Sure - Ross sucks. This has been well-documented. I mean, we talk about how much Ross sucks on a fairly regular basis. He's a weirdo, a psychopath, and generally just a shitty strange man. But you know what? The rest of his friend group isn't so great. In fact, they're ALL pretty trashy too - and here's why:
Rachel Ruined a Woman's Life ... For Ross
Rachel's repeatedly running back to her toxic relationship with Ross is some disturbing behavior. Most it can be excused because Ross might as well have had a PhD in emotional manipulation (as well as dinosaur stuff). What's harder to explain is all the people Rachel trampled over to be with Ross, like Bonnie.
Bonnie was a "friend" of Phoebe's who Ross dated near the end of season 3. Rachel, like she did with all of Ross' girlfriends, hated Bonnie for no goddamn reason. Bonnie was an outsider to the group and Rachel, like a true psychopath, pretended to be her friend all to get herself back together with Ross.
Rachel convinced Bonnie to shave her head, has Ross break up with Bonnie to be with her (after kissing him twice) and then Rachel breaks up with Ross herself. All of this happens in the span of 24 hours. In the show, the season 3 finale was a fun trip to the shore. For Bonnie, it was a beach house of horrors.
Janice Didn't Deserve The Hate She Got
Sadly, Bonnie isn't the only victim in the Friends' sexual mind games. There's also Janice, who Chandler dated on and off for years, despite him openly hating her. Janice was loud and had a bone-chilling laugh but that's some minor baggage, especially for Chandler. Chandler, by his own admission, is a walking bundle of neuroses and hang-ups. This is a man who hates dogs, the best creature in God's creation, but Janice loved him anyway. Furthermore, Janice treated Chandler's friends with the same level of kindness and respect. Though they did nothing but mock her and her voice.
Chandler treated Janice like the feces of the animals he so despised. He made fun of her constantly. He broke up with the day after Valentine's Day, on New Year's and the instead of breaking up with for the final time, he pretended to move to Yemen. Rather than have an adult conversation, Chandler let Janice believe he lived in a third-world country for four fucking years.
Joey's Path of Sexual Destruction
While all the Friends have a habit of showing little actual affection or empathy towards their romantic conquests, Joey is the worst of them. In several of his many conquests, Joey Tribbiani was one step above a sexual predator.
Upon first meeting Monica, Joey strips down to nothing and poses for her, a total stranger, simple because she asks if he wants lemonade. In Joey's mind this is code for sex, even though lemonade is, objectively, the least sexy drink. In any other show this is a prelude to an assault.
Here's some of Joey's greatest hits of predatory behavior:
- He meets Erica (Brooke Shields) a mentally ill woman who think he's soap opera character and tries to manipulate that illness into sleeping with her
- Went looking for a hot female roommate because it would make it "easier" to have sex
- Compares women to flavors of ice cream, telling Ross to "grab a spoon"
Worst of all, he takes a woman to an isolated cabin, (mistakenly) throws her artificial leg in the fire and runs before she wakes up. From Joey's perspective that's an embarrassing story. For the poor disabled woman, it's the second act of her own personal horror film. It gets when you realize this happened before 1996 and she probably didn't even have a phone, let alone transportation, to get help.
Phoebe Hated Everyone (Except Maybe Joey)
At least some of the other members of the group threw out their noxious behavior onto others. Phoebe dumps it all on her supposedly best friends. Phoebe's friends were constantly there for her. They comforted her when she gave up the triplets she birthed, supported her through her many devastating break-ups and her unbelievable family drama.
Phoebe responded though by mocking Chandler with his co-workers, after he got her a job. Stopped talking to Ross for a week because she had a bad dream about him. Slowly moved out of her apartment with Monica, without telling her. Seemingly makes up a fake roommate, Denise, so a homeless Rachel can't move in with her.
At least she seemed like to like Joey ... unless he was trying to learn guitar from an actual teacher instead of her own insane method.
Monica is a Controlling Monster
Of the two Geller children, Monica is the better one. Yet it doesn't take much to be better than Ross Geller. Mussolini wasn't Hitler, but he was still a human garbage facility. This is a apt comparison too because he only thing that separates Monica from a fascist dictator is that she has better hair.
Monica was a control freak of the highest order. What came across a quirky running joke on Friends about how much Monica liked to clean had to have been a living nightmare to experience day in and day out. The saddest thing is that Monica didn't start the series this way. In the early seasons Monica's neuroticism was endearing and just slightly off-kilter. In the later seasons, she ripped her husband a new asshole for daring to clean their apartment in a slightly different way than her own.
Everyone Ignored Joey's Obvious Growing Neurological Disease
Let's put aside the fact that Joey mooched off Chandler's wealth for nearly a decade. Point in fact, everyone's affluent white privilege ass should've been supporting Joey because the man had some serious mental issues. When Friends first began Joey was "the cool guy," he wore leather vest, his hair was constantly in his eyes. The only thing separating Joey and Jordan Catalano was that Joey wasn't meant to be 15 years old. Yet the longer Friends went on the stupider Joey became. Throughout the seasons Joey:
- Thought Ross was short for Rosstopher
- Believed he could repopulate the Earth using condoms
- Was convinced a broken recliner could "heal" itself
- Tried to learn French and sounded like a recently revived coma patient
Behind-the-scenes of the series, Joey's increasing stupidity was a way to make easy jokes. Looking at things realistically, Joey seems to have had degenerative neurological diseases that robbed him all mental facilities. The real question isn't why Chandler paid all his bills, it's why didn't anyone else get Joey the help he clearly needed?