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    Ross' Pre-Show Sex Life 
  • Forgive me if I'm wrong, but in the first season, it's either implied or outright stated that Carol was the only person Ross had slept with. However, in a later episode where Ross, Monica and Chandler are all shouting each other's secrets, Ross says "In college, Chandler got drunk and slept with the lady who cleaned our room!" to which Chandler responds with "That was you!" and Ross replies "Whatever dude, you kissed a guy", which means he did sleep with the cleaning lady and therefore Carol wasn't the first or only woman he had slept with before the first season.
    • I think Ross was just attempting to save face. This alleged hook up happened in college, as you said. There was that one flashback in season 10 where Ross and Chandler were putting up fliers for their band, and then both of them mentioned something along the lines of "I've totally done it before..." "Me too! I'm good at it!" When it's strongly implied they're freshman-year virgins. So I think being generalized stereotypical college dorks, Ross TOLD Chandler he boinked the cleaning lady. He could have just hooked up with her and not gone all the way but told his friend they had sex to sound more like a badass.
    • Then again, Monica claims Ross never told her when he lost his virginity, just one episode after he said he told her and just about everyone he knew, and only two episodes after the pilot.
      • Weren't those episodes actually aired out of order? Of course, even if they were, the backstory is a bit inconsistent.
    • It is possible that Ross told everyone that he slept with Carol, not that it was his first time.
      • No, he definitely mentions - in the episode where the guys go to the ice hockey - that it was his first time. He's moping about Carol and Joey (IIRC) asks what the big deal is. Cue "it... was my first time."
      • Also, in "The One Where Dr. Ramoray Dies," Ross assures Rachel that she already knows "all both of" the people he's had sex with, namely Carol and her (or maybe Julie?).
      • He's also said to have had sex with his high school librarian.
      • That was just a kiss. Rachel also saw them, which would be a lot less plausible if it was sex.
    • Ross (in "The One With George Stephanopoulos") at first only said that October 20th was the day he and Carol "first ... consummated our physical relationship" and only later admitted - and to Chandler and Joey only - that it was his first time ever. Supposably Monica knew the whole truth previously (as she's the only one who knew why Oct 20 was such important date to Ross), but there's actually no on-screen confirmation that Ross told her - could had been Carol as well.
    • As for the Ross-and-cleaning-lady-story, Ross seems to be one who could plausibly make such claim to his college buddy Chandler, but this doesn't mean that he was telling him the truth.

    Jack Bing 
  • Why did Monica and Chandler name their son after Jack Geller? Naming your kid after someone you look up to but he wasn't a great father, he favored Ross, and while he didn't criticize Monica as much as Judy did, he didn't defend her either. (He pretty much ignored her, like when all her childhood boxes were ruined). The only nice thing we see is him comforting her over Richard. How did Monica think he deserved the gesture? And did Chandler mind naming his son after his father-in-law? Monica had already had a ton of baby names thought out, which you'd think the two of them would discuss. It just made them look pathetically grateful to the only halfway, almost-decent parent one of them had.
    • Because Monica still loves him even though he's kind of a jerk, because she probably thought that would please him and she's often desperate for parental approval, and because some families just do that.
    • Well, while Monica may have felt undervalued by her parents, and they did do some mean things (spending her wedding savings), it's not like they were ever abusive. Jack and Judy both still cared for, loved and raised Monica, expecting very little in return. And we've seen Jack do plenty of nice and fatherly things to Monica; he came to her aide when she and Richard broke up, gave her a Porsche to make up for destroying her childhood belongings and in the episode with the Prom Video, we see him coercing Monica into dancing with him. So while at times he may have been somewhat dismissive, he was clearly a loving father.
    • Judy's behavior definitely counts as emotional abuse, and when you have a child it's expected you'll raise and love them, it comes with the package. Maybe Jack didn't do anything overt, but the fact he didn't prevent Judy's behavior puts him neglectful father territory.
    • Monica and Jack's relationship might have improved after he gave her the Porsche and actually realized they'd favor Ross. Before that it was implied he was oblivious to what Monica went through.
    • Maybe Monica and Chandler thought it would be nice to give the kids a family name and picked from the best of a very bad bunch. And Jack was marginally better than the other three grandparents. Charles walked out on Chandler when he was a kid, and was clearly insensitive to his son's feelings. Nora barely noticed Chandler, with never calling and kissing his best friend. Judy was endlessly critical and ripped Monica's self-esteem to shreds. Jack was the only parent who didn't participate in abandonment/neglect/abuse of some sort. But that's not saying he deserved it, as anything Monica and Chandler achieved on the show was down to their own determination rather than their crappy parents. They'd have been better off with no family name at all, for all the acknowledgment their parents deserved. They may have as well have called the kid Joey if they wanted to recognize someone who supported them.
    • Monica also seems to be much closer with her father; consider when he came into the city to check on her after she broke up with Richard. The incident with the boxes in the garage aside, they seem to have a fairly good relationship, at least compared to Monica's relationship with Judy. When Monica talks about issues with her parents, it's likely she's mostly referring to Judy...when they're together as a unit, Jack kind of gets swept up in Monica's frustration.
    • In "TOW Rachel Has a Baby Part 2," Monica says that her boy's name is Daniel. I wonder why she didn't go with that instead.

     Rachel stealing Monica's thunder 
  • After Monica and Chandler's engagement Monica is angry because Rachel makes the night all about her and Ross hooking up. Fairly enough, she accuses Rachel of feeling resentful and wanting attention because she doesn't have anyone. After a whole episode of fighting Rachel says that's she's not 'resentful', she's just sad that she isn't getting married. And Monica forgives her. What? How is being 'sad' different from being resentful? The bottom line is that Rachel is annoyed that Monica's happy and she isn't. Why the hell does Monica forgive her instantly? Rachel never even said sorry! Couldn't she let her best friend have one night without thinking about herself? Monica was hugely supportive of Rachel's previous relationships even when she herself was single or going through tough breaks up with Richard and Pete. Was it so hard for Rachel to return the favour? It's especially bad as Rachel could have got back together with Ross multiple times (who she admitted she still loved) and actually worked on their relationship, but refused. You can't sabotage your chance at a serious relationship, and then be sad when your friend makes it work. Viewers lost a lot of respect for Rachel in that episode. As Monica said initially, she was being self-centred so why did her 'I'm sad' explanation change anything?
    • Simple. Rachel is a Bitch in Sheep's Clothing.
    • That I can believe but why did Monica fall for it? Is she just gullible?
      • It's just hard to stay actively mad at someone you care about who's admitted she's really not happy with where her life is. Monica had said her piece, and ultimately was still engaged and marrying the man she loved - Rachel was still out of line, but what's Monica going to do, be mad forever about it? Even if Rachel's actions had been motivated completely by narcissism and not by sadness, Monica would still eventually have forgiven her. But with Rachel humbling herself by admitting what a mess she is, it would be hard for Monica to keep the righteous fury going.
    • I lost a lot of respect for Rachel in some episodes, but this wasn't one of them. I don't think that her being sad had to do with Monica's engagement, as much as it was the fact that the idea of her friend's engagement reminded her of how much of a mess her life was. I mean, come on, in the last, like, two years, Rachel realized that she was in love with Ross on his wedding day, was the reason his marriage fell apart, got drunk-married to Ross in Vegas, and accidentally burned down the apartment that she lived in with Phoebe. She was a little self-centered, sure, but she was in a bad place and couldn't really help how she felt. She didn't handle it well, and Monica had every right to be angry, but I don't think that Rachel's actions were motivated by anything other than sadness.
    • Rachel and Monica are very close, and close friends do forgive things that they might not if anyone else did them. Intent obviously counts for a lot there; Rachel admits that she's feeling sad and lonely and that's why she did it, not to be the centre of attention. As the audience, we're free to disbelieve that of course, but for whatever it's worth, Monica believes her and forgives her as a result. Of course, Ross still gets thrown under the bus and made to look like a complete loser ("I'm sorry I almost made you have sex with Ross!").
    • Because there's a difference between being resentful (and potentially doing something to purposefully ruin Monica's evening), and making the bad decision to sleep with Ross to comfort herself and have a bit of attention from him. I mean yeah, they kissed in the hall, but I don't think Rachel would have consciously tried to make the night about that. The kiss was probably impulsive and they may not even have gone through with it. And lets be honest, Monica cancelling the whole evening and having a sulk was a bit of an overreaction. It's also not Rachel's fault that the others flipped out about one kiss. Monica forgave her because she understood it was an act of desperation because she was sad, and not a calculated move to take the spotlight off Monica.
    • Not only was Monica right to forgive Rachel, she should have apologised for overreacting in the first place. If Monica hadn't tried to make a big deal about Rachel “stealing her thunder”, Ross and Rachel wouldn't of had to try and placate her, and Phoebe wouldn't have overheard about their kiss. It's as simple as that. Monica ended up ruining her own night with her self-centred attitude.
  • It makes sense that Monica would forgive Rachel for being sad. At Ross's wedding to Emily, while she was happy for her brother, she was sad that she felt her life wasn't moving forward, which lead her to seek comfort in Chandler to begin with. Rachel was presumably doing the same thing with Ross, which Monica could understand. Her initial freakout also makes sense, since Ross often got the attention she was craving growing up. And growing up with a more popular best friend, Rachel, too, got the attention that Monica was seeking. Monica's initial feeling of being overshadowed followed by her compassion for her friend is totally in line with her character.

    The Only Condom in New York 
  • In "The One Where Dr. Ramoray Dies," a couple of subplots end like this: Monica is about to have sex with Richard, Rachel is about to have sex with Ross. They both run to the bathroom for the same reason, and SURPRISE, there's only one condom in the box. This leads to Monica and Rachel to bicker, bargain, and finally end up doing Rock, Paper, Scissors to see who gets it. Rachel wins, and Monica and Richard have to do without. Problem being, why did Monica just give up? First off, Chandler was right next door. Why couldn't she have asked him (Chandler probably wasn't using them, and even if he didn't have any, there's the possibility that Joey left some before he moved into his own place.) Barring that, she lives in New York! She couldn't have thrown on a pair of sweatpants long enough to go outside and find a drugstore, supermarket, or maybe even the bathroom in Central Perk? It's not like they're hard to come by.
    • Isn't that kind of a mood killer, though? Monica would have to get dressed, go down what is implied to be a lot of stairs, find a shop... and Chandler or Joey would probably make fun of her, try to get her to trade a condom for stupid favours, something like that.
      • It would intersect plot lines. While the couples are about to get down, he's dealing with his crazy roommate. The real question is why couldn't Richard and Monica do other things? I may not have experience, but even I know actual intercourse isn't the only way get someone off.
      • Yes, but in that respect, why can`t Ross and Rachel be the ones to get each other off in other ways? Therein lies the problem.
    • It can probably be hand-waved by a Rule of Drama, but it's hard to believe that nobody out of four people has a condom in their wallet/purse. Or even more so — both Monica and Rachel are in a serious relationship with men they trust. It's very probable that they would be using contraceptive pills.
      • Keeping a condom in a wallet is actually a very bad way to store it. The heat and friction can cause it to break.
      • And pills aren't for everyone. They have undesired side effects for quite a few women.
  • Completely irrelevant, but how is the title of this particular Headscratcher not also the title of one of Phoebe's songs?
    • Completely irrelevant, yes, but a VERY important point to have added.

    Rachel's Career 
  • How exactly did Rachel build such a successful career? She has no qualifications, no training in fashion but somehow gets a lead in the very competitive field and becomes an executive? She got her first proper job through Mark, but that was illogical, why would an intelligent, professional man employ some random woman he met in a diner? Especially one as inexperienced as Rachel. I could understand if during her time as a waitress, she did some training or placements or night classes etc. but she does nothing. She's just as unqualified as she was at the pilot episode. It's especially galling compared to the others: Ross has a PhD, Phoebe trained as a masseuse, Joey did acting classes and struggled for years, Monica attended culinary school but was still unemployed for a long time after losing her job and Chandler went to college, worked his way to executive after more than ten years but still started at the bottom of the career ladder in advertising. Yet Rachel gets to the top of her field in a short amount of time with no training at all? How?
    • She's pretty and she's not afraid to flirt her way into a favorable outcome, screw over other people to get what she wants, or abandon almost all of her morals when the job calls for it. Honestly it's more amazing they didn't make her a CEO.
    • Maybe she did have some kind of fashion-related qualification (she certainly went to college, she must have done something), but had no way into the industry proper until Mark helped her in. It's not what you know, it's who you know.
    • She's implied to have flunked out of College (in the Pilot she says she's 'qualified for nothing' and flashbacks have her switching majors because the carpark is in the wrongs place) so she clearly has no degree or anything.
      • There's no reason to assumed she flunked out of college, and if Rachel had no college degree that likely would have come up - Phoebe's lack of the same has come up. But Rachel didn't take school seriously and likely didn't graduate with good grades or a degree in anything she wanted to do. As mentioned though, Rachel's first job was simply as an administrative assistant at a fashion company, and she simply took off from there. As it happens, Rachel's promotion she was so excited about after that, a low-level job as a buyer, was what my mother (who spent most of her career in the fashion industry) started as after graduating. So Rachel didn't leapfrog that quickly - and, really, as far as we know, never was, like, a true big wig at any company she worked at.
      • In 'TOW Rachel Quits' Chandler types up Rachel's CV and specifically says that just "Co-Cheer Captain and waitress" don't take up much space so clearly there was nothing else to put. And as a previous troper mentioned if Rachel had had a College degree she should have been able to find a better job than waitressing.
      • Ohhhh I can't tell you how wrong that assumption is.
      • If we assume she isn't exaggerating when saying just "Co-Cheer Captain and waitress", then she doesn't even have a High School Diploma so how the hell did she get into college in the first place. There's no reason to think that she flunked college with all the financial security she had - if she had, Leonard (if not one of the Friends) would have used it against her at some point. We can just assume that her major was non-vocational.
    • How qualified do you need to be to work as an assistant? And Mark did coach her for the interview. It's pretty clear that he had a crush on her from the start and that's the main, if not the only reason he did it. And when she got her first job at RL, she was again as assistant and by that time she already had relative working experience.
    • It's not unheard of even for people without a degree to get good jobs through hard work, the right contacts and/or luck, and Rachel seemed to have at least the last two. Plus, as others have pointed out, she did start with a pretty low-level fashion job and then worked her way further up, which is realistic.
    • She slept with a lot of people. Or as she put it on one episode "dressing provocatively"....
      • Wouldn't most of her bosses be women? Or, in fashion, gay men? In which case, it says a whole lot about Rachel we didn't know before! That said, the "waitress and co-cheer captain" entries were just her work experience. It's assumed she graduated high school because we're pretty sure Monica did as well, and she at least attended college, even if she didn't graduate. Let's also keep in mind that along with "Friends" Rent Control and their brand name fashions (on salaries that don't support it), they work dream jobs that very few people get, whether qualified or not. It's TV.
    • Rachel has been shown to be passionate and somewhat knowledgeable about fashion, at least from the perspective of a consumer who loves going out and buying new clothes. Starting out as a personal assistant, with interest and a willingness to learn as she went, it's feasible that she simply worked her way up and learned on the job.

    Joey and Women 
  • How many women in real life would fall for Joey's come on? The man is dumb as a brick (especially in later seasons), and it's obvious to anybody that he just uses and discards women left and right. But when he says, "How you doin'?", women just fall on their backs. Are beautiful women in New York just that gullible?
    • That's the joke. Besides, he's handsome and, while you're actually dating him, sweet, charming, funny, and good in bed.
      • How is that "the joke"? The character, especially in his early years, is just a womanizer, unfortunately the writers cast someone, who while maybe funny, doesn't look like a womanizer, and didn't write him to be someone who you could realistically accept as being one. When he goes "how you doin???" and gets all the women, there is no joke intended, it is just supposed to be accepted as a normal occurrence.
      • Same reason Charlie Sheen got all the chicks on his show. "Womanizer" is just part of his character makeup. Plus, Joey IS a minor celebrity, after all.
      • Truth in Television. There are a lot of women out there who'll fuck a guy just because he has a nice car, or what have you. Of course, men will jump on women just because they have tits are breathing, so what can you really expect?
      • The point is that "how you doing?" it's the his signature start of the flirting, not the whole flirt per se, it's not that they just fall to his feet with just those words, he is handsome but not a god, that is why he made up that "almost-sure-to-get-some" story, which means he "is" soo a womanizer.
      • The joke is that it's a terrible come on but it works anyway! Maybe you just don't think that's funny? It's kind of abstract, it's funny because it makes no sense.
      • In one episode, the women are dubious and mocking Joey for his "How you doin?" He responds by using it on the skeptical Phoebe, who giggles and blushes despite herself. The joke is that it's a magic phrase. MST3K Mantra.
      • It's not the phrase itself that's magic, it's the delivery. They're making fun of "How you doin'?" because out of context it is ridiculous. When Joey uses it on Phoebe, he does the whole delivery... he shifts his body language, artfully tilts his head, makes sparkly bedroom eyes, gives a playful little smile, and then says it in a sultry manner. Turning "How you doin'?" into a believable come-on was half Joey being a chat-up artist and half Matt LeBlanc being a really good actor.
  • Did I miss the episode where one of Joey's women had a pregnancy scare? If he had as many women as he claimed, shouldn't there have been at least one? The couple of lines during the ep when Phoebe was covering for Rachel doesn't count...
    • The women Joey sleeps with probably have casual sex often enough that they don't just rely on condoms, and even condoms don't split that often if you're sensible. Not to mention that if it was a fling, you wouldn't necessarily tell the guy unless you were pregnant. Even if you did tell the guy, there's no reason for him to tell his friends unless it's true, hence why it wouldn't be mentioned in the show.
    • That's a fair explanation. It just seems that over the course of a 10-yr show, even if played for laughs, Joey would have a woman show up claiming to be pregnant w/his child. He did bring some of them back to the apt. The writers were good enough to get laughs out of R/R's pregnancy story, so they would have been capable. NOT saying that I wanted to see Joey as a dad, but just acknowledging that with his history, you'd think it come up. Kind of like how it would be ridiculous if Charlie Harper didn't have pregnancy scares with random women
      • They probably considered the idea and discarded it for the primary reason that doing the expected jokes with such a scare would make Joey look like an ass... avoiding the woman, considering leaving the country, yadda yadda, all the funny stuff would still come from Joey wanting to ditch the woman carrying his child. Having him go to the opposite extreme wouldn't fit with the character, either. Charlie can afford to look like an ass in that situation because the character's supposed to be a jerk, but Joey's supposed to be a sweet, well-natured guy. Such an episode might be dramatic, but while Friends was unafraid to dip its toe in the drama pool, it's still primarily a comedy. If you can't do good jokes with a plot, don't do the plot.
      • It is addressed once, when the women are discussing how to inform Ross that he got Rachel pregnant, the oblivious Joey walks in and one of the women asks, 'Joey, how would you react if you found out you got someone pregnant?', Joey panics and asks 'Who called here?!'

    Ross and Rachel's Breakup 
  • In the third season, when Ross and Rachel break up (after they were on a break) it's pretty clear that they were both wrong and that, while Rachel had every right to break up with Ross for what he did, it was understandable why he'd done it. Even Rachel doesn't seem that unsympathetic. So where did this eighteen-page letter about him cheating on her come from? "How dare you think we were broken up after I told you we were broken up and then my attractive and flirtatious male coworker answered the phone in my apartment!"
    • It's because the writers decided it was "funnier" to start making out that every problem in that relationship and subsequent situations arising from it were all of Ross's doing, so that Ross could be made a figure of fun and laughed at again and again, rather than objectively look at how both Ross and Rachel's behavior caused the situation.
    • That's the joke. Rachel actually got called on it in one episode.
    • She didn't say that they were broken up, though. She said that they should "take a break [...] a break from us" which is suuuuch a vague term that neither Ross or Rachel are really "right" and thus, it's funny.
      • What bugged me is that Rachel herself obviously meant it as a break-up. The next morning she asks "Can I be your girlfriend again?", which clearly means she didn't consider herself his girlfriend during the few hours the break lasted. And I've always thought that she was aware of this all along, but didn't want to acknowledge it even to herself because putting all the blame on Ross was easier. I figured that was the reason she later refused to admit that they were on a break at all.
      • She DID say they broke up. When talking to Monica about it Monica asks how their anniversary went and Rachel says they decided to "break up instead". And as mentioned as well she asked at Ross's apartment "Can I be your girlfriend again?" which suggests that it was more than just a 'break'.
      • She also calls the 'break' a breakup on Ross's answering machine, and asks if they could get back together the day after.
  • After having watched the episodes in question, I think I can come up with a comment that will hopefully put this to sleep. Ross is in the wrong, but Rachel isn't in the right. Ross thought she had dumped him. Rachel thought they'd had a fight and they would sort it out later. Was Ross wrong to sleep with the copy girl? At the time, no, he thought it was over, but he obviously regretted what he had done in the morning. He was blinded by grief and stupidity. It's his actions afterward that propel him into the wrong territory. First he hides her presence from Rachel, then goes around trying to cover it up, then he tries to smooth everything over with Rachel. One of his attempts is to start kissing her, which is probably the worst thing he could have done. If Ross had handled it better, then maybe things could be salvaged. All that said, Rachel can't easily claim the high ground. What does a "break" mean? Was Ross supposed to stay away from other women until Rachel decided they could date again? Do both of them? Or is Rachel allowed to date, and Ross is kept on the sidelines as a fallback? It's never made clear just what a "break" means, other than Ross isn't allowed to have sex with anyone. Hence his "we were on a break!" excuse, which is just awful, never being an effective counterargument because we have no idea what it means. The absolute worst thing she could have done was invite Mark over - which she does, of course - because there's no way he wants something else. Come on, even if you don't believe she should've known Ross had massive issues with him, the best thing to do was to keep him away. It's what drove him to have sex with the copy girl, he thought all his suspicions were correct. So, in the end, mostly Ross's fault, though Rachel isn't scot-free either. The real issue, as I see it, is how things evolved after all this. The writers obviously thought Rachel was right - even though the Friends don't agree - and this slowly became more and more pronounced. See Ross being told to move on, and Rachel getting sympathy every time Ross did move on. And all the "we were on a break!" gags that got even more tired and mean as the series went on. And Ross continually being shit on for having three (really one) failed marriages, and for being a nerd. Bottom line? At the time you can see the breakup for the convoluted and messy thing that it was, with neither side (especially Ross) coming out well from it, but after watching the series you sympathize more and more with Ross as the writers invent new ways to prove they hate him and love Rachel.
  • Speaking of Mark, the scene of Ross and Rachel on the phone bugs me. I don't ever recall it being shown that Mark and Rachel were sooo close that he can just invite himself to their apartment. Then when Ross calls Rachel, he's so oblivious to his surroundings that he's interrupting Rachel's phone call to ask if she wants wine or apple juice. Was he really that into the fridge that he couldn't tell she was (likely) talking to Ross?
  • Ross's 'cheating' just gave Rachel an easy out to end the relationship. They'd were clearly struggling with her new job and his paranoia so Chloe gave her an excuse to end it. Maybe Alternative Character Interpretation but throughout the series we never see Rachel committing to a relationship. Unlike the other characters who are dumped and hurt throughout the series, she instigates all her breakups. The opening episode has her running away from Barry, later she breaks up with Paolo, Ross, Danny, Tag, Paul and Joey (sometimes for justified reasons, sometimes not), sabotages her chances with Joshua with wedding talk and rejects Gavin. She never proves she can work through relationship problems. Considering that Ross's 'betrayal' was probably something she could hide behind so she didn't have to deal with a real relationship.
    • Ross even accused Rachel of this in the fight in TOW The Morning After. He pointed out that when their relationship got tough, rather than try to work through the very real issues they were having, her choice was to suggest a (poorly-defined) break. And as we see in a later episode, Rachel admits that she "broke up with [Ross] because [she] was mad at [him], not because [she] stopped loving [him]". While infidelity is a pretty good reason to end a relationship, this shows that it wasn't as entirely the showstopper issue for her as she claimed at the time, and that given time to work at the damaged relationship, they probably could have recovered from it.
  • It was Flanderised to the point of a running gag, which makes a lot of people forget that the first person who said 'we were on a break' (verbatim) was her.
  • Having recently watched the episode, Rachel was in the wrong to blame him entirely for it, but in the right to at least feel partially betrayed and not want to get back together with him. Hold on a minute as I explain. She did lead him on to believe that they were broken up, but Ross shouldn't have gone and slept with another woman so quickly. Consensual sex with someone not a prostitute implies an emotional connection, long term trust, and a history of romantic affection, which Rachel has nothing but Ross' word did not exist while they were together. Not to say any of those conditions are necessary, but our culture puts emphasis on them being there before sleeping together. If it had happened a few weeks later or with someone that he was unlikely to have had an emotional or romantic connection to prior to their breakup such as a prostitute, she would be in the wrong, but as is she has no reason to believe it wasn't an affair started before their breakup.
  • Surprised it's not been mentioned in this WHOLE discussion, but Rachel says, over the phone to Ross, that she doesn't want to be on a break (before he hears Marks voice and suspects her), THEN he cheats. Yes, her not defining a break is her fault, but he cheats on her AFTER she says she no longer wants to be on one and does want to be with him. I always assumed that the argument between them had nothing to do with the fact that they had been on a break, but the disparity over whether they STILL had been when Ross slept with Chloe.
    • Uh, actually, the only time Rachel says she doesn't want to be on a break is when she's talking to Mark before Ross calls, so the cheating that Ross is accused of is done while he still believes that he and Rachel are over.
  • Despite how entrenched the two are later on in their positions on whether they were on a break or not, both were very inconsistent in the 24 hours following the event. She acted like they'd broken up, and his need to cover up his night looked a lot like cheating. But stubborn as she is, Rachel is usually quite reasonable when you sit her down and have a serious conversation. If Ross had, the following day, sat her down and told her that while they were broken up, he, being very upset, had meaningless sex with another woman, but he felt terrible about it and wanted very much to be with her, she might have been angry, but she might eventually have acknowledged that they were broken up and it was something they could get past. Instead, as is his won't, Ross told lie after lie to protect himself from all consequences, and he even ran around New York trying to silence every person who might tell her, so that it all seemed so much worse when she found out. His lie was more of a nail in the coffin than the deed itself.
  • Despite its problems and the fact the writers seemingly had written themselves into a corner with the relationship, I've come to believe that the whole "we were on a break" plot point was unintentionally theory, if not always in execution, and at least in the beginning. The situation is not presented as being black and white: both characters made mistakes and share fault. Rachel clearly ended the relationship indefinitely, but was understandably hurt when Ross slept with Chloe and tried to cover it up, so she attempted to retroactively re-define what she meant by "break". For his part, Ross technically didn't cheat, and made a drunken mistake, but was also deceitful in handling the fallout. No one's really the villain here, as the audience can sympathise with both Ross and Rachel...or alternatively, they're challenged to pick a side, depending on which side they agree with.
    • They were on a break!! It's done. It's finished.

