Forgive me if I'm wrong, but in the first season it's either implied or outright stated that Carol was the only person Ross had slept with. However, in a later episode where Ross, Monica and Chandler are all shouting each other's secrets, Ross says "In college, Chandler got drunk and slept with the lady who cleaned our room!" to which Chandler responds with "That was you!" and Ross replies "Whatever dude, you kissed a guy", which means he did sleep with the cleaning lady and therefore Carol wasn't the first or only woman he had slept with before the first season.
I think Ross was just attempting to save face. This alleged hook up happened in college, as you said. There was that one flashback in season 10 where Ross and Chandler were putting up fliers for their band, and then both of them mentioned something along the lines of "I've totally done it before..." "Me too! I'm good at it!" When it's strongly implied they're freshman-year virgins. So I think being generalized stereotypical college dorks, Ross TOLD Chandler he boinked the cleaning lady. He could have just hooked up with her and not gone all the way, but told his friend they had sex to sound more like a badass.
Then again, Monica claims Ross never told her when he lost his virginity, just one episode after he said he told her and just about everyone he knew, and only two episodes after the pilot.
It is possible that Ross told everyone that he slept with Carol, not that it was his first time.
Why did Monica and Chandler name their son after Jack Geller? Naming your kid after someone you look up to but he wasn't a great father, he favored Ross, and while he didn't criticize Monica as much as Judy did, he didn't defend her either. (He pretty much ignored her, like when all her childhood boxes were ruined). The only nice thing we see is him comforting her over Richard. How did Monica think he deserved the gesture? And did Chandler mind naming his son after his father-in-law? Monica had already had a ton of baby names thought out, which you'd think the two of them would discuss. It just made them look pathetically grateful to the only halfway, almost-decent parent one of them had.
Because Monica still loves him even though he's kind of a jerk, because she probably thought that would please him and she's often desperate for parental approval, and because some families just do that.
Well, while Monica may have felt undervalued by her parents, and they did do some mean things (spending her wedding savings), it's not like they were ever abusive. Jack and Judy both still cared for, loved and raised Monica, expecting very little in return. And we've seen Jack do plenty of nice and fatherly things to Monica; he came to her aide when she and Richard broke up, gave her a Porsche to make up for destroying her childhood belongings and in the episode with the Prom Video, we see him coercing Monica into dancing with him. So while at times he may have been somewhat dismissive, he was clearly a loving father.
Judy's behavior definitely counts as emotional abuse, and when you have a child it's expected you'll raise and love them, it comes with the package. Maybe Jack didn't do anything overt, but the fact he didn't prevent Judy's behavior puts him neglectful father territory.
Monica and Jack's relationship might have improved after he gave her the Porsche and actually realized they'd favoured Ross. Before that it was implied he was oblivious to what Monica went through.
Maybe Monica and Chandler thought it would be nice to give the kids a family name and picked from the best of a very bad bunch. And Jack was marginally better than the other three grandparents. Charles walked out on Chandler when he was a kid, and was clearly insensitive to his son's feelings. Nora barely noticed Chandler, with never calling and kissing his best friend. Judy was endlessly critical and ripped Monica's self-esteem to shreds. Jack was the only parent who didn't participate in abandonment/neglect/abuse of some sort. But that's not saying he deserved it, as anything Monica and Chandler achieved on the show was down to their own determination rather than their crappy parents. They'd have been better off with no family name at all, for all the acknowledgment their parents deserved. They may have as well have called the kid Joey if they wanted to recognise someone who supported them.
Rachel stealing Monica's thunder
After Monica and Chandler's engagement Monica is angry because Rachel makes the night all about her and Ross hooking up. Fairly enough, she accuses Rachel of feeling resentful and wanting attention because she doesn't have anyone. After a whole episode of fighting Rachel says that's she's not 'resentful', she's just sad that she isn't getting married. And Monica forgives her. What? How is being 'sad' different from being resentful? The bottom line is that Rachel is annoyed that Monica's happy and she isn't. Why the hell does Monica forgive her instantly? Rachel never even said sorry! Couldn't she let her best friend have one night without thinking about herself? Monica was hugely supportive of Rachel's previous relationships even when she herself was single or going through tough breaks up with Richard and Pete. Was it so hard for Rachel to return the favour? It's especially bad as Rachel could have got back together with Ross multiple times (who she admitted she still loved) and actually worked on their relationship, but refused. You can't sabotage your chance at a serious relationship, and then be sad when your friend makes it work. Viewers lost a lot of respect for Rachel in that episode. As Monica said initially, she was being self-centred so why did her 'I'm sad' explanation change anything?
That I can believe but why did Monica fall for it? Is she just gullible?
It's just hard to stay actively mad at someone you care about who's admitted she's really not happy with where her life is. Monica had said her piece, and ultimately was still engaged and marrying the man she loved - Rachel was still out of line, but what's Monica going to do, be mad forever about it? Even if Rachel's actions had been motivated completely by narcissism and not by sadness, Monica would still eventually have forgiven her. But with Rachel humbling herself by admitting what a mess she is, it would be hard for Monica to keep the righteous fury going.
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.
It would intersect plot lines. While the couples are about to get down, he's dealing with his crazy roommate. The real question is why couldn't Richard and Monica do other things? I may not have experience, but even I know actual intercourse isn't the only way get someone off.
Yes, but in that respect, why can`t Ross and Rachel be the ones to get each other off in other ways? Therein lies the problem.
It can probably be hand-waved by a Rule of Drama, but it's hard to believe that nobody out of four people has a condom in their wallet/purse. Or even more so — both Monica and Rachel are in a serious relationship with men they trust. It's very probable that they would be using contraceptive pills.
Keeping a condom in a wallet is actually a very bad way to store it. The heat and friction can cause it to break.
Completely irrelevant, but how is the title of this particular Headscratcher not also the title of one of Phoebe's songs?
How exactly did Rachel build such a successful career? She has no qualifications, no training in fashion but somehow gets a lead in the very competitive field and becomes an executive?? She got her first proper job through Mark, but that was illogical, why would an intelligent, professional man employ some random woman he met in a diner? Especially one as inexperienced as Rachel. I could understand if during her time as a waitress, she did some training or placements or night classes etc. but she does nothing. She's just as unqualified as she was at the pilot episode. It's especially galling compared to the others: Ross has a PHD, Phoebe trained as a masseuse, Joey did acting classes and struggled for years, Monica attended culinary school but was still unemployed for a long time after losing her job and Chandler went to college, worked his way to executive after more than ten years but still started at the bottom of the career ladder in advertising. Yet Rachel gets to the top of her field in a short amount of time with no training at all? How?
She's pretty and she's not afraid to flirt her way into a favorable outcome, screw over other people to get what she wants, or abandon almost all of her morals when the job calls for it. Honestly it's more amazing they didn't make her a CEO.
Maybe she did have some kind of fashion related qualification (she certainly went to college, she must have done something), but had no way into the industry proper until Mark helped her in. It's not what you know, it's who you know.
She's implied to have flunked out of College (in the Pilot she says she's 'qualified for nothing' and flashbacks have her switching majors because the carpark is in the wrongs place) so she clearly has no degree or anything.
There's no reason to assumed she flunked out of college, and if Rachel had no college degree that likely would have come up - Phoebe's lack of the same has come up. But Rachel didn't take school seriously and likely didn't graduate with good grades or a degree in anything she wanted to do. As mentioned though, Rachel's first job was simply as an administrative assistant at a fashion company, and she simply took off from there. As it happens, Rachel's promotion she was so excited about after that, a low-level job as a buyer, was what my mother (who spent most of her career in the fashion industry) started as after graduating. So Rachel didn't leap frog that quickly - and, really, as far as we know, never was, like, a true big wig at any company she worked at.
In 'TOW Rachel Quits' Chandler types up Rachel's CV and specifically says that just "Co-Cheer Captain and waitress" don't take up much space so clearly there was nothing else to put. And as a previous troper mentioned if Rachel had had a College degree she should have been able to find a better job than waitressing.
Ohhhh I can't tell you how wrong that assumption is.
If we assume she isn't exaggerating when saying just "Co-Cheer Captain and waitress", then she doesn't even have a High School Diploma so how the hell did she get into college in the first place. There's no reason to think that she flunked college with all the financial security she had - if she had, Leonard (if not one of the Friends) would have used it against her at some point. We can just assume that her major was non-vocational.
How qualified do you need to be to work as an assistant? And Mark did coach her for the interview. It's pretty clear that he had a crush on her from the start and that's the main, if not the only reason he did it. And when she got her first job at RL, she was again as assistant and by that time she already had relative working experience.
It's not unheard of even for people without a degree to get good jobs through hard work, the right contacts and/or luck, and Rachel seemed to have at least the last two. Plus, as others have pointed out, she did start with a pretty low-level fashion job and then worked her way further up, which is realistic.
She slept with a lot of people. Or as she put it on one episode "dressing provactively"....
Emma's Birthday Party
In TOW the Cake, Monica and Chandler want to go away together but Ross and Rachel insist they stay for Emma's birthday party. Isn't that unbelievably thoughtless given Monica and Chandler have recently discovered they can't have children? (And are starting the incredibly stressful adoption process). Clearly they want to get some space to deal with it and 'reconnect emotionally' as Monica put it. (Infertility puts a strain on even the strongest marriages). Did Ross and Rachel not think 'hey, maybe we shouldn't rub the fact that we had a baby without even trying into our best friends faces?' Do R&R even care how painful the party would be for them?
Characters in Friends being self-centered and blind to the feelings of others? Nooooooooooooooooooooooo. That's impossible!
Yeah but this isn't something petty like a break up with a Girl of the Week or fighting over roommate stuff. Monica and Chandler lost the chance to have children, probably the most devastating thing any of the characters go through on the show, especially since Monica wanted kids since Season 1. You'd think their friends would be more sensitive. People claim Ross's divorces (probably the next most painful thing a character suffered) didn't get much sympathy, but he got more attention and comfort than they did. Monica and Chandler's future falls apart and there are ZERO scenes with the others showing support. Instead everyone thinks Ross and Rachel's child having a birthday cake is more important than them recovering from not having children. Did the writers not think that through at all?
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.
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.
The irony is the "Well, you're one to talk" gag is played for laughs (haha, Carol sleeps with other women cause she's a lesbian) when really, Carol does have no right to judge Ross for committing adultery when she did the same thing during their marriage.
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).
Almost the entire cast cheated on a boyfriend/girlfriend throughout the series? Seriously take a look at that: Monica never cheated, Chandler never cheated though he was on the receviving end of it twice, Rachel never cheated, it's hinted she considered it with Barry but never followed through, Ross kissed Rachel once while he was with Julie and later Bonnie but then immediately broke it off with them (the whole 'We Were On A Break' argument is a seperate issue in itself and was not treated lightly), Phoebe had one case with the fireman and police officer, felt terribly guilty in the process and they both acknowledged that they weren't exclusive. The only Friend you can argue for is Joey, and there's a big difference between sleeping with a few girls casually at the same time and sleeping with someone else while you're still married to a faithful husband whose trying to make it work.
And 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?
I think Susan had a bit of an excuse for hostility to Ross. She's started a fairly new relationship, and her girlfriend's ex-husband is going to be around a lot because of Ben. She could have been trying to drive him away so she doesn't have to see Ross every day, just like how Emily wanted Ross to stop seeing Rachel. Except Susan would be in a worse position because she broke up a happy marriage (for the better, but still...)
That makes no sense at all. Carol wasn't going to run back to Ross. Rachel, however, disrupted Emily's wedding and stirred up feelings for her in Ross purely because she suddenly felt lonely and thought he might leave Emily at the altar? Her reasoning is really never explained. Wanting her girfriend's ex-husband to stay out his own son's life is just selfish, no matter how you look at it, and there's never a reason for committing adultery and breaking up a happy marriage (if someone is unsure of their feelings, talk, don't commit adultery).
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 could not be more wrong about the marriage bonds. You could try, but you would not be successful. 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 she 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 and 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?
Ross was married to Carol, not Susan. Carol left Ross to be with Susan after having an affair with her, without talking to Ross, some time after Ben's conception. No matter how you look at, being a lesbian is not an excuse for adultery, cutting a parent out of their child's life, or the general rudeness both Carol and Susan give Ross.
