- Take Off Your Clothes:
- In an episode, Joey asks for one of the girls to remove her bra (after first asking who had the biggest breasts). It turns out he wants a piece of wire to pop the lock on a car door — they were locked out and it was snowing.
Joey: The bigger the boobs, the bigger the bra, the bigger the bra, the bigger the wire! (makes "duh" gesture)
- Played with in another episode. Monica suspected Chandler, who was acting very drunk, of having consumed all the (blue) jello shots. Monica tells Chandler to stick out his tongue. Without missing a beat, Chandler tells her to take off her clothes.
- Tastes Like Feet : Ross uses these exact words to describe Rachel's terrible dessert in "TOW Ross Got High."
- Teacher/Student Romance:
- Ross and Elizabeth's relationship, though she fancied him as well... They only started dating after she was no longer in his class.
- Rachel once described a teacher she had a crush on and whom she eventually slept with.
- Phoebe's brother Frank marries his teacher (in her 40s) less than a year after finishing school.
- Ross also made out with the fifty year old librarian when he was in high school.
- Team Pet: The Chick and the Duck. Though aside from Joey and Chandler, who treat the birds like their own children, no one else in the group is particularly fond of them.
- Television Geography: In addition to "Friends" Rent Control, the apartment building where the gang lives is somewhere in Manhattan. Also close enough to get everyone to work without hours of commuting time every day, and it takes twenty minutes to get to Ross' function (in "TOW No One is Ready"), 100 steps to Central Perk, and it's somewhere near NYU.
- Terrible Ticking: Mr. Heckles on. It must be noted that the level of noise isn't in in his head, it's more of a case of Malevolent Architecture creating absolutely teethgrinding acoustics.
- In "The One Where They're Up All Night", Phoebe is kept up by her fire alarm beeping. She smashes it and it still beeps. She puts on earmuffs and a hat to drown out the noise and also tries throwing it out.
- Tertiary Sexual Characteristics: Rachel sticks a pink bow on Emma's head because everyone keeps saying, "What a cute little boy!"
- While Amy goes one step further in getting the baby's ears pierced.
- That Came Out Wrong: In "The One with the Girl Who Hits Joey", Phoebe tells the people at the party about Ross, picturing him in a negative way.
- In "The One Where Ross Can't Flirt", after the pizza girl complains that her short haircut makes her look like an 8 year old boy, Ross says "[he] happens to like 8 year old boys", meant to allude that he has a son.
- Let's just say that Ross in general is an epitome master of this trope. Case in point, when he dates a much younger girl, her father Paul Stevens (played by Bruce Willis), explains that the reason he's so disapproving of their relationship is because he's protective of his daughter and still sees her as a little girl. Ross responds with: "Oh, I know exactly what you mean. I do that all the time." note
- The Masochism Tango: Ross and Rachel.
- Thematic Theme Tune: "I'll Be There for You". The song, performed by jangle-pop band the Rembrandts, was subsequently released as a single and became a chart-topping hit.
- There Are No Therapists: Averted. Ross see's one when he's struggling with anger issues and both Chandler and Monica mention that they've been to therapists and even discuss it in one episode.
Chandler: I hate having to see the shrink. He's always 'oh maybe people will like you better, if you like yourself better'. Who needs that?"
Monica: You do!
Chandler: I know.
- The "The" Title: Most episodes are titled "The One with The..." or "The One Where...".
- This Loser Is You: The main cast goes through several hardships throughout the series. When the series started, Rachel had just ended her engagement, got cut off from her dad's money and was employed as a waitress. Before returning to Days of Our Lives, Joey was frequently low on cash, borrowing money from Chandler, and had to work several part-time jobs. Monica had to work at a diner in between chef jobs, Chandler was unemployed before entering advertising and Ross was fired from the museum because of anger issues.
- Three-Way Sex: In "The One Where Ross and Rachel Take A Break" Chandler and Joey once thought they might end up having sex with the same woman. When Joey asked who would go where, Chandler suggested flipping a coin:
Joey: Yeah, I guess, but what's like heads and what's tails?
Chandler: Well, if you don't know that I'm not sure I want to do this with you!
- Hilariously subverted in the same series in a hypothetical What Could Have Been episode, where Ross and Carol, still married, agree to have a threesome with Susan, who was then only a... friend of Carol's. Ross, tossed aside during most of the act, finds out the hard way about his wife's homosexuality...
- Since that episode, it's been hinted at a few times that this may have actually happened.
- In the episode "The One with the Jellyfish", it was revealed that Phoebe was conceived from a threeway between her parents and the girl who ended up being her adoptive mother.
- Throwing Out the Script: When Monica and Chandler got married, Chandler threw out his pre-prepared vows at the last moment to give a more heartfelt, situation-appropriate (as Joey had just revealed to Monica that Chandler had gotten cold feet and almost ran out on the wedding) speech.
