggests that either a) they weren't that serious or b) he's kind of shallow.
  • When Ross catches Rachel making out with Paul (Bruce Willis), his girlfriend's dad, Rachel doesn't apologize, show any shame and typically makes out it's Ross who's got the problem. This is done under the reasoning that Ross once, briefly 'dated her sister'. Rather than point out out that when he did this, Rachel (who even set the date up) freaked out, screamed at Ross when the sister (Gill) kissed him and then kicked Gill out of her apartment, Ross just gives in and says 'this is weird for me'. So yet again, Rachel is right and Ross is wrong.
    • Rachel then continues to date Paul throughout a number of episodes and happily ignores the fact that he continues to threaten Ross and generally act like a douchebag. Nice way for a friend/ex girlfriend to behave.

Joey and Rachel's Relationship

  • The Joey/Rachel "romance" at the end of Series 9 and beginning of Series 10. We get all this buildup about Rachel having feelings for Joey, the cliffhanger where they kiss, the two following episodes dealing with Ross's feelings on the matter...and then in the next episode, they break up, and the relationship is only mentioned once in the rest of the season. It just seemed so utterly pointless. The fact that there was all this worry about Ross's feelings kinda suggested it would be a bit more ongoing, and then suddenly it's over, and all that worry was for nothing.
    • This troper believes they ended it quickly because the tenth season was cut short of six episodes due to it not being originally intended, thus they simply did not have time with Phoebe getting married and attempting to rebuild the Ross/Rachel relationship. Personally he found Joey/Rachel made a better couple while Charlie was Ross' perfect woman, granted he also liked Mona.
    • Meanwhile, this troper really was beyond pissed off when she saw Joey and Rachel break up after only a couple episodes. It was the quintessential Cleaning Up Romantic Loose Ends if there ever was one with a Strangled by the Red String as well. She never really liked Ross in the first place. The two worked so much better together too...
      • I agree, like this trooper said before, it's like they just did it so Ross and Rachel were clear for being together in the end, in fact, Rachel just suddenly loves Ross more than Joey for no good reason other than old feeling, which were stated to had already been overshadowed by her now stronger feelings for Joey.
      • Agreed. To this troper, Ross and Rachel turned each other into whiny, jealous jerks, and Ross got scary with his anger issus and possessiveness toward Rachel. Rachel always looked much happier with Joey, and he seemed like he'd have been a great father to Emma. He also actually respected Rachel's career, unlike Ross, who seemed to think it was just a hobby that should come second to him. The writers messed up Ross and Rachel AND Rachel and Joey big time, only the latter's breakup made no sense and Ross and Rachel's made absolute sense. If the writers knew they had to slap Rachel and Ross together at the end to please the Rn R shippers, they shouldn't have teased us with Joey/Rachel, only to have Rachel kick Joey in the crotch so she could later give up her job for Ross.
    • This troper didn't mind the romance in general, although it was ended very awkwardly. The main problem this troper had was that it went from a plot arc about Joey's unreciprocated feelings about Rachel to Rachel's unreciprocated feelings for Joey. Then again, this is something that just seems to happen with Rachel...
    • It should be noted that the abbreviated 10th season also had to segue into Joey's spinoff series. This troper suspects that the Joey/Rachel romance was intended to last, but when Joey's spinoff was greenlighted, the writers had to scramble and backpedal their way to a satisfying conclusion.

The Pros and Cons List

  • I was always kind of bugged by the whole "pros and cons of Rachel" list. Not because of the list itself, but because of Rachel's reaction to it. Here we have Ross, torn between two women, unsure what the honorable thing to do is, nor who would be the best person to be in a relationship with. So, in desperation (and probably motivated by his nature as a scientist), he tries to come up with a list of the merits of continuing his relationship with Julie (a sweet, charming girl who had been his first real relationship since Carol and second ever lover), or breaking it off with her to pursue a relationship with Rachel, whom he had pined over for years, and who had finally reciprocated his feelings. Then he ultimately comes to the difficult choice of Rachel, has a difficult breakup with Julie (which is offscreen because they felt it would be too heartbreaking to show) and he declares his love for Rachel. She then sees the list and ... considers it a horrible, humiliating, unforgivable thing for Ross to do, refuses to listen to his explanations or consider it from his point of view, and won't talk to him. When he tries to reach out to her through a radio request, Rachel humiliates him by calling the DJ and telling what Ross did in a manner which makes it seem worse than intentionally running someone over with a car. In spite of this, Ross continues to pursue her for several episodes. What. The. Hell.
    • This always pissed me off. Rachel way over reacts and is much too pissy about it all. I never thought he did anything wrong, Ross had a hard choice to make between Julie and Rachel, who he both cared for, choosing either would have positive and negative effects, so on the urging of a friend, he writes these down to try and get a better perspective. And what does he actually write? Ignore the "chubby ankles" thing, as that was Joey, Ross says that Rachel is on occasion a bit spoiled, ditsy and too into her looks. All true and can be annoying in a long term relationship. He then says that in comparison to Julie, her job as a waitress doesn't indicate much in common with Ross's interests, whereas Julie's does. Then for all the pros that surround Julie, he realizes that as good as she is, she isn't the girl he wants, she isn't Rachel and lists that as the match winning con. For some reason Rachel thinks all of this is so hugely humiliating etc...
    • TV women are crazy for storyline purposes.
    • Plus, who can't figure out that "Rachem" is a typo?
      • I always thought the problem was less with the list, and more with the cons, especially the "just a waitress," which was already a huge source of insecurity with her.
        • The "just a waitress" was taken out of context though. Ross wasn't saying Rachel's a waitress therefore not worthwhile, he was comparing her to Julie and in the sense that Julie's job was similar to his and how it showed how they had a lot in common in that area, compared to how Rachel was simply a waitress and not in a dinosaur type profession, and therefore demonstrated less in common with Ross in that area than Julie did (the comparison of the two women being the point of the list to begin with).
      • One has to look at it from Rachel's point of view; the guy she liked made a list of her negative traits for the specific purpose of deciding whether she was worth dating. She didn't know the whole backstory, she just saw that she was just a waitress, spoiled, ditsy, and had chubby ankles. If a guy this troper liked made a list of her flaws to use against her, this troper would be incredibly upset.
      • Yes but if she just let him explain, it could have been all avoided. She was blowing it way out of proportion (considering how he chose HER over Julie) and she continued to ignore him subsequently like as if he had just cheated on her or something...
      • There's also the fact that the wording of the list was not Ross's fault. He was dictating to Chandler, so the "just a waitress" misunderstanding and the "Rachem" typo were not his fault.
    • This one is sort of Truth in Television. Ask someone after a job evaluation what they're more fixated on: the heaps of praise or the one minor bit of constructive criticism. I'll bet it's the latter.
    • Are you crazy? Rachel says herself that it hurts to see all her personal flaws used as reasons not to date her by someone she really likes. Of course that's a terrible thing to do! Especially sensitive stuff about her body, and not being at a place in her life that she'd like. Also, she doesn't try to humiliate him, he's the one who requests the song which makes their spat public. You're right about the Rachem thing though, that was dumb.
      • No, it is not crazy to think that the Pros and Cons list was not as terrible a thing to do as running someone over with a car. And again, the list was taken out of context, and not written by Ross. The "just a waitress" line was taken out of context. What Ross meant by that was that he and Julie had similar jobs, and therefore had similar interests, whereas he and Rachel did not.
        • Good point. Maybe we can agree that this was a really annoying plot point because it relies on a combination of Idiot Ball and Cannot Spit It Out? I mean, it would've been fine if Rachel had listened to Ross, or if Ross had tried to explain the situation instead of gimmicky nonsense like requesting a song on the radio.


  • When Ursula had sex with Phoebe's boyfriend, and he thought she was Phoebe, couldn't that be classified as rape? It certainly would be if twin brothers and a girlfriend were involved...
    • I got the impression Ursula didn't care why some cute guy wanted to have sex with her. She may not have realized he thought she was her sister until it was too late, and even then still didn't care.
      • I'm pretty sure that the first troper was referring to Phoebe's boyfriend being raped, as he was unaware of who he copulating with.
    • But Ursula didn't know why he wanted to sleep with her. She wasn't trying to take advantage of him. I suppose you could make the argument that she "accidentally" raped him, but I don't think it's fair to put that burden on her. She didn't do anything wrong, she just had a one night stand with a cute guy who later turned out to be delusional about who she was.
    • The boyfriend in question was Ursula's ex-fiance who broke it off when Phoebe told the fiance that Ursula lied to him about pretty much everything (in regards to who she was). Ursula, being Ursula, wasn't going to argue the fact that her ex-fiance confused her for Phoebe and wanted to sleep with her.
      • Rape Is Ok When It Is Female On Male ...apparently
        • But the show doesn't treat it like it's okay? It was horrible enough for him that he couldn't date Phoebe and by the end of the episode he does seem traumatised. Maybe Ursula does get arrested? We never see her again...

The "Swap Apartments" Bet

  • In the whole story where Chandler and Joey switch apartments with Monica and Rachel, why are we supposed to be happy for Monica and Rachel when they take the apartment back? They had agreed to switch with Joey and Chandler if they lost the game. However, when they do indeed lose, they act like Joey and Chandler are in the wrong, and then they steal the apartment back? Exactly what part of that is fair? In the same vein that the above Troper was saying, if the roles were reversed, Joey and Chandler would be portrayed as being extremely petty and vindictive.
    • I never personally got the impression we were supposed to be pleased; the whole thing was a joke about the boys willing to do anything to see two women kiss.
    • Uhmm maybe because taking someone's apartment OVER SOME SILLY GAME isn't fair whatsoever. A silly game isn't legally binding and it wasn't morally justified to take the girl's apartment. I wouldn't find it very moral to just take someone's home because they lost it in a silly bet. Nobody ever signed any papers, it was obviously a silly game, the guys should have said "Of course I won't take the apartment that you OWN, just like a 10-year old would say "Of course you don't have to give me your new phone, we're FRIENDS.
      • WRONG. Clearly there was a verbal agreement between the four where the outcome of the "silly game" determined whether or not a) M&R kept their apartment or b) C&J kept their pets, a point of contention between the friends that led to the game to begin with. The game was serious enough that either side was willing to risk an important aspect of their lives to win. This is actually pointed out in the episode when Rachel insists the whole thing was a gag as the guys are moving their stuff in. Joey counters by asking her if she'd have expected him and Chandler to keep up their end of the bet if they'd lost and it leaves her speechless.
  • You know what I thought of when they switched apartments? Remember how they explained that Monica was able to afford the apartment because she was subletting it from her Grandmother, and that it was rent controlled? Wouldn't that mean that Chandler & Joey moving in would negate the rent control status, and that it would become extremely expensive to live there? Or do Joey and Chandler/Monica and Rachel still "officially" rent their old apartment?

The Central Perk Couch

  • Is no one else allowed to sit in the big couch in Central Perk but the six of them? What would they do if they came in but discovered other people there?
    • This was covered in an excellent sight gag: they enter, see that "their" seats are taken, and leave silently.
    • Though in another episode, they come in and discover some "mean kids" on the couch and the rest of the episode is taken up with increasingly Zany Schemes to get them to move.
      • I think the episode you are referring to is "The One With the Bullies," and that is not how it goes. A couple of guys suddenly decide that the couch in Central Perk is "their" spot and actively prevent Ross and Chandler from sitting there. Their are no "zany schemes" involved whatsoever.
    • There is also a scene in which Chandler is siting in one of the chairs by the couch. A young man attempts to sit on the couch, and Chandler shoos him off. It's also possible that Gunther does what he can to keep those seats available for those people that hang out with Rachel.
    • There's also one episode (The One with Unagi, I think), in which Phoebe and Rachel are sitting at the table by the window, and Rachel is upset that someone else is sitting on the couch.
    • Also, in one episode (can't think of the title off the top of my head) two of the friends are sitting on the couch and there's a reserved sign on the table in front of it. So, yeah, I suppose Gunther reserves it for them most of the time.

Ben's Last Name

  • Regarding Ben's last name. Ross, Carol, and Susan argue about it. Why was any hyphenate even considered? Did it not occur to Carol that both Susan and Ross would object if the others name was present and theirs wasn't? Any sane person would've just gone with Carol's last name, period. Ben Willick, no Geller or Bunch at all.
    • They originally plan for the last name to be Carol's and Susan's last names. Ross suggests a double hyphenate, and later that his name be first, but both times Carol says he's it's stupid, and Susan was just a Jerkass towards him from the moment they were first introduced to later in the episode after being Locked in a Room. Also: Friends. Sane. Ring a bell? No? Why would it?
      • Which ties into the whole annoyed rant above about Carol being the worst person in the world. "You know how I cheated on you, left you, then showed up out of the blue to announce I was pregnant? Well, I only did that so that when Susan takes your place in the baby's life as well as mine, you'll be prepared for it. Oh! And I'm still gonna take your money in Child Support! Nice seeing you!"
        • Carol is the worst person in the world? Hyperbole much?
    • What did they go for in the end?