Bottom line, Carol is a bitch.
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.
It's not the phrase itself that's magic, it's the delivery. They're making fun of "How you doin'?" because out of context it is ridiculous. When Joey uses it on Phoebe, he does the whole delivery... he shifts his body language, artfully tilts his head, makes sparkly bedroom eyes, gives a playful little smile, and then says it in a sultry manner. Turning "How you doin'?" into a believable come-on was half Joey being a chat-up artist and half Matt LeBlanc being a really good actor.
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
They probably considered the idea and discarded it for the primary reason that doing the expected jokes with such a scare would make Joey look like an ass... avoiding the woman, considering leaving the country, yadda yadda, all the funny stuff would still come from Joey wanting to ditch the woman carrying his child. Having him go to the opposite extreme wouldn't fit with the character, either. Charlie can afford to look like an ass in that situation because the character's supposed to be a jerk, but Joey's supposed to be a sweet, well-natured guy. Such an episode might be dramatic, but while Friends was unafraid to dip its toe in the drama pool, it's still primarily a comedy. If you can't do good jokes with a plot, don't do the plot.
It is addressed once, when the women are discussing how to inform Ross that he got Rachel pregnant, the oblivious Joey walks in and one of the women asks, 'Joey, how would you react if you found out you got someone pregnant?', Joey panics and asks 'Who called here?!'
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, it's 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.
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.
I 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.
I have an argument with my 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 head-scratcher 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'.
She also calls the 'break' a breakup on Ross's answering machine, and asks if they could get back together the day after.
Why 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.
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 Headsratcher 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 even a couple months, after they'd broken up. There's a difference between liking someone and actively pursuing them.
Having watched the episode again just before, I must say it seems obvious Mark IS trying to get with Rachel. Invites himself over as to be there, deliberately talks loud to Rachel when she's on the phone to Ross so Ross can hear.
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. I call 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.
Rachel definitely indicated that if he broke up with Bonnie (at that moment or in the morning), then she'd take him back. In fact she seemed all up for kissing and sex, while he was still with Bonnie and it was Ross who insisted on being honest.
Ross: *Breaks their kiss* "Okay, I gotta go."
Rachel: "Whoa! What?! Why?!"
Ross: "Well, I-I gotta go break up with Bonnie."
Rachel: "Here?! Now?!"
Ross: "Well, yeah. I can’t-I can’t stay here all night, and if I go in there she’s-she’s gonna wanna... do stuff."
Rachel: "Well, can’t you tell her that you are not in the mood?"
That was the only protest Rachel made. She didn't mention her stipulations or say, 'hold off breaking up with her because we've got to discuss stuff'. She realized he'd chosen her and let him end his relationship so he'd have to agree to her demands or be alone. Even if Ross had broken up with Bonnie in the morning, she still wouldn't have whipped out the list until after he'd ended it, so he'd be trapped.
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.
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.
Actually, upon rewatching the following episode, Rachel specifically calls it a breakup and asks if they can get back together on his answering machine, so it WAS a breakup, and Rachel actually acknowledged this.
And she tell's Monica that 'we broke up instead' the following morning, which shocks her enough to spray the blender everywhere. Why Monica never mentioned this is anyone's guess, but its implied she does side or at least sympathise with Ross on the issue.
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.
Actually, there's Rachel's "can I be your girlfriend again" phone call the next morning, where she specifically calls it a breakup and asks if they could get back together. This is completely forgotten the rest of episode.
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.
Don't forget about Rachel's "can I be you girlfriend again" phone message the next morning, where she calls it a breakup and asks if they could get back together, yet Ross never brings this up, and Rachel seems to act like it never happened.
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.
She actually calls it a breakup in her phone call to Ross the next day, so obviously she thought they were over, otherwise she wouldn't have asked "can I be your girlfriend again".
Not to mention she expressly tells Monica that "We broke up instead." Not a break. A break up. She's just too petty to admit she's wrong.
The thing that makes me side with Ross is that "We were on a break" is the excuse that he always goes. Rachel seems to refute this for the entire remainder of the series. She never acknowledges the break to the rest of the group. This could be because it really is a poor excuse. But all she had to do was at some point say "yes, we were, but that doesn't change the fact that you jumped into bed the first girl you saw." It's understandable for her to feel hurt and have trust issues with him, but for to seemingly ignore the fact that they WERE on a break, it makes her look bad for no real reason.
How couldn't they move past the technicalities? Were they on a break or broken up? Is Ross or Rachel to blame? Should he have slept with the copy girl? Ultimately you're left wondering why they couldn't just MOVE ON. Yes, they both screwed up, but if they really loved each other they'd learn to forgive. (Even if it takes a while). Had the same thing happened with Monica and Chandler for example, I couldn't see them letting one mistake tear them apart because they care about each other too much. A relationship should be more important than petty disagreements. Instead Ross and Rachel argue endlessly about whose 'fault' it was, and try to lay blame. It makes you doubt how strong their 'love' really was.
Ross's 'cheating' just gave Rachel an easy out to end the relationship. They'd were clearly struggling with her new job and his paranoia so Chloe gave her an excuse to end it. May be Alternative Character Interpretation but throughout the series we never see Rachel committing to a relationship. Unlike the other characters who are dumped and hurt throughout the series, she instigates all her break ups. The opening episode has her running away from Barry, later she breaks up with Paolo, Ross, Danny, Tag, Paul and Joey (sometimes for justified reasons, sometimes not), sabotages her chances with Joshua with wedding talk and rejects Gavin. She never proves she can work through relationship problems. Considering that Ross's 'betrayal' was probably something she could hide behind so she didn't have to deal with a real relationship.
It was Flanderised to the point of a running gag, which makes a lot of people forget that the first person who said 'we were on a break' (verbatim) was her.
Having recently watched the episode, Rachel was in the wrong to blame him entirely for it, but in the right to at least feel partially betrayed and not want to get back together with him. Hold on a minute at I explain. She did lead him on to believe that they were broken up, but Ross shouldn't have gone and slept with another woman so quickly. Consensual sex with someone not a prostitute implies an emotional connection, long term trust, and a history of romantic affection, which Rachel has nothing but Ross' word did not exist while they were together. Not to say any of those conditions are necessary, but our culture puts emphasis on them being there before sleeping together. If it had happened a few weeks later or with someone that he was unlikely to have had an emotional or romantic connection to prior to their breakup such as a prostitute, she would be in the wrong, but as is she has no reason to believe it wasn't an affair started before their breakup.
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.
We see an example of just how little Ross has outgrown the issue for their "break" up in the first place. He was insanely jealous. He goes into super jealous mode when they run into Mark and he offers to discuss a job opening over dinner. Ross and Rachel haven't even been together in 7 years, something that Chandler even comments on.
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?
YMMV on Chandler/Monica making sense. Both of them developed a lot during the relationship, especially before they got married. Chandler got over his commitment phobia and became a lot more secure with himself. Monica allowed him to take the control with them (notice he was the one who instigated all the bigs steps in the relationship, being on 'London time' moving in, proposing etc) and she learnt to compromise, like with her wedding plans and adopting a baby. While the writers overdid how controlling she was in the final season or two, as a whole it was obvious they were very happy and did have a give-and-take-relationship.
And you took the 'manipulative shrew' quote totally out of context. Chandler was saying it as a joke when they were having a pretend fight.
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.
Uh, whether the church is consecrated or not has no bearing on the legality of the wedding. You can get married in the middle of a six lane highway, as long as the proper paperwork is filed and signed. The location of a wedding doesn't make the wedding less valid, whether it's in a consecrated church or a city park.
Yes, location does matter, at least in English Civil Law.
If the church was scheduled for demolition, it would be deconsencrated and could not be booked or even perform weddings, and any wedding conducted there would be null and void.
If were it still consencrated, it would be unthinkable to demolish it.
Britain's incredibly restrictive health and safety laws would prohibit a wedding from taking place in a church undergoing an in-progress demolition.
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.
It's not a church. It was never referred to as a church in the script, and Ross is Jewish, so why would he be getting married in a church?
It could have been a former church (Emily's parents did get married there before venue liberalisation) or a secular building (perhaps a old Livery Company hall) constructed in neo-Gothic style - London's stuffed with them.
The celebrant is wearing a day suit, so is likely to be a secular local government official called a Registrar.
The building would have been a registered 'Licensed Wedding Venue' under "The Marriages (Approved Premises) Regulations 1995". The license lasts for three years. Unlike consecration/deconsecration there would have been no need to surrender the license before demoliton.
Yes, the writers are playing fast and loose with UK Health and Safety laws though. And there are lot of pre-wedding hoops (especially as a foreigner) Ross would have had to jump through and he wasn't there for that.
You should hear the writers' commentary. They talk about Ross and Rachel like they invented fire, and how they would just throw in a Ross/Rachel argument if they ran out of ideas while writing an episode.
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.
Give Chandler and Monica some credit. The twins were just born, they haven't had a chance to be absentee! Plus you know Monica's gonna be a doting mother bordering on helicopter.
Rachel and Emma
Ok, in what universe would Rachel be considered a capable mother? Yes you can justify Emma not appearing much as the normal Not Important to This Episode Camp babies-are-a-pain-to-work-with, thing. But when Emma does appear she's hardly ever with Rachel or when she is, Rachel's messing up and someone else has to fix it. Of the Emma-centric storylines, there's about three where Rachel plays a role: Taking her to a fricking beauty pagent, refusing to let her go on the swings and annoying her doctor so much about Emma's hiccups that he quits. Other Emma episodes: Rachel wakes her up against Phoebe and Monica's protests, meaning she cries for hours until Monica soothes her and Rachel wanders off. Another has Rachel leaving Emma with Chandler and Monica because she's going on a blind date, and Chandler entertaining her. There's Emma's birthday, which involves Ross and Rachel driving off to get birthday cake while again Chandler and Monica look after her and have probably the only heartwarming, family scene with them teaching her how to count and organizing her stuffed animals. Seriously, Chandler and Monica may as well have kidnapped her, because they do more parenting than Rachel does. Admittedly there aren't many Ross-Emma stories, but he rarely screws up like Rachel does, and has already proved to be a capable father with Ben. I get that the whole idea was to have Rachel mature and learn things, but she doesn't learn: She's clueless at best and irresponsible at worst, so why does everyone act like she's such a great mother?
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 post. 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 me, 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.
A particular one I have a major problem with is the breakup in "The One with The Girl Who Hits Joey". Basically Joey's dating a girl who is a bit too playful and hits him a lot, and rather hard, too. Couldn't Joey have just said "Hey, I know you like to hit me for fun, but you do it a little too much, could you please stop it?"? Instead he does it in the rudest way possible, getting Rachel involved, which involves her hitting the girl on purpose to be rude, and when the girl (Who's name I forget, due to this being the "only" time I've ever seen the episode.) asks "Are you gonna tell her to stop?" or something along those lines, he just flat out says "No" with the smuggest possible smile, and she storms out. Not only was this rude, but it made Joey and Rachel look like assholes. Just, why?
Rachel hits her because the girl hits her first. Joey is smug because he wants her to stop abusing him and he finally sees a way to get rid of her. If you actually pay attention to the episode, the girl is clearly using her "I'm just a girl, I can hit people if I want and it's cute" privileges to bully Joey and other people... she hits him extra hard and her cutesy voice slips into angry when he asks her to stop it, and does the same thing to Rachel when she hears something she doesn't like. She's being abusive, and Rachel hitting her back is standing up for her friend (for once).
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 Phoebe 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 hurt. And so on...
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?
The other explanation is bitterness. While their best friend has a happy relationship with someone who adores and understands her, Rachel and Phoebe are stuck with endless on-off tension and quick flings. Then add its with Chandler, who they never expected to settle down, but who overcame his commitment phobia because of Monica, and its really starts to sting. They take it out by joking Chandler isn't good enough and they'll do better, to cover up their feelings. Just watch how jealous they are when Monica and Chandler get engaged. Despite what they say, its obvious they envy the secure relationship the two of them have.
