Ross Is the Worst "Friends" Character
May 22, 2015 12:06 PM   Subscribe

It is proven. (SL SBNation)
posted by Ipsifendus (143 comments total) 7 users marked this as a favorite
 
Well, he did never devour the others, despite being the largest. That's just illogical, right there.
posted by Navelgazer at 12:07 PM on May 22, 2015 [55 favorites]


Man, Phoebe needs way more love than the survey showed!
posted by erratic meatsack at 12:09 PM on May 22, 2015 [17 favorites]


Could Chandler be any more likeable?
posted by Stonestock Relentless at 12:17 PM on May 22, 2015 [54 favorites]


Was this even an issue?
posted by Dr Dracator at 12:19 PM on May 22, 2015 [3 favorites]


I haven't watched Friends since the mid-90s and I cannot imagine being in an entertainment drought dire enough that I would ever revisit it, so my memory may be a little rusty, but weren't they all basically awful people?
posted by prize bull octorok at 12:19 PM on May 22, 2015 [43 favorites]




Adding Gunther to the survey way skews the results. He leeched votes from Ross and Monica.

Now let's do the survey for Grey's Anatomy: a show with the most horrible title character in history - including Dracula.
posted by Billiken at 12:20 PM on May 22, 2015 [9 favorites]


Friends don't let friends watch Friends.
posted by y2karl at 12:22 PM on May 22, 2015 [20 favorites]


but weren't they all basically awful people?

Joey and Chandler not so much. Joey slept around too much, and Chandler was like the only man weak enough to let Monica dominate him so completely, but still...

And though I am totally conversant on Friends, I totally hate the show. Have to watch it with my wife, which I guess makes me Other Chandler.
posted by Billiken at 12:23 PM on May 22, 2015 [3 favorites]


I feel like Ross isn't getting a fair shake here since his problem is most likely untreated severe depression. Right? Why else would a person be so mopey and self-pitying and manipulative and passive and entitled and Eeyore-faced?*

*I say this as a person with depression, lest I sound callous. Ross = me off my meds. Very unlikeable.
posted by witchen at 12:23 PM on May 22, 2015 [14 favorites]


I'm surprised Joey ranked so high. He seemed like the ultimate proto-douche-bro to me. But then, Friends was more of a hate-watch for me.
posted by rikschell at 12:23 PM on May 22, 2015 [7 favorites]


*clap! clap! clap! clap! clap!*
posted by It's Raining Florence Henderson at 12:23 PM on May 22, 2015 [3 favorites]


Someone once said, probably here on Metafilter, that the way to rewatch Friends is to realize that it's just a 78-hour long version of No Exit.

It's really a pretty good show if you frame it that way.
posted by Kadin2048 at 12:25 PM on May 22, 2015 [41 favorites]


No love for Ugly Naked Guy and his Christmas balls.
posted by delfin at 12:31 PM on May 22, 2015 [2 favorites]


Joey works because Joey, for all his womanizing qualities, just comes across fairly innocent. There's nothing manipulative about him.

I'm surprised at Rachel's poor showing here -- Rachel's growth is interesting to track. She's actually the one I end up relating to the most in a lot of ways.

Chandler is probably the most likable but he's sort of one-note. I'm surprised he came out on top.

Ross is definitely the worst, but his terribleness means he's also the funniest.

And whatever. I like Friends. It's not deep. It's not smart. It's really white. I get all the complaints. But sometimes you just need something kind of sweet and unchallenging when you get home from work.
posted by darksong at 12:31 PM on May 22, 2015 [31 favorites]


Vanilla Decaf Latte: It's not deep. It's not smart. It's really white. I get all the complaints. But sometimes you just need something kind of sweet and unchallenging when you get home from work.
posted by It's Raining Florence Henderson at 12:36 PM on May 22, 2015 [33 favorites]


Metafilter: ...
posted by maxsparber at 12:38 PM on May 22, 2015 [43 favorites]


I used to take a break from producing the student paper to watch Friends in college. Other than that stupid monkey, mostly it was pretty entertaining stuff.

