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It's Not Just Ross - Every Character On 'Friends' Is a Really Bad Friend

May 22, 2020 4.8k votes 484 voters 12.3k views18 items

List RulesVote up the moments where 'Friends' characters were awful to one another.

Years after its finale aired, Friends is as popular as ever. If there was any question as to whether or not Friends is one of the greatest sitcoms of all-time, that uncertainty has been dismantled by its plethora of new fans. The story of six people just trying to figure things out, is as resonant as it was in the 1990s when the show first aired. 

It's important to note that Phoebe, Joey, Chandler, Rachel, Monica, and Ross are in fact, human beings: we love them for their quirks and flaws. However, for a show that promotes friendship with a theme song the likes of “I’ll Be There For You,” its characters don't always live up to that. Sure, Ross can be insufferable; having a constant disregard for the "bro code," and willing to do things like secretly not annul his marriage to Rachel for purely selfish reasons. However, Ross isn’t the only character who’s been a bad friend.

For every commendable act, like keeping Chandler from smoking, they've also been late for meaningful events or unjustifiably embarrassed by one another. Even Phoebe, who’s considered by many to be the best character on Friends, has often acted in her own self-interests above all else. Again, these "friends" are only human; a group of 20-somethings just trying to figure things out. That said, maybe this rundown of them being really bad friends will make us relate to them even more (or simply serve as a guide on how not to conduct ourselves).

  • 5

    When No One Except Phoebe Is Ready For Ross' Black Tie Event At The Museum

    Photo: NBC

    In "The One Where No One’s Ready" in Season 3, Ross invites all of his friends to an important function at the museum he works at. Not unlike how the group is late for Phoebe's birthday dinner in Season 9, Ross arrives at Monica’s apartment to find that only Phoebe is ready to leave. Chandler and Joey get in an argument over a chair - which results in a stain on Pheobe's dress - Monica gets wrapped up in some Richard-related hi-jinks, and Rachel takes forever to get ready, resulting in more Ross and Rachel conflict.

    This is just one example of how little these friends can care about the others' feelings.

    Bad friend?
  • 6

    When Chandler Kisses Joey’s Girlfriend, Kathy

    Photo: NBC

    This show has a huge “bro code” problem. Joey, Chandler, and Ross claim to acknowledge these guidelines but seldom adhere to them: Ross kissed Chandler’s mom, Chandler slept with Joey’s sister, and Joey tried to get with Rachel after her turbulent relationship with Ross. All of the aforementioned violations are worth noting. However, it’s arguably Chandler’s Season 4 betrayal of Joey that takes the cake.

    In episode 7, "The One Where Chandler Crosses The Line," Chandler kisses Joey’s girlfriend, Kathy. Now, Chandler did try to fight his feelings for Kathy for a long time, but he also tried to manipulate Joey into dumping Kathy. When that doesn’t happen, Chandler ends up giving in to his feelings... even if only for a second. Chandler confesses all of this to Joey in a fashion that can accurately be described as “too little too late.” Even the viewer knows all Chandler had to do was come to Joey at the start and he probably would have stepped aside.

    Although Chandler makes things up to Joey about spending six hours in a box and Joey allows Chandler to see Kathy, Chandler’s melodramatic and premediated indignity jeopardized his friendship with Joey for seemingly no reason.

    Bad friend?
  • 7

    When Rachel Convinces Bonnie To Shave Her Head

    Photo: NBC

    Episode 25 of Season 3 - 'The One At The Beach" - sees Ross and Rachel at the height of their will they/won’t they post “we were on a break!” drama. Rachel being jealous of Ross’s girlfriend and, knowing how superficial Ross is, convinces her that shaving her head (something Bonnie has enjoyed in the past) is a good idea. Ross reacts accordingly, giving Rachel the romantic edge.  

    To be fair, it probably is a good idea; if it makes Bonnie happy, more power to her. However, Rachel’s motives are less than admirable. Bonnie is not only a longtime friend of Phoebe's but, at the very least, a friendly acquaintance of Rachel. Also, nothing can justify how Rachel and Ross make fun of Bonnie’s “5 'o’clock shadow” afterward.

    Bad friend?
  • 8

    When Rachel Goes To England With The Intention Of Ruining Ross' Wedding

    Photo: NBC

    Their status as dysfunctional, on-again, off-again love interests aside, Ross and Rachel were friends first. Even so, they never seem to support the others’ relationships. 

    For the majority of Season 4, the characters focus on moving on; Rachel moves in on Joshua and Ross falls for Emily. As soon as Ross decides to get married, Rachel decides she’s not done with him yet. 

    Instead of seeing Ross’s obvious happiness, and supporting it, Rachel’s initial reaction is selfish. She immediately makes up an excuse not to go to London and attend the wedding. Then, she decides she’s going to go to London and tell him she’s still in love with him - which will essentially ruin the entire wedding. Thankfully, when she finally arrives in London, she decides not to tell Ross how she feels and let's him follow his heart instead. But that doesn't dismiss the 10-plus hours of travel she made with poor intentions.

    Bad friend?