While Rachel is clearly jealous, Phoebe's treatment of Monica/Chandler is weird since she's such a huge Shipper on Deck for Ross/Rachel. Why does she support one and not the other? Theoretically Rachel and Monica are better looking and 'above' the socially awkward Ross and Chandler, but on paper Chandler is actually a better catch than Ross. Ross has the whole '3 divorces' thing, cheated on Julie, Bonnie (and Rachel sort of), has anger issues and was fired from his first job. Chandler's held down a well-paying job for years, got no divorces and has never cheated on any of his girlfriends. So why have you got Phoebe spewing out lines like "you two belong together" to Ross and Rachel but Monica "can do better" than Chandler? It's not as if she likes Ross more on a personal level: She generally finds his scientific, 'intellectual' views irritating whereas she and Chandler got on well in early seasons. I suppose you could argue Chandler was screwed up more as a child (gay dad, parents divorcing etc) and commitment phobic, but he works through his issues and Phoebe would be a huge bitch for judging him on that given her own upbringing. And if she was jealous wouldn't she be anti both Monica and Rachel's relationships? Why does she just pick on Monica/Chandler?
Ross wasn't fired, he was suspended and sent to a psychiatrist.
When Monica and Chandler make up after their fight about the hotel in New Jersey, why doesn't Monica apologise at all for her actions? She was completely in the wrong, forcing them to switch to ten different rooms for insignificant details. Yet Chandler has to apologise for calling her out on her behaviour. She never admits she was in the wrong.
Chandler didn't apologize for calling her out on her behaviour. And while Monica was certainly in the wrong for causing a fuss, he wasn't exactly in the right given he watched car chases instead of talking to her. Neither of them apologized. He was just worried their relationship had ended because they had a fight, and she was reassuring him they were still ok together. The point was Chandler getting over that first disagreement you have with someone. They made up because their relationship was more important than a petty argument, so really no one was 'right' or 'wrong'.
I finally started looking at it as basically, Chandler lets her. It's really a coin toss as to which of them has the more screwed-up backstory. Chandler has his parents split up, his mother had affairs (if I'm remembering right,) and his father became a transvestite/drag queen (the show really couldn't keep it straight.) Monica had years of being The Unfavorite, not to mention when her weight was finally addressed, she clearly went through some self-esteem issues (she lost what looked like more than half her bodyweight in under a year.) The big difference, however, is that Chandler seems to have coped a lot better, being able to joke about it and seems much more well-adjusted. Monica however, still has her control freak tendencies and her obsessive cleanliness. There are times she seems like she has a thin shell of brittle pride that is the only thing keeping her from completely falling apart. Chandler seems to realize that she is much worse off than he is and is willing to take the blame if it keeps his good friend (and later his wife) from having a complete and total breakdown.
They both support each other's issues and are equally screwed up. Yes, Chandler is more relaxed but its mentioned numerous times he uses humour as an emotional defence to hide his insecurity. (A classic Sad Clown and Stepford Snarker). Monica gives him stability and helps his fears of commitment and being hurt. In return he accommodates her controlling tendencies and obsessiveness. He's not better off than she is, just different. It's a give and take relationship. That's why they work so well together, they're equally damaged, but understand, accept and love each other anyway.
And on the 'Chandler takes all the blame' thing, that's true in some episodes but not others. Monica can be really stubborn, but there are examples of them compromising and Chandler getting his way. (The price of the wedding, his dream band, Monica apologizing for the toe incident etc).
The show actually addresses how Chandler and Monica deal with each other's flaws. In one episode Monica worries over being 'high-maintenance' (bossy, uptight etc.) and Chandler says that he enjoys calming her down and that she stresses out because she's so passionate. (Something he loves). And whenever Chandler freaks out about commitment and relationships Monica likes helping him with that and thinks it's sweet that he cares even if he struggles with it. They're aware of each other's issues but appreciate each others good points instead. And they both like feeling needed in the relationship.
Chandler: "I’m sorry. You’re not easy-going, but you’re passionate, and that’s good. And when you get upset about the little things, I think that I’m pretty good about making you feel better about that. And that’s good too. So, they can say that you’re high maintenance, but it’s okay, because I like…maintaining you."
Monica: "Chandler that’s crazy! If you give up every time you’d have a fight with someone you’d never be with anyone longer than ohhh....You are so cute!"(Later episode) " Y'know when I said that I want you to deal with this relationship stuff all on your own? Well, you're not ready for that."
The hiding of their relationship annoyed me a lot. Even now watching repeats. Aside from feeling it ran on for too many episodes, what was the big deal? If I remember correctly, they didn't want the "pressure" of everyone knowing, but once they found out, nobody cared. And Monica was all up in Ross/Rachel, so her and Chandler's reasoning waxed thin for me.
No one cared? Seriously? When they first found out Rachel analyzed how romantic Chandler was, Phoebe judged that Monica "could do better" and Ross went into a crazy rage. Can you imagine dealing with that from the start? And remember that Ross was only ok with the relationship when Chandler said he loved Monica, something they'd just admitted when Ross found out. Ross would never have accepted them when they were just fooling around. Plus Chandler had major commitment issues at that stage. Hiding it meant that Chandler could fall in love with Monica, and get used to a serious relationship without worrying it would be a serious relationship. Mentally he had an easy escape which meant he didn't feel trapped or want to use that escape. By the time the others found out, he'd discovered being with someone could be a happy rather than painful experience and so dealt with their expectations it would continue. In the episode after the truth came out, everyone else started planning their wedding/marriage/kids etc. (Which actually made them look like dicks given they knew Chandler's issues with that stuff). Had that happened early on Chandler would have bolted because he was scared things were moving too fast, he'd get hurt or he'd let Monica down. But because they'd built that emotional security Chandler realized losing Monica was scarier than committing and she could calm Chandler down.
And you can bet that the Ross And Rachel saga was fresh in their minds. Their break up put huge pressure on the group and the other four were stuck in the middle. (Remember when Ross and Rachel broke up and the others were all trapped in Monica's room listening? Or Chandler breaking down because the constant fighting reminded him of his parent's divorce?) Monica and Chandler were clearly trying to avoid that happening again, and so kept everyone else out of it. Also Truth in Television that close friends being very involved in your relationship does cause problems.
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.
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?
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.
Ross doesn't dump Bonnie because of the bald thing. He's clearly a bit uncomfortable with it, but part of that was probably shock. He likely would have gotten over it because he's actually not as shallow as Chandler or Joey, and probably would have forced himself to stay with her because he's dedicated to having a relationship. He only dumps her because Rachel piles on the pressure by revealing she has feelings for him again when her original homewrecker scheme didn't work on its own.
Plus once Rachel pressured Ross into breaking up with Bonnie so they could get back together, she turned around and said "you can only have me on these conditions". She only told him after he'd dumped Bonnie, meaning if he didn't agree to her totally unreasonable demands he'd ended his relationship for nothing. What the hell?
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.
After Ross and Emily's wedding and subsequent divorce, Rachel says she doesn't want Ross now because he has too much baggage and is too damaged, all of which she caused. So, she doesn't want Ross when he's single, only when he's taken, and just seems to want to fuck up his life for her own amusement.
Pretty much. Consider it Alternate Character Interpretation from the way the writers probably intended her, but which fits much better when you look at her background and personality. From the moment Ross admits his feelings for her, Rachel realizes she has control over him... he is now her toy. She gets bored of her toy when it stops working just how she wants it to and sets it aside. But how dare anyone else be allowed to play with her toy! It's not that she wants to play with the toy herself anymore... oh sure, she might a little after she gets it back from that uppity other kid, just to make a point, and because she's glad to reclaim her property... but the point is that it's hers and no one else is allowed to have it.
A more charitable explanation could be that she realises her mistake. Ross's divorce with Emily left him in a fragile state. He was forced to take time off work, leave his apartment and deal with anger issues. Rachel realises that starting a relationship with someone right after he's gone through a messy divorce ain't the best idea in the world. Especially since she did cause a lot of the problems. She just figures it's probably best to just back off and let Ross sort out his issues.
Or another Alternate Character Interpretation: Rachel has Commitment Issues. Throughout the series Rachel has a flawless track record of breaking up with guys just when they get serious, often for ridicolous reasons. (Paul because he cried too much, Gavin because of 'complications' with Ross even though they weren't together, Joey because he couldn't do it 'sexually', hell even Ross and the flimsy 'you cheated' excuse which she uses to avoid getting back together with him for a long time). And she rarely shows the devastation Monica, Chandler, Ross and even Phoebe or Joey do, at break ups. She only wants Ross when he's unvaliable, because subconciously she knows its 'safe' and she won't have to commit. (Like when he's with Julie, Bonnie and Emily). When he becomes avaliable again, she finds weak pretexts to reject him (the apparently insulting list he wrote, the 'we were on a break argument' and then him being divorced again). It's not that she likes playing with him, she's not capable of commiting and becoming intimiate with someone.
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.
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.
I 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 Bythe 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. Ross and Rachel turned each other into whiny, jealous jerks, and Ross got scary with his anger issues 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.
I didn't mind the romance in general, although it was ended very awkwardly. The main problem I 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. I suspect 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.
Actually on the Season 9 commentary the writers said they never intended Rachel and Joey to last and it was going to be a quick thing so they could end with Ross/Rachel. They always viewed Rachel as having a 'crush' on Joey not loving him like she "loved" Ross. That's why Rachel and Joey didn't sleep together because that would be going too far. So yeah that whole arc was just a Shaggy Dog Story. They shouldn't have teased it in the first place if they knew it wouldn't go anywhere, it was a waste of the viewers time.
The commentary also says that the writers went for the Joey/Rachel relationship because the Joey's unrequited feelings arc was popular. I can understand that, as the plot did add depth to Joey's character and was some great acting from Matt. (Though honestly that could have been achieved if he'd fallen in love with anyone else). But that's completely different from the actual relationship: Joey's feelings hadn't been mentioned since the end of Season 8, and the whole Rachel-Is-Oblivious-And-Then-Changes-Her-Mind-When-He-Is-With-Someone-Else thing was getting really old and made her look shallow. (Something JA was actually worried about). It also made the Ross and Rachel reunion really unbelievable. In all the mess the only couple I felt invested in was Ross/Charlie (who actually seemed really happy together). Then even that was Strangled by the Red String and you were left with two lackluster pairings of Ross/Rachel and Joey/Rachel who it was getting really hard to care about.
A different point about the Rachel/Joey relationship. Hadn't Joey got over his feelings for Rachel by the Season 9 finale? He was in love with Rachel during Season 8 but moved on after she turned him down. He could have been suppressing his feelings but that seem's unlikely: He tells Ross straight up mid-season 9 that he's over her. Hell, he even tries to get Ross and Rachel back together in one episode! Joey's a loyal friend and all, but he's not that selfless or good a liar. And you don't get any scenes of him confiding to Chandler that he still loves her, all signs suggest he genuinely moved on from Rachel. Why the sudden 'oh, let's make out with Rachel based on what I felt a year ago? Did his attraction turn on again when she kissed him? (And then turn off 3 episodes later for that matter.)
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 I liked made a list of her flaws to use against me, I 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.
I was more confused about why she completely ignored three of her closest friends telling her she does not want to see the page. At all.
Truth in Television. If I am told that I don't want to hear or see something, I will bug people for hours to find out what it is.
Ross is given the chance to explain, after he came in from the balcony, he got Rachel to listen. He never mentions that he wasn't the one writing it, or that the chubby ankles wasn't from him, OR that just a waitress was taken out of context. His excuse was that She wasn't supposed to see it (irrelevant), and that he wants to be with her in spite of those things (basically the absolute worst excuse that he could give). He then says that there's nothing she could put on a list that would not make her want to be with her. Rachel had the perfect reaction to that, and I felt her reason for being so hurt by the list were valid and well stated "imagine the worse things you think about yourself, now how would you feel if the one person that you trusted the most in the world not only thinks them too, but actually uses them as reasons not to be with you." Also, no matter what the context, Just a waitress doesn't look at all good. It wasn't "not a paleontologist". Even in proper context, it makes what she does seem inferior to being a paleontologist to him. If anything, Rachel's occupation shouldn't have been on the list and "is a paleontologist" should be on her pros list (even though they never even made it to the pros).
This is Ross and Rachel. An inability to communicate is a staple of their relationship: The whole technicality of break up/on a break kept them apart, Ross lying about their divorce screwed things up, not being open with each other when Emma was born caused issues...the list could go on. Basically miscommunication and petty misunderstandings are the rule with them.
