1 Days Left to Support a Troper-Created Project : Personal Space (discuss)

Fridge / Friends

Fridge Brilliance
  • Throughout the series Chandler is paranoid about being Mistaken for Gay and generally more hostile about the topic than the rest of the gang. Of course, his earliest experience of someone being gay was his Dad, who announced he was gay on Thanksgiving, walked out on his family, started a very messy, painful divorce and repeatedly humiliated Chandler in high school. So his association with gay role models or the gay community, is filled with negative implications of abandonment and embarassment. No wonder he's so touchy about people thinking he's gay!
  • Chandler's pre-wedding freak out. Although it was triggered by the answering machine message, he then spends the whole night with his parents (who are seeing each other for the first time in years) and they do nothing but argue. It's Played For Laughs but imagine growing up in an environment with constant fighting. They probably brought back a lot of memories of his horrible childhood. Normally Chandler keeps his parents at a distance but he was seeing exactly what could happen to him. No wonder he got scared.
    • Not really Fridge Brilliance, Chandler explicitly mentioned that his fear of marrying Monica was because his parents' constant fighting. His worry was that "The Bings" always fought and said he feared that the same thing would happen to him and Monica.
    • Not but the timing of his freak out was. He said himself that he'd been ok up to that point, and the episode alternates between his freaking out and scenes of his parents arguing, remember he'd only reunited with his father in the previous episode and Nora hadn't been seen since Season 1, so them all being together again triggered his fears.
  • Monica's obsession with marriage/weddings/babies seems excessive until you realize they are exactly the things her mother values and nags her about. It's also evidenced by Ross's obsession with getting remarried and staying so: marriage is very important in the Geller family. Monica wanted those things not just for herself but to finally gain Judy's approval. Turns into a CMOH/CMOA for Monica when you realize the concessions she makes (choosing a man her parents initially disapproved of, having a less fancy wedding, adopting rather than giving Judy biological grandchildren) were her breaking free of her mother's put downs and finding love and value in Chandler instead.
  • In TWW the embryos, before Phoebe takes a pregnancy test Alice asks "do you feel like taking a test? There's only one question!" And Frank laughs. This may just seem like a silly joke until you remember Alice is a teacher and Frank was her student.
  • When Ben is born, Phoebe tells Susan that he looks like her. While this is played off as Phoebe being a ditz, she's trying to make sure Susan feels included because Ben is her son, too. It's really sweet of her.
  • Chandler and Monica have amazing sex, which Monica outright describes as the the best she's ever had. The others, even Chandler himself are surprised by this as before he was implied to be pretty average in that department. Then you remember that Monica actually tutored Chandler in how to be better in bed so of course she'd think he's good because she taught him exactly what pleased her!
    • Brings a whole new meaning to "I'm the best because you made me the best."
  • In the pilot episode, Rachel resolves to change her shallow lifestyle funded by her father's money. The next time we see her, she's just gone on a huge shopping spree, laughing at the idea of getting a job, telling the others that she is qualified for nothing and how she was laughed out of several interviews and showing off her "I don't need a job, I have my new boots" boots. A casual viewing makes her just seem to be flighty and irreverent. Then you realize that she has an undertone of self-loathing, and she is actually trying to cope with the realization that she is entirely unequipped to live in the real world.
    • This is made even more amusing when later on in the series her sister does the exact same thing, only fails completely whereas Rachel grew more independent as time went on, indicating the significant shift in her personality over the seasons.
  • Example from Friends, which was going to be a Headscratchers until I thought about it a bit more. In "The One Where Monica and Richard are Just Friends", the subplot is Joey and Rachel swapping the books they're reading: The Shining and Little Women, respectively. So far, so sitcom. Joey talks about the scary twins, the blood in the elevator and "All work and no play makes Jack a dull boy". The problem is, these bits aren't in the book. But, if Joey is so scared by the book that he puts it in the freezer, maybe he's never actually finished the book - he's seen the film, so he makes up the details from what he's seen in the film in an attempt to appear less scared.
    • Except that a plot point is Joey accidentally revealing the end using his oh-so-clever "blank" code. The ending he reveals is the book ending, where Jack forgets to check the boiler because he's on a murderous rampage and the hotel blows up with Jack inside, whilst his wife and son get away. The film ending is distinctly different - Jack is chasing his son through the hedge maze - which isn't even in the book, they're hedge animals which come to life - and freezes to death, whilst his family get away. So Joey MUST have read to the end of the book. I suspect it's more a case of Adaptation Displacement; if Joey's read the book over and over, it's likely that he's seen the film many times too (indeed, he mentions seasons later that he loves the film Cujo, so he's obviously a King fan). I'll give you one bit of Brilliance that's just struck me there though - the night he tells Rachel about Cujo is the first night he realizes he has feelings for her. I'd say the whole Shining/Little Women thing was foreshadowing, but I don't credit the Friends writers with such good plotting - let's say it's a subtle callback to the earlier episode instead.
