6 Things That Are Wrong With ''Friends"

6 Things That Are Wrong With ''Friends"

Pop Culture

August 12, 2020

With everyone binging Netflix right now, they are bound to have watched or rewatched the popular 90s sitcom, "friends."

After I rewatched the show for about the 4th time, I realized that some aspects of the show could be of adverse influence on its growing teen audience, and some ideas of the series should not be reflected in modern society.

*DISCLAIMER* I really do love the show, and yes, it gives you that quick and much needed comedic fix, but that doesn't deny the fact that some parts of the show need an upgrade.

1. Constant Fat-Shaming That Runs Through the Show

Fans of the show will know that Monica used to be a little bit on the chubby side in high school. This is used as a point of ridicule by her other friends, and she's even laughed at for exercising?

But it's not just fat Monica... There are several other instances when being fat is considered 'unattractive' according to the show.

Hardcore fans who have rewatched the series more than twice might remember that chandler once dumped a girl at summer camp because she was "faa-aat."

Back to season 2, when Chandler said he felt as if he was "hideously unattractive," the friends linked this idea to his gain in weight…? (which is unnoticeable by the way)

Also, one more thing. Rachel and Monica have perfectly toned bodies, and that kind of sets the tone for what 'beauty' is supposed to look like.This would inevitably fuel a negative body image amongst girls who don't look like that and is the reason why Chloe Ting has so many views on her 2-week summer shred.

2. The Homophobic and Transphobic Attitude That The Main Friends Have

I'm not saying that the entire show is homophobic what I'm saying is that certain aspects of the show make fun of the LGBTQ community (probably without meaning to).

Chandler is often mistaken as a gay man.. that's fine... It's the fact that he is insulted by it that is not correct.

Chandler's father's gender is also a point of comedy throughout the show.

Ross is probably the most homophobic character in the show, partly because his ex-wife turned out to be a lesbian. Ross's tendency to cultivate 'masculinity' in Ben by taking away the child's barbie toy to replace with a G.I Joe can also be linked to his homophobic nature. The whole incident in 'The one with the male nanny' deals with a similar situation.

When Carol and Susan announce that they are getting married, there is a cue for a laugh track?

I'm not saying that you should stop watching 'friends' because of its a homophobic, gender policing show. What I am saying is, although most of the jokes breeze by, as viewers, we must know that in today's society, which is filled with all types of people, some lines may come across offensive, so we shouldn't repeat them.

3. There Is No Ethnic or Cultural Diversity...or Any Diversity For That Matter.

As a person of color watching friends, I felt grossly underrepresented by the show, which lacks any sort of diversity. It is a story about 6 white straight adults living in New York, which is supposed to be a melting pot?

Fans of the show might be shocked, but let me tell you that there were only *two* people of color who had supporting roles throughout the whole series on the air for 10 years… It was Paulo, Rachel's impulsive Italian lover from season 1, and Charlie, the paleontologist who was first Joey's and then Ross's girlfriend.

4. Breaking Up With People For Superficial Reasons is Completely Okay..?

I don't know how many hardcore fans remember this, but Chandler went through a stage when he broke up with people for cosmetic and 'on the surface' reasons such as the fact that she had a big nose or buck teeth etc....implying that you do judge a book by its cover?

Also, what was wrong with Janice? She was friendly to virtually all of the friends; however, she stepped out of the way almost immediately when Janice realized she could hurt Monica and Chandler's relationship... She was a nice person, and yes, maybe she was a little loud, but that doesn't justify dumping her?! This negates everything you hear about falling in love with someone's personality...'Friends' makes you prioritize looks.

5. They Don't Go to Work.

The 6 friends are always hanging out at Central Park drinking coffee throughout the day... They all have day jobs, but when do they work? When Rachel was a waitress, she really never waitressed. We know Chandler has an office job, but when does he go to work? Ross is also a museum employee and a professor... WHY IS HE IN THE COFFEE HOUSE THE WHOLE DAY?

They all have such spacious apartments in central New York City, but they don't really go to work, and Rachel (seasons 1 and 2), Joey, and Phoebe probably don't make enough money to live in such places...This unrealistic depiction of adulthood in a big city looks like it is so not beneficial for younger viewers who might be under the false conception that you don't have to work hard to play hard. Viewers think that's what real life is.. BUT IT'S NOT!

I understand why writers would have done this..a show about 6 friends working all day long wouldn't have landed as well as the' friends' we all know and love, but it's good to keep in mind that what happens in the TV show is indeed fictitious and not at all an accurate depiction of real life.

6. The Children On the Show Just Gradually Disappear.

Having a child is an incredibly pivotal moment in anyone's life. Your offspring becomes your sole and most crucial focus with everything, including your social life, fading into insignificance, or so I'm told. Emma and Ben are not pivotal characters on the show even though they are children of the main characters.

Fine, I can understand the reason for Ben's absence as he was raised by Susan and Carol... but Emma?? The child of Ross and Rachel! Viewers, especially younger ones, may feel like having a child does not alter or change a life, BUT IT DOES, yet again, the show fails to depict this accurately.

To sum it all up, I love the TV show 'Friends' and I'm sure many others do too, or else the show wouldn't be half as successful as it is today. I understand that nobody wants to see an accurate portrayal of what life is like because it probably wouldn't be that funny, eventful, or entertaining...What I'm trying to say is, watch 'Friends' and love it for the right parts and don't come away from the show thinking that that's what life is...because you know what?... It's not.

Ayana De zoysa
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Writer since Aug, 2020 · 1 published articles

Ayana de Zoysa is in her final year of school and is looking for a creative and productive way to fulfill her lockdown times. She has always loved writing and is thrilled to have this opportunity. She spends her time with her three dogs in Sri Lanka.