When Friends first premiered in 1994, no one could have guessed how intensely popular the series would become with television viewers. The series continued to get huge ratings all the way through their run until the series ended in 2004 and it still does well in replays. People loved watching the chemistry among the diverse characters and there was always a laugh to be had in each new episode. While it was meant to be a lighthearted series that always had some fun moments, it’s interesting to look back on the show and really think about some of the questionable situations and behavior among the characters.
From Joey who was continuously trying to get his closest friends into bed year after year to Janice basically being passed around from one friend to the next, there were definitely some interactions that were extremely inappropriate throughout the Friends series. People may remember some of these moments as being part of the funniest moments of the series, but that might be due to the sitcom environment. Taking these interactions out into the real world shows a completely different side to some of your favorite Friends characters. While the characters in the main cast are often thought of as friends that everyone wished they had, taking a deeper look into their behavior might change your mind. Check out our list of 15 times Friends was inappropriate and see if you can watch the replays with the same frame of mind the next time.
15. Rachel Talked To Julie Like She Couldn’t Speak English
When Rachel wanted to make a big romantic gesture and meet Ross at the airport after he came back from China, she was completely amazed to see that he was getting off the plane with another woman. Ross had apparently started dating someone while he was in China and the two of them had already known each other prior to bumping into each other while travelling. Friends have come under fire because of the lack of diversity on the series and Julie’s introduction as a new girlfriend from China wasn’t exactly disproving everyone’s point. Rachel’s reaction to Julie wasn’t winning over any Asian fans either since Rachel assumed she couldn’t speak English and started talking to her in a slow and loud voice. She was then taken aback by the fact that she could speak English and supposedly all was forgiven.
14. Phoebe Was Inappropriately Groped At Work
When Rachel started dating Paolo in season 1 of Friends, everyone seemed to be swooning over his flowing locks and his Italian accent. Yet, Rachel actually met Paolo along with Phoebe and it became quite obvious that Paolo didn’t only have eyes for Rachel. Paolo visited Phoebe’s work where she was a professional masseuse. Yet, he didn’t seem to be solely looking to relax his muscles while he was there. While Phoebe was trying to be professional and give him a massage, Paolo reached back and started groping her. He also flipped over and exposed himself to her. While it was seen as a comical moment on the show, it’s interesting how many of these types of cases have made it to the headlines in recent times. People haven’t exactly seen the comedy in it regarding the current Hollywood headlines.
13. Rachel Convinced Ross’ Girlfriend To Shave Her Head
Throughout the Friends‘ series, there was one storyline that remained constant. People loved seeing the tumultuous relationship between Ross and Rachel, with constant breakups and makeups making their way from one season to the next. During one of their splits, Ross began dating someone else that he seemed happy with and even introduced her to the group. Rather than being happy for Ross in finding a new love interest, Rachel set out to sabotage it and it resulted in a huge attack against this new “unlucky” lady. While vacationing by the beach, Rachel convinced her to shave her head in an effort to make Ross see her as less attractive and later encouraged him to cheat and break up with her.
12. Joey And Chandler Lost Ben On A Bus
When Ross allowed Chandler and Joey to look after Ben, it shouldn’t be surprising that the two of them would try and use the baby to pick up women and use him as a “chick magnet” instead of actually taking care of him. To make things even worse, the two of them actually left baby Ben on a New York public bus. This situation isn’t comical in the least and if it were to happen in the real world, it would be absolutely horrifying. Although Ben was ultimately returned to Ross, it was by sheer luck that it turned out alright. Neither Chandler or Joey could even recognize Ben among the other babies in public care and were actually relieved to know that they had picked the right baby.
11. Rachel Threw Herself At Joshua
When Rachel got a job at Bloomingdale’s as a personal shopper, she had to switch around her duties in the fashion world. Part of that was helping Joshua Burgin to put together a whole new wardrobe. He divulged that he was going through a bad breakup and that was the reason why he needed a whole new wardrobe. Rachel was supposed to be helping him as his personal shopper, representing Bloomingdale’s. Instead, she completely objectified him at every turn, even commenting on his backside as he walked away. If the situation were reversed and it was a woman being objectified by a Bloomingdale’s personal shopper, people would be completely outraged that a man was trying to pounce on an emotionally vulnerable woman. She also used his personal information in order to call his personal line, despite the fact that he hadn’t shown her any interest at all.
10. Rachel Pounced On Her Younger Assistant At Ralph Lauren
Rachel has a history of making the first move when it comes to men that she’s interested in, whether it’s direct or through some manipulative plan. Yet, the situation with Tag when she was working at Ralph Lauren was extremely inappropriate on a whole other level. Although there were definitely more qualified people that could have filled the position, Rachel chose Tag solely due to his looks. He showed no interest in her and seemed to be garnering the attention of some younger women around the office, so that’s when she spread a rumor that he was gay. After continuously throwing herself at him, he wound up dating Rachel, but that only made it even more inappropriate. The biggest incident occurred during his performance review where she constantly referenced his anatomy and physical appeal. Again, if the situation was reversed and it was a younger female assistant, people would be up in arms over this storyline.
