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  • Take Off Your Clothes:
    • In an episode, Joey asks for one of the girls to remove her bra (after first asking who had the biggest breasts). It turns out he wants a piece of wire to pop the lock on a car door — they were locked out and it was snowing.
      Joey: The bigger the boobs, the bigger the bra, the bigger the bra, the bigger the wire! (makes "duh" gesture)
    • Played with when Monica suspected Chandler, who was acting very drunk, of having consumed all the (green) jello shots. Monica tells Chandler to stick out his tongue. Without missing a beat, Chandler tells her to take off her shirt.
  • Tastes Like Feet: How Trope Namer Ross describes Rachel's terrible dessert in "TOW Ross Got High."
  • Tattoo Sharpie: In the fifth season finale, "The One in Las Vegas'', a drunken Ross and Rachel draw on each other's faces with permanent marker. Ross calls the manufacturer and is told that it's not coming off, so they go around the casino with marked-up faces. Come the 6th Season premier, they've disappeared with no explanation.
  • Teacher/Student Romance:
    • Ross and Elizabeth's relationship, though she fancied him too... They only started dating after she was no longer in his class.
    • Rachel once described a teacher she had a crush on and whom she eventually slept with.
    • Phoebe's brother Frank marries his teacher (in her 40s) less than a year after finishing school.
    • Ross also made out with the fifty-year-old librarian when he was in high school.
  • Team Pet: The Chick and the Duck. Though aside from Joey and Chandler, who treat the birds like their own children, no one else in the group is particularly fond of them.
  • Television Geography: In addition to "Friends" Rent Control, the apartment building where the gang lives is somewhere in Manhattan. Also close enough to get everyone to work without hours of commuting time every day, and it takes twenty minutes to get to Ross' function (in "TOW No One is Ready"), 100 steps to Central Perk, and it's somewhere near NYU.
  • Terrible Ticking:
    • Mr. Heckles on. It must be noted that the level of noise isn't in in his head, it's more of a case of Malevolent Architecture creating absolutely teethgrinding acoustics.
    • In "The One Where They're Up All Night", Phoebe is kept up by her fire alarm beeping. She smashes it and it still beeps. She puts on earmuffs and a hat to drown out the noise and also tries throwing it out.
  • Tertiary Sexual Characteristics: Rachel sticks a pink bow on Emma's head because everyone keeps saying, "What a cute little boy!" While Amy goes one step further in getting the baby's ears pierced.
  • Thanksgiving Episode: Apart from Season Two (which just featured an event set around Thanksgiving), every season had a Thanksgiving episode where the gang have Thanksgiving dinner together, the 'tradition' starting in the first season when all of their usual Thanksgiving plans were no longer an option for reasons ranging from Joey's parents thinking he had an STD as the result of his role in an ad campaign to Rachel being unable to afford the plane ticket for the Greens' usual ski trip. Episode plots included the gang playing a game of football, Chandler spending the day in a box to apologise to Joey, the group recalling bad past Thanksgivings, Rachel accidentally making a disgusting trifle, Phoebe hiding a dog in Chandler and Monica's apartment, an old schoolfriend of Ross and Monica's coming over who was bullied by Rachel at school, Rachel's sister asking if she gets custody of Emma if Rachel dies, and Monica and Chandler awaiting news of their adoption application.
  • That Came Out Wrong:
    • In "The One with the Girl Who Hits Joey," Phoebe tells the people at the party about Ross, picturing him in a negative way.
    • In "The One Where Ross Can't Flirt," after the pizza girl complains that her short haircut makes her look like an 8-year-old boy, Ross says "[he] happens to like 8-year-old boys,".
      • Let's just say that Ross in general is an epitome master of this trope. Case in point, when he dates a much younger girl, her father Paul Stevens (played by Bruce Willis), explains that the reason he's so disapproving of their relationship is because he's protective of his daughter and still sees her as a little girl. Ross responds with: "Oh, I know exactly what you mean. I do that all the time." note 
  • Thematic Theme Tune: "I'll Be There for You". The song, performed by jangle-pop band the Rembrandts, was subsequently released as a single and became a chart-topping hit.
  • There Are No Therapists: Averted. Ross sees one when he's struggling with anger issues and both Chandler and Monica mention that they've been to therapists and even discuss it in one episode.
    Chandler: I hate having to see the shrink. He's always 'oh maybe people will like you better, if you like yourself better'. Who needs that?
    Monica: You do!
    Chandler: I know.
  • Themed Wedding: When Monica contemplates marrying millionaire Pete Rachel has a suggestion...
    Mon, you definitely have to make it a theme wedding, and the theme could be, "Look how much money we've got!" You know, I mean you could put... you could put money in the invitations! You could have, like, little money place settings. And, uh, you could start with a money salad! I mean it'd be dry, but people will like it.
