A sitcom that ran from 1994-2004 which centers on a glamorous circle of Manhattan singles.Though admittedly formulaic, Friends featured a top-notch cast and, at least in the early seasons, some legitimately outstanding writing. The Ross-and-Rachel relationship easily ranks as the most drawn-out, convoluted Will They or Won't They? plot in sitcom history. Interestingly, they became a couple early on, only to break up on account of Ross' cheating.note They were on a break. Despite this, the characters managed to reconcile and even conceive a child without officially getting 'back together.'A giant success in its day (the stars graced the covers of a dozen entertainment and gossip magazines every week), and accordingly one of the more polarizing shows of recent memory. "Seinfeld or Friends?" became a kind of shibboleth used to determine one's television street cred.Friends is famous for its Idiosyncratic Episode Naming that referenced how the episodes would be most likely to be referred to when discussed among casual fans. All episode titles follow the format "The One With..." or "The One Where...". The two exceptions are "The Pilot" (which, even then, has been RetConned with the name "The One Where Monica Gets A Roommate") and "The Last One" note To be fair, this is probably how casual fans would have referred to it anyway.Over its 10-year run, the show featured literally dozens of big-name guest stars — Sean Penn, Brad Pitt, Julia Roberts, Jean-Claude Van Damme, George Clooney, Alec Baldwin, Billy Crystal, Robin Williams, Reese Witherspoon, Jeff Goldblum, Charlie Sheen, Bruce Willis, Ben Stiller, Gary Oldman, and Jon Lovitz to name just a few. They even got Charlton Heston!The main cast of Friends grew to be real-life True Companions; Tom Selleck commented in an interview that he often felt 'left out' during the filming of his appearance (A not-uncommon sentiment among guests on a hit series, but nonetheless.) The cast as a whole demanded equal salaries, leading to the show holding the world record for "best-paid women actors in a TV show" for many years. And they insisted that, should they be nominated for awards (which they were), they all be in the same category: you couldn't nominate Matt Le Blanc (Joey) as "Supporting Actor" and David Schwimmer (Ross) as "Lead Actor"; both of them had to be Lead or Supporting.To this day, Friends is still ranked with Seinfeld and The Simpsons as perhaps the defining (mainstream) tv shows of The Nineties.
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Tropes A to I
'80s Hair: In the first season, some of the side characters had this (such as the original actress who played Carol before the more 90's looking Jane Sibbett took over). Given that, by 1994, most of the styles and fashions of the 80's had passed, it really makes some first season episodes seem dated even for the time in which they were made.
Absence of Evidence: Played for laughs: Joey gives Chandler his show reel in order to be considered for an advert being produced by Chandler's company. When Chandler claims to have watched it, Joey says that he obviously hasn't, because part of the audition tape was an advert Joey did where he wore "Lipstick for Men", which Chandler would have definitely made fun of.
AcCENT Upon the Wrong SylLABle: Subverted; Ross does try to say the word "karate" with the right Japanese intonation (putting more stress into "te" instead of the Western habit of stressing "ra"), but the way he says it just makes the word seem weird.
Actually, Ross is still wrong. While he's phonetically correct, he's still putting the emphasis on the third syllable, when it should really be on the first. It's KA-ra-tay, not ka-ra-TAY, so he still ends up looking like a pretentious twit, though even worse because he's still not getting it right.
The Ace - Monica's season 1 boyfriend Allan who was good at sports, is a delight in conversation and apparently well-endowed. The gang didn't take it well when Monica decided to break up with him.
Accidental Hug: Several variations when Rachel gets a job at Ralph Lauren.
Accidental Proposal: Shortly after Rachel gives birth to Emma, Joey finds Ross's engagement ring, which Ross was going to present to Rachel and ask her to marry him. Joey turns around while happening to be on one knee, still holding the ring. Rachel says yes to Joey. A delightful series of miscommunications ensues.
Acting for Two: Lisa Kudrow as Phoebe and recurring Evil Twin Ursula, and David Schwimmer's one-off as "Russ", a Ross-esque guy Rachel briefly dated (without noticing the similarities, such as profession and the unique manner of speaking).
Acting Unnatural: When Rachel and Joey are having their brief fling, Ross knocks on the door to Rachel's hotel room; she tells Joey that they aren't doing anything suspicious and he just needs to act "nonchalant". He poses awkwardly with his hands on his hips, staring at the ceiling, until admitting he doesn't know what "nonchalant" means.
Actor Allusion: On "The One with the Football," Phoebe wears a That Girl T-shirt. Marlo Thomas, the star of that show, played Rachel's mother.
Aerith and Bob: Chandler was a much more unusual name than the likes of Joey or Rachel.
Alternate Reality Episode: "The One that Could Have Been" has the gang imagining would might have happened if key points in their lives had played out differently.
There's a sequence in "The One With The Truth About London" where Monica confesses that the night she hooked up with Chandler in London, she actually went to the room to seek out Joey. They imagine what life would've been like with those two together, in which Joey is fatter than young Monica, thanks to her cooking.
Joey: *looking at food* "How YOU doin'?"
Aluminium Christmas Trees: In one episode when Chandler and Ross's old wild partying friend nicknamed "Gandalf" comes to visit, some of the others don't get the reference—which would be unlikely today since the Lord of the Rings films have made the main characters' names ubiquitous.
Amazingly Embarrassing Parents: Chandler's mother is a writer of erotic novels. She also announces on national television that she's a brilliant mother because she bought her son his first packet of condoms. His father is a cross dressing cabaret entertainer. For example, in "The One with Chandler's Dad", he says: "When I was in high school, he used to come to all of my swim meets dressed as a different Hollywood starlet. Y’know it’s hard enough to be fourteen. You’re skinny. You’re wearing speedoes — that your mom promised that you would grow into! And you look up into the stands and there’s your dad cheering you on dressed as Carmen Miranda. He was wearing a headdress with real fruit that he will later hand out to your friends as a healthy snack!"
Rachel's mother Sandra is a sorority girl who never grew up and Jack & Judy Geller are Happily Married, almost painfully so.
Amicable Exes: Ross and Carol. Ross and Rachel, on the other hand...
Animal Metaphor: Phoebe compares Ross & Rachel's relationship to lobster, because they mate for life. According to Phoebe, you can actually see old lobster couples in a lobster tank holding claws.
Rachel: ... I know this because he pretended to be Drake to... to sleep with me!
Monica: And then he told me he'd run away with me! And he didn't!
Chandler: And you left the toilet seat up, you bastard!
From the same episode, when listing what is stolen from the zoo, the list is a monkey, a snowy egret, a two-toed sloth, and three hooded sweatshirts from the gift shop.
When Monica gives the manager of a restaurant a terrible review, His gripes with her are that she said the food tasted terrible, the service was inadequate, and she claimed they took the Discover card.
Artistic License - Biology: Rachel is pregnant for at least fifteen months, being already pregnant at Chandler and Monica's wedding (May 15th) and going on maternity leave in August the next year.
Not to mention the episode with Emma's first birthday party airing in the fall.
Despite many season premieres taking place within minutes or even seconds of the previous season finale, hair has somehow managed to grow several inches.
That's why they don't film entire scenes before the season is over. That way, the audience has a summer to "forget" what the characters looked like and will accept the changes with little fuss.
Ironically enough they also Lampshade plot devices like this through Joey's work on Days Of Our Lives: his coma-bound character gets a brain transplant that turns him into the donor's character in a new body. Later, he somehow reverts back to his old character (Drake Ramoret) when his body rejects the brain.
First, 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.
Second, if were it still consencrated, it would be unthinkable to demolish it.
Third, Britain's incredibly restrictive health and safety laws would prohibit a wedding from taking place in a church undergoing an in-progress demolition.
Fourth, 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.
Fifth, 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.
Joey has trouble opening Rachel's bra. This is a sign that them having a relationship is not a good idea, as he usually can do it without any effort. He once looked at one and it popped open. Comically subverted immediately after by Chandler.
Monica: Chandler stop! It's not going to pop open.
Chandler: You don't know!
Joey claims that Chandler is afraid of bras, because he "can't work 'em."
Attention Deficit... Ooh, Shiny!: In one episode, Joey is at Central Perk when he realizes he should have been at work two hours ago. Then he gets distracted talking to Chandler and sits back down. Chandler reminds him about work, so he leaves, only to see an attractive girl outside and get distracted talking to her. Chandler yells out the window, "Joey, for God's sake, go to work!" and he runs off.
Audio Erotica: Phoebe gets sick in one episode and has a sexier husky voice. She desperately tries to get sick again after feeling better.
Author Appeal: There are a lot of doctors in this show. Ross Geller (paleontologist), Rachel's father Leonard Green (vascular surgeon), Drake Ramoray (fictional neurosurgeon), Rachel's fiance Barry Farber (orthodontist), Richard Burke (ophthalmalogist), Timothy Burke (ophthalmalogist), Charlie Wheeler (paleontologist)and a pair of physicians played by George Clooney and Noah Wyle... and that's just the family and the love interests..
Chandler was mistaken for a doctor when he and Monica met their surrogate.
Badass Mustache: Richard (played by Tom Selleck). Chandler tried to imitate him, with limited results.
Bait and Switch: A staple of Chandler's jokes, especially when he talks about his parents and seems to be talking about his mother, but is actually talking about his (transvestite) father.
Bathroom Breakout: Emily locks herself in the bathroom after Ross says the wrong name at their wedding. Rachel mentions that when she did this at her own wedding (to Barry), she was trying to pop the window out of the frame so she could escape. Ross then forces the bathroom door open; the curtains are blowing in the breeze and Emily's gone.
Batman Gambit: When Phoebe is trying to choose between the names "Joey" or "Chandler" when naming the third triplet, and it looks like she'll go with "Joey", Chandler fakes a name-based existential crisis which tricks Phoebe into attempting to make him feel better about his name by naming the baby after him instead of Joey.
Beach Bury: Joey falls asleep at the beach, and gets buried in an elaborately-sculpted mermaid-shaped mound, including sand boobs. Of which he definitely approves.
Beastly Bloodsports: When Ross was looking for zoos to take his monkey Marcel, one of the prospects asks how good Marcel is with a knife, and it quickly becomes apparent that he's running some sort of animal fighting ring.
Because I'm Jonesy: In one episode, Phoebe found a lost police badge, which she then starts flashing around to intimidate people. Eventually she tries to pull it on a real cop and tries to bluff her way through his questions, like which precinct she works at. After a while he seems to believe her, then he asks "So where did you find my badge?".
Bed Trick: Attempted by Chandler in "Five Steaks and an Eggplant." When a mysterious woman leaves a message on his machine looking for her old lover Bob, Chandler pretends to be Bob and makes a date with her. He then consoles her when Bob doesn't show up, and they sleep together. Later, Chandler is hoisted by his own petard when the woman calls the machine and tells "Bob" that Chandler just can't compare to him sexually.
Best Friends In Law: Ross at first reacts badly to Monica and Chandler hooking up ("GET OFF MY SISTER!") but once he learns it's love instead of just sex, he quickly accepts that his best friend is now his brother in-law.
Betty and Veronica: In the season 6 finale Monica has to choose between snarky, neurotic, best friend Chandler (Betty) and charming, sophisticated, ex-boyfriend Richard, (Veronica). She picks Chandler
The Big Damn Kiss: Ross and Rachel at the ends of "The One Where Ross Finds Out" and "The One with the Prom Video."
Monica and Chandler in 'TOW Everybody Finds Out'.
Birds of a Feather: Chandler and Monica somehow manage to be this andOpposites Attract. On one hand, he's laid-back, relaxed and committment phobic while she's high-strung, bossy and committed. On the other hand they both had difficult childhoods both suffered Parental Neglect, and seem to enjoy similar music, movies and books. So its all over the place.
