Wall Bangers: Friends

"Somebody told you life was gonna be this way. There's so many plotholes, you'll bang your head all day."

Friends has multiple wallbangers:
  • The tenth season episode "The One With Ross's Grant", featuring Greg Kinnear as Charlie's ex-boyfriend, Benjamin Hobart. Basically, Hobart is in charge of a committee to decide who gets the grant that Ross is applying for. He attempts to blackmail Ross into breaking up with Charlie (Ross calls him out on as being "crazy", but which he insists is "romantic"). When Ross tells Charlie about this and the two of them go to confront her ex, she agrees that it is romantic, and proceeds to kiss Hobart RIGHT IN FRONT OF ROSS! It's particularly bad since Charlie had been built up for several episodes as ideal for Ross. Hobart is said to have broken up with her (which he explains as due to fear of commitment to her); and it leaves Ross with no dignity whatsoever. It strikes one as a completely contrived incident for the sake of leaving Ross free to be conveniently paired with Rachel at the finale. Even if Ross couldn't do anything about Charlie, one wonders why he failed to report what was a clear violation of ethics on Hobart's part, especially after losing both the grant and his girlfriend. Had he reported this, Ross could possibly have held onto his grant, at least.
    • Well, Ross did have an emotional, drunken breakdown about Rachel and Joey in front of Charlie. And we don't know that he didn't get the grant, especially since Hobart was willing to give it to him if he got Charlie back (which is obviously messed up, but Hobart deserves a whole different wallbanger bullet point).
    • It was pretty clear at this point that the writers were shipping Ross and Rachel. Prior to this incident, Rachel and Joey broke up their relationship, after a build-up for months, because they couldn't have sex after, excuse me, ONE WEEK! Is sex really that important? So the message of this show is: even if you love each other and care for each other a lot, when you cannot have sex after one week your relationship is doomed! A nice lesson for people without much relationship experience...
  • Monica's Flanderization of her neatness and bossiness hits its peak when acting as Phoebe's wedding planner in "The One With Phoebe's Wedding". She is incessantly rude to Phoebe (amongst other people) and cuts off the speeches at the rehearsal dinner midway through to fit her entirely arbitrary timetable. Phoebe, justifiably, fires Monica and decides to organise the wedding herself. Monica attempts to get her job back, but Phoebe rejects, knowing exactly what will happen, and Monica proceeds to delight in Phoebe's struggles. Hell of a way to treat one of your best friends on what's supposed to be the happiest day of her life.
  • 'The One with the Shark', where Monica walks in on Chandler masturbating to porn; he jumps up and quickly changes the channel to a shark documentary. Despite seeing how he panicked and jumped, it never occurs to Monica that maybe he changed the channel; she honestly believes he gets off to sharks?!
  • The sheer On and Off and on and off and on Ross and Rachel. Their shouting matches were initially quite upsetting to watch and very dramatic, especially the infamous one in "The One The Morning After" due to Ross having sex with the coffee shop woman in the previous episode, believing him and Rachel to be "on a break", which takes up a considerable amount of the second half of the episode and resembles a genuine argument. As the series go on, however, and the shouting-matches increase in frequency from season to season, the viewer becomes more and more compelled to bash their heads together and tell them in no uncertain terms to shut the ''hell'' up.
    • Especially the whole "we were on a break/no we weren't" stuff. Rachel constantly invoking this against Ross when A) she was the one who dumped him, and B) if he was single due to her decision, she has lost any say over what he can and can't do with whoever he chooses, was the height of arrogance and a desperate attempt by the writers to make us think that Rachel was right no matter what.
    • Alternatively, the writers' choice to make all their arguments about whether or not they were "on a break" rather than the actual disagreements that started the whole thing, in an attempt to make Ross the put-upon victim.
    • In "The One The Morning After," the issue wasn't just that Ross had sex with Chloe (although that was the final straw). It was also his incessant neediness and particularly his jealousy over Rachel's working relationship with Mark. She was quite frustrated with Ross at this point but was still willing to forgive him. His affair was simply what drove her to retract this decision once and for all.
    • Regarding the whole "we were on a break/no we weren't" arguing that went on for the rest of the series, I think a lot of that had to do with the writers realizing that the show was becoming too anti-Ross - which, for a show so focused on the group dynamic of its main characters ("I'll be there for you!"), was a major problem. Already, in the next episode ("The One Without The Ski Trip"), the writers hastily tried to put Ross and Rachel on equal terms by dropping Rachel's maturity a few notches and discarding all the serious matters that led to Rachel impulsively declaring the whole "break" - slowly turning it into a running joke. It was very clumsily handled, but if the writers didn't do something along these lines, then the whole series would've been fundamentally ruined.
  • Phoebe manages to out-crazy herself and believes that her dead mother returned as a cat. She refuses to return the cat to its rightful owner, an eight year old little girl. When Ross calls her out on this, she gets mad at him for being "intolerant" of her beliefs! The other characters, while they secretly agree with him, do not support him. And, as if Ross wasn't being humiliated enough, he is forced to apologize to the cat.
    • In the commentary for this episode, it's revealed that producer Marta Kaufmann was the one who pushed for that subplot after her own mother passed away, which explains the akwardness of it.
      • It's also been said that others on the writing staff would've normally nixed anything like this, but given the circumstances, didn't have the heart to.
      • Even with that explanation, they could have found a way to make it work. Not making Phoebe a horrible person who even considers not returning a little girl's pet, for one.