  • The Thing That Would Not Leave: Eddie Menuek in season 2, Chandler's roommate for three episodes after Joey moves out. He's initially introduced as being friendly but slightly odd — but then his true nature is shown after a few days: a crazed Stalker Without a Crush (who is implied to be schizophrenic) who sneaks into Chandler's room to watch him sleep, enjoys dehydrating fruit a bit too much, convinces himself that Chandler slept with his ex-girlfriend and then murdered his goldfish, then replaces said fish with a goldfish cracker, and steals a mannequin head from a Macy's store and says that they could use it as a chip bowl at parties. And to top it off, whenever Chandler confronts him that he's had enough and demands that he moves out, Eddie always forgets that the conversation ever happened — at one point, Chandler asks Eddie if he remembers yesterday's conversation:
    Eddie: We took a roadtrip to Las Vegas, man.
    Chandler: Oh sweet Moses!
    • It takes Joey moving back in, he and Chandler pretending that they have no idea who Eddie is and that he never lived there, for him to finally move out.
  • This Loser Is You: The main cast goes through several hardships throughout the series. When the series started, Rachel had just ended her engagement, got cut off from her dad's money and was employed as a waitress. Before returning to Days of Our Lives, Joey was frequently low on cash, borrowing money from Chandler, and had to work several part-time jobs. Monica had to work at a diner in between chef jobs, Chandler was unemployed before entering advertising and Ross was fired from the museum because of anger issues.
  • Three-Way Sex: In "The One Where Ross and Rachel Take A Break" Chandler and Joey once thought they might end up having sex with the same woman. When Joey asked who would go where, Chandler suggested flipping a coin:
    Joey: Yeah, I guess, but what's like heads and what's tails?
    Chandler: Well, if you don't know that I'm not sure I want to do this with you!
    • Hilariously subverted in the same series in a hypothetical What Could Have Been episode, where Ross and Carol, still married, agree to have a threesome with Susan, who was then only a... friend of Carol's. Ross, tossed aside during most of the act, finds out the hard way about his wife's homosexuality...
    • In the episode "The One with the Jellyfish", it was revealed that Phoebe was conceived from a threeway between her parents and the girl who ended up being her adoptive mother.
  • Throwing Out the Script:
    • When Monica and Chandler got married, Chandler threw out his pre-prepared vows at the last moment to give a more heartfelt, situation-appropriate (as Joey had just revealed to Monica that Chandler had gotten cold feet and almost ran out on the wedding) speech.
    • Joey does this during both of the weddings he ministers, as he leaves his notes behind rushing to get to Chandler and Monica's and is too cold to go through it all at Phoebe's snowy wedding. Justified to keep the show moving along.
  • Trauma Conga Line:
    • Ross is probably at his most Woobie-ish in season five, during which he (in rapid succession) gets divorced, gets evicted, loses his job owing to anger issues and has to take anger management counseling.
    • Monica goes through an admittedly less devastating one in Season 2. She loses her job, burns through her savings, has to take a degrading job she's way overqualified for, and the one thing that went well for her this season, her relationship with Richard ends because she wants kids and he doesn't. Given this and her lack of a plotline for most of Season 3, it's easy to believe she unknowingly forced herself to fall for Pete just to have something to be happy about. At least things get progressively better afterwards.
  • Trivial Tragedy: In "The One with the Home Study," Ross and Rachel take Emma to the park, and when Ross tries to put her in a swing set, Rachel protests. When Ross asks why she's so opposed to Emma being on a swing, Rachel responds that she had traumatic experience, and explains that when she was four, her hair got tangled in the chains of a swing, and her mother had to cut off a clump of hair, and tearfully recounts that her hair was uneven for weeks. After an Aside Glance, Ross sarcastically asks: "And you made it through that? I wonder who's gonna' play you in the movie?!"
  • True Love is Exceptional: The insecure Chandler was terrified of committment and went through Minor Flaw Major Break Up with his few relationships. Then he fell in love with his best friend Monica, and not only accepted her 'high maintenance' faults but felt good about dealing with them. With her help he forged through his own issues and proved to be an unbelievably sweet boyfriend and later husband.
    • Also Monica previously stated she preferred 'mature' and sophisticated guys, but appreciated how Chandler's humor relaxed her. Especially noticeable when her ex-boyfriend Richard appeared and despite being her previous ideal man, she still picked Chandler. The pair established the happiest relationship on the whole show.
  • Tomato Surprise: A comedic example from a Show Within a Show. An arc in the third season deals with Joey's relationship with his costar in a play. We see several scenes of the two of them rehearsing for said play, which seems at first like a pretty standard artsy drama about an arguing couple. When the arc comes to a close, we see Joey's character boarding a spaceship.
  • Tomboy and Girly Girl:
    • Monica (tomboy) and Rachel (girly girl). Monica is a mild version of tomboy since she loves cleaning and cooking, but personality wise she's domineering, loud and hot-tempered and has a Masculine Girl, Feminine Boy relationship with Chandler. She also likes sports including football and is the most strong and athletic of the six friends, along with Joey. Rachel on the other hand, is interested in fashion and shopping, is shallow, sweet, ditzy and unlike Monica, she's weak and bad at sports.
    • Susan (tomboy) and Carol (girly girl).