Ross, Emily, and the Demolished Church

  • So the church that Ross and Emily intended to get married in has been demolished a few days early. Emily is incensed that Ross would suggest they get married somewhere else. Ross argues that their family and friends are devoting ungodly amounts of money and vacation time on this, and that it's incredibly insensitive of them to suggest that they just go home and attempt to do all of this again. Um, how is Ross in the wrong again? The object of this is to get married among the people that they love. The specific location should be secondary, right?
    • My biggest problem with all that was how none of the construction workers who were demolishing it bothered to check to see if it would be a problem to start demolishing a building that was still in working order and was rented out for private events, earlier than the scheduled date.
      • Much more importantly, there's no way this wedding could ever happen legally in the UK. Either the church is still a church, in which case a wedding can happen there but it would be completely unthinkable to demolish it and there'd not have been any construction workers hired in the first place, or it's no longer a church - deconsecrated - in which case any wedding that takes place there would be unlawful and void. (Plus side of that: no divorce necessary!) The writers ignored the fact that English law requires weddings to take place either in recognised churches or in licensed civil premises - at that time limited to registry offices and weddings granted special licenses, which is not the case here. A half-demolished church is neither. (There's also no way Ross could have arrived in the UK and got married in the time-frame shown, since he clearly wasn't around to make the necessary applications.)
    • Let's call this the Friends Mantra: "In sitcoms, women are allowed to be as crazy as they like without ever being in the wrong." It's quite concerning just how much this crops up here (and also in Scrubs, interestingly).
    • Monica explains it. Apparently all women have been planning their wedding since they were five years old, and if everything isn't absolutely 100% perfect, then the wedding is off. It's as if the person she's marrying is a distant consideration to the perfect time, place, decoration and table settings. Women in sitcoms don't want to be married, they want to get married.
      • Well, Monica does get rather depressed once her wedding day is over. But is this Unfortunate Implications or a sign of the era they were born in?
    • I'm watching this episode again, and it really looks that, although they are both in the wrong Ross is still not being that reasonable. The respective arguments are thus: Ross: "People are spending a lot of money to come here, so we should find some place that will (fit everyone and) let us have the wedding tomorrow evening, or- well, no "or". NO OR! We are HAVING this wedding!" Emily: "We're never going to get a new place by tomorrow evening, and the whole thing is kind of rushed, so couldn't we put it off until a later date and just let everyone (except your guy friends and sister, who suggested it,) see if they can avoid coming to England for nothing (and maybe get a partial refund/not buy a return ticket)? It's not stupid, you're stupid! Fine, SCREW THE WEDDING!" The parenthesized parts are the logical extension of their part, not points they brought up, but I still think that people are making Emily out to be crazier than she was pre-wedding, based on how she acted in later episodes.
      • People wouldn't be able to get any kind of refund on their tickets just because the wedding they traveled to didn't happen. And anyway, I disagree that Ross was being unreasonable. He may not have gone about saying his point as well as he could, but what he was saying was in essence right, that people had traveled from a huge distance to come to the wedding, they had taken time out of their lives to traverse an ocean for this (from his side anyway), and the idea of just casually saying "The wedding has been postponed, we'll do it again at some later date when we find a different place", basically the day or so before the thing was supposed to happen, was simply out of the question. At least if you wanted the subsequent wedding to have all the friends and family there, you can't just expect people to redo the whole traveling from America to London thing again in a short space of time. Really, if Ross is being unreasonable in saying that, then Emily is being just as unreasonable to expect it to be OK to postpone the wedding at this point and expect it to happen, unchanged from the original plan, later.
    • How about the staggering impossibility of construction workers ever getting started on a project early?

Chloe the Copy Place Girl

  • Is it just me, or is the "hot girl from the copy place" not really that hot?
    • She was hot. She just wasn't mind-blowingly hot compared to, say, Jennifer Aniston, Lisa Kudrow and Courtney Cox. When you've got gorgeous women like that in the regular cast, that kind of raises the bar for allegedly gorgeous guest stars.
      • Nah, she wasn't that hot. Not ugly or anything, but certainly not hot.
      • Beauty is in the eye of the beholder, even on Friends. I thought she was gorgeous.
      • I thought the hotness was a result of her being exotic, thanks to the piercing and dyed hair (it was dyed, right?). The Friends are all pretty square, it wouldn't be surprising if the girl was seen as significantly more attractive simply because she wasn't mundane.
    • As far as I'm concerned, back then neither Jennifer Aniston nor Lisa Kudrow could hope to touch Angela Featherstone in hotness. Courtney Cox had a fighting chance.
    • This troper agrees with the above. Jennifer Aniston is traditionally beautiful, and I always thought Lisa Kudrow wasn't beautiful so much as charming (and a good actress).

The Time Ross Said Rachel

  • Regarding Ross saying Rachel's name at the altar. Could Emily not ask the priest to let her talk to Ross for a minute? It's not like they weren't already embarrassed enough, and the guests are already gossiping. Furthermore, why did she insist on completing the ceremony again?
    • Yeah, I never got that, either. If I were in that situation, yeah, I would have been embarrassed and uncomfortable and probably very jealous if he said the name of an ex-girlfriend at the altar, especially if I knew that he'd pined after this girl for years. That said, I wouldn't have finished the ceremony and leapt out the window, I would have probably done something right then - talked to him, left the wedding there instead of completing the ceremony and then leaving, or whatever.
    • Probably the same reason she wouldn't let him get the annulment -- spite. She (previously the most sane character I'd seen on the show) heard her fiancee say his ex-girlfriend's name at the alter. She's like, "What!? Wait, no- deal with this later." I think she may actually have been alternating between denial and spite, since Ross was (apparently) a decent person, then it turns out he's still as Rachel-centric as he was years ago, when they supposedly broke up. It's insane, but otherwise seems reasonably explicable.
    • Probably a case of Real Life Writes the Plot. The beginning of the next episode (TO After Ross Says Rachel) was clearly filmed back when they were filming the wedding episode (evidenced by the length of Ross's hair). During the hiatus, the actress playing Emily got pregnant, and wanted to go back to England. The writers were forced to find a way to write Emily out, and a quicky divorce was the easiest way to do it. Methinks that if the actress hadn't gotten pregnant, Ross and Emily may have worked it out, at least for a while.

Soundproof Air

  • How am I supposed to believe that when a small group of people in a kitchen which has no doors or walls connecting it to the lounge room are not supposed to be heard by whoever they're talking about?! What, is the oxygen between them sound-proof or something?
    • See also Frasier. Although in Frasier, the kitchen did have a door, they just never closed it.
      • Didn't the kitchen in Frasier have open two-way shelves that looked across the hallway and onto the patio?
    • For the same reason you're supposed to believe that the music at their parties is played much quieter than their normal voices? It's just tv.

The Triplets' Birth

  • What kind of obstetricians would think it's an okay idea to opt for vaginal birth to have freaking triplets?
    • If all the babies are healthy and aren't showing any signs of stress, vaginal birth is the best way to deliver. It's less stress on the babies in general and not to mention the mother doesn't have to undergo surgery.
      • Oh, thanks for clearing that up. I guess Reality Is Unrealistic; it's not that typical for triplet births to not be premature.

Joey's Encyclopedia

  • Why is it that in episode with the encyclopedia salesman, all the gang except Joey are shown to participate in fairly highbrow conversations about whether or not something is constitutional and are capable of understanding a joke about the Algonquin (which I've probably spelt wrong) Round Table, yet in later episodes none of the girls can remember who the US fought in World War I and Rachel thinks that NATO is a person?
    • Rachel might have been faking her understanding of such things, and as for the WWI thing, some intelligent people do have gaps in their knowledge of history. If there was something that bothers me as a whole about that scene, its that none of them except Ross seems like the type to have erudite conversations in the first place.
    • Also remember that it was only in Joey's memories that we see these scenes, apart from the one at the end, but that was mainly about Korea and how pretty it was; he may have been making the conversations more complicated than they really were.
    • I can't find the exact quote, but my recollection is that the only one who contributed anything like "highbrow" talk to the Korea conversation was Ross. Monica said it was such a beautiful country, Ross said it had such a sad history and Chandler made his "Can there BE any more Kims?" joke. That seems fairly consistent with the characterization.
    • The "high-brow" conversations weren't even all that. We get Ross saying, "that's totally unconstitutional" with no context, and people agreeing - not exactly high-brow. We got Monica saying "he deserves a Nobel Prize", and people disagreeing, with no context - we don't know who she thinks deserves the prize or why, just that people disagree. That's hardly high-brow. And then Chandler makes a joke about Algonquin, which people laugh at, but it's an off-hand joke, there's no lengthy discussion about it. How is any of that "highbrow" conversation that average people wouldn't understand?
  • Why didn't Joey go back and buy the rest of that encyclopedia after he started making money again?
    • He probably lost the first one he bought.
    • And it's not like Penn is going around the apartment building every week trying to sell these things.
  • I think the joke was that Joey didn't know what the things they were talking about were, not that they were intelligent conversations.

Rachel Beats Ross At Poker

  • In the otherwise great episode The One With The Poker, there's a scene where Rachel wins a round. Ross politely asks to see her cards, but she refuses, defensively saying "I'm not showing you!" and even taunts him about not wanting to lose. Um... don't you have to show your cards if you're claiming that you won? Who's to say Rachel wasn't lying her arse off and really only had a pair or something. Phoebe will tear into Joey about the ethics of bluffing, but doesn't bat an eye to this?
    • Ross folded. I don't know if it's just the house rules I've encountered, but you don't need to show your hand unless you have to show that you have a good enough hand to win. If you win by bluffing, it is therefore not necessary.
      • This is correct. You only need to show your cards if you're proving you beat someone else's hand. If everyone else folds, no, you don't need to show your hand.
        • Okay fair enough, I didn't know that rule about folding. But I still don't get why Rachel was so defensive about it. What did she have to hide? If she had a high hand, then it shows she was a good player, if she had a low hand, it proves she was a good bluffer. And it's natural for Ross to have been curious about what hand she had, yet when he asks, she acts as if he'd asked her to show him her breasts or something.
          • Because she didn't want him to know if she was bluffing or not. If he knew that, he might use that knowledge next time they had a betting war. She was being a sensible poker player.
    • Actually, what bothered me most about this episode was Rachel's little hissy fit about 'losing her job.' She didn't get the job after an interview, she didn't get fired, and everyone is supposed to be okay with her whining and demands of special treatment? Ross should have taken her money.

Ross/Rachel Cliffhangers

  • Something that really bugged me was the writers/producers obsession with Ross and Rachel. There is not one single cliffhanger on the entire show that wasn't about Ross and Rachel. The end of season five seemed to be about whether Chandler and Monica would get married, but it turned out to be about Ross and Rachel instead anyway. Even Chandler and Monica's wedding episode ended up with focus on Ross and Rachel. In fact, the only season finallies that didn't end with a R&R cliffhanger were seasons two and six, which had no cliffhangers at all. As someone who detested Ross and Rachel as a couple this was incredibly annoying. Not that I would have minded a few R&R cliffhangers along the way, but they could have had at least one cliffhanger about one of the other four characters. In addition to that, ever notice how much focus there was on Rachel all the time? They celebrate her birthday numerous times during the show, while I can't remember them celebrating Monica's, Chandler's or Joey's birthday even once. Except for the episode where they show everyone turning 30 - and of course here Rachel is the last one, thereby making her the focus of the episode. There's a website that lists all kinds of statistics for the show, where someone has counted the number of times the characters' names appear in the episode titles (some people have way too much time on their hands). Rachel's name appears in 28 episode titles. Ross gets his name in 24 titles, Joey 16, Chandler 11, Phoebe 10 and Monica 9. If the idea is that they are all equal, shouldn't they get roughly the same amount? Not that they should be keeping score, but 28 compared to 9 is a pretty huge difference. Some of the titles are just ridiculous too. "The One Where Ross Hugs Rachel", for example. Oh, that episode, as if it only happened once.
    • There was an entire episode centered on Phoebe's 30th31st birthday, and another episode was spent waiting for Phoebe's birthday dinner. Chandler's birthday was celebrated a couple of times, and I think Monica's at least once, but was never (as far as I recall) the A plot. Not saying the series isn't annoyingly Ross&Rachel-centric at many times, but the above comment is missing out some pretty significant points on at least half its argument.
      • The episode about Phoebe's 30th birthday was about all the friends turning 30, not just Phoebe.
    • Also, the season 2 finale was about Chandler and Janice getting back together and Monica and Richard splitting up. Nothing AT ALL to do with Ross or Rachel.
      • Yes, but like the previous troper mentioned, it wasn't a cliffhanger.
    • Rachel, being the melodramatic woman she is, would be the kind of person to make sure she gets way too much attention. Maybe she was a proxy for some of the writing staff?
    • Rachel is the normal one. She is closest to being a Mary Sue. And Aniston was (is) America's Darling.
    • Similarly, the show was designed partially as a star-vehicle for Jennifer Aniston, and she was also the show's main sexpot. Thus, they had specific intent to make Rachel the most visible character of the six.
      • Friends was a star-vehicle for Jennifer Anniston? I've never heard that. Also, YMMV on her being the show's sexpot.

Does Ross Care About His Kids?

  • When Rachel was leaving for Paris Ross bitched and moaned about her leaving all the time. Not once did he mention anything about Emma leaving. You'd think he would be at least a tiny bit upset with the idea of his daughter being raised in a different continent.
    • Well the writers were clearly looking for a quick way to get Ross and Rachel back together and I guess they took the "you don't miss it until you don't have it anymore" route. This required Ross to want Rachel to stay because of her, not because of the baby. Also note that at no point does Rachel ask Ross if he minds her taking their daughter away. They probably wrote themselves into a corner and didn't want to draw too much attention to it.
      • IIRC, Rachel's employer said that they would fly Rachel back and forth from Paris to New York, or fly Ross to Paris to see Emma.
    • Ross doesn't seem to care too much about his kids. Did Ben ever even meet Emma?
      • No one took him to the hospital! I'm not American but I went to visit my little brother on the day he was born, isn't that the norm?
    • Ross makes a big deal about being a father and having a son (his reason for buying a red convertible? "I have a son") in the earlier seasons, but by the time Rachel gets pregnant (season 8), he seems to have forgotten about Ben altogether. Is Ben even mentioned at any point in the last couple of seasons?
      • His last real appearance was in the episode where Phoebe wanted to get Sting tickets, I believe. I think the last time he's mentioned is when Joey suggests that Ross give Ben to Chandler and Monica.

The Fourth Wall of The Apartments

  • More of an issue with any TV show of the Fourth Wall variety, but especially obvious with friends. Every episode we see into the houses of the six Friends, and nobody seems to question that every room has a huge, seemingly blank wall, the one we are looking through. It seems irrelevant, but From the point of view of the characters doesn't a huge waste of space like a blank wall in a small apartment seem odd? I understand why they can't use the nonexistent wall, but the logical error Just Bugs Me.
    • In the episode where Chandler finds Monica's hidden closet of mystery you can see that wall of their apartment in the background. There's a picture and some fancy wall-design so there is something there, its more of an X-Ray Camera situation than a three-walled apartment situation
    • There's a live audience there as proven by the Laugh Track . I'm pretty sure you already know this, but it's not that big of a deal.
    • I don't want to shock you or anything, but apparently Chandler and Monica aren't really married either. Those aren't even their real names...

Rachel's Smoking Coworkers

  • Right after Rachel joins Ralph Lauren, she gets annoyed when her new colleagues go for a cigarette and make a bunch of work decisions without her while doing so. Rachel decides the best solution is to take up smoking herself so she can join them. So it doesn't occur to her to, I don't know, tell her colleagues that she feels this is unfair treatment, resolving the issue without risking lung cancer?
    • Most people don't immediately confront their bosses (note that one of the two 'colleagues' is her immediate supervisor) about being treated unfairly in the workplace within days of getting a new job. People especially don't do that if they have a history of dealing with their problems passive-aggressively, like Rachel has always done. Chucking a tanty about being treated unfairly within the first week of a new job doesn't exactly endear you to your supervisor and co-workers.
    • Have to agree - whining about feeling left out by your coworkers two weeks into a new job is hardly going to gain you respect among your peers. Complaining, no matter how politely, would have been a terrible move.