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.
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...
I am a huge men's rights advocate so don't get me wrong, but aren't there plenty of scenarios in TV or movies where people have sexual relations while under an alias? While it would definitely shake one up, I don't think you could classify is as rape (for either gender) because the person is still giving consent, if not informed consent. Then again, there may be some specific law about it I'm unaware of.
Having sex with someone without informed is considered a crime rape by fraud, to be exact.
Giving an alias in a one night stand isn't the same. Ursula was mistake for her identical twin sister. He gave consent to Phoebe, not Ursula. Ursula pretended to be Pheobe to have sex with him, which is statutory rape.
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.
Actually, it wasn't a silly game in the context of the show. Monica and Rachel instigated it to get rid of the birds. The apartment swap was so Joey and Chandler would have something to get out of it other than 'you keep your pets'. And, in a later episode, Ross states that a verbal contract is binding in the state of New York. Personally, I don't find it morally justifiable to say 'your pets are annoying, get rid of them'.
So Chandler and Joey were wrong to take the girls' apartment? They should have disregarded the bet and let Monica and Rachel off the hook? Well, if that was the case, then if the girls had won, then THEY should have said, "Well, we wouldn't really have given up the apartment if you guys had won, so you can keep the birds." But Monica openly admitted that she would have expected the boys to give up the birds if the girls had won, and Rachel's denial of it was ... weak. If the girls would have held the boys to the terms of the bet, then it's only fair for the boys to hold the girls to it as well.
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?
First off, it's not impossible to assume that Chandler and Joey wanted to keep the cost down, so everybody agreed to keep everything on the QT. Second, how many times did we actually see the landlord? Very few times, in roughly ten years, even with all the insanity that occurs (the fact that he never came up to address the duck and the rooster, or all the screaming and fights they do, for starters.) It seemed like he was the type that didn't really care what happened as long as the checks came in. They could have sacrificed a goat to Loki and he wouldn't care.
The "cleansing ritual" fire pretty much proves that canon.
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.
In that instance, I think Chandler shooed him off because he was waiting for the other Friends who would be sitting there. And Gunther would probably do that, simply because a group of six 1) needs seating for six and 2) would likely be very good for business.
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'sit's stupid, and Susan was just a Jerk Ass 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?
People use hyperbole in informal situations while discussing TV shows? That is the most amazing discovery in the history of the world! (And no one has ever been as sarcastic as this, ever.)
What did they go for in the end?
Yes, it should have been "Willick" or "Gellar". I'm fairly traditional in these things, so a father's surname (a father who shares custody, mind you) seems to me the most obvious solution.
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.)
It's not a church (it's never referred to as a church and Ross is Jewish). It would have been a "licensed wedding venue" under "The Marriages (Approved Premises) Regulations 1995".
It seems like they were planning on moving to America afterwards, which means English law doesn't matter.
No. They were officially married n England. Where they moved afterwards is irrelevant, they were married in England. English law very much does matter. Since the church was no longer a recognised church, their wedding is legally null and void.
Or that it was simply symbolic. Emily knew that the building was being demolished, and she might have known it was already deconsecrated, but since it was the church where her parents were married, she wanted to get married there for the sake of tradition.
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?
Probably a result of Monica's upbringing: Her mother puts huge importance on marriage and weddings, as does Rachel, so Monica probably copied their behaviour. And in reality, despite her wedding craziness, Monica actually made a lot of compromises: having a much cheaper wedding than she planned, giving her up perfect dress for Chandler's band, rearranging things for Joey's parents, was reasonably calm on the day etc. So she wasn't as bad as she acted initially.
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?
Exactly. Not just that builders just don't do that, the church was booked. And the government would not let them go there. Don't you know about our stupidly excessive health and safety.
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.
I agree 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).
Beauty is in the eye of the beholder. Just because one person doesn't find someone hot/someone isn't conventionally attractive doesn't mean that they're not attractive. And uh, people are worth more than just their looks.
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 altar. 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.
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.
I think it's perfectly believable. If my attention is focused elsewhere, I'm usually completely oblivious to conversations around me. And I've noticed other people being oblivious to conversations I was having when they were in close proximity. Though this is addressed in the Thanksgiving episode with Brad Pitt. Monica talks about how good Will (Pitt) looks and Chandler says, from the couch, "I'm watching the game but I'm not deaf." So they're not ALWAYS oblivious to the conversations going on around them.
It's pretty obvious that audibility in Friends runs on Rule of Funny.
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.
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.
Supported by the fact that he doesn't know more random stuff about V-words later on. He doesn't even know what a vicar is!
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. The big question is why doesn't he know more random things on V-words after that.
As noted above: he probably lost the book, or perhaps the interest.
Another headscratcher: what was so cool about the encyclopedia that even Joye who wasn't too fond of reading or educating himself by watching documentaries or going to museums became such an avid student of the book?
The same reason he bought the book in the first place: He wanted to make himself look smart in front of his friends.
Joey hasn't always been portrayed as aggressively stupid... he was just sort of flakey and a little salt-of-the-earth earlier on. He probably didn't do any of those other things because he was likely taught that they were for "nerds" and "losers"... it's entirely possible that he actually enjoyed learning things when given the opportunity. Just that later he was Flanderized into barely being smart enough to remember to breathe.
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.
Rachel is clearly the "baby" of the group... she's the newest to join, joined during a vulnerable time in her life, and, well, it's the treatment she expects and demands. The group basically spoils her like a youngest child is often spoiled.
Seconded, throughout the series Rachel's problems are always given more importance than everyone else's. Compare how much sympathy any of her trivial romantic/family/career problems get compared to Chandler and Monica's infertility which no one apart from Joey seems to care about, Ross's divorces, Joey struggling with his career and Phoebe's difficult past and family. When Rachel arrived she was effectively rescued by Monica and the others, who guided her into the real world because she was so helpless. Unfortunately that mindset of Rachel constantly needing help, remained for the rest of the series, even when she became more independent and capable. She almost lost it...only for her to get pregnant, and once again need everyone to rush to her aid. Also check out her background: She was spoiled at home, and her dad even admitted she was his favourite daughter, she was very popular at high school and guys constantly fell over themselves to please her. (Including Ross). Rachel always expected that treatment, and sadly, her so-called 'independent' life with the Friends was just exchanging one family spoiling her for another.
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.
And when did they celebrate Chandler or Monica's birthdays? I can't remember any episode when that happened. Phoebe's birthday was celebrated in Season 9 (TOW with Phoebe's Birthday Dinner), Joeys birthday was celebrated in Season 3 ('TOW where Chandler Can't Remember Which Sister'), Ross's birthday was celebrated in Season 2 (TOW Five Steaks and an Eggplant) and and Rachel's birthday was celebrated three times throughout the series: In Season 2 (Tow Two Parties), Season 5 (Tow Rachel Smokes) AND Season 9 (TOW Phoebe's Rats). Plus there was the TOW They All Turned Thirty in Season 7 which had the briefest glimpse of Chandler and Joey's birthdays, bits of Monica, Phoebe and Ross's and most of the focus on Rachel. Apart from that Monica and Chandler didn't get anything. Its even lampshaded one time that they've thrown an early surprise party for Rachel...even though Chandler's birthday was first. At that point it gets unfair.
With the Monica and Chandler not having birthday parties issue, you can probably attribute that to the fact that they're the ones who organize all the parties and take care of the rest of the gang. (They definitely have a Designated Parents vibe later in the series). Monica is widely acknowledged as the hostess and Team Mom, and Chandler does his part as Joey, Ross and sometimes Rachel's support system. They're too busy taking care of everyone else to organize stuff for themselves, and the rest of the gang don't seem to return the favour. (Note that Monica's only birthday party is organized by Chandler after they're engaged and because she's turning thirty. Presumably she organized an unseen one for him).
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.
The obsessive Rachel/Ross cliffhangers are even more annoying given there were heaps of times when other character's plot's would have made great cliffhangers. Seriously the end of Season 3 could have ended on the revelation that Phoebe's birth mother was still alive....but instead they went with 'Whose Ross going to chose?'. The end of Season 9 could have had Mike and David both proposing to Phoebe (a genuine question mark, as fans were divided and even the writers themselves went back and forth on who to pick) but instead that was shuffled off in the first half and they went with the Rachel/Joey, Ross/Charlie crap. I'm sure there other examples but those are the two that come to mind.
Phoebe's arcs were often under-used. Joey was involved in the Season 8 and 9 cliffhangers even if it was in hated Joey/Rachel plots, and Monica/Chandler got the Season 6 finale, even if it wasn't a cliffhanger. (Though of course both Season 5 and 7 finales which were about them switched straight back to Ross and Rachel).
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.
Friends was never a star-vehicle for Jennifer Anniston. It's mentioned in the commentary for The Pilot that her casting was initially in doubt, as she was under contract on a CBS show at the time. She only got the part after an agreement was reached with CBS.
No it was never a star vehicle for JA but there was still a lot of focus on Rachel. Like (as the previous troper said), with the cliffhangers, her birthdays, the whole Ross/Rachel thing, the Joey and Rachel thing, her pregnancy, hell the last episode was about her leaving! It's even lampshaded a few times, like when she stole Monica and Chandler's engagement night or had a surprise party even though Chandler's birthday was first. The writers were clearly aware of it, they normally worked hard to keep it an ensemble show, so why did they go so overboard with focusing on her?
Maybe they thought Rachel and/or her plots were really popular? It's weird because actually people got sick of the Ross and Rachel drama, Joey/Rachel was really unpopular even with the actors themselves and fans seemed more invested in other story lines than hers. (Like Monica and Chandler trying to have kids and the Phoebe/Mike/David arc). Possibly the writers just didn't realize how annoying she got.
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?
No, not really. It's usually because the older sibling would be in school or asleep when the mother goes into labour, or when baby is born. Plus, Ben lived primarily with Carol and Susan.
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.
He did have a brief cameo when Ross brought him over to play Chandler and Monica's new Ms. Pac-Man arcade game!
Out of sight, out of mind. Due to the difficulties of working with children, Ben only appeared sporadically, and Emma very rarely. With their lack of appearances, the writers and viewers don't think about them very often and so don't get emotionally invested. Hence, when it comes time to leave, Ross losing a child who the writers and viewers never see or think about just doesn't have emotional impact.
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 Headscratchers.
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...
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.
Agreed, they just seemed to be sitting there, obviously with feelings for each other but not acting on them. Rachel admits she loves him but he's married to Emily, he divorces Emily and...they don't do anything. They get married in Vegas, fight about divorcing, Ross realizes he's still in love with Rachel, and...they don't do anything. Monica and Chandler get engaged, Rachel angsts about being alone, they consider having sex and....they don't do anything. Either spit it out or move on.
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.
There's definitely tact involved in being a guest (don't run your host ragged), but if you're a guest it's reasonable to expect some respect for your habits.
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.
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 Artistic License - Law. 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 just Ross and Rachel die - Monica and Chandler get Emma. If Ross, Rachel and Chandler die - Monica gets Emma. If Ross, Rachel and Monica die - then Jack and Judy get Emma. If Monica dies after Ross and Rachel 'give' them Emma - Chandler keeps Emma. 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. If Ross and Rachel die Chandler only get Emma if he and Monica are together and alive. But if Monica dies after she and Chandler get custody of Emma, then Chandler keeps her because he's Monica's next of kin.
That's a lot better than Chandler losing Emma after he and Monica gain custody, but its still harsh on Ross and Rachel's part. Jack and Judy may be Emma's grandparents but they're pretty old at this point, at least in their late sixties, possibly early seventies. If Emma did go to them they could die when she was still a teenager! Chandler on the other hand is much younger, wants kids himself, exactly at the parenting age, their best friend, Ross's brother-in-law and Emma's legal uncle. Wouldn't he be a much better choice? Why did they discard him? Like he said, did they really think he'd be that bad a father? Yes giving custody to goofy, irresponsible Chandler of the early seasons would be stupid, but this is much later. He's matured hugely, worked through his commitment issues, established a steady marriage (more than either of them have done), is a wonderful husband to Monica and trying for his own kids! Did they just decide he wasn't good enough? It seemed a petty kick at his self-esteem, (and a pretty horrible one given how hard Monica had worked at building him up), and thoughtlessness from Ross and Rachel.