Birthday Episode: Rachel has two birthdays celebrated, and in one both of her parents (who don't get along) show up. To keep them from having to interact they split the party in two. A birthday of Phoebe's involves her finding out she's actually a year older than she thought. One of Monica's has her getting drunk before appearing at her posh surprise party, that includes her parents with a camcorder. Emma's first birthday is also celebrated.
Bitch in Sheep's Clothing: One of Rachel's boyfriends (played by Ben Stiller) in season 3. He seems perfectly fine until someone or something pisses him off. Also Joey's first new roommate Janine who hate Chandler & Monica.
Rachel could come off as this at times.
Phoebe, Phoebe, Phoebe. She's intensely arrogant, always tries to draw attention to herself and treats Chandler (and sometimes Ross) with barely veiled contempt.
That veil comes off entirely in "The One That Could Have Been." Phoebe is a stock broker, who is apparently widely disliked by her co-workers, and for good reason, seeing she holds little back in cruelty.
Black and Nerdy: The "Morning's Here!" guy who lives across from Joey's bedroom. Charlie as well, being that she's a professor.
Black Belt In Origami: At one point, Ross insists that he knows a martial arts technique called "Unagi." Rachel and Phoebe, however, know what the word actually means and spend much of the episode after making jokes about it.
Blatant Lies: Phoebe's song "Two Of Them Kissed Last Night" about Betty (Rachel), Neil (Ross) and Loolie (Julie).
Blind Alley: In " The One in Barbados Part 2", Ross and Charlie enter a room down the corridor while their pursuers continue down the hall.
The Central Perk manager hates Phoebe's singing so much it makes him want to "push my finger through my eye, into my brain, and swirl it around."
In the episode "The One with the Butt" where Joey gets a gig as Al Pacino's butt double, he goes into Monica's bathroom to put lotion on his rear end in preparation for the "part". Chandler comes in with the phone in his hand:
Chandler: Where's Joey? His mom's on the phone. Monica: In the bathroom. I don't think you wanna go in there right now! Chandler: Oh come on, we're roommates. (enters bathroom, runs out screaming) GAAAAAAH! MY EYES! MY EYES!
In "The One Where Everyone Finds Out", Phoebe sees Chandler and Monica having sex, and screams the exact same line.
In "The One with the Prom Video," Monica accidentally stumbles upon a tape of her parents having sex. In the later episode "The One Where Joey Moves Out", she unfortunately catches the live show.
In a much later season, Monica's dad then walks in on her and Chandler.
"The One With The Jellyfish" has everyone traumatized when Chandler had to pee on Monica after she got stung.
Break Up Bonfire Monica, Phoebe, and Rachel burn mementos of their exes when they find themselves all single on Valentine's Day and decide to do something to "cleanse" their bad luck. The firemen who attend when it inevitably gets out of control tell them that Valentine's Day is one of their busiest nights of the year, for exactly that reason.
Also, when Joey brings in a crib to convince a pregnant Rachel to stay at his apartment, he has his stuffed penguin toy Huggsy as a stand-in for the baby, but balks when Rachel believes he's going to give it to the baby. When Rachel and Emma live with Joey, Emma takes a liking to Huggsy, which Joey has a big problem with, as alluded to before.
Ross accidentally says "Rachel" instead of "Emily" during his season 4 wedding. He and Rachel accidentally get married in the season 5 finale.
In "The One The Morning After", as Ross and Rachel break up in the living room everyone else is stuck in the living room. Two seasons later, as the situation repeats (with Ross receiving a letter from Emily) it's revealed that Joey hid a survival kit under the bed in case that happened again.
The Ichiban lipstick makes for another punchline near the end of "TOW Ross's Grant".
In "TOW The Metaphorical Tunnel", Rachel is seen using the milk carton opener that Joey was demonstrating on an informercial during the cold open.
In "The One with the Stoned Guy" from Series 1, Jon Lovitz plays a restaurant owner who likes to smoke pot. He later reappears as the same character in Series 9's "The One With the Blind Dates", where he reveals that he lost his business due to his drug habit.
The Bro Code: Alluded to several times. Played for Laughs when Ross dates Chandler's ex-girlfriend Janice, and is worried he'll be angry. Chandler makes a big deal of forgiving him and makes him promise to do the same. (As he's secretly dating Monica at the time and is worried about Ross's reaction).
Played more seriously when Joey falls in love with Rachel and agonizes over Ross's reaction.
And when Chandler falls for Joey's girlfriend Kathy.
Brought Home The Wrong Kid: In one episode, Joey and Chandler worry they've done this to Ben (they left him on the bus by accident as well) but it turns out to be the right kid in the end.
In "The One With The Butt", everyone says non-committal positive-ish things about Joey's terrible play, except Chandler, who says "Awful play man, woah!". He's too excited about the beautiful girl who just agreed to go out with him to care about lying.
Even Phoebe couldn't hide it.
Joey: Wow, an agency left me its card! Maybe they wanna sign me!
Phoebe: Based on this play? ...Based on this play!
Phoebe: It's my friends. They have a... liking problem. With you. In that they don't.
But for Me, It Was Tuesday: In "TOW the Rumor" Rachel's old high-school classmate Will (played by Brad Pitt) reveals that she was so mean to him in school that he founded the "I Hate Rachel Green Club". Rachel doesn't even remember him.
Season 7's "The One With the Cheap Wedding Dress" features several of these. Joey and Ross find themselves fighting over the same woman, and - in an effort to make the other look bad in front of her - bring up various embarrassing moments from the earlier seasons of the show. These included:
Joey's character on Days of Our Lives getting a brain transplant from a woman in "The One With Joey's New Brain" 2 episodes ago.
Ross getting divorced 3 times.
Joey eating the food off of one of his date's plates while she was in the bathroom.
Ross' first wife being a lesbian.
Joey serving as a model for a poster about gonorrhea in Season 1's "The One Where the Underdog Gets Away".
Ross living with his monkey Marcel in Season 1.
Joey getting locked in a TV Cabinet in Season 4's "The One With the Cat".
Can't Believe I Said That: In "The One With The Blackout", Chandler gets stuck in an ATM vestibule with Victoria's Secret model Jill Goodacre. She offers Chandler gum and at first he turns it down. Then he realizes that he shouldn't have and tells her:
Chandler: You know, on second thought, gum would be perfection. (Thinking) Gum would be perfection? Gum would be perfection. Could have said, "Gum would be nice," or "I'll have a stick," but no no no no no. For me, gum is perfection. I loathe myself.
Cat Fight: Rachel and her sister Amy in "TOW Rachel's Other Sister".
Chandler: That fight was totally arousing.
Rachel and Monica in "The One After The Superbowl".
Caught with Your Pants Down: Monica walks in on Chandler having some "alone time" in Oklahoma and mistakenly assumes that he is turned on by shark porn when he quickly changes the channel on the TV from (normal) porn to a shark movie.
A much more well-known example where Ross wears a pair of tight leather pants to a date's house and cannot get them back up after pulling them down in her bathroom. Joey recommends he rub lotion and powder over his legs and Ross gets caught by his date.
Rachel also had a Celeb Crush on Joey in "The One That Could've Been".
Monica has hots for the actor Jean-Claude Van Damme who plays himself as an actor in a film being made in New York. The gang is allowed to be on the set because they are friends with Marcel the monkey who used to belong to Ross. Rachel has guts to go to talk to Jean-Claude and he finds her cute and asks her out, and Monica thus thinks Rachel stole him from her.
In the one with the laminated list, Chandler introduces the concept of having an agreement with your partner about being able to have sex with five celebrities of your choice, should you have a chance to score.
Chandler's girlfriend Janice has the magician David Copperfield among her freebies.
Chandler's own list includes Kim Basinger, Cindy Crawford, Halle Berry, Yasmine Bleeth, and Jessica Rabbit.
Rachel promptly makes her selection on the spot: Chris O’Donnel, John F. Kennedy Jr., Daniel Day Lewis, Sting, and Parker Stevenson.
Ross spends the whole episode trying to come up with a perfect list, and his final version involves Uma Thurman, Winona Ryder, Elizabeth Hurley, Michelle Pfieffer, and Dorothy Hamill. He wanted to include Isabella Rosselini, but the guys convinced him that she's too international, so his odds would be very low. Too bad Rosselini did appeared in their favourite coffee place; however, Rachel allowed him to hit on her despite being out of the list.
Susan Sarandon, Winona Ryder, and Jessica Rabbit make Ross and Chandler's list of celebs they'd want to sleep with. Sarandon and Ryder would later guest-star on the show and Kathleen Turner, who voiced Jessica Rabbit, plays Chandler's transvestite father.
Character Development: At the beginning, Chandler had serious issues with commitment, which made him incapable of holding a relationship. He eventually got rid of them during his relationship with Monica. Rachel started out as spoiled, selfish and somewhat incompetent; she eventually became a successful, independent career woman and an able mother.
Character Filibuster: Joey talks about the wonders of thongs in the Cold Open of "The one with the Thanksgiving flashbacks". He's still talking about it by the end of the opening credits.
Chekhov's Gunman: The "girl with the belly ring" gets who gets mentioned in season 3 breaks up Ross/Rachel.
Chuck Cunningham Syndrome: Phoebe's biological mother, played by Teri Garr. Discovering and reconciling with her down had been a major point of development in Phoebe's life, but after a few appearances, she never came up again.
The exact same thing happened with her biological father Frank Buffay after his one-shot appearance. Phoebe spent literally years trying to track down over the course of multiple seasons. Whole subplots of certain episodes basically revolved around it. Then they finally meet, and after an emotional(if awkward) reunion, he never appears again.
Cigarette Of Anxiety: Chandler's an ex-smoker, but can be seen lighting up again in particularly stressful situations.
Circumcision Angst: An inverse example. Joey auditions for the role of an Italian immigrant in a movie that involves a tasteful nude scene with a Jewish girl. The character specifically points out that it's the first time she's ever with a man who isn't circumcised, so naturally the actor who portrays him can't be either. However, Joey is, but he stupidly says he isn't just to get a callback. Monica helps him fashion a substitute out of luncheon meat, and it all goes great until he gets to the callback...
Clucking Funny: Chandler and Joey keep a chick and a duck — as their pets. They got the chick when s/he was a cute yellow ball of fluff, but little Yasmine grew up into a nice rooster. Hilarity Ensues.
Erika. When Monica tells her she and Chandler decided to name one of the twins Erika, she assumes it's just a coincidence, as well as Joey reacting the same way later, turning what could have been a heartwarming moment into a funny one.
The nurse, after being told that Rachel has hurt her ankle trying to take down the Christmas light. "You still have your Christmas lights up?!"
While listing the craziest place they'd had sex, Joey says his was in the second floor reading room of the New York City library. Monica reacts with "Oh my god! What were you doing in a library?"
Compressed Vice: In "TOW The Thumb". When the others berate Chandler for his smoking, he rattles off a list of their annoying habits that he puts up with, such as Joey's knuckle-cracking, Phoebe chewing her hair and Monica snorting when she laughs. None of them ever came up before, or after.
Ridiculously played straight with Chandler's shyness and inability to even talk to attractive girls in "The One With The Cheap Wedding Dress"(where Joey and Ross try to date the same girl). In the entire series preceding that point, although he was usually unlucky in love in the long run, he'd been shown as an admirably competent pickup artist capable of striking up conversations and dispensing hilarious off-the-cuff witticisms with attractive women in almost any situation. He occasionally struck out, but he'd certainly never had a problem talking to any of them.
Congruent Memory: Joey practices for a commercial by repeating, "Mmmm, soup," using tomato soup as his prop. When filming, they use noodle soup, and he is unable to get the simple "Mmmm, soup." line right.