    • The plot's placement in the series' timeline certainly doesn't help. This was just after Phoebe reconciled with her birth mother. But, instead of working to further establish a relationship with her birth mom, she's still clinging to her deceased stepmother. I get that you never totally get over the death of a loved one, but it's time to let go of the past and move on, Phoebes!
  • In "The One With the Birth Mother", Chandler and Monica are mistaken for a doctor and a reverend on some adoption forms when she meets the potential mother of her child. Rather than deciding to correct the mistake, like a sane person would, Monica goes into full-blown Jerk Ass mode and decides to fake being a reverend just so she can get the woman's baby. In the end, Chandler brings Monica around and talks the woman into giving them the baby (showing surprising compassion considering his own character) after she understandably storms out on them for lying, but come on.
  • In "The One Where Heckles Dies", Phoebe repeatedly and consistently denies the Theory of Evolution to Ross, who is a doctor of paleontology and a full-time paleontologist. Ross even brings in fossils to prove it to her, instead Phoebe breaks him down and makes him doubt the theory. As a doctor. Of paleontology. A man that spent several years studying fossils to become a doctor. Of paleontology. Now, Phoebe is an oddball cloudcuckoolander and can be forgiven for not believing in evolution (being as you'd learn it in most tenth-grade science classes and Phoebe never went to school), but to actually deny it, thereby denying Ross's entire work, and disallow him from proving it to her, revealing she said she didn't believe just to get a kick out of making him doubt himself, and then gleefully forget all about it? That's pretty cold, Pheebs!
    • There's also the fact that, Ross's "arrogant scientist" stereotype aside, it should not be that difficult to acknowledge that an accepted theory might be wrong or incomplete. In fact, it's fundamental to understanding how science works.
  • The One With The Baby on the Bus: It was funny when Joey assigned the head side of a coin to ducks when he and Chandler were trying to pick the right baby (which would imply that clowns were tails, causing Chandler to think that Joey had a birthday with headless clowns), because Joey's stupid and he wasn't thinking clearly, but it wasn't funny when Phoebe said "You can't erase chalk" when she was being replaced with another guitarist. That's just so ridiculous that it's not even funny. Sure, Phoebe is a Dumb Blonde, but I never thought she would be this stupid as to not know that chalk can be erased. Were the writers even trying to be funny here? Because it didn't work.
  • Is there any reason at all we're supposed to feel anything towards Carol besides vague disgust? I mean, she cheated on her husband, left him for someone else, then all but tried to cut Ross out of his child's life. The fact that she was gay may somewhat justify the former, but there was no call for her to treat Ross like she did. For God's sake, she decided, without consulting the father, that the baby was going to share a last name with her new lover and, most importantly, not with Ross. It's not like Ross was a sperm donor here; he was the father, the baby was conceived while they were still married, and they supposedly loved each other but for the fact that she liked boobies.
    • Liberal guilt makes it wrong to have negative feelings for homosexuals and woman. But yeah, Carol is just not a very good person. Yet people make fun of Ross for having married a lesbian. How was he supposed to know?
      • Less cynically, this was shown in the mid-90s, when Gay Rights were still more issue than they are today, and so the risk of presenting the only prominent lesbian character in an explicitly negative light, especially given that the negativity was directly related to her lesbianism, could run a greater risk of appearing somewhat bigoted than it may do today.
      • Except the negativity has nothing to do with her sexuality, and everything to do with her behavior. Carol would be just as terrible a person had Susan been a Samuel.
    • In fairness, that's the first series and she does get better.
    • This lesbian agrees with you 100%. She did, after all, have an honorable option; when she started to have strong feelings for another woman she could have talked to Ross then instead of committing adultery. Part of it may also be that Jane Sibbett frequently comes off as smarmy — probably intentional casting, since we aren't supposed to like Carol until much later in the series.
    • While you can arguably have some sympathy for Carol, Susan deserves no sympathy whatsoever and in fact deserves nothing but disgust. She never failed to insult Ross when she had an opportunity, and Ross was just supposed to sit there and take it. If Susan were a guy, she would not get any of the sympathy she does as it is.
    • Ross seems to attract such treatment from women — note that Rachel wanted to take Emma to Paris with her and Ross agrees with barely a whimper. And everyone's really upset that they're losing a friend when Rachel is leaving — but no-one thinks to point out that Ross is losing his daughter (and Chandler and Monica are losing their niece).
    • Out of curiosity, was it ever implied that Carol actually cheated on Ross? I know she'd met Susan at the gym prior to divorcing him, but was it ever stated Carol slept with her before telling Ross anything? Aside from that, yeah, Carol and Susan aren't the nicest people.
      • It was. There's an episode that revolves around Ross, Carol and Susan supposedly having a threesome and Ross ending up watching the women get it on. It's not really cheating though, since he kinda agreed on it.
      • No, that episode was called "The One That Never Was" for a reason.
      • "The One That Could Have Been". But yeah, you're right. However, it is implied that she has spent a lot of time with Susan before the divorce, make of that what you will.
      • Well, Ross and Carol mention many times about how much time Susan and Carol spent together before Carol and Ross split up, but it doesn't actually say they were sleeping together. In one episode, where Susan is out with Emily, Ross asks Carol if she thinks they're having 'the kind of fun YOU and Susan were having while we were married' and refutes Carol's claim of 'Susan is in a loving, committed relationship' with 'So were we', which pretty strongly implies that Carol was unfaithful and, since she doesn't argue the point, acknowledges that she was wrong to do that.