Rachel Giving Up On Ross Instantly

  • So at the end of season four Rachel is so desperately in love with Ross that she maxes out her credit cards to fly to Europe to break-up his wedding. At the beginning of season five she's completely over him and pursuing Danny the yeti. I'd been watching the show since the beginning and this was the point I lost complete interest in their relationship.
    • She isn't just over him, she makes an attempt and tells him she still loves him and then immediately afterward clues into how ridiculous it is to tell your ex-boyfriend, who just got married and is actively trying to patch things up with his wife, that you're still into him. They discuss it and Rachel is gently rejected and afterward she moves on. Plus the whole him almost cutting her out of his life completely to make Emily happy (total character assassination for Emily, admittedly due to behind the scenes problems that Emily's actress got pregnant and couldn't fly back to pick up her role in the intended storyline) thing likely killed the remaining desire.
      • No, she rejected him because the pain of the situation (that she helped create) screwed him up and left him with too much baggage. Her exact words: "I can't get started with all that Ross stuff again. I mean, he's gonna screwed up for a looong time. And besides y'know, I don't, I don't go for guys right after they get divorced." She only wants Ross when he's taken: Ross is with Julie. Rachel wants him. Ross dumps Julie for her. Rachel loses interest. Ross is with Bonnie. Rachel wants him. Ross dumps Bonnie for her. Rachel loses interest. Ross is with Emily. Rachel wants him. Ross' lingering feelings for her screws up relationship with Emily. Rachel loses interest. It had been going on for awhile but this was the episode where I was convinced Rachel was evil.

Ross Being A Bad Guest

  • Ross is staying at Joey and Chandler's after he was kicked out of his apartment. He apparently does not like noise and is continually asking for quiet. Hey Ross, we know you lived by yourself for a long time, but you shared an apartment with Carol for several years. You should know how to compromise. Besides, you are their guest, not their roommate. If the guys can't even play Foosball in another room, you are being unreasonable.
    • At the end of the episode Ross admits that he knew Joey and Chandler were trying to get him to leave, and tells them that if they have an issue, talk to him about it. The implication is that the three of them were able compromise and work around Ross's annoying habits.

Emma's Godparents

  • In the 9th season's Thanksgiving episode (The One With Rachel's Other Sister), Ross and Rachel say that if they died, Monica and Chandler would become Emma's legal guardians. However, after that they say that if Monica died, Emma would then go to Ross' parents. Correct me if I'm wrong, but this is a case of massive You Fail Law Forever. Being a legal guardian (as opposed to just being de facto mother/father) means you are a child's parent in every way except biologically. Legal guardians have control over where children go if they die. And since Monica and Chandler are married, either one would have control if the other died. If Ross and Rachel died, they'd only have control over where Emma went next, and no further. Also, like Chandler pointed out, how cruel can two people be? Imagine if Ross and Rachel died, and then fifteen years later Monica died. That would mean that Emma would lose her birth parents, the woman she's called mother for a decade and a half, and be forced to move in with her quite elderly grandparents, and Chandler would lose his best friends, his wife, AND his daughter. And if Chandler and Monica had any other children, they'd lose their sister! Perhaps I took the whole exchange too seriously, but I lost a lot of respect for Ross and Rachel because of this episode.
    • I know Chandler then tells them that he finds it unfair that if Ross, Rachel and Monica die he would lose the "one bright thing" in his life and later asks about "giving her up" if he dies and Monica doesn't, but I was under the impression when Ross and Rachel first explained it that it was more like if Ross and Rachel die, but Monica and Chandler are still around, then Emma goes to Monica and Chandler; if Monica predeceases Ross, then Jack and Judy get custody. At the very least, I would hope that is how it is written up legally, even if they then went on to explain it wrong.
    • I just took that to mean that if Monica died before or at the same time as Ross and Rachel, then Emma would go to the Gellers instead. So if Ross & Rachel die and Monica is still alive, then Emma goes to the Bings. If Monica dies along with Ross and Rachel, then Emma goes to the Gellers.

Ross Insults the Fashion Industry

  • In a third season episode, Ross berates the entire fashion industry: "A hundred million people went to see a movie about what I do. I wonder how many people would go see a movie called Jurassic Parka." Okay, so The Devil Wears Prada hadn't come out yet, but is that really how he measures the importance of a career/industry/lecture? Sure, there aren't many movies about fashion, but the fashion industry DECIDES WHAT CLOTHES HE WEARS.
    • I think he was being sarcastic. They were in the middle of a fight and he clearly felt irritated, so it's hardly inexcusable.
      • Or maybe he, like many people simply doesn't care about the fashion industry. I sure don't. As long as my clothes keep me warm and I think they look good, why should I give a damn about some fashion magazine telling me what I ought to be wearing?
        • Reading a fashion magazine is not how the clothing industry influences you. Clothing Titans decide what styles are going to be made, what colors are going to be popular, etc. What they decide trickles down into the department stores and boutiques. Caring about the clothing industry isn't necessary, but it does deserve some acknowledgment.
    • Besides, when you try to compare the "Jurassic Park" to "The Devil Wears Prada" there is no comparison. Not to mention the fact within the show's universe Ross usually according to what he likes and what makes him comfortable, not according what is necessarily "fashionable."
      • My point wasn't that he was dissing pop-culture fashion, just that he stepped out of character by denying the influence of a tent-pole industry. Everything he has ever worn is designed, made, and distributed by the clothing industry.
      • So? He was insulting Rachel, and didn't really care about the details. Put it another way: everything he eats comes, directly or indirectly, from some kind of farm. Does that mean that "I don't see anyone coming to the American Museum of Natural Farming," wouldn't be a viable insult if Rachel had been a farmer? The fact that Rachel's industry is important doesn't change the fact that, as he points out, dinosaurs are cooler than pants.
        • "Dinosaurs are cooler than pants"? That is entirely subjective, and really beside the point.
      • My issue was that a movie about what Ross does would not be Jurassic Park. It would be a snooze-fest of a documentary about wiping bones with a brush.
        • It's not beside the point, because that's how Ross feels. It's a subjective opinion he holds, and thus explains why he said what he said. Ross thinks dinosaurs are cooler than pants, and thus insults the pants industry when comparing it to dinosaurs. It makes perfect sense.

The Failure Rate of Condoms

  • How the hell did Ross not know about the failure rate of condoms? He's the most well-educated of the friends, knows random crap about random crap, and is shown to be a pretty responsible father. The whole situation just bugs me, because it would have made a lot more sense if Ross and Rachel had simply forgotten the condom due to inebriation.
    • The writers discussed this in the DVD commentary, and evidently it's a case of Truth in Television. A lot of people, even very intelligent people, don't know about the failure rates of condoms.
    • This bugged me too, not because of Ross' ignorance but because, despite this being a case of Truth in Television, condoms are still one of the most effective methods of birth control and possibly the best protection against STIs, but this missed opportunity to educate viewers instead implied that all non-reproductive sexual intercourse carries a high risk of unplanned pregnancy. At a time when abstinence-only education is spreading misinformation to American teens, popular role models to counter this would have been beneficial for years to come.
      • Well who says sitcoms have to have "beneficial" information? Besides in The One With Rachel's Other Sister Monica says that Emma is "the product of a bottle of Merlot and a FIVE year old condom" Needless to say condoms drastically lose they're effectiveness the longer you keep them in your wallet or wherever.
      • I always considered that "5 year old condom" being hastily added because they may have been sending out the wrong idea about condoms. By adding that, rather than it being the condom's fault (perfect use failure) they put blame back into the users (typical failure).

Age And Birthday Inconsistencies

  • Okay, so I know most series are pretty bad at this sort of thing, but it seems at some point the writers lost track of how old the friends are:
    • In season 1, Monica gives her age as 26, and in season 3, she gives it as 28, which is consistent... however, as we know she's the same age as Rachel (they were classmates), and Rachel's 30th birthday is in season 7, when she's supposed to be 32.
      • They went to high school and the prom together, but I don't think the series explicitly said they were in the same class. Rachel could have been a sophomore when Monica was a senior.
      • In "The One Where Ross Meets Elizabeth's Dad," Ross confirms that Rachel was a senior at the time of prom incident. Chalk another one up to the show's rather loose continuity.
    • In season 2, Joey says he's 28, but in season 7 he's 31.
  • Similar to the post above, they didn't keep track of their birth dates. At one point, Ross said his birthday was in March, but later he said it was in December. You'd think the writing team would have little files on their characters. Or at least a note card or two!
    • Same with Phoebe. Early on in Season 1, Rachel says she thought Chandler was gay when she first met him, but then he spent all of Phoebe's birthday party talking to her breasts, so she figured, maybe not. This would indicate Phoebe's birthday is sometime in September, but later in Season 3 Phoebe says her birthday is in February. And then even later in Season 7 there's a flashback to one of Phoebe's birthdays, with all of them out in the street in T-shirts and short-sleeves. ...I'm giving this way too much thought, aren't I.
      • They couldn't eve get it right with only half a season to play with. In episode 8 of season 1, TOW Nana dies twice, as mentioned above, Rachel says Chandler spent Phoebe's entire brithday party talking to her (Rachel's) breasts, so he must not be gay. Cut to episode 16 of the SAME season, TOW Two Parts, part 1 and its Phoebe's birthday. Now unless almost an entire year went on in between the pilot episode and TOW the sonogram at the end, how is this possible?
    • And to add to it all: episode 200, The One with Phoebe's Birthday Dinner, takes place on Halloween (stated in the show), which is not Phoebe's birthday (also stated), but apparently very close to it (Phoebe couldn't get reservations on the day of the birthday itself), implying that her birthday is in late October/early November.

Drake Remore's Return

  • Was there an explanation given as to how Joey went back to playing Drake rather than Susan Sarandon's character on Days of our Lives? or are we not supposed to think about it?
    • I got the feeling that Drake's brain was really damaged, so they filled in the holes with brain from Susan Sarandon's character. Thus I get the feeling it's Drake with a woman's memories and parts of her personality. But it's still Drake.
      • I'm fairly sure it was a full brain transplant, but even so, soap opera logic allows for the "real" Drake to somehow come back through. I think that was a bit of a joke about Days.
  • What always bugged this troper was why did Joey have to audition to be Drake Remore's twin brother? The Days of Our Lives casting director accuses Joey of being an egotistical actor for refusing to audition and thinking the role should just be handed to him. Joey's own friends think this too! HELLO Joey is being asked to play Drake Remore's TWIN!!! Why would he need to audition for that? Were the DOOL producers considering hiring another actor who looked nothing like Joey to play Remore's twin? Don't they think viewers will notice the difference? Or was there a Plan B to hire an actor who looked similar to Joey? Like say, Matt LaBlanc?
    • It's fairly common in TV shows for actors to leave a show (or be sacked) and have the part recast, often more than once. There's even a trope for it. So there's no reason why Joey would automatically get the part, considering he got himself written out in the first place by being an arrogant jackass. It makes sense that the executives would want him to jump through a few hoops to get the part back and prove he's not such an egotist anymore. And even if they didn't want an Other Darrin scenario, they could have just made the twin non-identical.

Chandler Can't Sleep

  • In "The One Where They're Up All Night", Chandler is a real asshole to Monica. She's trying to sleep, and he can't. So what does he do? Talk continuously, turn on the effing light, make tons of noise, and try to keep her awake. What bugs me is both how insensitive he is, and how Monica doesn't tell him to shut the hell up and sleep on the couch.
    • She first points out to him that she's sleeping and then when he keeps at it she tells him to go do it outside the bedroom where people won't kick him, and then proceeds to kick him.
      • He still keeps it up, though.

Confusion About Changing the Number of Rooms

  • On the Friends Rent Control page, it says that Monica's (grandmother's) apartment used to be two apartments before they knocked down the wall in between. What the heck sort of apartment has no bathroom, no place to put a front door, or both? I figure it was supposed to be that there used to be two one-bedroom apartments, but unless they make absolutely no use of... what, ten feet of space? There's no place for the kitchen or the bathroom to have been. The only way I can figure it might possibly have worked is if there was a kitchenette right inside the doorway of both rooms, and they bricked up the door into the side of the apartment with all the windows (because it would have opened practically into the stairwell), installed some extra cabinets and counter space in front of it, and removed the stove and sinks from in front of the remaining doorway, but that still leaves no room for a bathroom, and I highly doubt Ms. Geller's next-door neighbor came over twice a day to borrow her restroom. Is the page incorrect about that having been said on the show (I sure don't remember it), was it an error written into the show to explain away the Friends Rent Control, or was it adequately explained on-show or All There in the Manual?
    • Where does it say that? I don't remember anything like that. Perhaps someone got confused with the time Phoebe's apartment had to be remodeled after a fire and the illegally split bedroom was reunited back into one huge bedroom?
    • Yeah, I've watched the show a whole lot, and that's not the case at all. Phoebe's grandmother's place had a fake wall put up to split the bedroom, as the troper above noted, but Monica's apartment was just huge (and cheap because they abused rent control, which they noted on the show a few times).

Emma's Name

  • So Rachel, when naming her and Ross's kid, wants to take the name Monica had picked out for her future daughter because it was just so perfect? Fair enough, but the name was "Emma". I find it impossible to believe that Ross and Rachel didn't think of that name when going through names before she was born.
    • Maybe they did consider it and then decided against it, but then realized it was appropriate when they heard it in conjunction with the actual baby. Recall that Rachel loved the name Isabella but then realized it wasn't appropriate for her baby once she was holding her. And besides... how nitpicky is this? Are you also going to complain that they didn't think of the name Ben before they saw the name on the hospital uniform when it's such a common name? Seriously, maybe it didn't occur to them. Maybe it did, and then they changed their mind. This is a ridiculous complaint.
      • How on earth is it a ridiculous criticism? They take one of then names from Monica (who has had the names of her future son and daughter picked out for years) because upon hearing it, she realized how perfect it was as a name for her child. The name was "Emma", while a nice name, is not unusual or exotic or anything, so there is no way they wouldn't have come across it when thinking of names. If they were going to do this they should have had the name Monica picked out be one you don't hear very often.
        • Because just because the name is a moderately common one doesn't mean it occurred to them in the hospital while looking at the baby. As I said, they probably breezed by it much earlier in the baby naming process and never came back to it. It seemed appropriate for the child once they had the child in their arms, it's not that they didn't realize the name 'Emma' existed before then. As I said before, it's the same as them not thinking of the name Ben for the child until the scene in the hospital.
    • Go find a baby name book published within the last ten years. Start flipping through it. I guarantee that most of the names you read will be familiar, if not common, names. Do you think parents actually consider each and every one of those familiar/common names? They don't. It's entirely possible that Ross and Rachel hadn't considered "Emma" for their daughter's name.
      • Actually, when Ross and Rachel first got together in Season Two, she freaked out because he was planning the rest of their lives. It turned out he'd looked through a book and thought the name "Emily" was good for a girl. Of course, then he married an Emily so that wouldn't work, but "Emma" was pretty close/
        • That's what's always just bugged this troper: They gave their baby practically the same name as Ross's exwife! They might as well have named her "the girl from the copy place".
      • The thing that bugged me most of all about this whole situation was how Monica had picked out the name 'Daniel' as her future son's name ever since she was a child then suddenly turns round and names her actual son 'Jack'. She doesn't even have the excuse of - after deciding on the name Daniel at the age of, say, 14 - meeting an incredibly influential man to her life called Jack, as he was her father. Maybe there is a logical explanation for this that I haven't seen but as it is it just bugged me.
        • you have the same taste in baby names as you did when you were 14? Even apart from that... ever heard of compromise? Maybe Chandler didn't like the name Daniel. It's his baby too, you know.
          • Do you really think Chandler would get his way on something like that? It's a well-known fact that Monica is a major control freak, and has to have everything her way.
            • I have to disagree. There are numerous examples of Monica compromising and letting Chandler have things his way.