- Joey does this during both of the weddings he ministers, as he leaves his notes behind rushing to get to Chandler and Monica's and is too cold to go through it all at Phoebe's snowy wedding. Justified to keep the show moving along.
- Trauma Conga Line: Ross is probably at his most Woobie-ish in season five, during which he (in rapid succession) gets divorced, gets evicted, loses his job owing to anger issues and has to take anger management counselling.
- True Love Is Exceptional: The insecure Chandler was terrified of committment and went through Minor Flaw Major Break Up with his few relationships. Then he fell in love with his best friend Monica, and not only accepted her 'high maintenance' faults but felt good about dealing with them. With her help he forged through his own issues and proved to be an unbelievably sweet boyfriend and later husband.
- Also Monica previously stated she preferred 'mature' and sophisticated guys, but appreciated how Chandler's humor relaxed her. Especially noticeable when her ex-boyfriend Richard appeared and despite being her previous ideal man, she still picked Chandler. The pair established the happiest relationship on the whole show.
- Tomato Surprise: A comedic example, with no actual effect on the plot. An arc in the third season deals with Joey's relationship with his costar in a play. We see several scenes of the two of them rehearsing for said play, which seems at first like a pretty standard artsy drama about an arguing couple. When the arc comes to a close, we see Joey's character boarding a spaceship.
- Tomboy and Girly Girl:
- Monica (tomboy) and Rachel (girly girl). Monica is a mild version of tomboy since she loves cleaning and cooking, but personality wise she's domineering, loud and hot-tempered and has a Masculine Girl, Feminine Boy relationship with Chandler. She also likes sports including football and is the most strong and athletic of the six friends, along with Joey. Rachel on the other hand, is interested in fashion and shopping, is shallow, sweet, ditzy and unlike Monica, she's weak and bad at sports.
- Susan (tomboy) and Carol (girly girl).
- Too Incompetent to Operate a Blanket: Played with. Joey once accepts a role in an infomercial in which he portrays "Kevin", a guy who has trouble with milk cartons that are "flingin'-flangin' hard to open" (he rips one open while trying, spraying milk all over the place). But with the Milk Master 2000, he has no trouble. "Now I can have milk every day!" Later, Joey laments that his fellow cast members in a play tease him about the infomercial by asking him to open milk cartons ... and making fun of him when he really can't do it.
- Admittedly the Milk Master is in some ways a pretty good idea - because if you're not allowed to use scissors to open a milk carton, you probably would need it.
- Illustrated as a nonverbal Brick Joke; Rachel uses one at home a few scenes later.
- Took a Level in Dumbass:
- Joey seems to have lost quite a few IQ points over the years, to the point where in the final season he can't tell left from right.
- Also Erica, the biological mother of Chandler and Monica's twins. When we first meet her she's a perfectly normal, intelligent girl. Then she seemed to get progressively dumber in every appearance she made, which is saying something given that she was only a one-season character. By the end of the show she's so stupid that her IQ is merely half of Forrest Gump's.
- Took a Level in Jerkass: Everyone.
- Ross becomes more egotistical and obnoxious, if only to justify his Butt Monkey role.
- Phoebe, way more so. She becomes increasingly more shrill and mean-spirited as the seasons went on.
- The whole gang towards Ross during the post-Emily debacle. The guy's just had his second marriage implode, another love of his life disappear and is slowly having a complete and utter mental breakdown, culminating when he screams at his boss for stealing a sandwich!. And none of his friends seem to notice or care, but instead repeatedly mock him about it!
- Monica suffered the worst from her flanderization, with her Control Freak side turning her more scary and screamy than the Team Mom she used to be. She also became the main mouthpiece for the Queer People Are Funny jokes in the last couple of seasons, calling Chandler gay or a girl anytime he even liked a girly movie.
- In addition to the continuity mangling, "The One Where The Stripper Cries" had Chandler reveal that he had made out with Rachel in college just because he knew Ross liked her more than anyone. In addition, Rachel was too drunk to know what she was doing and even passed out after they kissed.
- Took a Level in Badass: Chandler is referenced as being mediocre in bed a couple times over the course of the early seasons, until the famous scene where Monica gives him a diagram-based crash-course in pleasuring the female body. His girlfriend literally runs across the hall to hug and emphatically thank Monica following their next lovemaking session. Ends up being a good call on Monica's part, as when her and Chandler later enter a relationship she repeatedly describes him as the best sex she's ever had.
- In that case, this trope could also be applied to Ross. In "TOW the Videotape", Rachel makes note of how Ross was working out before they conceived, and in the finale, upon waking up from having sex again, Rachel comments appreciatively that he's "learned some new moves" (which Ross attributes to receiving a copy of "Sex For Dummies").
- Took the Bad Film Seriously: A famous actor played by Gary Oldman, who stars in a World War I movie with Joey.
