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Series / Joey

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Go west, young man.

"On Friends, Joey was a womanizer, but we enjoyed his exploits. He was a solid friend, a guy you knew you could count on. Joey was deconstructed to be a guy who couldn't get a job, couldn't ask a girl out. He became a pathetic, mopey character. I felt he was moving in the wrong direction, but I was not heard."
Kevin S. Bright, executive producer of the show.

Joey was a Spin-Off of the wildly popular sitcom Friends. It transplanted wannabe actor Joey Tribbiani (Matt LeBlanc) to Los Angeles, where he tried to make a go of becoming a big star. It added new characters such as Gina, his equally promiscuous sister, played by Drea de Matteo of The Sopranos; Michael, his sheltered nephew, played by Paulo Costanzo, and their neighbor Alex, played by Andrea Anders. Plots usually revolved around one of three things:

  • A. Gina's love life in trouble.
  • B. Michael's inability to get a date.
  • C. Alex and Joey's romantic issues.

Some people were apprehensive about this spin-off as they were unsure of whether Joey would be able to stand on his own as a character and support his own show. The first episode drew in fairly impressive ratings (18 million viewers) and the show was successful enough to get a second season. Though in the second season NBC put it up against American Idol among other things, causing its ratings to drop which was the final nail in the coffin. In the middle of the second season, Joey was no more, at least in the US, the remaining episodes did air overseas and were eventually released on DVD... in Canada. A total of 46 episodes were released, from September, 2004 to May, 2006.


Not to be confused with the other kind of joey (a newborn marsupial) — as Joey himself once did — or with a 1997 film about that kind of joey.

This show provides examples of:

  • And Starring: Drea de Matteo
  • As Himself:
    • Brent Spiner in "Joey and the Premiere".
    • Carmen Electra is the reason why an episode is "Joey and the Temptation", and returns the following season.
    • "Joey and the Poker" has a few of those in Celebrity Poker Showdown.
  • Big Eater: Joey, just as much as ever.
  • Brother–Sister Incest: Played for laughs - Gina kisses Joey deliberately to squick him out, so that he'll understand just how inappropriate it is to flirt with the actress playing his character's daughter.
  • Chuck Cunningham Syndrome:
    • Zach was absent from the last five episodes of the series with no explanation and he was never mentioned or refered to again.
    • Lauren the Deep Powder producer (played by Lucy Liu) appeared on several episodes and was set up as a potential love interest for Joey, but disappeared before anything could come of it.
  • Advertisement:
  • Dawson Casting: In-universe example: Joey flirts with an actress in her mid 20s at an audition, then finds out that she has been cast as the teenage daughter of the character he is auditioning for. While reading a scene with her, the two of them put in huge amounts of Double Entendre into all their lines, and finally end up making out. The casting director simply tells Joey "Never have a daughter!"
  • Double Standard: Joey's middle-aged agent Bobbi, who frequently hit on Joey's 21-year-old nephew Michael. This was Played for Laughs until the end of season one, where she told Joey she could get Michael and a friend tickets to Revenge of the Sith, but used it to trick Michael into a date with her. Gina was pissed.
  • Easter Egg: Joey has a picture of himself and Chandler near his door.
  • The Eponymous Show
  • Every Scar Has a Story: Played for Laughs. Joey recounts how each of his scars taught him an important lesson:
    Joey: [pointing at his hand] Don't touch the stove. [pointing at his mouth] Don't run with scissors in your mouth. [pointing at his tongue] Don't lick the peanut butter off steak knife. […] [pointing at the top of his head] Always stay seated in the roller-coaster.
  • Fingore: One episode has Gina dating a man who used to work in a construction site until he lost a toe. Now that the money earned from the injury has ended, he's considering losing a finger...
  • Gone Horribly Right: Joey is told to woo a reporter in order for her to write flattering material. She proceeds to fall madly in love and think they're about to get married.
  • Gosh Darn It to Heck!: When upset Alex exclams "Geez Luigi!".
  • Hands-Off Parenting: One episode features Joey upset with an online critic who happens to be an 11-year-old girl. Her father lets Joey see her no questions asked despite the the visible anger he is showing. Then when witnessing a hug between the two, he offers Joey pizza.
  • High-Five Left Hanging:
    • In "Joey and the Taste Test", Lauren, who is Terrified of Germs to the point of avoiding skin-to-skin contact, questions Joey about his relationship with his co-star:
      Lauren: So, you and Katie- what's going on there?
      Joey: Oh, well, I'm a gentleman, so let's just say I'm still circling the airport, but I have been given permission to land. [holds up hand for a high five]
      Lauren: I'm going to leave you hanging on that one.
    • In "Joey and the High School Friend", as Joey is describing his relationship with the high school friend:
      Joey: I mean, we hit on all these girls together except for each other's sisters. That was our code. Okay, which was really hard because his sisters were hot and my sisters were slutty. [holds up his hand to Michael]
      Michael: What? I'm not gonna high-five that.
      Joey: Okay, I may have just made an offensive comment about your aunts and mother, but you never leave me hanging.
      Michael: Okay, whatever. [smacks his hand]
      Later that episode, Joey holds up his hand for another high five after making an inappropriately timed comment. Michael stares at him in disbelief, and he admits, "All right, that was a bad one, but you gotta do it!" Michael just walks out of the room.
  • Hollywood Nerd: Michael is a very good case of this, down to rejecting a girl to hang out with Brent Spiner.
  • Hypocritical Humor: Gina is often critical of others' decisions, such as saying Joey was rushing things by wanting to move in with his new girlfriend.
    Joey: "You like thinking through life's big decisions?" (points at Michael)
  • I Am Your Father: Inverted—everybody except Michael's father is aware that Michael is his son.
  • Idiosyncratic Episode Naming: Like with Friends, episode titles follow a fill-in-the-blank formula. In this case, it's "Joey and the __".
  • It Will Never Catch On: In the pilot, Joey is given the choice between two shows, one about nurses and one about cops. He goes with the cop show, thinking the nurses one will not be any good. One Gilligan Cut later, the cop show is cancelled before it even airs while Nurses is a smash hit.
  • Laugh Track: One of the last NBC comedies to have one. The failure of this show, as well as the success of The Office (which began airing in between Joey's two seasons), are the reasons that most NBC comedies of the new millennium were free-camera sitcoms without laugh tracks. (The three-camera sitcom is currently making a comeback, though, due to CBS's skyrocketing ratings.)
  • May–December Romance: Michael's first fling is a forty-something book store owner. Who in turn is cheating on him with a much older teacher...
  • Mistaken for Gay: Joey's sister Gina thought that Chandler and Joey were a gay couple. Understandable, considering they did squabble like man and wife.
  • Nice Job Breaking It, Hero: Joey accidentally revealed that a specific character was going to be killed off in an early episode of his new show, Deep Powder in a press junket. The rest of the episode featured Joey being worried that he'd be killed off in retaliation for the leak, but the producers of the show instead killed off a different character, who was played by a Jerkass that nobody involved with the show liked.
  • No Poker Face: In "Joey and the Poker". While playing poker with Alex and thoroughly losing, Joey wonders what he's doing wrong. Then he draws three new cards, and his eyes go big and he gasps before pressing his mouth into a line and trying to act nonchalant.
    Joey: Alright, well, I guess I'll raise.
    Alex: I fold.
    Joey: It's like you can read my mind!
  • No Stunt Double: In-Universe. In one episode, Joey is forced to perform a stunt himself when he gets his double injured.
  • Sensitive Guy and Manly Man: Joey is a Casanova with an IQ of 2; Michael's a refugee from The Big Bang Theory.
  • Serious Business: Gina does not take lightly to Alex claiming she made a better lasagna than her, and orders a "taste test".
  • Shout-Out to Shakespeare:
    • Joey says, "I did the soap thing, but I can be serious. 'Romeo, Romeo, wherefore art thou Romeo?' That's Romeo." Alex notes that it's actually Juliet, making Joey disappointed.
    • Another episode has Joey playing Richard III... and performing the opening soliloquy right before a cowboy musical.
  • "Shut Up" Kiss: From Joey to Lauren when she's having a freak-out:
    Lauren: What was that for?
    Joey: To calm. You. Down.
  • Smooth-Talking Talent Agent : Joey has an agent named Bobbi. She's shown to be ditzy and has an obsessive crush on Joey's nephew. She manages to get Joey a role on a hit series, only to get his character killed off by suggesting he ask for a raise. At one point, she takes Joey's sister Gina under her wing. Gina also engages in some sleazy acts, such as sleeping with a client.
  • Standard Snippet: The William Tell Overture plays as Joey rushes to The Tonight Show. In a pink motorcycle!
  • Teen Pregnancy: Part of Gina's backstory.
    Gina: That's the good thing about having a kid so young.
    Joey: Yeah, you rarely hear the argument for teen pregnancy.
  • Terrified of Germs: Lauren. In her first appearance, she grabs a tissue to use to shake hands with Joey.
  • Unrequited Love Switcheroo: Joey/Alex/Dean.
  • Viva Las Vegas!: "Joey and the Road Trip", where Joey is sent to be the judge of a beauty pageant, and brings everyone along, with Michael making lots of money and Alex fangirling over Celine Dion frontrow seats.
  • What Happened to the Mouse?: In the finale of Friends, Joey bought a baby chick and duck for Monica and Chandler's housewarming, before deciding that he should have them. The birds do not seem to make the move to LA with Joey.
  • Will They or Won't They?: Joey and Alex in Season 2.
  • Yank the Dog's Chain: At the end of Season 1, Deep Powder ran a stunt where viewers would get to vote in an online poll which one of the main characters would be killed off. Thanks to some bungling on Howard's part (he thought the question was who should be kept), Joey's character lost out big time. However, because of Joey's popularity on the series, they were going to keep him. At Bobbi's suggestion, Joey then asked for a raise... which promptly led to him filming a death scene.
  • Zany Scheme