Friends was an iconic TV show that lasted for ten years. It started in the mid 90s and did not end until the mid-2000s. That’s quite a long run. However, ask any Friends fan and they will tell you that Friends could have lasted forever. No one wanted it to end. And when it did end, it was like a part of our lives ended too.
Maybe that’s why we continue watching it to this day. Twenty years have passed since it first aired and yet we still love it as much as ever. It is still as relevant to our lives as it was in the beginning. We still laugh at the jokes and we still root for Ross and Rachel to get back together.
However, while the TV show was undoubtedly amazing, it did not answer every single question we had. There were plenty of plot holes and plenty of plotlines that went nowhere. Some of the things that happened on the show did not seem realistic. But they happened and we went along with it. But now, twenty years later, we can start questioning things. The only problem is: finding answers is not that easy!
15. How Much Would Monica’s Apartment Cost In Real Life?
Let’s be honest: we all had serious apartment envy when we were watching Friends. And we all thought: how could the characters afford the apartments they lived in? So let’s have a look at the different apartments and what they would cost today.
Monica’s apartment was about 1,500 square feet. It was huge and gorgeous. Today, a far smaller Greenwich Village apartment (with two bedrooms) would cost at least $3,000 a month. A Brooklyn apartment of 1,400 square feet goes for about $5,000 a month. And an apartment similar in size to Monica’s located in Greenwich Village goes for $14,000. A month!
Of course, we must remember that Monica’s apartment was rent controlled (meaning a landlord can only raise rent by a certain percentage each year) since the 40s. So it is possible that she only paid $200 a month!
14. How Much Would Chandler’s And Joey’s Apartment Cost In Real Life?
Unlike Monica, Chandler and Joey didn’t have the advantage of a rent-controlled apartment. Thus, even though their apartment was much smaller than Monica’s they actually paid more for it. A few thousand more!
According to the internet’s calculations, Joey’s and Chandler’s apartment would have cost about $3,500 a month. So, split that two ways and you get $1,750.We know that Chandler had one of the best-paid jobs out of all the friends. But Joey is another story – he was an actor (and a not very good actor at that!) and struggled with finances all the time.
13. What Happened To The Original Carol?
Remember Carol, Ross’ ex-wife who had become a lesbian? She looked very different in season 1 episode 1 (Pilot). That’s because originally she was played by a different actress. So what happened to the actress who played Carol originally? Why was she replaced?
Apparently, Anita Barone, the actress who played Carol in season 1 episode 1, left the show because she wanted to pursue a more full-time role. She went on to appear in TV shows such as The Jeff Foxworthy Show, Party of Five, Daddio, and The War at Home.
12. How Did They Shoot Phoebe And Ursula At The Same Time?
We all know that Phoebe had an evil twin called Ursula on the show. And sometimes the two came together and had arguments (or awkward, unpleasant conversations since they did not get along). But how did they shoot both Phoebe and Ursula in one scene?
Well, whenever a scene was shot where only the face of Phoebe or Ursula was visible, a body double was used. So, let’s say we see Phoebe talking to Ursula. However, while we see Phoebe’s face, we do not see Ursula’s face. We only see the latter’s back/side. In this case, a stand-in of the same height and hair color as Phoebe would be used.
In scenes where both Phoebe’s and Ursula’s faces are visible, the actress Lisa Kudrow shot one angle (Phoebe talking to Ursula) and then the other angle (Ursula talking to Phoebe) and then the two scenes were spliced together in the post-production processing.
11. How Much Did The Actors Make Per Episode?
Believe it or not, the Friends actors each made $1 million off every single Friends episode. They first successfully negotiated this pay deal in 2002 when they all came together and bargained. Each one had to be paid the same or else they would all leave the extremely popular show. Of course, the producers had no choice but to grant them their wish and pay them $1 million per episode.
Curious as to how much the crew made before they received $1 million per episode? According to various sources, the actors made $22,500 each in season 1, $22,500 to $40,000 in season 2, $75,000 in season 3 (this is when they began collective bargaining), $85,000 in season 4, $100,000 in season 5, $125,000 in season 6, $750,000 in season 7 and 8, and finally, $1 million in season 9 and 10.
10. Why Didn’t The Show’s Writers Pair Monica And Chandler Sooner?
No one can deny that Monica and Chandler had great chemistry. So it is no surprise that they were eventually paired together to the glee of the show’s fans. In fact, Monica and Chandler may have even been paired earlier on in the show!
In season 2 episode 7 (The One Where Ross Finds Out) we see Monica helping Chandler lose a few pounds. The writers thought the pair had great chemistry – “There was a real fun dynamic between the two of them. So even as early as that, they said ‘Oh they’re kind of special together. If we’re ever looking for another relationship, that’s something to file away.”
