Good friends are really hard to find. Good television is even harder. In 1994, America was introduced and quickly fell in love with a group of six friends: funny guy Chandler, geeky Ross, uptight Monica, flaky Phoebe, freeloading Joey and prissy Rachel. For ten years, millions of religious viewers tuned in on Thursday nights to catch up with their favourite friends. The show won countless awards, had incredible guest appearances and some of the most astonishing writing in any show that has aired on television. This helped Friends become the one of the most successful sitcoms of all time.
Friends has been translated into numerous languages and still plays regularly even after its final season aired in 2004. With such a large fan base, it does not come as a surprise that so many viewers hoped to have a group of friends just like this one. People around the globe had Rachel haircuts, sang Phoebe’s songs and spoke with Chandler’s distinct intonation.
However, it is still just a television show, and we all know T.V. isn’t real (not even reality T.V.), so naturally there are some exaggerations. Some of these morals and lessons are quite positive while others are more than just a little questionable.
These uncertain morals do not change how we feel about the show, because the show is amazing! However, if these people were real, they would be pretty shady; they sleep around, commit crimes, and show unrealistic expectations about how life really is. Here are 13 negative life lessons that Friends has implanted into our brains.
13. Stop Caring About Your Job
It’s normal to have that one friend in a group. You know, the one who barely works and still manages to live. What is rare is to have an entire group of friends like that.
Falling asleep during meetings, giving your friends free merchandise, taking 5 hour lunch breaks, lying on your resume and stealing food from the restaurant you work at are all things our favorite group of friends have done. Between paleontologists, chefs and actors, it is hard to believe that they ever found these jobs in the first place, let alone kept them. If you want to be successful in your career, you cannot follow their lead.
12. Laziness is a Virtue
So we have already established that they barely work, allowing them so spend all day at Central Perk, their favorite coffee shop. The idea that six grown adults have the time and patience to spend countless hours sitting around a coffee house is really ridiculous when you think about it. They sit at the same booth every day for 10 seasons, even after these characters start having children. The fact that this is the only regular activity this group of friends does makes them extremely lazy. There is much more excitement in New York City than sitting in a coffee house. If you are living in New York or anywhere else for that matter, go out and explore the city around you, don’t fall into a rut like these guys.
11. Anyone Can Afford A Huge Apartment
After spending your day at a coffee house, and earning close to nothing, how is it that they can all afford these huge (for New York City) apartments? So, we know Monica’s apartment is rent controlled (we will get into that later), but how do the others afford to live? Anyone who has ever lived in the Big Apple can tell you, an apartment that size goes for a pretty penny. It would be hard for an out of work (most of the time) actor to be able to afford a place of that size with only one roommate. If you think you can move to the big city and have their lifestyle you are in for a lovely surprise. Be realistic.
10. Being a Womanizer is Cool and Easy
First off, with the fact that Joey is a broke, freeloading, unmotivated, unintelligent overeater, it comes as a shock to me that he is such a ladies man. He must be amazing in bed because I don’t see much else going for him. He may be charming and whatnot, but is that really all it takes for us girls to fall for a guy?
Secondly, “how you doing?” is not a good pick-up line and Joey is not good looking enough to always be pulling it off. His lack of intelligence and creativity makes him stick to the same line. We get that it’s his catchphrase, but I mean it wouldn’t work on me or any other self-respecting girl in real life…or would it?
9. Don’t Bother Locking Your Door
Two women living alone in New York City without locking their door is realistically an episode of Dateline waiting to be aired. It’s not like the show is set in a rural town in Minnesota in 1972, the show is set in New York City, one of the most crime infested cities in America, in the 90s. They are pretty much asking to be robbed and murdered. New York is not the right city to be keeping your doors unlocked in and the fact that they never got robbed is astonishing to me. Besides that, one time Joey actually did get all of his and Chandler’s stuff robbed, but that was because Joey is stupid. To all New Yorkers, please keep the door to your apartment locked. This isn’t an episode of Friends and something will most probably happen to you. Sorry to be the one to break it to you but somebody had to.
8. Dating Students and Employees is Okay
We have already established that these special six characters don’t really care about their jobs. However, in real life it is considered extremely inappropriate to date your employees or students.
Rachel is the first one guilty of this. Remember Tag, her assistant? She hires him in hopes of dating him and ends up doing so publicly, yet nothing ever happened to Rachel’s job or reputation. I guess it’s exciting to some people, so if this happens in real life try to make it a quick fling and not an unfitting relationship.