- Tranquillizer Dart: Subverted when Phoebe is shot in the backside with a dart. She never passes out, though she does comment that her buttock is asleep (and that the other one has no idea). Of course, the dart was intended for a very small monkey, so there probably wasn't much juice in there anyway.
- Trans Equals Gay: Chandler's father is supposed to be a gay drag queen, but he's played like a trans woman. He stars is a show called "Viva Las Gaygas." Drag queens who perform professionally are very, very good, and some have had plastic surgery on their faces, and get waxed. Chandler's mother specifically notes that his father still has a penis, so he hasn't had reassignment surgery. It's true that professional drag performers don't usually dress as women in their personal lives, but it's possible to interpret dressing as a woman at Chandler's wedding as a snipe at his mother. As for dressing as Hollywood starlets in front of his friends, it's hard to fathom why he would want to embarrass his son, but he probably had some reason other than being emotionally abusive (like being supporting a transgender parent or student at the school), but the treatment justifies Chandler's refusal to talk to him later in his life, without making Chandler seem homophobic.
- Translation By Volume: Rachel went to meet Ross at the airport. He was returning from a business trip to China and apparently brought back a new Asian girlfriend. Rachel WELCOMES HER IN HER COUNTRY, talking loudly and slowly, and trying to be cordial and not at all confused, since Ross was in love with her. Ross's girlfriend Julie actually COMES FROM NEW YORK as well.
- Trash of the Titans: In one episode, Ross goes out with a beautiful scientist who happens to live in an absolute mess of an apartment. Joey doesn't seem to care much about spilling stuff or making a mess either, but since he lives across the hall from obsessive neat-freak Monica she occasionally makes clean-house-calls. She even showed up at the above mentioned scientists' apartment begging to let her clean it. That said, she also has a massive collection of trash in her own apartment, hidden behind the mystery door. Chandler is shocked when he finally gets it open.
- Traumatic Haircut: Played for laughs. Monica asks Phoebe to give her a haircut like Demi Moore. Phoebe thinks she wants a haircut like Dudley Moore. Monica is horrified with the result.
- Triage Tyrant: The one who ends up with a face full of hockey puck.
- Triple Nipple: Chandler is revealed to have a third nipple during a Truth-Telling Session (he told Joey it was a "nubbin"). He later has it surgically removed...and when he suffers from Sarcasm Failure afterwards, he thinks it was the source of his powers.
Ross: Joey, what did you think a "nubbin" was?
Joey: I dunno, you see something, you hear a word, I thought that's was it was!
- Trojan Gauntlet: Monica and Rachel once had a long, hilarious scene fighting over the last condom in the bathroom while Richard and Ross awkwardly waited together outside for the two to come to an agreement.
- True Companions: Both in the show and in Real Life.
- Truth in Television: At the time of Emma's birth, Emma was one of the most popular girl's names in America. Emily was number one. Emma is still near the top of the list.
- True Love Is Boring: Played straight with Ross and Rachel. They have the classic Unrequited Love Switcheroo courtship but few storylines when they do get together. Then they break up over Ross's so-called "cheating" and spend the rest of the series arguing about it. They almost get back together several times, but only succeed in the final episode
- Averted with the unwaveringly stable Monica and Chandler. Early seasons hint of attraction but they're portrayed as best friends who comfortably accept each other, averting the Will They or Won't They? drama. They Out have a one night stand, start a relationship and eventually get married with little drama. A lot of focus is given to their day to day problems, but they're ridiculously happy together and don't break up once while still managing interesting storylines.
- Particular aversion as their relationship benefited the show hugely and opened up a ton of storylines. Them moving in together forever changed the living dynamics of the gang, their engagement gave a whole seasons worth of wedding story lines and the relationship helped their Character Development as well.
- Truth-Telling Session: It happened in a Thanksgiving episode, the "Space Mountain story" episode, and the episode where we found out about Chandler's third nipple, amongst others. One time it found an interesting variation by using a temporary love interest as the secret-hearer, and having all the secrets be things that had happened in previous episodes. In an episode where Rachel and Monica pretended to be each other while dating doctors, they began to reveal ugly secrets about each other in the first person ("In high school, I was a cow"; "I use my breasts to get other people's attention." "We both do that!")
- One of the lengthiest was in "The One Where Ross Got High":
Monica: Mom! Dad! Ross smoked pot in college!
Mr. and Mrs. Geller: What?!
Ross: You are such a tattletale! Mom, Dad, you remember that-that time you walked in my room and smelled marijuana?
Mr. and Mrs. Geller: Yes.
Ross: Well I told you it was Chandler who was smoking the pot but it was me. I'm sorry.
Mrs. Geller: It was you?
Monica: And Dad, y'know that mailman that you got fired? He didn't steal your Playboys! Ross did!
Ross: Yeah, well, Hurricane Gloria didn't break the porch swing, Monica did!
Monica: Ross hasn't worked at the museum for a year!
Ross: Monica and Chandler are living together!
Monica: Ross married Rachel in Vegas! And got divorced! Again!
