Friends is an iconic TV show that defines a generation; the hit tv show aired during the 90s and 2000s, drawing in audiences of all ages to watch the lives of Chandler, Joey, Ross, Phoebe, Monica, and Rachel. The show’s popularity has remained strong, with memorable catchphrases and a new generation of fans thanks to Netflix. However, there are details of the show that you would notice only when you’re an adult.
Details You Only Notice About Friends As An Adult
Is Chandler the worst friend ever?
Chandler is often seen as the endearing goofball of the Friends crew, but his actions raise questions about his true character. Despite constantly lamenting his lack of seduction skills, particularly when compared to Joey, Chandler has demonstrated a willingness to prioritize his romantic interests over his friendships on several occasions. While he may appear reliable, it’s advisable not to leave your significant other or sibling alone with him.
Chandler has a history of crossing boundaries with his friends’ partners, such as when he kisses Joey’s girlfriend and starts a relationship with her. Not only that, Chandler hooked up with one of Joey’s sisters, and to make matters worse, he kissed two of Joey’s sisters, admitting that he couldn’t distinguish between them.
In a flashback, it’s revealed that he and Ross both had a crush on the same woman in college and agreed to stay away from her. However, at their class reunion, Ross discovers that Chandler has broken their agreement and made out with her multiple times.
Later in the show, Chandler and Monica begin a secret relationship after a one-night stand evolves into something more. Ross is initially displeased with the situation but ultimately forgives the couple because of their love for each other.
Joey’s heartbreaking ending
As a child watching Friends, Joey is often seen as the one to be or date due to his good looks and being a successful actor. However, seeing everyone paired up except for Joey in the last episode is a little heartbreaking.
While Joey might not be the sharpest tool in the shed, he’s undeniably kind. He steps up to care for Rachel during her pregnancy, even offering to raise the child with her. Throughout the series, it seems like women are always interested in him, but by the end, everyone has moved on, and Joey is left alone.
This ending might not be as apparent to kids, but adults can see how tragic it is that Joey, who seemed to have everything, is left without a partner or family like his friends. And it gets sadder when you think about every other 5-friends who went home with their significant other, except Joey, who would have returned to his empty apartment all alone.
There is no way Friends could have afforded those apartments
Friends depict a fantasy version of Manhattan where 20-somethings can afford spacious apartments. This is far from reality in the expensive New York City, where the average rent for an apartment in Manhattan in 2022 was $4500.
The show explains Monica’s affordable living situation by revealing that her apartment is rent-controlled and in her grandmother’s name. Rachel is likely charged little to no rent. Since Chandler and Ross have corporate and government jobs, respectively, they can afford to rent out decent enough places easily. Still, how can Phoebe and Joey, who are not wealthy and work in less lucrative fields, afford their living expenses?
Ross is the most immature friend
In the first episode of Friends, we meet Ross, who is going through a difficult divorce. However, he could have been more sympathetic to his ex-wife, who came out as a lesbian at a time when equal marriage laws did not exist.
While children may not understand the complexity of Ross’s situation, adults can see that he should have supported his ex-wife in finally embracing her sexuality. Ross makes it all about himself, which is immature.
Ross exhibits a pattern of unsupportive behavior towards women, as evidenced by his jealousy towards Rachel’s male coworker and his disgust towards a woman who shaves her head. He objectifies women, treating them like possessions rather than human beings. Additionally, he is grossed out by his ex-wife’s breast milk, which is insensitive.
Chandler and his insecurities
Chandler from Friends is one of the characters who struggle with serious issues. While younger viewers may find his sarcastic comments amusing, adults can see that Chandler uses his wit as a defense mechanism to cope with his insecurities and fears.
He’s unsatisfied with his job, finds it challenging to maintain a healthy relationship, and still carries the emotional burden of his parent’s divorce. His sense of humor is his shield, and he’s fiercely protective of it.
However, as the series progresses, we see Chandler mature and address his problems. He fixes his relationship with his father and finds stability in his romantic relationship with Monica, which allows him to let his guard down and be vulnerable.
Phoebe’s childhood trauma
Phoebe’s troubled past is evident through subtle hints throughout Friends. While her bubbly personality may deceive younger viewers, it’s clear to adults that her traumatic experiences have profoundly impacted her. Phoebe openly sings about her mother’s suicide, which undoubtedly devastated her emotional well-being even years later. At just 14 years old, Phoebe found herself homeless and living on the streets after her mother’s death. She later moved in with an older man, implying a possible history of s*xual abuse.
Despite generally appearing content and quirky, Phoebe’s actions reveal she is still grappling with her traumatic childhood. For instance, when she can no longer tolerate Monica’s controlling tendencies, she moves out without a confrontation. Additionally, Phoebe holds unique beliefs, like her idea that her deceased friend’s spirit resides in pencils. While her friends may view this as eccentricity, it is likely a coping mechanism for the profound losses she has experienced.
Ross and Rachel are the most toxic couple ever
Ross and Rachel’s relationship in Friends was one that many of us looked up to as kids, as they were the couple to root for. Their ups and downs kept us on the edge of our seats, and their love for each other seemed destined. But as adults, it’s frustrating to see them struggle to make it work.
Ross has been in love with Rachel since they were teenagers, yet their relationship still feels immature throughout the show. For instance, Ross makes a pros and cons list to decide whether to date Julie or RACHEM; Rachel demands that Ross drink fat to prove his love. This might be entertaining to watch but not healthy for a real relationship.
When do the characters go to work?
In Friends, the characters’ work schedules are irregular and rarely shown, leading to confusion about how they can afford to live in Manhattan. Even when they are at work, they often spend more time socializing than actually working. As an adult, it’s hard not to wonder how they have so much free time to hang out with each other, especially given their varying work schedules. Despite this, the gang can get together every day of the week, leaving many viewers wondering how they do it.
How did Rachel become so successful so quickly?
How did Rachel, a Central Perk waitress, climb the fashion industry ladder and land a job in Paris on Friends? While Rachel has always been interested in fashion, it needs to be clarified how she transitioned from serving coffee to becoming a buyer. With prior experience or even an internship, she would likely have been able to succeed so quickly. Additionally, Rachel’s work ethic could be better, and she often spends time at Central Perk, even after landing her dream job.
Friends have a significant diversity problem.
You may not have noticed as a child, but upon rewatching Friends as an adult, it becomes clear that the show has a significant problem with diversity. The main cast is entirely white, which is not uncommon, but there is a striking absence of non-white guest stars.
What makes this even more puzzling is that the show is set in New York City, one of the most diverse cities in the world. Over a third of the city’s population was born outside of the U.S.; many more are of non-European or mixed-race heritage. Though, The show creator Marta Kauffman addressed the issue of diversity in the show, apologized for it, and even donated to the cause.