Being a professor is a reputable career, yet Ross openly dates one of his students (who is over 18, of course). The show touches upon what will happen if he dates her, but no one is really phased about how they met – they care more about how old she is (another issue completely). The idea that her own father is aware of the two of them dating and doesn’t demand them to break up is pretty out of the ordinary also, but hey, the dad is dating Rachel, what can he say about it?
7. Lying is Also Okay
As previously mentioned, Monica’s apartment is rent controlled, explaining why she can afford it. However, it is under her grandmother’s name, so technically she is committing a crime. In no way is that behavior to look up to. It’s bad, but if you can get away with it, power to you.
Monica also takes part in a lie when her and Chandler are adopting a baby. When they have a meeting with their child’s birth mother Erica, the agency had mixed them up with another couple. Monica and Chandler play along, pretending to be a doctor and female minister.
They later come to their senses and tell the truth and something even more unlikely happens, Erica still gives them the baby. This teaches viewers that even if you lie, you can still get what you want as long as you eventually tell the truth, which is unlikely to happen in real life.
6. Feel Free to Impersonate a Police Officer
Phoebe briefly dates a cop (until he shoots a bird from bed); how she met the cop however, was quite questionable. After finding a police badge she decides to use it to bring “good” into the world. While using her new-found authority to stop litterbugs and jay walkers, Phoebe meets the cop whose badge it was. They hit it off and he ends up asking her out on a date.
Impersonating a police officer is a federal offence and instead of being arrested, she was asked on a date, which would probably never happen.
What would happen in reality is instead of being thrown onto a bed, Phoebe would have been thrown into jail facing federal charges…Yikes!
5. Go Ahead and Hook Up With Friends’ Girlfriends, Ex’s, Parents and Siblings
There are certain rules in a group of friends, no hooking up with ex’s, siblings or parents being some key ones, but throughout the 10 seasons of Friends, all of these rules were broken.
Chandler hooks up with one of Joey’s sisters, we aren’t sure which one (even Chandler couldn’t figure it out), Chandler also hooks up with Joey’s girlfriend Kathy and then ends up marrying Ross’s sister, fellow friend Monica. Joey hooks up with Phoebe’s twin, Monica dates her dad’s friend, Phoebe dates her twin’s ex, Rachel hooks up with Joey (who is her ex’s friend) and Ross makes out with Chandler’s mom and Rachel’s sister; a bit too close for comfort for my liking.
4. Men Can’t Be Nannies
The stereotypical idea that men cannot be nannies is definitely not something positive or true. More and more men are taking over and excelling in the world of childcare. However, our fictional friends do not see it the same way.
When Freddie Prinze Jr. guest starred on the show, he played a nanny up for the position of Emma’s (Ross and Rachel’s love child) caretaker. Ross and Joey believed it to be the most unbelievable thing in the world, even more unbelievable then their work hours. The two boys react in an extremely sexist and demeaning manner, Joey even claims “it’s like a woman wanting to be a penis model”…not the same thing, Joey.
3. Marriage Shmarriage
The awkward, hopeless romantic of the group, Ross has been married three times. The first time his wife turned out to be a lesbian so I guess that wasn’t really his fault, the second time he said Rachel’s name at the alter (completely his fault) and the third time he married Rachel in Vegas, again his fault.
All these ill-advised relationships show that Ross really does not take marriage seriously. Although he says he does, his two last marriages were really unnecessary – one was with a girl he barely knew and the other was with his ex while they were wasted in Vegas; two divorces that could have easily been avoided.
Ross’s irrational thinking lead him to three divorces and two children by the end of the series, not really the best role model when it comes to relationships.
2. Placing An Uncooked Turkey On Your Head Will Not Give You Salmonella
Okay, so both Joey and Monica stuff their heads into a turkey’s ass on different occasions. First, Joey does it to scare Chandler and it gets stuck, and then in a later Thanksgiving episode, Monica puts her head in it in order to make Chandler laugh, which also scared Joey (two in one).
Although it made for good television, realistically this is not the most intelligent of things to do. Not only is it weird, it is also unsanitary and should not be tried at home. This was probably one of the dumbest ideas this group of friends had in all ten seasons, but I am not going to lie, two of my favorite scenes.
1. Just Forget About Your Kids
At the start of this series, Ross was a pretty great father and his son Ben (from his first wife) was around a lot. As the show went on, Ben began to appear less and Ross stopped mentioning him as much. Any good parent would at least talk about their child on a regular basis. Although Ben has two loving parents (Carole and Susan), it is hard to not imagine how Ross in a sense abandoned him.
It is especially strange after Rachel and Ross have a child together. He turns into super dad once again, but Ben never even meets his little sister. If it were real life Ross would definitely be considered a bad dad to Ben.