      • In a similar case, in the episode where everyone except Ross goes on a ski trip (shortly after his initial breakup with Rachel) he goes to visit Carol. Carol learns some of the circumstances surrounding their "break", and says "You slept with another woman?" in a disbelieving/judgmental tone, to which Ross replaces "Well, you're one to talk." Again, while this doesn't specifically state that Carol and Susan were having sex during her and Ross' marriage, it's pretty strongly implied.
      • The irony is the "Well, you're one to talk" gag is played for laughs (haha, Carol sleeps with other women cause she's a lesbian) when really, Carol does have no right to judge Ross for committing adultery when she did the same thing during their marriage.
    • So Carol cheated, big deal. Almost the entire cast cheated on a boyfriend/girlfriend throughout the series, at least Carol's cheating was due solely to discovering her true sexual orientation. And she never tried to cut Ross out of their son's life, she showed up and told him specifically he could be as involved or excluded as he wanted to be. Yes, she and Susan discussed things on their own, of course they would, but Ross' opinions were always taken into consideration. And why should the kid have Ross' name? They weren't married anymore and kids from unmarried mother's tend to default to their mother's last name anyway. Susan's behavior wasn't all that nice in the beginning but she didn't have any reason to be, Ross was nothing but hostile to her, admittedly in a toned down way, and that's just how their relationship was. He's her girlfriend's ex-husband and the father of their baby, of course she'd feel threatened and defensive around him. Once their feelings are out in the open Ross and Susan get along a lot better, though they still don't really like each other. Honestly, a lot of the things that Susan says that seem really bad are probably just untrue and said solely for the purpose of teasing him, such as her Bobo the Sperm Guy comment. So, was Carol at fault? Yes, she made mistakes but she'd already been forgiven for them by the time we meet them (and the friends even say that the situation would be treated differently if Carol had just cheated normally and not for the sake of her sexuality).
    • Almost the entire cast cheated on a boyfriend/girlfriend throughout the series? Seriously take a look at that: Monica never cheated, Chandler never cheated though he was on the receviving end of it twice, Rachel never cheated, it's hinted she considered it with Barry but never followed through, Ross kissed Rachel once while he was with Julie and later Bonnie but then immediately broke it off with them (the whole 'We Were On A Break' argument is a seperate issue in itself and was not treated lightly), Phoebe had one case with the fireman and police officer, felt terribly guilty in the process and they both acknowledged that they weren't exclusive. The only Friend you can argue for is Joey, and there's a big difference between sleeping with a few girls casually at the same time and sleeping with someone else while you're still married to a faithful husband whose trying to make it work.
      • And she is suspected of cheating repeatedly, I guess the first time it could had been passed but she kept at it, and didn't told Ross right away, plus actually no they don't take Ross much into consideration since they excluded his last name from the baby's name, it's true that they do what you said, but Ross was still the father, it was not a hidden fact, how is he considered when they just made a huge decision like that without consulting with him? Even if you re-married, if the father is present and is going to be active in his child's life then last name is something that should be discussed with him. Also Susan took Ross away from his wife, she could had been a little more sympathetic, and Carol said that she is not bisexual, she's really plain gay so why should she be so jealous? Her attitude pretty much rubbing it in Ross' face that Carol is with her now, even worst, rubbing that she has more say in his son's life than him, and you say Ross was hostile? can't the guy be a little upset with the person who took his wife away?
      • I think Susan had a bit of an excuse for hostility to Ross. She's started a fairly new relationship, and her girlfriend's ex-husband is going to be around a lot because of Ben. She could have been trying to drive him away so she doesn't have to see Ross every day, just like how Emily wanted Ross to stop seeing Rachel. Except Susan would be in a worse position because she broke up a happy marriage (for the better, but still...)
      • That makes no sense at all. Carol wasn't going to run back to Ross. Rachel, however, disrupted Emily's wedding and stirred up feelings for her in Ross purely because she suddenly felt lonely and thought he might leave Emily at the altar? Her reasoning is really never explained. Wanting her girfriend's ex-husband to stay out his own son's life is just selfish, no matter how you look at it, and there's never a reason for committing adultery and breaking up a happy marriage (if someone is unsure of their feelings, talk, don't commit adultery).
      • Actually Susan does explain that some of her hostility towards Ross is that no matter what he will always be the baby’s father and always be a part of his life and a part of Carol’s as well and that it made her feel like the outsider. She even brought up how Carol would have Mothers day, Ross father’s day but there was no lesbian lover day (to which Ross responded that “EVERYDAY WAS LESBIAN LOVER DAY”) After Ben was born they were able to find common ground and start to be more civil to each other (Ross even helping Carol to go thru with her wedding to Susan and giving her away at the wedding)
    • What infuriated Ross was the implication that Susan's name should be included. Yes, he was annoyed at the idea of "Willick," but including "Bunch" but not "Geller" pushed him over the edge. And I don't recall any of the other Friends breaking marriage bonds, with the exception of Janice who was thinking of divorce even before she started e-mailing with Chandler. And why in the world does Ross have to like Susan? This is the woman who awakened his ex-wife's true sexuality and broke up his marriage. Civility is all anybody can expect from him.
      • Carol only broke her marriage bonds because they were no longer applicable to their situation. The moment she realized she was a lesbian her marriage was over, there is no way to recover from that. It's not like she could have asked Ross if she could go experiment to see if she was. And I agree, Ross has no obligation to like Susan, does anyone ever say he does? All Carol wants is for them to be civil to each other, likely to spare the baby from having to take sides in a conflict. As for the name thing, while he should have been consulted about it before Carol went and agreed to it (of course adding it in could have been Carol's idea in the first place to make sure Susan knew she was being acknowledged as a future parent as well, it's not like Ross needs that validation he's got a legitimate claim on the baby no matter what happens) she has every right to include Susan, just as Ross has every right to include Rachel or any serious girlfriend in the child rearing decisions. Regardless of how well Susan and Ross get along the point remains that Susan was Carol's partner and was acknowledged as being a parent to the child that was on the way. She's just as much Ben's mother as any adoptive parent would be.