Plus Jack and Judy weren't exactly the best of parents. They blatantly favoured Ross and Monica is repeatedly shown to be hurt by Judy's criticism. (Possibly the cause of her obesity as a teenager and controlling nature as an adult). Why Ross and Rachel would want to hand Emma over to parents like that is a mystery.
Ross may have overlooked their abuse of Monica because they treated HIM very well. Rachel had no one on her side of the family (divorced parents, single sisters) and for some reason seemed to have a terrible opinion of Chandler in later seasons.
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.
OK, let's address the fact that everybody's Double Standard is showing. Ross made a flippant little offhand remark about Rachel's career path. So what? Have you not noticed how Rachel and everybody else frequently make pretty harsh comments about Ross's career? When they're in the hospital and Ross introduces himself as Dr. Geller, Rachel says "Ross, don't say that, around here that means something." Right there she belittled his career and the time and effort it takes to earn a Ph.D. (which isn't easy.) Considering he's the only one who actually went through all the time and effort to go to graduate school, if he finally decides to fire back after dealing with their put-downs one too many times, I say more power to him.
Hear, hear. See also: anti-intellectualism.
When I first heard Rachel's line, I took it less as an insult directed at Ross' Ph.D and more as "calling yourself a doctor in a HOSPITAL when you don't know anything about medicine isn't a smart idea."
While it may produce confusion to identify yourself as a doctor at hospital when you're a Ph.D., Rachel's comment implies that his degree does not in fact mean anything, anywhere. His students and colleagues might beg to differ. That is plain old emasculation and disrespect. And yet Ross and Rachel are the One True Pairing? Give me a break.
A recurring issues with Ross and Rachel is that neither of them value or are interested in each other's careers. Seriously compare them to how Chandler and Monica support each other's careers: Chandler accepted going to Tulsa alone so Monica could take the Head Chef job, and Monica encouraged him find a job in advertising even though it meant they were short on money for a while. Plus Chandler is clearly proud of Monica's cooking, and Monica finds Chandler's advertising jokes funny, Ross thinks fashion is shallow and Rachel's work took up too much of 'his' time with her. Rachel gets annoyed at his dinosaur obsession and thinks he's nerdy. It's a major reason their relationship fell apart originally.
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.
Just to point this out, you're not supposed to keep condoms in wallets. I definitely remember that from health. So the age might not have matter so much as how it was stored. The real question is how Ross, who went from having only been with one woman to several, could even have a five year old condom.
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).
I'm curious, how is bringing up the failure rate of condoms, a failure rate that's mentioned right there on the box, being "unfair" to condoms or "irresponsible"? How is it turning people off condoms when, again, it's written right there on the box? Considering the number of people out there in the world having sex while using condoms as the primary or only method of safety, I'd be surprised if simply by the numbers Ross and Rachel's situation with them doesn't happen at least once a day. If you're worried that pointing out they're not 1000% effective will make people stop using them, why not be mad at the law that says they have to print the same information on the box? Honestly I'd say that it's actually more responsible to show that condoms aren't some magic, surefire shield against pregnancy and disease, so you should still be careful even if you use them.
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.
Plus there are the Thanskgivings' flashbacks: In 1987 Monica and Rachel are seniors (around 17 - 18) and in 1988 they're College freshman (around 18 - 19). These dates support them being 24 in Season 1 and 30 in Season 7. Ross and Chandler, were shown to be a year older (college freshman in 1987) and implied to be the same age as Joey, so all the guys were 25 in Season 1 and 31 in Season 7. Probably in earlier seasons the writers planned for the characters to be older, realized it didn't work and lopped a few years off everyone's ages.
This also explains why the dates of Ross sleeping with/marrying Carol changed which was another inconsistency. The writers realized the characters needed to be younger and hoped we wouldn't notice.
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 birthday 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.
Plus the show has a ton of other inconsistencies: Like Season 3 TOW the Flashback shows Phoebe moved out in 1993, but Season 10 (TOW Ross' Tan) says she moved out in 1992. The same episode also implies Chandler didn't move in until after Phoebe moved out, even though flashbacks show him helping her move out and had clearly been around for ages (having already gone through his first roommate Kip) before that. Plus on top of that in interviews writers have said that Chandler moved into Apartment 19 first and then tipped Monica off about Apartment 20 opposite, while the show implies Monica moved in first. And don't even get started on how long Ross was married to Carol for...Is it impossible to keep anything straight?
The best you can do is take the most consistent version. 'TOW Ross's Tan' is an inconsistent episode in a lot of ways (see the Phoebe Phasing Moncia Out entry) so less reliable than flashbacks. But it's well established that Monica's grandmother rented Apartment 20, gave it with rent-control to Monica after she'd finished culinary school, and shortly afterwards Chandler graduated and Monica tipped him off about Apartment 19. At some point Phoebe moved in with Monica. (Though whether that was before Chandler arrived is up for grabs, it's possible Monica and Chandler were on their own looking for roomates for a while. They must have finished their degrees around the same time, Chandler started college a year before Monica so Culinary school was obviously shorter, probably a 3 year course, compared to Chandler's 4 year degree). After that Kip moved in with Chandler. Then Kip moved out, in the 1993 flashback Phoebe moved out and Joey moved in bringing you up to the start of the show. But yeah, keeping some notes around would be useful.
Drake Ramoray'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.
It was mentioned at one point that Drake's body was rejecting the brain - although how that means he'd revert to his original personality beats me.
What always bugged me 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.
That's not really the point. If the director wanted an example of what Joey's work is (which is all that auditions are), he could have easily browsed through the tapes of Joey's old episodes. The only reason to make Joey audition for what is *the same role* is because the director wanted to go on an ego trip.
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.
Not exactly, after he gets kicked, he asks where he book is, then goes out to read it. He was trying to fall asleep without making noise, but the book got interesting so he decided to make warm milk, that's when he accidentally dropped the pans causing Monica to come out of the bedroom. He doesn't intentionally try to get her up until she falls asleep while they're having sex...an understandable reaction.
He was having a bad night and was in an annoying mood. Everyone can be a pain at times, and their family has to put up with it. Chandler is patient when Monica get's stressed and obsessive, Monica is patient when Chandler gets annoying and restless. It's called marriage. Not a big deal.
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).
Monica's grandmother lived alone in the apartment and the second room was presumably a guest room except for when Ross lived there briefly. Phoebe's grandmother presumably put another wall up there to split one big bedroom into two, most likely when Phoebe moved in.
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/
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.
...do 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.
Seconded, Monica may be controlling about small things but on the big things they're good at compromise. (Look at: hiding their relationship, wanting to get married in Vegas, moving in together, the price of the wedding, his dream band vs her dream dress, moving to Tulsa, adoption - all situations where they discussed their opinions).
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!
Two guys see an attractive girl get in an accident, they follow her to the hospital where she lies in a coma, they know nothing about her, but buy her gifts. They even undress her unconscious body and change her night clothes. This wouldn't be considered seriously creepy, sexual assault charges would be filed, etc. but because in Friends it's 2 girls to 1 guy, it's treated as funny.
"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.
Ross and the others suggested taking Monica out to celebrate getting her new job. In your example, that would be like your friend wins the lottery, and you suggest going out to the absolute most expensive restaurant in town. When you get there, you order everything you could possibly want, no matter the expense, and at the end you hand your friend the check. Yes, they can probably afford it because they won the lottery, but it makes you look like an incredibly rude jackass of a mooch. Might as well suggest your friend head to the nearest Ferrari dealership to buy you a celebratory car.
You know, in my group of friends, when one of us can't afford to go to places like that for whatever reason, we just say so up front. The other person then generally suggests somewhere else to go or something else to do. Suggesting that the higher-paid friends should be constantly "sensitive" to the others, as if being lower-income were like having some sort of disease or horrible trauma, is really sort of condescending. Honestly the only things I take issue with re: their dining out is that 1) the others waited until they were at the restaurant and the check had come to practically throw a tantrum over it, and B) that they apparently always pool the check rather than getting separate ones, allowing the steak-eater to pick the pocket of the salad man.
I see it as wrong on both sides. Rachel, Joey and Phoebe should have spoken up saying they couldn't afford to go out to dinner rather than grumbling about it amongst each other and then kicking up a tantrum when the cheque comes. And the others were rude to expect everyone to pay an equal share, bar Monica as it was her night. If I was going out to dinner with my friends I wouldn't split the cheque, I'd pay for what I ordered. But the reason Monica, Ross and Chandler don't think of money as an issue is because they have it and they're also better at managing theirs. The others just don't mention how much they make because they're too proud. They never speak up about going out to expensive places they can't afford but rather just go along and complain about it later. And they refuse to accept the concert tickets because of that pride. Their friends want to do something nice for them and their pride won't allow that to happen.
Ross being oblivious to the other's financial problems kind of makes sense as he lives alone and isn't that sensitive about these things, but Chandler and Monica are not usually that dense. At this point they're living with and supporting Joey and Rachel respectively (data processor vs. failing actor, high-ranking sou-chef vs. waitress) and would be aware of what they can afford. Though to be fair it is Ross pushing a lot of the expensive things like choosing a nice place to eat and paying for Monica, so maybe they weren't thinking about it.
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.
People are jerks. Often entitled, cliqueish, petty jerks. Since they're in New York City, double down on all that.
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 ridiculous 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 ridiculous. 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.
It's understandable that they would want the place to themselves, but they didn't have to do it so suddenly. Rachel is tossed out and has to go to all the other friends to, effectively, crash on their couches until she can settle her long-term living situation, when her current room HAS NO PURPOSE. After they decide to have kick Rachel out, they specifically mention that they haven't decided what to do with that room. Why not, "Hey Rachel, we'd like to have the apartment to ourselves, but since you're our friend, you may stay here until you find an apartment."
Rachel didn't 'crash on their couches', she looked at available apartments but then Phoebe and Joey and Ross (all of whom had spare rooms) offered her to live with them on a long-term basis. And she decided she'd prefer to live with her friends rather than go looking for some random room. So a permanent solution. Plus Monica and Chandler didn't 'suddenly' kick her out, they decided to live together in the first episode of Season 6, but didn't move until the sixth episode: probably a month in-universe. Rachel had tonnes of time, and 3 good offers to take up, she had no reason to complain or stay living there.
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.
Joey didn't know that wasn't the proper way to take measures, so maybe his father didn't know either?
I can't believe people are saying that sexual abuse- being played for laughs, no less- is totally okay because the tailor was nice about it/Joey didn't know/it was "just" a feel through cloth. It is not "overly politically correct" to think that episode went over the line, and even if it was, that's not a reason to dismiss valid concerns.
If you continued watching the show after this episode, you're not actually anywhere near as offended as you're proclaiming you are here, y'know. And as others have pointed out, plenty of other sacred cow issues were treated like jokes well before that point on the show... if you got offended over this but not any of those, you're really just kind of a hypocrite for dismissing and minimizing other peoples' feelings and offense while prioritizing your own.
Wow. First of all, nice ad hominem, but we're talking about how offensive this issue was. Whether the troper was equally offended by other issues has no bearing on that matter. Secondly, some of us don't boycott every show that does something inappropriate. Reasonable people just try some constructive criticism, maybe try to bring this to the attention of the NBC top brass when it happened, or if the show is no longer on the air, vent their frustrations on TV Tropes. Thirdly, you just made up a bunch of details about the troper's reaction to other episodes based on... absolutely nothing. (S)he did not minimize anyone's feelings, she just focused on her own because the other people can voice their discontent without her doing so, a condition which does not apply to herself.
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. 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.
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.
In Canada, 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. I worked my ass off as a waitress, putting myself through college making $2.15 an hour, and despite being fully acknowledged by customers and staff as the best server in the restaurant, I 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.