Continuity Snarl: As a long running show there's bound to be one or two things that don't add up, but a pretty bad one occurs in Season 1 that there's little excuse for because it comes about in the space of two episodes right at the start of the show. There's barely any continuity to screw up. One episode centres on Ross moping because it's the anniversary of his first having sex with Carol (and also losing his virginity). Monica is the one who first remembers, which is Squicky but Ross says there were few people he didn't tell. In the very next episode, Monica says the line "Wow, my brother didn't even tell me when he lost his virginity."
Chandler and Rachel are shown interacting in Thanksgiving flashbacks to their teen years, and in a flashback to a few months before the series began, and yet in the pilot they're introduced as total strangers. Ross gets a "You remember..." before his name, as Chandler ought to as well.
In one of the early episodes, Phoebe is talking to a professional guitar player, Stephanie, and knows the real names of the chords. Several seasons later, when she was teaching Joey how to play a guitar, she appeared not to know the real names, and instead used her own made-up names (like Bear Claw).
Continuity Nod: In an early episode Chandler mentions he used to have a "Flock of Seagulls" haircut. In a S10 flashback Chandler is seen with a "Flock of Seagulls" haircut
In The One with Phoebe's Ex Partner, when playing "Smelly Cat", Phoebe sings in the same way as the cover artist from her music video, shown in The One Where Eddie Moves In.
In the 5th season, Monica is noted to give horrible massages. In a later 5th season episode, she gives Phoebe an equally painful handshake.
In the very first scene of the show, Chandler says that his mother never calls him. Few episodes later we find out that she's a famous writer and informs her son about upcoming visits through tv intervievs.
The Couch: Subverted in that the classic audience-facing couch setup is actually in the coffee house, while the couch in Monica's apartment is perpendicular to the audience facing the TV on the right wall, and the guys' apartment sports two recliners, faced perpendicularly to the TV on the left. The reason for this may have been that unlike virtually all other sitcoms, Friends usually has us see the characters' television screens while they're watching them, particularly because this often involved Joey.
Deconstructed later on with Ross as his irrational jealousy leads to him and Rachel breaking up. Emily becomes this in a much less funny way. And Chandler's jealousy drives to Kathy to sleeping with her co-star.
Crazy-Prepared: Joey and Chandler keep the chopsticks "for no real reason" after they order Chinese takeaway. They later use them to fashion a poking device to stir the Ugly Naked Guy when they think he could be dead.
Crossover: With Mad About You, somewhat, as in a few eps Ursula can be found as the Buchmans' regular waitress, much to their dismay.
There was an actual crossover when the MAY characters appeared in the coffee shop, mistook Phoebe for Ursula, and, assuming Ursula had been (rightly) fired there and hired here, tried to order coffee from her.
There was also at least one with The Single Guy.
A more straight example would be the crossover with Caroline In The City in the episode "The One With The Baby On The Bus". Caroline meets Chandler and Joey on the street and mistakes them for a gay couple. The same night that episode aired, Chandler appeared in an episode of Caroline.
Then there was NBC's "Blackout Thursday," in which the characters on Mad About You caused a citywide blackout, followed by the characters on Friends and Madman of the People dealing with the aftermath. Notably, Seinfeld didn't join in as its script for the week had been written long before.
Cry into Chest: Monica to Chandler in Season 1 after her Mom says that she's never going to get married or have children, (which she desperately wants). He also offered her a Fall Back Marriage Pact earlier in the episode. (This was when they were Just Friends).
Crying Indian - Attempt to invoke it, at least that's what Chandler claimed.
Cuffs Off Rub Wrists - lampshaded by Chandler, who remarks that his wrists don't actually hurt, he just always saw the guys in the movies do it.
Damned by Faint Praise: By the entire gang, trying to praise the Freud musical Joey's starring in, and by Rachael when Ross agrees to play rugby in an attempt to impress his British girlfriend.
Dance of Romance: Monica and Chandler have one off-screen when Chandler realizes Monica is the woman he "wants to dance all his dances with."
Dating Do Si Do: Averted. Out of the eight potential, straight, non-incest pairings between the main cast only three ever actually happened. Given the show ran for ten years, the writers did pretty well at not having the characters constantly date each other.
Dating Service Disaster: Chandler corresponds regularly with a woman he found online only to find out that it's actually Janice.
Dawson Casting: High school-aged Ross, Rachel, Chandler and Monica are played by the regular cast.
Invoked in-universe when 30-year-old Joey tries to land the role of a 19-year-old.
Deadpan Snarker: All six can be this at any time. Chandler tops them all though, as it's the defining trait of the character.
Deconfirmed Bachelor: Chandler. At the beginning of the series he has serious problems with committment. Then he falls in love with Monica, and they stay together for the rest of the series. Deconstructed as before this he did want committment but was scarred by his parents divorce and hurt whenever he tried to committ. Ironically he turns out to be better at serious relationships that casual dating. He also states Monica made him happier than he'd ever been before.
Did You Just Have Sex?: In "The One With Phoebe's Husband", Ross was dancing down the street and was called out on it by an old lady: "Well, somebody got some last night". He gleefully shouts back "twice!"
In the pilot, Monica has just been with Paul the Wine Guy, and her co-worker calls her on why she's smiling all the time. As Rachel said earlier, "It looks like you slept with a hanger in your mouth!"
In "The One After Ross Says Rachel" when Phoebe sees Chandler and Monica for the first time since their trip to London, where the two hooked up, she immediately yells out "You had sex!" to which the two start sputtering and trying to deny it. Phoebe says to Chandler, "Well, obviously not YOU. I meant Monica." Monica then denies it as well. In a rare subversion, Phoebe accepts this, saying "Man, this pregnancy's throwing me all off."
Does This Remind You of Anything?: Monica admitting to Rachel that she went shopping at Bloomingdales with Julie. Monica redeveloping an addiction to cookies. Rachel and Chandler stealing cheesecakes, played off as having to commit multiple cover up murders to cover up their original crime. Phoebe's ex husband telling her he realised he was straight, not gay as he should have been, "normally". Chandler and Joey arguing about the care of their new "baby" chick. Joey and Ross accidentally taking a nap together, and treating it like a night of drunken experimentation. Joey's kidney stones needing to be peed out, when Phoebe cut Monica's hair, and many, many occasions of Joey and Chandler acting like a couple, including arguments about Chandler's ex-roommate Kip and buying furniture together...
Double Standard: Discussed in-universe in "The One with the Metaphorical Tunnel," when Janice catches Chandler following her around after she tells him their relationship is moving too fast. Rachel and Monica tell Chandler that he's blown any chance he had with her, but Janice ends up thinking what Chandler did was romantic. Rachel and Monica complain that if they had done to a guy what Chandler did to Janice, the guy would think they were crazy and never speak to them again. Also discussed at a later date when Ross complains to Monica that Chandler was flirting with the girl that brought the pizzas. Monica doesn't mind and admits she still flirts with guys. Chandler's reaction is less understanding. When she calls him on the double standard, he explains that while women view firting as innocent fun, the thoughts running through a man's head when flirting with a woman are anything but innocent.
Dresses the Same: What is worse than two ladies wearing the same clothes? Rachel's and Ross's shopping bags get mixed up and Ross ends up wearing a pink flowery shirt on his date, and his date is wearing the exact same shirt as well.
Dude, Not Funny!: In-universe. While making fun of Chandler's failed marriage proposal to Monica, Ross apologized to Rachel for the "we were on a break" incident and asked her to marry him. The entire gang agreed it wasn't funny and promptly left.
Downplayed but still implied during Chandler's job interview. He aces it until he makes a "poo" joke, befuddling the interviewer and ultimately costing him the job.
Dumb Blonde: Erica the biological mother of Chandler and Monica's adopted kids and Rachel's sisters Jill and Amy.
As well as Phoebe and Rachel themselves, to an extent.
Dysfunction Junction: Monica's parents favored Ross over her, Rachel's parents are very unhappily divorced, Joey's mother loves the fact that her husband cheats on her, Chandler's genetic father was transgendered and had an overly licentious, Mrs. Robinson mother. Phoebe takes the cake, with a Hilariously Abusive Childhood-cum-Mysterious Past that involved her adoptive mother's suicide and being forced to live on the streets.
Early Installment Weirdness: Easy to miss, but—in the first season, there was no street outside the Central Perk set, only a painted backdrop in the window.
Earn Your Happy Ending: Chandler and Monica. Both were screwed up by their difficultchildhoods and struggled with relationships. But they found each other and perservered through committment phobia's, unemployment and infertility. They ended the series Happily Married with the family and children they'd always wanted, and boy did they deserve it.
Also Phoebe who grew up on the streets but eventually found the Friends and a normal life.
Eskimos Aren't Real: Joey and Chandler are both interested in a visiting Dutch woman. Chandler gets an edge by "guessing" that Dutch people come from somewhere near the Netherlands (the place they really come from). Joey responds, "Nice try. See, the Netherlands are this make-believe place where Peter Pan and Tinkerbell come from."
Rachel: Yeah... (they awkwardly look at each other and walk away)
Everyone Can See It: Ross and Rachel in early seasons. Averted when Chandler and Monica start their Secret Relationship and no one notices, despite the blatant sexual tension. Somewhat justified in that the pair were already very close (confiding secrets, openly saying they loved each other, having No Sense of Personal Space...) so the change from platonic to romantic behaviour wasn't overt.
What about the numerous dates the characters have over the course of the series?
In the first half of the series they all have short relationships (Chandler and Janice, Joey and Kathy, Monica and Richard/Pete, Phoebe and David, Rachel and Paolo/Ross, Ross and Julie/Rachel/Emily) but are mostly single. From Season 5 onwards Monica and Chandler are the only two in a committed, long-term relationship and the others continue with short relationships. (The cop, Mona, Joshua, Tag, Janine etc.)
Joey's stalker (played by Brooke Shields) has a pretty scary laugh.
Evil Twin: Phoebe's twin sister, Ursula, is by all accounts a bad person: she's an awful waitress, nearly cons a man into marrying her, has no affection for Phoebe, and becomes a porn star using Phoebe's name. She also didn't tell Phoebe that their mother had left a suicide note, and tried to improvise one on the spot before admitting she'd thrown it away.
Executive Meddling: The Season Six episode "The One With The Proposal" was subjected to this. Originally, the episode was supposed to depict a Big Showdown between Chandler and Richard, ultimately ending in a cliffhanger with Monica deciding who to marry. However, there was last-minute speculation that Season Six would be the final season of Friends. Thus, the writers were forced to retool the episode to end with Monica and Chandler proposing, so that if the series was cancelled, there would be no cliffhanger left dangling.
Actually no. The writers changed the 'showdown' ending because they realized it would be obvious that Monica was going to pick Chandler. They didn't like playing the proposal for cheap laughs and drama, so changed it to the more private, romantic proposal we see. They explain it all on the episodes commentary.
...the way I see it, you face your fears same as anything else, you've got a fear of heights, you go to the top of the building. You've got a fear of bugs... get a bug. In your case you've got a fear of commitment so you go in there and be the most committed guy there was.
Rachel suggests making one with Ross, who claims he already has one with Phoebe... who is the one who suggested it to Rachel in the first place, claiming she has one with Joey. By the end of the episode, they settled on Ross being Rachel's backup, and Joey being Phoebe's. At the end of Season 1, Chandler attempts to cheer up Monica by suggesting one with her.
Monica: Why won't I be married by the time I'm forty?
Chandler: No, no. I just meant hypothetically.
Monica: Okay. Hypothetically, why won't I be married by the time I'm forty?
Joey starts as a slightly dim character who's good with the ladies, and becomes a food obsessed sex-god who can barely count.
Monica shows none of her control issues for the entire first season, and the first time it shows up it's because of the stress of her mother visiting. Later, she eventually becomes a cold, severely-OCD neat freak who violently attempts to control her friends' lives.