Phoebe: I love Jacques Cousteau!
Rachel: I wasn't supposed to put beef in the trifle!
Joey: I wanna gooooooo!
Mrs. Geller: That's a lot of information to get in in thirty seconds!
- Two Decades Behind: In one episode, due to some mistake Chandler and Joey’s TV starts showing a pay-per-view porn channel for free. Considering that free online pornography was abundant even in 1998, the guys’ overjoyed reaction (including refusing to turn the TV off for days) is rather amusing.
- Two Girls to a Team: Pre-series there were five of them with Monica and Phoebe being the only girls. However Rachel arrives in the opening episode, making it a Gender-Equal Ensemble.
- Two Words: I Can't Count: Episode "The One With The List" has Joey make a suggestion to a girl, mistaking the word "threesome" for two words.
"I got two words for you. Threesome."
- Tying Up Romantic Loose Ends: Parodied. After Ross and Rachel get back together and Monica and Chandler announce they're dating, Joey asks Phoebe if they should get together, by the virtue of them being the only main characters left. Phoebe reveals that she has a long term-strategy for the two of them in which they make off with Chandler and Monica's money and Rachel's children, and kill Ross.
- All in all: Ross, Rachel and Chandler had all kissed each of the five characters. Monica never kissed Phoebe or Joey (except for an alternate universe in the latter case). Back to the trope, it can be seen with many details throughout the series: Joey introducing Phoebe to her husband (and being actually the one who would marry them later on), Joey and Rachel deciding they're better off as friends (after roughly two years of build-up for their relationship to finally take place), Janice finally getting over Chandler after "one last moment of weakness", Gunther being shot down by Rachel in the finale, hooking up Ross' ex Julie with Rachel's ex Russ, etc.
- Perhaps the most obvious Friends example of this trope: Ross's wedding to Emily. "I, Ross, take thee Rachel..."
- Ugly Guy, Hot Wife: Throughout the course of both relationships, we are consistently given the impression that Rachel and Monica are way out of Ross and Chandler's, respectively, leagues. In fact, Ross and Rachel's relationship has been described as the epitome of "every geek's dream that he can land a babe like her." This, despite the fact that David Schwimmer is reasonably attractive and Matthew Perry is quite handsome.
- It's mostly due to their personalities. Chandler never had trouble attracting the attention of women but he always made horrible first impressions and ruined it. Similarly, Ross' relationships were often doomed by his inexperience and lingering feelings for his ex Carol, and later, Rachel.
- David Schwimmer has the head of a science geek on the torso of a Playgirl model. Pay attention the next time "The One with the Tiny T-shirt" airs. Ross must have had a Bow-flex in his office at the museum. Or he was carting around dinosaur femurs without a dolly.
- It is mentioned several times in later seasons that Ross does indeed work out.
- When Chandler first met a woman he could shmooze her with the same kind of skills that got him promotions at work. As soon as the relationship got serious, he panicked.
- Unexplained Recovery:
- The Unfair Sex:
- Ross is somewhat treated as the guilty party after his first divorce even though it was Carol who cheated on Ross with Susan. And Susan acts like a harpy towards Ross during most of her appearances.
- Susan's behavior makes sense when you remember that Carol didn't leave Ross because she didn't love him. And, for a divorced couple, they get along rather well. Susan also resents that she gets no officially recognized role for her contribution to Ben's life;
Susan: There's Mothers day, Father's day! There's no Lesbian Lovers Day!
Ross: Everyday is Lesbian Lovers Day!
- Meanwhile of the six main cast, the women routinely get away with acting unfairly towards the men. "The One With All The Poker" centers around the three being displeased with the boys not letting them play poker with them, then when the men do let them play Rachel mocks they're using their skill at the game to lord over them.
- From Ross and Rachel's breakup in season 3 to the beginning of season 5, when Ross was in a relationship, Rachel would become jealous, distressed, and often seek to make everyone around her miserable until he was inevitably single again; while this behaviour wasn't necessarily condoned, she was often given a great deal of sympathy from her other friends over it. Meanwhile, if Ross ever displayed the slightest bit of jealousy over any of Rachel's relationships, it was met with utter exasperation and being told the relationship was over and he needed to move on. However, from season 5, they became more comfortable with the others dating.
- Though one episode finally seemed to put this in some perspective with Rachel latching on to a complete stranger on a plane and telling him her entire sob story, until the guy sitting next to her gets fed up and tell her how immature, selfish, cruel and petty she was being (especially in going to ruin Ross and Emily's wedding - calling her a horrible, horrible, person), and "By the way, it seems perfectly clear to me that you were on a break!" What made that moment even more glorious was the fact that the stranger was played by none other than House himself, Hugh Laurie. Here it is, by the way!
