There has never been another sitcom as huge as "Friends" was. And, based on the fact that "Two and a Half Men" is still the top rated sitcom and no one watches anything on NBC anymore, there may never be a show like "Friends" again. Good thing it will remain in reruns forever. As someone who has seen every episode of "Friends" at least 5 times, here are a few things that still bother me:
In "The One With Ross's Wedding," Ross, as you'll remember, says the wrong name during the vows. He's marrying Emily, but he says, "Rachel." Whoops! That's not really a great start to a marriage, but the good thing about it is that it happened before Ross and Emily were technically married. This was a perfect opportunity for Emily to call the whole thing off, but, instead of doing that very logical thing, she finishes the wedding, then runs away after they're legally married. That is such a hassle. It's not all Emily's fault, though. Ross has been divorced before. He really should have done a better job keeping a lookout for signs that things wouldn't work out. Like the fact that he said the wrong name during his wedding vows.
We all spent 10 years watching Monica, Chandler, Ross, Rachel, Phoebe, and Joey, and we know that they don't have any other friends. They have people they date and each other. That's it. So who are all these randos they trot out during party scenes? The idea that you can spend all your time only hanging out with five other people and still have a rockin' New Year's Eve is just another lie "Friends" spread about your twenties. At least they used it as an excuse to wedge some black people in the background.
Not to hate on Phoebe, but her presence in the "Friends" friend group doesn't make any sense. Sure, she's a good friend, and by season 10, it's understandable why they haven't stopped being friends with her, but why were they friends in the first place? She's weird. She doesn't have anything in common with the rest of the gang. And she's really weird. If this were real life, Phoebe would just feature in Monica's stories about that crazy roommate she once had, and that would be the end of it. Like Eddie. Remember Eddie?
It's bad enough that a 32 year-old woman with a presumably--based on wardrobe--high-paying job lives with a roommate, but the fact that she keeps living with him after she has a baby with another man is just plain weird. It's not even a really great apartment. There's no bedroom for the baby, and there's only that one window in the livingroom. Also, are there two microwaves in that kitchen? Come on, Rachel. Get it together.
The entire world knows that Chandler is "the funny one." Except, apparently, his friends. He's constantly cracking jokes and they're constantly not laughing at them. What's the point of having Chandler in their group if they don't think he's funny? I might think, oh it's a television thing. The director doesn't want to ruin the flow of the scene by stopping for laughs, but, oh yeah, there's a laugh track. Faceless strangers are laughing at Chandler's jokes, but his best friends aren't. That's so depressing.
Clearly, putting a giant wood beam in the middle of the kitchen was a bad set choice from the get go. It was obviously going to be in the way and be a big pain for the whole production. That's why someone should have realized that before they started filming the series. Instead, they filmed with it for a while, then just took it away. Like that's a thing you can do with support beams. Way to ruin the illusion of this otherwise completely realistic apartment.
At the end of the series, when Rachel and Ross have a baby together, but aren't together together, Rachel gets offered a job in Paris, and she takes it. She's leaving for the airport, and Ross rushes there to tell her not to go because he loves her. You know who else he should love? His daughter. The daughter that Rachel is just going to take to live in Paris. What kind of messed up custody agreement is going on here? Ross already has another kid he barely sees, you'd think he'd like to make some attempt to keep his offspring in his general vicinity. Emma always was sort of an afterthought though.
The money thing has long been something that critics of "Friends" harp on, and some of it is explained--Monica's apartment is rent controlled--and some of it just needs to be chalked up to the magic of television, but Joey and Phoebe just don't make sense. By the end of the series, they have steady jobs and money, but, at the beginning, Joey is an actor who never gets work, without another job, and Phoebe...is a subway busker? Ok, Phoebe makes no sense ever, so let's just ignore her like the writers expect us to. Joey, however, could have easily had his financial situation explain by some simple backstory, but, instead, the writers imply that he's mostly living off of Chandler's generosity. Pretty sweet deal for a random stranger roommate.
WARNING: I will defend this show to the death.
Oh, you didn't think "Friends" was funny? Oh, you thought it was just popular drivel? Oh, you were more of a "Seinfeld" person? Fuck you, you fucking liar. You loved "Friends." We all loved "Friends." We still love "Friends" when it appears in syndication 15 times per day. You know why? Because it was a delightfully funny, heartfelt, consistently enjoyable show. The fact that it was popular doesn't mean it sucked. You suck. Next time you start getting nostalgic for some bullshit 90s snackfood, remember the real reason the 90s were great: "Friends." (And, you know, the booming economy.)