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Friends: 15 Unforgivable Plot Holes We Can’t Unsee

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Friends: 15 Unforgivable Plot Holes We Can’t Unsee


Friends is probably one of the most popular TV shows ever. It started in the mid-90s and ended a decade later, in the mid-2000s. At the start, no one knew how big the sitcom would become. No one knew that the world would be hooked, that people would watch it and would continue to quote its iconic lines for years to come.

How many of us have wished that we too lived in New York City and that we too had such a tight group of friends? And such varied friends at that? When you think about it, it’s strange that such different people got along – Ross the nerd, Joey the playboy, Chandler the funny guy. And Rachel, the spoiled girl, Monica the control freak, and Phoebe the weirdo.

And yet it worked. The show was fantastic. It was a masterpiece. We cried when it ended. But still, we couldn’t help noticing the plot holes. That didn’t make us hate the show. But let’s be honest – we did think that the writers could have been a little bit more consistent.

15. Hearing The Upstairs Neighbor In Just One Episode

Do you remember episode 11 (The One Where Chandler Can’t Remember Which Sister) in season 3 where Monica and Rachel complain about their unbelievably loud upstairs neighbor? Apparently, the guy living in the upstairs apartment took up the carpet and now you can hear everything.

When Phoebe asks Monica why they don’t just go up and ask the guy to step lightly, Monica replies that she has done exactly that five times. The problem is, however, that the upstairs guy is too charming. Phoebe, thinking Monica is silly, decides to resolve the problem herself. However, she too falls prey to the upstairs guy’s charm and ends up going on a date with him.

The episode ends with Phoebe sleeping with the guy (and the girls hearing it) and then the guy sleeping with someone else (and Phoebe hearing it). Ross, Chandler, and Joey go up to confront the guy but they too fall for his charm. However, we don’t hear this loud upstairs neighbor in the episodes that follow. Does that mean that he put the carpets back on the floor?

14. Not Recognizing Famous People

None of the friends seem to recognize famous people that appear in their lives, even if they are huge fans of them. For example, Joey, Ross, and Chandler are huge Die Hard fans. The 1988, Die Hard starred Bruce Willis as the main character, yet none of them recognize Ross’ girlfriend’s (Elizabeth) father (played by Bruce Willis).

Furthermore, the actress Susan Sarandon was on Ross’ list of women he was allowed to sleep with and later Joey slept with a character that was played by Sarandon. Similarly, Jessica Rabbit was on Chandler’s list of women he could sleep with and the actress who played his father, Kathleen Turner, was the voice of Jessica Rabbit.

In addition, at one point, Ross referred to himself as “Cro-Magnum P.I.” Later, Monica slept with Magnum, P.I. Later, they try to get a table by giving the name “Winona Ryder”. The actress later played Rachel’s friend from school.

13. Chandler Forgets That He Already Knows How To Slip Money

In season 7 episode 10 (The One With the Holiday Armadillo), Monica and Chandler are waiting for a table at a restaurant. Tired of standing around, Monica tells Chandler to slip money to the waiter so that they would get their table sooner. Chandler asks Monica how she knows to do that and whether Richard, her ex-boyfriend, did that. He then tries to slip the waiter money, but fails miserably.

However, in season 2 episode 20 (The One Where Old Yeller Dies), we see Chandler and Joey impersonating Richard, Monica’s cool boyfriend, by slipping money. Chandler seems to be especially good at it – he even slips money without looking at it. Richard then walks in on them and comments that they are getting better, which suggests that he taught them how to slip money in the first place.

Has Chandler forgotten how to slip money? Does he not remember Richard teaching him and Joey how to do it?

12. The Building Where Ugly Naked Guy Lived Was Destroyed And Rebuilt Multiple Times

Most Friends fans have noticed that Monica’s apartment underwent constant change. Not only did furniture move on a regular basis, the size and shape of her windows and the balcony have also changed throughout the show.

But it wasn’t just Monica’s apartment that shape-shifted! The building opposite her apartment, better known as Ugly Naked Guy’s building, also changed drastically over the course of the show. A logical explanation would be that a company destroyed the original building and then constructed a replacement over and over again.

The strange thing is: why would Ugly Naked Guy bother staying in the same building if it was constantly being redone? Surely it would have been easier to just move as opposed to constantly re-acquire the same apartment again in a building that is constantly being demolished and rebuilt. However, Ugly Naked Guy does not move until season 5 episode 14 (The One Where Everybody Finds Out), at which stage Ross ends up moving into his apartment.