And of COURSE Chandler Bing is the best liked character, he is literally the audience representative.
posted by taterpie at 12:43 PM on May 22, 2015 [2 favorites]


The world is not flat: p < 0.05.
posted by Jonathan Livengood at 12:43 PM on May 22, 2015 [1 favorite]


I've just binge-watched season 2 of Episodes, where Matt LeBlanc plays some version of his real-life self, and given his womanising ways and general charm, it's hard to distinguish him from Joey (especially since the show often refers to Joey and his failed spin-off show). There's a hilarious episode where he's asked to recruit one of the ex-Friends actors to cameo on his new show, and they are all so furious at him for various off-screen pranks and jokes that the only one he can get is Gunther.

In short: I love Joey.
posted by tracicle at 12:48 PM on May 22, 2015 [5 favorites]


In the upcoming O.J. Simpson series, David Schwimmer plays Robert Kardashian.

Ross from Friends is playing Kanye West's dead father-in-law.

What a country!
posted by Cool Papa Bell at 12:53 PM on May 22, 2015 [8 favorites]


I feel like Ross isn't getting a fair shake here since his problem is most likely untreated severe depression. Right? Why else would a person be so mopey and self-pitying and manipulative and passive and entitled and Eeyore-faced?*

Does this work on Xander from Buffy, too?
posted by almostmanda at 12:56 PM on May 22, 2015 [2 favorites]




Seriously though Ross is the worst. I'd never really seen the show until it came on Netflix. My partner and I watched all of it. The worst part to me about Ross isn't just that he's mopey and whiny, it's that the show at every turn vindicates his world view and coddles him along. And not just the show! When he's being whiny or jealous every one drops everything to either help him out or agree with him. No one really ever says no you're wrong for screwing over Rachel's career. Or no we get it your wife found out she was a lesbian, sucks but get over it.
posted by Carillon at 12:59 PM on May 22, 2015 [11 favorites]


I remember there was this episode, maybe in the final season, where Ross ate way too much maple candy and got completely loopy. I remember thinking, "My God, Ross just experienced a moment of actual joy for the first time in his life."
posted by selfnoise at 1:00 PM on May 22, 2015 [5 favorites]




I've said it before, I'll say it again: The character of Ross was "Nice Guy" wish-fulfillment fantasy. Dorky guy has a crush on a beautiful woman and, of course, since the only criteria a woman should ever look for in a partner is that he is "nice" and wants to go out with her, she falls for him as well. Rachel, you should have stayed on the plane.
posted by The Gooch at 1:03 PM on May 22, 2015 [41 favorites]


Has anyone ever done a Which Friends Character is Which Dog Breed thing? Because Joey is definitely a Golden Retriever. Ross is maybe a German Shepherd? I think of Rachel as a Saluki but I think it's because of the hair.
posted by rabbitrabbit at 1:07 PM on May 22, 2015 [2 favorites]


I don't know pmv, I mainly agree on the other stuff but surely he's allowed to have his own reaction to his childhood?
posted by Carillon at 1:07 PM on May 22, 2015 [2 favorites]


Ross is the worst.

Ana Mardoll does a much better job breaking him apart here although sadly her annotated index of why he is terrible is incomplete. Well, maybe not sadly; there's only so much Ross you can take.
posted by pie ninja at 1:08 PM on May 22, 2015 [10 favorites]


Does Rachel have much going for her beyond her looks, though? She certainly had the potential to be competent and assertive (ie. the sailing episode), but seemed to deliberately suppress this aspect of her personality.

In many ways, her self-inflicted defeatism is comparable to (but not well-matched to) Ross's personality. I honestly never understood the love for Rachel.

Ross is still definitely the worst though.
posted by schmod at 1:10 PM on May 22, 2015 [1 favorite]


Ah ha – it's a trick question! The worst Friends character is the person watching the show.
posted by koeselitz at 1:11 PM on May 22, 2015 [67 favorites]


It is proven.

