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).
1. When The Group Doesn't Appreciate Monica's Thanksgiving Dinner
Monica cooks an extravagant Thanksgiving dinner every year for her friends. And somehow every year it's messed up by something - mocking Monica, throwing her under the bus for something or other, or showing up late in blatant disregard for all her hard work.
In Season 1: Monica cooks different kinds of potatoes just to appease her friends. In response, her friends mock her when she says she feels overwhelmed and then show no sympathy when her food is ruined.
In Season 4: Monica cooks a full meal even after accidentally stabbing herself in the eye. Again, her friends mock her.
In Season 6: Monica and Ross’s parents visit for the holiday and their mysterious resentment toward Chandler comes up. (Spoiler: Ross used to blame Chandler for smoking.) Instead of allowing Monica and Chandler to enjoy Thanksgiving, Ross milks the truth and throws Monica under the bus unashamedly.
In Season 10: Monica finally tells her friends she’s not cooking this year. However, after guilt-tripping her into doing it anyway, everyone shows up late: Rachel and Phoebe take Emma to a beauty pageant and Ross and Joey go to a Rangers game.Bad friend?
2. When Everyone Shows Up Late To Phoebe's Birthday Dinner
In episode 5 of Season 9 - "The One With Phoebe’s Birthday Dinner" - Phoebe decides to lavishly celebrate her birthday with dinner at a fancy restaurant. Her beau may have to work, but her friends had all agreed to join her. Joey is the only one who shows up on time and the two sit for so long that they're asked to move to a smaller table. Both other couples are caught up in separate arguments over children and plans, that they cease to acknowledge they're letting one of their best friends down on her special day. After waiting even longer for her other friends to show, Phoebe ends up having to leave the dinner without eating or celebrating to find happiness in a calmer setting away from her pals.
Monica, Chandler, Rachel, and Ross all let themselves be too self-absorbed in their own issues to set aside time to help another friend have a great night.Bad friend?
3. When Phoebe Makes Fun Of Chandler At Work After He Helps Her Get A Job
Phoebe marches to the beat of her own drum, or, rather guitar. Having grown up homeless and on the streets, her means of making a living have historically been unconventional. In Season 1, episode 22, "The One With The Ick Factor," Chandler helps Phoebe out by getting her a job as his temporary secretary. While fraternizing with the other lower-level employees, Phoebe discovers that none of the others have liked Chandler since he got his most recent promotion. Instead of defending Chandler, or attempting to make him look better in the eyes of his subordinates, Phoebe joins them in their mockery of her friend; submitting to the idea that there’s no hope.
Ultimately, this works to Chandler’s advantage as he comes to terms with his position. However, Phoebe’s actions are undeniably two-faced. For someone who usually preaches the beauty of obscurity, why submit to such a toxic and institutionalized idea?Bad friend?
4. When Monica Dates 'Fun Bobby,' Makes Him Sober Up, And Then Drinks Around Him Because He Is Now 'Ridiculously Dull Bobby'
Monica dates the social and hilarious “Fun Bobby" on and off in Seasons 1 and 2 of Friends. In the 10th episode of Season 2, "The One With Russ," the group notices that Bobby is perpetually drinking. Concerned, Monica convinces him to quit, but it turns out, sober Bobby isn’t as much fun. The group then dubs him “Ridiculously Dull Bobby” behind his back. On top of this, Monica starts drinking to deal with how dull he's become, which is a pretty insensitive thing to do around a recovering alcoholic.
Bobby was really just a people pleaser. He was constantly trying to live up to the nickname "Fun Bobby," but by convincing him to change his ways and then rejecting him for who is he afterward in a way that's extremely insensitive is the ultimate low.Bad friend?