11. Rachel Is Pregnant For About A Year

We all know that pregnancy usually lasts around nine months or so. However, in the show, Rachel is pregnant for about a year which makes absolutely no sense. If you think about it, Chandler and Monica got married in May, at which point Rachel was already about 6 weeks pregnant.

If Rachel got pregnant in late April, this means that she should be due sometime in late January. But, 10 months later it’s February, more specifically, Valentine’s Day. And Rachel is still pregnant! How can that be? It doesn’t make much sense. Understandably, this is one of those plot holes that bugs many people.

10. Monica’s First Thanksgiving Is Not Really Her First

In season 1 episode 9 (The One Where Underdog Gets Away) the Gellers are away for Thanksgiving and thus Ross and Monica decide to celebrate Thanksgiving at hers instead. For various different reasons, Rachel, Phoebe, Chandler, and Joey are also not celebrating Thanksgiving with their families. Instead, they all decide to go to Monica’s.

But then a huge balloon gets away and the friends leave the apartment to go to the roof to see it float by. However, it turns out that none of them took a key when they left and they are now locked out. Monica breaks down sobbing that her first ever Thanksgiving is ruined.

Only it isn’t actually Monica’s first Thanksgiving! In season 5 episode 8 (The One With All the Thanksgivings) we flashback to 1992 where another one of Monica’s Thanksgivings has been ruined. This time because Joey got his head stuck in a turkey.

9. When Was Ross Born?

When is Ross’ birthday? In season 1 episode 4 (The One with George Stephanopoulos) Chandler and Joey decide to take Ross out to a hockey game. The ticket that they give Ross is supposedly a birthday gift. The hockey game is on October 20th (the day that Carol and Ross first did it) and Ross replies that his birthday was seven months ago. This would mean that Ross’ birthday is sometime in March.

But then in season 4 episode 5 (The One With Joey’s New Girlfriend), when Gunther is asking about Rachel’s birthday, Ross says that his birthday is on in December before he is cut off.

Then later, in season 9 episode 2 (The One Where Emma Cries), Ross gets angry with Joey for forgetting that his birthday is in October.

8. Phoebe Thinks Rachel Is Too “Vanilla” To Kiss A Girl Even Though She Saw Her Kiss Monica

In season 7 episode 20 (The One With Rachel’s Big Kiss) Phoebe learns that Rachel kissed a girl in college. However, Phoebe doesn’t actually believe that the kiss ever happened. She justifies her opinion by saying that Rachel is far too “vanilla” to do something like that.

But has Phoebe forgotten that Rachel has previously kissed a girl already? And that the girl was Monica? In season 4 Monica and Rachel lose their apartment to Joey and Chandler. But then, in episode 19 (The One With All the Haste), desperate to get their apartment back, Rachel offers the boys to watch her and Monica kiss for one minute in return for their apartment.

The boys agree – they watch Monica and Rachel kiss and then return to their old apartment. But it wasn’t just Joey and Chandler who witnessed the kiss. Phoebe was there too!

7. Rachel Still Has A Working Key To Monica’s Apartment Even Though The Locks Were Changed

In season 10 episode 8 (The One With the Late Thanksgiving) Monica and Chandler lock their friends out after they fail to turn up to their Thanksgiving dinner on time. Joey, Ross, Phoebe, and Rachel are thus left standing outside the apartment, unable to get in. However, Rachel suddenly remembers that she still has an old key to the apartment from the time when she used to live there. Thus, she unlocks the door but the chain is still on the door from the other side and the now iconic heads-through-the-door moment happens.

However, the iconic scene should have never been possible because Rachel’s key shouldn’t have worked. In season 8 episode 3 (The One Where Rachel Tells) Joey and Phoebe end up accidentally locking themselves out of Monica’s apartment. To get back in they have to tell the superintendent that there is a gas leak. Because the superintendent thinks that there isn’t enough time to look for the key he simply knocks down the door and then says that he will have the locks replaced.

6. Is Ross A Paleontologist Or An Anthropologist?

Is Ross a paleontologist or an anthropologist? And what is the difference between the two, anyway? Well, a paleontologist is a person who studies fossils. An anthropologist is a person who studies humans. Throughout the series, we are told multiple times that Ross is a paleontologist. He loves dinosaurs. His work in the museum focuses on dinosaurs. He’s a dinosaur nerd.