The Coma Guy

  • Very nitpicky thing, but it does bug the hell out of me: In the episode where Monica and Phoebe take care of the man in the coma, everyone (Monica included) quotes Monica's come-on as "woo-hoo". I'm bugged because she clearly said "woo-woo".
    • Just rewatching all the old series and I came across this episode again, what bugs me the most about this scene is how Monica and Phoebe don't know the man's name, don't they know it will be on his chart?? How would they even get to know where this man's room is if they don't know his name to ask a member of the hospital staff? Not very important in the grand scheme of things but it just bugs me....
    • Not to mention that the 'coma' guy doesn't seem to have any IV lines or even a breathing mask on!

Ignorance About Incomes

  • "The One With Five Steaks and an Eggplant." I'm offended beyond belief that it hadn't occurred to Ross, Monica, and Chandler that the other three don't make as much money as they do. This ain't rocket science. I realize that this is a comedy, but it's mentioned several times that Chandler already pays for most of Joey's food and rent, and Phoebe lives off her grandmother at this point. Why did the Haves not realize that the Have Nots just plain can't afford to go to a fancy restaurant twice in the same month? This plot point should've been omnipresent and never treated as a surprise by the Haves.
    • Rachel, Joey and Phoebe never complained to the others about this before this episode though. Whenever it was suggested they go somewhere nice or do something, they simply went along with it. If they do that regularly, then why should the others think anything about it? They might realize, if they ever thought about it, that they make more money than those three, but if Rachel, Phoebe and Joey don't complain about constantly having to spend this money on nights out etc with the group, then Chandler, Ross and Monica have no reason to think they can't.
      • Yes, but with the night out where Joey, Phoebe and Rachel all order really cheap food, you would think that the others would pick up on it. I'd like to think I would. Especially after they hint that it's not fair for them to split the charge equally between them. But Ross' reaction? "Oh, no, Monica shouldn't have to pay 'cause it's her birthday, so we all have to pay more, despite the fact that you guys are clearly trying to watch your money tonight."
        • Correction, the evening out was on account of Monica's new job. Ross suggesting that his sister shouldn't pay because she just got a new job is probably even more ridiculous; one might even expect it to be Monica's duty to treat her friends, not the other way round. It's like throwing someone a party because they won the lottery.
          • If a friend of yours won the lottery, would you announce "Great! You're taking us out to dinner, then buying us all cars!"? If so, you're a pretty crap friend, yourself.

Ross and The Retiring Janitor

  • When Ross moves into his new apartment around the same time the janitor is retiring after twenty-five years of working in the building. The guy organizing the money collection's welcoming words boil down to "Hi neighbor. Give us $100". Ross has never met this janitor, yet he's supposed to cough up money after just arriving? Isn't this apartment implied to be expensive? And it's also a large building, so wouldn't the couple of thousand they're giving this man be enough on its own without having to heckle the new guy?
    • This is a case of Truth in Television. Something similar happened to a friend of mine. He had moved into a new place and on the third day, his neighbors come by to ask him for a donation for a party to be thrown for one of the other neighbors who had just gotten home from college. Politely, he said he couldn't afford to and it earned him the ire of the rest of the building. Albeit, Ross could have been more tactful in his response, but I'm sure the end result would have been the same.
    • Isn't this a common comedy trope? A character is treated badly but then goes overboard in his reaction to it. Happens a lot.

Chandler's Shark Porn

  • The shark porn episode. What was everybody's problem with this?
    • Monica's assumption that Chandler had a shark fetish due to him getting caught with his pants down when the TV was showing a shark attack show, when he was actually enjoying some normal pay-per-view porn.
    • Exactly. Quite frankly, it was an absolutely retarded assumption to make, even in a sitcom. It was just beyond ridiculous.
    • Not really... she saw he was masturbating to something on the TV, Monica probably assumed it was just porn, so it didn't matter and when she noticed it was a documentary about sharks she got confused, but Monica was probably too embarrassed and disturbed to ask him about it right away. In the real world she could have probably asked him about it in the moment or a little later, or make fun of him to prompt him to explain himself. But in a sitcom situations need to get misinterpreted for the lulz. I thought the awkwardness of the whole situation was hilarious, and it never gets to the point of being disgusting because we knew the truth all along (It's not that Chandler had an actual fetish for sharks), also it shows how much Monica was willing to accept him, even if it was something that disturbed her and she couldn't understand. Personally, I don't see either what's the problem people have with this episode, I thought it was just the kind of awkward/funny situation not unseen in the series... Perhaps it shows a particular taboo people is not ready to find in sitcoms?
      • Dude - sharks. We aren't talking about something unusual but generally understood as a potential fetish (feet, s&m, fat, whatever), we're talking about predatorial fish. Had Chandler unluckily switched channel at the last second to, I dunno, a woman's shoe commercial, then Monica would have been justified in assuming he had a foot fetish. As it is, it's beyond retarded. The shark episode is the worst of the entire series, as far as I'm concerned. I wonder who the hell approved the script.

Rachel Moving Out

  • In season six, when Monica and Chandler decide to move in together, they have trouble telling that Rachel that she has to move out. Now why did Rachel have to move out other than to continue the "Ross & Rachel's Drunken Vegas Marriage" plot if Monica and Chandler were going to share a room?
    • I'd say they don't want her to hear sex noises, but we've already seen that Monica and Richard, Rachel and Ross had simultaneous sleepovers and never minded (except when there's only one condom). I suspect the real reason is that they're not just having sex, they're setting up housekeeping as a prelude (and don't for a second think Monica wasn't anticipating it) to marriage. And nobody's going to dispute a newlywed couple's right to privacy if possible.
    • Ross and Richard were just boyfriends who stayed over a lot, Chandler was going to move in. There's a big difference in the living arrangements. Monica and Chandler wanting to have the apartment to themselves, is the normal attitude to have.

The Molesting Tailor

  • In an earlier season Chandler goes to Joey's tailor and the tailor touches Chandler's naughty place. It is then revealed that he does the same to Joey and has done this to him - and the rest of his family - since he was a young boy. What bugs me about this is that Joey finds out that he has been basically sexually abused since he was little and it is treated like a joke!
    • He said he got his first suit when he was 15/16, hardly a "young boy" at the time.
      • Oh sorry, I did forget about that part. But it hardly makes it much better as sexual abuse is traumatic enough at any age. You would have thought there would have been a bit more sympathy for Joey so it bugged me a little.
      • Sexually abused? Oh, come on. Yes, it's inappropriate and wrong and not to be condoned, but momentarily copping a feel (through cloth) while taking measurements is not abuse nor traumatic. Also, in case you haven't noticed, everything is played for laughs in Friends -- Phoebe's tragedy-ridden life story is a joke from the get go, as is Chandler's childhood (up to and including catching his father having sex with the pool boy).
      • How is that just "a feel through cloth"? The camera switches to Chandler's face when he feels the tailor's hands on his crotch and we don't get to see what really happens.
      • It *is* abuse, and it *is* traumatic. By saying it's not, you've dismissed and erased a good number of sexual abuse survivors, including myself. It may have been "monetarily copping a feel through cloth", but that doesn't make it any less non-consensual and violating.
      • It's only traumatic if you're traumatized. Joey didn't know he was being felt up, so he didn't think of himself as being violated.
      • I agree that it is abuse, and should not be made fun of (I would also add that that subplot was spectacularly unfunny). But for Joey at least it was not traumatic, though it might (indeed, probably) be the case that it would have been for anyone else.
    • Is it ever established that the tailor is doing it in malicious intent? Also, this leans to being overly politically correct.
      • Intent isn't magical. Molestation isn't funny, and it's *not* overly politically correct to be concerned about it being played for laughs. No one would be fine with it if Monica or Rachel were being fondled while being fitted for a dress. But I guess Double Standard Rape (Male on Male), isn't it?
        • I think the above troper is being a bit too sensitive, but agrees. Sexual harassment/abuse is very serious and if the tailor is groping random customers, it's possible some are young. But didn't Joey say his father went to the same tailor? One wonders why a man would let his son return to such a place.

Hugsy Hijinks

  • Rachel borrows Joey's stuffed penguin Hugsy for Emma to play with. She guiltily asks him later if that's okay. Joey pretends that it is, then Hijinks Ensue as he tries to get Hugsy back. Why didn't he just admit that he doesn't want to give up his stuffed animal? Rachel would've been disappointed, but not angry at him. Adults with teddy bears are not exactly the most eccentric or irrational people around, okay?
    • He was embarrassed at first, then didn't want to seem mean (especially with Rachel's... I don't want to say whining, but it was whining, at least later in the episode, I don't really recall the exact order of events, that he'd have to be heartless or something to take a stuffed animal from a baby), then wanted his penguin back and would rather bring on the hijinks to get Emma to accept a different stuffed animal than look like a jerk in front of Rachel or outright steal it from Emma.

Rachel's Dad and Tipping

  • Something that really bugs me is the attitude to tipping. It is epitomized in a season three episode where Ross, Rachel and Rachel's dad are having dinner out. Ross gets all outraged and shocked that Rachel's dad "only" tipped 4%, he asks if it upsets Rachel being that she's a waitress and she says it does, and if he was a regular in the coffee house she would be sneezing on his muffin or something. Now, waitressing might not be a highly paid job, but that is the waitress's problem, not mine as a customer. The idea that extra money should be given to them just because they have done their job of bringing the order to the table is something that annoys me so very much. And on top of that, the expectation that is all too often there that they have a right to expect to be tipped for doing that, and if they aren't, they'll give you bad service and take liberties with your order, is even worse. You've waited on my table and brought my order and drinks over to me? good for you, but that is your job, I am not about to give you extra money for that. - Even worse is the episode where Rachel is discussing why she wants to get a different job than waitressing and uses the reason of "the lousy tips". Putting aside my intolerance with such a concept to begin with, it has been shown time and again that Rachel is a crappy waitress and should be thankful for any tips she gets and not bitch about expecting more.
    • Interesting. It bugs this troper that people fail to realize that tipping is customary, and it is due to that fact that food service people make less than minimum wage. It's not extra money made on top of their pay, it's a necessary part of their pay, and they may be relying on it to live.
      • Well this Troper lives in the UK, where the minimum wage is a legal requirement, and being paid less is against the law, so tipping in this country is most assuredly simply giving the person extra money for doing their job. Regardless of that though, it bugs me that tipping is seen as "customary" anywhere. As a customer, it is not my problem that a waitress in America makes less than minimum wage, I have my own financial problems and limitations to consider. The idea that I should pay the waitress extra money (and it is extra money as it is above and beyond the cost of the order) simply because the waitress sees it as customary, is something I hate. I am not responsible for keeping you above the poverty line, and shouldn't be expected to tip you for doing nothing more than the job you are paid to do, regardless of how much you are paid.
      • This Troper lives in Canada, where a minimum wage is also legislated. There are exceptions, though, and liquor servers are one of them.
      • If you live in the UK and think on UK terms, then this is about culture clash. Tipping isn't so much "customary" as it is "socially required". Waitstaff are paid so little because society expects patrons to leave a tip. When the average American goes to a sit-down restaurant, the tip is basically part of the bill--they bring enough money to pay the expected bill and leave a tip. If the service is bad, no tip is required. However, if the service is acceptable to excellent, a tip is expected. In most restaurants, large parties automatically have a tip calculated into the bill. In America, waitstaff and servers have every right to expect a tip. Your problem isn't with the show, it's with American tipping customs.
        • I do agree with that, and did try to write my original complaint to show how the attitude in Friends regarding tipping really epitomized my dislike of the concept as a whole. I brought it up on this page because there are moments in the show where it really hits me over the head, and bugs me. And yet, even in your above example, the only reason the waitstaff have "every right to expect a tip" is because of the attitude "well you have to tip me for doing my job", not because they have actually done anything to warrant getting tipped.
        • Maybe this would be a good subject for It Just Bugs Me: Real Life?
          • Probably. But the original point of this complaint was how the attitudes expressed by certain characters within Friends, especially in the episodes mentioned above, with regards to tipping bugs me, as well as tipping in itself in real life bugs me too. If for nothing else, Rachel is a crappy waitress and yet expects good tips - wtf?!
      • Yes, Rachel is an inept waitress, but many waitresses and waiters work very hard to make sure their customers are fully satisfied. This troper worked her ass off as a waitress, putting herself through college making $2.15 an hour, and despite being fully acknowledged by customers and staff as the best server in the restaurant, still sometimes made less than minimum wage thanks to this attitude that tipping is unnecessary. Incidentally, paying the servers next to nothing allows the restaurant to reduce overhead, thus helping to keep down the price of your meal, thank you very much, Mr. Pink.
        • It's not helping to keep down the price of a meal, it's just re-arranging the price model. Instead of being upfront about the cost of a meal, you're being offered service at too low a price and then guilt-tripped into paying the difference. And you don't even know what the difference is. This seems to me to be a good analogy of what's wrong with the global economy.
          • So you're upset that, instead of the entire bill being a fixed cost, you're given some lee-way to increase or decrease the amount paid based on the quality of service? How does that negatively impact you, exactly? Oh, as for not knowing what the difference is, 15% of the bill is considered a standard sized tip for decent-to-good service.
          • I think she's upset because you're not given lee-way. Lee-way is a fair day's pay for a fair day's work and the option of providing a bit extra for someone outstanding. What you're talking about isn't lee-way, it's blackmail: tip or reconcile yourself to your waiter's potential homelessness.
          • A fair day's pay for a fair day's work is the cost of the meal plus a 10 to 15% tip. Yes, the restaurants could get rid of tipping and just pay their wait staff more, but then they'd have to raise their prices to make up for it. You're going to, on average, be paying the same amount; discretionary tipping is just a way of incentivizing the servers into doing their jobs well.
        • I was waiting for someone to mention that guy, and now I am happy. On the subject of the topic at hand, I personally don't hold back a tip unless the service was downright awful, but even I don't always give a full 10% -- though I once tipped 20% because not only was the waitress incredibly attentive and fast, she was freaking hot too. Really, I disagree with the idea that we should be giving extra money to people doing their job, and I found it especially ridiculous that Rachel, a proven klutz, would be offended at low tips. Actually, know what, this does belong in IJBM: Real Life.
          • Rachel certainly was a lousy waitress, but I can still understand why she was upset over her dad being incredibly stingy, if you go someplace like a coffee house, you don't have to give much in the way tips. However it's different with a fancy restaurant, unless the service is truly awful, not leaving a decent tip is considered VERY rude(and that's NOT only in the U.S., it's just as if not MORE rude to do the same thing in other countries as well) and FYI saying you have your own financial issues to worry about is a pretty weak excuse for not leaving much of a tip-if you can afford to dine at a fancy restaurant in the first place, then certainly you can afford to tip 10%, most people who dine at places like that make more money in ONE month then the waiters/waitresses do in a whole YEAR, the sad part is that people like Rachel's dad are all too common in real life, Jerk Asses who are too greedy and/or rude to be bothered to leave a decent tip.