It is known.
posted by East Manitoba Regional Junior Kabaddi Champion '94 at 1:13 PM on May 22, 2015 [4 favorites]


Wow, I loved Ross! He was the only one on the show that I identified with. This must mean I'm the worst, too!
<sad whiny face>
posted by drlith at 1:14 PM on May 22, 2015 [3 favorites]


I actually think that the last few seasons of Friends is skewing people's perceptions. For the first five, or maybe six seasons, Ross is a fairly consistent, well-rounded character. After that he becomes a completely two-dimensional caricature. Same is broadly true of the other characters, but Ross lost most of the humanity he'd been given.

So basically, Friends in the 2000s are definitely the worst.
posted by Kattullus at 1:16 PM on May 22, 2015 [4 favorites]


I like Monica. She's weird and a pain in the ass and competitive and demanding and she's allowed to be all that as a woman. (Of course, she's also generous and caring and funny.) Except I guess a lot of people don't like her.
posted by Mavri at 1:18 PM on May 22, 2015 [18 favorites]


Also, I don't think that Joey's prolific sex life is as damning of an indictment of his character as many people are making it out to be. He was a slut, but he actually seemed to treat his partners with more respect than the other characters did.
posted by schmod at 1:18 PM on May 22, 2015 [12 favorites]


I've never watched Friends until it appeared on Netflix and Mr. erratic meatsack demanded that we watch it so I can be part of this cultural phenomenon. Plus he said his favorite character (after Chandler, duh) was Monica, and I just couldn't see why until maybe the last few seasons.

Then I realized we share a lot of the same OCD tendencies and something just clicked.

He also has a very Chandler personality.



halp
posted by erratic meatsack at 1:24 PM on May 22, 2015 [5 favorites]


Does this work on Xander from Buffy, too?

Xander works for me because his whiny nice-guy™ schtick is treated mostly for the bullshit that it is, and he matures away from it, largely. He has good qualities and bad and the two are never really shown to cancel each other out. Once we get to the season 6 finale, I feel like it's a well-earned moment.

But god-damn is he frustrating most of the time.
posted by Navelgazer at 1:25 PM on May 22, 2015 [3 favorites]




Well, he did never devour the others, despite being the largest.

The weird thing about this joke (and I always did love that Futurama episode) is that clearly Joey is larger than Ross.
posted by infinitywaltz at 1:28 PM on May 22, 2015


Joey slept around too much

If you know the Friends canon at all, it's pretty widely accepted that Phoebe sleeps around most of any of them. But all her activity is outside the core group and is only hinted at or discussed sideways.
posted by hippybear at 1:28 PM on May 22, 2015 [7 favorites]


I had a housemate for a while that was very into Friends; I never warmed up to it. Episodes I liked much better - and I actually like Matt LeBlanc's acting in it, where I could never stand Joey. If you were to ask me why I couldn't tell you.
posted by Greg_Ace at 1:33 PM on May 22, 2015


ugh, xander harris, don't even get me started.

But yeah, Ross basically fits most characteristics of Nice Guy entitlement, but at least without all the vicious aggression and open misogyny that accompanies the modern day Nice Guy. He's more a moper than a loather.
posted by poffin boffin at 1:46 PM on May 22, 2015 [7 favorites]


This has always been the obvious truth. Why do we need a poll to tell us the obvious?
posted by saulgoodman at 1:47 PM on May 22, 2015


Which Friend From Friends Is The Least Terrible? (Cracked, nfsw, four characters who are horrible people loosely based on real people discussing the show)
posted by KChasm at 1:48 PM on May 22, 2015 [2 favorites]


I've said it before, I'll say it again: The character of Ross was "Nice Guy" wish-fulfillment fantasy.

Kind of reminds me of the kid from Diary of a Wimpy Kid, who's not so much "wimpy" as just a terrible, terrible human being.
posted by saulgoodman at 1:48 PM on May 22, 2015 [4 favorites]


Geez guys, let's cut Ross some slack... they were on a break!


MONICA is actually the worst.
posted by wats at 1:50 PM on May 22, 2015 [1 favorite]


Wait, they included Gunther but not Ursula?