Tipping as the vast majority of income for waiters and waitresses, also for food delivery drivers. The "customary" tip is %15, but I've always thought of that as the minimum, even for poor service. I try leave 20% or more. Whenever I have a pizza delivered I usually tip $5. Those are the people who are most often forgotten and get the shaft more than anyone else. They get paid the same hourly wage as waiters/waitresses, but many places only pay them while they're out on delivery. So when they're at the restaurant waiting for an order to deliver, they're not getting paid. If it's a slow night, they may only get a few deliveries and most people only tip 2 or 3 dollars. I had a friend who delivered pizza for a year and her biggest tip in that time was $13...and she was stiffed more often than she got one over $3. Tips are part of income for servers. Weather you think that is right or wrong shouldn't matter when it comes to them complaining about low tips. It is expected by everyone that you will pay for the service that you get. Just think about it that, you pay what the restaurant thinks is the value of the food that you get, you decide what the value of the service you got. It's like a built in performance evaluation.
New York City actually has rules about tipping percentages. There are guides all over the Internet that explains the breakdown for different services. There was a time (and it may still exist) where different meals had different minimum tip amounts that were mandatory.
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. I don'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!
I 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, I 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.
Maybe this is related to his relationship with his first wife? This episode bothered me a lot, as did the episodes where Ross was ridiculously jealous in regards to Rachel. The dissolution of his first marriage due to her lesbianism made him really untrusting, maybe Sandy's security in his heterosexuality was something Ross found unnerving, albeit for completely irrational reasons. I guess what I'm trying to say is that by the end of the show it's implied that Ross and Rachel are finally mature enough to trust each other. Maybe he matures in regard to this, too? Chandler obviously gets over his dad's sexuality and profession.
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. 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).
My partner is a mono-orgasmic woman, who frequently finishes before him. Suffice to say, faking it as a man is quite possible.
I 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?
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 me 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! :)
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.
Lisa Kudrow also guest starred on Hope & Gloria, in an episode that had Hope and Gloria take a trip to New York City, where they chanced to meet Phoebe at Central Perk. So Hope & Gloria shared a universe with Friends, and, therefore, with Mad About You and Caroline in the City. And since Caroline in the City did a crossover with Frasier, that means that Hope & Gloria shared a universe with Frasier and Cheers as well ... So, how was it that another episode of Hope & Gloria depicted the characters talking about Cheers and Frasier as television shows? Unfortunately, when a network does as many crossovers as NBC did, this sort of thing is bound to happen.
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 Jerk Ass, he was being a typical, post-Flanderisation dumbass.
One 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 raises the question of 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.
I think it's very plausible. It wasn't exactly an on again off again relationship. They only actually reconciled once, and that was 4 years before Rachel got pregnant. They did hook up and get married in Vegas, but that was drunken mistake that neither remembered in the morning. Plus there's also the fact that they never told anyone that they hooked up that night, which you would think that one of them would have said something. Since they really had no reason to keep it a secret that they did hook up, it's entirely possible that nobody would think they did hook up without telling any of them. Plus, as someone already said, Phoebe did ask if it was Ross, Rachel said no, Phoebe could have easily told everyone else that she asked if it was him.
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?
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.
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.
It wasn't a problem 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.
Agreed. That line about Chandler and Monica was totally unecessary and devalued their realtionship. They were just as close as Joey and Rachel before getting together, and a better couple because of it. (Like working past Chandler's committment issues, because Monica knew what had caused them). Just because Joey and Rachel didn't work romantically, didn't mean the writers had to attack other couples who did, that should have been a sign that no, not all friendships have to end in romance. Just because one worked, doesn't mean others would.
Plus during the Joey-Charlie-Rachel saga you're not only recyclying the Season 2 Julie plot (Ross/Joey liked Rachel, but Rachel didn't like them, then she realized she did like Ross/Joey but now they're with Julie/Charlie) but the Chandler/Kathy/Joey plot from Season 4. (Joey is with a girl Kathy/Charlie who is obviously perfect for his best friend Chandler/Ross, but they won't say anything). Could the writers not think of anything new?
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, 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.
Joey/Rachel vs Ross/Rachel is worth fighting over, because it's exactly the same romance story. Joey/Rachel was a repeat of Ross/Rachel. Guy crushes on girl for whole season - Ross in S1, Joey in S8. Guy moves onto new girl - Julie and Charlie. Girl decides she does like guy - Rachel in S2 and S9. Couple eventually get together for a short period, don't even have sex and break up over something ridicolous - Ross's Pro/Con list and Joey not being able to 'do it'. That's the SAME STORY! Some details are changed, Ross and Joey have different personalities and Joey actually confessed his feelings to Rachel before moving on, but other than that...identical. Had the series continued, I have no doubt the writers would have continued Joey/Rachel along the same lines as early Ross/Rachel, maybe dating properly before Joey did something to piss off Rachel again and disintegrated into the neurotic mess Ross did. Sheesh, everyone goes on about Rachel having such rich character arcs and depth, but the writers don't put her in anything but the unrequited love/brief hook up/dump cycle. Is she just a place holder for anytime a guy needs a crush?
While some viwers 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!", Monica's bossiness, 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.
Some found the writer's (and media's) obsession with Ross and Rachel annoying, mostly because there were so many other, equally important storylines going on. Ross and Rachel were always advertised as the 'It' couple on Friends, without reference to the other romances. (And they regularly place on all the 'Great TV Couples' lists). What about Chandler and Monica? Their relationship was just as important, and the show was a equal ensemble, so shouldn't they get as much attention? In fact, their relationship actually developed more than Ross and Rachel's. Monica and Chandler underwent changes. They started off as a fling, developed into a relationship, fell in love, went public with their feelings, moved in together, got engaged, got married, couldn't have children, adopted children and settled in the suburbs. Plus the relationship developed them as people, with Chandler getting over his committment phobia and Monica learning to compromise. Ross and Rachel on the other hand, despite spanning the whole series, wasted it getting together and breaking up, (managing to have a baby and divorce on the way). The relationship never actually went anywhere. They were always pining after each other but didn't do more until the last five minutes of the show, and even then didn't show any character development. Chandler and Monica did more in six seasons than R&R did in ten. Shouldn't they both be given equal weight? Its odd the writers don't acknowledge that more, and address the couples equally.
And its not like the fans are that crazy about Ross and Rachel. (Not as much as writers are anyway). In the first few seasons they were really popular, but that faded around Season 4/5. Nowadays if you look at a Favourite Friends Couple survey, Monica and Chandler will have the same amount of votes, if not more, than Ross and Rachel. And most people comment they got sick of R/R because of all the drama, while the writers seem to think breaking them up for the hundreth time is what makes them popular. It's the other way around.
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.
That has totally happened to me. At a store where employees where BRIGHT red aprons. While I was schlubbing it up in sweats and trying very hard not to make eye contact with people. MULTIPLE TIMES.
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.
Slightly mitigating it is that when they see her and mistake her for Ursula, Jamie says something like "Oh, you're here too?" Which is awkwardly phrased to make the joke work, but Phoebe responds with an equally awkward "Yuh-huh?" It's kind of stupid, but Jamie asks Phoebe if she works there and thinks she gets the affirmative, she doesn't just assume she does and go from there. And hey, sometimes people work more than one job, it happens. If Phoebe had said "I'm sorry, have we met?" I doubt Jamie would have just started rattling off her order. She doesn't "shanghai" her, and it's not exactly a sprawling restaurant, it's a tiny coffee house and she thinks she's speaking to a waitress because, as far as she's concerned, she asked if she was speaking to a waitress and was told she was. It's a lame joke, but it's a misunderstanding, not a sneering attack on servicepeople everywhere.
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.
The odd thing about this is the lack of continuity with Ross's vision of his and Rachel's future when they were going out which Rachel kicks back against: "One minute I'm holding Ben like a football, the next thing I know, I've got two kids, I'm living in Scarsdale complaining about the taxes." Most people like the idea of suburban life more as they get older, not less. Of course, Ross is probably just cross and kicking back at Chandler.
Definitely. The whole gang are obviously upset they're moving (understandably as Monica and Chandler are in many ways the rock that keeps everyone together). The others aren't thinking logically, just mocking their decision.
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.
The show is tagged as an "All Male Burlesque" which seems to support the pre-op transsexual hypothesis. The show displayed a lot of confusion between a transvestite (crossdresser), a drag queen (exaggerated transvestite performer), a transgender person, and a transsexual person.
In one episode, Nora Bing tells Charles that s/he has too much penis for that dress, implying that s/he is, in fact, a man dressed as a woman. Maybe he's just very good.
Firstly, it wouldn't be nearly as funny if Chandler's father was very obviously a man in a dress. The fact that the character is played by an attractive woman is a big part of the joke. Secondly, let's not kid ourselves, if they had in fact had the character played by a man in a dress, people would be complaining about using transvestites for cheap gags. It's always gonna be something. Having a woman portray the character makes it very clear what the joke is and is actually less offensive all around.
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? 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.
This was New York in the Nineties, so there might have been a healthy dose of True Art Is Incomprehensible. Maybe the people in charge heard it as an allegory for life in the city. Just spit-balling:
Smelly Cat, Smelly cat what are they feeding you? (You've been misinformed and badly treated by the city.)
Smelly Cat, smelly cat it's not your fault... (It's a sad but inevitable reality of life in New York.)
They won't take you to the vet. (Our consumer culture is unfeeling and unsympathetic.)
You're obviously not their favorite pet. (You're replaceable and unimportant.)
You may not be a bed of roses, (Life has left you broken and miserable.)
And you're no friend to those with noses (Everybody looks down on you.)
I promise you when we're done
all the wold will smell as one (But we're all in this together and it'll all be worth it.)
Stranger metaphors have happened.
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.
Maybe it's because [[Captain Obvious he doesn't actually read comics? or, you know, it's because he is stupid?
Yes, but it's been shown that Joey does read comics (the episode where Rachel finds out about Monica and Chandler), and he had no qualms about telling Monica that Phoebe could kick her ass.
The debate was probably more about which character is hotter.
At least in Joey's mind it was.
This seems to be some kind of running gag. [[Bones]] made the claim that Catwoman was "the most powerful female superhero," which is wrong in two different ways. Maybe DC's been on a multi-decade campaign to increase the character's visibility?
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.
They're famous (or infamous) because of how their break ups and failures to get together, not actual relationship. S1: Crushing on each other. S2: Break up over 'The List' S3: Break up again over the 'Ross cheated/we were on a break' mess S4: Get back together but split up again over 'the break'. S5: Feelings for each other but Ross is married. S6: Married but get divorced. S8: Have a baby but still don't get together. S10: Finally get there. They are famous because of how frustrating their storyline was, not necessarily because they're popular. In fact Monica/Chandler are loved more, just not remembered because their relationships actually worked.
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.
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.
I think you can chalk it up to "out of sight, out of mind". They know there is a floor above them , but they don't go up there that often. It isn't familiar to them, so just didn't think about it.
One thing that disturbed me was the very idea that Joey would go out with a certifiably insane person, even if she was hot. Granted he is a womanizer, but still. Maybe it's just little old naive me, wanting to believe that people would never do such a thing in real life. I thought it might be a case of perpetuating the old myth of guys being willing to sleep with any girl, no matter what might be wrong with her personality-wise, as long as she's hot (I don't know if this is a trope or not, I'm new here).
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. The episodes can serve 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?
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?
Or she was Richard's +1? Richard being a friend of one (or both?) of the families and was invited.
Why is Rachel invited? And Phoebe, Chandler and Joey for that matter? - Monica's only there because she's the caterer. Who invites all their ex-husband's friends to their new wedding? In TOW The Truth About London Rachel doesn't even know Carol's surname: "Carol ...er... Lesbian? / Nice".
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?
He was made fun of initially for being dressed as a pink bunny then, after he purposely let Ross beat him at arm wrestling, there may have been some teasing.
No, there was 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).
What's being made fun of is not the actual possibility of an attack, or even Ross' goofiness, but the fact that he was just trying to pass as a tough person and create a dramatic moment. He had no reason to defend Monica, who 1) is fully capable of kicking Chandler's ass by herself, and 2) is with Chandler, who'd probably jump in a pool of acid before he'd willingly harm her.
Ross hates ice cream
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?
The reason Ross gives for hating ice cream is that it hurts his teeth. Sensitive teeth is something which develops over time. And if he likes the taste of ice cream but not it's coldness, he could 'hate' the frustrating urge to eat something which he can't.
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? This plot point is 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.
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.
Plus Rachel got plastic surgery on her nose. Perhaps her father was a cosmetic surgeon and could have referred Monica to a doctor to help her get some surgery to lose some of the weight?