Phoebe starts as a sweet but ditzy hippie chick and later becomes a shrill, manipulative bitch.
Ross's nerdiness gets played up after his issues with Carol and Rachel are put aside, and his pickiness and temper issues get extremely inflated.
Minor character Janice became increasingly more annoying every time she appeared on the show.
Flipping the Bird: As a kid, Ross made up an alternative gesture for the finger (banging his fists together) so he could get away with it in front of his parents. Other members of the gang also started using it.
Food Slap: Joey has a Loony Fan who thinks he's his Days of Our Lives character, Dr. Drake Ramoray. When she gets angry at Ramoray and goes after Joey, the others save him by convincing her that he's actually Drake's Evil Twin, and splash glasses of water at him for various offences, most famously leaving the toilet seat up.
Foot Dragging Divorcee: Ross and Rachel get married while drunk in Vegas. Ross makes preparations for an annulment, but delays signing the papers because he likes being married to Rachel, and because he's already been divorced twice. When Rachel finds out, she is none too pleased.
A subtle instance occurs in Season 7's "The One with Ross and Monica's Cousin". At one point Rachel tells Phoebe, "I need to talk to you about something..", and Monica assumes they must be planning her bridal shower, which they were not. However, after that Rachel and Phoebe spend the rest of the episode focused on a shower for Monica, and the original reason Rachel needed to talk to Phoebe is left unresolved. Then cue the season finale where it's revealed Rachel is pregnant.
Also mentioned in later episodes of season 7 but several episodes before the finale is Ross worrying about going through a dry spell that's lasted three-and-a-half months. It's revealed early in season 8 that one of the main reasons they got together was because Ross had experienced a six-month dry spell; it was the reason the event had been video taped and it was the reason why Ross thought Rachel was making a move on him and responded.
Four Temperament Ensemble: Ross is melancholic; Phoebe is sanguine/choleric (and of the Cloudcuckoolander variety); Rachel is phlegmatic; Chandler is phlegmatic/sanguine; Joey is overall sanguine; and frequently perfectionistic Monica is oh so choleric.
Freeze Frame Bonus: In "The One After the Super Bowl" (Part II) when Ross' monkey Marcel cannot meet him at his apartment he goes out to eat with Joey and Chandler, the bonus is on the menus of the restaurant that say Marcel's on them.
Freudian Excuse: Pretty much the subject of the play Joey stars in, Freud! (Not just Freud, but Freud!)
Chandler has some serious issues with his mother, and describes her as "a Freudian nightmare".
Friendship Moment: The series is built on them. The page's quote even refers to Joey and Chandler peeing on Monica when she gets stung by a jellyfish.
"I'll be there for you..."
It's even in the theme song!
Friends Rent Control: Trope Namer. Hand-waved for Monica's apartment; it's her grandmother's and she's illegally subletting it. Chandler was implied to make enough at his white-collar job to both afford his apartment and cover for Joey's costs, due to a season 1 episode where he was offered a promotion but quit instead because he hated his job. His boss thought he was holding out for a better salary and kept offering larger and larger salary increases until Chandler was left in disbelief at the figure he'd been quoted and accepted.
Also what Monica and Chandler's romantic relationship started out as.
Friend Versus Lover: It happpens a few times like Joey choosing between Phoebe (friend) and Ursula (lover) and Ross choosing between Rachel (friend who has still feelings for him) and Emily (lover who tells him he doesn't have to see Rachel anymore).
Full House Music: Occasionally used during the first five or so seasons, usually during a particularly dramatic Ross/Rachel moment.
Fun with Acronyms: The WENUS (Weekly Estimated Numerical Usage System) and the ANUS (Annual Net Usage Statistics).
Fur and Loathing: Phoebe inherits a fur coat, and is about to throw it out due to believing fur is murder. On realising that she looks good in it, she decides to keep it. She later gets rid of it after she thinks she is being looked at accusingly by a squirrel.
Gag Boobs: Monica has to wear a pair while working at a retro-themed diner.
Gainaxing: The reason why Chandler and Joey love Baywatch. In "The One Where Eddie Moves In":
Joey: Hey, hey, they're running!
Chandler: See, this is the brilliance of the show. I say always keep them running. All the time, running. Run! Run Yasmine, run like the wind!
Good Luck Gesture: "The One Where They’re Up All Night": There is a beeping sound coming from the living room in Phoebe's apartment. She sleepily goes to investigate, crossing her fingers on both hands, saying: "Please don’t be a space ship. Please don’t be a space ship." It’s a broken smoke detector.
Phoebe is practically guaranteed to use the name "Regina Phalange" whenever pretending to be someone else. In "The One Where Joey Speaks French", she gives her alias as a French woman as 'Régine Phalange'.
Joey apparently uses "Ken Adams" from time to time, but we only see it in action in one episode.
Chandler is in love with Joey's girlfriend Kathy but doesn't want to pursue it because of Joey, but suffers terribly. When it's her birthday, he buys her an old edition of The Velveteen Rabbit because it was her favourite book when she was a kid. When his friends tell him that this will be incredibly meaningful, screaming 'I love you', especially compared to Joey's present (he's got nothing, has idea for a pen with a clock, and later charges Chandler with a task of buying a present for her instead of him). Chandler ends up giving the book to Joey to give it to her, because he wants her to have it. She figures it out, though, because Joey fails to see what's behind 'an old and expensive book'.
Chandler tries a few with Monica. In Season 5 he fixes a fight by proposing.
In Season 6 he attempts to make his real proposal as big and surprising as possible. Naturally this backfires but luckily Monica pulls one of her own, filling their apartment with candles and proposing when he arrives.
On a smaller scale, Chandler cleans the entire apartment after he and Monica move in together.
Gravity Is Only a Theory: When Ross compares evolutionary theory with gravity, Phoebe states, "Lately I get the feeling that I'm not so much being pulled down as I am being pushed." It was never confirmed whether she was serious or just messing with Ross.
Lampooned in "TOW Eddie Moves In" with Chandler and Joey.
Green-Eyed Epiphany: During Chandler and Monica's Friends with Benefits relationship, Monica is (unwillingly) set up with another guy. Chandler is crushed and admits to her that his feelings go deeper than sex.
Chandler: "You know what the worse part was? I got to see what my life would be like without you..please promise that you will never leave me, that we will grow old together, and be with each other for the rest of our lives."
Helen Baxendale's pregnancy, along with her country of residence being England, meant that Emily was written out earlier than the writers had originally intended and mostly appeared in voiceover and under bedsheets.
His and Hers: Ross buys Carol and Susan a matching set of "Hers and Hers" towels.
Hit Me Dammit: When Joey wants Ross to forgive him for the proposal fiasco. Ross is reluctant at first, but after much goading from Joey he finally swings... and Joey instinctively ducks, causing Ross to punch a metal pole. Joey tries to explain that "when you see a fist coming at you, you duck!" and ends up punching Ross in the face to prove his point.
Honor Before Reason: Several of the Friends cast display some shades of this trope. Monica would rather do everything she can to get people to like her and have her be the best hostess (or whatever she wants people to come over for) instead of accepting the fact that she doesn't have to be the best at everything. Joey refuses to accept Chandler's offer of loaning him money due to his pride. Ross refuses to admit he is wrong when he is actually wrong, which is one of the huge plot drives for the infamous break up between him and Rachel.
Hot Mom: Nora Bing. And later, Rachel. In the final episode, Monica
Hot Dad: Richard (Tom Selleck) and Paul (Bruce Willis).
Home Porn Movie: On one episode, Joey and his date walks in on a set that Chandler and Monica had obviously put together for this purpose - she leaves horrified. This was while Joey was the only one who knew of their relationship. He berates Chandler for making it more and more difficult to keep their secret, and storms out in a huff.
In another episode a tape Ross and Rachel made (by accident: Ross was trying to practice flirting) is discovered. Rachel managed to get pregnant from this exact encounter, and the two are arguing about which of them made the first move. The video contains the seduction, so the friends end up watching its clothed portion to put the matter to rest. As the episode's closing gag, Ross and Rachel watch the non-clothed portion in private... only to turn it off in horror when they see how bad they look during the act.
In "The One with the Prom Video", Monica discovers that the end of said video is a Home Porn Movie, featuring her parents.
In yet another episode, Chandler and Joey finds a videotape with Monica's ex Richard and another girl they assume to be Monica (They couldn't see her face clearly). Monica finds out and, on viewing the tape it turns out it wasn't her. To which Monica shouts, "That bastard taped over me!"
And later Janice does this when Chandler reveals he saw her kissing her (supposedly soon-to-be) ex-husband. She also gags on the receipt from the large box of condoms Chandler had just purchased that was in the bag, just to be more ironic.
Idiosyncratic Episode Naming/No Title/The One With.../: As noted above, every episode except the pilot was titled some variation of "The One With..." or "The One Where...". This was a joke referencing how viewers rarely knew the titles of individual episodes of a television series. Arguably now a case of Aluminum Christmas Trees, as the rise of DVRs (which give the episode title when recording) and internet discussion forums with individual episodes makes The One With... trope less true.
The producers occasionally had fun with the episode names: The 100th episode (wherein Pheobe delivers her brother's babies) isn't named after anything in the plot, but rather is titled "The One Hundredth." The series finale was titled "The Last One".
The French translators of the show decided for some reason to give up the original kind of Idiosyncratic Episode Naming and replaced it with another one : each episode is named "The One With [insert description of the actions of one character in this episode]". For instance, "The One with Monica and Chandler's Wedding" is translated as "The One Who Married Monica" ("Celui qui a épousé Monica"). It is unknown whether they thought it was a more clever way to do things or missed the point with the first couple of episodes and then thought it was too late to change, but in either cases the titles generally end up being very clumsy, nonsensical and non-informative, making this an exemple of "Blind Idiot" Translation.
This proves to be an excellent indicator of their future relationship.
Monica: "Chandler what is wrong with your face? It's meant to say Geller and Bing to be married, not local woman saves drowning moron!"
Monica: "Hey! Don't laugh at him, he's my drowning moron."
Idiot Ball: Every now and then, a character would usually have to pick this bad boy up and run it into the endzone for a off-kilter subplot to work. Case in point: "TOW The Sharks", in which Monica thinks Chandler gets off on shark shows after catching him in the act of "molesting himself", instead of thinking that, you know, he changed the channel away from his porn when he heard her come in.
Or when Joey was trying to learn French from Phoebe, but couldn't even repeat simple words, instead spouting a stream of pure gibberish.
Monica and Chandler frequently grabbed this when they first started going out. There were countless times where they almost got caught. While it is partly justified in how it would be difficult to keep a relationship like that a secret in such a tight-knit group, they were really careless most of the time. Such as having sex against an open window after Ross decided to check out and live in the apartment opposite. Twice. The rest of the cast grabs this too when it takes them so long to figure it out, despite the rather big clues right in front of them.
I Don't Want to Ruin Our Friendship: Chandler and Monica discuss this when they see each other naked and again after they've just slept together. They decide to carry on anyway. [[Spoiler: It turns out to be a good call]].
I Drank What?: In "The One With the Race Car Bed", Rachel admits to adding body fluids to the drinks she serves to people who don't tip her sufficiently.
Joey sometimes experiences this (such as when he drank from a glass of fat).
If You Ever Do Anything to Hurt Her...: Ross gives his "big brother talk" to Chandler before his wedding to Monica, but the thought of Ross threatening to "...hunt you down, and kick your ass!" causes everyone to laugh hysterically.
I Like Those Odds: In one episode, the guys buy many lottery tickets as there is a lot of money on the jackpot, Ross says he won't join, because they have a better chance of being struck by lightning 42 times. Chandler answers that, as there are six of them, they would each only have to be struck seven times. Joey says the trope name verbatim.
