Friends storylines that would never work in 2016


by Jack White |
Published on

There’s no denying Friends is one of the greatest TV shows ever made, anyone who tells you otherwise has no idea what they’re talking about. But the first episode debuted in 1994, meaning there’s a lot of things that happened over its 10-year run that would not happen today.

Friends: Rachel's entrance

Let’s start from the very top, shall we? A distressed and dishevelled Rachel Green arrives at Central Perk, having jilted Barry at the alter, looking for ex-best friend Monica Gellar – with whom she plans to start a new life in the City.

There are several reasons why this would NEVER happen in 2016. First of all; these days, Rachel would’ve called, or at least WhatsApp’d, Monica to find out where she was.

Secondly, what are the chances of, when you take into consideration how many coffee shops there are in New York City, runaway bride Rachel running into the exact one Monica practically lives in?

Thirdly, people in real-life 2016 – especially in Britain – wouldn’t dream of ditching their husband-to-be and turning to the one friend they DIDN’T invite to the wedding. They would have already seen the indirect Facebook posts about love and loyalty…

Friends: Joey's career

One continuous storyline throughout the series is Joey Tribbiani’s fluctuating acting career. But, eventually, he does hit the big time – and money – with his part in Days of our Lives.

So Joey can finally pay his own bills and stop relying on Chandler Bing, he throws parties for his fellow soap stars and he even gets nominated for an award.

But something that never happens to Joey is fans; the prime time soap actor just doesn’t get the same reaction as, say, Michelle Keegan.

In fact, the only times Joey does have one decidedly over-excited fan is in episode ‘The One That Could Have Been’, when Rachel is obsessed with Dr Drake Ramoray, and when 'The One After The Superbowl' when Erika Ford (Brooke Shields) doesn't understand that Joey is not actually Drake in real life.

These days, we’re SO obsessed with celebrity culture that, if we saw Joey Tribbiani in our local Pret, we’d have to take a selfie for Instagram… at least.

Friends: Joey's disregard for bills and responsibilities

While we’re on the subject of Joey and his finances; no 20something man in an entry level job [Chandler] could ever afford to pay their best friend [Joey]’s way through life.

We’re still not exactly sure what Chandler actually does for a living, but we’re pretty certain he wasn’t earning enough to pay for rent, utilities and food for the both of them – well, not in today’s climate, anyway.

And then you have the head shots, acting classes and everything else Chandler forked out for Joey. If nothing else, these days Joey would be known as the kind of friend you avoid.

Friends: Monica and Chandler's secret relationship

We all LOVED when Monica and Chandler got together in London, but the events afterwards were more than a little farfetched. The couple first hooked up at the very end of season four, but their friends didn’t find out about their relationship until episode 14 of season five.

Can you imagine getting together with someone, especially someone from the ‘group’, and not telling your best friends for about six months? In this day and age, Monica would have at least told the girls. Probably via WhatsApp Group Chat. While Chandler was in the shower the morning after the first time. And with a LOT of See-No-Evil Monkey emojis.

Friends: Emily marries Ross... even though he said 'Rachel'

Speaking of London; When Ross said Rachel’s name at the alter, instead of his actual wife-to-be Emily, why the heck did she go through with the wedding?

If that was us, we’d have been up and out of there. And we’d probably have taken Joey with us for good measure. But no, Emily went and said ‘I do’ – even though she had absolutely NO intention of trying to make the marriage work.

Friends: Rachel lives with Joey, even after having a baby

One thing we’ll never forgive the producers of Friends for is when they tried to make Rachel and Joey a thing. Ew. Sticking with that theme, do you ever wonder why Rachel continued to live with Joey after she had Emma? You know, her daughter with his best friend Ross.

Rachel had an amazing job at Ralph Lauren, and presumably one that was very well-paid if her fabulous wardrobe was anything to go by. Her baby daddy was a palaeontologist, and we’re not doctors or scientists but she must have been getting some pretty hefty child maintenance money from him.

So the fact she decided to stay sharing a flat with an unemployed actor is baffling to us. And it wasn’t even a nice flat.

Friends: Ross' high-risk tour of the airport

Something which never fails to make us well up is when Rachel gets off the plane in 'The Last One'. It was the perfect moment, and one we’d all been waiting for.

But something that would never be allowed to happen in 2016 is Ross’ free-run of the airport. He bought a ticket to ‘anywhere’ before sprinting towards the gate of a flight that was so obviously not his own. These days he would’ve been tackled and taken into passport control before he knew what was happening.

Also, why was Ross just happy for Rachel to take their daughter and move to another continent? This is the guy who got suspended from work over his rage about a missing sandwich, but he’s more than happy for Emma to be taken 3,625 miles away from him? With all the laws surrounding children these days, there’s no way Rachel would’ve had so much freedom.

Friends: They WERE on a break

One of the most memorable storylines from the series was when Ross and Rachel split for the first time. When they were on a break. Because they were definitely, 100 per cent on a break.

And when you’re on a break, you’re allowed to see other people. Ross didn’t want the break, Rachel did. Fair enough, he could’ve waited more than 24 hours before slipping into bed with the hot girl from the copy shop [also not a very popular job in 2016], but he didn’t technically do anything wrong.

If we were Phoebe and Monica, and that situation happened today, we’d tell Rachel to get a grip and that she couldn’t have her cake and eat it.

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