    • In the episode with Dakota Fanning Joey said that 'he's scared of little girl ghosts'. It's a nice call-back to Joey being freaked out by The Shining.
      • The Steven Weber version of The Shining uses the book's ending, so it's possible that Joey saw that version rather than having read the book.
  • In one episode, Joey refers to something as "a moo point", explaining that said issue "is like a cow's opinion: it's meaningless... it's 'moo'." This may just seem like another moment of Joey's stupidity and him mis-hearing the word "moot" at some point in his past (and on the surface, it most likely is). However, in Zen Buddhism, mu is used to refer to meaninglessness. - Richard X 1
  • Ross is a mixture of Insufferable Genius and Honor Before Reason, but you wouldn't see why until you looked at him this way; Monica had to grow up always being The Unfavorite while Ross was the star child of the family and because of this, Ross was always praised for every single thing that he did while growing up and should Ross ever get into trouble, it would be safe to assume that his parents would do everything they could to quiet the mess so that Ross still comes out looking good. This leads to the present day Ross always trying to prove to his friends how he is right (whether it's on dinosaurs, who did wrong in a relationship, etc.) and how nothing is ever his fault. A good example of this is "The One With All the Secrets" where Monica told her parents Ross smoked pot in college (because Ross refused to admit it and had put the blame on Chandler back then).
    • Adding to that, this troper found it odd that Ross and Rachel, who were both adored when they were growing up, failed to establish a steady romantic relationship but Monica and Chandler, who had a lot more emotional baggage, succeeded. Then I realized that was the point. Ross and Rachel were both extremely spoilt, Ross as the previously mentioned 'star child' and Rachel as her daddy's darling. Consequently they were both self-centered and egotistical which caused problems romantically. Monica and Chandler however grew up fighting for love: Monica suffering her mother's criticism's and Chandler being neglected during his parents divorce. So when they established a loving relationship it was extremely precious to them. They worked harder to hold onto it than Ross and Rachel who had always received support and attention.
    • Monica always aims to please people, which probably stems from her not getting the same kind of love and attention that her parents gave to Ross. Monica brags about how she always had tea parties and baked for friends and how people liked her because of it. She also got into the culinary industry knowing that people will always try her food and compliment her for it. Whenever she is dethroned as the best hostesses or anything else of the sort, Monica gets upset because now people will go to someone else and like them over her. This is also reflected when Monica sings at a bar and even after Chandler tells her that her nipples are seen through her shirt, she keeps singing anyway because people like her.
    • It's acknowledged in-universe that both Chandler and Monica try to please people because of their unhappy childhoods. They even tease each other about it in one episode.
    Chandler: "Is that the reason you became a chef? So people would like you?"
    Monica: "You really want to talking about making people like you, funnyman?"
  • At first Susan's dislike of Ross seems odd; as Carol realized she was a lesbian surely Ross poses absolutely no threat to Carol and Susan's relationship. However, as it becomes clear that Ross and Carol are Amicable Exes, it could be that Susan was worried Carol would realize she is bisexual and leave her for Ross, or at least that Susan was jealous of the attention (even non-romantic) that Carol gives Ross.
    • More likely she's upset because Ross and Carol conceived Ben after Carol had left Ross for Susan. Both the timeline and one of Ross' comments supports this "Carol and I had some great times before she became a lesbian...and once after." This explains both why Susan is hostile and why Ross seems to think he could have fixed the relationship with Carol despite her being gay.
  • I always initially thought that the characters in Friends, would actually be pretty bad friends, given most of their close minded and judgmental natures regarding things like their treatment of Chandler smoking, or Phoebe’s moral high grounds, or Ross’s intellectual superiority complex, or Monica’s uptightness etc. And that the only reason people would be friends with them in the first place, was because they had no one else, and these few people happened to be the one’s that stuck around when others weren’t there. But then it hit me. Isn’t that basically what good friends really are?
  • In TOW Ross Can't Flirt, Chandler is initially concerned about Monica's self-confessed tendency to flirt with guys, but after hearing Ross's attempt he reflects "if all the Gellers flirt like this we don't have a problem." Chandler may be recalling his distant memory that Monica does in fact also flirt like that, as we discovered in an earlier flashback episode where she is trying to be flirty with kitchen items.