Informed Attractiveness: With some of the girls that appear in the show, such as Joey's dancer roommate or Emma's hot nanny. While they were attractive, they weren't that much more attractive than any other girl on the show yet the guys just fall head over heels for them.
Informed Flaw: Joey and Chandler's apartment supposedly being "small." While not as big as the others' apartments, it was still fairly big.
Also, their apartment being a dive. While it might not have been quite as fancy as Monica and Rachel's, it was still a pretty good looking and decently kept apartment.
In Spite of a Nail: "The One That Could Have Been" is an Alternate History fantasy in which the friends' lives are all very different... yet by the end of the story they've all managed to end up in the same positions as their main-timeline counterparts.
Instant Birth, Just Add Water: Averted with Rachel, who is in labor for well over 24 hours, and complains about the fact that five different women have come and gone since she's been in her room. Mostly averted with Carol and Phoebe's births as well. The length of time they're in labour isn't revealed, but it's clear the births take quite a while because the group do a lot of wandering around and get into all sorts of situations while the births are progressing.
• Interrupted Declaration of Love: Played with. Chandler gets out "I love you" but Monica is interrupted from replying. Subverted in that he immediately took back his declaration (due to his committment issues) and Monica was wise enough not to say it back until he was ready. So technically it was Interrupted Revoking of Love.
Intertwined Fingers: Monica and Chandler do this a lot. Not a big deal when they're dating or married, although they did it before hooking up as well.
Inverted Trope: Quite a lot of instances in the show. An example would be Phoebe's husband, in season 2, quoting stereotypic lines like "experimenting in college" to excuse himself for going out with women, a trope used the other way around for straight men or women realising that they are gay. Here is the other way around.
Irrevocable Message: played for drama in season two ("The One Where Ross Finds Out"), and for laughs in season three ("The One Where No One's Ready").
Imaginary Love Triangle: Chandler on two occassions with Monica. In Season 5 he thinks her ex Richard is the love of her life and she's going back to him, and in Season 8 he freaks out when she meets her 'soulmate'. Monica tells him that a) he's the love of her life and b) she doesn't believe in soulmates and will always love Chandler.
"This must be what evil tastes like!"—Phoebe on tasting Monica's dessert made out of fake-chocolate "mockolate" in "The One With the List".
It Doesn't Mean Anything - It Meant Something to Me: Chandler and Monica in 'TO Hundreth'. Officially they have a Friends with Benefits relationship, but both clearly feel more. Rachel, not knowing they're together, sets Monica up with another guy and Chandler is crushed. Out of hurt he tells Monica they were only 'goofying' around, leaving her upset and confused. By the end of the episode they've sorted it out.
Averted early on with Ross and Rachel: Ross had a crush on Rachel before they became friends, and constantly tries for a Relationship Upgrade. Played straight in later seasons after they break up.
Just The Way You Are: Monica worries that Chandler won't love her if she gets fat again. Chandler proves her wrong.
Chandler: "I don't think of you as a thin, beautiful woman...You’re Monica. Okay? And I am in love with Monica. So you can balloon up or you can shrink down and I will still love you."
Monica: "Even if I shrink down to two inches tall?"
Chandler: "I'd carry you around in my pocket."
Especially heartwarming as Monica was fat in the past and Chandler (an immature college student) insulted her. He's grown up up enough not to care that there's a good chance she will put on weight later.
Keeping Secrets Sucks: Keeping Monica and Chandler's relationship in secret creates several problems for Joey.
Kick Me Prank: This is one of the many pranks Rachel teaches Ross's son, Ben.
Killed Off for Real: Downstairs neighbor Mr. Heckles (who had appeared in five total episodes) in Season 2, Rachel's boss Joanna (who had appeared in three episodes) in Season 4 and most notably, Joey's agent, Estelle (who had appeared in ten episodes) in season 10.
The chick and the duck.
Lamaze Class: One convoluted plot had Ross going with his ex-wife's (not pregnant) lesbian lover (who also forces Ross to play the birthing mother in the exercises).
Romantic False Lead: When Ross confesses to Chandler's mother (who is a romance novelist) about being jealous of Rachel's boyfriend Paolo, she soothes him by saying "the guy is a secondary character; a complication that you eventually kill off"
In season six, when Monica and Chandler decide to live together, Monica gives him a key to her apartment. Chandler responds, "This door hasn't been locked in five years, but why not."
In the first season, right when Ross is about spill his feelings to Rachel, her former fiance Barry bursts into the apartment to say he's still in love with Rachel, causing Ross to complain aloud, "OK, we have GOT to start locking that door!"
Limited Social Circle: In one episode, all six characters are sitting in Monica's apartment, when there's a knock on the door. Everyone looks utterly confused; no one says anything, but you can tell they're thinking, "if we're all already here, who the heck is it?" Phoebe is even shown pointing at each of the characters, counting them, just to make sure.
In season five, Monica, Joey, Chandler and Phoebe discuss a party for Rachel
Monica: We could have a dinner party and just invite her close friends.
Joey: Ross! We're having a surprise party for Rachel!
Ross: (from the bathroom) Okay!
Ross got mugged by a homeless person who is a friend of Phoebe's. She says "I'm sorry if I have friends outside the six of us".
Its A Small World After All: Throughout the series, the gang bumps into Janice (Maggie Wheeler) often. In her final apperance, near the end of the series, Janice makes a cameo in the neighbouring house of the one Monica and Chandler are buying. Chandler lampshades the unlikelihood of bumping into her every now and then.
Janice: What a small world!
Chandler: And yet, I never run into Beyoncé.
One-Hour Work Week: One Cold Open features the characters bitching about how their employers hate them. Joey: "Maybe it's because you're in a coffee shop at 11:30 on a Wednesday morning?"
Another Cold Open in the premiere of season 3 sees the cast walk into the coffee house and see that another group of six friends (writers of season 3) has taken their spot on the couch. Chandler notes, "Huh," and they turn around and walk out.
Later in the series, you can occasionally see a "Reserved" sign on the table in front of the couch as an explanation of how they manage to always get "their" spot.
The very last joke of the series:
Rachel: Do you guys have to go to the new house right away, or do you have some time? Monica: We've got some time. Rachel: Okay. Should we get some coffee? Chandler: Sure. (beat) Where?
The characters often pointed out minor continuity quirks:
In season four, Chandler offers to get Rachel a date.
Rachel: Hang on, now. I've been single before, how come you didn't offer to get me a date then?
Chandler: Well, I have a girlfriend now, so I'm happy. I no longer need to deprive others from being happy.
In season six, Rachel needs to move out and find a new place to stay. She asks Phoebe if she can stay with her, but Phoebe says she already has a roommate. The others immediately point out that they have never heard of said roommate; Phoebe HandWaves this by saying they never listened when she was talking about her.
Chekhov's Gun: "TOW The Poking Device". Joey makes a poking device out of chopsticks he'd been saving for no reason.
When Rachel's mom came to visit and tried to relive her youth, Rachel asked why her mom couldn't have just copied her hair style. This was a jab at the popularity of Rachel's hair style at the time.
Lap Pillow: Chandler and Monica are often seen lying close to this position. (Draping across each other, curling up on the couch etc).
Soon after Rachel gives birth, she can't decide what to name her daughter. When Monica tells her that she plans to name her own future daughter Emma, Rachel likes the name so much that Monica lets her have it.
He's the only character who actually married his older love interest, but there were other instances in the show, like Elizabeth and Ross, or Monica and Richard. Or Monica and Young Ethan (TOW The Ick Factor.)
Literally Loving Thy Neighbor: Monica and Chandler live across the hall from each other for years before falling in love. Their two apartments are basically treated as one open-doored house for everyone. When they do move into together its hard to tell what's changed.
Local Hangout: Central Perk, conveniently located on the first floor of the gang's apartment building.
Lonely Together: Monica and Chandler have a moment in Season 4. Chandler is stuck in his apartment listening to Kathy (who he's in love with) and Joey have sex, and Monica is boyfriendless and sick. On finding each other wearing pj's and wrapped in blankets, they curl up together in shared misery.
Long Distance Relationship: Monica and Chandler in Season 9, when he's transferred to Tulsa. It doesn't last long as Chandler hates his job and misses Monica so much that he quits.
Meat Versus Veggies: Phoebe is a strict vegetarian, which is sometimes teased by the group. She was temporarily forced to eat meat while pregnant due to pregnancy cravings and when she met Mike's parents, she attempted to eat veal in an effort to make a good impression. It made her sick instead. Monica also commented that she was so in love with her gay husband that when he left, depression drove her to eat a cheeseburger. This story dramatically shocks the rest of the group.
"The One with Chandler's Work Laugh" features Ross agonizing over telling Chandler that he had a brief relationship with the latter's ex-girlfriend, Janice. Finally, at the end, Ross confesses and Chandler openly indicates that he doesn't care, what with having no lingering feelings for Janice.
"The One Where Phoebe Runs" features this trope again, when Chandler moves Monica's things to clean their apartment and can't remember where they all go. After an episode of his agonising over what she will think, she returns home and seems ready to blow up at him, though in the end she just thanks him for trying to be nice and do her a good thing by cleaning up for her.
In "The One Where Ross Can't Flirt," Rachel borrows and loses an earring that Phoebe had borrowed from Monica. They spend the entire episode agonizing over it, until Phoebe decides to take the blame. She fesses up, and is instantly forgiven. Seeing this, Rachel admits that it was really her fault, expecting to be forgiven too. She isn't.
This is probably because she is said to have already borrowed and lost many of Monica's things.
Misplaced Accent: In-universe. Joey evidently had vocal training to learn how to do an American Southern accent for a play about the American Civil War, but it ends up coming out as a Jamaican accent.
Miss Conception: Monica and Chandler want to adopt from a woman who is still pregnant with the child. They inquire about the father who she reveals is one of two choices: one golden boy and one jail hound who murdered his own father with a shovel (Shovelly Joe). They (especially Chandler) worry about the father-murderer choice until Monica discovers that the act she committed with him was not something that could get you pregnant.
Joey: You know... lending friends money is always a mistake. Monica: But Chandler lent you money! Joey: And I think he would tell you it was a mistake.
In an inversion, Chandler spends an episode desperately trying to lend Joey money, but Joey doesn't want to owe him anything - presumably because of this trope. And thus was bornthe Game of Cups.
New Year Has Come: "The One With the Routine" has Monica and Ross attempting to get on TV whilst on-set filming Dick Clark's New Year's Rockin' Eve,
Never My Fault: Both Ross and Rachel fall into this, and its a major reason their relationship kept failing.
Nice Guy: In different ways all three the male leads can qualify.
As does Phoebe's husband Mike and her first serious love interest, David "the Scientist Guy".
Also Ross and Monica's father Jack Geller.
Monica's season 2 boyfriend Richard Burke is one of the nicest characters on the show.
Nobody Thinks It Will Work - What Does She See in Him?: Both Rachel and Phoebe look down on Monica and Chandler's as a couple, but as neither of them manage to establish a successful relationship until the end of the series, and Monica and Chandler are very happy and well-suited, they come across looking like jealous jerks rather than friends with legitimate concerns.
Averted with Joey who thinks they're great and 'going to last forever'.
Not Important To This Episode Camp: Happens to Ben and later Emma a lot. Justified with Ben, since Carol and Susan are his primary caregivers. However, Emma was always explained as being at somebody else's house.
To be fair, Emma is represented in a lot more episodes than a lot of TV babies. She's just the quietest baby ever. There are a lot of episodes in one of the apartments, or Central Perk, where a bassinet or carseat is present, and we never see what's in it. Whatever it is is completely silent, and everyone ignores it, so maybe Emma just sleeps a lot.