    Leaving the twins alone 
  • At the end of season 10, just after Monica and Chandler come home with the twins, Monica goes across the hall to break apart the Foosball table. It's hard to believe that new parents of newborn twins would leave them alone in a completely separate apartment to go across the hall to do a time-consuming and noisy task. This bugs me in the same way that it bugs me that Emma is NEVER AROUND. I don't know any new mum that would be away from her baby as much as Rachel is away from Emma.
    • She went across the hallway, the distance between where the twins were and where she was was less than if they had been up in a bedroom and she downstairs in a house. Plus she had the baby monitor on her, the kids were hardly abandoned or anything.
    • It should be noted that the two previous pregnancies in the series (Carol's and Phoebe's) managed to pull in the ratings without the lasting issue of shooting scenes with real babies and children. However, based on the amount of intrusion that Ben and Emma, as well as the twins, appear to make in their lives, four of the Friends could be construed as absentee parents.
      • Give Chandler and Monica some credit. The twins were just born, they haven't had a chance to be absentee! Plus you know Monica's gonna be a doting mother bordering on helicopter.

     Rachel and Emma 
  • Ok, in what universe would Rachel be considered a capable mother? Yes you can justify Emma not appearing much as the normal "Not Important to This Episode" Camp babies-are-a-pain-to-work-with, thing. But when Emma does appear she's hardly ever with Rachel or when she is, Rachel's messing up and someone else has to fix it. Of the Emma-centric storylines, there's about three where Rachel plays a role: Taking her to a fricking beauty pageant, refusing to let her go on the swings and annoying her doctor so much about Emma's hiccups that he quits. Other Emma episodes: Rachel wakes her up against Phoebe and Monica's protests, meaning she cries for hours until Monica soothes her and Rachel wanders off. Another has Rachel leaving Emma with Chandler and Monica because she's going on a blind date, and Chandler entertaining her. There's Emma's birthday, which involves Ross and Rachel driving off to get birthday cake while again Chandler and Monica look after her and have probably the only heartwarming, family scene with them teaching her how to count and organizing her stuffed animals. Seriously, Chandler and Monica may as well have kidnapped her, because they do more parenting than Rachel does. Admittedly there aren't many Ross-Emma stories, but he rarely screws up like Rachel does, and has already proved to be a capable father with Ben. I get that the whole idea was to have Rachel mature and learn things, but she doesn't learn: She's clueless at best and irresponsible at worst, so why does everyone act like she's such a great mother?
    • I think this is just a case of happiness isn't a story. Emma is clearly a happy, healthy baby. But you're not gonna spend 20 minutes watching Rachel competently look after her kid. The hiccups she has, that we see, are hardly major either, especially given her character and how difficult it is being a first-time mom. It's the same reason what you mostly see of relationships is the disagreements. You can have Ross and Rachel being cute in the background when they were dating, but that's not a story. They become a story when they argue and break up. Monica and Chandler have their disagreements but they're still a strong couple. We hardly see the group's non-main S/Os at all unless there's a conflict. For example, I think the only two occasions we saw Kathy when she was dating Chandler was when he wanted advice about sex, and when they broke up.
    • Rachel apparently never changes Emma's diapers (at least not poopy ones) and she doesn't know when she was born, as demonstrated when she thought Emma was celebrating her first Thanksgiving a month or two after her first birthday and has to ask Ross when their child was born. That alone is enough to convince at least this troper that she's a pretty terrible mother (not to mention make me worried that that kind of parenting is meant to be funny). Mostly though I wonder why they gave Rachel a baby to begin with when Aniston wasn't pregnant in real life. They seemed to have very little interest in having Emma on the show. Was it just a ploy to keep the Ross and Rachel saga going? As for why Rachel is hailed as a wonderful mother, well, that's a Creator's Pet for you.
    • Rachel not changing Emma's “poopy” diapers is clearly a joke and probably means that she tries to hoist the job off on whoever is around at the time. However, if it's just her and Emma, she obviously changes them herself. Emma would be very unhappy and even poorly if Rachel outright refused to change her soiled diapers, and Emma looks healthy and happy in all her appearances. As the other troper said, we only ever see the more 'dramatic' parts of Rachel raising Emma because they're the more interesting ones to watch, especially since Friends is a comedy first and foremost. It's also interesting how you leave out the moments where Rachel is shown to be a caring mother; singing to Emma because it makes her laugh even when she's unsure about the song in question, panicking when Emma is left alone in the apartment, pulling out all the stops to make sure that her first birthday is an amazing one, and being outraged when her sister gets Emma's ears pierced. Rachel might make mistakes and the such, but she does love Emma, and Emma is happy and healthy. That's a great mother right there.

    Ross is big 
  • Why doesn't Ross, the largest Friend, not simply EAT the others?
    • They were saving it for sweeps.
    • He's not Monica.
    • To quote our strange friend Willy, "But that is called 'cannibalism,' my dear children, and is in fact frowned upon in most societies."
    • I don't see the logic in that, but it would have been awesome.
      • Logic doesn't come into it; it's a Futurama reference.

    Monica and Chandler's Relationship 
  • Both Phoebe and Rachel have made digs at Monica about the fact that she's going out with Chandler. In the episode where Rachel moves out of the apartment, she tells Monica that she was about to go and stick a post-it note on him labeled "What Were You Thinking?" Just to be clear, Chandler is supposed to be one of her best friends.
    • Part of it is Flanderization, as Phoebe and Rachel got progressively meaner as the seasons went by. But Chandler has been repeatedly presented as a commitment-phobic neurotic mess, and being someone's friend doesn't necessarily make you think that they'd be a suitable significant other.
    • My understanding of that was she was insulting Monica, as the two were fighting at the time and by writing "What were you thinking?" on Chandler she was saying how could he date Monica?
    • The one above was, but there were plenty of occasions that were just outright insults towards Chandler. For example, there was the time Rachel and Phoebe were discussing Monica and Chandler's upcoming marriage, and how if they were ever going to find love, and Rachel is like "I'm going to marry someone good. Better than Chandler" and Phoebe just nods in agreement. Another time when Monica and Chandler had a fight in Vegas, Phoebe tells Monica "so you had a fight with Chandler, big deal. It's only Chandler." Or where Phoebe brings the person she thinks is Monica's soulmate to the coffee house to meet her, and just dismissively waives away Chandler's annoyance and hurt. And so on...
      • Chandler is the Butt-Monkey...
      • That's a cop-out if I ever heard one. Being the Butt-Monkey has always been Chandler's shtick, but it wasn't until the later seasons that it went from being a role that his friends helped him with to something they contributed to. Seriously, go watch some episodes from the first and last seasons; the disparity between how the cast treats Chandler is incredible. It's almost understandable why he became more immature and emotionally crippled the longer the show went on.
      • It really doesn't seem like that big an issue. Chandler takes the piss out of himself and others all the time, and therefore wordlessly invites others to do the same.
      • Exactly. I think it's MORE normal that they'd make jokes about their relationship considering that they're friends. I'd make jokes about a boyfriend of a friend if he was a mutual friend, but not if they were in a new relationship. Haven't you ever made a slightly meaner joke with a friend than you would with an acquaintance?
      • The other explanation is bitterness. While their best friend has a happy relationship with someone who adores and understands her, Rachel and Phoebe are stuck with endless on-off tension and quick flings. Then add it's with Chandler, who they never expected to settle down, but who overcame his commitment phobia because of Monica, and it really starts to sting. They take it out by joking Chandler isn't good enough and they'll do better, to cover up their feelings. Just watch how jealous they are when Monica and Chandler get engaged. Despite what they say, it's obvious they envy the secure relationship the two of them have.
      • While Rachel is clearly jealous, Phoebe's treatment of Monica/Chandler is weird since she's such a huge Shipper on Deck for Ross/Rachel. Why does she support one and not the other? Theoretically Rachel and Monica are better looking and 'above' the socially awkward Ross and Chandler, but on paper Chandler is actually a better catch than Ross. Ross has the whole '3 divorces' thing, cheated on Julie, Bonnie (and Rachel sort of), has anger issues and was fired from his first job. Chandler's held down a well-paying job for years, got no divorces and has never cheated on any of his girlfriends. So why have you got Phoebe spewing out lines like "you two belong together" to Ross and Rachel but Monica "can do better" than Chandler? It's not as if she likes Ross more on a personal level: She generally finds his scientific, 'intellectual' views irritating whereas she and Chandler got on well in early seasons. I suppose you could argue Chandler was screwed up more as a child (gay dad, parents divorcing etc) and commitment-phobic, but he works through his issues and Phoebe would be a huge bitch for judging him on that given her own upbringing. And if she was jealous wouldn't she be anti both Monica and Rachel's relationships? Why does she just pick on Monica/Chandler?
      • Ross wasn't fired, he was suspended and sent to a psychiatrist.
      • Yeah, that makes Phoebe seem less like a bitch. Anyway, it is really weird but I guess it has something to do with the fact that Phoebe was a much nicer person on earlier seasons (when Ross and Rachel were dating). Towards the ending she has really become a bitch about a lot of things.
      • That's a fair point, but even from Season 6 onwards - when Phoebe became meaner - she still cheered hard for Ross and Rachel: Claiming Ross loved her after they got married in Vegas, convincing Ross to ask her out when Emma was born, concocting a Zany Scheme to reunite them in Season 9, even almost killing herself to get Ross to the airport in the finale. All alongside snide comments about Monica and Chandler having a dysfunctional relationship, their future divorce and Chandler's 'inferiority'. Maybe it's a weird mix between early season Phoebe's values and late season Phoebe.
      • Phoebe's not exactly the poster child for "functional relationships". When you consider her background (parental issues and subsequent time on the street), you can sort of see why the kind of relationship Chandler and Monica have might be foreign to her, even upsetting if you squint and remember that until the last season, Phoebe had never really had a functional relationship of her own. Maybe she's so pro-Ross and Rachel because their dysfunction is more familiar to her.
      • Monica and Chandler love each other and are not shown to have a lot of problems with their relationship. There are not a lot of problems that they have that at any point make it look like they're avoiding being with the people they love. Ross and Rachel need someone to cheer them on to get together and be happy (theoretically) but Chandler and Monica are doing fine without the need of said cheerleader. Phoebe can afford to be mean to Chandler because Monica will help him through their troubles and vice versa. If Phoebe's mean to Ross, she's giving Rachel more reason to not be with him because she doesn't know how to/refuses to work through issues.
  • When Monica and Chandler make up after their fight about the hotel in New Jersey, why doesn't Monica apologise at all for her actions? She was completely in the wrong, forcing them to switch to ten different rooms for insignificant details. Yet Chandler has to apologise for calling her out on her behaviour. She never admits she was in the wrong.
    • Chandler didn't apologize for calling her out on her behaviour. And while Monica was certainly in the wrong for causing a fuss, he wasn't exactly in the right given he watched car chases instead of talking to her. Neither of them apologized. He was just worried their relationship had ended because they had a fight, and she was reassuring him they were still ok together. The point was Chandler getting over that first disagreement you have with someone. They made up because their relationship was more important than a petty argument, so really no one was 'right' or 'wrong'.
  • I finally started looking at it as basically, Chandler lets her. It's really a coin toss as to which of them has the more screwed-up backstory. Chandler has his parents split up, his mother had affairs (if I'm remembering right,) and his father became a transvestite/drag queen (the show really couldn't keep it straight.) Monica had years of being The Unfavorite, not to mention when her weight was finally addressed, she clearly went through some self-esteem issues (she lost what looked like more than half her body weight in under a year.) The big difference, however, is that Chandler seems to have coped a lot better, being able to joke about it and seems much more well-adjusted. Monica however, still has her control freak tendencies and her obsessive cleanliness. There are times she seems like she has a thin shell of brittle pride that is the only thing keeping her from completely falling apart. Chandler seems to realize that she is much worse off than he is and is willing to take the blame if it keeps his good friend (and later his wife) from having a complete and total breakdown.
    • They both support each other's issues and are equally screwed up. Yes, Chandler is more relaxed but it's mentioned numerous times he uses humour as an emotional defence to hide his insecurity. (A classic Sad Clown and Stepford Snarker). Monica gives him stability and helps his fears of commitment and being hurt. In return he accommodates her controlling tendencies and obsessiveness. He's not better off than she is, just different. It's a give and take relationship. That's why they work so well together, they're equally damaged, but understand and accept each other anyway.
    • And on the 'Chandler takes all the blame' thing, that's true in some episodes but not others. Monica can be really stubborn, but there are examples of them compromising and Chandler getting his way. (The price of the wedding, his dream band, Monica apologizing for the toe incident etc).
    • The show actually addresses how Chandler and Monica deal with each other's flaws. In one episode Monica worries over being 'high-maintenance' (bossy, uptight etc.) and Chandler says that he enjoys calming her down and that she stresses out because she's so passionate. (Something he loves). And whenever Chandler freaks out about commitment and relationships Monica likes helping him with that and thinks it's sweet that he cares even if he struggles with it. They're aware of each other's issues but appreciate each others good points instead. And they both like feeling needed in the relationship.
    Chandler: "I’m sorry. You’re not easy-going, but you’re passionate, and that’s good. And when you get upset about the little things, I think that I’m pretty good about making you feel better about that. And that’s good too. So, they can say that you’re high maintenance, but it’s okay, because I like…maintaining you."
    Monica: "Chandler that’s crazy! If you give up every time you’d have a fight with someone you’d never be with anyone longer than ohhh....You are so cute!"(Later episode) " Y'know when I said that I want you to deal with this relationship stuff all on your own? Well, you're not ready for that."
  • The hiding of their relationship annoyed me a lot. Even now watching repeats. Aside from feeling it ran on for too many episodes, what was the big deal? If I remember correctly, they didn't want the "pressure" of everyone knowing, but once they found out, nobody cared. And Monica was all up in Ross/Rachel, so her and Chandler's reasoning waxed thin for me.
    • No one cared? Seriously? When they first found out Rachel analyzed how romantic Chandler was, Phoebe judged that Monica "could do better" and Ross went into a crazy rage, with Joey being the only one who was nice about it all. Can you imagine dealing with that from the start? And remember that Ross was only ok with the relationship when Chandler said he loved Monica, something they'd just admitted when Ross found out. Ross would never have accepted them when they were just fooling around. Plus Chandler had major commitment issues at that stage. Hiding it meant that Chandler could fall in love with Monica, and get used to a serious relationship without worrying it would be a serious relationship. Mentally he had an easy escape which meant he didn't feel trapped or want to use that escape. By the time the others found out, he'd discovered being with someone could be a happy rather than painful experience and so dealt with their expectations it would continue. In the episode after the truth came out, everyone else started planning their wedding/marriage/kids etc. (Which actually made them look like dicks given they knew Chandler's issues with that stuff). Had that happened early on Chandler would have bolted because he was scared things were moving too fast, he'd get hurt or he'd let Monica down. But because they'd built that emotional security Chandler realized losing Monica was scarier than committing and she could calm Chandler down.
    • And you can bet that the Ross And Rachel saga was fresh in their minds. Their break up put huge pressure on the group and the other four were stuck in the middle. (Remember when Ross and Rachel broke up and the others were all trapped in Monica's room listening? Or Chandler breaking down because the constant fighting reminded him of his parent's divorce?) Monica and Chandler were clearly trying to avoid that happening again, and so kept everyone else out of it. Also Truth in Television that close friends being very involved in your relationship does cause problems.
    • Plus they were both fairly insecure romantically, so as well as worrying it would ruin their social circle like when Ross and Rachel first broke up, they probably expected that they would break up soon after they got together. By the time they realised it was serious, it had become a force of habit, and by the time it was confirmed they were in love, everyone bar Ross already knew, and they probably didn't want to break it to him considering what he was already going through at the time.
    • On the insecure front, read above and remember how disdainful Phoebe and Rachel were of Chandler. Their first conversation on hearing the two were together, was "Monica can do better." Monica probably anticipated their reaction, and knowing Chandler's insecurity, didn't want them ripping his self-esteem down even more. Them telling Chandler he 'wasn't good enough' from Day 1, would have freaked him out and even broken them up. note . Monica's shown to invest a lot of energy into building Chandler's confidence, she was probably protecting him from their friends thoughtless reactions.

    Rachel's Hypocrisy 
  • When Ross and Rachel got drunk in Vegas and got married, Rachel demanded an annulment once they sobered up. Ross wanted them to stay married since they already have a history, and Ross didn't want a third fail "marriage", but Rachel was dead against it. The two eventually divorced. Then suddenly, Chandler and Monica announce they're getting married, Rachel gets jealous and... attempts to make a pact with Ross to get married if they're both single by the age of 40. Um.... if Rachel was worried about being single, why didn't she take Ross's offer of remaining married?
    • She wasn't 40.
      • And she wouldn't have been able to get married to someone else if she had found someone before she turned 40. Neither would Ross
    • In the same vein of the annulment, Rachel finds out the Ross never got one and he agrees to get it, fine. What really irks me is that when she fills out the paperwork she proceeds to dick around and put down the reason for the annulment being that Ross is gay, addicted to crack (which she may or may not have actually mistaken for an intravenous drug), and he could not consummate the marriage. She does this mainly to get back at Ross, I guess, but why would you do that when you know if the judge thinks these outlandish reasons aren't true you'll have to get a much more expensive divorce?
    • Agreed. The real hypocrisy is Rachel scolding Ross for his lack of honesty and doing something exceptionally stupid, only to make the situation even worse in the name of spite. Of course, Rachel isn't supposed to be the sharpest knife in the drawer, or the most rational one of the group...

  • When Ursula had sex with Phoebe's boyfriend, and he thought she was Phoebe, couldn't that be classified as rape? It certainly would be if twin brothers and a girlfriend were involved...
    • I got the impression Ursula didn't care why some cute guy wanted to have sex with her. She may not have realized he thought she was her sister until it was too late, and even then still didn't care.
      • I'm pretty sure that the first troper was referring to Phoebe's boyfriend being raped, as he was unaware of who he copulating with.
    • But Ursula didn't know why he wanted to sleep with her. She wasn't trying to take advantage of him. I suppose you could make the argument that she "accidentally" raped him, but I don't think it's fair to put that burden on her. She didn't do anything wrong, she just had a one night stand with a cute guy who later turned out to be delusional about who she was.
    • The boyfriend in question was Ursula's ex-fiance who broke it off when Phoebe told the fiance that Ursula lied to him about pretty much everything (in regards to who she was). Ursula, being Ursula, wasn't going to argue the fact that her ex-fiance confused her for Phoebe and wanted to sleep with her.
      • Double Standard: Rape, Female on Male ...apparently
      • But the show doesn't treat it like it's okay? It was horrible enough for him that he couldn't date Phoebe and by the end of the episode he does seem traumatised. Maybe Ursula does get arrested? We never see her again...
      • If it was played for laughs - and yes, of course it was - then it's Double Standard: Rape, Female on Male. In order to avoid that double standard, it would have to be treated as seriously as it would have been if it was a woman. As if there was ever a chance in hell that the writers on this show would have done that.
  • I am a huge men's rights advocate so don't get me wrong, but aren't there plenty of scenarios in TV or movies where people have sexual relations while under an alias? While it would definitely shake one up, I don't think you could classify it as rape (for either gender) because the person is still giving consent, if not informed consent. Then again, there may be some specific law about it I'm unaware of.
    • Having sex with someone without informed is considered a crime rape by fraud, to be exact.
    • Giving an alias in a one night stand isn't the same. Ursula was mistake for her identical twin sister. He gave consent to Phoebe, not Ursula. Ursula pretended to be Phoebe to have sex with him, which is statutory rape.
      • We have no way of knowing that she pretended to be Phoebe. One of her defining traits is certainly her lack of morals, but her other defining trait is that she often goes along with conversations she doesn't understand because she doesn't care enough to clarify. If she goes to see the ex-fiance who hates her and he's suddenly being seductive - and, most importantly, he never calls her Phoebe - then she's likely just to go with it and not wonder what brought about the change.
      • Yeah, it pretty much comes down to whether Ursula actively and knowingly pretended to Phoebe. She was up until recently his fiancee, and the sex was consensual. If no reference to Phoebe was made, she could've assumed "Great, he wants to get back together!" or something of that nature, and gone right ahead with it. It's murky, with unfortunate implications, but I don't think it was intended to suggest rape (by technicality or otherwise).
  • Whether or not you folks believe that Ursula had sexually assaulted Eric, I would hope that you would at least recognize that the only reason it's even possible for this to be a debate is because of Double Standard: Rape, Female on Male. If this was a man who slept with his twin brother's girlfriend when she believed he was her boyfriend, very few people would dispute that it was rape. And anybody who did would be accused of being a rape apologist. I suppose I should be grateful that at least nobody here tried to say that Eric was "lucky" to have gotten to sleep with Ursula.
    • The issue of contention isn't the genders involved (although you're correct that if they were reversed the writers wouldn't have risked that plot point at all,) it's whether or not Ursula a) knew that Eric was dating Phoebe b)knew that Eric thought she was Phoebe at the time and c) pretended to be Phoebe, by omission or otherwise, to sleep with him. At its most charitable, she went to visit her ex-fiance, he started wordlessly coming on to her, and she went along with it. If she was a man and Eric a woman, she would have been a man visiting his ex-fiancee, she starts wordlessly coming on to him, and he... goes along with it. So it doesn't really change anything. In either scenario, if you choose to believe a, b, and c aren't true, Ursula's biggest crime here is not asking for clarification. Although personally, given that Ursula has lied to this guy in the past to get him to marry her, I don't feel inclined to take the most charitable interpretation here.