      • But that's the point, she didn't end it "right" away after she found out she was a lesbian, she continued with Ross and kept on having sex with Susan, so it's adultery no matter how you see it, I'm sorry but, I'm not trying to attack you or anything but it seems by all of your comments that your argument is pretty much, Carol and Susan are right because they're women.
      • You could not be more wrong about the marriage bonds. You could try, but you would not be successful. Marriage vows are more than empty words; they're promises made before a representative of the courts. And the marriage contract is legally binding. Just because someone discovers they're same-sex oriented doesn't mean the contract is null and void, because marriage is a lot more than sex. And you know what? Carol could have—SHOULD have—talked to Ross about how she felt, and knowing Ross and all his doormat ways, he would have let her experiment. Emerging lesbianism isn't a valid reason to commit adultery, break a heart, and destroy a marriage.
      • Yes, marriage is about more than yes and yes, Carol was wrong to cheat in any way shape or form, but the point remains that as soon as she realized she was a lesbian the marriage was over. Yes, it takes some time to have the legal side undone but Ross was already not fulfilling her needs (it's been hinted and outright stated before that Carol had been unhappy even before she realized she was a lesbian) and once she realized why things became unfix-able. One partner discovering they are same-sex oriented while in a heterosexual relationship is an obstacle that can not be overcome. Carol and Ross loved each other, that's clear even after they split up and Carol has been with another woman for a year but as they addressed it in the episode where they run into each other at the restaurant, there's no working around the lesbian thing. And we have no idea how much Carol cheated, even if she did sleep with Susan while still with Ross. Maybe it was a one time thing that escalated out of control and then afterward Carol told Ross she was a lesbian. Like up till the actual cheating there had only been sparks and flirting and then something happened and Carol told Ross after. She might even have tried to ignore the part of her that was attracted to women in order to stay with Ross, which would explain Ben's conception, but had it ultimately fail.
      • First of all, it's "Susan," not "Suzan." I've just fixed your spelling for the second time, and it's getting annoying. Had Carol left Ross immediately upon realization of her sexual orientation, you can argue that she's innocent. But Ross clearly said that the conception of Ben occurred after her coming out. And Susan's name doesn't have to be part of Ben's for her to be a valid parent. The two are completely disconnected issues.
      • Here's the problem. The claim that the "marriage was over" is only valid if Ross knew about it. The fact that she was not in love with Ross anymore doesn't change the fact that he was in love with her and she knew it, and she had an obligation to at least be honest with him. The conversation should have been, "Ross, I love you, but I'm gay, and I can't pretend to be someone I'm not," rather than, "Ross, I'm gay, and I'm leaving you for my gym buddy that I've been having crazy sex with behind your back." The implication we get from their back story isn't that Susan and Carol just happened to have sex in a moment of weakness, leading Carol to find out she was gay and immediately confess to Ross. They had a long-term relationship behind Ross' back, which I'm prepared to say is wrong.
      • But that's the point, she didn't end it "right" away after she found out she was a lesbian, she continued with Ross and kept on having sex with Susan, so it's adultery no matter how you see it, I'm sorry but, I'm not trying to attack you or anything but it seems by all of your comments that your argument is pretty much, Carol and Susan are right because they're women.
      • When all is said and done, Carol is in the wrong. She may have discovered the she was a lesbian while in a heterosexual relationship—married at that, but that doesn't give her a reason to be unfaithful. Is her reason for adultery valid because of her sexual orientation? I think not. It isn't as if Ross was a bad husband, but they weren't at a great place. Ross did care for and love her, so she should have been sensitive to his feelings on the most basic level. Also, Ben sharing a last name with Susan to prove Carol's commitment isn't a good enough reason. Carol should be proving her commitment through the relationship. I understand giving her son her girlfriend's last name is a big thing, but she did not take Ross, the father, into account. I know a lot of single mothers do it, but Ross wanted to be involved in his son's life. From Carol's perspective it seems like a kick the dog moment. Ross had to find out that he was wife was cheating on his with a woman and giving their child her lover's last name and not his. Any way you spin it, Carol's new found lesbianism doesn't valid treating Ross like crap.
      • I think Carol stayed with Ross even after she started seeing Susan because she was unsure and scared. As pointed out, this was the mid-90s. Even today (2012), a woman would think twice before leaving a hetero-normative relationship for another woman. For one, spousal rights, social stigma, reaction of friends and family—and Carol did leave him, before he found out on his own, which indicates she was thinking everything through. I don't agree with her having an affair, but her actions afterward make sense.
    • Can't we see things with nuance? If Susan cheated, that is a terrible thing to do regardless of circumstance, but if she discovered that she was a lesbian after previously thinking she'd found the male love of her life then you can kind of understand why she might end up doing something drastic and impulsive. Also, Ross has to have some sort of relationship with her, as they have a child together. She undergoes Character Development and becomes a good friend to Ross (e.g. listening to him whine about Rachel when she's planned a romantic evening with Susan, which the show points out is annoying). If he can forgive her, surely the viewer can do the same? She didn't cheat on US.