  • Too Incompetent to Operate a Blanket: Played with. Joey once accepts a role in an infomercial in which he portrays "Kevin", a guy who has trouble with milk cartons that are "flingin'-flangin' hard to open" (he rips one open while trying, spraying milk all over the place). But with the Milk Master 2000, he has no trouble. "Now I can have milk every day!" Later, Joey laments that his fellow cast members in a play tease him about the infomercial by asking him to open milk cartons ... and making fun of him when he really can't do it. Illustrated as a nonverbal Brick Joke; Rachel uses one at home a few scenes later.
  • Took a Level in Dumbass:
    • Joey seems to have lost many IQ points over the years, to the point where in the final season he can't tell left from right. For example, in season 1, Joey knows what an Adam's apple is (although he has to be told women don't have them); later in the series, Chandler has to explicitly tell Joey that his "Joey's apple" is not named after each individual person.
    • Also Erica, the biological mother of Chandler and Monica's twins. When we first meet her she's a perfectly normal, intelligent girl. Then she seemed to get progressively dumber in every appearance she made, which is saying something given that she was only a one-season character.
    • Monica and Ross, formerly two of the more sensible friends, also lose a huge amount of common sense as the show progresses.
  • Took a Level in Jerkass: Everyone.
    • Ross becomes more egotistical and obnoxious, if only to justify his Butt-Monkey role.
    • Phoebe, way more so. She becomes increasingly more shrill and mean-spirited as the seasons went on, including throwing so many wrenches into Monica and Chandler's relationship (such as blurting out unprompted that Monica was seeking out Joey in London) that it almost seems intentional.
    • Monica suffered the worst from her flanderization, with her Control Freak side turning her more scary and screamy than the Team Mom she used to be.
  • Took a Level in Badass: Chandler is referenced as being mediocre in bed a couple times over the course of the early seasons, until the famous scene where Monica gives him a diagram-based crash-course in pleasuring the female body. His girlfriend literally runs across the hall to hug and emphatically thank Monica following their next lovemaking session. Ends up being a good call on Monica's part, as when her and Chandler later enter a relationship she repeatedly describes him as the best sex she's ever had.
    • In that case, this trope could also be applied to Ross. In "TOW the Videotape", Rachel makes note of how Ross was working out before they conceived, and in the finale, upon waking up from having sex again, Rachel comments appreciatively that he's "learned some new moves" (which Ross attributes to receiving a copy of "Sex For Dummies").
  • Took the Bad Film Seriously: In-Universe. A famous actor played by Gary Oldman, who stars in a World War I movie with Joey.
  • Too Unhappy to Be Hungry:
    • Played with in the episode "The One After Vegas." Big Eater Joey has just heard bad news about the movie where he was supposed to play the lead. At the hotel breakfast buffet...
    Joey: Mornin' Pheebs. Well, my movie has officially been canceled.
    Phoebe: Oh Joey, I'm so sorry. You want some of my breakfast?
    Joey: Nah, I'm too depressed to eat. I'll probably eat in like 5 minutes.
    Five minutes later...
    Joey: Where is the waitress? I'm starving!
    • In "The One Where Chandler Takes A Bath", Joey is struggling with his (to him) inappropriate feelings for Rachel, so he's slightly dejected. He goes to Chandler for advice...
      Joey: (entering) Hey, Chandler, you got a minute? I-I really need to talk to you.
      Chandler: Oh! Uh, yeah! Is this a cold pizza talk or a leftover meatloaf talk?
      Joey: Well, neither.
      Chandler: Oh my God, what's up?
  • Tranquillizer Dart: Subverted when Phoebe is shot in the backside with a dart. She never passes out, though she does comment that her buttock is asleep (and that the other one has no idea). Of course, the dart was intended for a very small monkey, so there probably wasn't much juice in there anyway.
  • Trans Equals Gay: Chandler's father is supposed to be a gay drag queen, but he's played like a trans woman. He stars is a show called "Viva Las Gaygas." Drag queens who perform professionally are very, very good, and some have had plastic surgery on their faces, and get waxed. Chandler's mother specifically notes that his father still has a penis, so he hasn't had reassignment surgery. It's true that professional drag performers don't usually dress as women in their personal lives, but it's possible to interpret dressing as a woman at Chandler's wedding as a snipe at his mother. As for dressing as Hollywood starlets in front of his friends, it's hard to fathom why he would want to embarrass his son, but he probably had some reason other than being emotionally abusive (like being supporting a transgender parent or student at the school), but the treatment justifies Chandler's refusal to talk to him later in his life, without making Chandler seem homophobic.
  • Translation by Volume: Rachel went to meet Ross at the airport. He was returning from a business trip to China and apparently brought back a new Asian girlfriend. Rachel WELCOMES HER IN HER COUNTRY, talking loudly and slowly, and trying to be cordial and not at all confused, since Ross was in love with her. Ross's girlfriend Julie actually COMES FROM NEW YORK too.