Ross and the Male Nanny

  • My respect for Ross declined steadily over the seasons, but I really started to hate him in "The One With the Male Nanny". Basically, Ross and Rachel hire a male nanny named Sandy (played by Freddy Prinze, Jr.). Sandy is an awesome nanny. He's great with Emma, helps around the house (or at least cooks), and is really sweet and personable. Yet, Ross just can't get over having a man take care of his child ("He's too sensitive.") Ross considers himself an educated, intellectual, worldly and modern man, and we're supposed to believe that he can't get over a man taking--excellent--care of his child? It pissed me off. And that wasn't the only thing that ticked me off about the episode. The whole situation with Ross' reaction to Sandy and subsequent admission of discomfort around male sensitivity tiptoed into BLAM Episode territory, since it was never an issue before or after the episode...which essentially reduces the idea of men in non-traditional roles to a large joke. Oh, and one more thing: the vast majority of women can't be penis models for strictly biological reasons, not because society has ruled it non-gender appropriate. I admit that Joey isn't the best source for sound argument, what with all the moo points. Perhaps this female Soldier is extra sensitive to gender role storylines, but even before I joined the service it really bugged me.
    • Very much the same here. This Troper doesn't normally get upset over characters (in any series or medium) making jabs at gays, but the fact that Ross's first reaction to Sandy was "Dude, are you gay?" made my blood boil -- especially if you consider that Ross himself isn't exactly a bastion of masculinity himself.
    • In the matter of Joey saying women can't be "penis models", the point is that he was aware that it was due to biological reasons and not social ones and therefore, the only only job he could name without offending any of the women present. That's supposed to be the joke. As for Ross, the audience is not supposed to be siding with Ross in this matter. Everyone he complains to tells him that he's being an idiot. Although it is worth noting that he claims some of this stems from the way his father raised him.
      • The whole "his father raised him that way" thing actually bothered me. Specifically, the story. Jack doesn't strike me as the type of father who would do that, particularly when we have seen on multiple occasions how Ross and Monica's parents dote over Ross.
        • Agreed, every detail was nonsensical!
    • This troper found this episode particularly disturbing and was not convinced that the audience was intended to side against Ross. In the end Ross's irrational insecurities are validated when he is allowed to dismiss the nanny and none of the other Friends seem particularly irate. I suspect that this episode was intended as a foil to "butch up" the leading male characters in comparison - as they have been increasingly feminized for laughs since the first season. An unfortunate after-effect that the gender destereotyping that those gags provided has been clearly rebutted.
      • As always YMMV but having rewatched this episode recently, this Troper found Sandy WAAAAY over the top when it comes to sensitivity (crying at every single moment). And at least part of the joke is that it is Ross complaining about femininity...hardly the butchest of sitcom characters.
      • Yeah, it was really awkward. Seemed like they got stuck because they couldn't hire Freddy Prince Jr but it still really sucked.

Chandler Fakes It

  • In one episode, Monica and Chandler are trying to conceive their baby, Chandler fakes that thing he has to do to make a baby. How can guys fake ejaculation? How did Monica not notice?
    • This is a really good question. Men can fake orgasm with the help of a condom, but faking ejaculation? I don't think so.
    • Maybe because they (more importantly, she) had never done it without some sort of barrier, so some twitching and thinking of giant spiders or the opposite of sharks was sufficient in giving her a sensation that she could accept would be within the expected... range, type, style, whatever?
    • Well, if you had a full bladder then at the right moment you could... OK, perhaps not worth thinking about. But that is apparently how a lot of the "female ejaculation" video clips are made, because the number of women who actually do that is rather small and a lot less than the apparent demand to see it. Though this method may be more convincing on film, where a sense of smell isn't involved.
    • Men don't always ejaculate when they achieve orgasm. This troper seldom does. While this isn't always believed immediately by others, it's a plausible explanation from a urological standpoint (although obviously something you should get checked out if you're trying to conceive).
    • This Troper's partner is a mono-orgasmic woman, who frequently finishes before him. Suffice to say, faking it as a man is quite possible.
    • This troper will admit to knowing very little about sex, but might that have been just a joke? One not to be taken seriously or thought of longer than it takes you to laugh.
    • As a bloke who has faked it before, i can confirm it is possible to do so and unless the woman actually checks to see if there has been anything left behind she won't notice that all the fluids are hers.

The Shared Universe and Confusion Over Actors

  • Friends shares a universe with Mad About You. I can accept that. But Mad About You shares a universe with Seinfeld (Paul used to live in Jerry's apartment building). And Friends also shares a universe with Caroline in The City, which was mentioned in an episode of Frasier, which is a spinoff of Cheers. So what bugs me is this: what the hell do these people watch?
    • Porn and Spanish-language soap operas.
    • Probably fictional shows like TGS With Tracy Jordan.
      • Until you remember SeinfeldVision, which quite clearly places TGS at the same fictional level as Seinfeld, and therefore Friends. Oh, God...
    • Laverne y Shirley, Road Rules, Family Matters, as well as several movies they named over the span of a decade.
    • But in one episode Joey's watching Cheers...
    • This is actually a bit of a Just Bugs Me for This Troper too. Not only are all the above examples correct, but Bruce Willis has been a recurring guest star, despite Die Hard being mentioned quite a few times during the course of the show. Jeff Goldblum has also appeared as a guest, yet Jurassic Park is also mentioned one more than one occasion.
      • I can't remember the Bruce Willis guest appearance, but if it was just taking a role, I can't see the problem. My (ex) kung fu teacher is a clone of Silvester Stallone, down to the voice tone, and not one of his students think that he is Rambo, too.
        • Bruce Willis plays the hunky father of Ross's student-turned-girlfriend Elizabeth.
        • True, but what bugs This Troper is that the resemblance of Bruce Willis's character to the actor Bruce Willis in particular was never called on. The guys are clearly shown to be big fans of Die Hard, so you would assume they'd at least mention "Hey, he looks an awful lot like Bruce Willis".
          • Bruce Willis is playing a character 'Paul Stevens', so in the Friends Universe he doesn't resemble Bruce Willis at all he resembles Paul. Agreed, to you and me, it looks like Bruce Willis but to the Friends characters he is just Paul. Asking why people don't turn round and point to him saying 'Hey, that guy looks like Bruce Willis' is like asking why people don't turn round to Rachel and say 'Hey, she looks like Jennifer Aniston'. In my mind at least! :)
            • Well, yeah that's a fair enough point, but what I'm saying is that, Die Hard has been mentioned several times in Friends. Bruce Willis starred in Die Hard. Therefore, it would stand to reason that someone noticed that Paul bore a strong resemblance to Bruce Willis. I dunno, it just seems like a bit of a Missed Moment of Funny to me.
      • Ever seen Last Action Hero? Maybe in the Friends universe, Die Hard starred Sylvester Stallone.
      • This is a trope in its own right. Best not to think about it too much.
  • Maybe they watch other networks?

Joey and the Wedding

  • Joey's behavior at Monica and Chandler's wedding. Joey first of all insists that his parents be present (neither Rachel nor Phoebe expected to have their relatives attend), then insists that the whole wedding be shifted to a time which suits his parents, then insists that he be the one to perform the ceremony and then is actually late to the ceremony. Not only is he being a total jerkass, but it goes completely against Joey's supposed nature as the good-natured simple one.
    • His insistence on his parents coming was the product of a typically stupid misunderstanding ("I thought parents where coming- Your parents are coming, Chandler's parents are coming") after which point he's already told his parents they are invited, and it would be too difficult to disabuse them of the idea. Similarly, he's late because of work-commitments (and a very drunk Gary Oldman), not jerkassness. His insistence on performing the ceremony seems more to be about a childlike desire to do something nice for his friends, irrespective of whither or not he's competent for it. Effectively, Joey wasn't being a Jerkass, he was being a typical, post-Flanderisation dumbass.
      • This troper's problem with Joey in this scene is that he officiates so ineptly and mixes up so many of the important parts of the ceremony that this troper wonders if it is can even be considered a legally-binding marriage ceremony.
      • The ceremony itself doesn't really matter as long as he's legally authorized to perform it (he is) and both bride and groom sign off on it (they do). Beyond that, he can wave his dick at them and set her mother's hair on fire if he feels like.
        • I hope to have a wedding that good!

The Father of Rachel's Baby

  • Come on, writers! Rachel is pregnant. She has on/off history with Ross. Yet nobody ever considers him a possible candidate for the father?!
    • Even worse, listen to the writers talk sometimes, like in the DVD commentaries. They thought the "who's the father" thing was a great plot point that would leave the fans wondering??
      • Phoebe does, in the episode after Monica and Chandler get married she asks Rachel outright if it's him but Rachel denies it. Having said that, you do wonder why no one else mentioned it or why Phoebe dropped it so suddenly.
        • "Is it Tag? OH! Is it ROSS?! It's Ross!" to which Rachel replies that she doesn't want to tell anyone until she's told the father.
      • I don't think I want to. It was a big enough Idiot Ball being passed around already.

Monica Can't Remember Allergies?

  • In one episode Ross reminds Monica that he has an allergy to limes. Why didn't Monica warn him, or Ross check with her about what he was putting in his mouth? Then again, this troper's heard a friend-of a-friend story where a girl was on a date and ordered a walnut brownie, then was hysterically shouting "OMG does this have NUTS in it?!"
    • Monica forgot. She rattles off a list of his allergies, but since there are so many, it's not entirely unreasonable that one should slip her mind. And Ross doesn't ask because he assumed she remembered.
    • For an ordinary person, absent-mindedness is a valid excuse. For Monica, it is not. First, he's her brother, she should have all allergies memorized and instantly accessible. Second, she's a chef who often cooks for her friends, the allergies and religious dietary laws (and Phoebe's particular brand of vegetarianism) of the six of them should be written down and stuck in a cookbook or recipe box for instant access.
      • Oh my... Real Life to tropers: it happens. Sure, it should not happen, but I know of mothers that lapses on their children's allergies. Either that, or Monica was trying to kill him.
    • You've remembered it wrong. Ross is allergic to kiwi, and he thought he was eating Key Lime Pie, but it was actually Kiwi Lime Pie.

The Writer's Addiction to Ross and Rachel

  • Listening to the commentaries on the DVDs, it bugs me as to how much the writers fawn over Ross and Rachel the entire time, and talk about how "everyone" wanted them together etc.. Newsflash, not everyone cared for this, some found it pretty "meh" to begin with, which just got more and more contrived and boring every time they went back to the well and revisited this, long after it's creative life had ended.
    • Hell, they even go on about the Joey/Rachel coupling as though it is the greatest idea they had on the show.
    • This troper found it (kind of) refreshing after eight seasons of Ross/Rachel crap.
      • I didn't have a problem with it when it was Joey having an unrequited crush, it was what came after. Suddenly Rachel decided, completely unbelievably, that she actually really likes Joey too, only at the point Joey is with Charlie, so Rachel has to hide her feelings and be annoyed with it, pretend to be nice to the other woman but secretly not like her. Hey we're back to the Ross/Julie/Rachel thing from about seven or eight seasons ago. After that you had Rachel agreeing to marry Joey when she thought he had just proposed to her, despite the fact she had just had Ross's baby. The entire relationship didn't make any sense, and worse, was simply not funny, which is death for a sitcom. and to top it off, when they broke up, they wondered why Monica and Chandler could do it and they couldn't, and decided it was because they were better friends. No, Monica and Chandler managed it because they were best friends who fell in love, not to friends who were full of lust. That line really pissed me off. and yet, when you listen to the writers, they talk about how events they wrote seasons earlier actually played a good attempt to foreshadow the relationship, despite the fact they didn't, and keep referring to it in a tone that makes them sound like they think it is the best idea they ever had.
          • This troper would like to point out that Rachel started liking Joey an episode before Charlie came on the scene. Rachel also hadn't shown any feelings past lust for Ross since Season 5, and (aside from a short time in Season 6, during which he *lied about getting the annulment Rachel wanted*) Ross seemed to feel the same way toward her. Rachel also suddenly and completely unbelievably, and conveniently decided that she had feelings for Ross in the Season 1, 3, 4, and 10 finales. They both said they did not love each other anymore in Season 8, aside from the finale (shocker) they looked like they meant it. While Joey and Rachel's story wasn't as novel as Ross and Rachel's, this troper thinks Rachel and Joey were far more compatible together as friends and romantic partners. Ross and Rachel made each other miserable more than happy, they had *nothing* in common, and Ross turned into a controlling, jealous jerk around Rachel. Say what you will about Joey and Rachel, but Joey never grabbed Rachel's shoes and threw them while yelling at her and scaring her, and Rachel never gave up a job in Paris for Joey.
    • While this troper stopped caring about Ross and Rachel long before the end the writers were constantly pestered by the people around them regarding Ross and Rachel. Ross and Rachel wasn't even supposed to be an actual thing but it was so popular, right from the pilot, that it took over and is a huge part of what made Friends a success early on. Now, as always, the writers are a little disconnected from reality in regards to their show, they see the show solely in terms of intent and humor, while the fans see the show through what actually comes across and continuity. Things like 'We were on a break!", Phoebe's meanness (especially to Chandler), making Ross freak out, etc. were all seen as hilarious to the writers while many of the fans saw them as harmful to the likability of the characters. They even say in the commentaries at one time that when they're in doubt of what to do they can always play the Ross and Rachel card for any plot, unaware that the shine was fading on the ship as they hadn't even been a couple in years and even the characters themselves went on and on about how miserable they made each other.