      • Chalk it up to us not having any any sympathy for the character when we don't feel like her actions would be justified in any light, even if Ross (the noted Extreme Doormat he is) can forgive her. I certainly can't imagine any person, in any gender, sexual orientation, anything, making this justifiable. Liberal guilt be damned, when discovered lesbianism is used as, essentially, an excuse for an affair, and then the caring husband is mocked for it? That's when some people just take a step back and say "Dude, Not Funny!" So why the writers kept it going for so long is something I just don't get... Had this been taken seriously, any of the friends actually supported Ross instead of crack jokes, Carol and especially Susan suffered some form of Laser-Guided Karma, anything? Then we wouldn't be as infuriated with this situation. But then, would that be Friends?
      • Ross was married to Carol, not Susan. Carol left Ross to be with Susan after having an affair with her, without talking to Ross, some time after Ben's conception. No matter how you look at, being a lesbian is not an excuse for adultery, cutting a parent out of their child's life, or the general rudeness both Carol and Susan give Ross.
    • Bottom line, Carol is a bitch.
    • Yes, it's fine that Carol left Ross. Where the bitchiness comes in is that she had an affair before she even started to cut ties with him.
  • In TOW the Cake, Monica and Chandler want to go away together but Ross and Rachel insist they stay for Emma's birthday party. Isn't that unbelievably thoughtless given Monica and Chandler have recently discovered they can't have children? (And are starting the incredibly stressful adoption process). Clearly they want to get some space to deal with it and 'reconnect emotionally' as Monica put it. (Infertility puts a strain on even the strongest marriages). Did Ross and Rachel not think 'hey, maybe we shouldn't rub the fact that we had a baby without even trying into our best friends faces?' Do R&R even care how painful the party would be for them?
    • Characters in Friends being self-centered and blind to the feelings of others? Nooooooooooooooooooooooo. That's impossible!
    • Yeah but this isn't something petty like a break up with a Girl of the Week or fighting over roommate stuff. Monica and Chandler lost the chance to have children, probably the most devastating thing any of the characters go through on the show, especially since Monica wanted kids since Season 1. You'd think their friends would be more sensitive. People claim Ross's divorces (probably the next most painful thing a character suffered) didn't get much sympathy, but he got more attention and comfort than they did. Monica and Chandler's future falls apart and there are ZERO scenes with the others showing support. Instead everyone thinks Ross and Rachel's child having a birthday cake is more important than them recovering from not having children. Did the writers not think that through at all?
    • Especially jarring because despite Ross and Rachel's protests, there's absolutely no need for the party to take place on her actual birthday. What would they have done if her birthday was on a Monday - forced everyone to skip work? They could have just moved the party to Sunday and given Chandler and Monica time to go to Vermont and then come back home in time.
  • Like with most sitcoms, the fact the characters break up with boyfriends/girlfriends over such minor garbage makes me hate them.
    • A particular standout is Phoebe breaking up with the cop after he shot a bird. It's believable that she would do so, but it was such an arbitrary way to write out the character.
    • Think about Phoebe's backstory. She lived as mugger for a while, and (possibly) a prostitute. No doubt while she lived like this she dated (was made to date?) some really abhorrent men (gangster types - possibly). I'll bet that the trigger happy nature of shooting something for fun would be quite the throwback to those days she'd really much rather put behind her.
    • I always assumed it had more to do with her beer mother.
    • The police officer breakup made perfect sense to me. He didn't just kill a bird. He drew his pistol and shot it just because he didn't care for the singing. He just proved beyoning a vegetarian and animal lover and considering casually shooting a bird offended her. Remember how she reacted when Mike killed a rat and she felt so guilty she raised its rat babies. Not to mention the time she thought a cat was the reincarnation of hd a doubt that he was willing to resort to deadly violence for an extremely minor annoyance. That is not the kind of person you want to be near, much less dating.
    • Exactly, if he is willing to shoot a bird just for doing some chirping what is he going to do to his and Phoebe's (potential future) kids if they keep him up all night crying? Or even to Phoebe herself if she ticks him off? Definitely a bad 'un there and Phoebe was right to get rid of him.
    • The original comment was over the arbitrary way they wrote him out. No-one is saying he was right, or that she was wrong for breaking up with him, but that having an otherwise dutiful and conscientious cop suddenly discharge a firearm out a bedroom window is a damned stupid way to engineer the break-up.
    • I agree with the original post. That was so over-the-top for a guy dating Phoebe. It's not like she hides her love of animals. By the time they were ready to move in together, if that was something he'd done before (which I doubt), he most certainly would not have done it in front of Pheebs.
    • It's not the bird which bothers me, it's the fact that it was all done in 5 minutes. It was a 5 episode relationship, it deserves at least one and a half episodes to let the breakup pan out. The writers obviously couldn't think of a way to get rid of him.
    • And are we really supposed to believe that a cop would be so cavalier about using his sidearm when off duty? It was a stupid move, no matter how you slice it.
    • I would wager there was probably a behind the scenes reason for this abrupt change of character. Maybe the writers were bored with the whole subplot, or perhaps they didn't like Michael Rapaport. It's also possible that they decided the character of Phoebe wasn't quite ready for a serious romantic plot. There was most definitely a writer's agenda or Real Life Writes the Plot issue at play with Gary's sudden ousting from the series.
  • A particular one I have a major problem with is the breakup in "The One with The Girl Who Hits Joey". Basically Joey's dating a girl who is a bit too playful and hits him a lot, and rather hard, too. Couldn't Joey have just said "Hey, I know you like to hit me for fun, but you do it a little too much, could you please stop it?"? Instead he does it in the rudest way possible, getting Rachel involved, which involves her hitting the girl on purpose to be rude, and when the girl (Who's name I forget, due to this being the "only" time I've ever seen the episode.) asks "Are you gonna tell her to stop?" or something along those lines, he just flat out says "No" with the smuggest possible smile, and she storms out. Not only was this rude, but it made Joey and Rachel look like assholes. Just, why?