  • Trash of the Titans: In. one episode, Ross goes out with a beautiful scientist who happens to live in an absolute mess of an apartment. Joey doesn't seem to care much about spilling stuff or making a mess either, but since he lives across the hall from obsessive neat-freak Monica she occasionally makes clean-house-calls. She even showed up at the above mentioned scientists' apartment begging to let her clean it. She also has a massive collection of trash in her own apartment, hidden behind the mystery door. Chandler is shocked when he finally gets it open.
  • Traumatic Haircut: Played for laughs. Monica asks Phoebe to give her a haircut like Demi Moore. Phoebe thinks she wants a haircut like Dudley Moore. Monica is horrified with the result.
  • Triage Tyrant: The one who ends up with a face full of hockey puck.
  • Triple Nipple: Chandler is revealed to have a third nipple during a Truth-Telling Session (he told Joey it was a "nubbin"). He later has it surgically removed...and when he suffers from Sarcasm Failure afterwards, he thinks it was the source of his powers.
    Ross: Joey, what did you think a "nubbin" was?
    Joey: I dunno, you see something, you hear a word, I thought that's was it was!
  • Trojan Gauntlet: Monica and Rachel once had a long, hilarious scene fighting over the last condom in the bathroom while Richard and Ross awkwardly waited together outside for the two to come to an agreement.
  • True Companions: Both in the show and in Real Life.
  • Truth in Television: At the time of Emma's birth, Emma was one of the most popular girl's names in America. Emily was number one. Emma is still near the top of the list.
  • True Love Is Boring:
    • Played straight with Ross and Rachel. They have the classic Unrequited Love Switcheroo courtship but few storylines when they do get together. Then they break up over Ross's so-called "cheating" and spend the rest of the series arguing about it. They almost get back together several times, but only succeed in the final episode
    • Averted with the unwaveringly stable Monica and Chandler. Early seasons hint of attraction but they're portrayed as best friends who comfortably accept each other, averting the Will They or Won't They? drama. They Out have a one night stand, start a relationship and eventually get married with little drama. A lot of focus is given to their day to day problems, but they're ridiculously happy together and don't break up once while still managing interesting storylines.
      • Particular aversion as their relationship benefited the show hugely and opened up a ton of storylines. Them moving in together forever changed the living dynamics of the gang, their engagement gave a whole seasons worth of wedding story lines and the relationship helped their Character Development too.
  • Truth-Telling Session: It happened in a Thanksgiving episode, the "Space Mountain story" episode, and the episode where we found out about Chandler's third nipple, amongst others. One time it found an interesting variation by using a temporary love interest as the secret-hearer, and having all the secrets be things that had happened in previous episodes. In an episode where Rachel and Monica pretended to be each other while dating doctors, they began to reveal ugly secrets about each other in the first person ("In high school, I was a cow"; "I use my breasts to get other people's attention." "We both do that!")
    • One of the lengthiest was in "The One Where Ross Got High":
    Monica: Mom! Dad! Ross smoked pot in college!
    Mr. and Mrs. Geller: What?!
    Ross: You are such a tattletale! Mom, Dad, you remember that-that time you walked in my room and smelled marijuana?
    Mr. and Mrs. Geller: Yes.
    Ross: Well I told you it was Chandler who was smoking the pot but it was me. I'm sorry.
    Mrs. Geller: It was you?
    Monica: And Dad, y'know that mailman that you got fired? He didn't steal your Playboys! Ross did!
    Ross: Yeah, well, Hurricane Gloria didn't break the porch swing, Monica did!
    Monica: Ross hasn't worked at the museum for a year!
    Ross: Monica and Chandler are living together!
    Monica: Ross married Rachel in Vegas! And got divorced! Again!
    Phoebe: I love Jacques Cousteau!
    Rachel: I wasn't supposed to put beef in the trifle!
    Joey: I wanna gooooooo!
    Mrs. Geller: That's a lot of information to get in in thirty seconds!
  • Two Decades Behind: In one episode, due to some mistake Chandler and Joey’s TV starts showing a pay-per-view porn channel for free. Considering that free online pornography was abundant even in 1998, the guys’ overjoyed reaction (including refusing to turn the TV off for days) is rather amusing.
    • In the early seasons of the show, any references to television with the exception of Baywatch were mostly restricted to 70's shows like Three's Company, Happy Days, and Laverne and Shirley, rather than a contemporary show of Friends's time.
  • Two Girls to a Team: Pre-series there were five of them with Monica and Phoebe being the only girls. However Rachel arrives in the opening episode, making it a Gender-Equal Ensemble.
  • Two-Timing with the Bestie: Chandler developed feelings for Joey's girlfriend, Kathy. One night when the two are alone they ended up kissing each other. After Chandler confesses to him, Joey gets pissed off at Chandler for doing so. To make it to him, Chandler has to stay in a box to think about what he has done. Subverted when Kathy comes to break up with him and Joey comes to forgive Chandler.
  • Two Words: I Can't Count: Episode "The One With The List" has Joey make a suggestion to a girl, mistaking the word "threesome" for two words.
    "I got two words for you. Threesome."
  • Tying Up Romantic Loose Ends: Parodied. After Ross and Rachel get back together and Monica and Chandler announce they're dating, Joey asks Phoebe if they should get together, by the virtue of them being the only main characters left. Phoebe reveals that she has a long term-strategy for the two of them in which they make off with Chandler and Monica's money and Rachel's children, and kill Ross.