  • The reason why it's probably not a case of rape - Phoebe specifically asks if Eric noticed the fact that Ursula was wearing different clothes. His reaction implies she was wearing different clothes than the ones Eric knew Phoebe was wearing that same day, meaning at the very least that Ursula wasn't pretending to be Phoebe. At this point the blame can almost entirely be placed on Eric because, and I'm not trying to victim-blame here, if you break an engagement with one identical twin who is already a known sociopathic liar to date the other who clearly has competition with her amoral twin over men then you may want to be wary about seeing two people in different clothes who look alike. Eric wasn't on drugs, or drunk...he should have had the presence of mind to at least clarify his sex partner in this situation.

As far as we know Ursula was under the impression Eric was over her lying to him or wanted a sexy goodbye. Phoebe and Ursula hardly talk and Eric shared with Phoebe that the engagement was over. Ursula may not have known that Eric and Phoebe were now dating.

  • Nope - Ursula surely had to be aware that she and Eric broke up (it's explicitly stated that he had earlier visited her to give the engagement ring back), so it was still in the rape by deception territory - unless she's really so ditzy to believe that it's nothing out of ordinary to actively initiate casual sex with someone who just broke up with her. (And she was also already aware that she has an identical twin sister, so some way to identify herself would be surely appropriate in such situation.) In "The One With The Stain" it's clearly implied that Eric believed that he had sex with "Phoebe" (who supposedly walked onto him) and only after Phoebe asked he realized that she wore different clothes ("Well I was just so excited to see you").

  • In the real life it would probably be a question for jury to decide whether Ursula can be held legally responsible for her actions, but in the world of sitcom it's just another wacky hijink.

    The Central Perk Couch 
  • Is no one else allowed to sit in the big couch in Central Perk but the six of them? What would they do if they came in but discovered other people there?
    • This was covered in an excellent sight gag: they enter, see that "their" seats are taken, and leave silently.
    • Though in another episode, they come in and discover some "mean kids" on the couch and the rest of the episode is taken up with increasingly Zany Schemes to get them to move.
      • I think the episode you are referring to is "The One With the Bullies," and that is not how it goes. A couple of guys suddenly decide that the couch in Central Perk is "their" spot and actively prevent Ross and Chandler from sitting there. There are no "zany schemes" involved whatsoever.
    • There is also a scene in which Chandler is sitting in one of the chairs by the couch. A young man attempts to sit on the couch, and Chandler shoos him off. It's also possible that Gunther does what he can to keep those seats available for those people that hang out with Rachel.
      • In that instance, I think Chandler shooed him off because he was waiting for the other Friends who would be sitting there. And Gunther would probably do that, simply because a group of six 1) needs seating for six and 2) would likely be very good for business.
    • There's also one episode (The One with Unagi, I think), in which Phoebe and Rachel are sitting at the table by the window, and Rachel is upset that someone else is sitting on the couch.
    • Also, in one episode (can't think of the title off the top of my head) two of the friends are sitting on the couch and there's a reserved sign on the table in front of it. So, yeah, I suppose Gunther reserves it for them most of the time.
    • It could also arguably be assumed that there are times they don't get to sit in their favourite spot. Occasionally we see those moments, but mostly, we see the times they're hanging out in a location that makes for better staging. In-universe...yeah, I'd say the fact they're regulars allows them to snatch up the couch on a regular basis. It's also possible there are a couple more couches beyond the fourth wall.
    • A few eagle-eyed bloggers have noticed it. There's a "Reserved" sign on the coffee table in front of the couch. Look closely.

    Ben's Last Name 
  • Regarding Ben's last name. Ross, Carol, and Susan argue about it. Why was any hyphenate even considered? Did it not occur to Carol that both Susan and Ross would object if the others name was present and theirs wasn't? Any sane person would've just gone with Carol's last name, period. Ben Willick, no Geller or Bunch at all.
    • They originally plan for the last name to be Carol's and Susan's last names. Ross suggests a double hyphenate, and later that his name be first, but both times Carol says it's stupid, and Susan was just a Jerkass towards him from the moment they were first introduced to later in the episode after being Locked in a Room. Also: Friends. Sane. Ring a bell? No? Why would it?
      • Which ties into the whole annoyed rant above about Carol being the worst person in the world. "You know how I cheated on you, left you, then showed up out of the blue to announce I was pregnant? Well, I only did that so that when Susan takes your place in the baby's life as well as mine, you'll be prepared for it. Oh! And I'm still gonna take your money in Child Support! Nice seeing you!"
      • Carol is the worst person in the world? Hyperbole much?
      • People use hyperbole in informal situations while discussing TV shows? That is the most amazing discovery in the history of the world! (And no one has ever been as sarcastic as this, ever.)
    • What did they go for in the end?
    • Yes, it should have been "Willick" or "Gellar". I'm fairly traditional in these things, so a father's surname (a father who shares custody, mind you) seems to me the most obvious solution.

    Ross, Emily, and the Demolished Church 
  • So the church that Ross and Emily intended to get married in has been demolished a few days early. Emily is incensed that Ross would suggest they get married somewhere else. Ross argues that their family and friends are devoting ungodly amounts of money and vacation time on this, and that it's incredibly insensitive of them to suggest that they just go home and attempt to do all of this again. Um, how is Ross in the wrong again? The object of this is to get married among the people that they love. The specific location should be secondary, right?
    • My biggest problem with all that was how none of the construction workers who were demolishing it bothered to check to see if it would be a problem to start demolishing a building that was still in working order and was rented out for private events, earlier than the scheduled date.
      • Much more importantly, there's no way this wedding could ever happen legally in the UK. Either the church is still a church, in which case a wedding can happen there but it would be completely unthinkable to demolish it and there'd not have been any construction workers hired in the first place, or it's no longer a church - deconsecrated - in which case any wedding that takes place there would be unlawful and void. (Plus side of that: no divorce necessary!) The writers ignored the fact that English law requires weddings to take place either in recognised churches or in licensed civil premises - at that time limited to registry offices and weddings granted special licenses, which is not the case here. A half-demolished church is neither. (There's also no way Ross could have arrived in the UK and got married in the time-frame shown, since he clearly wasn't around to make the necessary applications.)
      • It's not a church (it's never referred to as a church and Ross is Jewish). It would have been a "licensed wedding venue" under "The Marriages (Approved Premises) Regulations 1995".
      • It seems like they were planning on moving to America afterwards, which means English law doesn't matter.
      • No. They were officially married n England. Where they moved afterwards is irrelevant, they were married in England. English law very much does matter.
        Since the church was no longer a recognised church, their wedding is legally null and void.
      • Or that it was simply symbolic. Emily knew that the building was being demolished, and she might have known it was already deconsecrated, but since it was the church where her parents were married, she wanted to get married there for the sake of tradition.
      • They got a divorce in the next season, so In-Universe their marriage was considered valid. Somehow. Likely because of Hollywood Law.
    • Let's call this the Friends Mantra: "In sitcoms, women are allowed to be as crazy as they like without ever being in the wrong." It's quite concerning just how much this crops up here (and also in Scrubs, interestingly).
    • Monica explains it. Apparently all women have been planning their wedding since they were five years old, and if everything isn't absolutely 100% perfect, then the wedding is off. It's as if the person she's marrying is a distant consideration to the perfect time, place, decoration and table settings. Women in sitcoms don't want to be married, they want to get married.
    • Well, Monica does get rather depressed once her wedding day is over. But is this Unfortunate Implications or a sign of the era they were born in?
    • Probably a result of Monica's upbringing: Her mother puts huge importance on marriage and weddings, as does Rachel, so Monica probably copied their behaviour. And in reality, despite her wedding craziness, Monica actually made a lot of compromises: having a much cheaper wedding than she planned, giving her up perfect dress for Chandler's band, rearranging things for Joey's parents, was reasonably calm on the day etc. So she wasn't as bad as she acted initially.
    • I'm watching this episode again, and it really looks that, although they are both in the wrong Ross is still not being that reasonable. The respective arguments are thus: Ross: "People are spending a lot of money to come here, so we should find some place that will (fit everyone and) let us have the wedding tomorrow evening, or- well, no "or". NO OR! We are HAVING this wedding!" Emily: "We're never going to get a new place by tomorrow evening, and the whole thing is kind of rushed, so couldn't we put it off until a later date and just let everyone (except your guy friends and sister, who suggested it,) see if they can avoid coming to England for nothing (and maybe get a partial refund/not buy a return ticket)? It's not stupid, you're stupid! Fine, SCREW THE WEDDING!" The parenthesized parts are the logical extension of their part, not points they brought up, but I still think that people are making Emily out to be crazier than she was pre-wedding, based on how she acted in later episodes.
      • People wouldn't be able to get any kind of refund on their tickets just because the wedding they traveled to didn't happen. And anyway, I disagree that Ross was being unreasonable. He may not have gone about saying his point as well as he could, but what he was saying was in essence right, that people had traveled from a huge distance to come to the wedding, they had taken time out of their lives to traverse an ocean for this (from his side anyway), and the idea of just casually saying "The wedding has been postponed, we'll do it again at some later date when we find a different place", basically the day or so before the thing was supposed to happen, was simply out of the question. At least if you wanted the subsequent wedding to have all the friends and family there, you can't just expect people to redo the whole traveling from America to London thing again in a short space of time. Really, if Ross is being unreasonable in saying that, then Emily is being just as unreasonable to expect it to be OK to postpone the wedding at this point and expect it to happen, unchanged from the original plan, later.
      • I fail to see how a partial refund would be satisfactory, anyway. It still means wasting a significant amount of money. Also, since the wedding was scheduled for the next day ... Unless Ross's family and friends are the world's biggest procrastinators, they must have already invested a huge amount of time and effort into planning the trip, getting time off work, arranging for housesitters, carving out time away from their other commitments, etc. How well do you think it would go over for somebody to go to his boss and say, "Say, you know how we went to all that trouble to arrange time off for me to go to England for my relative's wedding? ... Well, the wedding was cancelled, so could you put me back on the schedule and do it all again for a different time, a month or two from now instead?" There is no possible way to justify postponing everything at the last minute after Ross's family and friends went to all that effort for the trip, and I don't see how Ross was being in any way unreasonable by refusing to do so.
    • How about the staggering impossibility of construction workers ever getting started on a project early?
    • Agreed that Ross' real mistake here was acting a bit boorishly and being argumentative rather than calmly reasoning with his point of view. His logic was sound, he was absolutely in the right on that front. As pointed out above however, he didn't express himself very well.
      • I find this a sort of odd angle to pursue because Emily pretty clearly demonstrates herself as the sort of person that is not swayed by calm logic and reason. She probably would have gotten just as pissed at him for "How can you be calm about this?!" considering the rest of her characterization. He was in a no-win scenario from the start.

    Chloe the Copy Place Girl 
  • Is it just me, or is the "hot girl from the copy place" not really that hot?
    • She was hot. She just wasn't mind-blowingly hot compared to, say, Jennifer Aniston, Lisa Kudrow and Courtney Cox. When you've got gorgeous women like that in the regular cast, that kind of raises the bar for allegedly gorgeous guest stars.
      • Nah, she wasn't that hot. Not ugly or anything, but certainly not hot.
      • Beauty is in the eye of the beholder, even on Friends. I thought she was gorgeous.
      • I thought the hotness was a result of her being exotic, thanks to the piercing and dyed hair (it was dyed, right?). The Friends are all pretty square, it wouldn't be surprising if the girl was seen as significantly more attractive simply because she wasn't mundane.
    • As far as I'm concerned, back then neither Jennifer Aniston nor Lisa Kudrow could hope to touch Angela Featherstone in hotness. Courtney Cox had a fighting chance.
    • I agree with the above. Jennifer Aniston is traditionally beautiful, and I always thought Lisa Kudrow wasn't beautiful so much as charming (and a good actress).
    • Beauty is in the eye of the beholder. Just because one person doesn't find someone hot/someone isn't conventionally attractive doesn't mean that they're not attractive. And uh, people are worth more than just their looks.
    • Also, when Ross hooked up with Chloe, he was drunk. She was available and he'd just broken up with Rachel, so Chloe pumped up his ego and made him feel better. She also, as someone has said, was a very different type from Rachel. Rachel's appeal was that she was unattainable, but Ross got her (after a long period of wanting her). It's never stated outright, but it's implied that Chloe's appeal is that she's trampier than Rachel "What are you married? Because that's okay!"), so some of her appeal is that he gets her easily, despite being at a low point.

    The Time Ross Said Rachel 
  • Regarding Ross saying Rachel's name at the altar. Could Emily not ask the priest to let her talk to Ross for a minute? It's not like they weren't already embarrassed enough, and the guests are already gossiping. Furthermore, why did she insist on completing the ceremony again?
    • Yeah, I never got that, either. If I were in that situation, yeah, I would have been embarrassed and uncomfortable and probably very jealous if he said the name of an ex-girlfriend at the altar, especially if I knew that he'd pined after this girl for years. That said, I wouldn't have finished the ceremony and leapt out the window, I would have probably done something right then - talked to him, left the wedding there instead of completing the ceremony and then leaving, or whatever.
      • She was probably in shock and couldn't process everything in the heat of the moment, and the only thing she could think of to do was keep going through the established motions.
    • Probably the same reason she wouldn't let him get the annulment — spite. She (previously the most sane character I'd seen on the show) heard her fiancee say his ex-girlfriend's name at the altar. She's like, "What!? Wait, no- deal with this later." I think she may actually have been alternating between denial and spite, since Ross was (apparently) a decent person, then it turns out he's still as Rachel-centric as he was years ago, when they supposedly broke up. It's insane, but otherwise seems reasonably explicable.
    • Probably a case of Real Life Writes the Plot. The beginning of the next episode (TO After Ross Says Rachel) was clearly filmed back when they were filming the wedding episode (evidenced by the length of Ross's hair). During the hiatus, the actress playing Emily got pregnant, and wanted to go back to England. The writers were forced to find a way to write Emily out, and a quicky divorce was the easiest way to do it. Methinks that if the actress hadn't gotten pregnant, Ross and Emily may have worked it out, at least for a while.
    • Chalk it up to feeling flustered and embarrassed, resulting in an irrational decision.

    Soundproof Air 
  • How am I supposed to believe that when a small group of people in a kitchen which has no doors or walls connecting it to the lounge room are not supposed to be heard by whoever they're talking about?! What, is the oxygen between them sound-proof or something?
    • See also Frasier. Although in Frasier, the kitchen did have a door, they just never closed it.
      • Didn't the kitchen in Frasier have open two-way shelves that looked across the hallway and onto the patio?
    • For the same reason you're supposed to believe that the music at their parties is played much quieter than their normal voices? It's just tv.
    • I think it's perfectly believable. If my attention is focused elsewhere, I'm usually completely oblivious to conversations around me. And I've noticed other people being oblivious to conversations I was having when they were in close proximity. Though this is addressed in the Thanksgiving episode with Brad Pitt. Monica talks about how good Will (Pitt) looks and Chandler says, from the couch, "I'm watching the game but I'm not deaf." So they're not ALWAYS oblivious to the conversations going on around them.
  • It's pretty obvious that audibility in Friends runs on Rule of Funny.

    The Triplets' Birth 
  • What kind of obstetricians would think it's an okay idea to opt for vaginal birth to have freaking triplets?
    • If all the babies are healthy and aren't showing any signs of stress, vaginal birth is the best way to deliver. It's less stress on the babies in general and not to mention the mother doesn't have to undergo surgery.
      • Oh, thanks for clearing that up. I guess Reality Is Unrealistic; it's not that typical for triplet births to not be premature.

    Joey's Encyclopedia 
  • Why is it that in episode with the encyclopedia salesman, all the gang except Joey are shown to participate in fairly highbrow conversations about whether or not something is constitutional and are capable of understanding a joke about the Algonquin (which I've probably spelt wrong) Round Table, yet in later episodes none of the girls can remember who the US fought in World War I and Rachel thinks that NATO is a person?
    • Rachel might have been faking her understanding of such things, and as for the WWI thing, some intelligent people do have gaps in their knowledge of history. If there was something that bothers me as a whole about that scene, it's that none of them except Ross seems like the type to have erudite conversations in the first place.
    • Also remember that it was only in Joey's memories that we see these scenes, apart from the one at the end, but that was mainly about Korea and how pretty it was; he may have been making the conversations more complicated than they really were.
    • I can't find the exact quote, but my recollection is that the only one who contributed anything like "highbrow" talk to the Korea conversation was Ross. Monica said it was such a beautiful country, Ross said it had such a sad history and Chandler made his "Can there BE any more Kims?" joke. That seems fairly consistent with the characterization.
    • The "high-brow" conversations weren't even all that. We get Ross saying, "that's totally unconstitutional" with no context, and people agreeing - not exactly high-brow. We got Monica saying "he deserves a Nobel Prize", and people disagreeing, with no context - we don't know who she thinks deserves the prize or why, just that people disagree. That's hardly high-brow. And then Chandler makes a joke about Algonquin, which people laugh at, but it's an off-hand joke, there's no lengthy discussion about it. How is any of that "highbrow" conversation that average people wouldn't understand?
    • Remember, this is Joey we are talking about here. It's very reasonable that any mention of something not basic would be considered very high-brow to him.
  • Around the time this episode came out, a much-publicized biopic of Dorothy Parker came out, starring Jennifer Jason Leigh, an actress the Friends would certainly be familiar with. It's not such a stretch that Chandler, who is always making jokes, would make the "Algonquin Kids' Table" joke, and the others would get it. Joey must either not have seen the movie, or not retained the information.
  • Why didn't Joey go back and buy the rest of that encyclopedia after he started making money again?
    • He probably lost the first one he bought.
      • Supported by the fact that he doesn't know more random stuff about V-words later on. He doesn't even know what a vicar is!
    • And it's not like Penn is going around the apartment building every week trying to sell these things.
  • I think the joke was that Joey didn't know what the things they were talking about were, not that they were intelligent conversations. The big question is why doesn't he know more random things on V-words after that.
    • As noted above: he probably lost the book, or perhaps the interest.
  • Another headscratcher: what was so cool about the encyclopedia that even Joey who wasn't too fond of reading or educating himself by watching documentaries or going to museums became such an avid student of the book?
    • The same reason he bought the book in the first place: He wanted to make himself look smart in front of his friends.
    • Joey hasn't always been portrayed as aggressively stupid... he was just sort of flakey and a little salt-of-the-earth earlier on. He probably didn't do any of those other things because he was likely taught that they were for "nerds" and "losers"... it's entirely possible that he actually enjoyed learning things when given the opportunity. Just that later he was Flanderized into barely being smart enough to remember to breathe.
    • Joey and Phoebe are the only two who didn't go to college— or perhaps Monica went to a two-year trade school. But Phoebe has somehow been exposed to a lot of information (maybe when she was homeless, she spent a lot of time in the public library to keep warm and dry), and retained it. Joey's retention isn't as good.
  • How about this question- since when can an encyclopedia salesman break up a set??? Now he has an entire set that nobody's going to buy because it is missing the V. And what are the chances he's going to find somebody to buy each individual volume in the set?
    • The publisher can replace the V volume, printing up a new copy individually. Not sure if they'd bother, but if there are enough customers like Joey, then it would be worth it to have such a practice. And since the salesman suggests it, it must be something that he can do.

    Rachel Beats Ross At Poker 
  • In the otherwise great episode The One With The Poker, there's a scene where Rachel wins a round. Ross politely asks to see her cards, but she refuses, defensively saying "I'm not showing you!" and even taunts him about not wanting to lose. Um... don't you have to show your cards if you're claiming that you won? Who's to say Rachel wasn't lying her arse off and really only had a pair or something. Phoebe will tear into Joey about the ethics of bluffing, but doesn't bat an eye to this?
    • Ross folded. I don't know if it's just the house rules I've encountered, but you don't need to show your hand unless you have to show that you have a good enough hand to win. If you win by bluffing, it is therefore not necessary.
      • This is correct. You only need to show your cards if you're proving you beat someone else's hand. If everyone else folds, no, you don't need to show your hand.
      • Okay fair enough, I didn't know that rule about folding. But I still don't get why Rachel was so defensive about it. What did she have to hide? If she had a high hand, then it shows she was a good player, if she had a low hand, it proves she was a good bluffer. And it's natural for Ross to have been curious about what hand she had, yet when he asks, she acts as if he'd asked her to show him her breasts or something.
      • Because she didn't want him to know if she was bluffing or not. If he knew that, he might use that knowledge next time they had a betting war. She was being a sensible poker player.
    • Actually, what bothered me most about this episode was Rachel's little hissy fit about 'losing her job.' She didn't get the job after an interview, she didn't get fired, and everyone is supposed to be okay with her whining and demands of special treatment? Ross should have taken her money.
      • Rachel is clearly the "baby" of the group... she's the newest to join, joined during a vulnerable time in her life, and, well, it's the treatment she expects and demands. The group basically spoils her like a youngest child is often spoiled.
      • Seconded, throughout the series Rachel's problems are always given more importance than everyone else's. Compare how much sympathy any of her trivial romantic/family/career problems get compared to Chandler and Monica's infertility which no one apart from Joey seems to care about, Ross's divorces, Joey struggling with his career and Phoebe's difficult past and family. When Rachel arrived she was effectively rescued by Monica and the others, who guided her into the real world because she was so helpless. Unfortunately that mindset of Rachel constantly needing help, remained for the rest of the series, even when she became more independent and capable. She almost lost it...only for her to get pregnant, and once again need everyone to rush to her aid. Also check out her background: She was spoiled at home, and her dad even admitted she was his favourite daughter, she was very popular at high school and guys constantly fell over themselves to please her. (Including Ross). Rachel always expected that treatment, and sadly, her so-called 'independent' life with the Friends was just exchanging one family spoiling her for another.

    Does Ross Care About His Kids? 
  • When Rachel was leaving for Paris Ross bitched and moaned about her leaving all the time. Not once did he mention anything about Emma leaving. You'd think he would be at least a tiny bit upset with the idea of his daughter being raised in a different continent.
    • Well the writers were clearly looking for a quick way to get Ross and Rachel back together and I guess they took the "you don't miss it until you don't have it anymore" route. This required Ross to want Rachel to stay because of her, not because of the baby. Also note that at no point does Rachel ask Ross if he minds her taking their daughter away. They probably wrote themselves into a corner and didn't want to draw too much attention to it.
      • IIRC, Rachel's employer said that they would fly Rachel back and forth from Paris to New York, or fly Ross to Paris to see Emma.
    • Ross doesn't seem to care too much about his kids. Did Ben ever even meet Emma?
      • No one took him to the hospital! I'm not American but I went to visit my little brother on the day he was born, isn't that the norm?
      • No, not really. It's usually because the older sibling would be in school or asleep when the mother goes into labour, or when baby is born. Plus, Ben lived primarily with Carol and Susan.
    • Ross makes a big deal about being a father and having a son (his reason for buying a red convertible? "I have a son") in the earlier seasons, but by the time Rachel gets pregnant (season 8), he seems to have forgotten about Ben altogether. Is Ben even mentioned at any point in the last couple of seasons?
      • His last real appearance was in the episode where Phoebe wanted to get Sting tickets, I believe. I think the last time he's mentioned is when Joey suggests that Ross give Ben to Chandler and Monica.
      • He did have a brief cameo when Ross brought him over to play Chandler and Monica's new Ms. Pac-Man arcade game!
    • Out of sight, out of mind. Due to the difficulties of working with children, Ben only appeared sporadically, and Emma very rarely. With their lack of appearances, the writers and viewers don't think about them very often and so don't get emotionally invested. Hence, when it comes time to leave, Ross losing a child who the writers and viewers never see or think about just doesn't have emotional impact.
    • It begs the question, however - does Rachel have sole custody of Emma? It seems unlikely given that Ross is as much a part in her life as Rachel is (which, granted, only means he spends around 1/5th the time any other parent spends with their infant child). Lack of parenting skills aside, he's around for the pregnancy and the birth and lives under the same roof as Rachel and Emma while the latter is a baby. Considering how difficult he felt it was when he didn't get to be as involved as he would like to be with Ben it's highly unlikely that he would let Rachel have sole custody. And if she doesn't have that, how is it even possible for her to take the child to a different continent? Trying to explain it away by saying they'll shuttle the kid back and forth like a yoyo doesn't hold up. And does Rachel for even an instant stop to think of what is best for Emma? Being separated in that way from her father at a young age can't be the best solution.
    • Welcome to the state of fathers' rights, or rather lack thereof. Due to Ross not being married to Rachel when she had Emma, Rachel pretty much assumes sole power over the baby, and Ross is treated as nothing but a genetic donor. He could have responsibilities if Rachel decided to sue him for child support, but no automatic rights. To actually insure any sort of rights like a mandated amount of visitation, he'd have to take legal action, and the courts would likely not be on his side. Of course Ross suing Rachel over custody would be a little bit heavy for a series like this so he instead just takes what she gives him and otherwise grumps a bit.