- This is kind of lampshaded in an episode where Rachel borrows Monica's expensive car. We say borrow, but we really mean steal. Ross does his best to keep her from taking it, but ends up going along with it to make sure she brings the car back in one piece. Long story short, Rachel speeds, and gets pulled over by a cop. She shows him her license, which expired ten years earlier. Rachel flirts with the cop more than a little, and the cop let's her go without even a slap on the wrist, advising Ross to drive, since she doesn't have her license. Later in the same episode, Ross is pulled over—for driving too slow—and gets a ticket. He tries the same tricks as Rachel did, which is really more pathetic than effective.
- Also gets lampshaded and ultimately averted in season six. After he and Rachel drunkenly get married while in Vegas, Ross fails to have the marriage annulled, partially because he doesn't want the embarrassment of having a second failed marriage pop up in less than a year and partially because despite his denial he still had some feelings for Rachel. When the truth comes out and Rachel is completely pissed at him, Ross actually snaps back at her that it's utterly no different from Rachel's behavior at the aforementioned wedding incident. Rachel attempts to respond that there was still a difference since she still had feelings for Ross during that time...and then realizes the truth about how Ross was feeling, which causes her to quickly shut up.
- Notably averted in The One that Could Have Been when Rachel is making excuses for why it would be okay for her to cheat on her husband with soap-star Joey, only for Monica to cut in, saying "Nothing you say could make me think it's okay for you to cheat on your husband!"
- Later on however, after just barely resists temptation, she returns home to find her husband in bed with another woman (which harkens back to the first season, when she went to apologize to her ex-fiance for being a runaway bride and ultimately discovered he had been cheating on her with one of her bridesmaids even before she left). Granted however as she attempts to play the injured party and complain about what pigs men are to Ross, he points out her plans beforehand.
Rachel: Oh what are you, a detective?
- An early episode has Rachel having an affair with her ex-fiance Barry, who is at this point engaged to her best friend Mindy. When she confesses this to Mindy, she also reveals that during Rachel's engagement to Barry she was sleeping with him. In spite of the fact that they were all knowingly cheating on each other, Barry is the only person to get any abuse for it. Rachel's friends give her very brief notice of their disapproval, but in the end there is no comeuppance for her or Mindy.
- Also amusingly Played for Laughs in one episode where Ross outs Chandler for casually flirting with another woman even though he and Monica were a couple by this time. Monica acts cool and reveals she does it too, leading Chandler to have a freak out and point out why it's much more serious in her case: "You see, you're much hotter than I am."
- Also averted in one late episode where Chandler was transferred to Tulsa and has to work Christmas Eve alone with the only other worker there an attractive woman. Chandler naturally acts faithful to Monica, but Monica still panics and instantly assumes the worst, but in this case it's made clear her behavior is being irrational.
- Unlimited Wardrobe: The only time any character wore a shirt a second time, was in a flashback-episode set two years in the past. Chandler wore a shirt he's already worn in season one.
- Chandler had a few bowling shirts and jumpers that he'd wear more than once (spanning several seasons). In earlier seasons, Joey would occasionally wear the same shirt as well.
- Phoebe wore a necklace with a metal daisy decoration a few times in the early seasons.
- Also, somewhat justified in that Rachel works at Ralph Lauren and it wouldn't be too hard for her and her friends to keep up with current fashion.
- Somewhat averted at least in earlier seasons you'll occasionally see on of the gang wearing something they wore a episodes back.
- Unplanned Crossdressing: Rachel insists that Ross let her do his shopping before a big date, then accidentally swaps their bags. Ross ends up unknowingly wearing clothes that Rachel bought for herself, but won't be dissuaded ... until his date shows up in the same outfit.
- The Unreveal
- Season 4 - Joey never got to say how he met Duchess Fergie.
- Season 8 - We never get to hear Joey's sex story that starts about him going backpacking through Western Europe.
- Unrequited Love Switcheroo:
- Ross, Rachel and Julie
- Joey and Rachel in seasons 8 and 9.
- Unreveal Angle: Ugly Naked Guy was seen twice, though not completely: his rear end and his hand in "The One with the Giant Poking Device", and also half of his body from behind was seen in the episode where Ross was trying to get his apartment.
- Unto Us a Son and Daughter Are Born: Monica and Chandler's adopted twins in the final episode.
- Unusual Euphemism: Chandler once came up with the most brilliant example of an unsual euphemism, to describe a character who unknowingly has shorts so short that everyone in the room can see his penis - "The man is showing brain!"
- Another instance of an unusual euphemism comes from Joey, when Phoebe acts on Days of Our Lives. The director can be kind of rough, so Joey replaced one of the words he used a lot with a nicer one, like, "puppy", as in, "If your puppy friend doesn't get her puppy act together, I'm gonna fire her mother-puppy ass."
- The Ross fist-bump. Nothing more need be said.
- Somehow subverted for laugh, in episodes where Ross gets his capuchin monkey, Marcel.
Ross: I just thought we could go out to dinner, and then maybe bring her back to my place and I'd introduce her to my monkey.