    • All in all: Ross, Rachel and Chandler had all kissed each of the five characters. Monica never kissed Phoebe or Joey (except for an alternate universe in the latter case). Back to the trope, it can be seen with many details throughout the series: Joey introducing Phoebe to her husband (and being actually the one who would marry them later on), Joey and Rachel deciding they're better off as friends (after roughly two years of build-up for their relationship to finally take place), Janice finally getting over Chandler after "one last moment of weakness", Gunther being shot down by Rachel in the finale, hooking up Ross' ex Julie with Rachel's ex Russ, etc.
  • "Ugly American" Stereotype: When the gang goes to London for Ross's wedding, Joey behaves like a stereotypical tourist: walking around with a map with pop-up landmarks, buying gaudy souvenirs, taking videos of everything, and repeating his catchphrase "London, baby!" Subverted in that Joey's enthusiasm is very well received by all of the Londoners he meets; Chandler, due to his desire to avoid this trope, is the only one who has an issue with Joey's behavior.
  • 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, Matthew Perry is quite handsome, and both Rachel and Monica voice throughout the series that they find their respective partners attractive.
  • Unexplained Recovery:
    • Lampshaded when Joey is nominated for a Soapie award:
      Rachel: I mean, you're up against the guy who survived his own cremation.
    • One episode has Chandler making a huge scheme and ending up flying to Yemen to escape his on-again-off-again girlfriend Janice. The next episode does not address how he managed to come back.
  • 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.
    • From Ross and Rachel's breakup in season 3 to the beginning of season 5, when Ross was in a relationship, Rachel would become jealous, distressed, and would talk badly about the women behind their backs. While this behavior wasn't necessarily condoned, she was often given a great deal of sympathy from her other friends over it. Meanwhile, if Ross ever displayed the slightest bit of jealousy over any of Rachel's relationships, it was met with utter exasperation and being told the relationship was over and he needed to move on. However, from season 5, they became more comfortable with the others dating.
    • Though one episode finally seemed to put this in some perspective with Rachel latching on to a complete stranger on a plane and telling him her entire sob story, until the guy sitting next to her gets fed up and tell her how immature, selfish, cruel and petty she was being (especially in going to ruin Ross and Emily's wedding - calling her a horrible, horrible, person), and "By the way, it seems perfectly clear to me that you were on a break!" What made that moment even more glorious was the fact that the stranger was played by none other than House himself, Hugh Laurie. Here it is, by the way!
    • Used in an episode where Rachel borrows Monica's expensive car. We say borrow, but we really mean steal. Ross does his best to keep her from taking it, but ends up going along with it to make sure she brings the car back in one piece. Long story short, Rachel speeds, and gets pulled over by a cop. She shows him her license, which expired ten years earlier. Rachel flirts with the cop more than a little, and the cop let's her go without even a slap on the wrist, advising Ross to drive, since she doesn't have her license. Later in the same episode, Ross is pulled over—for driving too slow—and gets a ticket. He tries the same tricks as Rachel did, which is really more pathetic than effective.
    • Defied in season six. After he and Rachel drunkenly get married while in Vegas, Ross fails to have the marriage annulled, partially because he doesn't want the embarrassment of having a second failed marriage pop up in less than a year and partially because despite his denial he still had some feelings for Rachel. When the truth comes out and Rachel is completely pissed at him, Ross actually snaps back at her that it's utterly no different from Rachel's behavior at the aforementioned wedding incident. Rachel attempts to respond that there was still a difference since she still had feelings for Ross during that time...and then realizes the truth about how Ross was feeling, which causes her to quickly shut up.
    • Defied in The One that Could Have Been when Rachel is making excuses for why it would be okay for her to cheat on her husband with soap-star Joey, only for Monica to cut in, saying "Nothing you say could make me think it's okay for you to cheat on your husband!"
    • Later on however, after she just barely resists temptation, she returns home to find her husband in bed with another woman (which hearkens back to the first season, when she went to apologize to her ex-fiance for being a runaway bride and ultimately discovered he had been cheating on her with one of her bridesmaids even before she left). Granted, as she attempts to play the injured party and complain about what pigs men are to Ross, he points out her plans beforehand.
    Rachel: Oh, what are you, a detective?
    • Also amusingly Played for Laughs in one episode where Ross outs Chandler for casually flirting with another woman even though he and Monica were a couple by this time. Monica acts cool and reveals she does it too, leading Chandler to have a freak out and point out why it's much more serious in her case: "You see, you're much hotter than I am."
    • Also averted in one late episode where Chandler was transferred to Tulsa and has to work Christmas Eve alone with the only other worker there an attractive woman. Chandler naturally acts faithful to Monica, but Monica still panics and instantly assumes the worst, but in this case it's made clear her behaviour is being irrational.