In fact, the idea of pairing Monica and Chandler was pitched in the writer’s room in season 3. However, writer Goldberg-Meehan did not think it was a good idea – “She was the one who said, ‘I just feel like at this point it would feel a little desperate’. We had gotten excited about the stories we could tell, but once she said that, we were all shamed and ran away.” Then, after Ross and Rachel’s breakup in season 3, introducing a new couple seemed like the right thing to do.
9. How Did The Friends Always Get The Best Seat In Central Perk?
We are all familiar with the iconic orange couch in the iconic cafe Central Perk. The couch seat was definitely the best seat in the busy New York cafe. So how did the gang always manage to get the best seat? By accident? Surely not!
The answer is very simple: they reserved it! If you look closely at Central Perk orange couch scenes you will notice a little “reserved” sign on the coffee table. The gang always reserved the best seat and thus always (or almost always) got it. That’s pretty cool to know although it is pretty douchey of them to hog the best seat all the time, isn’t it?
8. How Much Money Did Joey Owe Chandler?
In season 8 episode 22 (The One Where Rachel Is Late), Joey is trying to figure out how much money he owes Chandler for things such as rent, acting lessons, dance lessons, head shots, food and the like. So how much did he owe Chandler? Reddit’s r/theydidthemath solved the question.
Chandler’s and Joey’s rent was about $3,500 a month. If we split it between the two of them for three years then the total is $63,000 plus $1,000 for utilities.
Next, we move on to food. We all know that Joey loves to eat so one Reddit user assumes that Joey spends “$100 a week on groceries + $100 a week on pizza/takeout/coffee + $50 a week for Joey’s dates, every week for 3 years.” That’s $5,200 a year on groceries. But Joey went on a lot of dates, so let’s add an extra $25 to his dates budget (making it $3,900 yearly). And we all know that the friends loved coffee so let’s add $15 dollars to the takeout and coffee budget (making it $,5,980). So in total, food for three years would have cost Joey $45,240.
That’s already $109,240. But we’re not done yet! Two acting resume head shots would cost $1,000 ($500 each), Joey’s half of phone bills would have been $35 a month plus a separate line for computers would have been $10. That’s $1,620 total for three years.
In addition, in season 4 episode 2 (The One With The Cat) Joey is responsible for their apartment’s furniture getting stolen. Replacing the furniture would cost about $5,500. In season 6 episode 18 (The One Where Ross Dates A Student) Chandler mentions that Joey owes him $3,400. So in total, Joey owes Chandler $120,760.
7. Who Played Ugly Naked Guy (UNG)?
Who played the famous Ugly Naked Guy (UNG) in Friends? It’s a mystery that has finally been solved! For years, it was (falsely) said that Michael Hagerty, the guy who played Mr. Treeger, the building superintendent, also played UNG. However, it later turned out that Hagerty did not play UNG. He said – “I never played the Ugly Naked Guy. IMDb, the information is close, but a lot of times it’s very, very, very wrong. And that said, I’d rather be known as Mr. Treeger than the Ugly Naked Guy anyways.”
So who played UNG then? A guy named Jon Haugen, apparently – “The reason I never came forward was because I was just keeping it mellow because Warner Brothers was keeping it mellow. They wanted everybody to have a guess who I was.”
Haugen first applied for the role through Central Casting and then later the show asked him to return for a scene with Ross. Of course, none of the original casting crew can recall whether it was Haugen or not who played UNG because so much time has passed since then.
6. How Many People Did The Friends Get Intimate With?
We all loved it when the friends went on dates or were in relationships. The romance added more drama to the already dramatic and ridiculous plot lines. Thankfully, most friends ended up finding their soul mates towards the end of the show.
But have you ever wondered how many people the friends slept with throughout the show? Reddit user larry_b did! In fact, he calculated and graphed the number of people that each friend slept with during the course of the show’s 236 episode run.
Larry_b assigned a score of 1 to each person that the friends definitely slept with and a score of 0.5 to each person that the friends might have slept with. So the score is: Chandler – 10.5 people, Ross – 14 people, Monica – 14.5 people, Rachel – 15.5 people, Phoebe – 32.5 people, Joey – 51.5 people (no surprise there!)
5. How Much Money Would Joey Have Really Made?
It was obvious that Joey was the least financially secure character on the show. Over the course of the series, Joey has had various different jobs that paid very varied wages. Of course, first and foremost, Joey was an actor. But he constantly missed auditions. Still, he never had to cut down on coffee or stop asking women out on dates. How did he afford to live the way he did?