    The Fourth Wall of The Apartments 
  • More of an issue with any TV show of the Fourth Wall variety, but especially obvious with friends. Every episode we see into the houses of the six Friends, and nobody seems to question that every room has a huge, seemingly blank wall, the one we are looking through. It seems irrelevant, but from the point of view of the characters doesn't a huge waste of space like a blank wall in a small apartment seem odd? I understand why they can't use the nonexistent wall, but the logical error is a Headscratcher.
    • In the episode where Chandler finds Monica's hidden closet of mystery you can see that wall of their apartment in the background. There's a picture and some fancy wall-design so there is something there, it's more of an X-Ray Camera situation than a three-walled apartment situation
    • There's a live audience there as proven by the Laugh Track . I'm pretty sure you already know this, but it's not that big of a deal.
    • I don't want to shock you or anything, but apparently Chandler and Monica aren't really married either. Those aren't even their real names...
    • Come on, don't be so mean. I think the OP's point is that usually on sitcoms (and TV shows in general) there is supposedly something on the un-seen Fourth Wall (like a TV or a painting). the Fourth Wall of Monica's apartment, for instance, covers a pretty big part of it (the kitchen and the living room), and since we know where the TV and the bathroom are it just seems weird that they never even mention this wall (like saying something about a picture that's hanged there or something). They completely ignore it, and not like characters ignore the metaphorical Fourth Wall, but in a way that seems strange in their world, assuming there is supposed to be something there.
    • A subsidiary headscratcher - Why didn't Chandler and Joey move their Entertainment Centre onto their apparently-blank wall, instead of blocking both of their doors, and eventually trying to sell it...
    • And what is in front of the couch in Central Perk? A window? Then why don't they ever mention that window? When you think about it, Friends ignores the fourth wall in a pretty strange way.
    • Case solved:

    Rachel's Smoking Coworkers 
  • Right after Rachel joins Ralph Lauren, she gets annoyed when her new colleagues go for a cigarette and make a bunch of work decisions without her while doing so. Rachel decides the best solution is to take up smoking herself so she can join them. So it doesn't occur to her to, I don't know, tell her colleagues that she feels this is unfair treatment, resolving the issue without risking lung cancer?
    • Most people don't immediately confront their bosses (note that one of the two 'colleagues' is her immediate supervisor) about being treated unfairly in the workplace within days of getting a new job. People especially don't do that if they have a history of dealing with their problems passive-aggressively, like Rachel has always done. Chucking a tanty about being treated unfairly within the first week of a new job doesn't exactly endear you to your supervisor and co-workers.
    • Have to agree - whining about feeling left out by your coworkers two weeks into a new job is hardly going to gain you respect among your peers. Complaining, no matter how politely, would have been a terrible move.

    The Failure Rate of Condoms 
  • How the hell did Ross not know about the failure rate of condoms? He's the most well-educated of the friends, knows random crap about random crap, and is shown to be a pretty responsible father. The whole situation just bugs me, because it would have made a lot more sense if Ross and Rachel had simply forgotten the condom due to inebriation.
    • The writers discussed this in the DVD commentary, and evidently it's a case of Truth in Television. A lot of people, even very intelligent people, don't know about the failure rates of condoms.
    • This bugged me too, not because of Ross' ignorance but because, despite this being a case of Truth in Television, condoms are still one of the most effective methods of birth control and possibly the best protection against STIs, but this missed opportunity to educate viewers instead implied that all non-reproductive sexual intercourse carries a high risk of unplanned pregnancy. At a time when abstinence-only education is spreading misinformation to American teens, popular role models to counter this would have been beneficial for years to come.
      • Well who says sitcoms have to have "beneficial" information? Besides in The One With Rachel's Other Sister Monica says that Emma is "the product of a bottle of Merlot and a FIVE-year-old condom" Needless to say condoms drastically lose their effectiveness the longer you keep them in your wallet or wherever.
      • Just to point this out, you're not supposed to keep condoms in wallets. I definitely remember that from health. So the age might not have matter so much as how it was stored. The real question is how Ross, who went from having only been with one woman to several, could even have a five-year-old condom.
      • I always considered that "5-year-old condom" being hastily added because they may have been sending out the wrong idea about condoms. By adding that, rather than it being the condom's fault (perfect use failure) they put blame back into the users (typical failure).
      • I'm curious, how is bringing up the failure rate of condoms, a failure rate that's mentioned right there on the box, being "unfair" to condoms or "irresponsible"? How is it turning people off condoms when, again, it's written right there on the box? Considering the number of people out there in the world having sex while using condoms as the primary or only method of safety, I'd be surprised if simply by the numbers Ross and Rachel's situation with them doesn't happen at least once a day. If you're worried that pointing out they're not 1000% effective will make people stop using them, why not be mad at the law that says they have to print the same information on the box? Honestly I'd say that it's actually more responsible to show that condoms aren't some magic, surefire shield against pregnancy and disease, so you should still be careful even if you use them.
      • But why would a sitcom that practically runs on rule of funny have to teach people stuff? Honestly I just don't see the point of this discussion besides Ross being Out of character.

    Age And Birthday Inconsistencies 
  • Okay, so I know most series are pretty bad at this sort of thing, but it seems at some point the writers lost track of how old the friends are:
    • In season 1, Monica gives her age as 26, and in season 3, she gives it as 28, which is consistent... however, as we know she's the same age as Rachel (they were classmates), and Rachel's 30th birthday is in season 7, when she's supposed to be 32.
      • They went to high school and the prom together, but I don't think the series explicitly said they were in the same class. Rachel could have been a sophomore when Monica was a senior.
      • In "The One Where Ross Meets Elizabeth's Dad," Ross confirms that Rachel was a senior at the time of prom incident. Chalk another one up to the show's rather loose continuity.
    • In season 2, Joey says he's 28, but in season 7 he's 31.
    • Plus there are the Thanksgivings' flashbacks: In 1987 Monica and Rachel are seniors (around 17 - 18) and in 1988 they're College freshman (around 18 - 19). These dates support them being 24 in Season 1 and 30 in Season 7. Ross and Chandler, were shown to be a year older (college freshman in 1987) and implied to be the same age as Joey, so all the guys were 25 in Season 1 and 31 in Season 7. Probably in earlier seasons the writers planned for the characters to be older, realized it didn't work and lopped a few years off everyone's ages.
      • This also explains why the dates of Ross sleeping with/marrying Carol changed which was another inconsistency. The writers realized the characters needed to be younger and hoped we wouldn't notice.
  • Similar to the post above, they didn't keep track of their birth dates. At one point, Ross said his birthday was in March, but later he said it was in December. You'd think the writing team would have little files on their characters. Or at least a note card or two!
    • Same with Phoebe. Early on in Season 1, Rachel says she thought Chandler was gay when she first met him, but then he spent all of Phoebe's birthday party talking to her breasts, so she figured, maybe not. This would indicate Phoebe's birthday is sometime in September, but later in Season 3 Phoebe says her birthday is in February. And then even later in Season 7 there's a flashback to one of Phoebe's birthdays, with all of them out in the street in T-shirts and short-sleeves. ...I'm giving this way too much thought, aren't I.
      • They couldn't even get it right with only half a season to play with. In episode 8 of season 1, TOW Nana dies twice, as mentioned above, Rachel says Chandler spent Phoebe's entire birthday party talking to her (Rachel's) breasts, so he must not be gay. Cut to episode 16 of the SAME season, TOW Two Parts, part 1 and it's Phoebe's birthday. Now unless almost an entire year went on in between the pilot episode and TOW the sonogram at the end, how is this possible?
      • And anyway, if Rachel had convinced Monica to try and seduce Chandler a year after their first meeting (TOW All the Thanksgivings), why would she think that he's gay until Phoebe's birthday, almost 10 years later? But the writers have been inconsistent about their first meeting anyway, which is a completely different headscratcher.
    • And to add to it all: episode 200, The One with Phoebe's Birthday Dinner, takes place on Halloween (stated in the show), which is not Phoebe's birthday (also stated), but apparently very close to it (Phoebe couldn't get reservations on the day of the birthday itself), implying that her birthday is in late October/early November.
    • And on one episode Rachel says her birthday is on May the 5th (Taurus) but on the episode where she flirts with the police officer (don't remember its name) she says she is an Aquarius (January/February).
    • Also on birthday inconsistencies, we know when Ross and Joey are in the clinic in season 9, Ross says his birthday is 'October 18th' but in TOW Joey's New Girlfriend, when Gunther asks Rachel her birthday, Ross tries to give his too, stating 'Mine's December -'.

  • Plus the show has a ton of other inconsistencies: Like Season 3 TOW the Flashback shows Phoebe moved out in 1993, but Season 10 (TOW Ross' Tan) says she moved out in 1992. The same episode also implies Chandler didn't move in until after Phoebe moved out, even though flashbacks show him helping her move out and had clearly been around for ages (having already gone through his first roommate Kip) before that. Plus on top of that in interviews writers have said that Chandler moved into Apartment 19 first and then tipped Monica off about Apartment 20 opposite, while the show implies Monica moved in first. And don't even get started on how long Ross was married to Carol for...Is it impossible to keep anything straight?
    • The best you can do is take the most consistent version. 'TOW Ross's Tan' is an inconsistent episode in a lot of ways (see the Phoebe Phasing Monica Out entry) so less reliable than flashbacks. But it's well established that Monica's grandmother rented Apartment 20, gave it with rent-control to Monica after she'd finished culinary school, and shortly afterwards Chandler graduated and Monica tipped him off about Apartment 19. At some point Phoebe moved in with Monica. (Though whether that was before Chandler arrived is up for grabs, it's possible Monica and Chandler were on their own looking for roommates for a while. They must have finished their degrees around the same time, Chandler started college a year before Monica so Culinary school was obviously shorter, probably a 3-year course, compared to Chandler's 4-year degree). After that Kip moved in with Chandler. Then Kip moved out, in the 1993 flashback Phoebe moved out and Joey moved in bringing you up to the start of the show. But yeah, keeping some notes around would be useful.

    Drake Ramoray's Return 
  • Was there an explanation given as to how Joey went back to playing Drake rather than Susan Sarandon's character on Days of our Lives? or are we not supposed to think about it?
    • I got the feeling that Drake's brain was really damaged, so they filled in the holes with brain from Susan Sarandon's character. Thus I get the feeling it's Drake with a woman's memories and parts of her personality. But it's still Drake.
      • I'm fairly sure it was a full brain transplant, but even so, soap opera logic allows for the "real" Drake to somehow come back through. I think that was a bit of a joke about Days.
    • It was mentioned at one point that Drake's body was rejecting the brain - although how that means he'd revert to his original personality beats me.
  • What always bugged me was why did Joey have to audition to be Drake Remore's twin brother? The Days of Our Lives casting director accuses Joey of being an egotistical actor for refusing to audition and thinking the role should just be handed to him. Joey's own friends think this too! HELLO Joey is being asked to play Drake Ramore's TWIN!!! Why would he need to audition for that? Were the DOOL producers considering hiring another actor who looked nothing like Joey to play Remore's twin? Don't they think viewers will notice the difference? Or was there a Plan B to hire an actor who looked similar to Joey? Like say, Matt LaBlanc?
    • It's fairly common in TV shows for actors to leave a show (or be sacked) and have the part recast, often more than once. There's even a trope for it. So there's no reason why Joey would automatically get the part, considering he got himself written out in the first place by being an arrogant jackass. It makes sense that the executives would want him to jump through a few hoops to get the part back and prove he's not such an egotist anymore. And even if they didn't want an Other Darrin scenario, they could have just made the twin non-identical.
      • That's not really the point. If the director wanted an example of what Joey's work is (which is all that auditions are), he could have easily browsed through the tapes of Joey's old episodes. The only reason to make Joey audition for what is *the same role* is because the director wanted to go on an ego trip.
    • Well, from the casting director's POV, the fact that Joey had played Drake Remore is obviously a point in favor of casting him in the role of Drake's twin. But it doesn't make it a given. If they find another actor who they actually think performs the role better, that's something to consider. The fact that the other actor doesn't look like Joey is not really as critical as you're making it out to be. Many soap opera characters have been played by multiple actors. If anything, the soap opera audiences are probably used to it by now. As for browsing through tapes of Joey's performances as Drake - Well, that's useful, but having Joey do a read of the script that is actually going to be used for the new character would still give a clearer picture of how he'd perform in the role.

    Confusion About Changing the Number of Rooms 
  • On the "Friends" Rent Control page, it says that Monica's (grandmother's) apartment used to be two apartments before they knocked down the wall in between. What the heck sort of apartment has no bathroom, no place to put a front door, or both? I figure it was supposed to be that there used to be two one-bedroom apartments, but unless they make absolutely no use of... what, ten feet of space? There's no place for the kitchen or the bathroom to have been. The only way I can figure it might possibly have worked is if there was a kitchenette right inside the doorway of both rooms, and they bricked up the door into the side of the apartment with all the windows (because it would have opened practically into the stairwell), installed some extra cabinets and counter space in front of it, and removed the stove and sinks from in front of the remaining doorway, but that still leaves no room for a bathroom, and I highly doubt Ms. Geller's next-door neighbor came over twice a day to borrow her restroom. Is the page incorrect about that having been said on the show (I sure don't remember it), was it an error written into the show to explain away the "Friends" Rent Control, or was it adequately explained on-show or All There in the Manual?
    • Where does it say that? I don't remember anything like that. Perhaps someone got confused with the time Phoebe's apartment had to be remodeled after a fire and the illegally split bedroom was reunited back into one huge bedroom?
    • Yeah, I've watched the show a whole lot, and that's not the case at all. Phoebe's grandmother's place had a fake wall put up to split the bedroom, as the troper above noted, but Monica's apartment was just huge (and cheap because they abused rent control, which they noted on the show a few times).
    • Monica's grandmother lived alone in the apartment and the second room was presumably a guest room except for when Ross lived there briefly. Phoebe's grandmother presumably put another wall up there to split one big bedroom into two, most likely when Phoebe moved in.

    Emma's Name 
  • So Rachel, when naming her and Ross's kid, wants to take the name Monica had picked out for her future daughter because it was just so perfect? Fair enough, but the name was "Emma". I find it impossible to believe that Ross and Rachel didn't think of that name when going through names before she was born.
    • Maybe they did consider it and then decided against it, but then realized it was appropriate when they heard it in conjunction with the actual baby. Recall that Rachel loved the name Isabella but then realized it wasn't appropriate for her baby once she was holding her. And besides... how nitpicky is this? Are you also going to complain that they didn't think of the name Ben before they saw the name on the hospital uniform when it's such a common name? Seriously, maybe it didn't occur to them. Maybe it did, and then they changed their mind. This is a ridiculous complaint.
      • How on earth is it a ridiculous criticism? They take one of the names from Monica (who has had the names of her future son and daughter picked out for years) because upon hearing it, she realized how perfect it was as a name for her child. The name was "Emma", while a nice name, is not unusual or exotic or anything, so there is no way they wouldn't have come across it when thinking of names. If they were going to do this they should have had the name Monica picked out be one you don't hear very often.
      • Because just because the name is a moderately common one doesn't mean it occurred to them in the hospital while looking at the baby. As I said, they probably breezed by it much earlier in the baby naming process and never came back to it. It seemed appropriate for the child once they had the child in their arms, it's not that they didn't realize the name 'Emma' existed before then. As I said before, it's the same as them not thinking of the name Ben for the child until the scene in the hospital.
    • Go find a baby name book published within the last ten years. Start flipping through it. I guarantee that most of the names you read will be familiar, if not common, names. Do you think parents actually consider each and every one of those familiar/common names? They don't. It's entirely possible that Ross and Rachel hadn't considered "Emma" for their daughter's name.
      • Actually, when Ross and Rachel first got together in Season Two, she freaked out because he was planning the rest of their lives. It turned out he'd looked through a book and thought the name "Emily" was good for a girl. Of course, then he married an Emily so that wouldn't work, but "Emma" was pretty close/
      • They gave their baby practically the same name as Ross's ex-wife! They might as well have named her "the girl from the copy place".
      • The thing that bugged me most of all about this whole situation was how Monica had picked out the name 'Daniel' as her future son's name ever since she was a child then suddenly turns around and names her actual son 'Jack'. She doesn't even have the excuse of - after deciding on the name Daniel at the age of, say, 14 - meeting an incredibly influential man to her life called Jack, as he was her father. Maybe there is a logical explanation for this that I haven't seen but as it is it just bugged me.
      • you have the same taste in baby names as you did when you were 14? Even apart from that... ever heard of compromise? Maybe Chandler didn't like the name Daniel. It's his baby too, you know.
      • Do you really think Chandler would get his way on something like that? It's a well-known fact that Monica is a major control freak, and has to have everything her way.
      • I have to disagree. There are numerous examples of Monica compromising and letting Chandler have things his way.
      • Seconded, Monica may be controlling about small things but on the big things they're good at compromise. (Look at: hiding their relationship, wanting to get married in Vegas, moving in together, the price of the wedding, his dream band vs her dream dress, moving to Tulsa, adoption - all situations where they discussed their opinions).

    The Coma Guy 
  • Very nitpicky thing, but it does bug the hell out of me: In the episode where Monica and Phoebe take care of the man in the coma, everyone (Monica included) quotes Monica's come-on as "woo-hoo". I'm bugged because she clearly said "woo-woo".
  • Just rewatching all the old series and I came across this episode again, what bugs me the most about this scene is how Monica and Phoebe don't know the man's name, don't they know it will be on his chart? How would they even get to know where this man's room is if they don't know his name to ask a member of the hospital staff? Not very important in the grand scheme of things but it just bugs me....
  • Not to mention that the 'coma' guy doesn't seem to have any IV lines or even a breathing mask on!
    • That can be explained by the first season's smaller budget. You can also see it in another episode when Rachel visits Barry in his office, and he's wearing a cheap dust mask over his face.
  • It remains unclear why the hospital would allow two women who cannot prove any relation to the patient do all the things they do? Isn't it normally only relatives who are allowed visit patients in a state like that?
    • He seems to be a John Doe, meaning they don't actually know his name or if he has family. Some nurse may have allowed the visits on the feeling it was more compassionate than leaving him laying there alone.

    Ross and The Retiring Janitor 
  • When Ross moves into his new apartment around the same time the janitor is retiring after twenty-five years of working in the building. The guy organizing the money collection's welcoming words boil down to "Hi neighbor. Give us $100". Ross has never met this janitor, yet he's supposed to cough up money after just arriving? Isn't this apartment implied to be expensive? And it's also a large building, so wouldn't the couple of thousand they're giving this man be enough on its own without having to heckle the new guy?
    • This is a case of Truth in Television. Something similar happened to a friend of mine. He had moved into a new place and on the third day, his neighbors come by to ask him for a donation for a party to be thrown for one of the other neighbors who had just gotten home from college. Politely, he said he couldn't afford to and it earned him the ire of the rest of the building. Albeit, Ross could have been more tactful in his response, but I'm sure the end result would have been the same.
    • Isn't this a common comedy trope? A character is treated badly but then goes overboard in his reaction to it. Happens a lot.
    • People are jerks. Often entitled, clique-ish, petty jerks. Since they're in New York City, double down on all that.

    Rachel Moving Out 
  • In season six, when Monica and Chandler decide to move in together, they have trouble telling that Rachel that she has to move out. Now why did Rachel have to move out other than to continue the "Ross & Rachel's Drunken Vegas Marriage" plot if Monica and Chandler were going to share a room?
    • I'd say they don't want her to hear sex noises, but we've already seen that Monica and Richard, Rachel and Ross had simultaneous sleepovers and never minded (except when there's only one condom). I suspect the real reason is that they're not just having sex, they're setting up housekeeping as a prelude (and don't for a second think Monica wasn't anticipating it) to marriage. And nobody's going to dispute a newlywed couple's right to privacy if possible.
    • Ross and Richard were just boyfriends who stayed over a lot, Chandler was going to move in. There's a big difference in the living arrangements. Monica and Chandler wanting to have the apartment to themselves, is the normal attitude to have.
    • It's understandable that they would want the place to themselves, but they didn't have to do it so suddenly. Rachel is tossed out and has to go to all the other friends to, effectively, crash on their couches until she can settle her long-term living situation, when her current room HAS NO PURPOSE. After they decide to have kick Rachel out, they specifically mention that they haven't decided what to do with that room. Why not, "Hey Rachel, we'd like to have the apartment to ourselves, but since you're our friend, you may stay here until you find an apartment."
    • Rachel didn't 'crash on their couches', she looked at available apartments but then Phoebe and Joey and Ross (all of whom had spare rooms) offered her to live with them on a long-term basis. And she decided she'd prefer to live with her friends rather than go looking for some random room. So a permanent solution. Plus Monica and Chandler didn't 'suddenly' kick her out, they decided to live together in the first episode of Season 6, but didn't move until the sixth episode: probably a month in-universe. Rachel had tonnes of time, and 3 good offers to take up, she had no reason to complain or stay living there.
    • When Monica broke the news to her, she explicitly told her that she could have all the time she needed to move out. Rachel just had three friends who were looking for roommates and explicitly invited her. Why bother taking a long time looking around?
    • Also, if Rachel stayed in her old room while looking for another place to live it's very likely she'd simply keep staying there indefinitely (especially since she didn't really want to go - how likely is it that she would put any real effort into finding a new place?). Chandler and Monica want to start their co-habitation alone together as soon as possible, not live together with Rachel as a roommate. Those first months you live with someone you get to know each other in a whole new way and you figure out what your roles are in that kind of relationship. Adding to that, Chandler obviously doesn't seem to want to live with Rachel, for whatever reason. Some friends you simply don't want to be roommates with, no matter how good your friendship is (and let's face it, Chandler and Rachel were never the closest of the bunch and she spends a lot of time insulting him).
      • I mean, Rachel quite often acts like a Mean Girl bullying one of the "losers" at junior high to Chandler, might explain why he's not eager to share living quarters with her.

    Hugsy Hijinks 
  • Rachel borrows Joey's stuffed penguin Hugsy for Emma to play with. She guiltily asks him later if that's okay. Joey pretends that it is, then Hilarity Ensues as he tries to get Hugsy back. Why didn't he just admit that he doesn't want to give up his stuffed animal? Rachel would've been disappointed, but not angry at him. Adults with teddy bears are not exactly the most eccentric or irrational people around, okay?
    • He was embarrassed at first, then didn't want to seem mean (especially with Rachel's... I don't want to say whining, but it was whining, at least later in the episode, I don't really recall the exact order of events, that he'd have to be heartless or something to take a stuffed animal from a baby), then wanted his penguin back and would rather bring on the hijinks to get Emma to accept a different stuffed animal than look like a jerk in front of Rachel or outright steal it from Emma.

    Chandler Fakes It 
  • In one episode, Monica and Chandler are trying to conceive their baby, Chandler fakes that thing he has to do to make a baby. How can guys fake ejaculation? How did Monica not notice?
    • This is a really good question. Men can fake orgasm with the help of a condom, but faking ejaculation? I don't think so.
    • Maybe because they (more importantly, she) had never done it without some sort of barrier, so some twitching and thinking of giant spiders or the opposite of sharks was sufficient in giving her a sensation that she could accept would be within the expected... range, type, style, whatever?
    • Well, if you had a full bladder then at the right moment you could... OK, perhaps not worth thinking about. But that is apparently how a lot of the "female ejaculation" video clips are made, because the number of women who actually do that is rather small and a lot less than the apparent demand to see it. Though this method may be more convincing on film, where a sense of smell isn't involved.
    • Men don't always ejaculate when they achieve orgasm. While this isn't always believed immediately by others, it's a plausible explanation from a urological standpoint (although obviously something you should get checked out if you're trying to conceive).
    • My partner is a mono-orgasmic woman, who frequently finishes before him. Suffice to say, faking it as a man is quite possible.
    • I will admit to knowing very little about sex, but might that have been just a joke? One not to be taken seriously or thought of longer than it takes you to laugh.
    • As a bloke who has faked it before, I can confirm it is possible to do so and unless the woman actually checks to see if there has been anything left behind she won't notice that all the fluids are hers.