    • Unfortunately this is a case of Truth in Television- many men really don't believe that women can physically harm them, or believe that women causing them harm diminishes their masculinity. Telling a woman, particularly a girlfriend, "Sorry but I'm not comfortable with you hitting me" or "Please do not do that" in a firm yet casual tone is something society doesn't condition or encourage men to do. After all, look at how Joey was treated by his friends when he complained about the problem- even his girlfriend didn't take him seriously when he asked her to stop. It's a sad reflection of gender dynamics when Joey needs another woman to fight her off for him so he doesn't look "weak".
    • Rachel hits her because the girl hits her first. Joey is smug because he wants her to stop abusing him and he finally sees a way to get rid of her. If you actually pay attention to the episode, the girl is clearly using her "I'm just a girl, I can hit people if I want and it's cute" privileges to bully Joey and other people... she hits him extra hard and her cutesy voice slips into angry when he asks her to stop it, and does the same thing to Rachel when she hears something she doesn't like. She's being abusive, and Rachel hitting her back is standing up for her friend (for once).
    • To be fair, Joey did ask the girl to stop. She thought that he was making fun of her and hit him some more.
  • In a third season episode, Ross berates the entire fashion industry: "A hundred million people went to see a movie about what I do. I wonder how many people would go see a movie called Jurassic Parka." Okay, so The Devil Wears Prada hadn't come out yet, but is that really how he measures the importance of a career/industry/lecture? Sure, there aren't many movies about fashion, but the fashion industry DECIDES WHAT CLOTHES HE WEARS.
    • I think he was being sarcastic. They were in the middle of a fight and he clearly felt irritated, so it's hardly inexcusable.
      • Or maybe he, like many people simply doesn't care about the fashion industry. I sure don't. As long as my clothes keep me warm and I think they look good, why should I give a damn about some fashion magazine telling me what I ought to be wearing?
      • Reading a fashion magazine is not how the clothing industry influences you. Clothing Titans decide what styles are going to be made, what colors are going to be popular, etc. What they decide trickles down into the department stores and boutiques. Caring about the clothing industry isn't necessary, but it does deserve some acknowledgment.
    • Besides, when you try to compare the "Jurassic Park" to "The Devil Wears Prada" there is no comparison. Not to mention the fact within the show's universe Ross usually according to what he likes and what makes him comfortable, not according what is necessarily "fashionable."
      • My point wasn't that he was dissing pop-culture fashion, just that he stepped out of character by denying the influence of a tent-pole industry. Everything he has ever worn is designed, made, and distributed by the clothing industry.
      • So? He was insulting Rachel, and didn't really care about the details. Put it another way: everything he eats comes, directly or indirectly, from some kind of farm. Does that mean that "I don't see anyone coming to the American Museum of Natural Farming," wouldn't be a viable insult if Rachel had been a farmer? The fact that Rachel's industry is important doesn't change the fact that, as he points out, dinosaurs are cooler than pants.
      • "Dinosaurs are cooler than pants"? That is entirely subjective, and really beside the point.
      • My issue was that a movie about what Ross does would not be Jurassic Park. It would be a snooze-fest of a documentary about wiping bones with a brush.
      • It's not beside the point, because that's how Ross feels. It's a subjective opinion he holds, and thus explains why he said what he said. Ross thinks dinosaurs are cooler than pants, and thus insults the pants industry when comparing it to dinosaurs. It makes perfect sense.
    • OK, let's address the fact that everybody's Double Standard is showing. Ross made a flippant little offhand remark about Rachel's career path. So what? Have you not noticed how Rachel and everybody else frequently make pretty harsh comments about Ross's career? When they're in the hospital and Ross introduces himself as Dr. Geller, Rachel says "Ross, don't say that, around here that means something." Right there she belittled his career and the time and effort it takes to earn a Ph.D. (which isn't easy.) Considering he's the only one who actually went through all the time and effort to go to graduate school, if he finally decides to fire back after dealing with their put-downs one too many times, I say more power to him.
      • Hear, hear. See also: anti-intellectualism.
      • When I first heard Rachel's line, I took it less as an insult directed at Ross' Ph.D and more as "calling yourself a doctor in a HOSPITAL when you don't know anything about medicine isn't a smart idea."
      • While it may produce confusion to identify yourself as a doctor at hospital when you're a Ph.D., Rachel's comment implies that his degree does not in fact mean anything, anywhere. His students and colleagues might beg to differ. That is plain old emasculation and disrespect. And yet Ross and Rachel are the One True Pairing? Give me a break.
      • I haven't watched the show in awhile so i don't really remember but as i recall Ross has always been a real ass about his PHD (like in season 5 when he threw the party and wrote two badges for himself). I don't remember what has started first (Ross bragging about his PHD or others belittling it), but assuming it was the former it makes sense that they would treat him this way.
      • A recurring issues with Ross and Rachel is that neither of them value or are interested in each other's careers. Seriously compare them to how Chandler and Monica support each other's careers: Chandler accepted going to Tulsa alone so Monica could take the Head Chef job, and Monica encouraged him find a job in advertising even though it meant they were short on money for a while. Plus Chandler is clearly proud of Monica's cooking, and Monica finds Chandler's advertising jokes funny, Ross thinks fashion is shallow and Rachel's work took up too much of 'his' time with her. Rachel gets annoyed at his dinosaur obsession and thinks he's nerdy. It's a major reason their relationship fell apart originally.
