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13 Reasons Why ‘FRIENDS’ MAY Have Ruined A Generation 

FRIENDS is the sitcom that redefined the very concept of a television show. Many sitcoms such as The Office, Brooklyn Nine-Nine, etc., somewhat drive inspiration from the 90’s show. While many people cherish the show, it has been recently triggering a lot of millennials. It has been noted that the show had one too many shortcomings and should not be relevant in today’s world. So, here’s a list of 13 reasons why FRIENDS may have ruined a whole generation. Check it out!

1. The show made city-life look easy…but is it so? 

Monica, Rachel, Phoebe, Chandler, Ross, Joey

As a viewer, we know out of all the characters, only Ross and Chandler were earning enough to afford that kind of spacious and luxurious apartment in the NY city. In reality, the other characters would be struggling to live a life like that. Portraying a lifestyle like this is nothing but delusional. 

2. Ross and Rachel’s relationship normalized “Breaks in Relationships” 

For as long as 10 seasons, both of them get together and break up multiple times and then end up having a baby together. The whole relationship is toxic. Ross is extremely jealous, insecure, and controlling. Whereas Rachel won’t let go of Ross, neither she’ll forgive him. Still, this couple is admired by all.  Not to forget, the show also supports getting back with your cheating ex. Maybe that is why we have a generation that fantasizes about ghosting and other related practices. 

3. Different Salary Brackets, discussed only once

Being a millennial, I have 99 problems and money is one of them. It is funny how the lead characters are placed in different financial brackets, yet there are no talks about their struggles. However, the issue was addressed once in the episode, “The One With Five Steaks and an Eggplant.” I feel the show makers could have used this platform to show how a group of 6 individuals with different salary brackets would have co-existed. This, in turn, would have made “Friends” more realistic and parallel to reality. 

4. How come they were always at The Coffeehouse? 

Ross, Chandler, and Rachel were doing their 9-5 jobs which should have made hanging out whenever not possible in reality. However, the show portrays the idea of dumping your work and seeing your friends during working hours as a possible thing to do. In the former part of the show, Joey was a semi-employed actor, Phoebe was a masseuse, and Monica was a chef, which would have made their schedule flexible. But even in the latter part of the show, most of the characters were heavily employed, yet they were always at The Coffeehouse. How? 

5. It’s not easy to quit your job

Is it that easy to quit your job? Well, in the world of “Friends” it is. It shows how conveniently Rachel, who works as a waitress at The Coffeehouse quit to pursue her dreams of being in the fashion industry. On the other hand, we have Chandler quitting his job to find his passion, which is in the advertising industry. How we wish changing streams and jobs could have been THIS easy. 

6. Normalizing Homophobia 

With over 50 million viewership, the show “normalized” homophobia through its content. Whereas they could have used their massive platform to support people of every community. One of the examples to support this argument is that we have Chandler’s gay father being the center of the joke throughout the show. Maybe, that is why we have people thinking it is okay to discriminate against people based on their sexual orientation. 

7. Presenting an “unrealistic” NY City 

The majority of the scenes are shot in the studio that does not portray the busy streets of New York City filled with strangers. Hence, lacking the portrayal of real NY City. Do you have mice, cockroaches, and lizards in your apartments? At times, yes right? But we have only 1 episode showing Phoebe catching a mouse in the entire show. 

8. Encouraging “Womaniser” behavior

We all are witness to how Joey Tribbiani, throughout the season, objectified women. His character constantly mistreated and sexualized them. Joey also advocates gender stereotyping. The show makers should have been a little more responsible towards building his character. This has angered millennials who have been introduced to this show via online platforms.

9. Judgment>Acceptance

Phoebe Buffay in FRIENDS
Phoebe Buffay in FRIENDS

As friends, we promise each other to not judge and always be supportive. However, that is not the case in “Friends”. There are many episodes where we can see the characters demeaning one another. For instance, Monica’s weight has been a topic of ridicule. Phoebe’s bohemian lifestyle, vegan diet, and spiritual beliefs have been mocked. Ross’ education degree, passion for dinosaurs, and profession have been openly derided.

10. Underestimating “Divorces”

Jennifer Aniston & David Schwimmer
Jennifer Aniston & David Schwimmer

It is okay to leave an unhealthy marriage. However, it is not okay to take divorces lightly. It takes a lot from the individuals and the people associated with them. Initially, the show profoundly dealt with divorces with Ross, Chandler, and Rachel telling their struggles with divorces in the past. Later on, the show contradicted its stand by showing how Ross divorced twice, bringing his tally to three.

11. Symbolising city life through coffeehouses

Whenever the characters wanted to chill, spend some quality time, or discuss important life issues, they hanged out at the Coffeehouse. The sitcom portrayed coffeehouses as the ultimate chill spot. No wonder the stats show an increase in coffee shop outlets since “Friends” aired. However, city life cannot be solely associated with coffeehouses. It has a lot to offer.

12. “Inclusivity”…sorry what?

No matter how much you love this show, you cannot deny the fact that it lacks inclusivity. The famous group of six does not include the voices of people of color, homosexuals, or a person with a disability. They live in their own world where there is no concept of inclusivity.

13. Not getting out of their comfort zone

The lead characters are not seen exploring the real New York City throughout the season. All they do is, be in their own bubble. There is so much to do in the city, but what they choose to do instead is, watch TV, go out for Joey’s plays, go for dinner dates, or a Knicks game. The show encourages building strong boundaries around yourself and not coming out of it. This is the reason why maybe many of us are not willing to come out of our comfort zone and taste the adventures of life.

Written by Deepak Vasisht