Seems like they really Ross'd this poll.
posted by TheWhiteSkull at 1:51 PM on May 22, 2015 [2 favorites]


I too don't get the Monica hate. I found her the most realistic character, except for the part where there's no way a chef could have kept the same hours as her office working friends.
posted by maryr at 1:54 PM on May 22, 2015 [9 favorites]


Also, Ross is the only character whose overall arc made him a worse person.
posted by maryr at 1:54 PM on May 22, 2015 [3 favorites]


Except maybe Janice.
posted by maryr at 1:57 PM on May 22, 2015


I can't even be in the room when Ross is on screen. He makes me incoherently angry.
posted by Skorgu at 1:59 PM on May 22, 2015 [1 favorite]


But yeah, Ross basically fits most characteristics of Nice Guy entitlement, but at least without all the vicious aggression and open misogyny that accompanies the modern day Nice Guy. He's more a moper than a loather.

This is part of why I loved his guest appearance on 30 Rock so much. He's quite a capable actor, I think, and it was fun to see him as a mentally unstable corporate mascot after all those years of hang-dog-faced moping

*his face's morphology may or may not be his fault
posted by clockzero at 2:01 PM on May 22, 2015 [4 favorites]


Ross, 20 years on, is divorced, sees his kid* on the odd weekend, and frequently posts to mens'-rights forums. In his underwear. He's thinking of growing a beard.

*singular
posted by bonehead at 2:02 PM on May 22, 2015 [21 favorites]


Yeah, clarification... Monica was great in the first few seasons, but around the time she first got together with Chandler they started writing her to be so much crazier... The OCD, the yelling, the competitiveness all just became so over the top. I mean, earnestly believing that Chandler liked to get off on "shark porn"??
She didn't seem to have the same wit, smarts, and down to earth qualities she did in the early seasons, which was a shame.

(See also: Early vs Late season "Jackie" on Roseanne)
posted by wats at 2:02 PM on May 22, 2015 [15 favorites]


Monica was definitely great the first few seasons. Also the way the show idolized weddings and everyone acted like this was the highest point in her life was a bit weird.
posted by Carillon at 2:04 PM on May 22, 2015 [1 favorite]


I dunno, that seems like how a lot of society treats weddings.
posted by maryr at 2:05 PM on May 22, 2015 [1 favorite]


Xander Harris makes many questionable choices, but you know, it's hard not to feel some for a guy who is like in love no it's leech woman in love no it's praying mantis woman, is good at sports no he's turning into jackal boy.

I mean, he's very bad in season III but those romantic choices at least don't involve his lover being a demon or something
posted by angrycat at 2:09 PM on May 22, 2015


But was Ross worse than Ross 2.0, Ted Mosby?
posted by drezdn at 2:09 PM on May 22, 2015 [31 favorites]


Nobody told you that adults should not complain!
They keep a monkey as a pet despite disease!

posted by Navelgazer at 2:12 PM on May 22, 2015 [17 favorites]


(See also: Early vs Late season "Jackie" on Roseanne)

My mom revealed this to me, the Jackie moment, when a show basically becomes a pastiche of itself. Jackie specifically always irritated my mom because she goes from being a cop and a trucker to an almost Barney Fife-esque goofball sidekick.

Also don't get my mom started on that last season
posted by Ray Walston, Luck Dragon at 2:22 PM on May 22, 2015 [11 favorites]


I Voted!
posted by easement1 at 2:25 PM on May 22, 2015 [2 favorites]


Xander Harris makes many questionable choices, but you know, it's hard not to feel some for a guy who is like in love no it's leech woman in love no it's praying mantis woman, is good at sports no he's turning into jackal boy.

as soon as he is physically stronger than buffy he tries to rape her, and then pretends not to remember it so he never has to apologize. he hangs around her not to genuinely be her friend but is still in love with her and trying to get into her pants, and judges all her relationships and sex shames her. he lies about willow reversing the soul spell so buffy will kill angel anyway, not because he's worried that the spell might not work, but because he's jealous that buffy loved angel and not him. xander harris is a gross douchebag, and the worst part is how totally realistic he is as a Nice Guy character.
posted by poffin boffin at 2:26 PM on May 22, 2015 [20 favorites]


"Friends" - is that like, an old radio show from before Facebook?
posted by Segundus at 2:26 PM on May 22, 2015 [4 favorites]