    The Shared Universe and Confusion Over Actors 
  • Friends shares a universe with Mad About You. I can accept that. But Mad About You shares a universe with Seinfeld (Paul used to live in Jerry's apartment building). And Friends also shares a universe with Caroline in the City, which was mentioned in an episode of Frasier, which is a spinoff of Cheers. So what bugs me is this: what the hell do these people watch?
    • Porn and Spanish-language soap operas.
    • Probably fictional shows like TGS With Tracy Jordan.
      • Until you remember SeinfeldVision, which quite clearly places TGS at the same fictional level as Seinfeld, and therefore Friends. Oh, God...
    • Laverne y Shirley, Road Rules, Family Matters, as well as several movies they named over the span of a decade.
    • But in one episode Joey's watching Cheers...
    • Not only are all the above examples correct, but Bruce Willis has been a recurring guest star, despite Die Hard being mentioned quite a few times during the course of the show. Jeff Goldblum has also appeared as a guest, yet Jurassic Park is also mentioned one more than one occasion.
    • I can't remember the Bruce Willis guest appearance, but if it was just taking a role, I can't see the problem. My (ex) kung fu teacher is a clone of Silvester Stallone, down to the voice tone, and not one of his students think that he is Rambo, too.
    • Bruce Willis plays the hunky father of Ross's student-turned-girlfriend Elizabeth.
    • True, but what bugs me is that the resemblance of Bruce Willis's character to the actor Bruce Willis in particular was never called on. The guys are clearly shown to be big fans of Die Hard, so you would assume they'd at least mention "Hey, he looks an awful lot like Bruce Willis".
    • Bruce Willis is playing a character 'Paul Stevens', so in the Friends Universe he doesn't resemble Bruce Willis at all he resembles Paul. Agreed, to you and me, it looks like Bruce Willis but to the Friends characters he is just Paul. Asking why people don't turn round and point to him saying 'Hey, that guy looks like Bruce Willis' is like asking why people don't turn round to Rachel and say 'Hey, she looks like Jennifer Aniston'. In my mind at least! :)
      • That's a fair enough point, but what I'm saying is that, Die Hard has been mentioned several times in Friends. Bruce Willis starred in Die Hard. Therefore, it would stand to reason that someone noticed that Paul bore a strong resemblance to Bruce Willis. I dunno, it just seems like a bit of a Missed Moment of Funny to me.
      • Ever seen Last Action Hero? Maybe in the Friends universe, Die Hard starred Sylvester Stallone.
      • This is a trope in its own right. Best not to think about it too much.
    • Actually, Mad About You is a show in Seinfeld. One episode has a subplot of George complaining about having to stay up in bed and watch Mad About You with Susan, then shows them watching it in The Stinger. That makes Friends and Caroline in the City, by virtue of the shared universe, shows in Seinfeld's universe. And since Ted Danson is an actor in the Seinfeld universe, that makes Cheers and Frasier shows in Seinfeld, so Cheers, being a show within Seinfeld, is a Show Within a Show in Friends, which both exist as shows in Married... with Children, which would indicate that it and Seinfeld share the same universe. This means Courtney Cox's character, who pretends to be Jerry's wife to get a dry cleaning discount, and Jane Leeves character Marla the Virgin both became sitcom actresses, perhaps using stage names. There's also Murphy Brown, which is a show within Seinfeld. This starts to verge into Mind Screw territory because Caroline in the City shares a universe with Frasier by virtue of Jane Leeves having a crossover role as Daphne Moon, which then causes this all to fall apart because Cheers is a Show Within a Show in Friends, which makes its spin-off Frasier exist as a show there, too, but can't because Friends and Caroline in the City share a universe.
    • Lisa Kudrow also guest starred on Hope & Gloria, in an episode that had Hope and Gloria take a trip to New York City, where they chanced to meet Phoebe at Central Perk. So Hope & Gloria shared a universe with Friends, and, therefore, with Mad About You and Caroline in the City. And since Caroline in the City did a crossover with Frasier, that means that Hope & Gloria shared a universe with Frasier and Cheers as well ... So, how was it that another episode of Hope & Gloria depicted the characters talking about Cheers and Frasier as television shows? Unfortunately, when a network does as many crossovers as NBC did, this sort of thing is bound to happen.
  • Maybe they watch other networks?
  • Joey and Chandler watch Bay Watch. Most of them also watch the fictional version of Days of Our Lives.

    The Father of Rachel's Baby 
  • Come on, writers! Rachel is pregnant. She has on/off history with Ross. Yet nobody ever considers him a possible candidate for the father?!
    • Phoebe does, in the episode after Monica and Chandler get married she asks Rachel outright if it's him but Rachel denies it. Having said that, you do wonder why no one else mentioned it or why Phoebe dropped it so suddenly.
      • "Is it Tag? OH! Is it ROSS?! It's Ross!" to which Rachel replies that she doesn't want to tell anyone until she's told the father.
    • I think it's very plausible. It wasn't exactly an on again off again relationship. They only actually reconciled once, and that was 4 years before Rachel got pregnant. They did hook up and get married in Vegas, but that was drunken mistake that neither remembered in the morning. Plus there's also the fact that they never told anyone that they hooked up that night, which you would think that one of them would have said something. Since they really had no reason to keep it a secret that they did hook up, it's entirely possible that nobody would think they did hook up without telling any of them. Plus, as someone already said, Phoebe did ask if it was Ross, Rachel said no, Phoebe could have easily told everyone else that she asked if it was him.

    Monica Can't Remember Allergies? 
  • In one episode Ross reminds Monica that he has an allergy to limes. Why didn't Monica warn him, or Ross check with her about what he was putting in his mouth?
    • Monica forgot. She rattles off a list of his allergies, but since there are so many, it's not entirely unreasonable that one should slip her mind. And Ross doesn't ask because he assumed she remembered.
    • For an ordinary person, absent-mindedness is a valid excuse. For Monica, it is not. First, he's her brother, she should have all allergies memorized and instantly accessible. Second, she's a chef who often cooks for her friends, the allergies and religious dietary laws (and Phoebe's particular brand of vegetarianism) of the six of them should be written down and stuck in a cookbook or recipe box for instant access.
      • Oh my... Real Life to tropers: it happens. Sure, it should not happen, but I know of mothers that lapses on their children's allergies. Either that, or Monica was trying to kill him.
    • You've remembered it wrong. Ross is allergic to kiwi, and he thought he was eating Key Lime Pie, but it was actually Kiwi Lime Pie.
      • The above Troper has pointed out the pure irony of this whole Headscratcher and made a complete Moment of Awesome.
      • Oh, really? There is a huge difference between (1) misremembering a line from a television show and (2) forgetting a food allergy for somebody you regularly cook for. The two situations are not comparable.
    • Except the problem is still there, because Monica knew that her brother was eating a Kiwi Lime Pie and specifically did not know he was allergic to kiwi. The above troper's comment only covers why Ross ate it, not why Monica thought it was okay to give it to him. Still, I'm going to point out that this was Monica before Flanderization and it was still within reason for her to make a tiny slip like that when he had so many allergies.

    Jamie and Fran at Central Perk 
  • Jamie and Fran (from Mad About You) enter Central Perk and see Phoebe, who they assume to be Ursula. They proceed to tell a confused Phoebs their order.
    • 1. Jamie saw Ursula at Rick's last night. She has no reason to conclude that Ursula is working a second job at Central Perk. And for that matter, is Ursula not entitled to enjoy a day off at a coffeehouse?
    • 2. Phoebe is not wearing an apron, carrying a tray, or doing anything that indicates that she is a waitress.
    • 3. At Central Perk (and I daresay a lot of other restaurants) you don't shanghai a waitress in motion and make an order. This is rude. You go to the counter or wait to be seated.
      • Agreed on all points. This is one of many joke set-ups that fell flat because the logic was screwy.
      • I agree, too. When I saw that scene, I kept thinking ... It was perfectly understandable that they mistook Phoebe for Ursula, but what in the world would make them think that she was working there? It made no sense at all.
      • That has totally happened to me. At a store where employees where BRIGHT red aprons. While I was schlubbing it up in sweats and trying very hard not to make eye contact with people. MULTIPLE TIMES.
    • Not to mention, read Not Always Right sometime. People are absolutely HORRIBLE to wait staff. There are multiple stories of a person who is simply wearing khakis who is accosted by someone demanding service and no amount of "I'm sorry, I don't work here" will deter them. Furthermore, in one particular story that made my blood boil was a waiter had a seizure in the middle of work, and when he came to, all he could hear was a customer screaming about how he was faking to get a better tip and demanding compensation for traumatizing his wife. Some people treat waiters, cashiers, and the like as less than human in many places.
    • Slightly mitigating it is that when they see her and mistake her for Ursula, Jamie says something like "Oh, you're here too?" Which is awkwardly phrased to make the joke work, but Phoebe responds with an equally awkward "Yuh-huh?" It's kind of stupid, but Jamie asks Phoebe if she works there and thinks she gets the affirmative, she doesn't just assume she does and go from there. And hey, sometimes people work more than one job, it happens. If Phoebe had said "I'm sorry, have we met?" I doubt Jamie would have just started rattling off her order. She doesn't "shanghai" her, and it's not exactly a sprawling restaurant, it's a tiny coffee house and she thinks she's speaking to a waitress because, as far as she's concerned, she asked if she was speaking to a waitress and was told she was. It's a lame joke, but it's a misunderstanding, not a sneering attack on service people everywhere.
    • It's kind of inconsistent throughout the series as to whether there's table service or customers order at the counter of Central Perk, but either way, the way Jamie and Fran place their order doesn't observe proper etiquette/protocol. As pointed out above, along with the "You're here too?" phrasing, it was a bit of an awkward set-up to make the joke work.

    A House in the Fifties 
  • Chandler said he and Monica wanted their children to grow up in the suburbs, with a big yard and swing sets and ice cream trucks. Ross snapped back that what they wanted was "a house in the 50's". Um, I grew up in the 90's with all those things. All my college friends (who grew up in different areas than I did) had those things in childhood. My parents, who grew up in the 60's, had those things.
    • What Ross was suggesting that the house they wanted was the romanticized home of the traditional American Dream, a notion typically associated with the nostalgia goggles-induced image of a semi-mythological 1950s middle-class suburban idyll. He wasn't suggesting that the specific physical quantities described were impossible, but that the broader cultural and social context they connote was idealized unrealistic.
    • The odd thing about this is the lack of continuity with Ross's vision of his and Rachel's future when they were going out which Rachel kicks back against: "One minute I'm holding Ben like a football, the next thing I know, I've got two kids, I'm living in Scarsdale complaining about the taxes." Most people like the idea of suburban life more as they get older, not less. Of course, Ross is probably just cross and kicking back at Chandler.
    • Definitely. The whole gang are obviously upset they're moving (understandably as Monica and Chandler are in many ways the rock that keeps everyone together). The others aren't thinking logically, just mocking their decision.

    Charles Bing 
  • Chandler's Dad. Is Kathleen Turner playing a man who dresses as a woman, or a man who has surgically become a woman? Dialog would seem to suggest the former; "he is the MAN in the black dress" but the casting choice would imply the later.
    • It could be he's simply very good at being a cross-dresser.
    • The show is tagged as an "All Male Burlesque" which seems to support the pre-op transsexual hypothesis. The show displayed a lot of confusion between a transvestite (crossdresser), a drag queen (exaggerated transvestite performer), a transgender person, and a transsexual person.
    • In one episode, Nora Bing tells Charles that s/he has too much penis for that dress, implying that s/he is, in fact, a man dressed as a woman. Maybe he's just very good.
    • Firstly, it wouldn't be nearly as funny if Chandler's father was very obviously a man in a dress. The fact that the character is played by an attractive woman is a big part of the joke. Secondly, let's not kid ourselves, if they had in fact had the character played by a man in a dress, people would be complaining about using transvestites for cheap gags. It's always gonna be something. Having a woman portray the character makes it very clear what the joke is and is actually less offensive all around.
    • When Charles comes to Chandler and Monica's wedding, you can quite clearly see Kathleen Turner's cleavage, which would suggest that Charles has at least had breast surgery and/or hormone treatment. This would strongly imply she's transsexual, yet she's never referred to as such, only as a drag queen and a gay man. It seems the writers just didn't know or care about the difference between these identities.
  • Okay, let's end this one once and for all. Chandler's father is a gay drag queen. He is always referred to as such by everyone, including himself. That he's played by a woman is supposed to be a joke. The original intended idea was that Chandler's dad would be a celebrity impersonator so they'd cast a different female celebrity to play him with each of his appearances. Ultimately they only used him twice so they decided to use the joke but remain consistent with the actress they used. Visible cleavage is irrelevant as any drag queen who knows what they're doing can pull off decent fake cleavage. It's like when people are talking at normal volume three feet from everyone else but nobody hears anything, you just pretend things are different to make the joke work.

    The Barcaloungers 
  • Joey has just purchased two Barcaloungers. Chandler asks which one is his, clearly willing to defer to Joey, the guy who bought them in the first place. Joey excitedly says that Chandler can choose. When he attempts to sit in one, Joey says "Not that one." What in the heck? Chandler clearly had no preference between the two, so just say which one is yours and which is his!
    • Uhh people do this in real life as well to be funny it's called a joke.
    • Some joke. Joey's tone obviously changed from jocularity to disapproval. Watch:
      Chandler (curious): So, uh, which one is mine?
      Joey (hyped up, happy): Whichever one you want, man. (Starts hitting Chan in a friendly way) Whichever one you want! (Chandler moves toward a chair. Point-of-fact tone) Not that one.
    • Because sometimes Joey is kinda a Manchild. Kids do this all the time, claim things for themselves. He was just trying to be humble at first and the kid in him clicked and he had to call dibs.

    Monica's New Shoes 
  • Monica has new boots. She claims they're comfortable, and that they go with everything and that she'll wear them all the time. Chandler insists she wear them everywhere. Why didn't Monica just refuse once in a while? It's not irrational to want to wear some other shoes once in a while.
    • Chandler was doing it to be a prick. Those boots cost more than a months rent (although considering she pays very little for rent...), Chandler was making her wear them to prove a point.
    • But one of Monica's justifications for spending so much money on the boots, was that they went with everything. The party was very soon after buying the new boots, and when Chandler suggests she wear them, Monica replies that they don't go with her dress. Chandler simply said he thought Monica had said they went with everything, so why didn't she want to wear her new boots, which go with everything, to this party. Monica didn't want to let on that the boots she had spent so much money on, and claimed were great, were hurting her feet so much. It's not like this party was months later, so the suggestion of it not being irrational to want to wear something else once in a while is a bit out of place.
    • Here's something, I've wondered. When Monica removes the boots towards the end of the episode, her feet are bare. Now, I know it's not uncommon to not wear socks with boots, and Monica was shown with socks on earlier in the episode when changing out of her normal shoes, and putting on the boots, but.... she complains that the boots hurt her feet. Wouldn't wearing the boots without socks make her feet hurt more?

    The Marketability of "Smelly Cat" 
  • Who in their right mind would think that 'Smelly Cat' was even a remotely good song? Good enough to, get this, make a multi-thousand dollar video for someone who wasn't even campaigning for herself! This stupidity detracted from the very funny Joey-Chandler no longer roommates arc.
    • Shall I bring up some of the atrocities that are on the radio these days?
    • It was a shoo-in for a cat litter marketing campaign.
      • No, the cat litter thing occurs in another episode.
    • This was New York in the Nineties, so there might have been a healthy dose of True Art Is Incomprehensible. Maybe the people in charge heard it as an allegory for life in the city. Just spit-balling:
      Smelly Cat, Smelly cat what are they feeding you? (You've been misinformed and badly treated by the city.)
      Smelly Cat, smelly cat it's not your fault... (It's a sad but inevitable reality of life in New York.)
      They won't take you to the vet. (Our consumer culture is unfeeling and unsympathetic.)
      You're obviously not their favorite pet. (You're replaceable and unimportant.)
      You may not be a bed of roses, (Life has left you broken and miserable.)
      And you're no friend to those with noses (Everybody looks down on you.)
      I promise you when we're done
      all the world will smell as one (But we're all in this together and it'll all be worth it.)
      • Stranger metaphors have happened.
      • It's actually not all that strange. I have always thought of Smelly Cat as a really sweet metaphor.
      • Whether or not it was intended, I love that interpretation. Kudos!
  • Here's one I never understood about "Smelly Cat". How come Phoebe's friend was even ABLE to sell the song to a commercial a year later? Did the record label not keep the rights? Or did the commercial pay THEM for the rights to it? Which voids the issue between Phoebe and her friend.
    • Considering that the studio decides to edit someone else's voice with an entirely different style of singing over Phoebe's video, they might have filed it under being a cover version. This would allow them to get away with this and pay Phoebe much less for the song, but Phoebe would also retain the rights to Smelly Cat since otherwise it might not count as a cover.

    Monica's "Boob Job" 
  • So Chandler thinks Monica wants a boob job, and isn't subtle about his feelings. Monica automatically assumes Chandler's repetition of "don't get any bigger" and "you're perfect the way you are" are his hints that he doesn't want her body to change during the pregnancy they're trying to achieve. What kind of moron does she take him for? Does she really think her husband actually wants her to get pregnant but not change? I mean, I know Monica has babies on the brain, but damn, she was holding the idiot ball in that part of the episode.
    • Agreed, and then, when she starts saying that her hands and ass will start getting bigger, why does Chandler still think they are talking about surgery? I can understand when she is talking about her boobs getting bigger but her ass? Does Chandler really think that there is such a thing as 'cosmetic hand enlargening surgery'??
      • Chandler's very first reaction to being told that her hands and feet would get bigger is "They do that?" Indicating that he didn't think such a concept existed. Furthermore, why would he assume they weren't talking about surgery? What hint was there about pregnancy? I'm a regular guy and I didn't know women's hands enlarge during pregnancy, so why would Chandler be any different?
    • She assumes he's having second thoughts about trying to conceive.
    • Chandler has long been irrational, conflicted and neurotic; see his feelings over trying to commit to a real relationship with Janice for fear of being alone for the rest of his life earlier in the season. When his voice gets high and squeaky, we really can't be expected to run anything he says through the rationality filter.

    Catwoman Versus Supergirl 
  • In the episode where they had a Halloween party and every dressed up, Monica is Catwoman and Phoebe Supergirl. When Monica asks Joey on who is stronger, as he reads comics, he says Catwoman is. WTF?? Supergirl would kick Catwoman's ass.
  • The debate was probably more about which character is hotter.
    • At least in Joey's mind it was.
  • This seems to be some kind of running gag. [[Bones]] made the claim that Catwoman was "the most powerful female superhero," which is wrong in two different ways. Maybe DC's been on a multi-decade campaign to increase the character's visibility?

    The So-Called Fame of Ross and Rachel 
  • Ross and Rachel were only ever together as a couple in the second half of season two and the first half of season three. That's altogether one season, out of ten. How the hell are they "the most famous couple in recent television history"? because of the treatment of the exaggeratedly sensitive male character.
    • You need to factor in the "will they or won't they periods prior to and following, including Ross's wedding to Emily and Emma. They were arguably more of a focus in the show during those periods than when they were actually together and relatively happy.
    • They're famous (or infamous) because of how their breakups and failures to get together, not actual relationship. S1: Crushing on each other. S2: Break up over 'The List' S3: Break up again over the 'Ross cheated/we were on a break' mess S4: Get back together but split up again over 'the break'. S5: Feelings for each other but Ross is married. S6: Married but get divorced. S8: Have a baby but still don't get together. S10: Finally get there. They are famous because of how frustrating their storyline was, not necessarily because they're popular. In fact Monica/Chandler are loved more, just not remembered because their relationships actually worked.

    Avoiding Joey's Stalker 
  • In the Second Season Episode where Joey and Chandler are trying to escape Joey's stalker, they can't escape to the street because the stalker is on her way up and they panic and retreat back to their apartment as their last hope, do they not think to go up the stairs to the floor or two above them?
    • Those stairs led to the roof, which was presumably locked. (The creators made a point of making the large apartments six-story walkups, which are among the cheapest in Manhattan as only buildings larger than six stories are required to have elevators.) They might have been able to hide in the stairwell, but the noise they made might also have tipped off the stalker. Hiding in the apartment was just as viable as running into another dead end. Maybe even more so, as they had weapons in the apartment.
    • Why did they open the door at all?
      • Agree. And how did the stalker find Joey's apartment if she thinks his name is Drake Ramoray?
      • The stairs can't lead to the roof as it was mentioned in an episode that there is someone (who is very charming and slept with Phoebe) living above Monica and Rachel and as Chandler and Joey live on the same floor as Monica and Rachel there must be a floor above their floor that they could skulk about on.
    • I think you can chalk it up to "out of sight, out of mind". They know there is a floor above them , but they don't go up there that often. It isn't familiar to them, so just didn't think about it.

    Breaking the Foosball Table 
  • Why did Chandler and Joey think they needed to break the Foosball table, possibly causing dangerous backlash to Chick II and Duck II, instead of trying to pry the pieces apart where they were glued, possibly causing (less-)dangerous backlash to Chick II and Duck II? I know why Monica wanted to, but why did they let her smash the individual components instead of prying it apart at the seams themselves, or asking her to do so?
    • Agreed, especially after Joey built an entire entertainment unit by hand, clearly demonstrating his ability to work a screwdriver.

    Supposably and Supposedly 
  • What was with the supposable/supposably joke? Is "supposably" not a real, context-sensitive word, as the spellchecker seems to think? I was always under the impression that it meant "it could hypothetically be supposed", as opposed to "supposedly" which means "it has been supposed".
    • The joke is that while they are both legitimate words, the word "supposably" is often mistakenly used in sentences where "supposedly" is the correct word in context.

    The One That Could Have Been 
  • Ross's subplot in The One That Could Have Been makes absolutely no sense. In the opening scene he hypothesizes, "what if I hadn't gotten divorced", so in the alternate reality he's still married — and Carol is still a lesbian. So they're pretty much at the same place, and their marriage still breaks up for the same reason. I mean, if you're gonna hypothesize, wouldn't you go for "what if Carol hadn't been a lesbian"? It would've been much more interesting to see another way their marriage could have failed.
    • There's a lot of evidence that Ross believes he could have worked over the marriage problems despite Carol being a lesbian (I recall one episode where he did try to get back together with her). Ross clearly is deeply affected by the stigma of his multiple divorces and wants to erase the first one in his memory. The episodes can serve as a sort of 'It's a Wonderful Life' for Ross saying that it would have never have worked, no matter what Ross did. (It's notable that for all the other Friends, the status quo eventually reasserts itself, Monica and Chandler still end up together, Phoebe doesn't keep her job at the Stock Exchange etc.)
      • So basically the answer to the question "what would have happened?" is "the exact same thing". That seems wrong.
      • I think you missed the point of the episode, which is that by the end everyone ends up back in the roles they were in despite the changes, because that's where they're meant to be.
    • The episode - if I'm not mistaken - was primarily about things the characters could change (Phoebe accepting a job offer, Monica not losing weight, Rachel not walking out on her wedding etc). Saying "what if Carol wasn't a lesbian" changes her character at a fundamental level - basically, it says that Ross could have changed her sexuality.

    Monica Doesn't Take Criticism Well 
  • In the season 8 episode The One With The Cooking Class, Monica is bummed that her restaurant got an awful review in the paper. None of the characters seem to remember that four years earlier, Monica herself had written an equally scathing review of that restaurant ("Will I go back to Alessandro's? Sure. But I'll need to order two plates of food: one for me, and one for the guy pointing the gun at my head.") — that's how she became the chef there. A great moment of irony, missed.
    • Maybe because Monica took the review personally since it was about her cooking, whereas the one she wrote was about an entirely different person from herself?
    • Agreed, the shoe's on the other foot now. Monica can dish it out, but can't take pun intended.
    • A case of Truth in Television if I ever saw one. A lot of people immediately take criticism very personally and get upset rather than seeing it as an opportunity to improve.