  • Joey's extreme reaction when people take food off his plate ("JOEY DOESN'T SHARE FOOD!!!") makes a lot more sense when you remember that he has seven sisters. Anyone who grew up in a big family can tell you that siblings frequently steal each other's food, sometimes even just to annoy each other, and protecting your plate is something you learn early on. It's especially telling that most of the people who try it in the episode are female - he has a learned fear of girls stealing his food!
  • In The Final One when Monica & Chandler bring the twins home, Rachel says "I'm sorry I wont be around to see you attempt to handle this", she's speaking for all of us in the audience.
  • It's reasonable to assume Joey picked up his knowledge of radiators from his father, who's a plumber.
  • In "The One Where Everyone Finds Out", note gang's reaction when they spot naked Ross in Ugly Naked Guy's apartment. Rachel reacts just a little earlier than everyone else, which makes sense—as his ex-girlfriend, she's seen him naked far more than any of the rest of them. Meanwhile, Monica freaks out and turns away to hide her face against Chandler's shoulder, which also makes sense—as his sister, she definitely wouldn't want to see him like that.
  • In an amazing example of Cross-over consistency, in The One Where Chandler Can't Cry Phoebe finds out that her twin sister Ursula has been masquerading as Phoebe to make many, many porno's. What makes this so brilliant? Ursula, who was Lisa Kudrow most prominent character long before Phoebe came around, was featured on fellow Must See TV sitcom Mad About You as the flighty waitress of Paul and Jamie's favorite restaurant. In that series finale, the show followed a now adult Mabel's, the lead characters daughter, documentary about her parents. During the credits of this episode, Mabel revealed the history of some of the characters between the then 1999 and her future era, including that Ursula, after having a successful career as a pornographic star, would eventually become the Governor of New York. This finale was aired before Friends season 6 began. The writers of Friends took a throwaway joke from one series, and made it an episode plotline in their own.
Fridge Horror
  • Arguably happens in universe in "The One with the Breast Milk". When Ross refuses to taste Carol's breast milk, the others who have tasted it say it doesn't taste bad, and Susan says it tastes like cantaloupe juice. Ross is bewildered by this. Considering there'd only be a few reasons why Susan would have tasted it...
    • She could theoretically have tried it the way Joey and Phoebe do, by tasting it from their arms to check the temperature. Since babies take up a huge amount of time, you imagine she has fed the baby more times than she and Carol have had sex (especially because not being biologically linked to Ben and being a bit domineering, she probably bottle feeds him more often than the average father would in a straight couple, because she is determined to cement the bond between herself and her son). If they're in bed together at that point, they're probably trying desperately to get some sleep rather than anything else. But when you consider that Carol would have been lactating long before Ben was born, and that, as seen by Rachel and Phoebe's "Evander Holyfield phase" later in the show, women in the Friends universe get horny whilst pregnant... yeah.
      • Can someone clarify how this counts as horror?
        • In Universe, it counts as horror for Ross. Not necessarily for the viewer.
  • In 'The One Where Dr Ramoray Dies', Rachel and Monica are about to sleep with their partners (Ross and Richard, respectively), and enter into an argument over who gets to use the last condom. Cross cut with the argument is a scene where Ross and Richard creep out of the bedrooms where they have been waiting to see what is taking so long; bedrooms right next to each other. The horror sets in when it dawns on you that Ross and Monica- who are brother and sister- were completely fine with having sex in rooms right next to each other.
    • You never had your high school lover in your room while your sibling had their high school lover in theirs? What did you think they were doing? Tiddly Winks?
      • There's a difference. In high school, you live with your siblings. Ross had his own apartment at that point.
        • A lot of us never had a "high school lover".
    • They probably just didn't make the connection. What was going on in their heads was "I'm going to have sex with the person I love", not "My sibling is right next door". similar to when Ross got with Charlie. The gang (minus Rachel and Joey) were listening through the walls, and Chandler ask Monica if she knows it's her brother and Monica responds with a disgusted look on her face "Not until you just told me".
  • Judy Geller repeatedly nags Monica about having children in early seasons: She's drives Monica to tears, says Ross is the only way she'll have grandchildren and freezes Monica out when she discovers she's not pregnant in Season 8. Wonder what her reaction was when she discovered Monica and Chandler were infertile?
    • Plus Monica has always been The Unfavorite and considering her mother's expectations, failing to have children probably proved she'd never be good enough for her mother.