    • In season 10, there's an episode where Rachel's father had a heart attack. After she visited the hospital with Ross they stay at her father's place. Rachel then tries to seduce Ross, but Ross rejects Rachel since it is obvious that Rachel is in a vulnerable state. The next morning, Rachel is pissed at Ross for not sleeping with her. Even though Rachel in the end kind of acknowledges that Ross did the right thing, imagine if the roles where reversed...
  • The Unfavorite: Monica is this, in spades. Ross is their parents' golden child (for no clear reason), and Monica...well, when they go to collect their childhood belongings, Ross finds his stuff well-preserved, while their dad used Monica's stuff, when the garage flooded, to keep the water away from his Porsche.
  • Unique Moment Ruined: Monica and Chandler's engagement night was supposed to be a big deal, but it was ruined by the others. Joey was acting stupid thinking he could play a role that was half his age, Phoebe kept trying to prove that she could play music at their wedding even though her music style doesn't really fit weddings, and Ross and Rachel tried starting things up again. Eventually Monica's cup ran over.
    Monica: See, I've been waiting my whole life to be engaged, and unlike some people I'm only planning on doing this once. So, uh y'know, maybe this is selfish and I'm sorry about it, but I was kinda hoping tonight could just be about that.
  • Unlimited Wardrobe: The only time any character wore a shirt a second time, was in a flashback-episode set two years in the past. Chandler wore a shirt he's already worn in season one.
    • Chandler had a few bowling shirts and jumpers that he'd wear more than once (spanning several seasons). In earlier seasons, Joey would occasionally wear the same shirt too.
    • Phoebe wore a necklace with a metal daisy decoration a few times in the early seasons.
    • Downplayed at least in earlier seasons you'll occasionally see on of the gang wearing something they wore a episodes back.
  • Unplanned Crossdressing: Rachel insists that Ross let her do his shopping before a big date, then accidentally swaps their bags. Ross ends up unknowingly wearing clothes that Rachel bought for herself, but won't be dissuaded ... until his date shows up in the same outfit.
  • The Unreveal
    • Season 4 - Joey never got to say how he met Duchess Fergie.
    • Season 8 - We never get to hear Joey's sex story that starts about him going backpacking through Western Europe.
  • Unrequited Love Switcheroo:
    • Ross, Rachel and Julie
    • Joey and Rachel in seasons 8 and 9.
  • Unreveal Angle: Ugly Naked Guy was seen twice, though not completely: his rear end and his hand in "The One with the Giant Poking Device", and also half of his body from behind was seen in the episode where Ross was trying to get his apartment.
  • Unto Us a Son and Daughter Are Born: Monica and Chandler's adopted twins in the final episode.
  • Unusual Euphemism: Chandler once came up with the most brilliant example of an unsual euphemism, to describe a character who has shorts so loose (and wears no underwear beneath them), that everyone in the room can see his nuts when he sits down - "The man is showing brain!"
    • Another instance of an unusual euphemism comes from Joey, when Phoebe acts on Days of Our Lives. The director can be kind of rough, so Joey replaced one of the words he used a lot with a nicer one, like, "puppy", as in, "If your puppy friend doesn't get her puppy act together, I'm gonna fire her mother-puppy ass."
    • The Ross fist-bump which where used in the place of giving someone the middle finger.
    • Somehow subverted for laugh, in episodes where Ross gets his capuchin monkey, Marcel.
      Ross: I just thought we could go out to dinner, and then maybe bring her back to my place and I'd introduce her to my monkey.
      (surprised glance from the girls)
      Chandler: And he's not speaking metaphorically
  • Unwanted Gift Plot: In "The One with the Prom Video," Joey buys Chandler a gaudy bracelet, and Hilarity Ensues.
    • Rachel does this with nearly every gift she gets apparently, returning it for store credit. Sometimes she truthful and sometimes big dog runs off with it.
    • There's also the episode where Rachel and Monica pretend to both want to keep a hideous work of art made by Phoebe, while they both try to get rid of it when she's away.
  • Vague Age: The original premise of the show was a bunch of 20-something adults in New York, while the show settled on certain relative ages as Ross and Monica were two years apart, Rachel and Monica were in the same grade and Chandler was Ross' college roommate, Joey and Phoebe's ages were never fully established. Given the 80's flashbacks to high school / early college, Monica and Rachel should have been 25-26 in the first season with Ross and Chandler bordering on 30. Yet... Rachel celebrates her 30th birthday in the seventh season, when the math implies she should have been closer to 33. This was partially due to the Dawson Casting, as both Courteney Cox and Lisa Kudrow started the series already in their 30's and hit their 40's by the end.
  • Vandalism Backfire:
    • Monica and Chandler are having an argument and Monica eventually drinks from what she thinks is Chandler's cup of coffee, only for Chandler to reveal that that isn't his cup - it was already there when he came in.
    • In "The One After The Superbowl", Rachel pours tomato sauce in Monica's purse during a fight they're having, only to find out that she also ruined her own gloves, which Monica had borrowed and had in her purse.
    • Literally applied when Joey vandalizes the VD poster he was on, only to get several even worse taglines from posters underneath.
  • Vertigo Effect: Appears in the football episode, when Rachel has the ball and Chandler, Joey and Ross are all bearing down on her.
