I love Friends. It is one of the most memorable and iconic TV shows of all-time worldwide, even 23 years after it first aired and 13 years after it finished. Since then there have been countless articles about the show, such as theories based on what would have happened if certain storylines had continued, ideas or fantasies about what the main characters would be doing now, lists of plot holes and continuity issues as well “things you didn’t realise or know about” – unless you were a mega-fan.
Well, in honour of the date (22nd September) Friends first aired in the U.S. in 1994, here’s my list about the show. Because I watch it way too often (I even paid extra for channels on TV that included Comedy Central despite having all 10 seasons on DVD) and remember pretty much every storyline and episode, there are a few funny and ironic things that I have noticed about it. Most of these are based on what some of the characters have said or did that didn’t quite add up. So enjoy.
Monica calls Rachel a slut – but has slept with more men
In “The One Where The Stripper Cries”, Chandler and Ross both recall kissing Rachel at a party. Monica scoffs saying: “two guys in one night? Wow, I thought she became a slut after she got her nose fixed!” BUT, the irony is, Monica had dated and slept with far more men than Rachel, despite Rachel being sexually active long before her. Remember her “definitely less than a ball park” number she didn’t want to specify to Richard? And in the first episode where it’s revealed she had sex with a guy on the first date? Yep, until her first real relationship with Richard, Monica became a slut after she lost weight.
Monica’s baby names were never used
When Rachel gives birth to Emma, before she names her she has no idea what to call “Baby Geller-Green”. Monica then tells everyone the names she had picked out for her kids; Daniel if it was a boy and Emma if it was a girl. (By the way, both common and boring.) Of course, she allows Rachel to use Emma but Daniel is scrapped and instead her and Chandler’s adopted twins are called Erica and Jack. While Erica was named after her biological mother, which was nice, Jack was another boring, cop-out name. Still, made more sense than randomly calling him Daniel.
Monica doesn’t recognise her own home number?
Whilst on their honeymoon, Monica and Chandler take away Joey and Phoebe’s keys so the two of them get the locks changed to gain entry (of course, the door is hardly ever locked anyway). But to make sure they’re not found out, they ring Monica’s mobile and pretend there’s a gas leak to “break down the door”. Seeing as they rang her from inside the apartment, surely Monica saved her own home number in there like normal people do? Then again, she isn’t normal BUT she does usually think of a solution for every eventuality too.
Judy and Jack don’t notice Chip entering their house
During “The One With The Prom Video” when the friends watch Monica’s prom video, Ross goes upstairs to put on Jack’s tux to get ready to take Rachel to prom because Chip hasn’t turned up. But in the next scene as Judy films them coming down the stairs, we see that Chip has arrived as the four of them leave. So what was Judy doing during the time Ross and Jack were upstairs? Surely she would have seen Chip come in? Apparently not.
Rachel and Chandler forget knowing each other
In some flashbacks – especially the episode where the friends share their worst Thanksgivings, we see Rachel attending dinner with the Gellers two years in a row to be with Monica; Chandler does the same as Ross’ guest. This implies both of them have met a few times before. However, in the very first episode when Monica introduces everyone to Rachel, she only indicates that she would know who Ross is and not Chandler, who also acts as if it’s the first time he’s met her. In another flashback episode, when the coffee house is still a bar and Rachel is visiting with her friends while Monica and Chandler play pool, she remembers Monica but seems to have no idea who he is and vice versa.
How does Phoebe become so good at speaking French?
When Joey wants to learn how to speak French for an audition, Phoebe says she knows French and in that episode her French is pretty good. However, we know she never went to high school and in one episode she mentions that she and some friends “got together behind some dumpsters to learn French”. So when and how did she become good at/fluent in French? I doubt there’s much opportunity to learn and become that good from behind some dumpsters, when homeless or by living in New York working as a masseuse.
Where do Monica and Chandler and Phoebe and Mike honeymoon?
In the episode after Monica and Chandler get engaged Chandler mentions honeymooning in Paris, however, on return of their actual honeymoon it is suggested by their attire that they went somewhere tropical and we see a quick overhead shot of what looks to be a seaside resort. But we are never explicitly told WHERE they went, which is quite frustrating because it’s always a nice extra bit of detail to know. Phoebe and Mike also go on their honeymoon after getting married but again, we don’t know where to. Some people think Monica and Chandler went to Bermuda or the Bahamas but there has been no evidence that points to either.
Phoebe’s “first date” with Mike
In “The One Where Rachel’s Other Sister Babysits” Phoebe prepares for her “one year anniversary” with Mike. Rachel asks her if it’s been one year since their first date, first kiss or the first time they had sex, to which Phoebe’s response implies it was all three. But as a matter of fact, on their first actual date, they most probably didn’t even kiss since Phoebe was in a crying state before and during the date, thanks to Ross. It is not until later that Mike kisses her, presumably for the first time.
Was Ben switched as a baby?
In “The One With The Baby On The Bus”, Joey and Chandler take Ben on the bus and leave him on it, and it always left a potential interesting idea/plot twist; that Ben was switched as a baby and therefore the Ben that grows up isn’t Ross and Carol’s son – hence the vastly different looks between father and son. Because of course Joey and Chandler don’t remember what Ben looks like or what he was wearing so basically randomly take one of two babies home. At the end of that episode Ross notices the diaper Ben is wearing says “Property of Human Services” and chases the two of them. So is the older “Ben” we see actually Ben? I mean sure, they supposedly determine they were correct since the baby cries when they give him to Monica but you never know…
Ben predicts Monica and Chandler’s future?
Here’s a little theory of my own I came up with when watching Friends but have since seen other people had the same idea. In “The One With The Giant Poking Device” Monica and Rachel babysit Ben and Monica bangs Ben’s head against some wood. Later, Ben says Monica’s name and adds “bang” at the end after they’ve repeatedly been saying the word since the incident. However, because of most baby’s lack of coherency and fluidity when speaking it does or could sound like he is really saying “Monica Bing”. Did Ben just foretell a major storyline?
And finally as an honourable mention, which is more of an observation than irony:
Ross and Rachel had sex 300 times!
Ross once boasts that he and Rachel did it 298 times. Their 299th time was when she got pregnant with Emma and their 300th time was the night before she left for Paris, which makes quite a nice, big round number.
Read the second part of my tribute to Friends with their worst relationships over the course of the show.