      • Although, as commented on in The Fridge Brilliance section, Monica seems to have got over pleasing her bitch of a mother by this point. She has a loving husband who she adores, a wonderfully happy marriage and they actively (and happily) decide to adopt babies rather than have her own via sperm donorship. Plus she's a very successful chef at a prestigious restaurant and her relationship with her dad improves as he makes amends for how he treated her. At this point she's probably realized her mother's favoritism of thrice-divorced Ross and unable-to-commit, single mother Rachel, is meaningless and rather pathetic. In a way it's Judy who is the pitiable character, as she can never see that both her 'miracle baby' and the 'daughter she never had' are a selfish, dysfunctional screw-ups for a long time, while her actual successful, happy child grows more distant from her.
  • At the end of the series, when Rachel and Ross end up together, it's all nice and sweet, but Rachel's still out of a job.
    • She's also got an incredible background in fashion by this point. It's unlikely it'll be long before she gets another job in that area.
      • A background of inappropriate behavior, fraternizing with her coworkers, mental instability (the baby buying incident), company disloyalty, and Ross burned any remaining bridges she had left with the company through his manipulations to get her to stay.
        • Her boss was able to be convinced in offering her her old job back, though, and at a salary greater than the one she had in Paris. Ross may have annoyed the guy with his constant badgering, but it's somewhat plausible in the world of Friends that she could find her way back into Ralph Lauren.
    • There's also the fact that Ross and Rachel have never grown past the the issues that kept breaking them up before so odds are this one will start well then crash and burn fairly soon so Rachel wrecked her career for nothing!
      • This theory seems to have been Jossed by Joey in the spin-off, as he remarks that "all his friends (in New York) are married", signaling that the two resolved to finally work past the drama of their past (Ross' declaration that they were done "being stupid" also implies a willingness to see each other in a more mature manner).
      • Do I even need to point out that being married to Ross is in no way an indicator of a happy or long lasting relationship? It wouldn't even be their first divorce!
      • Why's she out of a job? Isn't it just as likely that Ross goes to Paris with her? A troper on the headscratchers page says this is what the writers planned, but didn't have time to include. He's already grown into respecting her career when he stepped back from the attempt to make her stay by bribing Mr Zelner when he realized how important it was to her, it would have been a logical next step.
      • The writers say on the commentary that they planned for Ross to chase Rachel to Paris and for them to fall in love again there. Not that they'd necessarily stay in Paris long-term. Plus, Ross has said before he doesn't want to leave Ben, like when he refused to go to London to be with Emily. (Why Rachel was allowed to waltz off with Emma to France is a whole other problem on the headscratchers page). Plus, Ross's career is based in New York (he got tenure during Season 10), so it makes sense for them to stay as Rachel could probably find another job there. And why would they both still be in New York in the final scene if they'd decided to go to Paris? They'd have to have already left so Rachel could start her new job or at least acknowledge it as they all said goodbye.
  • A minor one from "TOW The Dirty Girl". Cheryl lets her hamster, Mitzi, roam around free in her biohazard of an apartment, and comments that "I hope she's okay, I haven't seen her in a while". Later, when something starts rustling in the garbage, Ross clobbers the hell out of it. To Cheryl's relief, it turns out to be just a rat, not her missing hamster. However, rats are notorious for hunting and killing smaller rodents, and they rarely travel alone. I doubt Mitzi is still alive.
  • More like fridge sadness — Phoebe comments on her mother's attempts to "save" her from the endings of sad movies as being incongruous with the fact that she committed suicide, but if her mother was suicidally depressed or the partner of a depressed person and living in miserable circumstances, it makes sense that she'd want to shelter her kids from even fictional downer endings, the only kind of sadness she might have felt she had control over.
    • Furthermore, Phoebe recounts how she cried for days after seeing Bambi, which see saw mere days before her mother's suicide, indicating her mother was probably past caring what kind of movies her kids watched, and a distinct possibility that some well-meaning friend or neighbor overlooked all of this when offering to take Phoebe and Ursula to a nice Disney movie.

Fridge Logic
  • While it was mostly to get Ross to overreact and lose his job, why would someone go into a work-shared fridge, take a sandwich that wasn't their's, and throw most of it away because it was "too large"?
    • Probably because he just didn't care, or is a terrible co-worker. But he was "encouraged" to take a sabbatical after his outburst, not fired.
    • It's Truth in Television if you've ever worked in a large office. It doesn't matter if you label your food or try to hide it in the communal fridge: many offices have a food thief.
    • Still wouldn't explain why he'd take just a little then throw the rest of it away when Ross could've at least had most of it.
      • Maybe because he'd already eaten a chunk of it? I wouldn't eat a sandwich one of my coworkers had already chewed on, I don't know about you.
  • The first time Ross and Rachel meet on the show, an umbrella accidentally opens inside as Rachel and Ross move to shake hands. The umbrella opens up between the two, which is possibly foreshadowing the bad luck their relationship would have.