Joey was involved in stage acting. Today, Broadway actors make between $500 to $900. Back in the 90’=s it would have been less. Since Joey’s theater performances were not exactly sell-outs, let’s assume he made $300 a week or $1,200 a month. Today, models make about $13 an hour. In the 90s it was probably $8 – $9 an hour. So let’s assume that Joey made about $80 for his V.D modelling gig.
Remember when Joey waited tables at Central Perk? Minimum wage in New York in 1997 was $4.25 so Joey made around $50 to $60 a day.
Nowadays, sperm donors can make about $20 to $30 per specimen. Let’s say this was $16 during the 90s. If Joey donated twice a week, he would have made $128 a month.
Joey gets his big break when he’s cast as Dr. Drake Ramorey in Days of Our Lives. At the start, Joey probably made around $400 an episode but by the end, he must have been making around $900 an episode. That’s $234,000 for a 260-episode season!
4. Why Did The Show End So Suddenly?
Even though the show had 10 seasons, many fans feel that Friends was cut short. Indeed, it is one of those TV shows that feel like it could go on forever but that doesn’t mean that it should. However, it turns out that the show did actually end abruptly.
Why? Well, apparently, the reason the final season had only 18 episodes (meaning 6 episodes were cut) is because Jennifer Aniston, the actress who played Rachel Green, received lots of amazing movie offers at the end of season 8 of Friends. While Aniston returned for season 9 she was not so sure about season 10. She felt that Friends should end on a high note and did not want to drag the show out.
3. How Much Money Would They Make Today Doing What They Did?
How much money would the six friends make if they lived in Manhattan today? At the start of the show, Rachel works as a waitress. Today, she would make about $19,570 a year. Joey was a part-time actor. Assuming he’d make $26.95 an hour, his yearly income would be $28,028. Monica is a cook – she’d make about $28,280 at a restaurant. Ross worked at the New York Museum of Prehistoric History. He would make about $49,590. Phoebe seems to have been the poorest of the friends seeing as she did not pay tax. She would probably make less than $10,350. Chandler is the richest of the six – he works as a database administrator. He’d make about $68,440.
Ten years later, Chandler is the only one whose income falls. By the end of the show, he’s an advertising sales agent and would make about $67,870. Monica goes from being a cook to the head chef. Her income would be $40,630. Rachel becomes a senior executive at Ralph Lauren. She would easily make around $100,000 or more. Ross goes form working at the museum to being a professor at New York University. He’d make $97,170. Phoebe ends up working for a corporate massage chain and would make $50,060. Finally, Joey has become a star with Days of Our Lives. He lends Chandler and Monica $4,000 without batting an eyelid. He’d probably make about $250,000.
2. What Were The Jobs Of Jack Geller And Judy Geller?
Ross and Monica’s parents are the only parents that appear throughout the show. We grew incredibly accustomed to them and we loved every scene they appeared in. But recently fans have been wondering – what was it that Jack and Judy Geller did for a living?
Neither Jack’s nor Judy’s occupations are listed on the internet, so Redditors took to solving this one themselves. Judy’s mystery occupation, according to Reddit, is an easy one to solve: she’s more than likely a housewife, just like Rachel’s mother.
Jack’s occupation, on the other hand, is more difficult to guess. He once thought it would be a good idea to sell ice over the internet and he once wished he were in the “sun-dried tomato business”. Jack’s line of work is never defined on the show although he has led his in-laws to believe that he is an attorney. Redditors tend to agree that he probably worked in an office, perhaps in shareholding but is now probably retired.
1. What Apartments Could The Friends Actually Afford Today?
Ever wondered what apartments the gang could afford today? So have many others. In fact, a little guide has been created on the internet by an apartment website called julep that looks at the income of each friend and then finds an apartment in New York that suits their income bracket. This guide was, of course, created looking at the income that each friend made in season 1.
Chandler and Joey according to this guide can afford to pay $2,925 per month on rent. They need a two bedroom apartment that is pet-friendly (they do have a chicken and a duck after all). Thus, Joey and Chandler could afford a 2 bedroom 1 bathroom Upper West Side apartment for $2,900 a month.
If we assume that Monica doesn’t have a rent-controlled apartment then all the girls would have to live together if they wanted to stay in Manhattan. They can afford to spend $3,575 a month and they need a 3 bedroom apartment. They could get a 3 bed, 1 bathroom apartment on the Upper East Side for $3,450.
Ross can afford to spend $1,675 on rent and he needs a two bedroom apartment for when his son Ben comes over to visit. However, if he wants to live in Manhattan he will have to settle for a studio apartment which will cost him $1,550 a month.