I am starting off this article with a declaration: ‘Friends’ is a joyless rip-off from the much better show ‘Living Single’. As soon you recognize this, the better a person you will be. Growing up, all my little Yakubian classmates and peers raved about ‘Friends’ saying it was the funniest show they have ever seen. They all loved every character and how they interacted with each other. I figured I would watch it to understand all the dumb jokes and references that they made.
Here are a list of things that I learned while watching all 10 seasons (too many seasons) of ‘Friends’: (1) apparently there were a grand total of 5(?) Black people in New York between the years of 1994-2004, (2) rent in New York was about $100 a month because at multiple points in the show, the friend from ‘Friends’ were able to hold down their ridiculously nice apartments while not having jobs, and (3) every friend on the show was an awful person you would never be friends with in real life.
Some people may confuse the real life actors with their characters. Some people will say, “No, I’d love to be friends with Rachel!” To that I say you’re lying, you would want to be friends with Jennifer Aniston. No one in their right mind would want to be friends with Rachel. This was a woman who grew up in a way so privileged that she now believes that the basic rules of society and decency don’t apply to her. She grew up getting literally everything that she wanted and then basically lost the ability to get everything she wanted halfway through adulthood. Do you really want to interact with someone who has no capability of understanding things from another perspective?
Here is a small sample of instances that show Rachel Green is not a good friend: (1) she lost Ross’s pet monkey Marcel, (2) she got Ross’s girlfriend Bonnie to shave her head so he would break up with her, (3) she would never clean her house or offer to cook, (4) she stole the thunder from Monica, not once, but twice, at her engagement party and her ACTUAL WEDDING.
Let’s move onto her roommate, Monica. She may be the most manipulative character in the history of TV. She tricks Chandler to having sex with whilst she is sick so that she can get pregnant. I repeat, she TRICKED him into having sex with her. She was also controlling and egotistical, wearing Rachel’s wedding dress just around the house, and constantly tried to pressure Chandler into blowing all of his savings on their wedding. Imagine trying to choose where to go to dinner with your friends, and Monica completely derails the dinner because that’s not where she wanted to go.
*Quick intermission: the one Jay-Z music video that they recreated ‘Friends’ with all of the young Black actors is better than any episode of ‘Friends’ ever, period.
Here we get to the stretch of chaotic entities that are Phoebe, Chandler, and Joey. Everyone views Phoebe as the sweet, slightly aloof friend. However, Phoebe is actually a physically abusive and self-righteous person who would try to shame her friends if their values did not align with her’s. She threatened to plant PCP in Monica and Chandler’s apartment, she once told Monica and Rachel that if they were in prison, they would be her “bitches,” and she once actually mugged Ross. In season 3, Joey got a job selling Christmas trees. Phoebe found out that they destroy the old trees that don’t get sold, so she sabotages Joey’s job, endangering his livelihood.
I’m going to boil Chandler and Joey down to a couple of words because I want to get to Ross. Chandler is a homophobe, and is scared of anything that, in the 90s, would have characterized him as “gay.” Joey can’t keep it in his pants, bordering on sexual harassment (when he first met Monica, she invited him up and she left the room. When she returned, he was fully naked on the coach). He also doesn’t share food, the mark of an awful person.
Now we have Ross. My pick for the worst friend on the show ‘Friends’. Why is he so bad? Let’s take a look at some of things he did on the show, shall we: (1) he would not let his son, Ben, play with a Barbie, (2) he was uncomfortable with the perfectly capable nanny for their child was a man, which he believed was a woman’s job, (3) he bragged about the number of times he and Rachel had sex (298 to be exact), (4) he cheated on two separate women with Rachel, (5) he made Rachel choose between her dream job and him, and (6) he makes Rachel feel guilty for having a career and having goals.
All of the friends from ‘Friends’ are terrible people. They are manipulative, emotionally and physically abusive, and are really no fun to interact with. It’s like hanging out with Greek yogurt. Greek yogurt is gross, and so are all the characters from ‘Friends’.