  • My respect for Ross declined steadily over the seasons, but I really started to hate him in "The One With the Male Nanny". Basically, Ross and Rachel hire a male nanny named Sandy (played by Freddy Prinze, Jr.). Sandy is an awesome nanny. He's great with Emma, helps around the house (or at least cooks), and is really sweet and personable. Yet, Ross just can't get over having a man take care of his child ("He's too sensitive.") Ross considers himself an educated, intellectual, worldly and modern man, and we're supposed to believe that he can't get over a man taking—excellent—care of his child? It pissed me off. And that wasn't the only thing that ticked me off about the episode. The whole situation with Ross' reaction to Sandy and subsequent admission of discomfort around male sensitivity tiptoed into BLAM Episode territory, since it was never an issue before or after the episode...which essentially reduces the idea of men in non-traditional roles to a large joke. Oh, and one more thing: the vast majority of women can't be penis models for strictly biological reasons, not because society has ruled it non-gender appropriate. I admit that Joey isn't the best source for sound argument, what with all the moo points. Perhaps this female Soldier is extra sensitive to gender role storylines, but even before I joined the service it really bugged me.
    • Very much the same here. I don't normally get upset over characters (in any series or medium) making jabs at gays, but the fact that Ross's first reaction to Sandy was "Dude, are you gay?" made my blood boil — especially if you consider that Ross himself isn't exactly a bastion of masculinity himself.
    • In the matter of Joey saying women can't be "penis models", the point is that he was aware that it was due to biological reasons and not social ones and therefore, the only only job he could name without offending any of the women present. That's supposed to be the joke. As for Ross, the audience is not supposed to be siding with Ross in this matter. Everyone he complains to tells him that he's being an idiot. Although it is worth noting that he claims some of this stems from the way his father raised him.
    • The whole "his father raised him that way" thing actually bothered me. Specifically, the story. Jack doesn't strike me as the type of father who would do that, particularly when we have seen on multiple occasions how Ross and Monica's parents dote over Ross.
    • Agreed, every detail was nonsensical!
    • I found this episode particularly disturbing and was not convinced that the audience was intended to side against Ross. In the end Ross's irrational insecurities are validated when he is allowed to dismiss the nanny and none of the other Friends seem particularly irate. I suspect that this episode was intended as a foil to "butch up" the leading male characters in comparison - as they have been increasingly feminized for laughs since the first season. An unfortunate after-effect that the gender destereotyping that those gags provided has been clearly rebutted.
      • As always YMMV but having rewatched this episode, I found Sandy WAAAAY over the top when it comes to sensitivity (crying at every single moment). And at least part of the joke is that it is Ross complaining about femininity...hardly the butchest of sitcom characters.
      • Yeah, it was really awkward. Seemed like they got stuck because they couldn't hire Freddy Prince Jr but it still really sucked.
    • Maybe this is related to his relationship with his first wife? This episode bothered me a lot, as did the episodes where Ross was ridiculously jealous in regards to Rachel. The dissolution of his first marriage due to her lesbianism made him really untrusting, maybe Sandy's security in his heterosexuality was something Ross found unnerving, albeit for completely irrational reasons. I guess what I'm trying to say is that by the end of the show it's implied that Ross and Rachel are finally mature enough to trust each other. Maybe he matures in regard to this, too? Chandler obviously gets over his dad's sexuality and profession.
    • I don't remember which season it was on, but since it involved Emma it should be the 9th or the 10th. Does anyone remember these seasons as good ones? Sure, it's highly subjective but as I see it the writing in general was terrible on these seasons, so the fact that one of the plots were offensive and really unnecessary doesn't surprise me at all. It's a stupid episode and I can think of a lot of negative affects it could have on people, and I really do wish they'd never done it. But it was the 10th (or 9th) season so I'm not at all surprised.
  • It's mentioned above that the characters get stupider over time as part of the process of Flanderization. Accompanying this trend is an overall sense of anti-intellectualism. By any reasonable standard, Ross has the most interesting job of the six, but it's never treated with anything but disdain by the show itself. The depiction of academia is pretty ridiculous in its own right — why does Ross never get lines like "I'd love to hang out at the coffee shop guys, but I have to mark sixty undergrad papers/write this conference paper/revise this journal submission/peer-review this article/review this book/prepare for this dissertation defense"? Perhaps the epitome of this trend comes in the throwaway moment where Rachel actually seems to hold Chandler in disdain for knowing the meaning of the word "apothecary." Clearly this basic fact is only something a complete loser would know! The show assumes its viewers are dumb and is afraid to speak above their heads, but further, it actually takes pot shots at anyone with an IQ above 100.
    • Compounding the example above is the fact that Rachel asks what an apothecary is and then acts pissy at getting an answer. Did she not want an answer? Was she looking only for confirmation that no one else is better informed than she?
    • It's a sitcom from the '90s. With the exception of Frasier and possibly The Simpsons, they were all anti-intellectual. It's basically the networks reassuring their supposedly dumb viewers that "smart people suck for doing better in life than you and should pay for all the times they accidentally made you feel bad."
      • Which is odd, considering where half of the main cast end up: Rachel is an executive, Chandler was an executive before moving into advertising, and Ross is a Professor of Palaeontology. In addition Monica is shown to be highly intelligent and came to be the Head Chef of a prestigious New York restaurant, Phoebe was a masseuse but she was also very intelligent (she was fluent in three languages!); the only stupid character was Joey.