(surprised glance from the girls)
Chandler: And he's not speaking metaphorically
- Unwanted Gift Plot: In "The One with the Prom Video," Joey buys Chandler a gaudy bracelet, and Hilarity Ensues.
- Rachel does this with nearly every gift she gets apparently, swapping it the day after and pretending a big dog ran off with it, or something similar.
- There's also the episode where Rachel and Monica pretend to both want to keep a hideous work of art made by Phoebe, while they both try to get rid of it when she's away.
- Vandalism Backfire:
- Monica and Chandler are having an argument and Monica eventually drinks from what she thinks is Chandler's cup of coffee, only for Chandler to reveal that that isn't his cup - it was already there when he came in.
- In "The One After The Superbowl", Rachel pours tomato sauce in Monica's purse during a fight they're having, only to find out that she also ruined her own gloves, which Monica had borrowed and had in her purse.
- Literally applied when Joey vandalizes the VD poster he was on, only to get several even worse taglines from posters underneath.
- Vapor Wear: In a lot of episodes, especially in later seasons, it's very apparent that the actresses are sans undergarments. Jennifer/Rachel is usually the most frequent case, but Courteney/Monica and Lisa/Phoebe commonly invoke this as well throughout the series.
- Vertigo Effect: Appears in the football episode, when Rachel has the ball and Chandler, Joey and Ross are all bearing down on her.
- Very Special Episode: While never exactly played straight, some episodes, particularly those that involved Chandler smoking, definitely felt like this.
- Walk On The Wild Side Episode: Monica has a few examples of this.
- There's a minor subplot where the other friends suggest she not get so uptight about things like coasters and leaving her shoes out of her room. At the end of that episode, she can't sleep because she's worrying about leaving out the aforementioned shoes. She gets to considering putting them in her closet and getting up early to put them back out before she realises "you need help" and goes to sleep.
- Another episode had someone stealing her credit card. When Monica tracked the woman down, she found said woman a lot of fun and started doing everything with her to the point where she was drunk in the middle of the day and kept missing work.
- Wedding Day: Ross and Emily (doesn't go well), Monica and Chandler, Phoebe and Mike. Also, Carol and Susan.
- Welcome Episode: The pilot for Rachel.
- What an Idiot: Pretty much everyone's reaction to Chandler proposing to Monica in "The One With the Girl Who Hits Joey", to prove how much he loves Monica (after they have an argument over his commitment issues).
- What, Exactly, Is His Job?: Chandler Bing. He works in an office, but no one else can name what he does, although it's clear he earns a lot of money from it. In the first season, he's promoted but refuses to take the new position and quits because he wants to find a job he loves. His new boss sees this as a sign he's playing hardball for more money and keeps offering more and more until Chandler gives up trying to explain he hates the job and accepts the amazing salary figure he had just been offered. In later seasons he does finally quit to get a job in advertising. It's only after he's quit that someone finally remembers what his job title used to be. Incidentally, it's Statistical Analysis and Data Reconfiguration. No, we're still not sure what that actually means. Some theorize that the job is intended to resemble the many, many real word positions with ambiguous names and descriptions.
- Lampshaded in his original character description:
"Works in front of a computer doing something tedious in a claustrophobic cubicle in a nondescript office building."
- What Happened to the Mouse?: Poor Ben....
- In the two-parter at the beach house, it's revealed that Phoebe's biological mother is very much alive. After this two-parter and one Season 4 guest appearance, she never appears again and arguably came down with Chuck Cunningham Syndrome.
- Phoebe's father Frank (played by Bob Balaban) who made one appearance and was never seen or heard from again.
- The fact that Rachel is a single mother is something that should, in theory, weigh in hugely on her decision to move to Paris or not. Emma should probably be on the plane with Rachel when she makes her dramatic exit to come back to Ross at the end. Yet, she's never even mentioned or seen in the finale.
- Actually, Rachel does mention that Emma is going to go to Paris later with her grandmother. Ben is also mentioned once or twice near the start of season 10. But otherwise the show plays this trope straight for both of them by the end.
- Wham Episode: "The One at the Beach"/"The One with the Jellyfish" two-parter has quite a lot going on in it: it reveals both that Phoebe's biological mother is still alive, and that Rachel still wants to be with Ross, and on top of that, it hints that Chandler might have feelings for Monica (a theme first introduced in the first season episode "The One with the Birth"). Funnily enough, the Phoebe reveal, while being the most dramatic, turns out to be the least important, as her mother soon disappears from the series, while the Chandler thing, treated here as a throwaway joke, will lead to a major change in the show's status quo in the season 4 finale.
- Wham Line
- Season 1 - "Remember back in college when he fell in love with Carol and bought her that ridiculously expensive crystal duck? "
- Season 2 - "You're over me?"
- Season 3 - "You told Rachel?" "Was I not supposed to?"
- And: "I'm your mother."
- Season 4 - "I take thee, Rachel".