Ross also mentions interacting with Ben a fair bit in episodes where he does come up (being familiar with Ben's current developmental phases and whatnot), so it can likely just be assumed that most of his interaction with Ben happens offscreen, since it's not a hang-out-with-friends activity.
Not in Front of the Kid: When Monica and Chandler are trying to have a baby, they babysit Phoebe's triplets. They start to make out and Chandler says he's not comfortable doing it in front of the B A B Y. Later, Joey comes in and says "You can't have sex around a B A B I E!"
In an earlier episode, Phoebe is feeling guilty about spending time with her biological mother and imagines that her mother has been reincarnated as a cat.
Phoebe: I think someone's upset that there's a new mom at the B E A C H. [Beat] I just spelled the wrong word.
Janice is grating on all of the friends and they all dread seeing her and even hearing her voice. In short, she annoys them. However, in the short time that Ross dated Janice, Ross' constant whining and complaining managed to get the annoying Janice to be annoyed with Ross' negativity. This completely shocks Ross and he lampshades it:
Ross: I annoy YOU? Janice?
Chandler realizes this about him and Mr. Heckles in TOW Heckles Dies.
No Sense of Personal Space: The gang as a whole, justified given how closethey are to each other. However in early seasons Monica and Chandler were worse than the rest, (at least with each other), frequently cuddling on the couch, absentmindly stroking each other, curling up and watching movies, draping across each other, holding hands, hugging while half-dressed.... When they started their Secret Relationship they actually seemed less cuddly in public! It does explain why they kept it hidden for so long though.
Not So Great Escape: Ross does this several times in one episode of Friends. When he is in a secluded log cabin waiting for his girlfriend, Elizabeth, to get back from the shop Elizabeth's dad, Paul, turns up with Rachel. Ross, with his trousers around his ankles, hides under the couch. Later he is discovered by Rachel, who covers for him and gets Paul to leave the room. Ross takes the opportunity to move to another room, which turns out to be Paul's bedroom. When Paul comes in later Ross hides behind the door, then falls to the floor and crawls under the bed, from where he witnesses Paul's embarrassing routine in front of the mirror. When Paul leaves Ross begins to climb out of the window, but is discovered when he is half-way out.
Then in another episode, Ross breaks into his ex-girlfriend's apartment to retrieve his favourite pink salmon sweater and is inside when aforementioned girlfriend comes home with a date. He is then forced to hide under the couch on which they are currently making out. Eventually he gets bored and starts reading a magazine.
Ross and Rachel's first breakup in Season 3. The dynamics of their relationship were never the same afterwards.
Chandle and Monica ending up together.
Nuclear Candle: In one episode, there's a blackout, and the friends are bringing in candles for light. Later on, all the candles but one are extinguished, and yet the light level is almost the same. One of the characters then blows on this last candle extinguishing it, and everything goes dark.
Nude Nature Dance: When Phoebe suggests a relationship cleansing ritual, it turns out you can either go the burnt offering route or the "dance naked with sticks" route. Rachel and Monica opt for the first.
Object Ceiling Cling: Monica is making a milkshake, but Rachel says something that surprises her, making her lid hand slip, splattering bananas on the ceiling. It doesn't come down until Monica mops it up.
Oblivious Mockery: Rachel and Monica discover a message on Ross's answering machine from Emily, Ross's ex-wife. Emily is having second thoughts about her upcoming marriage to someone else. They debate whether or not to erase the message - Monica wants to, Rachel doesn't.
Monica: All right, look. She's obviously unstable, okay? I mean, she's thinking about running out on her wedding day.... (In the first episode, Rachel ran out on her wedding) Okay, fine, but... I mean, look at the position she's putting him in. I mean, what's he going to do? He's like... Ross is going to run over there on the wedding day and break up the marriage? Who would do that? (Rachel did this when Ross & Emily were getting married).... Okay, fine. All right? But that's... you know, that was different. Although it did involve a lot of the same people.
Oblivious to Love: Rachel to Ross in season 1, Ross to Rachel in the first half of season 2 and Rachel to Gunther except for the final episode.
Also Rachel to Joey in season 8. This happens to Rachel a lot.
It's hinted that Chandler has a mild crush on Monica in 'TOW the Beach' episode: He offers to be her boyfriend but she thinks he's joking and laughs. Ouch.
Official Couple Ordeal Syndrome: Oh god Ross and Rachel. Their relationship drama lasted from the first five minutes of the pilot to the last five minutes of the finale, so even the characters themselves were sick of it.
Thankfully averted with Monica and Chandler. They manage to get together, fall in love, get engaged, married and start a family without breaking up once and still remaining funny and popular.
In another episode Ross & Chandler's party animal friend from college comes to town and they all go out partying. He bails on them, so Ross, Chandler and Joey decide to go out on their own, only to discover that they needed a guy like that to really be able to party hard.
One Steve Limit: On set, Matt LeBlanc was referred to by his last name to avoid confusion with Matthew Perry while shooting.
Opening Credits Cast Party: All six friends goofing around in front of (and in) a park fountain. Distressingly, David Schwimmer's "Mr. Roboto" dance was removed in later versions.
Operation Jealousy: During Monica and Chandler's Secret Relationship she's set up with another guy and a hurt Chandler tells her its ok because they were just 'goofying around'. Equally hurt she proceeds to flirt with the guy in front of him until they make up.
Opposites Attract: Ross and Rachel; Phoebe and Mike. To a lesser extent Monica and Chandler.
The Other Darrin: Ross' ex-wife Carol was played by a different actress in her first episode.
Ditto for Rachel's ex-best friend Mindy, originally played by Jennifer Grey.
Out of Focus: Ben disappears after season 8, Carol after season 7, and Susan after season 6.
Pair the Spares: Discussed after Monica and Chandler move in together. Joey and Phoebe talk about whether they'll inevitably end up together. Phoebe, of course, has an elaborate and unlikely prediction for how it will take place.
Paranormal Episode: The series had an episode where Phoebe says she has been possessed by the ghost of an old woman, who will only leave her body after she has seen "everything". The ghost apparently leaves her body after Phoebe goes to Carol and Susan's lesbian wedding.
Pass the Popcorn: Rachel regrets not having popcorn as Ross goes hit on Isabella Rossellini.
Perfectly Cromulent Word: Joey at one point says, "It's a moo point anyway." Presumably this is based on a mishearing/misunderstanding of the word "moot", as he explains a "moo point" as something unimportant. His reasoning, however, is that "It's like a cow's opinion".
Pint-Sized Powerhouse: In "TOW The Girl Who Hits Joey", Joey's short, new girlfriend Katie playfully punches him over and over, which Joey admits really hurts. The others make fun of him for it until Katie does it to Rachel, who responds by kicking her in the shin.
The Plan: Pulled off by Chandler to get a baby named after him (instead of Joey).
Which, since Chandler is a Butt Monkey, backfires when the baby turns out to be a girl and the parents refuse to change the name.
Please Don't Leave Me: Chandler to Monica after spending the day with his divorced boss and realizing how lonely he'd be without her.
The Pollyanna: Phoebe's boyfriend Parker (Alec Baldwin), who annoys the rest of the gang and eventually Phoebe herself.
Poor Man's Porn: Chandler comes to visit Rachel at work so he can take a peek at the most recent catalogues.
When Joey displays an unusual talent for drawing anatomically-correct pictures of naked people, he follows it up with "This little talent came in useful when I couldn't afford porn!"
One episode inverted this with a subplot dedicated Chandler and Joey accidentally getting the porn channel on TV for free. At first, they are thrilled and refuse to turn the TV off (fearing it will go away if they do). However, over the course of the episode, they become so saturated with the constant porn that it begins to warp their views of daily life and they admit they need a break.
Potty Emergency: In "The One With The Mugging" Joey finds himself doing an audition when he really needs to pee. This makes him a better actor.
Practice Kiss: Joey had an audition for a role where he had to kiss a guy, so he tried to talk Ross or Chandler into kissing him to help him get used to it. Ross eventually did it but by then Joey had already had the audition.
In the alternate universe episode Monica and Chandler have practice sex. Like their real-life counter-parts this leads to love.
Pretty in Mink: When Phoebe gets a mink as an heirloom from her mother, she eventually realizes it actually looks good on her. So even though there was a Reset Button, for that time, she did think she looked, well, pretty in mink.
When Phoebe and Mike get married, Mike's mother wears a white fur coat to the wedding.
Primal Scene: Monica first found a video tape of her parents having sex (complete with "Oh Jack" and "Oh Judy"). A few episodes later she was hiding from her parents in the bathroom when both walk in.
Product Placement: Sometimes quite blatant. One episode revolves around how nice Pottery Barn furniture is; in another one, Phoebe and Monica try to deduce the world's best chocolate chip cookie recipe — it turns out to be Nestlé Tollhouse. The second may not have been product placement— the joke was that the recipe was printed on the side of the by-far most common chocolate chip packages, but her grandma lied and said it was an "old family recipe". To this day, Pottery Barn claims to see a spike in their sales every single time that episode airs.
Monica's then-boyfriend Pete, an uber-rich businessman, gives up business to become an Ultimate Fighter.
Subverted with Chandler who works as a data analyst for a corporate organization but he has always assumed it's temporary. When he's offered a promotion, he quits because he doesn't want to get stuck there. However, he has no idea what he'd like to do instead and the money they offer him is too good, so he returns.
Played Straight in later seasons when Chandler learns he's the only one of their gang who hates his job, and pursues a new career in advertising. It seems to have been chosen rather randomly but he really likes it. However, he has to start at the bottom of the career ladder.
Phoebe's Love Interest Mike used to be a lawyer, however, he decided to become a professional pianist in his early thirties. It helps that he has some family money.
Race for Your Love: Done several times, most notably in the finale when Phoebe (recklessly) drives Ross to the airport so he can tell Rachel he loves her.** This actually mirrors Rachel's attempt to speak to Ross, before he boards the plane, after Chandler reveals Ross' feelings for her, in Season 1 finale. Ross' race to the airport in season 10, is actually not his first time; after having done the exact same thing with Emily, they eventually get married. Then he ends up chasing her in an airport, once again; this time in London.
Rage Judo: A back-and-forth, continually failing version.
Real-Life Relative: In one episode Ross's old friend from high school comes to visit. Turns out he is the president (and only current member) of the Anti-Rachel club. He was played by Jennifer Aniston's then real life husband Brad Pitt.
Realistic Diction Is Unrealistic: Friends was excoriated by English teachers across the world for degrading the language with all its, like, disfluencies and, y'know, rising inflection? It's like, did they ever stop to think, y'know, "Maybe they're just talking like real people talk?"
Really Gets Around: Joey is the obvious example; however, Phoebe tends to reveal many unexpected sexual escapades at the most random times as well. This is addressed in season 9, when Ross notes that she's well into her thirties, and still hasn't had a long-term relationship.
Also in season 9, when Rachel tells Phoebe about how Ross flirted with a store clerk, she says he's "picking up some shop girl at Sluts-R-Us". Phoebe pauses for a moment, then asks, "Is that a real place? ...Are they hiring?"
Recurring Character: Several, most notably Janice, who makes an appearance in all but one season.
Retail Therapy: Rachel indulged in this in the first episode and often after she got a better paying job. Jill, Rachel's sister, did something similar after getting cut off by their father (having memorized all his credit card numbers). When Rachel find out she... keeps all the purchased items for herself. To teach Jill a lesson.
Retroactive Wish: In the pilot, Ross says, "I just want to be married again" right before Rachel appears wearing a wedding dress. Chandler immediately jumps in, "And I just want a million dollars!"
Revealing Hug: Rachel and Ross, revealing Rachel's real reaction to meeting Emily.
Right Hand Hottie: Rachel hires a totally unqualified guy for her assistant solely on the basis that she thought he was cute.