Jamie and Fran at Central Perk

  • Jamie and Fran (from Mad About You) enter Central Perk and see Phoebe, who they assume to be Ursula. They proceed to tell a confused Phoebs their order.
    • 1. Jamie saw Ursula at Rick's last night. She has no reason to conclude that Ursula is working a second job at Central Perk. And for that matter, is Ursula not entitled to enjoy a day off at a coffeehouse?
    • 2. Phoebe is not wearing an apron, carrying a tray, or doing anything that indicates that she is a waitress.
    • 3. At Central Perk (and I daresay a lot of other restaurants) you don't shanghai a waitress in motion and make an order. This is rude. You go to the counter or wait to be seated.
      • Agreed on all points. This is one of many joke set-ups that fell flat because the logic was screwy.
      • I agree, too. When I saw that scene, I kept thinking ... It was perfectly understandable that they mistook Phoebe for Ursula, but what in the world would make them think that she was working there? It made no sense at all.
    • Not to mention, read Not Always Right sometime. People are absolutely HORRIBLE to wait staff. There are multiple stories of a person who is simply wearing khakis who is accosted by someone demanding service and no amount of "I'm sorry, I don't work here" will deter them. Furthermore, in one particular story that made my blood boil was a waiter had a seizure in the middle of work, and when he came to, all he could hear was a customer screaming about how he was faking to get a better tip and demanding compensation for traumatizing his wife. Some people treat waiters, cashiers, and the like as less than human in many places.

A House in the Fifties

  • Chandler said he and Monica wanted their children to grow up in the suburbs, with a big yard and swing sets and ice cream trucks. Ross snapped back that what they wanted was "a house in the 50's". Um, I grew up in the 90's with all those things. All my college friends (who grew up in different areas than I did) had those things in childhood. My parents, who grew up in the 60's, had those things.
    • What Ross was suggesting that the house they wanted was the romanticized home of the traditional American Dream, a notion typically associated with the Nostalgia Goggles-induced image of a semi-mythological 1950s middle-class suburban idyll. He wasn't suggesting that the specific physical quantities described were impossible, but that the broader cultural and social context they connote was idealized unrealistic.

Charles Bing

  • Chandler's Dad. Is Kathleen Turner playing a man who dresses as a woman, or a man who has surgically become a woman? Dialog would seem to suggest the former; "he is the MAN in the black dress" but the casting choice would imply the later.
    • It could be he's simply very good at being a cross-dresser. This troper has seen several men dressed as women who he could swear were actual women.
    • The show is tagged as an "All Male Burlesque" which seems to support the pre-op transsexual hypothesis. This troper was very irate at the confusion the show displayed between a transvestite (crossdresser), a drag queen (exaggerated transvestite performer), a transgender person, and a transsexual person.

The Barcaloungers

  • Joey has just purchased two Barcaloungers. Chandler asks which one is his, clearly willing to defer to Joey, the guy who bought them in the first place. Joey excitedly says that Chandler can choose. When he attempts to sit in one, Joey says "Not that one." What in the heck? Chandler clearly had no preference between the two, so just say which one is yours and which is his!
    • Uhh people do this in real life as well to be funny it's called a joke.
    • Some joke. Joey's tone obviously changed from jocularity to disapproval. Watch:

 Chandler (curious): So, uh, which one is mine?

Joey (hyped up, happy): Whichever one you want, man. (Starts hitting Chan in a friendly way) Whichever one you want! (Chandler moves toward a chair. Point-of-fact tone) Not that one.

    • Because sometimes Joey is kinda a Man Child. Kids do this all the time, claim things for themselves. He was just trying to be humble at first and the kid in him clicked and he had to call dibs.

Monica's New Shoes

  • Idiot Plot to the max: Monica has new boots. She claims they're comfortable, and that they go with everything and that she'll wear them all the time. Chandler insists she wear them everywhere. Why didn't Monica just refuse once in a while? This troper has shoes that go with the majority of her outfits, but she wears other clothes. It's not irrational to want to wear some other shoes once in a while.
    • Chandler was doing it to be a prick. Those boots cost more than a months rent (although considering she pays very little for rent...), Chandler was making her wear them to prove a point.
    • But one of Monica's justifications for spending so much money on the boots, was that they went with everything. The party was very soon after buying the new boots, and when Chandler suggests she wear them, Monica replies that they don't go with her dress. Chandler simply said he thought Monica had said they went with everything, so why didn't she want to wear her new boots, which go with everything, to this party. Monica didn't want to let on that the boots she had spent so much money on, and claimed were great, were hurting her feet so much. It's not like this party was months later, so the suggestion of it not being irrational to want to wear something else once in a while is a bit out of place.

The Marketability of "Smelly Cat"

  • Who in their right mind would think that 'Smelly Cat' was even a remotely good song? Good enough to, get this, make a multi-thousand dollar video for someone who wasn't even campaigning for herself! This stupidity detracted from the very funny Joey-Chandler no longer roommates arc.
    • Shall I bring up some of the atrocities that are on the radio these days?
    • It was a shoo-in for a cat litter marketing campaign.
      • No, the cat litter thing occurs in another episode.

Monica's "Boob Job"

  • So Chandler thinks Monica wants a boob job, and isn't subtle about his feelings. Monica automatically assumes Chandler's repetition of "don't get any bigger" and "you're perfect the way you are" are his hints that he doesn't want her body to change during the pregnancy they're trying to achieve. What kind of moron does she take him for? Does she really think her husband actually wants her to get pregnant but not change? I mean, I know Monica has babies on the brain, but damn, she was holding the idiot ball in that part of the episode.
    • Agreed, and then, when she starts saying that her hands and ass will start getting bigger, why does Chandler still think they are talking about surgery? I can understand when she is talking about her boobs getting bigger but her ass? Does Chandler really think that there is such a thing as 'cosmetic hand enlargening surgery'??
      • Chandler's very first reaction to being told that her hands and feet would get bigger is "They do that?" Indicating that he didn't think such a concept existed. Furthermore, why would he assume they weren't talking about surgery? What hint was there about pregnancy? I'm a regular guy and I didn't know women's hands enlarge during pregnancy, so why would Chandler be any different?
    • She assumes he's having second thoughts about trying to conceive.
    • Chandler has long been irrational, conflicted and neurotic; see his feelings over trying to commit to a real relationship with Janice for fear of being alone for the rest of his life earlier in the season. When his voice gets high and squeaky, we really can't be expected to run anything he says through the rationality filter.

Catwoman Versus Supergirl

  • In the episode where they had a Halloween party and every dressed up, Monica is Catwoman and Phoebe Supergirl. When Monica asks Joey on who is stronger, as he reads comics, he says Catwoman is. WTF?? Supergirl would kick Catwoman's ass.
  • The debate was probably more about which character is hotter.
    • At least in Joey's mind it was.

The So-Called Fame of Ross and Rachel

  • Ross and Rachel were only ever together as a couple in the second half of season two and the first half of season three. That's altogether one season, out of ten. How the hell are they "the most famous couple in recent television history"? because of the treatment of the exaggeratedly sensitive male character.
    • You need to factor in the "will they or won't they periods prior to and following, including Ross's wedding to Emily and Emma. They were arguably more of a focus in the show during those periods than when they were actually together and relatively happy.

Chandler Kisses Joey's Sister

  • Was anyone else insanely irritated by the early season episode where Chandler kisses Joey's sister Mary Angela then gets himself punched trying to break up with her because he can't tell which one she is out of Joey's sisters when forced to apologize to her directly? I can understand that the morning after he kissed her he wouldn't remember which one she was because he was drunk but really - he had been to her house and she had introduced herself to him then 30 seconds later he suddenly can't remember who she is? Only a small thing but it really bugged this troper.
    • Actually, when Mary Angela re-introduced herself, she did it after catching Chandler making out with Mary Therese (who he thought was Mary Angela at the time.) Chandler had his back to her the whole time (probably out of a mix of shame and Oh Crap) and just kept muttering the line "Oh, it's so bad." to himself. When he finally does turn around, EVERYONE is in the room and he's in the same predicament he was in the whole episode. Cue punch.

Avoiding Joey's Stalker

  • In the Second Season Episode where Joey and Chandler are trying to escape Joey's stalker, they can't escape to the street because the stalker is on her way up and they panic and retreat back to their apartment as their last hope, do they not think to go up the stairs to the floor or two above them?
    • Those stairs led to the roof, which was presumably locked. (The creators made a point of making the large apartments six-story walkups, which are among the cheapest in Manhattan as only buildings larger than six stories are required to have elevators.) They might have been able to hide in the stairwell, but the noise they made might also have tipped off the stalker. Hiding in the apartment was just as viable as running into another dead end. Maybe even moreso, as they had weapons in the apartment.
    • What this troper wants to know is, why did they open the door at all?
      • Agree. And how did the stalker find Joey's appartment if she thinks his name is Drake Ramoray?
      • The stairs can't lead to the roof as it was mentioned in an episode that there is someone (who is very charming and slept with Phoebe) living above Monica and Rachel and as Chandler and Joey live on the same floor as Monica and Rachel there must be a floor above their floor that they could skulk about on.

Breaking the Foosball Table

  • Why did Chandler and Joey think they needed to break the Foosball table, possibly causing dangerous backlash to Chick II and Duck II, instead of trying to pry the pieces apart where they were glued, possibly causing (less-)dangerous backlash to Chick II and Duck II? I know why Monica wanted to, but why did they let her smash the individual components instead of prying it apart at the seams themselves, or asking her to do so?
    • Agreed, especially after Joey built an entire entertainment unit by hand, clearly demonstrating his ability to work a screwdriver.

Supposably and Supposedly

  • What was with the supposable/supposably joke? Is "supposably" not a real, context-sensitive word, as the spellchecker seems to think? I was always under the impression that it meant "it could hypothetically be supposed", as opposed to "supposedly" which means "it has been supposed".
    • The joke is that while they are both legitimate words, the word "supposably" is often mistakenly used in sentences where "supposedly" is the correct word in context.

The One That Could Have Been

  • Ross's subplot in The One That Could Have Been makes absolutely no sense. In the opening scene he hypothesizes, "what if I hadn't gotten divorced", so in the alternate reality he's still married -- and Carol is still a lesbian. So they're pretty much at the same place, and their marriage still breaks up for the same reason. I mean, if you're gonna hypothesize, wouldn't you go for "what if Carol hadn't been a lesbian"? It would've been much more interesting to see another way their marriage could have failed.
    • There's a lot of evidence that Ross believes he could have worked over the marriage problems despite Carol being a lesbian (I recall one episode where he did try to get back together with her). Ross clearly is deeply affected by the stigma of his multiple divorces and wants to erase the first one in his memory. This troper saw the episodes as a sort of 'It's a Wonderful Life' for Ross saying that it would have never have worked, no matter what Ross did. (It's notable that for all the other Friends, the status quo eventually reasserts itself, Monica and Chandler still end up together, Phoebe doesn't keep her job at the Stock Exchange etc.)

Monica Doesn't Take Criticism Well

  • In the season 8 episode The One With The Cooking Class, Monica is bummed that her restaurant got an awful review in the paper. None of the characters seem to remember that four years earlier, Monica herself had written an equally scathing review of that restaurant ("Will I go back to Alessandro's? Sure. But I'll need to order two plates of food: one for me, and one for the guy pointing the gun at my head.") -- that's how she became the chef there. A great moment of irony, missed.
    • Maybe because Monica took the review personally since it was about her cooking, whereas the one she wrote was about an entirely different person from herself?

Lack of Sympathy for Ross's Second Divorce

  • This troper was always uncomfortable with how Ross's 5th-season divorce and subsequent emotional crisis were played for laughs. With a few momentary exceptions - one scene, really, immediately after he and Emily decide to break up - Ross gets zero sympathy or support from the people who are supposed to be his best friends. It's hard to laugh in a later episode when his divorce attorney suggests therapy. Not such a bad idea for a guy who's suffered through a year-long undiagnosed mental illness. This is probably the clearest sign that marked Season Five as the show's turning point, and the beginning of its descent into Flanderization.
    • Agreed. Ross can be whiny at times (okay a lot) but the breakup must have been devastating for him. Not to mention Emily was being totally unreasonable and he had just spent the last who-knows-how-long running himself ragged for her.
      • Also agreed. Especially considering that, in the majority of the divorces, Ross wasn't at fault. He and Carol divorced because she found out that she was a lesbian. Not his fault. While he did get the ball rolling with what caused Emily and him to divorce, it seemed clear (to This Troper, anyway) that it would have eventually happened anyway. And, of course, the big one: his marriage and subsequent divorce with Rachel. They were both drunk, and Rachel was the one who suggested it. Not his fault.
        • I think Ross' explanation of what happened is actually perfectly accurate: "Third divorce: they shouldn't let you get married when you're that drunk and have writing on your face. Nevada's fault."
    • It's a sitcom. EVERYTHING is played for laughs. There's an episode where Nana dies twice. There's a lot of drama shows out there that take things seriously.
      • And yet, Rachel got a sympathy scene (with Monica and Phoebe holding her and soft music playing) when she was sad at Ross marrying Emily, because Rachel had thought that she and Ross might get back together at some point in the future. Just because this is a comedy doesn't mean that can't show some sensitivity and tenderness when it's called for, and there should at least have been some sort of sympathy for Ross after his divorce.
    • For most of Season 5, some fans thought the writers were building up to Ross going to either a mental hospital (played for laughs on others sitcoms) or a psychiatrist. There was one mention of an anger management class, and that was it. They Wasted a Perfectly Good Plot.