  • Very Special Episode: While never exactly played straight, some episodes, particularly those that involved Chandler smoking, definitely felt like this.
  • "Walk on the Wild Side" Episode: Monica has a few examples of this.
    • There's a minor subplot where the other friends suggest she not get so uptight about things like coasters and leaving her shoes out of her room. At the ending, 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.
  • Welcome Episode: The pilot for Rachel after she runs out on her wedding and straight to Central Perk.
  • What, Exactly, Is His Job?: Chandler Bing. He works in an office, but no one else can name what he does, although it's clear he earns a lot of money from it. In the first season, he's promoted but refuses to take the new position and quits because he wants to find a job he loves. His new boss sees this as a sign he's playing hardball for more money and keeps offering more and more until Chandler gives up trying to explain he hates the job and accepts the amazing salary figure he had just been offered. In later seasons he does finally quit to get a job in advertising. It's only after he's quit that someone finally remembers what his job title used to be. Incidentally, it's Statistical Analysis and Data Reconfiguration. No, we're still not sure what that actually means. Some theorize that the job is intended to resemble the many, many real-world positions with ambiguous names and descriptions.
    • Lampshaded in his original character description:
    "Works in front of a computer doing something tedious in a claustrophobic cubicle in a nondescript office building."
  • What Happened to the Mouse?: Poor Ben....
    • In the two-parter at the beach house, it's revealed that Phoebe's biological mother is very much alive. After this two-parter and one Season 4 guest appearance, she never appears again and arguably came down with Chuck Cunningham Syndrome.
    • Phoebe's father Frank (played by Bob Balaban) who made one appearance and was never seen or heard from again.
  • Wham Episode:
    • "The One with the Prom Video" has Ross and Rachel finally start dating!!!
    • "The One with the Morning After" ends with Ross and Rachel breaking up.
    • "The One at the Beach"/"The One with the Jellyfish" two-parter has quite a lot going on in it: it reveals both that Phoebe's biological mother is still alive, and that Rachel still wants to be with Ross, and on top of that, it hints that Chandler might have feelings for Monica (a theme first introduced in the first season episode "The One with the Birth"). Funnily enough, the Phoebe reveal, while being the most dramatic, turns out to be the least important, as her mother soon disappears from the series, while the Chandler thing, treated here as a throwaway joke, will lead to a major change in the show's status quo in the season 4 finale.
    • "The One with Ross's Wedding" is also very eventful! Ross plans to get married to Emily, but he accidentally says Rachel's name, and Monica and Chandler end up sleeping together.
    • Continuing the trend of season finales being Wham Episodes, in "The One in Vegas", Ross and Rachel drunkenly get married.
    • Season 6 has "The One Where Paul's The Man", where Chandler reveals that he wants to propose to Monica.
    • The Season 7 finale ends with the reveal that Rachel is pregnant.
    • "The One with the Fertility Test" ends with the devastating reveal that Monica and Chandler can't have a baby together.
    • Season 10 has a ton of Wham Episodes. "The One where Chandler Gets Caught" has Monica and Chandler reveal that they're leaving. "The One with Princess Consuela" ends with Rachel getting a job all the way in Paris. However, the series finale is the craziest out of all of them, since Monica and Chandler adopt twins and leave to the suburbs, while Rachel decides to stay in New York with Ross.
  • Wham Line
    • Season 1 - "Remember back in college when he fell in love with Carol and bought her that ridiculously expensive crystal duck?"
    • Season 2 - "You're over me? When were you...under me?"
    • Season 3 - "You told Rachel?" "Was I not supposed to?"
      • And: "I'm your mother."
      • Season 3 had a minor plot arc concerning a play Joey was starring in, which culminated with "The One With the Screamer", the last episode to feature it. Throughout the season, there were only hints about the plot of the play, but no real indicator of what it was about... until the end of the episode, where we see the end of the play.
    • Season 4 - "I, Ross, take thee, Rachel."
    • Season 5 - "Well, hello, Mrs. Ross!"
      • Preceded by - "It's a four."
    • Season 6 - "I can't believe you're gonna ask Monica to marry you!"
      • Also: "You wanted it to be a surprise."
    • Season 7 - "I didn't take a pregnancy test."
    • Season 8 - "OK."note 
      • "Hey, my sweater!"
    • Season 9 - "There's a good chance this may never happen for us."note 
    • Season 10 - "I'm so happy you two are friends again!"
    • "Did she get off the plane?!" "I got off the plane."
      • Preceded by - "The next baby should be along in a minute."
  • "What's Inside?" Plot: The Season 8 episode "TOW the Secret Closet."
  • 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.
    • The trope gets lampshaded and referenced often; the group always treats Ross & Rachel as an inevitable coupling, even though they go over six seasons without dating (something else that gets referenced when Ross or Rachel have trouble coping whenever the other is dating, since that long of a gap means they should be over each other by then). In Season 4, when Ross gets engaged to Emily, Rachel tells Phoebe that she's been so used to her and Ross being an on-again off-again couple, she didn't think too much of their current separate because she presumed they'd get back together eventually.