Right Through the Wall - their upstairs neighbor pulls up his carpet, so everything (including his sex with Phoebe, and later, other women) can be heard clearly in Monica's apartment.
When the Friends go to a conference in Barbados, Monica, Chandler and Phoebe are in a room that's caught up between two situations. Namely Rachel and Joey hooking up, and Ross and Charlie getting together. Chandler then squicks out Monica by asking why she's listening to the wall that has her brother on the other side.
Rock-Paper-Scissors: Rachel and Monica use Rock Paper Scissors to decide who gets the last condom in the box. Rachel wins.
Romantic False Lead: Former Trope Namer The Paolo, for Rachel's Season 1 boyfriend. Given that it was fairly clear that Ross and Rachel would get matched together eventually, all of their boyfriends and girlfriends were Romantic False Leads, to the point of excess: Paolo, Julie, Emily, Mona, Joshua, Elizabeth, Charlie, Bonnie, even Joey.
And in Season 6, Richard for Monica as she was obviously going to choose Chandler.
Rugby Is Slaughter: When Ross tries to impress Emily by playing rugby he ends up in more than a little pain.
Running Gag: Ross and Monica's childhood fist-bumping substitute for the middle finger pops up in several episodes.
To the point that the other members of the group starting using it, too.
WE WERE ON A BREAAAAAAAAAK!!!
How you doin'?
Phoebe's fake name, Regina Philange.
For the few times he appeared, Mr. Heckles' appearances always end up like this whenever he complains:
Heckles: You're disturbing my X.
One of the Friends: You don't have X.
Heckles: I could have X.
Sabotutor: Joey once taught a soap-opera acting class, and one of his students wanted Joey to coach him and prepare him for a role of a boxer that Joey auditioned for as well. Joey advised the student to play the role "homosexually". It backfired, though, because it turned out that they loved it and the student was cast.
Sarcastic Clapping: Chandler's reaction to Ross' assertion that he doesn't repel women because he's been married 3 times.
Sequel Episode - "TOW the Embryos" and "TOW All the Haste" about Rachel & Monica and Joey & Chandler switching apartments. They both even start the same, with Rachel being rudely awakened in the morning.
Sex Changes Everything: Played straight with Ross and Rachel who, after sleeping together, embark on nine seasons of on/off drama and fighting.
Averted with Monica and Chandler. Their easy going friendship remains intact after sleeping together, and they're extremely happy as a couple.
Sex Equals Love: Monica and Chandler could be the poster couple for this trope. Their one night stand in London only takes a few episodes to become a relationship and eventually leads to them realizing their the 'love of their lives', moving in together, getting engaged, getting married and establishing the happiest, most stable relationship of the show.
Chandler even describes their first night together as the most romantic night of his life so yeah his feelings developed pretty fast.
Shaggy Dog Story: Joey and Rachel's feelings for each other for the better part of the last two seasons (including being the big cliffhanger finale for Season 9) is resolved in two episodes. Partially Real Life Writes the Plot as the final season was six episodes less than the others due to Jennifer Aniston's condition of returning only with a shorter season in order to pursue her film career.
Shared Family Quirks: As Ross and Monica were siblings they were revealed to have some weird shared obsessions from their childhood, including quiz shows, the Osmonds, a dance routine that they won a school talent show by performing and the "Gellar Family Cup" awarded after family sports matches.
Similarly when Phoebe meets her long-lost biological mother she discovers that they both use the made up word "floopy". The mother then plays with this by pointing out her love of pizza as another sign that they must be related.
Shipper on Deck: Pretty much everyone for Ross and Rachel, though they do get tired of their on/off relationship later. Joey for Chandler and Monica.
Ship Tease: Phoebe and Joey had their moments (and legit kisses and even an engagement, albeit played for laughs), but most of them were with an obvious wink to pairing spares.
Joey: You know, Monica and Chandler are married. Ross and Rachel are having a baby. Maye you and I should do something.
Phoebe: All in good time, my love. All in good time.
Matt LeBlanc and Lisa Kudrow were reportedly keen on the idea that Joey and Phoebe were having casual sex behind everyone's backs, but the writers vetoed the idea.
The only time the writers didn't have Ross and Rachel in this trope is when they were actually dating, which was like a fifth of the series' run.
Surprisingly, Monica and Chandler were teased several times before they actually got together, although prior to the fifth season it was Played for Laughs.
Shock Party: Rachel received one where her parents both show up and the gang are forced to split up the party into both apartments; Monica got two — one when she showed up drunk for her thirtieth birthday party, and one where she has just finished insulting her colleagues when they walk out of their hiding places to say "Surprise...."
The main character/The Quirk: Chandler and Ross. A unique case where their positions suggest Ross as the main guy while Chandler's the quirk yet their actual personalities switch this.
The Muscle: Joey
The Pretty One: Rachel
The Smart One: Monica, though her hypercompetiveness (and other neuroses) frequently pushes out of this role. Sometimes Ross is this, as well, given that he has a doctorate in paleontology.
The Wild One: Phoebe
Sixth Ranger (well, seventh): Charlie Wheeler, who happened to be a Twofer Token Minority. Also Richard and Pete, two of Monica's early boyfriends that got their own arcs. And Mike Hannigan, who marries Phoebe in the end.
And Fun Bobby, and Marcel the Monkey.
And Gunther who appeared in the most episodes after the main six.
Sleep Cute: Played for laughs when Ross and Joey take a nap together and the others find them.
In another episode Monica stops to watch Chandler sleeping on her couch. He wakes up and freaks out.
Slut Shaming: Pretty much the only friend not to be shamed for having sex was Phoebe. The network was so concerned about audience reaction that during the filming of the pilot, the crew polled the audience to see how much they judged Monica for sleeping with a guy on the first date.
Snapback: Chandler goes to Yemen to fend off Janice in "The One With All the Rugby". He is in New York in the next episode.
Considering that he didn't have any luggage or a passport, not so unlikely. He may have bought a ticket to Yemen, but it wasn't a direct flight. Assuming that he went anywhere, he flew as far as his connecting flight in Paris, which would take about six hours, then bought a ticket on the next flight back to New York. He wouldn't be allowed to leave De Gaulle airport without a passport, so he'd pay whatever it took for the next flight, get something to eat, and leave after four or five hours. He'd be gone less than a day. It's funny they never talk about it. Chandler's exploits in the Paris airport would be a good story; but that he'd be back home and over his jet lag in a week is not strange.
So Bad Its Horrible: In-Universe example: Joey's short-lived crime drama "Mac And C.H.E.E.S.E." A show riddled with poor writing, a ridiculous premise (a private investigator named Mac and a robot sidekick nicknamed Cheese) and bad acting. Not to mention offensive depictions of Russians. The show was declared "one of the worst things ever... not just on TV" by Chandler. A view apparently held by the rest of the world, as it was cancelled after only about two or three episodes.
Social Semi Circle: Averted at Monica's place but played straight as an arrow at Central Perk; apparently the couch is directly facing the back wall.
We don't know what that wall looks like. It could have a fireplace, or a bookcase, both common in coffehouses. Or it could be 20 feet away, and there could be other tables.
Ross always tries to get his money's worth out of hotels by staying in the room to the very last minute before checkout, taking the batteries from the remotes, and taking the Bibles (despite being Jewish). It was a Running Gag for his character.
There was an episode where Ross and Chandler were together on a hotel and they decided to do this.
Ross: No, Chandler, you have to find the line between stealing and taking what the hotel owes you. For example: hair drier, no, no, no, but shampoo and conditioners, yes, yes, yes. (pause) Now, the salt shaker is off-limits, but the salt (he opens the salt shaker and pours the salt into his hand) I wish I'd thought this through.
Chandler: I think I know what you mean though...the lamp is the hotel's, but the bulbs (goes to take the bulb)...oh, you already got that.
Ross: Not my first time in a hotel, my friend.
Chandler: Ok, how about this (picks up the remote control)?
Ross: No, no, no, you can't take the remote control!
Superstition Episode: In the episode "the One with the Giant Poking Device", Phoebe is refusing to go to the dentist because she's convinced that every time she goes to the dentist, somebody close to her dies.
Surprise Party: Two examples: TOW— the fake party features Rachel hosting a surprise party for Emily in order to seduce Joshua and in another episode there's a flashback to when Monica turned thirty— her friends and relatives have a very formal party. Monica freaked out and got really drunk before hand.
Terrible Ticking: In "The One Where They're Up All Night", Phoebe is kept up by her fire alarm beeping. She smashes it and it still beeps. She puts on earmuffs and a hat to drown out the noise and also tries throwing it out.
Thematic Theme Tune: "I'll Be There for You". The song, performed by jangle-pop band the Rembrandts, was subsequently released as a single and became a chart-topping hit.
The The Title: Most episodes are titled "The One with The..." or "The One Where...".
This Loser Is You: The main cast goes through several hardships throughout the series. When the series started, Rachel had just ended her engagement, got cut off from her dad's money and was employed as a waitress. Before returning to Days of Our Lives, Joey was frequently low on cash, borrowing money from Chandler, and had to work several part-time jobs.
Three-Way Sex: In "The One Where Ross and Rachel Take A Break" Chandler and Joey once thought they might end up having sex with the same woman. When Joey asked who would go where, Chandler suggested flipping a coin:
Joey: Yeah, I guess, but what's like heads and what's tails?
Chandler: Well, if you don't know that I'm not sure I want to do this with you!
Hilariously subverted in the same series in a hypothetical What Could Have Been episode, where Ross and Carol, still married, agree to have a threesome with Susan, who was then only a... friend of Carol's. Ross, tossed aside during most of the act, finds out the hard way about his wife's homosexuality...
Since that episode, it's been hinted at a few times that this may have actually happened.
In the episode "The One with the Jellyfish", it was revealed that Phoebe was conceived from a threeway between her parents and the girl who ended up being her adoptive mother.
Throwing Out The Script: When Monica and Chandler get married, Chandler throws out his vows and improvises new ones on the spot.
Throw It In: The episode "The One with Five Steaks and an Eggplant" dealt with a woman calling Chandler and Joey believing she's calling a guy named Bob, and Chandler picks up, pretends to be Bob, sets up a meeting with her and then shows up to win her over when she's "stood up". The tag scene for that episode had the woman calling again, looking for Bob, this time with Joey hearing the message. The script called for Joey to pick up and say "Bob here", but Matt LeBlanc tripped and fell, desperately trying to grab the phone as he went down. This ended up a lot funnier than the scripted version and was kept for the episode.
In "The One With Phoebe's Uterus" Joey walks in wearing a blue blazer and Chandler quips, "Donald Trump wants his blue blazer black". Awkward pause. "Back. He wants it back." Matthew Perry messed up the line, but the other actors make fun of him over it without breaking character, so they continued the scene.
Monica (tomboy) and Rachel (girly girl). A mild version as they're both attractive and fashionable, but Monica is strong-willed, dominant and competitive, while Rachel is sweet, ditzy and somewhat shallow.
The whole gang towards Ross during the post-Emily debacle. The guy's just had his second marriage implode, another love of his life disappear and is slowly having a complete and utter mental breakdown, culminating when he screams at his boss for stealing a sandwich!. And none of his friends seem to notice or care, but instead repeatedly mock him about it!
No, in the post-Emily, Season 5 period they don't mock him about it and are actually pretty sympathetic. Joey and Chandler let him live with them, and they all worry about his behaviour. The mocking only starts in Season 6 after he's a)recovered from the divorce and anger issues, and b) has got married and divorced again.