No, Dr. Greene is explicitly a cardiovascular surgeon. He could have recommended her to a plastic surgeon, though.
Someone on the Hollywood Pudgy page says that Monica is overweight but not large enough to supposedly break a porch swing. Perhaps she was even larger when she was younger and had already begun losing weight. A lot of teenagers simply eat a lot around the age of fourteen and maybe Monica's eating habits were slowly sorting themselves out. If she had already lost some weight as she was getting older, it couldn't be too hard to lose a lot more in the space of a year.
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.
I also would have liked to see Joey and Phoebe get together. (Though not over Monica/Chandler, I loved their relationship). Not only because they were incredibly sweet but also to keep the gang together. It felt weird when Phoebe married Mike and he was always hanging around. Like for ten years the show had been about these six characters, and suddenly there was this new, sort-of member. I wanted the Friends to stay together post-season and putting Phoebe with someone else seperated her from them. Yes pairing them all up is cliche, but the idea of the group staying intact, becoming parents together, their children making friends would have been sweet.
Rachel's Trifle Recipe Screw-up
In 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.
Have a related question: why does everyone call it an English Trifle? Do Americans not eat trifle?
The trifle's place of origin is in England. Likely, she just keeps calling it an English trifle in order to sound fancier. Barring that, it's possible that there was a specific ingredient that pegged it as specifically English.
Anecdotes aren't evidence, but I'm an American and I've never seen trifle offered by a restaurant or served in someone's home in my life. (I do, however, know it doesn't contain beef!)
It's because English cusine is a joke in America (this from the nation whose national cuisine is "fried stuff with cheese") which makes it sort-of-believable that Rachel wouldn't understand that what she's cooking is wrong: "I mean that’s an English dessert, these people just put very strange things in their food, y’know."
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?
There's a very simple answer for this: Monica is a gigantic, unrepentant bitch.
This, pretty much. She was unwilling to cook even a small one just for the sake of making three of her friends happy. The moment her motivation became spite, however, you couldn't have stopped her from doing several times the work just to make Joey suffer.
Monica didn't make him eat it. When Joey was struggling, she told him it was ok to stop and have leftovers later. Joey wanted a 'proper' Turkey (i.e. a big, full size one) so it was a 'real' Thanksgiving and he was the one determined to eat it. Joey isn't exactly mature when it comes to these things.
And on the bitch thing, seriously? Monica makes Thanksgiving dinner every year (plus cooking the gang breakfast and often dinner on an almost daily basis) and gets very little appreciation for it. And she knows better than anyone what food works with leftovers/time constraints etc. Maybe she just didn't feel like doing turkey this one time, give her a break.
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 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.
Look at it this way, it was probably a reflection of how things were in the writer's room at that point. Everyone knew that one of them was being a complete idiot, but they were being a complete idiot because of grief, and the group probably really would have jumped on anyone that actually spoke out and said it was stupid, even if they agreed with the complainer. It's a crap episode but pretty accurate to how people deal with the grieving.
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.
(Ross was suspended and sent to a psychiatrist, not fired).
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 neverever 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.
My mother often likes to tell stories about when she was working in a hospital in a rural area. One of the things they had to deal with was underage pregnancies, especially from the parts of the local population that didn't feel particularly inclined to send their children to school. One girl, when asked if she understood how she'd become pregnant, answered that yes... she'd gone to the lake and sat on a rock. When the social worker gently explained how actual conception occurred, the girl scoffed and replied, "That can't be it! I've been doing that since I was twelve and never gotten pregnant before! But last month was the first time I ever went to the lake and sat on a rock!" So yeah, Reality Is Unrealistic, some people just don't know how stuff works.
Erica was basically told she was having twins, she just misinterpretted what she was told until she had to push them out.
I can believe that Erica didn't know, but I can't believe that Monica and Chandler would be so hands off in the process that they didn't. When Erica chooses them to take the baby, she gives them a sonogram. They should have been able to see the twins then. Plus they bring her to New York so she can have a chance to get to know her doctors. I would think that M&C would accompany here and have the doctor's give them a good once over to make sure everything is ok. And I would think the doctor would want that too so they know what to expect going in.
Reading a sonogram is not exactly a natural talent most people possess... if you showed most people a dozen sonograms and asked them to pick out the baby in each, you probably wouldn't have a very high success factor. Add to that, sonograms are the least reliable way of detecting twins... the babies can "hide" behind each other and whatnot. The only fairly reliable method is the fetal heartbeats, and Erica misunderstood being told about those. Also the assumption that Monica and Chandler would be with her every step of the way and have access to her medical records is pretty off. The first isn't a sure thing at all, as ultimately it's her choice who she allows in the room with her during examinations (and while Monica would probably be enough of a helicopter control freak to pester Erica to bring her, Chandler would probably fairly quickly put his foot down about it, he is capable of it sometimes), the second's just flat-out not happening. Erica's medical records are hers, Monica and Chandler can't just get them by calling up and say "Oh, we're adopting her kids, so it's fine, mail 'em over."
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.
Perhaps they just order at the counter if they want their coffee or food to go and then just sit and wait if they want to stay in. Or they could order at the counter and then sit down while they wait for their order.
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.
Yeah, the gang is just mostly sick of Ross and his constant stream of science and dinosaur chatter. Chandler and Monica have been forced to listen to it for years before the show even started, Phoebe's never shown the slightest interest in dinosaurs and may not even believe they existed, Ross uses terms too technical for Joey to get into it and Rachel doesn't care about dinosaurs, though she does like that he's passionate about it.
Concerning 'intellectual' subjects (not just dinosaurs) there seems to be a distinction between Rachel, Joey and Phoebe who were uninterested in academic subjects and could be construed as anti-intellectual, and Ross, Chandler and Monica who were intellectual and book smart. Ross obviously likes talking about science, history, museums etc. but Chandler's can be quite nerdy, Monica is shown to be a capable student and you see the couple reading books, doing crosswords, discussing current events together etc. They probably don't talk about that stuff as a group of six because the others weren't interested or wouldn't understand or in Rachel's case get pissy.
The apothecary episode is actually one of the best examples of this split: You've got Rachel, who can barely guess one historical time period, "...the colonial era?", and Phoebe, who can't distinguish a pottery barn table from a historical artifact. On the other hand, Ross clearly knows a lot more history and is irritated with the two of them, while Chandler and Monica make/laugh at a bunch of historical jokes often at Rachel's expense. (Like her not understanding 'the old times of yore'). So it seems like an obvious split between them. Ross, Chandler and Monica don't come across as anti-intellectual at all.
Concerning Rachel holding Chandler in disdain for knowing the word "apothecary", that's not what happens. She doesn't curiously ask "Hey, what's an apothecary?". She says, in a casual, rhetorical manner, "does anyone even know what an apothecary is?". When Chandler answers, Rachel makes fun of him. Thing is, she's not making fun of him for knowing the word - she's making fun of him for making her look foolish.
The distinction between saying "What's an apothecary?" and "Does anyone even know what an apothecary is?" is pretty minor. If you ask a question, you should not be surprised when you get an answer.
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". 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.
Actually, he wasn't fine with it at all, he has lines where he specifically says that Emma being so far away would be torture but that he was trying to cover up feeling that way so that Rachel wouldn't feel bad about it. He was trying to not be selfish.
Which prompts the question why should Emma stay with Rachel rather than Ross? She belongs to both of them and Rachel is the one moving away and forcing one parent to see her less. Wouldn't it be fairer if Ross became her primary caregiver and Rachel made short visits? Ross has all the other Friends and family to help him (including her aunt, uncle and recent born cousins), while Rachel would be working in a high-powered job, in a foreign city and Emma would probably be with a nanny most of the time. Ross is just as capable a parent as Rachel, why should the mother get automatic preference when she's the one causing the problem?
Okay. I want you to think this through. I want you to imagine Ross walking up to Rachel... Rachel, who has all the emotional maturity of a frozen strawberry... and presenting those arguments to her. Do you really think her reaction would be anything other than "YOU'RE TRYING TO STEAL MY BABY!!!!"?
So it's fine for Rachel to steal Ross's baby because that's what works for her. But Ross can't be on the same continent as his daughter because that gets in the way of Rachel's baby and ambitions? Even if you support career women (Monica taking the Head Chef job in New York instead of going to Tulsa with Chandler was totally justified), that's an unbelievable Double Standard. Rachel had a child with Ross and she has to take responsibility for that. Sorry, Rach, the world doesn't revolve around you and having a child means making sacrifices, either not taking the job or seeing Emma less.
I like to think that's what happened: certainly Ross's bosses like him, they've just given him tenure, so its possible they'd let him spend a couple of years working at NYU Paris. It's at least as believable as that Louis Vuitton want Rachel so badly they're prepared to enter a salary bidding war and spend a fortune on air tickets for her family.
What about Ben? Ross wouldn't want to leave him either, he refused to move to London in S5 because he wanted to stay near his son, so why would he move to Paris? What's he meant to do? Pick which child means more to him? And Louis Vuitton wanting Rachel that badly is unbelievable even with the set up on the show, why would they want someone who's just been fired because they're not a team player, has had unprofessional relationships with her assistant and generally seems lazy and unmotivated. (Calling off sick when she has an awkward situation with Gavin for instance). Why they'd start a bidding war for her is a mystery.
So Phoebe has invented a former boyfriend named Vikram 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 Vikram?
Most people define "serious relationship" as something that lasts more then a few weeks.
But what about this cop Phoebe moved in with until he shot a bird?
That wasn't serious. The relationship died once they were out of the fun, exciting stage. He had to pressure her to move in with him, they didn't know each other that well and the relationship ended the very next morning.
Point taken, both David the science guy and the cop were not super long relationships, but both were taken seriously by Phoebe and Ross knew it and Phoebe knew it. Since she was especially crazy about David and she had to let him go, after Ross accidentally upset Phoebe, he should have said something like this: "Oh, I'm sorry, I totally forgot about David. Surely he was, or definitely would have been, your serious boyfriend. How insensitive of me to say such a stupid thing." And something similar would make Mike more comfortable, too. Definitely better than inventing Vikram.
Phoebe plays with a few cards short of a full deck. She's not exactly known to make rational decisions.
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.
Plus it shows that Monica did lose her pants indicating someone picked her at least once. It was probably Joey, as everyone was picking on him, but it could have been Chandler as he suggested strip power as well and was flirting with her a lot in that episode. (Look at his reaction when she stands up).
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.
No it isn't. In TOW They're Up All Night, Joey and Ross climb down the fire escape. They don't end up on the balcony, because if they did they would just knock on Monica and Chandler's window.
I was always kind of under the impression that the building kinda sucked. Remember, in one episode, we found out that there was a light switch in Chandler and Joey's apartment that turned Monica and Rachel's TV on and off. Kinda leads me to believe that the building was either shoddily built or badly converted from some other purpose like an office or warehouse.
Such arrangements do exist. I've seen them elsewhere, and I've always taken them as a legally grey way of giving an apartment a balcony without having to bother with things like railings, high walls, and in general safety. Family member leans too much and falls to his death? Well he was never meant to be there, there's no door, don't you know that's not a balcony? *inserts lawsuit into paper shredder*
Emily's a bitch?
Everyone says that Emily is so unfair to Ross because she ran away on their wedding and then she forbid Ross to see Rachel, and all of the gang tells Ross that he's doing too many sacrifices. Hello? She was cool with Ross hanging out with his ex-girlfriend and inviting her to their wedding, which is something that most people wouldn't like. Then, Ross says "I take thee, Rachel" in their wedding. She was humiliated and it was clear that Ross still loved Rachel. Then, Emily saw Ross going with Rachel to their honeymoon. Granted, he did it because he thought Emily was not coming, but how was she supposed to know that? It seems quite reasonable that she doesn't want Rachel around after what happened, and it's not like she isn't doing any sacrifices. After all, she agreed to move to New York, leaving her job and her friends and family away, because Ross told her that he didn't want to be away from his son.
She does get the short end of the stick, but she did go a bit crazy near the end. It's one thing to not want Ross hang out with Rachel, but she should have realized that Rachel was part of his group. It'd be reasonable to ask him not to spend time alone with her. Also her statement about knowing where he was all the time was just creepy.