- Season 5 - "Well, hello, Mrs. Ross!"
- Preceded by - "It's a four."
- Season 6 - "I can't believe you're gonna ask Monica to marry you!"
- Also: "You wanted it to be a surprise."
- Season 7 - "I didn't take a pregnancy test."
- Season 8 - "OK."note
- Season 9 - "There's a good chance this may never happen for us."note
- Season 10 - "Did she get off the plane?!" "I got off the plane."
- Preceded by - "The next baby should be along in a minute."
- Will They or Won't They?: The trope could very well be called "Ross And Rachel", except for the whole thing about not naming tropes after characters. For reference, the Ross/Rachel UST was introduced in the first five minutes of the Pilot Episode, and not fully resolved until the last five minutes of the Grand Finale. That's right, it was dragged out over literally the entire series.
- Well, they ended up together in the last moments of the Series Finale. They got together in season 2, broke up in season 3, and from that it was an on-again-off-again thing.
- Which is fairly amusing seeing as Ross/Rachel was never meant to go beyond the pilot but it was so popular they abandoned their original plan note . So the show's longest plot was almost the one that never was.
- The trope gets lampshaded and referenced often; the group always treats Ross & Rachel as an inevitable coupling, even though they go over six seasons without dating (something else that gets referenced when Ross or Rachel have trouble coping whenever the other is dating, since that long of a gap means they should be over each other by then).
- Women Prefer Strong Men: Inverted with Monica when her boyfriend Pete trains to become the Ultimate Fighting Champion. (He doesn't do a good job, but is still a lot stronger than before). Monica hates seeing him hurt, and prefers him when was sweet and geeky. They eventually break up because of it. A similar case happened with her husband Chandler. When he and Ross are armwrestling, Monica says she loves his sensitivity and kindess not strength. From his end, he happily admits that she is freakishly strong and could kick his ass.
- Worst Whatever Ever: Chandler tries to watch porn, but accidentally watches a video of a birth. He doesn't catch on for a minute. "Worst porn ever! Worst porn ever!"
- Chandler has another brilliant one when the Friends watch Joey's new show, Mac and Cheese.
Chandler: That was one of the worst things ever... and not just on TV.
- In "TOW The Stripper", Monica hired Chandler a stripper for a bachelor party post-marriage. note However, due to misunderstandings, the stripper turns out to be a hooker, prompting Chandler to say: "This is the worst bachelor party ever!" since he doesn't want to cheat on Monica.
- Worth It: Joey and Chandler give up the big apartment to Monica and Rachel in exchange for watching them make out. They stride into their old apartment, with Chandler shouting "Totally worth it!" They then quickly proceed to their respective bedrooms with a hasty "good night" to each other, so as not to let the imagery go to waste.
- In another episode, Joey's at dinner with a woman who specifically tells him not to touch her dessert while she's in the bathroom, since he already laid down the law that he doesn't share his food with her. When she comes out, he finishes the last bite with a smile and says "I'm not even sorry."
- Writer on Board: The reason why the story with Phoebe and the stray cat exists is because co-creator/lead writer Marta Kauffman lost her own mother just before work on Season Four began. Normally such a plot would have been rejected (since making Ross out to be the bad guy for wanting to return the cat to her owner made no sense to anyone), but because of the circumstances surrounding Kauffman and her mother's then recent death, the plot was allowed to slip past the writers' room.
- Wrong Name Outburst:
- Ross' "I take thee, Rachel" during his wedding to Emily.
- Rachel Green, trying in vain to teach Joey to sail, eventually snaps "Greens don't quit!" When he points out he's not a Green, she realizes she's channeling her father.
- Wrong Parachute Gag: Referenced. When Chandler realizes he's Digging Himself Deeper, he exclaims "Dear God, this parachute is a knapsack!"
- Wrote the Book:
- In the episode "The One Where Ross Moves In":
Monica: Look, Larry, honey, I wrote the book on Section Five, and I know that you don't have to wear your hat unless you're in the kitchen.
Larry: And where is your hat?
Monica: It's in the kitchen. I'll go get it.
Larry: And there's the two points.
Phoebe: Hey, you should really read that book you wrote.
- In the episode "The One With Rachel's Sister":
Jill: (sobbing) I'm so sorry!
Rachel: Please! I invented that!
- Yo Yo Plot Point: Ross and Rachel, who got together and split up multiple times over the course of Friends, are a perfect example.
- Averted, however, with the Chandler/Monica relationship. Once they got together, they stayed together, and their relationship evolved realistically in a way that benefited the show.
- You Look Familiar: Giovanni Ribisi played a teenager who accidentally dropped a condom in Phoebe's guitar case, about half a season before he was cast as Phoebe's half-brother.
- Though some fans theorize that this was an Early-Bird Cameo and that really was Frank Jr. even though he is credited as Condom Boy.
- Jennifer Coolidge and Adam Goldberg guest starred on Friends. Both ended up in regular roles on Joey; the latter, though, was more of a recurring role.