9. Monica Encouraged Chandler To Make Moves On Phoebe
After Monica and Chandler had their sexual encounter in London, they started up a secret affair behind the backs of all their friends. Yet, it wasn’t long before more and more people started to find out about their secret romance. When Phoebe saw them having s*x from the window of a nearby apartment, there was a plan that was devised in order to out Monica and Chandler’s relationship with all of the friends. It wasn’t discovered until long afterward that Monica and Chandler were actually in love and that it wasn’t just a physical relationship. This only makes their behavior that much more inappropriate because they couldn’t just leave it alone and, instead, they basically pushed Chandler to make moves on Phoebe. Things came to a head when Phoebe’s bra was exposed and she actually shared a kiss with Chandler.
8. The Friends Poked Ugly Naked Guy
Anyone that has lived in an area with a large number of apartments, especially in New York City, knows that there will inevitably be times when you might see something that is quite private. In the case of Friends, the entire gang was aware of a man that would walk around his apartment without a stitch of clothing. Rather than looking away and allowing him to just live his life in his own apartment, the gang dubbed him “Ugly Naked Guy,” and made sure to check in on him from time to time. They constantly commented on his life, from when he got exercise equipment to when he had a cat (that was killed). Yet, the worst of it was when they hadn’t seen him move in a while and wound up building a long tool in order to poke him. Once they realized that he wasn’t dead, they continued to poke him.
7. Joey Exposed Himself Upon Meeting Monica
With Joey constantly having women come in and out of his life, it should stand to reason that he is great at attracting women and has honed his skills over time. Yet, anyone that has seen his tactics for picking up women can see that it’s obvious that it’s his acting roles and looks that have been the catalyst to his many romances. His patented line, “How you doin’?” wasn’t exactly a riveting line that could pick up anyone in the world, but that wasn’t the worst of it. During a flashback scene, audiences got to see the first interaction between Monica and Joey. It was obvious that both of them found each other attractive, but Joey’s method of interacting with her was completely inappropriate. He basically took off all of his clothes and exposed himself to her.
6. Chandler And Monica Mocked A Religious Ceremony
When Monica and Chandler finally got married, there was so much going on behind the scenes that the entire event turned into a disaster. From Chandler getting cold feet to Rachel encouraging the idea that Monica was pregnant, there were times when it looked like Monica was going to have the worst day of her life. Things ultimately worked out but not without a completely inappropriate moment involving their ceremony. Joey was supposed to officiate the wedding but he was held up at work and the group had to scramble in order to find someone else that would be able to marry Monica and Chandler. However, they lied and said that the couple was Greek Orthodox and basically mocked the religion in the process.
5. Chandler Kissed All Of His Female Friends
When Chandler and Monica started secretly dating, it was obvious that it wasn’t just physical between them. They were spending all their time together and were interacting like they were a real couple. Yet, they hadn’t revealed their new relationship to the majority of their friends or family and were still keeping it a secret for quite some time. During this time, the two of them were caught kissing in Monica’s apartment. Rather than opening up about their relationship, Chandler took it upon himself to start kissing Rachel and Phoebe in the same manner that he was kissing Monica. This was supposedly an attempt to deflect from his interaction with Monica and throw people off of the scent of their relationship.
4. Rachel Went Out In Lingerie
When Rachel was dating Joshua Burgin, her personal shopping client at Bloomingdale’s, she visited his childhood home. His parents were supposed to be gone, so she thought that they had the place to themselves. The two hadn’t been dating long and most of their interaction revolved around painfully embarrassing moments with Rachel throwing herself at him. While at the house, Rachel excused herself to put on a scantily clad lingerie ensemble in order to entice him into bed. Yet, the moment was ruined when his parents unexpectedly arrived. Rather than hurrying up to get dressed, she pawned off the lingerie outfit as a regular dress. This was despite the fact that it was painfully obvious that she was practically naked. She wound up going out to dinner with them where she later said that she exposed herself at the restaurant.
3. Ross And Rachel Got Caught By Kids
When Ross and Rachel finally embarked on a real relationship, there was a lot of hype regarding how their first time would be between them. Ross wound up taking her on a date at his place of employment at the time. This seems like a major misappropriation of his clearance at the museum, especially since he was taking her after hours, even though he was called in to fix something. While it seemed like an utterly romantic date with all of the stars and music, it’s actually quite disturbing in retrospect. If an employee at any workplace were to take a girl to have sex after hours, it would definitely be something that was frowned upon. To make things worse, the couple wound up waking up inside an exhibit and was discovered by a group of kids on a field trip.
2. Monica Dated Her Parents’ Friend
When Richard Burke was first introduced into the Friends series, fans couldn’t help but fall in love with Tom Selleck on the show. Yet, the whole relationship between him and Monica was actually quite disturbing. Not only was he friends with Monica’s parents, but he also watched Monica grow up. There was even a mention of Monica once swimming in Richard’s pool when she was quite young. With Richard being 21 years older than Monica, the show has touched on the fact that their relationship was extremely inappropriate because of the age difference. Yet, it goes way beyond that because of the fact that he has been in her life in a different capacity for quite some time due to her parents.
1. Phoebe Stole And Lied To Get Close To Sting
When Phoebe found out that Ben went to the same school as Sting’s son, she was adamant for Ross to try and get her tickets to see him in concert. Ross made a comment about how Ben didn’t get along with Sting’s son but that didn’t stop Phoebe. Instead, she went to Ben’s school to try and confront Sting (or his wife) in order to get tickets. She lied to the teacher and said that she was Ben’s mother and then was able to obtain contact information for Sting. There is so much wrong with this entire scenario as it is since it calls the school’s security into question that a stranger can come off the street and receive that sort of information. Yet, it got much worse when Phoebe went to Sting’s house and then stole a pen.
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