Too Soon: In the episode "The One Where Rachel Tells...", where Monica and Chandler are on their honeymoon about to board an airplane while leaving Joey and Phoebe in charge of Monica's apartment, a scene was changed due to 9/11 (the episode came out in October 2001). The original version was revised at the last minute because its plot involved Chandler seeing a sign saying 'no jokes about bombs', making a joke about it, and guards swarming them and asking for a luggage search because they take those jokes seriously. Later, as they're searching, Joey and Phoebe call saying that there's an apparent gas leak in Monica's apartment. Monica replies into the phone: "Do you think I want that place to blow up!?" The guards come in hearing everything except the first three words, and rekindle their search for the 'bomb'. The scene was replaced with another about Monica and Chandler meeting a couple on the plane, but it was shown on the DVD release.
Took a Level in Badass: Chandler is referenced as being mediocre in bed a couple times over the course of the early seasons, until the famous scene where Monica gives him a diagram-based crash-course in pleasuring the female body. His girlfriend literally runs across the hall to hug and emphatically thank Monica following their next lovemaking session. Ends up being a good call on Monica's part, as when her and Chandler later enter a relationship she repeatedly describes him as the best sex she's ever had.
In that case, this trope could also be applied to Ross. In "TOW the Videotape", Rachel makes note of how Ross was working out before they conceived, and in the finale, upon waking up from having sex again, Rachel comments appreciatively that he's "learned some new moves" (which Ross attributes to receiving a copy of "Sex For Dummies").
Tranquillizer Dart: Subverted when Phoebe is shot in the backside with a dart. She never passes out, though she does comment that her buttock is asleep (and that the other one has no idea). Of course, the dart was intended for a very small monkey, so there probably wasn't much juice in there anyway.
Trans Equals Gay: Chandler's father is supposed to be a gay drag queen, but he's played like a trans woman. He stars is a show called "Viva Las Gaygas." Drag queens who perform professionally are very, very good, and some have had plastic surgery on their faces, and get waxed. Chandler's mother specifically notes that his father still has a penis, so he hasn't had reassignment surgery. It's true that professional drag performers don't usually dress as women in their personal lives, but it's possible to interpret dressing as a woman at Chandler's wedding as a snipe at his mother. As for dressing as Hollywood starlets in front of his friends, it's hard to fathom why he would want to embarrass his son, but he probably had some reason other than being emotionally abusive (like being supporting a transgendered parent or student at the school), but the treatment justifies Chandler's refusal to talk to him later in his life, without making Chandler seem homophobic.
Translation By Volume: Rachel went to meet Ross at the airport. He was returning from a business trip to China and apparently brought back a new Asian girlfriend. Rachel WELCOMES HER IN HER COUNTRY, talking loudly and slowly, and trying to be cordial and not at all confused, since Ross was in love with her. Ross's girlfriend Julie actually COMES FROM NEW YORK as well.
Trash of the Titans: One of the girls Ross dates with. He seriously cannot deal with her flat and break it up. Meanwhile, Monica still sleeps uncomfortably, dreaming about the horrid place and about being allowed to clean it up.
Traumatic Haircut: Monica asks Phoebe to give her a haircut like Demi Moore. Phoebe thinks she wants a haircut like Dudley Moore. Monica is deeply unhappy with the result.
Triage Tyrant: The one who ends up with a face full of hockey puck.
Triple Nipple: Chandler is said to have a third nipple, which he calls a "nubbin". He later has it surgically removed.
Trojan Gauntlet: Monica and Rachel once had a long, hilarious scene fighting over the last condom in the bathroom while Richard and Ross awkwardly waited together outside for the two to come to an agreement.
Truth in Television: At the time of Emma's birth, Emma was the most popular girl's name in America. It's still near the top of the list.
True Love Is Boring: Played straight with Ross and Rachel, the writers admit its more fun to write them fighting that being happy. Subverted with Monica and Chandler who have a happy relationship for six seasons and interesting stories.
Ugly Guy, Hot Wife: Throughout the course of both relationships, we are consistently given the impression that Rachel and Monica are way out of Ross and Chandler's, respectively, leagues. In fact, Ross and Rachel's relationship has been described as the epitome of "every geek's dream that he can land a babe like her." This, despite the fact that David Schwimmer is reasonably attractive and Matthew Perry is quite handsome.
It's mostly due to their personalities. Chandler never had trouble attracting the attention of women but he always made horrible first impressions and ruined it. Similarly, Ross' relationships were often doomed by his inexperience and lingering feelings for his ex Carol, and later, Rachel.
David Schwimmer has the head of a science geek on the torso of a Playgirl model. Pay attention the next time "The One with the Tiny T-shirt" airs. Ross must have had a Bow-flex in his office at the museum. Or he was carting around dinosaur femurs without a dolly.
When Chandler first met a woman he could shmooze her with the same kind of skills that got him promotions at work. As soon as the relationship got serious, he panicked.
The Unfair Sex: Ross is somewhat treated as the guilty party after his first divorce even though it was Carol who cheated on Ross with Susan. And Susan acts like a harpy towards Ross during most of her appearances.
Susan's behavior makes sense when you remember that Carol didn't leave Ross because she didn't love him. And, for a divorced couple, they get along rather well. Susan also resents that she gets no officially recognised role for her contribution to Ben's life;
Meanwhile of the six main cast, the women routinely get away with acting unfairly towards the men. "The One With All The Poker" centers around the three being displeased with the boys not letting them play poker with them, then when the men do let them play Rachel mocks they're using their skill at the game to lord over them. "The One With the Embryos" has Rachel and Monica challenge Chandler and Joey to a trivia game to see which of the pairs knows the other better — they end up raising the stakes that if they win, Chandler and Joey have to get rid of the chick and the duck, and they accept if Rachel and Monica will trade apartments when they lose. The boys win, but Rachel and Monica are incredibly bitter when it comes to holding up their end of the deal, and they end up going back on it a few episodes later, though to their credit it was by allowing the boys to watch them "kiss for one minute".
Somewhat averted at least in earlier seasons you'll occasionally see on of the gang wearing something they wore a episodes back.
Also, somewhat justified in that Rachel works at Ralph Lauren and it wouldn't be too hard for her and her friends to keep up with current fashion.
Unplanned Crossdressing: Phoebe and Rachel take Ross clothes shopping. Ross buys an ensemble that he adores. No one can convince him that it's actually women's wear. No one except his date who shows up wearing the exact same outfit.
Monica and Chandler are having an argument and Monica eventually drinks from what she thinks is Chandler's cup of coffee, only for Chandler to reveal that that isn't his cup - it was already there when he came in.
In "The One After The Superbowl", Rachel pours tomato sauce in Monica's purse during a fight they're having, only to find out that she also ruined her own gloves, which Monica had borrowed and had in her purse.
Literally applied when Joey vandalises the VD poster he was on, only to get several even worse taglines from posters underneath.
Very Special Episode: While never exactly played straight, some episodes, particularly those that involved Chandler smoking, definitely felt like this.
There's a minor subplot where the other friends suggest she not get so uptight about things like coasters and leaving her shoes out of her room. At the end of that episode, she can't sleep because she's worrying about leaving out the aforementioned shoes. She gets to considering putting them in her closet and getting up early to put them back out before she realises "you need help" and goes to sleep.
Another episode had someone stealing her credit card. When Monica tracked the woman down, she found said woman a lot of fun and started doing everything with her to the point where she was drunk in the middle of the day and kept missing work.
Wedding Day: Ross and Emily (doesn't go well), Monica and Chandler, Phoebe and Mike. Also, Carol and Susan.
The main relationship was not going to be Ross and Rachel, but instead Joey and Monica.
Early on, Matt Le Blanc and Lisa Kudrow had kicked around the idea that Joey and Phoebe were having casual sex in secret, but the writers were against it.
Originally, Chandler and Monica's relationship was going to fizzle out (likely about when the others learned about it), but the pairing became popular with viewers.
During the casting process, at one point, Leah Remi auditioned for Monica. Jon Cryer was considered for Chandler. Jessica Hecht (Susan) auditioned for Monica as well.
Jennifer Anniston auditioned for the role of Monica as well, and Courtney Cox auditioned for that of Rachel. Producers realized that were better suited for the other role.
What, Exactly, Is His Job?: Until the latter years of the show when Chandler embarked on a new career in advertising, it was not clear exactly what he did for a living, although it was shown to be a white-collar cubicle job and it apparently paid enough for the apartment and for supporting Joey. This mystery paid off in a famous gag in "The One With The Embryos". Monica/Rachel and Chandler/Joey are playing each other in a quiz, hosted by Ross, about minute details of each other's lives. After the contestants show they know absolutely everything about each other—Monica was called "Big Fat Goalie" when she played high school field hockey, Chandler gets a TV Guide delivered to "Miss Chanandler Bong"—the game climaxes with the following exchange (which provides the page quote for the trope):
In the two-parter at the beach house, it's revealed that Phoebe's biological mother is very much alive. After this two-parter and one Season 4 guest appearance, she never appears again and arguably came down with Chuck Cunningham Syndrome.
Phoebe's father Frank (played by Bob Balaban) who made one appearance and was never seen or heard from again.
Season 1 - "Remember when Ross first fell in love with Carol and he bought her this ridiculously expensive crystal duck?"
Season 2 - "You're over me?"
Season 3 - "You told Rachel?" "Was I not supposed to?"
Season 4 - "I take thee, Rachel".
Which was preceded by another wham in the very same episode - "Do you think he knew I was here?"
Season 5 - "Well, hello, Mrs. Ross!"
Season 6 - "I can't believe you're gonna propose to Monica."
Season 7 - "I didn't take a pregnancy test."
Season 8 - "OK." note Joey accidentally proposes to Rachel
Season 10 - "Did she get off the plane?!" "I got off the plane."
Will They or Won't They?: The trope could very well be called "Ross And Rachel", except for the whole thing about not naming tropes after characters. For reference, the Ross/Rachel UST was introduced in the first five minutes of the Pilot Episode, and not fully resolved until the last five minutes of the Grand Finale. That's right, it was dragged out over literally the entire series.
Which is fairly amusing seeing as Ross/Rachel was never meant to go beyond the pilot but it was so popular they abandoned their original plan*
. So the show's longest plot was almost the one that never was.
Women Prefer Strong Men: Subverted with Monica. She breaks up with the geeky Pete because of his obsession with becoming the Ultimate Fighting Champion, and tells Chandler that she loves his sensitivity and kindess, not physical strength.
Worst Whatever Ever: Chandler tries to watch porn, but accidentally watches a video of a birth. He doesn't catch on for a minute.
Wrote the Book: Several examples; notably, in "The One With Rachel's Sister", Rachel claims to have invented the sobbing apology tactic.
Yo Yo Plot Point: Ross and Rachel, who got together and split up multiple times over the course of the series, are a perfect example.
You Look Familiar: The actress who played Joey's agent Estelle also played the doctor who delivered Ross' first baby.
In-universe example was when Phoebe became an extra on Days of Our Lives and noticed some of the extras would play more than one role, and that Joey slept with most of them.
Giovanni Ribisi's notable role on the show was as Phoebe's half-brother, though before that he also played a guy who donated a condom to her while she played guitar outside of Central Perk.
Though some fans theorize that this was an Early-Bird Cameo and that really was Frank Jr. even though he is credited as Condom Boy.
Jennifer Coolidge and Adam Goldberg guest starred on Friends. Both ended up in regular roles on Joey the later though was more of a recurring role.
Celebrity Paradox: Brent Spiner appeared as one of Rachel's bosses in one episode. He turned up later in an episode of Joey, playing himself.
You Say Tomato: in the What If? episode, Ross insists on calling karate "kaah-raah-Tay" instead of the U.S.-normal "kuh-rah-dee." There's also Chandler's pronunciation of the "whipped" onomatopoeia/gesture as "Whoop-pah!" (with the rest of the cast favouring "hwu-cher!").
You Will Be Spared: Phoebe once says: "When the revolution comes, I will have to destroy you all... except you, Joey."