But was Ross worse than Ross 2.0, Ted Mosby?
posted by drezdn at 2:09 PM on May 22


uuuuugh so much hate make it stop
posted by erratic meatsack at 2:27 PM on May 22, 2015 [3 favorites]


As a professor of architecture at Columbia, Mosby is another member of the suspiciously successful sadsack academic club.
posted by rollick at 2:29 PM on May 22, 2015 [12 favorites]


I feel like by acknowledging the existence of Friends we are breaking some kind of pact.
posted by Artw at 2:30 PM on May 22, 2015 [12 favorites]


I liked HIMYM, and even feel like the finale, while imperfect, did what the show was leading towards, but damned if the habit of wish-granting every character their perfect career success out of nowhere didn't bug the shit out of me.
posted by Navelgazer at 2:30 PM on May 22, 2015 [2 favorites]


What, no hate for Phoebe, the blonde kooky one?
posted by MartinWisse at 2:36 PM on May 22, 2015


blonde kinky one, I think you mean
posted by hippybear at 2:37 PM on May 22, 2015 [1 favorite]


Phoebe struck me as the emotionally stable one. She's kooky because she doesn't live her life to please anyone other than herself. Anxiety is a stranger to her.
posted by bonehead at 2:41 PM on May 22, 2015 [24 favorites]


You do not hate the creator of "Smelly Cat".
posted by nubs at 2:49 PM on May 22, 2015 [10 favorites]


Also, I don't think that Joey's prolific sex life is as damning of an indictment of his character as many people are making it out to be. He was a slut, but he actually seemed to treat his partners with more respect than the other characters did.

Joey was so without affect or artifice, unlike all the rest. (Yes even Phoebe, don't get me started). He seemed like he’d be fun to fool around with.

I was in my 20s in grad school — archaeology — working at a museum — during Friends initial run. Theoretically I should have been Team Ross but he always bugged me. Apparently not just me. Plus every nth episode they’d kind of mix up Paleontology and Archaeology which ugh don’t get me started on this either
posted by axoplasm at 2:51 PM on May 22, 2015 [5 favorites]


Joey was so without affect or artifice, unlike all the rest. (Yes even Phoebe, don't get me started).

Again, Friends canon... Phoebe had the most secretive, duplicitous life of all the group. She's the enigma, and she's a damn excellent one.
posted by hippybear at 2:57 PM on May 22, 2015 [7 favorites]


Ross was the worst. (spoken a la Jean-Ralphio)

I watched Friends back when it was on and I'm a MetaFilter anomaly because I enjoyed it. I watched first from episode 1 until Monica and Richard broke up. And then I took a "break" from it because I was irrationally angry at that. I came back in Season 4. Then I quit watching altogether when Monica was planning her wedding, which was season 7.

I had no idea why I quit the show until I started rewatching it on Netflix a few months ago. But now I remember. When Monica and Chandler got together, she went from being a quirky, smart woman to an insecure control freak. He went from being a levelheaded business guy who was unlucky in love to a helpless man-child. His last ounce of backbone was when he told Monica he wouldn't spend his savings on their wedding. And then, of course, he rolled over. I'm halfway through to season 8 now.

Ross? He was kind of a lovable loser at the start, but hit his jerk stride when Rachel got the Bloomingdale's job. And from there, each season he became more and more awful.

When I was in my 20s, Chandler was my favorite. On rewatch, it's Phoebe all the way. Especially when she manages to verbally skewer Ross or Chandler without them knowing what was coming.

But even now, I still think Monica and Richard were a much better pairing than Monica and Chandler. Mmmm....Richard.
posted by kimberussell at 3:05 PM on May 22, 2015 [16 favorites]


I'm kind of on Team Phoebe because when you do that thing with your girlfriends where they say "I'm Monica!" people always decided I was Phoebe. She probably has the most interesting story of all of the Friends, and even when it's played for laughs, there's some genuine tragedy there. (I liked Mike, but I wish Phoebe ended up with David, so ...)

Am I the only one who think Janice got a lot of undeserved hate from people on the show? I kind of wish there had been a show about her.