    Mrs. Greene at Carol and Susan's Wedding 
  • Why is Rachel's mother going to her daughter's friend's ex-wife's wedding?
    • She is Rachel's +1? What about the end of Season 2 though, why is MONICA at Barry and Mindy's wedding?
      • Or she was Richard's +1? Richard being a friend of one (or both?) of the families and was invited.
  • Why is Rachel invited? And Phoebe, Chandler and Joey for that matter? - Monica's only there because she's the caterer. Who invites all their ex-husband's friends to their new wedding? In TOW The Truth About London Rachel doesn't even know Carol's surname: "Carol Lesbian? / Nice".
    • Phoebe has a line in one of the earliest episodes implying that Carol was part of the group and hung out with them, and quit after she and Ross divorced (or separated before they were divorced). Rachel didn't show up until after that had already happened, and didn't know her as well as the rest of them.
    • Also Carol is implied to be slightly on the outs with her family, isn't she? They might have been simply needing to fill out her side of the wedding a bit, and while she's not shown to be super-close with the group she does interact with them fairly amiably when they are together.

    The One With The Flashback 
  • The episode starts off with Janice asking which of the friends have slept with which of each other. Ross responds (with Rachel sitting on his lap no less) "The answer there would be none of us." Why does he not say something more like "None of us, except obviously Rachel and I"?
    • Because Janice knows the two are together, so Ross would immediately assume that she meant "who, apart from Ross and Rachel, have slept together?"
    • Ross just missed the obvious. It was just a set up so Rachel could make her "If that doesn't change I'm dumping you for someone who puts out" joke.
    • Or it could just be that they haven't had sex yet. Aren't they early in their relationship at that point?
    • No. Ross and Rachel had sex at the museum on their second date. Furthermore, these people (except Joey) seem to go by the third date rule more or less. I'm just going to go by the "Janice didn't mean Ross and Rachel when asking the question, because they're currently in a relationship and she already knows" theory.
      • There is a deleted line from that scene - right after Ross says "None of us." Rachel jokes "Yeah, and if you don't start putting out, we're over." I'm guessing they cut it for time reasons.

    Ross vs Chandler 
  • Okay, so, this comes under the "the writers can't keep anything straight" umbrella, but in "The One With Monica and Chandler's Wedding (Part 1)", everybody laughs at Ross because he warns Chandler not to hurt Monica or he will kick Chandler's ass (which in and of itself is quite mean, as all Ross was doing was trying to look out for his little sister). This clearly means that nobody thinks that Ross could do such a thing. However, in "The One With The Halloween Party", Chandler is made fun of because nobody thinks he can beat up Ross. So, which is it, writers?
    • He was made fun of initially for being dressed as a pink bunny then, after he purposely let Ross beat him at arm wrestling, there may have been some teasing.
    • No, there was an argument as to whether or not Chandler could beat Ross (they were arguing it because it was the same episode that Monica wanted to know who would win: Supergirl or Catwoman, then if she could beat Phoebe, and it snowballed from there, to the point where the question of Chandler vs Ross came up, and it was treated like Ross could beat Chandler hands-down, yet in The One With Monica and Chandler's Wedding (Part 1), everyone laughed at the idea of Ross beating up Chandler.
    • Ross was also established as "surprisingly strong" when Chandler tried to stop him from interfering in Rachel and Danny's date. It seems to me that Ross could beat up Chandler if he wanted to, but Ross is such a goofy person that nobody would take his threat to "kick your ass" seriously.
    • Perhaps the laughter was not because Ross would be a weaker opponent of the two, but because it would be completely unnecessary. Monica (about whom has been pointed out is 'freakishly strong') would not need someone to look out after her (younger sister or not) because she is perfectly capable of looking out for herself. Of the two Geller siblings, in a fight, personally my money would be on Monica (strong, ruthless, and having a bit of an inferiority complex).
    • What's being made fun of is not the actual possibility of an attack, or even Ross' goofiness, but the fact that he was just trying to pass as a tough person and create a dramatic moment. He had no reason to defend Monica, who 1) is fully capable of kicking Chandler's ass by herself, and 2) is with Chandler, who'd probably jump in a pool of acid before he'd willingly harm her.
      • Agreed. It was more about it being so stereotypically macho and Ross not being particularly tough or threatening, on top of it being needless.

    Ross hates ice cream 
  • In the episode where Phoebe keeps a dog in Monica and Chandler's apartment we learn that Ross hates ice cream. Yet, earlier in the series when he's dating his (former) student Elizabeth they are seen walking down the street and he's eating ice cream. Of course he could have developed this hatred of ice cream in between but it still always bugged me.
    • He was also shown sharing an ice cream with Marcel in an even earlier episode.
      • Could've been frozen yoghurt?
      • The reason Ross gives for hating ice cream is that it hurts his teeth. Sensitive teeth is something which develops over time. And if he likes the taste of ice cream but not its coldness, he could 'hate' the frustrating urge to eat something which he can't.

    Fat Monica 
  • So, the teenage Monica lost about half of her weight within only one year and became excessively thin. Is this physically possible? Can you remain healthy while doing something so absurd? Did she have an eating disorder? And if so, how comes there were no side effects? This plot point is a bit offensive towards people who actually try to lose weight and can't: dieting is not that easy in real life.
    • Well, there's a reason why the top WMG for Friends is that Monica had an eating disorder. And if you're sort of looking for that interpretation, there is the fact that Monica found it difficult to conceive later in life, which is not unheard of as a side effect. I doubt it was intentional, but that's there.
    • It's perfectly plausible. The fatter you are, the easier it is to lose large amounts of body fat at the start of your diet.
    • Plus Rachel got plastic surgery on her nose. Perhaps her father was a cosmetic surgeon and could have referred Monica to a doctor to help her get some surgery to lose some of the weight?
      • No, Dr. Greene is explicitly a cardiovascular surgeon. He could have recommended her to a plastic surgeon, though.
      • Someone on the Hollywood Pudgy page says that Monica is overweight but not large enough to supposedly break a porch swing. Perhaps she was even larger when she was younger and had already begun losing weight. A lot of teenagers simply eat a lot around the age of fourteen and maybe Monica's eating habits were slowly sorting themselves out. If she had already lost some weight as she was getting older, it couldn't be too hard to lose a lot more in the space of a year.
    • It's stated that she lost about 80lbs, going from 200lbs to 120lbs or so in a year. That works out to just over a pound and a half a week, which is quite healthy and realistic.

    Joey and Phoebe 
  • In the first season, they planted seeds for a Joey/Phoebe pairing with the Joey/Ursula stuff. Later, once the show had the Ross/Rachel and Chandler/Monica couplings, it seemed like a forgone conclusion that eventually Joey and Phoebe would get together, especially since they were the other's opposite-sex counterpart, but it never happened. I always found that weirdly annoying for some reason even though I don't really care about who's shipped with who on TV shows. Did the writers decide it was too contrived to pair up the remaining main characters once they put Chandler and Monica together?
    • Pretty much. Having all the friends hook up kind of defeats the premise of the show. But even the actors liked to think Phoebe and Joey had a little something going on behind everyone's backs when they were both single.
    • Yeah, it probably would have been too cheesy to hook up the remaining two. However, I would have liked to see Joey/Phoebe together over Chandler/Monica. Chandler was my favorite character and as their relationship progressed, I seemed to like him less.
    • I have to agree that it probably would have struck a false note with the audience for all of the characters to pair up. That said, I would have really liked to see Joey and Phoebe together. Matt Leblanc and Lisa Kudrow had great chemistry together, I thought, and I actually liked that pairing much better than any of the others ... Although, to be fair, you have to consider this : Can you imagine the loopy children these two would have?
      • Maybe it would just have been too easy. I mean, in addition to pairing up EVERYONE, what made Chandler and Monica a great couple to watch was the fact no one thought of it until we saw it happen (ok, some people probably thought of it) but Joey and Phoebe were way too similar. They did have lovely chemistry though, agreed.
      • I also would have liked to see Joey and Phoebe get together. (Though not over Monica/Chandler, I loved their relationship). Not only because they were incredibly sweet but also to keep the gang together. It felt weird when Phoebe married Mike and he was always hanging around. Like for ten years the show had been about these six characters, and suddenly there was this new, sort-of member. I wanted the Friends to stay together post-season and putting Phoebe with someone else separated her from them. Yes pairing them all up is cliche, but the idea of the group staying intact, becoming parents together, their children making friends would have been sweet.

    Rachel's Trifle Recipe Screw-up 
  • In The One Where Ross Got High, Rachel attempts to make an English trifle unsupervised, but gets the recipe mixed up with a shepherd's pie recipe because the pages of the magazine containing the recipe get stuck together. She ends up making something that's half an English trifle, half a shepherd’s pie. Hilarity Ensues. While obviously this joke setup wouldn't work with a regular printed recipe book (normally organized into chapters, with both recipes in separate sections so that even a stuck page couldn't result in this), but don't food magazines contain plenty of gratuitous photos? Even if the pages stuck together, there'd be a huge illustration of what the end result of the trifle should look like, so how does she still not get it right, even with a photo there? And where does she get the sautéed ground beef (with peas and onions) from? Did Monica just happen to have that especially un-Thanksgivingy dish cooking on the side, or was Rachel able to prepare this despite not knowing how to make the relatively simple dessert (and having previously been shown to have little aptitude in the kitchen) and without Monica noticing?
    • Not only that but if the pages were stuck together ("Chandler!") and a trifle recipe led onto a shepherds pie recipe then surely she would have made half a trifle then half a shepherds pie rather then (as she did in the show) one third of a trifle, one third of a shepherds pie then one third of a trifle again? Because while I can suspend my disbelief enough to believe that a trifle and a shepherds pie would be right next to each other in a recipe book I refuse to believe that a recipe book would contain a recipe for a trifle, then a shepherds pie and then randomly tell the reader to chuck some custard and ladyfingers on top of the shepherds pie.
      • Maybe Rachel just knew a trifle was meant to have three layers, so you amended her plan. She did the lower layer of trifle from the first page, flipped to the shepherds pie and then wondered why the recipe didn't tell her to put custard on top and did it anyway.
      • It's still a pretty blatant example of an Idiot Ball plot - why on earth does Rachel make such an unlikely dish without even questioning it, or asking Monica about it? Why doesn't simple common sense tell her how awful it would taste?
      • A lot of recipes involve weird combinations of flavours.
    • Not arguing that it's an incredibly dumb thing to do, but cooking magazines don't contain photos of every recipe, and often even if there is a picture it isn't on the same page as the recipe. Sometimes there most of the magazine will be between the picture and the actual recipe, if the recipes are all collected in plain pages at the end of the magazine and the earlier section is all articles about the chefs who provided them.
    • Are we completely sure it was a professional cookbook? Maybe it was a collection of recipe's Monica had collected over time (she is a chef, and probably built up a collection?) As far as the trifle-shepherd's pie-trifle sequence, maybe it isn't that it went back to the first recipe, maybe Monica had two trifle recipes and the shepherd's pie recipe had been tucked away between the two, so she went from First Trifle/Shepherd's Pie/Second Trifle. It's not a very Monica thing to do, but maybe someone else had borrowed a recipe to cook for a date/boss/event, and just tucked the recipe back in the book between the trifles while Monica wasn't working.
      • No, the writers just didn't care (enough). They even say so on the commentary, pretty much. They knew it was a stretch "but it was just too funny" that they just didn't bother and hoped the audience wouldn't think about it too much.
  • Have a related question: why does everyone call it an English Trifle? Do Americans not eat trifle?
    • The trifle's place of origin is in England. Likely, she just keeps calling it an English trifle in order to sound fancier. Barring that, it's possible that there was a specific ingredient that pegged it as specifically English.
    • Anecdotes aren't evidence, but I'm an American and I've never seen trifle offered by a restaurant or served in someone's home in my life. (I do, however, know it doesn't contain beef!)
    • It's because English cuisine is a joke in America (this from the nation whose national cuisine is "fried stuff with cheese") which makes it sort-of-believable that Rachel wouldn't understand that what she's cooking is wrong: "I mean that’s an English dessert, these people just put very strange things in their food, y’know."

    Monica's Giant Turkey 
  • From a different Thanksgiving episode, one of the subplots involved Monica not wanting to go through the effort of making a Turkey that year (since Phoebe was vegan, Rachel recently had Emma and poultry made her queasy, Chandler doesn't eat Thanksgiving food, and Brad Pitt's character was still dieting, only three of seven people would have eaten it.) Joey whines that it's not Thanksgiving without turkey, and promises to eat the whole thing to avoid leftovers if she makes it. This leads to Joey spending the whole time trying to systematically eat an entire giant turkey all by himself. However, not every Thanksgiving turkey is big enough to require a saddle to bring it home. In any supermarket, the size of turkey's ranges from anywhere between 10 pounds to over 25. Additionally, they sell turkey breasts by themselves for situations like this. Couldn't she have gotten one of these smaller options (which usually are easier and faster to cook, mind) instead of forcing poor Joey to try and swallow an entire pterodactyl by himself?
    • Isn't the point of Thanksgiving to make leftovers?
    • Monica didn't make him eat it. When Joey was struggling, she told him it was ok to stop and have leftovers later. Joey wanted a 'proper' Turkey (i.e. a big, full size one) so it was a 'real' Thanksgiving and he was the one determined to eat it. Joey isn't exactly mature when it comes to these things.
    • She was just teaching him a lesson. Cooking a Thanksgiving turkey, small or big, is a huge amount of work, but Joey basically threw a tantrum and insisted she do it anyway, just for his benefit. Well, if her end of the deal is going to be a lot of work, so is his. She was willing to let him stop if he was really in pain. She was only reminding him not to take her cooking for granted.
    • I think the bigger headscratcher is why couldn't Will eat turkey even if he's on a diet? Turkey is really good for you. What does he eat? Unless Monica uses a lot of unhealthy ingredients to season it.

     Naive Phoebe vs. Street-smart Phoebe 
  • The folder above made me think of this. Doesn't it seem like a bit of a contradiction for Phoebs to be street smart, but the gang feels the need to keep her from seeing the end of 'Old Yeller?' Also, she writes a note that is so over-the-top that it helps get Ross fired. The show seemed to alternate between child-like Phoebe and Been-Around-The-Block Phoebe.
    • (Ross was suspended and sent to a psychiatrist, not fired).
    • If I remember correctly, it was originally Phoebe's mother who stopped her from watching the 'sad' endings of movies. Phoebe does alternate between being childlike and malicious, it could be a consequence of her having lived on the streets; it's fairly common for the homeless to develop mental illnesses.
      • I thought it was common that people ended up homeless because they had a mental illness, since most have no known cause.
    • I think what it comes down to is that Phoebe's obviously had a pretty tough life so she's developed ways of escaping from/dealing with that. E.g. the naive worldview in her songs that shows joy in simple things, "happy" movies, the environment, etc.
    • I am not sure what came first (since it has never been told) – Phoebe being the Cloudcuckoolander she is or Phoebe living on the streets. As I see it there are two options: a) Phoebe has always been a naïve, Cloudcuckoolander child-like person, and that has helped her survive on the streets. Of course she has had to learn to deal with the tougher side of the deal (the practical part and not the mental part), and that is why she's developed all of her self-defense systems and her survival systems (with the examples of the note on Ross's sandwich and the time she'd stolen his bag before they met). b) Phoebe was sort of normal (as normal as Phoebe can be), and when she has had to learn to deal with living on the streets she has developed both her defense systems and her naïve nature. Either one seems possible to me, but since it’s Phoebe we're talking about I would personally go with the first one.

    Erica and the twins 
  • How come Erica was able to go an entire term without once suspecting she was carrying twins? Okay, the writers tried to handwave it with 'I thought when they said both heartbeats it meant mine and the babies? ' But it surely stretches belief that after the first scan no-one told her that she had two embryos, that there were no references made to 'both babies' or that Erica was too stupid to miss a reference like 'We are going to have to give you a steroid injection so that your twins' lungs are fully formed'
    • There was an earlier episode where Erica told Chandler and Monica that she didn't know who the baby's father was, and it was between two men. Later in the episode Monica talks to her off-screen, and it turned out only one of the guys slept with her in a way that could have impregnated her. It's not that hard to believe she didn't know she was pregnant with twins.
    Chandler: Is it that thing we hardly ever do, or that thing we never ever do?
    • That doesn't convince me. It's quite possible that a naive young girl might skip on sex education classes and not understand that 'the thing we never do' won't impregnate you. On the other hand, it's hard to believe that the first thing a doctor would say after performing the first scan wouldn't be 'Congratulations, you've got twins'.
      • Is it really "quite possible" that she wouldn't know? I've never met one human who thinks you can get pregnant on anal sex.
      • If you've never been taught sex ed, it's remarkably easy to not know.
      • Anyway it is possible to get pregnant from anal sex. Not likely but possible (sperm swim remember!)
      • They swim yes, and it is possible, but not because they swim. Oh my Goodness are you inferring that they may swim from the anus to the vagina? Or worse, that the anus leads to the vagina?! It's possible in case ejaculate leaks from the anus and ends up in the vagina. I'm confused as to why "sperm swim remember!" is important...
      • Ever seen the show "I Didn't Know I Was Pregnant"? Yeah people can be REALLY stupid when it comes to things like this.
      • My mother often likes to tell stories about when she was working in a hospital in a rural area. One of the things they had to deal with was underage pregnancies, especially from the parts of the local population that didn't feel particularly inclined to send their children to school. One girl, when asked if she understood how she'd become pregnant, answered that yes... she'd gone to the lake and sat on a rock. When the social worker gently explained how actual conception occurred, the girl scoffed and replied, "That can't be it! I've been doing that since I was twelve and never gotten pregnant before! But last month was the first time I ever went to the lake and sat on a rock!" So yeah, Reality Is Unrealistic, some people just don't know how stuff works.
    • Erica was basically told she was having twins, she just misinterpreted what she was told until she had to push them out.
      • I can believe that Erica didn't know, but I can't believe that Monica and Chandler would be so hands off in the process that they didn't. When Erica chooses them to take the baby, she gives them a sonogram. They should have been able to see the twins then. Plus they bring her to New York so she can have a chance to get to know her doctors. I would think that M&C would accompany here and have the doctor's give them a good once over to make sure everything is ok. And I would think the doctor would want that too so they know what to expect going in.
      • Reading a sonogram is not exactly a natural talent most people possess... if you showed most people a dozen sonograms and asked them to pick out the baby in each, you probably wouldn't have a very high success factor. Add to that, sonograms are the least reliable way of detecting twins... the babies can "hide" behind each other and whatnot. The only fairly reliable method is the fetal heartbeats, and Erica misunderstood being told about those. Also the assumption that Monica and Chandler would be with her every step of the way and have access to her medical records is pretty off. The first isn't a sure thing at all, as ultimately it's her choice who she allows in the room with her during examinations (and while Monica would probably be enough of a helicopter control freak to pester Erica to bring her, Chandler would probably fairly quickly put his foot down about it, he is capable of it sometimes), the second's just flat-out not happening. Erica's medical records are hers, Monica and Chandler can't just get them by calling up and say "Oh, we're adopting her kids, so it's fine, mail 'em over."
      • Plus, Ruleof Drama.

    Table service at Central Perk 
  • Does Central Park ever serve meals? It's a pretty standard coffeehouse — how many places like this really have table service and real wait staff? Even within the show it's inconsistent as to whether orders are placed at the counter or not.
    • I'd say Central Perk doesn't serve meals. In one episode Joey meets a journalist for an interview, and she mentions that any food or drink he ordered would be paid for by the magazine. Joey regrets not choosing somewhere else to meet, but does ask for 'all of the muffins' when they place their order. If Central Perk offered meals, surely he would have gone for something else.
    • As far as the table service, it's not impossible to think that they don't officially offer table service, they might take a table order from somebody who's a regular or a good friend of the owner or waiter.
    • Perhaps they just order at the counter if they want their coffee or food to go and then just sit and wait if they want to stay in. Or they could order at the counter and then sit down while they wait for their order.

    Rachel Moving to France 
  • Not. Okay, Ross wants Rachel to stay so they can be together. Why doesn't he offer to go with her? Either way he'll be on a different continent from one his children, so why doesn't he even think of moving to France with Rachel? Better yet, why doesn't anyone else since they always seem to know everything? And why doesn't Rachel suggest it?
    • Apparently this was the plan but the writers didn't have enough time so they had to wrap up the storyline quicker than they thought. For an in-show excuse, maybe Ross just felt he couldn't leave Ben. Which doesn't really work because he hadn't mentioned Ben for ages and even seemed just fine about his baby daughter moving to another continent.
      • Actually, he wasn't fine with it at all, he has lines where he specifically says that Emma being so far away would be torture but that he was trying to cover up feeling that way so that Rachel wouldn't feel bad about it. He was trying to not be selfish.
      • Which prompts the question why should Emma stay with Rachel rather than Ross? She belongs to both of them and Rachel is the one moving away and forcing one parent to see her less. Wouldn't it be fairer if Ross became her primary caregiver and Rachel made short visits? Ross has all the other Friends and family to help him (including her aunt, uncle and recent born cousins), while Rachel would be working in a high-powered job, in a foreign city and Emma would probably be with a nanny most of the time. Ross is just as capable a parent as Rachel, why should the mother get automatic preference when she's the one causing the problem?
      • Okay. I want you to think this through. I want you to imagine Ross walking up to Rachel... Rachel, who has all the emotional maturity of a frozen strawberry... and presenting those arguments to her. Do you really think her reaction would be anything other than "YOU'RE TRYING TO STEAL MY BABY!!!!"?
      • So it's fine for Rachel to steal Ross's baby because that's what works for her. But Ross can't be on the same continent as his daughter because that gets in the way of Rachel's baby and ambitions? Even if you support career women (Monica taking the Head Chef job in New York instead of going to Tulsa with Chandler was totally justified), that's an unbelievable Double Standard. Rachel had a child with Ross and she has to take responsibility for that. Sorry, Rach, the world doesn't revolve around you and having a child means making sacrifices, either not taking the job or seeing Emma less.
      • I keep wondering if it's even legal for Rachel to simply decide to move hers and Ross' child to a different continent. I'm not American and I don't know exactly how it works there but even if Emma lives with Rachel the two of them share custody? It makes no sense to me that Ross (who oftentimes spoke of feeling like he's missing out on so much with Ben, and who at times had a bit of a bad experience when it came to "parenting privileges" with Carol and Susan, such as the surname debate) would allow Rachel full custody and simply have visitation rights or some such. Nor do I see any reason why Rachel would deny him custodial rights. And if they do share custody how come Rachel can make the decision that she wants to move to another continent and that Emma will automatically go with her? The simple answer may well be "they didn't want to have to deal with that on the show because it's not funny" or "they had too few episodes to devote to it" but IMHO that doesn't make it something to simply shrug off. There are any number of other storylines or plot devices they could have employed to bring Ross and Rachel back together again at the end.
      • It is complicated, but essentially unless Ross files for a restraining order and a court order then it is assumed they've settled it amicably and privately. If Ross (or Rachel) wants to make it official then they can file for a hearing and try for a new judgement but it would be expensive and divisive. If they can come to an informal arrangement between themselves then the court will not intervene. In short: Yes it is completely legal unless Ross took the matter to court.
    • I like to think that's what happened: certainly Ross's bosses like him, they've just given him tenure, so it's possible they'd let him spend a couple of years working at NYU Paris. It's at least as believable as that Louis Vuitton want Rachel so badly they're prepared to enter a salary bidding war and spend a fortune on air tickets for her family.
    • What about Ben? Ross wouldn't want to leave him either, he refused to move to London in S5 because he wanted to stay near his son, so why would he move to Paris? What's he meant to do? Pick which child means more to him? And Louis Vuitton wanting Rachel that badly is unbelievable even with the set up on the show, why would they want someone who's just been fired because they're not a team player, has had unprofessional relationships with her assistant and generally seems lazy and unmotivated. (Calling off sick when she has an awkward situation with Gavin for instance). Why they'd start a bidding war for her is a mystery.
      • Having worked in the fashion industry in general, and with LV in particular, I would say that by displaying all the above qualities (as well as insufferable arrogance, emotional immaturity, and narcissistic personality disorder, Rachel is overqualified...