Emily forbids Ross to see Rachel. Rachel is living with Ross' sister and his primary social group is all close friends with her. She's forcing him not see everyone he loves with absolutely no compromise or leniency. That's what makes her a bitch. If she couldn't trust him she should have just filed for divorce and ended it, instead she drags him through crap and makes him leap through hoops that ware pretty much impossible for him to jump through.
It's clear that Emily wanted to make Ross do those things out of spite. Asking him to not see Rachel is understandable, nobody really wants their spouse spending a lot of time with their ex. But making him move out of his apartment is just plain unreasonable and she clearly wanted revenge for him saying Rachel's name at the altar.
By the end of the series, what is Phoebe actually doing? We see Monica, Joey, Rachel and Ross becoming a head chef and a movie star, working at a major fashion house and getting tenure but in the last episode that Phoebe mentioned her job showed her at that big chain spa she hated. Even though she married Mike, it still seems like a questionable happy ending. Mike quit his job as a lawyer to chase his own dream and says "I'm not rich, my parents are" so even though the two of them obviously wanted to have children but it seems doubtful that Phoebe could become a stay-at-home mother even if she wanted to. Is she still working at a job where she has to compromise her morals and do degrading things to hide it from her friends like those stupid accents. Also, what happened to the Relaxi Taxi idea and the painted van?
The Relaxi Taxi fell apart because it seemed like a bad idea (I don't think it's possible to relax in the back of a van that has to make sharp turns, sudden stops, and occasionally run over potholes.) As far as her job, she had been seen working in massage parlors before, so it's not totally impossible that she was able to find a job in a more mid-sized place that she was more comfortable with but was still able to give her the benefits she took the corporate job for. Aside from that, Mike spent a long time working as a lawyer, and probably has some financial security (savings, stocks, investments,) not to mention that it probably isn't all that difficult for a piano player to find work in New York (nightclubs where singers perform, music and dance schools that require accompaniment, theaters.)
Maybe the writers deliberately gave Phoebe a less happy ending. She had sort of morphed into as much of an evil bitch as Ursula ever was by the end, it's possible they thought her getting everything she could've wanted would have been bordering on Karma Houdini. Making her settle for what she could get without actually being miserable seems a tolerable compromise.
Wasn't there an episode where Phoebe was working as a Masseuse at an expensive spa-y place? When Rachel won the coupon and all that jazz... I thought that's what Phoebe's doing...
Making Fun of Ross's Job
Why does everyone make fun of Ross being a paleontologist? Okay, he does tend to share scientific information a bit much, but do they remember he has a doctorate? Last I checked the only ones in the group that even went to college was Chandler (explicitly stated to have been Ross's roommate and how they met, so obvious), Monica (culinary school), and maybe Rachel (which doesn't seem likely, since any sort of degree should be able to find her a better job than waitressing, as this was pre-recession). Phoebe has also stated she never finished high school and Joey is Joey. So why don't they respect Ross a bit more or at least lay off the rude comments?
He might get a bit more respect if he ever shut up about his job. He's established as droning on and on and on about every science thing he finds interesting and they're all just sick of it. Tomake it worse he's completely oblivious to their disinterest and assumes they want to hear everything he has to talk about, which makes him even more annoying to them. They do get excited and happy for him when he actually accomplishes something (getting a promotion, teach an advanced class, getting tenure) it's just the subject matter they don't care about. And Rachel did go to college, they mention her switching her major in one of the flashbacks, though we have no idea if she graduated or flunked out.
Ross is a dinosaur nerd... people probably started making fun of that before he became a paleontologist.
On the Rachel thing, its pretty much established she flunked out of college: In a flashback she complains about switching majors because the parking lot was too far away, in the pilot episode she says she's 'qualified for nothing' and when Chandler types up her CV in Season 3 he explicitly says that he enlarged the font because 'Co Cheer Captain and Waitress' don't take up much space. So yeah, its obvious she flunked out, which makes her disdain for Ross, who studied incredibly hard for years, even worse.
If we assume she isn't exaggerating when saying just "Co-Cheer Captain and waitress", then she doesn't even have a High School Diploma so how the hell did she get into college in the first place. There's no reason to think that she flunked college with all the financial security she had - if she had, Leonard (if not one of the Friends) would have used it against her at some point. We can just assume that her major was non-vocational.
Phoebe's grandmother after Lily's suicide
Why didn't Phoebe and Ursula's grandmother take care of them after her daughter killed herself? Why couldn't the girls live with her? Was she ill or something? She seemed fairly healthy and strong later in her life when Phoebe was living with her. Not particularly down-to-earth or terribly practical, but she surely wasn't as messed up as their run-away dad or their step-dad who was in prison. The least she could do was to see that the girls were sent to a good foster home if she hadn't wanted the custody. Instead of living in her flat, Phoebe and Ursula had to experience an awful homeless life as teenagers.
It's never established that Ursula lived on the streets. It's possible she had somewhere to go whe Phoebe didn't. It's also possible Ursula lived with the grandmother and Phoebe just couldn't take it. We've seen how bad their relationship is.
Is Central Perk right below the apartments?
I remember in a few episodes the characters saying something like "Let's go upstairs" while they're in the coffee shop, and then the next scene shows them in Monica's apartment. Inversely, I think they've referred to Central Perk as "downstairs" before. Off the top of my head I can't remember any specific examples, although I think the very last episode did it once.
In exterior shots of Monica's apartment, there appears to be a coffehouse below.
Central Perk may not be literally the bottom floor of the apartment building, but is instead next door, or a few doors down, or one street over, or otherwise close enough geographically that they think relatively little of the distance. Besides, "let's go upstairs" is shorter and easier to say than "Let's go back to our building, upstairs, and to one of our apartments" or whatever. As long as everyone relevant knows what they mean when they say it, no need to clarify.
In one episode, Chandler lost a bet because Joey said it was less than 100 steps from their apartment to the Coffee house. Since they lived several floors up, it would probably have to be really close, so directly below makes sense.
Susan and Carol's case: Same-sex marriage in the USA in the 90's
This one might need an explanation from somebody who has first-hand experience living in the States or being an expert on gay rights and history of the same-sex marriage. note I'm not an American and my knowledge of the issue consists of reading an article on The Other Wiki and watching Six Feet Under. As far as I know, the same-sex marriage was not legally possible back then. Was Carol and Susan's wedding merely a symbolic thing that they wanted to go through with no legal validity, which they would later confirm, say, by making each other their inheritors? Or was there any alternative for gay couples to make a legal bond?
It's most likely the former; a ceremony that's meaningful to the participants but lacks legal status. Note that Seinfeld did a plotline involving a lesbian wedding some years earlier.
Yeah, New York didn't have gay marriage for over another decade. It had to have been just a ceremony.
Ordering a green salad then eating the other person's food
In one of the later episodes, Joey gets mad when his date eats some of his fries, which is meant to be seen as ridiculous. When they go out again he orders a basket of fries to share, but then she tries to eat stuffed clams off his plate, even though he keeps moving his plate around in an obvious way to show that he doesn't want to share. Both times she orders a green salad. I get taking a few fries, but if she wanted something more substantial why wouldn't she order something else instead of being rude, or at least ask if she could have some of his food instead of just taking some?
I'll preface this by saying it's something that's annoyed me for a while, so this might come across as a little like a rant. It's part of a ridiculously sexist idea that women are supposed to be delicate little creatures when it comes to matters of the opposite sex. Occasionally, in sitcoms, you'll hear people warn a female character to never win at anything if she's competing with a boy she's interested in, even if she's obviously better at it (usually involving a girl being good at a particular sport, such as playing pool or tennis.) The same idea applies with food; women should only order light, dainty food (usually salads and occasionally pasta) because eating a big hearty meal comes across as manly and will be a turn-off. Occasionally women's magazine will write articles telling women to "eat like a man" to encourage them to eat more lean proteins and cut back on breads and sweets. As far as stealing off his plate, that seems to be because women are conditioned in this country to be diet-obsessed at all times, and as such, have come up with a lot of ridiculous "loopholes" to allow themselves to occasionally eat "bad food." Other examples have been seen on The Nanny ("if it's on a toothpick, it's not fattening") and Grey's Anatomy ("if no one sees me eat it, the calories don't count.") She might have believed "If it's not on my plate, it doesn't count."
Or, you know, this is something women do on their own rather than being a conspiracy of The Patriarchy. Sometimes people do ridiculous things without there being some deep social issue at fault.
Or it could be both. Women ARE expected to be thin, but not all women would do what Joey's date did.
Rachel's job in Paris
I admit my knowledge of international business is a little thin, but Rachel's job offer from Louis Vuitton seemed a little strange. I understand Mark has a lot to do with it (and it was a way to rachet up Ross's emotional turmoil of losing her) but how likely was it that she would be offered a job in Paris despite having not ever being shown to speak or understand the French language? Are there enough English speakers in Paris that it wouldn't be much of an issue? It would seem like a risky venture financially since she might not be able to pick up the language and might become more of a financial liability trying to work in a country where she doesn't understand any other employees and none of them might understand her?
Perhaps the situation is different in Paris and fashion industry because the French are such patriots, but it's fairly common in European cities to have high management from various countries who speak only English. Often they are expatriate Americans working for American companies. If they wish, their company pays them language courses to communicate with locals, but often it's done to benefit them personally and make them feel more comfortable in the country, because at work they really need just English.
Except that Louis Vuitton Möet Hennesy (LVMH) S.A. is a French company.
Phoebe phasing Monica out
In 'TOW Ross's Tan' Phoebe admits that after moving out of Monica's apartment she tried to 'phase her out' of her life and the friend group. How exactly was she planning to stay friends with the rest of the gang without seeing Monica? Ross was Monica's brother, Chandler lived across the hall and was much closer to Monica than he'd ever been to Phoebe, and Joey had just moved in. There's no way any of them would pick Phoebe over Monica. Not to mention Monica's apartment was the main hang out for the gang. There was no way Phoebe could exclude Monica from that group, she'd only end up outing herself. Phoebe's ditzy and all, but that plan seems utterly stupid, especially as she's supposed to be a master manipulator. Was she planning to ditch all of them? What was she thinking?
It was a weird problem that contradicted what had been established earlier. In the episode/flashback where Phoebe moved out, she said very tenderly (and it seemed to be honest) that she loved Monica and wanted to stay close friends, but living with her made that impossible because Monica's obsessions were driving her crazy. That seemed more true to their characters and was even logical. Phasing Monica out would mean losing them all, and they were already more like Phoebe's family.
Plus the episode was inconsistent in other ways: It said Phoebe moved out in 1992 before Chandler arrived when flashbacks show Phoebe moved out in 1993 when Chandler had been living across the hall for ages. (The flashback showed him looking for a new roommate so presumably Kip had already come and gone, meaning he might have been there even longer than Phoebe, we don't know how long she lived with Monica). So basically a inconsistent episode all round.
Well that's why it didn't work. Phoebe was so annoyed by Monica's behaviour that she wanted to be away from her without realising she'd be losing out on her main social circle. Phoebe eventually realised she was probably being very unreasonable and gave Monica another chance.
References to Richard
Ok, what's with all the Richard jokes in later seasons? There's a whole sub-plot in Season 9 about him having a sex tape of Monica, Phoebe claims Monica calls Chandler Richard and Chandler insists Monica has a 'Richard Jar'. Hell, the second to last episode has Chandler worried that Monica used handcuffs with Richard and not him! And there are tonnes more. What's the point? The writers aren't going to get any storylines or Character Development out of it and the jokes aren't even funny. It's just beating a dead horse. Yeah, Richard was Monica's First Love and the break up was devastating, but she moved on. And they were only together about 4 months, that's less than her and Chandler's 'secret relationship' phase. In Season 5, Monica flat out tells Chandler he's the love of her life, she's never loved anyone more than him and Richard means nothing to her. In Season 6 she rejects Richard in order to propose to Chandler! The writers make it hugely clear she's moved on from him, so why do they keep rehashing the same jokes over and over again when it's obvious nothings going to happen? You don't have references to Kathy (who Chandler was equally devastated at losing) or any of the others exe's. Were they just bragging that they had Tom Selleck on the show or thought it was funny or what?