      • And even with Joey, that was post-Flanderization. As mentioned previously, he was actually fairly smart in the earlier seasons (being the only person to know how to turn off the radiator, for example). And really, while the "all sitcoms in the 90s" reason is true, that doesn't make it right.
    • Firstly, you could make an example for most of their jobs being interesting. Dinosaurs are fascinating! Working on a TV show would also be interesting, and so would working for a major fashion house. Monica's job also has a lot of creativity to it. But I don't think they're making fun of the fact that Ross is an academic, I think it's just that his personality is a bit pedantic: e.g. when he reads that article about how "uploading your memory and living forever as a machine". I know I'm guilty of the same thing, my boyfriend is in no way anti-intellectual but he does get bored when I regurgitate things I've read in big obsessive monologues.
      • Yeah, the gang is just mostly sick of Ross and his constant stream of science and dinosaur chatter. Chandler and Monica have been forced to listen to it for years before the show even started, Phoebe's never shown the slightest interest in dinosaurs and may not even believe they existed, Ross uses terms too technical for Joey to get into it and Rachel doesn't care about dinosaurs, though she does like that he's passionate about it.
      • Concerning 'intellectual' subjects (not just dinosaurs) there seems to be a distinction between Rachel, Joey and Phoebe who were uninterested in academic subjects and could be construed as anti-intellectual, and Ross, Chandler and Monica who were intellectual and book smart. Ross obviously likes talking about science, history, museums etc. but Chandler's can be quite nerdy, Monica is shown to be a capable student and you see the couple reading books, doing crosswords, discussing current events together etc. They probably don't talk about that stuff as a group of six because the others weren't interested or wouldn't understand or in Rachel's case get pissy.
    • The apothecary episode is actually one of the best examples of this split: You've got Rachel, who can barely guess one historical time period, "...the colonial era?", and Phoebe, who can't distinguish a pottery barn table from a historical artifact. On the other hand, Ross clearly knows a lot more history and is irritated with the two of them, while Chandler and Monica make/laugh at a bunch of historical jokes often at Rachel's expense. (Like her not understanding 'the old times of yore'). So it seems like an obvious split between them. Ross, Chandler and Monica don't come across as anti-intellectual at all.
    • Concerning Rachel holding Chandler in disdain for knowing the word "apothecary", that's not what happens. She doesn't curiously ask "Hey, what's an apothecary?". She says, in a casual, rhetorical manner, "does anyone even know what an apothecary is?". When Chandler answers, Rachel makes fun of him. Thing is, she's not making fun of him for knowing the word - she's making fun of him for making her look foolish.
      • The distinction between saying "What's an apothecary?" and "Does anyone even know what an apothecary is?" is pretty minor. If you ask a question, you should not be surprised when you get an answer.
    • Another example is in The One With The Mugging, where Monica feels the need to be embarrassed over seeing an adaptation of Macbeth after Rachel says in disgust "You saw that?". Monica then says something along the lines of 'actually, I only saw the previews... it was played right before Jackass!' which is then met with this moment of re-acceptance from a smiling Rachel and Joey... That kind of joke really makes me sick in so many ways.
    • Actually, I would argue that Ross was the only real intellectual on the show. Chandler and Monica were intelligent, sure. But Chandler was also quite lazy and wasn't really interested in anything other than porn and "nerd hobbies" like Star Trek. Monica also didn't seem to be interested in much of anything beyond cooking and cleaning. Ross was the only one of the six who ever showed a genuine interest in intellectual pursuits such as history and science.
  • Ten years goes by for these people and they never seem to get that life would be easier if they'd just talk to each other about their feelings. Phoebe thinks Rachel won't move back into her apartment, so she goes to extreme and expensive lengths to drive her out of Joey's apartment instead of just sitting down with Rachel and talking about it. Monica won't tell Phoebe that she doesn't like being massaged by a friend, and then Phoebe gets offended. Ross brings home a crazy woman when he sees Rachel kissing Gavin instead of sitting down with her and hashing things out. I can imagine that young people in their 20s might have communication issues, especially if their friendships were newer. But after a decade or more? Unbelievable and not funny anymore.
  • I love pre-marriage Chandler/Monica, but his break up episode with Kathy really rubs me the wrong way. It was a lovely little arc, they were really good together and up until that point she was as sweet and dorky as he was (her speech in the box episode melts me), but in this one she's suddenly doing sex scene plays, he accuses her of cheating based on a really dumb theory and when he finally realizes how stupid it was, it turns out she cheated just because he accused her of it. The show had a big problem with Derailing Love Interests, and the fact the ep ends on a lazy 'on a break' joke says it all.
  • For me, there are two MAJOR Ross/Rachel wallbangers, both of which I'm actually offended by:
    • Their subplot in "The One With Joey's New Girlfriend." That is totally NOT how people behave after any kind of breakup. The writers basically disregarded all the serious, grown-up matters that led to them breaking up and reduced Ross and Rachel to two quabbling middle schoolers for no reason other than to mine a few laughs out of their justifiably strained relationship. One of the few plots in the whole series I just can't bring myself to ever watch again, because it's not only incredibly awful but also downright offensive in the context of Ross and Rachel's relationship.
    • Ross not getting the annulment and then lying to Rachel about it. Honestly, I consider that worse than sleeping with Chloe. Because it didn't just show that Ross was an untrustworthy boyfriend. It showed that he was an untrustworthy person in general. Sleeping with Chloe might've destroyed his relationship with Rachel. But making her think they're still married would've likely destroyed her whole life, since that misunderstand would've eventually gotten her into major legal trouble, etc. But the show just shrugged it off as an "Oh Ross!" moment and didn't even seem to realize the seriousness of what he did.