But then at times it seems like he is actually an anthropologist. For example, do you remember when in season 2 episode 15 (The One Where Ross And Rachel… You Know) Ross and Rachel sleep together for the first time in the museum? The reason they did it in the museum was because Ross had to work late because there was an emergency with a cave man exhibit.

5. Do Ross And Joey Think Chandler Is Gay?

In season 1 episode 8 (The One Where Nana Dies Twice) we find out that upon first meeting Chandler, most girls assume that he is gay. When he asks the girls, indignantly, if they can believe it, Rachel says – “At first when I met you I thought, maybe, possibly, yes (…) But then you spent Phoebe’s entire birthday party talking to my breasts so then I figured maybe not.”

No one can pinpoint what it is about Chandler that makes him appear gay, he apparently simply has a “quality”. But then when Chandler asks Joey and Ross whether they too felt that he was gay when they first met they say that they didn’t.

But then in season 3 episode 6 (The One With The Flashback) we go back in time to see Joey moving in with Chandler. From the flashback, it becomes apparent that Joey did actually think that Chandler was gay when he first met him, as he tells him – “Oh, and I am totally okay with the gay thing!”

Also, how could have Rachel thought that Chandler was gay if she knew him since high school? The two made out at a college party, years before either of them met Phoebe.

4. Chandler Is Suddenly Scared Of Dogs Even Though He Wasn’t Previously

In season 7 episode 8 (The One Where Chandler Doesn’t Like Dogs) Phoebe sneaks a puppy into Monica’s apartment. This forces Chandler to admit that he hates dogs. Apparently, the only thing that he hates more than dogs is puppies.

But earlier, in season 6 episode 5 (The One With Joey’s Porsche), when Phoebe asked Monica and Chandler whether they would like to spend a day taking care of three cute puppies, Chandler says “yeah, all right.” But then when Phoebe says that it’s actually not puppies but the triplets, Chandler says – “I’m gonna pass, because I was kind of iffy when it was puppies.”

3. No One Has A Key To Ross’ Apartment… Or Do They?

Who has a key to Ross’ apartment? In season 8 episode 11 (The One With Ross’ Step Forward) Ross gives his only key to Mona to show her that he truly cares about her. The only thing is, now he has no way to get inside his apartment. Strange, isn’t it? You’d think that he would have given a key to his friends. But when he asks Monica and Rachel whether either of them has a key, Monica replies – “I don’t think you’ve ever given us keys.”

But in season 5 episode 20 (The One With The Ride-Along) we see Rachel and Monica going to Ross’ apartment when he is not there. In that same episode, Ross tells Rachel to tell Monica that he wants his money back, which implies that Monica has taken money from his apartment before.

2. Rachel Flies To Athens Using Emily’s Plane Ticket

Can you use someone else’s plane ticket to get on a plane? Obviously not. But the writers of Friends have overlooked this little blip. In season 5 episode 1 (The One After Ross Says Rachel) Ross is waiting for Emily at the airport so that they can go on their honeymoon. However, Emily is late in showing up because she is still mad at Ross for saying the wrong name at the altar.

Rachel is also at the airport, waiting for her flight to New York. She tells Ross that he should go to Greece without Emily so that he can clear his head. Ross offers Emily’s ticket to Rachel, saying that she should come with him. She agrees and the two get on the plane. But then Ross remembers that he forgot his jacket in the waiting area, goes back to get it and finds that Emily has finally shown up. He runs after her and Rachel flies to Greece on her own. Using Emily’s ticket.

1. Phoebe’s Dad Left Before She Was Born But Sang Her Lullabies When She Was A Baby

We all know that Phoebe had a rough life – her mum killed herself and her dad left before she was even born. But did he really? Or is it something she just says to garner sympathy from others? We only ever meet Phoebe’s dad, Frank Buffay Sr. once in season 5 episode 15 (The One With Joey’s Bag) during Phoebe’s grandmother’s funeral.

After the funeral, Phoebe and Frank go to Central Perk where he apologizes for leaving her. However, it turns out that he did not leave before Phoebe was born, but rather, after she was born.

Apparently, when Phoebe was a baby he used to sing her a lullaby that had the same melody as Phoebe’s famous song “Smelly Cat.” Phoebe smiles and recites the lullaby, so she obviously remembers her dad singing it to her. And yet she says that he ran out on them before she was born.

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