  • So Phoebe has invented a former boyfriend named Vikram to show Mike that she has in fact had a serious relationship before. Um, what about David the Scientist Guy? He was a serious relationship, and if he hadn't moved to Russia Phoebe probably would've married him back in Season Two. And you can't even say that the writers forgot about David, because they deliberately bring him back to provide conflict with Mike. Why invent Vikram?
    • Most people define "serious relationship" as something that lasts more than a few weeks.
      • But what about this cop Phoebe moved in with until he shot a bird?
      • That wasn't serious. The relationship died once they were out of the fun, exciting stage. He had to pressure her to move in with him, they didn't know each other that well and the relationship ended the very next morning.
    • Point taken, both David the science guy and the cop were not super long relationships, but both were taken seriously by Phoebe and Ross knew it and Phoebe knew it. Since she was especially crazy about David and she had to let him go, after Ross accidentally upset Phoebe, he should have said something like this: "Oh, I'm sorry, I totally forgot about David. Surely he was, or definitely would have been, your serious boyfriend. How insensitive of me to say such a stupid thing." And something similar would make Mike more comfortable, too. Definitely better than inventing Vikram.
    • Phoebe plays with a few cards short of a full deck. She's not exactly known to make rational decisions.
  • One thing that I didn't quite get in the "Vikram" episode: Ross had already convinced Mike about Vikram's existence, and Phoebe corroborated the story. Mike clearly though Vikram was real. So why did Ross feel he still had to call Phoebe, pretending to be Vikram?
    • Because not knowing when to shut up is Ross's thing.

    Strip poker 
  • Three guys and three girls playing strip poker. The girls want to get Joey naked, which is understandable as he's the most "hunk" of the three. But I find it extremely hard to believe that the other two guys would want the same thing. Ok, Ross might have been squicked at the idea of seeing Monica naked, and maybe he was too shy to choose Rachel, but Phoebe's fair game, and Chandler would have had no such problems with anyone.
    • When you're playing strip poker with your friends, the object is humiliation, not arousal. And who wouldn't want to humiliate Joey?
    • They only agreed to play strip poker (actually strip Happy Days Game) because Joey kept bugging them about it. So since he was so insistent on getting his way, they decided to give him what he asked for.
    • Plus it shows that Monica did lose her pants indicating someone picked her at least once. It was probably Joey, as everyone was picking on him, but it could have been Chandler as he suggested strip power as well and was flirting with her a lot in that episode. (Look at his reaction when she stands up).

     Monica's balcony 
  • To get out onto the balcony of Monica's apartment, one has to climb through a window. What's the deal with that? Why no door? The last one to live in that apartment was Monica's grandmother, and I can't picture her climbing through that window.
    • It's because it's a fire escape not a balcony.
      • No it isn't. In TOW They're Up All Night, Joey and Ross climb down the fire escape. They don't end up on the balcony, because if they did they would just knock on Monica and Chandler's window.
      • There are several where someone (for example, Joey in "TOW the Home Study") climbs to the "balcony" from the outside via the fire stairs, so it's definitely supposed to be a fire escape. As for Joey and Ross not ending on Monica and Chandler's window in "TOW They're Up All Night", you can chalk it up to the writers sacrificing continuity in favour of jokes (the Joey/Ross subplot in that episode relied on them not getting inside the building through any windows), which happens all the time in Friends. Or, since Monica's balcony doesn't seem to have any stairs leading upwards, even though the apartment is not in the uppermost floor, you could theorize that Monica's "balcony" was part of an old fire escape route, which isn't fully functional anymore, and at some point it was replaced by a newer fire escape, which leads all the way to the roof, and that is the one Joey and Ross use.
    • I was always kind of under the impression that the building kinda sucked. Remember, in one episode, we found out that there was a light switch in Chandler and Joey's apartment that turned Monica and Rachel's TV on and off. Kinda leads me to believe that the building was either shoddily built or badly converted from some other purpose like an office or warehouse.
    • Such arrangements do exist. I've seen them elsewhere, and I've always taken them as a legally grey way of giving an apartment a balcony without having to bother with things like railings, high walls, and in general safety. Family member leans too much and falls to his death? Well he was never meant to be there, there's no door, don't you know that's not a balcony? *inserts lawsuit into paper shredder*

     Phoebe's Job 
  • By the end of the series, what is Phoebe actually doing? We see Monica, Joey, Rachel and Ross becoming a head chef and a movie star, working at a major fashion house and getting tenure but in the last episode that Phoebe mentioned her job showed her at that big chain spa she hated. Even though she married Mike, it still seems like a questionable happy ending. Mike quit his job as a lawyer to chase his own dream and says "I'm not rich, my parents are" so even though the two of them obviously wanted to have children but it seems doubtful that Phoebe could become a stay-at-home mother even if she wanted to. Is she still working at a job where she has to compromise her morals and do degrading things to hide it from her friends like those stupid accents. Also, what happened to the Relaxi Taxi idea and the painted van?
    • The Relaxi Taxi fell apart because it seemed like a bad idea (I don't think it's possible to relax in the back of a van that has to make sharp turns, sudden stops, and occasionally run over potholes.) As far as her job, she had been seen working in massage parlors before, so it's not totally impossible that she was able to find a job in a more mid-sized place that she was more comfortable with but was still able to give her the benefits she took the corporate job for. Aside from that, Mike spent a long time working as a lawyer, and probably has some financial security (savings, stocks, investments,) not to mention that it probably isn't all that difficult for a piano player to find work in New York (nightclubs where singers perform, music and dance schools that require accompaniment, theaters.)
    • Maybe the writers deliberately gave Phoebe a less happy ending. She had sort of morphed into as much of an evil bitch as Ursula ever was by the end, it's possible they thought her getting everything she could've wanted would have been bordering on Karma Houdini. Making her settle for what she could get without actually being miserable seems a tolerable compromise.
    • Wasn't there an episode where Phoebe was working as a Masseuse at an expensive spa-y place? When Rachel won the coupon and all that jazz... I thought that's what Phoebe's doing...
      • ^ This. Phoebe sold out for the money, benefits and stability.

     Making Fun of Ross's Job 
  • Why does everyone make fun of Ross being a paleontologist? Okay, he does tend to share scientific information a bit much, but do they remember he has a doctorate? Last I checked the only ones in the group that even went to college was Chandler (explicitly stated to have been Ross's roommate and how they met, so obvious), Monica (culinary school), and maybe Rachel (which doesn't seem likely, since any sort of degree should be able to find her a better job than waitressing, as this was pre-recession). Phoebe has also stated she never finished high school and Joey is Joey. So why don't they respect Ross a bit more or at least lay off the rude comments?
    • He might get a bit more respect if he ever shut up about his job. He's established as droning on and on and on about every science thing he finds interesting and they're all just sick of it. To make it worse he's completely oblivious to their disinterest and assumes they want to hear everything he has to talk about, which makes him even more annoying to them. They do get excited and happy for him when he actually accomplishes something (getting a promotion, teach an advanced class, getting tenure) it's just the subject matter they don't care about. And Rachel did go to college, they mention her switching her major in one of the flashbacks, though we have no idea if she graduated or flunked out.
      • Ross is a dinosaur nerd... people probably started making fun of that before he became a paleontologist.
      • On the Rachel thing, it's pretty much established she flunked out of college: In a flashback she complains about switching majors because the parking lot was too far away, in the pilot episode she says she's 'qualified for nothing' and when Chandler types up her CV in Season 3 he explicitly says that he enlarged the font because 'Co Cheer Captain and Waitress' don't take up much space. So yeah, it's obvious she flunked out, which makes her disdain for Ross, who studied incredibly hard for years, even worse.
      • If we assume she isn't exaggerating when saying just "Co-Cheer Captain and waitress", then she doesn't even have a High School Diploma so how the hell did she get into college in the first place. There's no reason to think that she flunked college with all the financial security she had - if she had, Leonard (if not one of the Friends) would have used it against her at some point. We can just assume that her major was non-vocational.
      • I don't think Rachel flunked out of college so much as dropped out once she hooked up with Barry and was planning to be a homemaker. It's not until she runs away and tries to make her own life that she really needed to finish up on her degree (she's shown she's taking courses of some kind in season three) and actually be qualified for things.

     Phoebe's grandmother after Lily's suicide 
  • Why didn't Phoebe and Ursula's grandmother take care of them after her daughter killed herself? Why couldn't the girls live with her? Was she ill or something? She seemed fairly healthy and strong later in her life when Phoebe was living with her. Not particularly down-to-earth or terribly practical, but she surely wasn't as messed up as their run-away dad or their step-dad who was in prison. The least she could do was to see that the girls were sent to a good foster home if she hadn't wanted the custody. Instead of living in her flat, Phoebe and Ursula had to experience an awful homeless life as teenagers.
    • It's never established that Ursula lived on the streets. It's possible she had somewhere to go when Phoebe didn't. It's also possible Ursula lived with the grandmother and Phoebe just couldn't take it. We've seen how bad their relationship is.

    Is Central Perk right below the apartments? 
  • I remember in a few episodes the characters saying something like "Let's go upstairs" while they're in the coffee shop, and then the next scene shows them in Monica's apartment. Inversely, I think they've referred to Central Perk as "downstairs" before. Off the top of my head I can't remember any specific examples, although I think the very last episode did it once.
    • In exterior shots of Monica's apartment, there appears to be a coffeehouse below.
      • In real life, the building used for exterior shots has a restaurant on the ground floor (it does nice brunch). It's also not remotely plausible as the actual building their apartments would be located in, as both apartments, on opposite sides of the building, are shown to be only an alleyway apart from the next building across, whereas the building shown is on a corner, making that impossible. Furthermore, the street around Central Perk, and even the front of the cafe, doesn't gel with how it looks in these exterior shots. As others have said, it's probably supposed to be located around the corner.
    • Central Perk may not be literally the bottom floor of the apartment building, but is instead next door, or a few doors down, or one street over, or otherwise close enough geographically that they think relatively little of the distance. Besides, "let's go upstairs" is shorter and easier to say than "Let's go back to our building, upstairs, and to one of our apartments" or whatever. As long as everyone relevant knows what they mean when they say it, no need to clarify.
    • In one episode, Chandler lost a bet because Joey said it was less than 100 steps from their apartment to the Coffee house. Since they lived several floors up, it would probably have to be really close, so directly below makes sense.
      • It's more likely he meant 100 steps from their building. Assuming Joey wasn't exaggerating his strides, that's about 250ft/75m - still extremely close, but making it more likely it's only a few buildings away as opposed to directly below.
  • Another geography-related question...How is it they can get ANYWHERE in NYC in 15-20 minutes? For example, "TOW No One's Ready." They had to get a cab (all six of them!) at 7:40pm to get to Ross' gala for 8:00pm, and in another one they had to get somewhere in 15 minutes. Do they have a transporter or something? Doesn't it usually take hours to get anywhere because of traffic?
    • Not really. Traffic can be bad, sure, but it's not like it's permanently gridlocked. It's possible that the Gala is only a handful of blocks away, but they're getting a cab because they're all dressed up and want to keep sheltered on the way.

     Susan and Carol's case: Same-sex marriage in the USA in the 90's 
  • This one might need an explanation from somebody who has first-hand experience living in the States or being an expert on gay rights and history of the same-sex marriage. note . Was Carol and Susan's wedding merely a symbolic thing that they wanted to go through with no legal validity, which they would later confirm, say, by making each other their inheritors? Or was there any alternative for gay couples to make a legal bond?
    • It's most likely the former; a ceremony that's meaningful to the participants but lacks legal status. Note that Seinfeld did a plotline involving a lesbian wedding some years earlier.
    • Yeah, New York didn't have gay marriage for over another decade. It had to have been just a ceremony.

     Ordering a green salad then eating the other person's food 
  • In one of the later episodes, Joey gets mad when his date eats some of his fries, which is meant to be seen as ridiculous. When they go out again he orders a basket of fries to share, but then she tries to eat stuffed clams off his plate, even though he keeps moving his plate around in an obvious way to show that he doesn't want to share. Both times she orders a green salad. I get taking a few fries, but if she wanted something more substantial why wouldn't she order something else instead of being rude, or at least ask if she could have some of his food instead of just taking some?
    • I'll preface this by saying it's something that's annoyed me for a while, so this might come across as a little like a rant. It's part of a ridiculously sexist idea that women are supposed to be delicate little creatures when it comes to matters of the opposite sex. Occasionally, in sitcoms, you'll hear people warn a female character to never win at anything if she's competing with a boy she's interested in, even if she's obviously better at it (usually involving a girl being good at a particular sport, such as playing pool or tennis.) The same idea applies with food; women should only order light, dainty food (usually salads and occasionally pasta) because eating a big hearty meal comes across as manly and will be a turn-off. Occasionally women's magazine will write articles telling women to "eat like a man" to encourage them to eat more lean proteins and cut back on breads and sweets. As far as stealing off his plate, that seems to be because women are conditioned in this country to be diet-obsessed at all times, and as such, have come up with a lot of ridiculous "loopholes" to allow themselves to occasionally eat "bad food." Other examples have been seen on The Nanny ("if it's on a toothpick, it's not fattening") and Grey's Anatomy ("if no one sees me eat it, the calories don't count.") She might have believed "If it's not on my plate, it doesn't count."
    • Or, you know, this is something women do on their own rather than being a conspiracy of The Patriarchy. Sometimes people do ridiculous things without there being some deep social issue at fault.
    • Or it could be both. Women ARE expected to be thin, but not all women would do what Joey's date did.
    • The scene could be interpreted differently. She might not have been that hungry and wouldn't want to eat anything substantial by herself. Perhaps she just wanted to do cute romantic stuff, Sickeningly Sweethearts style — sharing food from one plate is close to Romantic Spoonfeeding. Another thing is that she should have noticed Joey isn't into it and for him, it feels like Enemy Eats Your Lunch.

     Rachel's job in Paris 
  • I admit my knowledge of international business is a little thin, but Rachel's job offer from Louis Vuitton seemed a little strange. I understand Mark has a lot to do with it (and it was a way to rachet up Ross's emotional turmoil of losing her) but how likely was it that she would be offered a job in Paris despite having not ever being shown to speak or understand the French language? Are there enough English speakers in Paris that it wouldn't be much of an issue? It would seem like a risky venture financially since she might not be able to pick up the language and might become more of a financial liability trying to work in a country where she doesn't understand any other employees and none of them might understand her?
    • Perhaps the situation is different in Paris and fashion industry because the French are such patriots, but it's fairly common in European cities to have high management from various countries who speak only English. Often they are expatriate Americans working for American companies. If they wish, their company pays them language courses to communicate with locals, but often it's done to benefit them personally and make them feel more comfortable in the country, because at work they really need just English.
    • Except that Louis Vuitton Möet Hennesy (LVMH) S.A. is a French company.
    • And as much as I know people don't even learn English on French schools and there are barely English speakers there. I may be wrong though, since I've never even been to France. However, maybe Rachel was going to sign up for a French class or learn French before she got to France (Phoebe could have taught her...). Though I am having trouble understanding how she got the job the first place. What exactly did Mark do...?
      • Most people in Europe speak their first language (in this case French) and a second language (usually English) by the time they're finished middle school, then they take a third and sometimes a fourth language in high school. (I heard this from a friend who was Romanian but grew up in France. Although she spoke fluent Romanian, French, German, and some Latin, she didn't study English until she moved to North America). That said, most Europeans who operate as business higher-ups speak English so they may be competitive in the world market, since English is considered the language of commerce. There's also no reason Rachel can't study French when she gets there. Besides, she's probably picked up at least a few French fashion terms watching shows about Paris Fashion Week and so on.
      • She thought that she understood French when a man spoke English in a French accent. She did not pick up terms on her own.
    • Very much Truth in Television. That is a privilege of Westerners whose first language is English. If you are from a post-soviet country, Asia or Africa and live abroad, you are considered "an immigrant" who is more or less expected to speak English (as it is a modern lingua franca) and learn the local language as well. If they struggle, people might get frustrated with them. If you are from a Western country, you are considered "an expat". English is good enough for expats and their attempts to learn the local language are considered thoughtful, and if they struggle, people think it's cute or funny (funny ha-ha). Rachel would probably be just ok there.
    • Yes, you can get by in Paris on English only. Other parts of France would be a tougher slog, but most Parisians speak at least a little English - especially in the circles someone like Rachel would run in. There are, after all, lots of American and British tourists there at any given time.

     Phoebe phasing Monica out 
  • In 'TOW Ross's Tan' Phoebe admits that after moving out of Monica's apartment she tried to 'phase her out' of her life and the friend group. How exactly was she planning to stay friends with the rest of the gang without seeing Monica? Ross was Monica's brother, Chandler lived across the hall and was much closer to Monica than he'd ever been to Phoebe, and Joey had just moved in. There's no way any of them would pick Phoebe over Monica. Not to mention Monica's apartment was the main hang out for the gang. There was no way Phoebe could exclude Monica from that group, she'd only end up outing herself. Phoebe's ditzy and all, but that plan seems utterly stupid, especially as she's supposed to be a master manipulator. Was she planning to ditch all of them? What was she thinking?
    • It was a weird problem that contradicted what had been established earlier. In the episode/flashback where Phoebe moved out, she said very tenderly (and it seemed to be honest) that she loved Monica and wanted to stay close friends, but living with her made that impossible because Monica's obsessions were driving her crazy. That seemed more true to their characters and was even logical. Phasing Monica out would mean losing them all, and they were already more like Phoebe's family.
    • Plus the episode was inconsistent in other ways: It said Phoebe moved out in 1992 before Chandler arrived when flashbacks show Phoebe moved out in 1993 when Chandler had been living across the hall for ages. (The flashback showed him looking for a new roommate so presumably Kip had already come and gone, meaning he might have been there even longer than Phoebe, we don't know how long she lived with Monica). So basically a inconsistent episode all round.
    • Well that's why it didn't work. Phoebe was so annoyed by Monica's behaviour that she wanted to be away from her without realising she'd be losing out on her main social circle. Phoebe eventually realised she was probably being very unreasonable and gave Monica another chance.
    • That still doesn't work. But again, 10th season, bad writing.

     Phoebe and Animals 
  • So Phoebe is a vegetarian and pro-animal-rights, when she gets a coat made of mink fur she eventually can't handle the guilt and throws it away, and yet on TOW The Worst Best Man Ever she wants leather pants? What?
    • Truth in Television. A shocking number of people kick up a huge fuss about fur being unethical, but conveniently forget that ever-fashionable leather doesn't come from trees.
    • As well, a vegetarian friend explained it to me this way: people eat beef but don't eat mink. The cows are going to die anyway for food. The minks are raised solely for their skin and are killed in a gruesome manner, making it a far crueler life.
    • There's also the lingering possibility that the pants were some type of synthetic fabric and everybody called them leather pants for the sake of simplicity. This is also an easy handwave for the odd occasion where it appears she's wearing something (usually shoes) that looks like it was made from leather or suede.
    • Some vegetarians literally just don't eat meat and don't really mind about other animal products. Phoebe might not care about leather, or she might know of a store that sells responsibly-sourced leather, if that's a thing.

     Ross's Inconsistent Birth 
  • So it's been implied that Ross is the favorite child because Judy and Jack thought she was barren and unable to conceive until he came along. In the one where Monica's childhood stuff gets ruined from a flood (which isn't ''literally'' the title of the epsiode), Jack repeatedly commends how Ross was a 'Medical Marvel' which he admits may have been why they favored him over Monica. Okay, so, now... how does this match up in 'The One With Rachael's Book' where, while discussing Monica and Chandler's engagement over dinner, Jack brings up the story of how they got engaged because Judy became pregnant out of wedlock (due to a dog chewing up her Diaphragm)... Am I missing something here? So, what, were they trying to have a kid before they even got engaged, thought she was barren and then gave up some time before? But if they thought she was barren at the time, why did she even have a Diaphragm? Is one of these two stories a lie they're telling their kids? I wouldn't mind so much if this were just a simple continuity flaw, as that's forgivable to eventually happen over the span of a long-running show, but these two episodes were in the same freaking season...
  • In Season 8, Ross' parents celebrate their 35th anniversary in 2002. Ross is believed to have been born in 1967, though there is some inconsistency there. This would make Ross born the same year his parents got married, implying he was the child they were pregnant with at the time. I guess they were trying to conceive before they were married.

     TOW The Baby on the Bus 
  • OK, I'm sure it wasn't the biggest problem with that episode, but does anyone else find it strange that Condom Guy is Phoebe's brother?
    • You Look Familiar. Fans also like to think that it this is an Early-Bird Cameo of the character, even if the writers doubtfully intended it (considering his name is just 'Condom Boy' in the credits, and... there's really no point in his appearance other than for that joke).
    • It's something to do with him getting that appearance so then he could appear again later on. They weren't really clear on the details.

     Phoebe's Education 
  • Has Phoebe gone to high school or hasn't she? Because there seems to be an inconclusive canon about it.
    • An episode was centered on the fact that she hadn't (that one where she and Rachel read Wuthering Heights) but I can't recall anywhere it stated that she had...
  • It's stated repeatedly that Phoebe started living on the streets when she was 14, just after her mother died. With that time frame, she attended high school for a few months at the most, but probably not at all. I also can't remember any suggestion that she attended high school properly.
    • She didn't have a prom, or any of the things like that, which is one of the reasons that ultimately she wants a wedding, so she probably didn't go to high school, or at least dropped out before her junior year. She was 14 when she mugged Ross, so she was on the streets by that age, though.
    • In regard to her speaking French fluently: in "TOW Phoebe's ex-partner," there is mention that Phoebe used to travel with her mother when she worked on a barge. There actually is a line of merchant barges that goes between New York and Quebec, so it's possible that if Phoebe's mother worked on the barge for several years, Phoebe was around French-speaking Canadians a lot when she was a small child, and that's how she learned French.
      • I think at one point she mentions she used to meet up with people behind a dumpster to learn French, presumably during her homeless days.

    The Marriage Annulment 
  • When Rachel and Ross visit a judge to get their marriage annulled, Rachel comes up with various, increasingly preposterous reasons for the annulment. The judge then finds out Rachel isn't telling the truth, and refuses to annul the marriage, after which Rachel and Ross are forced to get a divorce. The question is, why don't Ross and Rachel at this point explain the real reason they want to annul the marriage: that they had gotten married in Vegas while extremely drunk, and didn't even remember what had happened the next morning? This should be a valid reason for annulment, and Ross and Rachel can even provide witnesses (Monica and Chandler) to corroborate their story, if the judge is still sceptical.
    • Ross suggests that that would have worked just fine, if Rachel hadn't lied on the forms for her own amusement. Now they've got an annoyed judge who feels that they've wasted her time and resources, on top of lying to her. Of course she's not going to give them their annulment. She could also caution other judges in the district about them, so no one will hear them out. This is another example of a bad situation being Rachel's fault, and everyone just moving past that without comment.
      • She'd been lied to and stayed married without her consent just because he had a complex about being divorced. It was written badly to make them both look crappy, but I'd be livid too.
      • Except that judges are supposed to be professional. They can't refuse to do their job just because they're annoyed. And certainly not every judge in the district should or would refuse to annul the marriage just because a colleague of theirs was annoyed.
      • They lied to a judge, repeatedly, not only is that technically perjury but it also means their credibility is totally shot. It doesn't matter if they follow it up by pleading that they are telling the truth now, because how can anyone trust them to be telling the truth? You are meant to tell the truth in the first instance, not just when your lies have been busted. They go to another judge with alleged witnesses to this new story (which the judge would have no way of verifying as they are not privy to the events as we the viewers are) and it just looks like they have cooked up a new story and brought some sketchy friends too. Friends who happen to be Ross's sister and brother-in-law, hardly credible and impartial. Add that into Ross and Rachel having admitted a pre-existing relationship, and you've got what looks like a clear case of regretted impulsive, but consensual, marriage which is something for the divorce courts not annulments. Fairly certain, also, that when asking for an annulment, you've got to disclose whether or not you've already had a previous application refused. You can't just shop around until you get a lazy judge who likes you enough to let you skate by.