Joey's Big Break

  • The One with Joey's Big Break. So Chandler accidentally lets slip that he doesn't think the film will be Joey's big break, and Joey gets upset. Fine. But what bugs this troper is why is Chandler automatically seen as being in the wrong, even by himself? Do the other friends really think that letting Joey travel all the way to Las Vegas to take part in an obviously dodgy venture (where he doesn't even get paid a salary) is preferable to hurting his feelings?
    • Agreed. The truth is always better than a lie, what bugged me the most about all this is the movie actually sounded really good!! Everyone reacted like it was a terrible movie but it sounded quite intriguing to me!
      • It's a very cliched story, and it's been done and overdone in lots of works to date. Poltergeist: The Legacy is one I can remember for certain, but I know there's been more. BTW, I agree with OP's point.
      • "And we fall in love, in like, a day". A really good movie now? Really? Also somewhat odd that they drive out to east jesus nowhere for a film which sounds as though it is set in an urban area. At least somewhere with a Subway.

Phoebe and Bikes

  • Why does everyone consider it such a big shock that Phoebe can't ride a bike? She's already revealed that she never had a bike so why would they assume she knew how to ride one? It's not like learning to drive where people get a license then save up for a car so people who don't have a car might reasonably be expected to know how to drive but people who have never owned a bike wouldn't be expected to know how to ride one.
    • What's more, is that Ross apparently decides after hearing about two incidents of Phoebe walking her bike, that she can't possibly know how to ride it. And then undoes his completely sweet act by acting like a condescending prat about whether she does know how to ride a bike.
    • Because being able to ride a bicycle is one of those basic things that everyone is expected to be able to do in the Western World, or the Hollywood version of it (in some contexts, it's right up there with tying your shoes, your first kiss, etc.) It would be similar to Phoebe saying she never had a pet.[1]
    • People often learn how to ride a bike in childhood. It's not a big deal that she didn't know how, it's just sad because Phoebe had such a crappy childhood and Ross wants to give her a piece of that.

Joey Using "Woman!"

  • English is not my first language so I may very well be wrong here, but it always bothers me when Joey addresses a female character as "woman". I was taught it's demeaning and even offensive, but the others don't seem to mind.
    • No, I know what you mean. "Woman" used in the context of, for example, "Come on, woman!" is a marginal one. Whether or not it is offensive depends very much on the speakers tone of voice. I can't recall any instance where Joey said it in a way designed to cause offense but, like you said, cultural differences between America and wherever you're from (sorry, couldn't think of a less rude way of saying that!) mean that something that the New York-living characters don't get offended by could be construed as offensive to other people.
    • Like so many offensive things, it depends on the context. It's so rare to hear it now, that it's often funny when it is heard. I have no memory of any truly offensive use of it in Friends.

Chandler and Monica's Infertility

  • Chandler and Monica find out they can't have children. The doctor says that there are problems on both sides making their problems 50/50 but from this point on it is always treated as solely Chandler's fault. A small thing but it irritated this troper that Chandler gets the blame all the time when there is nothing he could have done.
    • I think it's more that Chandler's contribution to the problem is more easily bypassed. The reason they can't have kids seems to be that both sides have issues, meaning that if either side didn't, it'd be possible. Hence the looking for a sperm donor (inexpensive and easy) instead of a surrogate (expensive and difficult).
    • But with regards to the surrogacy, Chandler states that "Monica has dreamed of pregnancy and it'd be too difficult for her to watch someone else carry a child". Yet they have no problem adopting and spending a lot of time with the pregnant Erica. Also they decide against sperm donation because she wants Chandler's baby. Then they choose adoption, a method which provides a child without either side's genetic material.
      • And, pardon me if I am getting confused here I am not too knowledgeable on IVF etc, Chandler is basically fertile but his sperm don't move around so therefore he can't naturally have children as his sperm would never swim for the egg but presumably IVF would remove that barrier? So essentially the problem is with Monica as she has an 'inhospitable environment' ie she couldn't carry a child to term but still the the show treats it as Chandlers problem with all the "It kills me I can't give her a child" and the sperm donor plot.
    • It was NEVER made out to be Chandler's fault. After the discovery they were given options and went through them. A surrogate was rejected because it'd be too hard to watch another woman carry her husband's baby, which she'd always dreamed of doing. Chandler didn't want to use a sperm donor but was willing to do so to allow Monica her dream of carrying their child. When Monica rejects this she decides that if her child can't be both of their's than they might as well just adopt a baby that doesn't have a home. Monica wanted them to be on equal footing, either the baby is genetically both of their's or it's neither of their's.

Mrs. Greene at Carol and Susan's Wedding

  • Why is Rachel's mother going to her daughter's friend's ex-wife's wedding?
    • She is Rachel's +1? What about the end of Season 2 though, why is MONICA at Barry and Mindy's wedding?
      • I thought she was Richard's +1? Richard being a friend of one (or both?) of the families and was invited.

Phoebe's Vegetarianism

  • Phoebe's vegetarianism is well-known among her friends, and while a couple of times she has admitted to eating meat (she craves meat during pregnancy, and it is revealed that she was so upset after her husband left her that she ate a cheeseburger), this has been her own decision to do so. In the first season, Monica tells Phoebe that the "vegetarian pâté" she made for her was actually made from goose meat. This troper is not a vegetarian, but I would never force a vegetarian friend to unknowingly eat meat. I acknowledge that vegetarian cooking can be more challenging to please both vegetarians and meat-eaters, but friends are normally considerate of one another in these cases. How could Monica do this and laugh about it?!
    • She was drunk. Tiki Death Punch, remember?
      • She was drunk when she told Phoebe about it some time later but she wasn't when she actually made the dish. It would have been better if she was......
    • To be honest, the show is pretty dickish about vegetarianism in general- it's consistently treated as an eccentric New Age quirk, rather than a legitimate lifestyle choice, something which is hardly helped by the fact that Phoebe can be somewhat irrational about it (for example, her conviction that wearing an unpaid-for second-hand fur coat constituted a breach of vegetarian ethics).
      • To be fair, I don't think the not wearing a fur coat thing was portrayed as being connected to her vegetarianism per se, just as a part of her whole loving animals/hating cruelty/giving flowers funerals deal.
    • Monica has always held the belief that her desires trump Phoebe's vegetarianism. Just check out Phoebe's wedding where she changed dishes that were supposed to vegetarian to ones that weren't without Phoebe's approval.
    • That was a really horrid thing to do. I'm a vegetarian and it would take me ages to forgive someone who did that. Then again, didn't they also sleep with each other's boyfriends really soon after they broke up and stuff like that?

The One With The Flashback

  • The episode starts of with Janice asking which of the friends have slept with which of each other. Ross responds (with Rachel sitting on his lap no less) "The answer there would be none of us." Why does he not say something more like "None of us, except obviously Rachel and I"?
    • Because Janice knows the two are together, so Ross would immediately assume that she meant "who, apart from Ross and Rachel, have slept together?"
    • Ross just missed the obvious. It was just a set up so Rachel could make her "If that doesn't change I'm dumping you for someone who puts out" joke.
    • Or it could just be that they haven't had sex yet. Aren't they early in their relationship at that point?
    • No. Ross and Rachel had sex at the museum on their second date. Furthermore, these people (except Joey) seem to go by the third date rule more or less. I'm just going to go by the "Janice didn't mean Ross and Rachel when asking the question, because they're currently in a relationship and she already knows" theory.
      • There is a deleted line from that scene - right after Ross says "None of us." Rachel jokes "Yeah, and if you don't start putting out, we're over." I'm guessing they cut it for time reasons.

Ross vs Chandler

  • Okay, so, this comes under the "the writers can't keep anything straight" umbrella, but in "The One With Monica and Chandler's Wedding (Part 1)", everybody laughs at Ross because he warns Chandler not to hurt Monica or he will kick Chandler's ass (which in and of itself is quite mean, as all Ross was doing was trying to look out for his little sister). This clearly means that nobody thinks that Ross could do such a thing. However, in "The One With The Halloween Party", Chandler is made fun of because nobody thinks he can beat up Ross. So, which is it, writers? All I'm asking is for a little consistency.
    • While I agree with you re the lack of consistency in this particular instance I'm not sure your complaint is justified. As I recall, he was made fun of initially for being dressed as a pink bunny then after he purposely let Ross beat him at armwrestling there may have been some teasing but I dont think there was any prior to that.
    • OP: No, I specifically remember there being an argument as to whether or not Chandler could beat Ross (they were arguing it because it was the same episode that Monica wanted to know who would win: Supergirl or Catwoman, then if she could beat Phoebe, and it snowballed from there, to the point where the question of Chandler vs Ross came up, and it was treated like Ross could beat Chandler hands-down, yet in The One With Monica and Chandler's Wedding (Part 1), everyone laughed at the idea of Ross beating up Chandler.
    • Ross was also established as "surprisingly strong" when Chandler tried to stop him from interfering in Rachel and Danny's date. It seems to me that Ross could beat up Chandler if he wanted to, but Ross is such a goofy person that nobody would take his threat to "kick your ass" seriously.
    • Perhaps the laughter was not because Ross would be a weaker opponent of the two, but because it would be completely unnecessary. Monica (about whom has been pointed out is 'freakishly strong') would not need someone to look out after her (younger sister or not) because she is perfectly capable of looking out for herself. Of the two Geller siblings, in a fight, personally my money would be on Monica (strong, ruthless, and having a bit of an inferiority complex).

Ross hates ice cream

  • A minor thing that always bugged me was that in the episode where Phoebe keeps a dog in Monica and Chandler's apartment we learn that Ross hates ice cream. Yet, earlier in the series when he's dating his (former) student Elizabeth they are seen walking down the street and he's eating ice cream. Of course he could have developed this hatred of ice cream in between but it still always bugged me.
    • He was also shown sharing an ice cream with Marcel in an even earlier episode.
      • Could've been frozen yoghurt?

Fat Monica

  • So, the teenage Monica lost about half of her weight within only one year and became excessively thin. Is this physically possible? Can you remain healthy while doing something so absurd? Did she have an eating disorder? And if so, how comes there were no side effects? I actually found this plot point a bit offensive towards people who actually try to lose weight and can't: dieting is not that easy in real life.
    • Well, there's a reason why the top WMG for Friends is that Monica had an eating disorder. And if you're sort of looking for that interpretation, there is the fact that Monica found it difficult to conceive later in life, which is not unheard of as a side effect. I doubt it was intentional, but that's there.
    • Actually, this troper knows a guy that lost three quarters of his weight during only 9 months. He lost all that weight by changing to a more healthy diet and doing sport everyday. The thing that bugs about Monica's lost of weight is that, even though it's possible to loose that much weight in only one year, she couldn't have that body type, eating disorder or not.
    • It's perfectly plausible. The fatter you are, the easier it is to lose large amounts of body fat at the start of your diet. This troper was 200lbs and consistently lost 5-7lbs a week for the first month or so, compared to the standard 2 recommended for people who are merely slightly overweight. Monica was a lot fatter than 200lbs, so it makes sense that she could lose a lot more in the initial stages.

Joey and Phoebe

  • In the first season, they planted seeds for a Joey/Phoebe pairing with the Joey/Ursula stuff. Later, once the show had the Ross/Rachel and Chandler/Monica couplings, it seemed like a forgone conclusion that eventually Joey and Phoebe would get together, especially since they were the other's opposite sex counterpart, but it never happened. I always found that weirdly annoying for some reason even though I don't really care about who's shipped with who on TV shows. Did the writers decide it was too contrived to pair up the remaining main characters once they put Chandler and Monica together?
    • Pretty much. Having all the friends hook up kind of defeats the premise of the show. But even the actors liked to think Phoebe and Joey had a little something going on behind everyone's backs when they were both single.
    • Yeah, it probably would have been too cheesy to hook up the remaining two. However, I would have liked to see Joey/Phoebe together over Chandler/Monica. Chandler was my favorite character and as their relationship progressed, I seemed to like him less.
    • I have to agree that it probably would have struck a false note with the audience for all of the characters to pair up. That said, I would have really liked to see Joey and Phoebe together. Matt Leblanc and Lisa Kudrow had great chemistry together, I thought, and I actually liked that pairing much better than any of the others ... Although, to be fair, you have to consider this : Can you imagine the loopy children these two would have?
      • Maybe it would just have been too easy. I mean, in addition to pairing up EVERYONE, what made Chandler and Monica a great couple to watch was the fact no one thought of it until we saw it happen (ok, some people probably thought of it) but Joey and Phoebe were way too similar. They did have lovely chemistry though, agreed.

Rachel's Trifle Recipe Screw-up

  • In one of this troper's favourite episodes, The One Where Ross Got High, Rachel attempts to make an English trifle unsupervised, but gets the recipe mixed up with a shepherd's pie recipe because the pages of the magazine containing the recipe get stuck together. She ends up making something that's half an English trifle, half a shepherd’s pie. Hilarity Ensues. While obviously this joke setup wouldn't work with a regular printed recipe book (normally organized into chapters, with both recipes in separate sections so that even a stuck page couldn't result in this), but don't food magazines contain plenty of gratuitous photos? Even if the pages stuck together, there'd be a huge illustration of what the end result of the trifle should look like, so how does she still not get it right, even with a photo there? And where does she get the sautéed ground beef (with peas and onions) from? Did Monica just happen to have that especially un-Thanksgivingy dish cooking on the side, or was Rachel able to prepare this despite not knowing how to make the relatively simple dessert (and having previously been shown to have little aptitude in the kitchen) and without Monica noticing?
    • Not only that but if the pages were stuck together ("Chandler!") and a trifle recipe led onto a shepherds pie recipe then surely she would have made half a trifle then half a shepherds pie rather then (as she did in the show) one third of a trifle, one third of a shepherds pie then one third of a trifle again? Because while I can suspend my disbelief enough to believe that a trifle and a shepherds pie would be right next to each other in a recipe book I refuse to believe that a recipe book would contain a recipe for a trifle, then a shepherds pie and then randomly tell the reader to chuck some custard and ladyfingers on top of the shepherds pie.
      • Maybe Rachel just knew a trifle was meant to have three layers, so you amended her plan. She did the lower layer of trifle from the first page, flipped to the shepherds pie and then wondered why the recipe didn't tell her to put custard on top and did it anyway.
        • It's still a pretty blatant example of an Idiot Ball plot - why on earth does Rachel make such an unlikely dish without even questioning it, or asking Monica about it? Why doesn't simple common sense tell her how awful it would taste?
          • A lot of recipes involve weird combinations of flavours.
    • Not arguing that it's an incredibly dumb thing to do, but cooking magazines don't contain photos of every recipe, and often even if there is a picture it isn't on the same page as the recipe. Sometimes there most of the magazine will be between the picture and the actual recipe, if the recipes are all collected in plain pages at the end of the magazine and the earlier section is all articles about the chefs who provided them.
    • Are we completely sure it was a professional cookbook? Maybe it was a collection of recipe's Monica had collected over time (she is a chef, and probably built up a collection?) As far as the trifle-shepherd's pie-trifle sequence, maybe it isn't that it went back to the first recipe, maybe Monica had two trifle recipes and the shepherd's pie recipe had been tucked away between the two, so she went from First Trifle/Shepherd's Pie/Second Trifle. It's not a very Monica thing to do, but maybe someone else had borrowed a recipe to cook for a date/boss/event, and just tucked the recipe back in the book between the trifles while Monica wasn't working.
      • No, the writers just didn't care (enough). They even say so on the commentary, pretty much. They knew it was a stretch "but it was just too funny" that they just didn't bother and hoped the audience wouldn't think about it too much.