  • Women Prefer Strong Men: Inverted with Monica when her boyfriend Pete trains to become the Ultimate Fighting Champion. (He doesn't do a good job, but is still a lot stronger than before.) Monica hates seeing him hurt, and prefers him when was sweet and geeky. They eventually break up because of it. A similar case happened with her husband, Chandler. When he and Ross are armwrestling, Monica says she loves his sensitivity and kindness, not strength. From his end, he happily admits that she is freakishly strong and could kick his ass.
  • World of Snark: The six main characters responding to each others' problems with sarcasm is one of the cornerstones of the show's humour. Chandler's main trait is his tendency to deliver snarky quips at even the most inappropriate times; Ross and Rachel frequently engage in Snark-to-Snark Combat to cope with their Unresolved Sexual Tension; and Phoebe usually manifests her annoyance towards her friends' quirks with passive-aggressive remarks. Finally, Monica is a Control Freak and Joey is The Ditz, making them less prone to snarky remarks than the rest of the cast, save for a few occasional moments.
  • Worst. Whatever. Ever!:
    • Chandler tries to watch porn, but accidentally watches a video of a birth. He doesn't catch on for a minute. "Worst porn ever! Worst porn ever!"
    • Chandler when the friends watch Joey's new show, Mac and Cheese.
      Chandler: That was one of the worst things ever... and not just on TV.
    • In "TOW The Stripper", Monica hired Chandler a stripper for a bachelor party post-marriage. note  However, due to misunderstandings, the stripper turns out to be a hooker, prompting Chandler to say: "This is the worst bachelor party ever!" since he doesn't want to cheat on Monica.
  • Worth It:
    • Joey and Chandler give up the big apartment to Monica and Rachel in exchange for watching them make out. They stride into their old apartment, with Chandler shouting "Totally worth it!" They then quickly proceed to their respective bedrooms with a hasty "good night" to each other, so as not to let the imagery go to waste.
    • Joey's at dinner with a woman who specifically tells him not to touch her dessert while she's in the bathroom, since he already laid down the law that he doesn't share his food with her. When she comes out, he finishes the last bite with a smile and says "I'm not even sorry."
  • Writer on Board: The reason why the story with Phoebe and the stray cat exists is because co-creator/lead writer Marta Kauffman lost her own mother just before work on Season Four began. Normally such a plot would have been rejected (since making Ross out to be the bad guy for wanting to return the cat to her owner made no sense to anyone), but because of the circumstances surrounding Kauffman and her mother's then recent death, the plot was allowed to slip past the writers' room.
  • Written-In Absence: Ross doesn't appear with the group in the last scene of "The One With the Proposal", with the next season's premiere episode explaining he was picking up champagne. The reason for this is that David Schwimmer had to leave for England so he could film Band of Brothers.
  • Wrong-Name Outburst:
    • Ross' "I take thee, Rachel" during his wedding to Emily.
    • Rachel Green, trying in vain to teach Joey to sail, eventually snaps "Greens don't quit!" When he points out he's not a Green, she realizes she's channeling her father.
  • Wrong Parachute Gag: Referenced. When Chandler realizes he's Digging Himself Deeper, he exclaims "Dear God, this parachute is a knapsack!"
  • Wrote the Book:
    • In the episode "The One Where Ross Moves In":
    Monica: Look, Larry, honey, I wrote the book on Section Five, and I know that you don't have to wear your hat unless you're in the kitchen.
    Larry: And where is your hat?
    Monica: It's in the kitchen. I'll go get it.
    Larry: And there's the two points.
    Phoebe: Hey, you should really read that book you wrote.
    • In the episode "The One With Rachel's Sister":
    Jill: (sobbing) I'm so sorry!
    Rachel: Please! I invented that!
  • What the Hell, Casting Agency?: In-universe, with ditzy Joey playing genius neurosurgeon Dr. Drake Ramoray in Days of our Lives. Lampshaded by Monica in "The One After the Super Bowl, Part 1":
    Monica: Rachel, it's a world where Joey is a neurosurgeon.
  • 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 Are Better Than You Think You Are: In Season 5 Chandler tries to apologize to Monica after a fight but almost gives up admitting how bad he is with relationships. She kisses him, quotes the trope word for word and their fight is forgotten.
  • You Are Grounded!: Monica and Chandler talk about becoming parents:
    Chandler: Oh yeah, well can you picture me saying "Go to your room! You're grounded?"
    Monica: Can you hear me say "You're grounded?"
    Chandler: You said that to me last week.
    Monica: How hard is it? No shoes on the furniture!
  • You Look Familiar:
    • The actress who plays Joey's agent, Estelle, also plays one of the doctors who delivers Ben.
    • The guy who drops a condom in Phoebe's guitar case later shows up playing her half-brother.
  • 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 Chandler's pronunciation of the "whipped" onomatopoeia/gesture as "Whoop-pah!" (with the rest of the cast favoring "hwu-cher!").
  • You Will Be Spared: Phoebe once says: "When the revolution comes, I will have to destroy you all... except you, Joey."