     How did they meet Phoebe? 
  • Ok, so Rachel knew Ross and Monica in high school, Chandler was Ross's college roommate, and Joey answered an ad to become Chandler's roommate. How does Phoebe fit into this? I don't recall them saying on the show, but maybe they did and I forgot.
    • The specifics of how they met Phoebe are never explained. We know that she used to be Monica's roommate, but it remains unclear whether she already knew the others before moving in with Monica, or whether she was just a random person who answered an ad for a roommate, just like Joey was.
      • Judging from the complete lack of any mention of prior connections it is pretty clear that Phoebe just answered an ad. The show was pretty good at establishing character relationship histories (if not at keeping them consistent) so if there was any history it would have been mentioned

     Ross' reasons for hating Sandy 
  • In the episode where Rachel gets a male nanny (named Sandy) to take care of Emma, Ross gets inexplicably angry and uncomfortable with his admittedly feminine-associated behavior (crying easily, childcare, skincare, baking desserts, etc). More than any other character in the episode, in fact (Monica and Rachel love him, Joey quickly bonds with the guy, Pheobe is preoccupied with boyfriend trouble and Chandler cares more about his subplot with Monica). Eventually at the end, he discusses it with Sandy and reveals that his father put a lot of pressure on him to be manly during his childhood, often putting him down for being so unmasculine. ...Except in an earlier episode it's shown they have home movies of Ross dressing up in his mother's clothes, and by Monica's comments this is suggested to have been a regular occurrence. So where did this pressure to not be sensitive come from, if his parents were okay enough with him cross-dressing as a child to make and keep movies of it? Did it just happen later? And why, if it wasn't a problem during his more formative years?
    • Jack was shown to be quite critical of what he considered feminine behaviour (such as Ross wearing a tank top, and saying he wasn't a "real boy"), so perhaps his parents really did take issue with him dressing up like a girl and drilled into him that that wasn't OK? He may have overcompensated by irrationally hating "feminine" men.
    • The thing is that if they actually drilled it into him that it wasn't okay, and if Jack got so upset at something as simple as playing with dinosaur toys as Ross claims in the episode, they wouldn't have made and then kept tapes of him dressing as a girl. I don't recall any instances which had him being critical of Ross's behavior (the tank top thing is from this episode and so doesn't solve the headscratcher,) but I do know his entire personality on the show has been that of a goofball—one that's not very aware of when he's hurting people's feelings (mostly Monica's) mind you, but a goofball, not a "tough guy" who yells at his son for not playing outside. And even more importantly, he and Judy practically worshiped Ross for engaging in his "nerdy" interests, regarding dinosaurs or anything else.

     Phoebe's "roommate" Denise 
  • What was with the Denise storyline? It didn't work as a joke because it didn't go anywhere. She just randomly made up a roommate for...what reason? Phoebe's oddness always had a humorous payoff, but in this instance she just shrieked a lot about how she just couldn't believe that none of them didn't know about a roommate that she didn't actually have. And then they never mentioned it again.
    • It was just a throwaway joke. The writers have openly admitted that Denise was just a figment of Phoebe's imagination and never actually existed.
    • What do you mean it didn't go anywhere? She talks about her all the time! DENISE!

     Emily's discomfort over Rachel 
  • I get that Emily didn't like that Ross and Rachel had a history, and thus didn't want her at the wedding, but how come Ross never once brought up the fact that she wasn't simply his ex, but the woman responsible for introducing them in the first place?
    • Well, let's not forget why Rachel introduced them. She wasn't trying to play "matchmaker." Rachel just wanted to get out of taking her boss's niece (Emily) to the opera, so that she could go to a nightclub with Joshua. It was basically the equivalent of asking a friend to type up a report for you so that you wouldn't miss out on a date night. In fact, Rachel was pissed when she found out that Ross and Emily wound up at a bed-and-breakfast in Vermont together, although Ross might not have known that. But Ross certainly did know what Rachel's motivations were for getting him to take Emily to the opera. That may have been why he didn't place much weight on the fact that she had introduced them.
    • Ross did thank Rachel for introducing him to Emily, but that could just as easily have been for form's sake as anything else.
    • Speaking of which, when Ross agreed that he would no longer speak to Rachel, Emily called Rachel and Monica's place to speak to Ross, but gets angry when she finds out Rachel is there. She was previously not suspicious that Rachel may be there until Joey gave it away, but Emily had called up the landline phone at Rachel's apartment. Why wouldn't Rachel be there? Finding Ross at Rachel's apartment, with or without Rachel there, is still a violation of their 'No Seeing Rachel' agreement.
      • Rachel's apartment is primarily Monica's apartment; considering Emily's control issues, she may have been assuming that Rachel had been made to leave the apartment.

    Susan's Profile 
  • Now I've watched the series many times already but I never found a clear answer to what did Susan do? I know in one of the earlier seasons, for valentines, Ross brought a date to this sushi place and to his surprise, Susan and Carol enter and sit down right across from him and his date. Susan gets a call in the middle of the meal and you hear Carol say," I thought they said they could do the shoot without you." In a later season, Susan has a shoot that is happening in England which prompts Emily to say that she will take Susan around and this sets up the whole episode with Ross' paranoia of having another one of his lovers become lesbian.
In the end I still don't know what Susan's job title is, though I know she does shoots... Is she a PA, AD, Crew, Actress, model, etc????

     Phoebe's incestuous practical jokes 
  • Okay, so I watched the episode where Phoebe is going to give birth to his triplets, and she tells the nurse that neither Joey or Chandler (who stood next to her) is the father, but her brother is. To which the nurse is, obviously, squicked. Afterwards, Rachel says she's going to miss the times when Phoebe scare people with that statement. note  I don't live in the US and don't know the laws there, so I researched specifically for incest laws in New York, where Friends take place, and I wonder something. How come the nurse didn't think of calling the police, or anyone else they scared for that matter? Incestuous intercourse and marriages are prohibited there. And while we know that no incest has been committed, the people Phoebe scares don't. For that matter, why isn't Phoebe and her friends cautious about saying such things? They could risk themselves ending up in prison, especially since her brother is merely 18.
    • Or at the very least, shouldn't the nurse have informed social services?
    • I think the situation was later clarified to the nurse so that she wouldn't report the supposed crime.
      • Basically, Phoebe gets the initial freak out, gets a laugh and then explains. If you hear something like that dropped casually wouldn't you ask for clarification before trying to call the cops?

     Ursula/"Phoebe" as a porn star 
  • In season 6, Ursula is revealed to be working as a porn actress under Phoebe's name. The Friends all react surprised...but given how sex/porn-obsessed Chandler and especially Joey are, wouldn't they likely have come across her movies before? She's apparently famous enough that random guys at the coffeehouse recognize her, and even Gunther is shown knowing about her "career".
    • I think if I became aware that someone I knew might be a porn star, I'd keep a lid on it.
    • If the porn was of a specific kink then it's plausible they hadn't.
    • And, to be fair, there is a LOT of porn out there. It could very well be that they just never came across it. If they have favourite actresses that they look out for and go directly to their films, it would never occur to them to search for their friend's name.
      • Fair enough. It just seemed to me like she was supposed to be a well-known porn star in-universe, given that several guys in the episode recognize her. It seemed likely that at some point Chandler and Joey would at least have seen her face on a VHS cover or something.
      • Ursula was apparently pretty good but not a 'star' so while she's got a few videos out she's not well advertised or well known yet.

    Joey's acting ability 
  • Is Joey supposed to be a good actor or not? There are frequent references to him lying on his resume, he doesn't do accents very well, he apparently sometimes waves to his friends while on stage, he sometimes behaves oddly at auditions and yet he books work and even manages to get a recurring role in a TV series as well as several films.
    • Doesn't this change over the course of the series? I got the impression Joey improved as an actor (in-universe) substantially, progressing from crappy stage plays to a major motion picture and recurring (starring?) role on a soap opera.
    • This might be a case of Truth in Television, as many actors improve on the job. If you compare an actor's early work to their latest movie, you probably wouldn't even recognise them. The confusion may stem from the fact that Joey is not a trained actor, as revealed in TOW Phoebe's Rats. As far as I'm aware, we never even hear why Joey decided to become an actor in the first place, whether he has a passion for it or thought he couldn't do anything else.
    • It’s not like we see him get Oscar-caliber work, it’s mostly crappy shows and movies (like Mac and C.H.E.E.S.E. and even Days of Our Lives, which looks pretty lame from the clips we see of it; the only possible exception being the World War I movie). Also, looks and charisma can go a long way in show business and I always figured that helped him somewhat.
    • At the end of the day, it seems he's just good enough to pass in mediocre plays, television and movies (although the WWI movie he was in seemed like a big deal). Besides, his work ethic isn't the best. Like the first commenter said, he lies on his resume and doesn't seem too committed to his roles, one time he even, in response to Phoebe saying "You're going to go up there having nothing prepared?" says "Hey, I do it every week with several cameras pointing to me.". Not to mention being late for work. Then again, it's also been suggested that Estelle isn't the best agent. In response to another commenter, I would say that Joey fell into acting without thinking too much about it, given that he doesn't even know that most actors study the craft beforehand.

    Joey's lewd comments 
  • How are none of the women ever creeped out by Joey's various comments and the fact that he always seems up for having sex with them at the drop of a hat?
    • I think Matt LaBlanc talked about this in an interview, that Joey's just harmless and charming enough that they're mostly okay with it.
      • Yeah, whenever one of the ladies respond to his flirts he panics and backs off or tells the others not to let them drink any more.

    Chandler and Janice not knowing it was each other they were chatting to online 
  • Wouldn't they have told each other their names beforehand, especially if it was serious to the point of meeting in real life?
    • Maybe they were using screen names, and just called each other by those?
    • Back in the early days of the internet, people generally didn't give out their real names online. They probably knew one another via their online handles and planned to keep it that way until they met face to face. Internet Safety was a little overcautious back then, especially for two twenty-somethings who didn't grow up using the internet.

     The marker on Rachel's face in Vegas 
  • In the episodes that take place in Vegas, Ross draws on Rachel's face with permanent marker. She can't wash it off, and after trying a few things they call the company, who says that nothing they do will get the marker off. Yet, in the episode after Rachel and Ross get married and they sit down to breakfast, the marker is no longer on her face. How?
    • Maybe Rachel wore heavy flesh-tone make-up on her face for the remainder of the series.
    • I believe they mentioned that they'd considered having them still with faded marker on their faces but it didn't really show up so they just didn't bother and hoped people forgot over the summer.
    • Why were they not able to remove it in the first place? Permanent marker can be removed using many different household items, such as these [1]. Ross tells the customer service rep that they tried several things, but the rep said that there wasn't anything that would work. Is this some kind of special marker designed to withstand any attempts at removal?
    • [2] says the writers had a long discussion on what to do with the marker situation, and they decided to just not have the marker at all.
    • There's plenty of things that stain your skin but also fade away over time. It's a marker, not make up, and thus not made for application on the face. It's feasible that with vigorous cleansing and scrubbing the marker would've faded. It probably wouldn't have disappeared by the next day like they show, but it wouldn't be as visible.

     Ross wearing a woman's shirt 
  • In the episode where Ross wears a woman's shirt, the explanation is that Rachel picked out some clothes for him but left him the wrong bag and he ended up with clothes she picked out for herself instead of him. The problem with this is that Ross is straight out ripped and much taller than Rachel. So how exactly can Ross not only fit into it but wear it comfortably without any tightness at all, if it was really designed for a woman Rachel's size? An earlier episode even showed when Ross was taking back his things after the breakup that a shirt that was very small on him was perfect for her.
    • It's perhaps possible that Ross saw the shirt Rachel supposedly picked out for him, realized it was too small for him, and exchanged it for a larger size? Although that would require him not questioning why it was Rachel's size to begin with.

     Carol and Susan own a worn out Jeep Wagoneer? 
  • In The One Without The Ski Trip, Everybody but Ross gets stranded by the side of the road in Phoebe's cab. Ross gets called to come find them, and Carol gives him the keys to her car to go pick them up. When he shows up, he's driving a worn out Jeep Wagoneer with a crooked license plate. It seems like an odd choice for a woman who lives in Manhattan. A vehicle like that would be much more at home on Duck Dynasty...
    • A Jeep is considered a somewhat masculine vehicle, so it's probably just a mild lesbian joke.

     Ross doesn't know much about Carol's family? 
  • In the 2nd episode "TOW the Sonogram at the End", there's a throwaway joke where Carol says her and Susan were considering "Minnie" for a name if their child is a girl. Ross says, "As in mouse?" Carol says, annoyed, "No, as in my aunt." Ross then adds, "Still, you hear mouse." This is kind of a strange moment if you stop and think about it. Ross had been married to Carol for a few years, and surely he would have known or remembered that Carol has an aunt named Minnie, so shouldn't he have known that's where she's getting the name from?
    • The answer is right there in your question, he hears 'Minnie' he thinks 'Minnie Mouse'.
    • In TOW Carol and Susan's wedding, Ross refers to Carol's parents by their first names. So clearly he knows something about her family.
    • That was the name of her grandmother, not her aunt. She could've also passed away and he never met her so maybe it never came up except in passing in conversations.

     Joey and The Shining 
  • During the episode when Joey and Rachel swap their books, Joey is suggested to have read The Shining several times. Yet when he's spoiling the book, all of the spoilers he refers to are from the movie, not the book. This could be excused by the writers not being familiar with the differences between the book and the movie, yet when he spoils the ending for Rachel he references the fact that the boiler explodes, which is the ending of the book and not the movie. So...why is he talking about the movie plot when discussing the book?
    • As dim-witted as Joey can be most of the time, it's not impossible that he was getting the book and movie completely confused with one another.
    • Joey says, "All right, the boiler explodes and destroys the hotel, and kills the dad." That describes the book, not the film.
    • Look guys, this is really simple. Far more people have seen the movie than the book, so to make sure the audience understood the joke they used plot points from the film.

     Why didn't they call 911 in "The One with the Giant Poking Device"? 
  • In the episode, they notice that Ugly Naked Guy has been lying still for a long time, so they device a long poking device out of unused chopsticks. However, it clearly takes an hour or more for them to build it, enough time for Chandler to meet up with Janice in Central Perk and break up with her. If Ugly Naked Guy had really had a seizure or something, by the time the device is ready he could be dead already. So why couldn't they just call 911 as soon as they noticed UNG's condition? I doubt the 911 operator would really care about them spying on him, and they could simply explain that they happen to see inside UNG's apartment through their window, and that they've noticed he wasn't moving. Or if it was somehow too shameful for them to call 911, why don't they just go to UNG's building, buzz the neighbours until one of them answers, and either ask him to let them inside so they can ring UNG's doorbell, or ask the neighbour to do that, if he doesn't want to let them in?
    • "Yeah, hi, police? We were just staring into someone else's apartment, watching him walk around naked, and he fell over and now we're worried about him. The address? Not really sure. His name? No, we don't know him. He's just this Big Fat Ugly Naked Guy."
      • Indeed. They specifically point out that they wouldn't be taken seriously if they did call 911.
    • If Ugly Naked Guy was dead, then he had likely been dead for hours (based on Joey's observation that he hadn't moved since that morning), so there was no actual hurry for them to do anything as there was little chance that a doctor could do anything for him if he really was dead after so long.

     Why was Janice so surprised to find out that Chandler was the guy she'd been chatting with online? 
  • Wouldn't she have at least suspected it was him as soon as he (I assume) suggested meeting at Central Perk?
    • Chandler's not the only person who goes to Central Perk, and a coffee house is a natural meeting place. There's no reason for her to think it's definitely Chandler just because of that.

     "I'm Monica. I'm disgusting. I stalk guys and keep their underpants." 
  • Why didn't anyone make a bigger deal out of this? Everyone was SHOCKED when they found out that Monica and Chandler were sleeping together, but everyone just forgot that she'd apparently slept with Joey?
    • Sleeping together versus slept together. Once was a bit of a shock, but considering that it didn't really lead to any alteration of the group dynamic, it was probably shrugged off. Two good friends who are both hot hooking up casually isn't that unusual - Janice even remarks that she can't believe it hasn't happened at all. But finding out that they had been regularly sleeping together and were clearly in a relationship (whatever they themselves might have protested to the contrary) was a way bigger game-changer.

    How and when did Phoebe get off the streets? 
  • Is it ever explained how Phoebe went from being homeless to...well being not? It not really something you can just decide not to do anymore. Someone or some organisation must have helped her.
    • In the early seasons she lived with her grandmother Frances (at least, they thought Frances' daughter Lily was Phoebe's mother when it was really Phoebe Sr., it's a long story). It's entirely possible that it took awhile for Frances to find Phoebe living on the streets after Lily died (in fact, maybe Frances happened to be driving by in her cab and saw the resemblance).

     The power of writers? 
  • In TOW Dr Ramoray Dies, it’s shown that Joey is fired from Days of Our Lives because he states in an interview that he writes a lot of his own lines and thus, the writers are offended and have his character die. How is that possible? I would have thought that a big decision like killing off a main character would need to be discussed with and approved by the producers of the show too, and yet they are never shown to have a problem with Joey. Additionally, from the way Joey describes it, Dr Ramoray is involved in some upcoming plot lines, it would be silly to have him suddenly leave unless there was a massive problem with the actor, which there doesn’t seem to be.
    • It's a 90s soap opera. They're infamous for being sloppily written (or at least written as it goes along) and largely influenced by Real Life Writes the Plot, which in this case includes a belligerent and offended head writer.

  • In "The One At The Beach", was Ross really questioning Bonnie's suitability as a girlfriend all because she shaved her head?
    • He was not. He still had feelings for Rachel and that's why he broke up with her. Considering how that worked out, he probably should have stayed with Bonnie instead.
    • Wait, what? When was Ross ever questioning Bonnie's suitability as a girlfriend in that episode? He was unhappy that she was bald now, because it made her less attractive. Um, yeah, does that really surprise you? If a man decided to do something weird with his appearance, like dying his hair green or something, would you blame his girlfriend for not liking it? That was the whole reason that Rachel talked Bonnie into shaving her head in the first place, because Rachel was hurt and angry that Ross had moved on to dating somebody new and wanted to punish him. Anyway, Ross never said that he was going to break up with Bonnie over it. As was pointed out above, when he did break up with Bonnie, it was because of his feelings for Rachel, not because of anything that Bonnie did.
    • It's one thing if he still had feelings for Rachel, however it's very pathetic that he viewed her shaved head as a "turn-off," especially since this shows that he seemed to mainly like her for the way she looked physically. Plus, it brings up a lot of questions; if Bonnie became bald due to illness or chemotherapy, would Ross still have viewed her as "freakish" or "unattractive?" If so, then would he have treated Rachel the same way if she either shaved her head, or lost her hair from illness?
    • Ross did not want to break up with Bonnie until Rachel showed that she still had feelings for him so clearly he did not find her bald head a turn-off. He might have been surprised at first but as the person above you pointed out that was understandable.

    Joey moves out 
  • In the episode where Joey moves into a nicer apartment, why didn't Joey and Chandler entertain the thought of both of them moving into the new place together? Heck, why didn't they move in together after he lost his job and then Crazy Eddie could've just had the other apartment to himself?
    • The point was Joey wanting to get his own place now that he was making enough money to afford it. He didn't need a roommate, so there's no point to Chandler leaving the apartment he's already signed a lease on to go live with him.

    Ross the Brown Bird 
  • In the episode where Ross breaks a little girl's leg and sells cookies for her so she can go to space camp, why didn't he just pay for her to go to space camp when he lost instead of building a fake one in Chandler and Joey's apartment? It's never even brought up as an option.
    • IIRC The space camp thing was a prize for the one who sold the most candy bars, it wasn't something that could be bought (and it would be unfair to the winner if it was.) Otherwise, it probably would have been way too expensive considering how many candy bars he had to sell.

    "If you'd just done that after the last contest . . ." 
  • In "The One with All the Haste", after Rachel and Monica get their apartment back by kissing for one minute in front of Joey and Chandler, Phoebe comments that, "If you'd just done that after the last contest, no one would have had to move it all." But the "last contest", as seen earlier in the episode, is a failed attempt by Rachel and Monica to win their apartment back; had they then immediately resorted to the make out strategy, they would've still had to move all their stuff from one apartment to the other. So I'm not quite sure what's being suggested here.
    • "Last" contest means the contest previous to the "latest" contest, the latest contest being the one in this episode that you're referring to. (Monica and Rachel kissing does not count as a contest.) The last contest was the one where they lost their apartment.

     Rachel's reasons for hating Julie 
  • At the end of Season 1, Rachel found out, for the first time ever, that Ross had been in love with her for nearly a decade. Then, for the first half of Season 2, Ross had a relationship with Julie, much to the chagrin of Rachel, who took every opportunity she had to put her down behind their backs; lie to Phoebe to give her the wrong haircut, put Monica down just for shopping with her, etc. Since Ross and Rachel had never been together before that, why would Rachel make such a big deal out of it all?
    • Rachel realized she returned Ross's feelings and was already in love with him (or as in love with someone as you can be without being a romantic couple with them yet.) She wasn't mad at Julie for stealing her man, she was mad at Julie for stealing her potential future with Ross, a future that she was clearly looking forward to and was crushed to realize wasn't possible.

     Erika (Joey’s Stalker) 
  • How did she find Joey’s apartment? Does some part of her mind know that Drake Ramoray is played by Joey Tribbiani and thus look him up?

     Chandler being offensive to Phoebe 
  • In TOW Joey Tells Rachel, Phoebe is dating Don, who she says is Monica's 'soulmate' because they have so much in common and he's her 'type'. Chandler being Chandler, he worries irrationally that Monica is going to leave him at the drop of a hat. He also insinuates to Phoebe that something might happen between Monica and Don, and at no point is she at all offended by this. Granted, Phoebe, before meeting Mike, seems to have a very casual approach to dating, but if it were me, I'd be supremely offended that someone thought something might happen between the guy I'm dating and another woman, just because they have a lot in common, as if I mean nothing to the guy.
    • Phoebe already told Chandler that she thought she'd found Monica's soulmate, implying to his face—as she has done before multiple times, as well as behind his back—that Chandler's not good enough for Monica and that she just settled for him instead of finding someone better. That's already an incredibly mean and insensitive thing to do, especially since Chandler's supposed to have been her friend for years and she knows how insecure he is about feeling unworthy of love. Then she brings the guy to meet Monica, and with Chandler sitting right there? If she's offended by Chandler getting upset, she'd have no one to blame but herself. That aside, Chandler actually brings up the issue of why she'd go out with this guy if she thinks he's destined for someone else, to which Phoebe flippantly responds "he may not be my soulmate, but a girl's gotta eat". Doesn't sound like he means a whole lot to her.
      • That answers the original headscratcher but to be clear, Phoebe did not bring him to meet Monica. She very clearly apologizes to Chandler and says that she didn't know they would be running into them. She makes a lot of insensitive jokes, but she doesn't try to actually break them up to my knowledge. And to further clarify with Phoebe and Monica's "soulmate", dating does not mean they are being exclusive (as in boyfriend-girlfriend.)

     Rachel’s Criminal Capers 
  • In the series 7 episode where Ross and Rachel go for a drive in Monica’s Porsche, I was confused by the lack of reaction to this. Ross tries to stop her only because she’s allegedly a bad driver. He makes no mention of the fact that Monica - the legal owner of the car - has expressly forbidden Rachel from driving the car. Surely Ross, a stickler for the rules, would take issue with the fact that what Rachel is doing is illegal and, not to mention, a huge violation of Monica’s trust. In addition to this why didn’t either of the cops that pulled them over, note that the car wasn’t registered to them and ask if they had the owners consent to drive it. A Porsche is, I imagine, a highly sought after car and therefore more likely than other models to be stolen so you’d think they would have at least mentioned it?
    • The writers probably didn't think it was that deep; the whole setup was just to make a "Ross tries to flirt with a male cop" joke and it would have been too much time to show Rachel and Ross getting arrested for car theft. Rachel borrows Monica's things without permission all the time, the car is just the latest thing Monica owns that she does this for, hence the lack of serious reaction from the gang. As for the cops, the first one was being flirty with Rachel and probably didn't even notice the car wasn't hers. The second one, we didn't see the end of his encounter with Ross so he might have questioned them about it later.

     Problems with Rachel dating Tag? 
  • So why, when it looks like Rachel's boss has found out about her and Tag, are the consequences for doing this him having to consult with the legal team and her potentially being fired? Maybe it's because I'm not American but is dating a co-worker really a sackable offence like that?
    • Rachel is Tag’s boss not colleague. I imagine that Rachel’s boss, Mr Zellner, is worried about the potential for Tag to file a sexual harassment suit against the firm which is why he is consulting the legal department. And as for Rachel potentially being fired, a lot of companies world wide have policies against superiors dating their subordinates, for precisely that reason. Mr Zellner’s thinking is probably that It’s unlikely Tag would file suit when he and Rachel are together but maybe if he and Rachel were to have an acrimonious break up he might change his mind and look for a payout either out of greed or revenge.


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