Monica's Giant Turkey

  • From a different Thanksgiving episode, one of the subplots involved Monica not wanting to go through the effort of making a Turkey that year (since Phoebe was vegan, Rachel recently had Emma and poultry made her queasy, Chandler doesn't eat Thanksgiving food, and Brad Pitt's character was still dieting, only three of seven people would have eaten it.) Joey whines that it's not Thanksgiving without turkey, and promises to eat the whole thing to avoid leftovers if she makes it. This leads to Joey spending the whole time trying to systematically eat an entire giant turkey all by himself. However, not every Thanksgiving turkey is big enough to require a saddle to bring it home. In any supermarket, the size of turkey's ranges from anywhere between 10 pounds to over 25. Additionally, they sell turkey breasts by themselves for situations like this. Couldn't she have gotten one of these smaller options (which usually are easier and faster to cook, mind) instead of forcing poor Joey to try and swallow and entire pterodactyl by himself?

Ross and Phoebe's Mother the Cat

Why in God's name does everyone act like Ross is in the wrong when he says that that cat isn't really Phoebe's mom and that she should give it back to its owner? Besides that being insane and grounds for needing some serious psychiatric help, there's a little girl who owned that cat. Not only is Phoebe basically stealing the cat from that girl but, by going along with her delusions the gang is just encouraging her! Is this just another "the writers hate Ross" thing? Either way, it's incredibly stupid to portray him as anything but in the right in this case.

  • I agree completely. Everyone was acting as if Ross was being completely insensitive to Pheobe, when really it's how Ross puts it: "Little girl misses her cat, crazy lady thinks cat is her mom". I feel bad for Ross. The writers are always so mean to him.
  • Actually, they do say Ross is right. Phoebe says that he should support he about thinking that this cat is her mom, not that she shouldn't give it back. None of the other friends believe that it's Phoebe's mom, either. The only one who says that they do is Rachel and that's because they're fighting.
  • This strange plot was proposed by a writer whose own mother had recently died. Word of God confirms that this script would not normally have been greenlit, but no one felt comfortable vetoing it, including with it the part where Ross tries to point out the obvious, only to be admonished by the others, who are for some reason putting Phoebe's apparent reunion with her dead mother over the [unseen] little girl who has lost her cat and is trying to find it. In a way, I guess the dynamic in the writers' room must have mirrored the show's characters in that particular scene, knowing that the audience would react unfavorably to the episode but sympathetically sparing the feelings of a recently bereaved writer.
    • I agree with the other trooper, the problem was Ross always taking his scientific views too far, something he and Pheobe have fought about before (most of the time Pheobe just messing with him like not believing in evolution) Her mother died, she was hurt, she tried in a weird psychological way to deal with her feelings, in the end all Pheobe wanted was to say good bye to her mom like she did through the cat, Ross's himself barely cared about the whole little girl thing, he cared more about the that's nonsense and not scientifically possible so you should all listen and do what I tell you on this matter. I'm an atheist and yet I always clearly understood how Ross was a douche in those moments.
      • Except that Phoebe didn't "just want to say goodbye". She wanted to keep the cat forever. It was actually her refusing to cope.
  • Except Phoebe made it clear she had no intention of giving the cat back because she thought it was her mother. Remember her even claiming the cat was happier with her? I do. Not only was she insistent that a cat was her mom, but also that this somehow justified her stealing it from the kid in question. So really, Ross was completely in the right here.
    • I agree, and it got even worse than that. The part that made NO sense at all was that after resolving her fight with Ross, Phoebe did a complete 180-degree turn and said she would return the cat. What happened to respecting her mother's wish to be with her? What happened to her mother being happy with her? Why the sudden and complete change of heart? Was it because Rachel said, "What about the little girl?" But that doesn't make sense. Phoebe already knew about the little girl when she stated her intention to keep the cat, so why would Rachel asking that make her change her mind? The episode gives no explanation at all for Phoebe suddenly and completely reversing herself, and of course, nobody seems to notice that if she had simply agreed to do that to begin with, then her fight with Ross would never have happened at all.
  • When Phoebe told Ross off for "not being supportive" ... I would say she was being unfair, but the problem wasn't her. It was this unbelievably messed up script. Okay, Ross didn't believe the cat was Phoebe's mother, but if he had any desire to make that an issue, then why did he remain totally silent on it (as long as Phoebe was present) throughout most of the episode? Even when he showed Phoebe the "missing cat" sign, Ross only told her that the cat belonged to a little girl. He never said anything about the cat not being Phoebe's mother. At that point, if Phoebe had simply agreed to return the cat, then the issue of whether it was her mother or not would never even have come up. It seems pretty obvious to me that Ross was supportive of Phoebe, and was willing to humor her strange beliefs, as long as she wasn't hurting anybody. He only drew the line at Phoebe keeping the cat at the expense of the little girl. Ross had had several chances to tell Phoebe that the cat wasn't her mother, and he didn't. The only reason he did so now was to try to get her to see that she should return the cat to its owner. I completely agree with those who say that this was unfair to Ross. They were acting like this was all just about Ross not believing the cat was Phoebe's mother, but that was never Ross's motivation here, the little girl was. The final dialogue just twisted everything around to make Ross look like a bad friend, when the truth was, he was just trying to do what he thought was right.

Naive Phoebe vs. Street-smart Phoebe

  • The folder above made me think of this. Doesn't it seem like a bit of a contradiction for Phoebs to be street smart, but the gang feels the need to keep her from seeing the end of 'Old Yeller?' Also, she writes a note that is so over-the-top that it helps get Ross fired. The show seemed to alternate between child-like Phoebe and Been-Around-The-Block Phoebe.
    • If I remember correctly, it was originally Phoebe's mother who stopped her from watching the 'sad' endings of movies. Phoebe does alternate between being childlike and malicious, it could be a consequence of her having lived on the streets; it's fairly common for the homeless to develop mental illnesses.
      • I thought it was common that people ended up homeless because they had a mental illness, since most have no known cause.
    • I think what it comes down to is that Phoebe's obviously had a pretty tough life so she's developed ways of escaping from/dealing with that. E.g. the naive worldview in her songs that shows joy in simple things, "happy" movies, the environment, etc.

Erica and the twins

  • How come Erica was able to go an entire term without once suspecting she was carrying twins? Okay, the writers tried to handwave it with 'I thought when they said both heartbeats it meant mine and the babies? ' But it surely stretches belief that after the first scan no-one told her that she had two embryos, that there were no references made to 'both babies' or that Erica was too stupid to miss a reference like 'We are going to have to give you a steroid injection so that your twins' lungs are fully formed'
    • There was an earlier episode where Erica told Chandler and Monica that she didn't know who the baby's father was, and it was between two men. Later in the episode Monica talks to her off-screen, and it turned out only one of the guys slept with her in a way that could have impregnated her. It's not that hard to believe she didn't know she was pregnant with twins.

  Chandler: Is it that thing we hardly ever do, or that thing we never ever do?

      • That doesn't convince me. It's quite possible that a naive young girl might skip on sex education classes and not understand that 'the thing we never do' won't inpregnate you. On the other hand, its hard to believe that the first thing a doctor would say after performing the first scan wouldn't be 'Congratulations, you've got twins'.
      • Is it really "quite possible" that she wouldn't know? I've never met one human who thinks you can get pregnant on anal sex.
        • If you've never been taught sex ed, it's remarkably easy to not know.
        • Anyway it is possible to get pregnant from anal sex. Not likely but possible (sperm swim remember!)
        • They swim yes, and it is possible, but not because they swim. Oh my Goodness are you infering that they may swim from the anus to the vagina? Or worse, that the anus leads to the vagina?! It's possible in case ejaculate leaks from the anus and ends up in the vagina. I'm confused as to why "sperm swim remember!" is important...
            • Ever seen the show "I Didn't Know I Was Pregnant"? Yeah people can be REALLY stupid when it comes to things like this.

Table service at Central Perk

  • Does Central Park ever serve meals? It's a pretty standard coffeehouse -- how many places like this really have table service and real wait staff? Even within the show it's inconsistent as to whether orders are placed at the counter or not.
    • I'd say Central Perk doesn't serve meals. In one episode Joey meets a journalist for an interview, and she mentions that any food or drink he ordered would be paid for by the magazine. Joey regrets not choosing somewhere else to meet, but does ask for 'all of the muffins' when they place their order. If Central Perk offered meals, surely he would have gone for something else.
    • As far as the table service, it's not impossible to think that they don't officially offer table service, they might take a table order from somebody who's a regular or a good friend of the owner or waiter.


  • It's mentioned above that the characters get stupider over time as part of the process of Flanderization. Accompanying this trend is an overall sense of anti-intellectualism. By any reasonable standard, Ross has the most interesting job of the six, but it's never treated with anything but disdain by the show itself. The depiction of academia is pretty ridiculous in its own right -- why does Ross never get lines like "I'd love to hang out at the coffee shop guys, but I have to mark sixty undergrad papers/write this conference paper/revise this journal submission/peer-review this article/review this book/prepare for this dissertation defense"? Perhaps the epitome of this trend comes in the throwaway moment where Rachel actually seems to hold Chandler in disdain for knowing the meaning of the word "apothecary." Clearly this basic fact is only something a complete loser would know! The show assumes its viewers are dumb and is afraid to speak above their heads, but further, it actually takes pot shots at anyone with an IQ above 100.
    • Compounding the example above is the fact that Rachel asks what an apothecary is and then acts pissy at getting an answer. Did she not want an answer? Was she looking only for confirmation that no one else is better informed than she?
    • It's a sitcom from the '90s. With the exception of Frasier and possibly The Simpsons, they were all anti-intellectual. It's basically the networks reassuring their supposedly dumb viewers that "smart people suck for doing better in life than you and should pay for all the times they accidentally made you feel bad."
      • Which is odd, considering where half of the main cast end up: Rachel is an executive, Chandler was an executive before moving into advertising, and Ross is a Professor of Palaeontology. In addition Monica is shown to be highly intelligent and came to be the Head Chef of a prestigious New York restaurant, Phoebe was a masseuse but she was also very intelligent (she was fluent in three languages!); the only stupid character was Joey.
      • And even with Joey, that was post-Flanderization. As mentioned previously, he was actually fairly smart in the earlier seasons (being the only person to know how to turn off the radiator, for example). And really, while the "all sitcoms in the 90s" reason is true, that doesn't make it right.
    • Firstly, you could make an example for most of their jobs being interesting. Dinosaurs are fascinating! Working on a tv show would also be interesting, and so would working for a major fashion house. Monica's job also has a lot of creativity to it. But I don't think they're making fun of the fact that Ross is an academic, I think it's just that his personality is a bit pedantic: e.g. when he reads that article about how "uploading your memory and living forever as a machine". I know I'm guilty of the same thing, my boyfriend is in no way anti-intellectual but he does get bored when I regurgitate things I've read in big obsessive monologues.

Joey and Rachel sleeping with teachers

  • In 'The One with the Cooking Class' Joey says: "It's the first A I've gotten since 7th grade, and I didn't have to sleep with the teacher this time". Is it me or is this horrific? How old are you in 7th grade, 12? This line isn't even considered 'bad' enough to cut from pre-watershed episodes. To a lesser extent Rachel saying she "got under" a teacher she had a crush on. Although her age isn't specified, still a serious abuse of power by the teacher involved.
    • It's Joey. He could have been 14+. We don't know how many times he repeated a grade, but it seems a safe bet that he did at least once.
    • While we're at it, didn't a second season episode have Chandler, Ross and Monica bumping into a kid she used to babysit at a concert? As I recall he asks Monica something to the effect of "Are you one of the babysitters who slept with my father?" Later, Monica tells Rachel that she saw him and she immediately asks "How's his dad?" True, she could have been of age but it's curious how often the writers are inclined to go that direction.
      • It was fooled around. Still disturbing, but can be limited to making out.
    • Also, Ross apparently made out with a 50-year-old school librarian. The writers seem to like this one.

Rachel Moving to France

  • Not. Okay, Ross wants Rachel to stay so they can be together. Why doesn't he offer to go with her? Either way he'll be on a different continent from one his children, so why doesn't he even think of moving to France with Rachel? Better yet, why doesn't anyone else since they always seem to know everything? And why doesn't Rachel suggest it?
    • Apparently this was the plan but the writers didn't have enough time so they had to wrap up the storyline quicker than they thought. For an in-show excuse, maybe Ross just felt he couldn't leave Ben. Which doesn't really work because he hadn't mentioned Ben for ages and even seemed just fine about his baby daughter moving to another continent.


  • So Phoebe has invented a former boyfriend named Vicrum to show Mike that she has in fact had a serious relationship before. Um, what about David the Scientist Guy? He was a serious relationship, and if he hadn't moved to Russia Phoebe probably would've married him back in Season Two. And you can't even say that the writers forgot about David, because they deliberately bring him back to provide conflict with Mike. Why invent Vicrum?
    • Most people define "serious relationship" as something that lasts more then a few weeks.

Strip poker

  • Three guys and three girls playing strip poker. The girls want to get Joey naked, which is understandable as he's the most "hunk" of the three. But I find it extremely hard to believe that the other two guys would want the same thing. Ok, Ross might have been squicked at the idea of seeing Monica naked, and maybe he was too shy to choose Rachel, but Phoebe's fair game, and Chandler would have had no such problems with anyone.
    • When you're playing strip poker with your friends, the object is humiliation, not arousal. And who wouldn't want to humiliate Joey?
    • They only agreed to play strip poker (actually strip Happy Days Game) because Joey kept bugging them about it. So since he was so insistent on getting his way, they decided to give him what he asked for.

Monica's balcony

  • To get out onto the balcony of Monica's apartment, one has to climb through a window. What's the deal with that? Why no door? The last one to live in that apartment was Monica's grandmother, and I can't picture her climbing through that window.
    • It's because it's a fire escape not a balcony.
  1. Fun fact: this troper got his first pet and learned to ride a bike at the same age... sixteen.