- Celebrity Paradox: Brent Spiner appeared as one of Rachel's bosses in one episode. He turned up later in an episode of Joey, playing himself.
- June Gable played a nurse in episode 23 before picking up a recurring role as Joey's agent Estelle. There were also some one-off characters, e.g. Doug Looperr played a fireman in 3.23 and a paramedic in 5.08.
- The Estelle character actually appeared in an earlier episode, but her scenes were cut from the televised version. (They can be viewed on the DVD version, however.) The producers then cast her as the nurse to make it up to her before bringing back Estelle the following season.
- Lisa Kudrow had played Ursula the waitress on Mad About You prior to joining Friends; this was subsequently played with by making Ursula Phoebe's Evil Twin and having Kudrow play both characters in episodes of the latter show.
- In-universe example was when Phoebe became an extra on Days of Our Lives and noticed some of the extras would play more than one role, and that Joey slept with most of them.
- You Are Better Than You Think You Are: In Season 5 Chandler tries to apologize to Monica after a fight but almost gives up admitting how bad he is with relationships. She kisses him, quotes the trope word for word and their fight is forgotten.
- You Are Grounded: Monica and Chandler talk about becoming parents:
Chandler: Oh yeah, well can you picture me saying "Go to your room! You're grounded?"
Monica: Can you hear me say "You're grounded?"
Chandler: You said that to me last week.
Monica: How hard is it? No shoes on the furniture!
- Your Cheating Heart: This series has various examples:
- The biggest one known to fans is between Ross and Rachel. After they get into a huge fight, they decide to "go on a break" Rachel interprets this as meaning spending time apart with the relationship still on, but Ross thinks that the relationship is off, and has sex with the copy machine girl in order to cope. When Rachel finds out, it leads to the biggest heartbreak between the two of them and a strained relationship for the next several seasons.
- Rachel and Ross are drawn to each other even though they date other people. The two of them kiss while Ross is dating other girls such as Julie and Bonnie. They're not a good pair when it comes to this trope.
- Joey's parents. Joey discovers his father has a mistress and gets angry at him, demanding that he go make things right with his mother. The following day, Joey's mother stops by and gives him an earful for what he did because she was actually happier that her husband was cheating, which in turn made him happy since the two of them were miserable being faithful to each other.
- Joey himself dates multiple women at a time. He's very casual about his relationships.
- Phoebe herself also did this in one episode.
- Phoebe kissed her ex-boyfriend David while she was with Mike. Mike and David were Phoebe's greatest loves.
- Mike proposes to Phoebe while he dates a woman named Precious. She knows Phoebe is the love of Mike's life. Mike breaks it off with Precious as soon as he gets the chance.
- In one episode, Chandler dates a beautiful woman and is very surprised when he finds out she's married... and also has a boyfriend. She insists that they are all ok with it, and they continue dating no-strings-attached. Chandler first likes it, being afraid of commitment, but gets uncomfortable later, especially when he finds out she has even another lover beside them, realizing he actually wants a committed relationship. They break up.
- One rather big arch involved several instances with lots of broken hearts. Chandler fell in love with Joey's girlfriend, and while Joey was mostly casual about his relationships, he decided to keep Kathy around for a bit longer and considered going steady with her. She liked him well enough, but had deeper connection with Chandler, who was absolutely crazy about her and suffered a lot trying to suppress it. They kissed once, and when Joey found out, he got really upset. Kathy then wanted to break up and not pursue a relationship with either because she felt it would separate them and would be too hard on all. When Joey found out how much Chandler cared for her, he green-lit the relationship. Chandler and Kathy were happy and perfect together for some time, but later Chandler became insanely jealous of Kathy's colleague from theatre. They had a fight and she slept with said colleague. He was devastated, going into Heroic BSOD for the next few episodes. Love Hurts.
- Chandler's previous girlfriend Janice cheated on him with her ex-husband. When he found out, he was heartbroken but told her to go back to her ex because they had a kid and he didn't want to break up a family. This was a call back to the fact his parents also cheated on each other throughout his childhood. When you're Chandler Bing Love Hurts badly.
- Thankfully Chandler ends up with the dependable Monica, the only Friend not to have cheated in any way. After they've got together, he panics about an Imaginary Love Triangle and thinks she's fallen into this trope (understandable given Your Cheating Heart seems to have made him a personal target) but she never does anything close and helps him through the issues caused by the truckload of previously mentioned betrayals.
- You Say Tomato: in the What If? episode, Ross insists on calling karate "kaah-raah-Tay" instead of the U.S.-normal "kuh-rah-dee." There's also Chandler's pronunciation of the "whipped" onomatopoeia/gesture as "Whoop-pah!" (with the rest of the cast favoring "hwu-cher!").
- You Will Be Spared: Phoebe once says: "When the revolution comes, I will have to destroy you all... except you, Joey."