(Also, it's strange to watch Friends and realize Ross & Rachel were really only together for one year. ONE YEAR. Like, I enjoy this show and all, and I get all these people are pretty well connected, but ... also ... maybe not be so co-dependent on each other, people!)
posted by darksong at 3:05 PM on May 22, 2015 [3 favorites]


I watched Friends back when it was on and I'm a MetaFilter anomaly because I enjoyed it.

People in the 90s enjoyed it, they just never speak of it now.

Because of the pact.
posted by Artw at 3:06 PM on May 22, 2015 [18 favorites]


People in the 90s are on a break.
posted by It's Raining Florence Henderson at 3:08 PM on May 22, 2015 [3 favorites]


We aren't even supposed to be here today.
posted by bonehead at 3:19 PM on May 22, 2015 [18 favorites]


But even now, I still think Monica and Richard were a much better pairing than Monica and Chandler

Most intelligence insulting episode ever of this show had to be the one where Richard comes back in the picture and the show tried to create this false suspense over who Monica would choose, him or Chandler. Hmm, I wonder if she'll end up with the guy clearly making a one episode guest appearance or the guy who is a series regular.
posted by The Gooch at 3:21 PM on May 22, 2015 [5 favorites]


Chandler was just her cover. She actually chose Phoebe.
posted by It's Raining Florence Henderson at 3:23 PM on May 22, 2015 [5 favorites]


I have, on occasion, been known to make the Monica/Ross hand gesture towards people I work with; people I normally get along with really well but, in that moment, for whatever reason, we've become a little grar-y to each other.

It is always delightful when the other person does not react with a puzzled stare but instead smile, and do it right back. At which point I move to the next level and do the whole arm flapping thing, and we burst out laughing and the grar is gone.

We do not speak of Friends but there is almost like a secret handshake.
posted by nubs at 3:24 PM on May 22, 2015 [7 favorites]


I feel like it might be just David Schwimmer who is unlikeable. Maybe not unlikeable, but just an off putting guy.
posted by discopolo at 3:25 PM on May 22, 2015 [1 favorite]


CAN WE DO THIS FOR WEST WING?! AND FUCK YOU IF C.J. ISN'T AT THE TOP!!
posted by Fizz at 3:27 PM on May 22, 2015 [5 favorites]


I liked Joey the best out of the male characters. The Joey-Phoebe friendship was my favorite.
posted by discopolo at 3:28 PM on May 22, 2015


I had no idea why I quit the show until I started rewatching it on Netflix a few months ago. But now I remember. When Monica and Chandler got together, she went from being a quirky, smart woman to an insecure control freak. He went from being a levelheaded business guy who was unlucky in love to a helpless man-child.

Their relationship started in the season 4 finale, and really started in season 5.

Coincidentally, that was when the original showrunners, Bright/Kauffman/Crane, started stepping back from the show they had created. The show went through nine executive producers from that point forward.
posted by Cool Papa Bell at 3:30 PM on May 22, 2015 [3 favorites]


but weren't they all basically awful people?

You're thinking of my favorite sitcom, Seinfeld.

I had no idea why I quit the show until I started rewatching it on Netflix a few months ago. But now I remember. When Monica and Chandler got together, she went from being a quirky, smart woman to an insecure control freak. He went from being a levelheaded business guy who was unlucky in love to a helpless man-child.

I blame Chandler being a man child and turning her into that. Monica was never like that with Richard.
posted by discopolo at 3:31 PM on May 22, 2015 [2 favorites]


I loved Friends and I have no shame about it. Phoebe (aka Princess Consuela Banana-Hammock) was the most interesting character by far, mainly because she gave nary a fuck. Her self-confidence was rock-solid which is unusual to see in a female character who is still endearing and not written as The Bitch. When someone told her she looked great she said "I know" - Rachel couldn't have done that because you can't be beautiful without also being sufficiently humble or else haters. Joey started off pretty but dim, but by the end he was just stupid and it really bugged me that he still got all these hot women when in reality they'd be like "Don't talk to me you moronic manchild". Monica was best when she was fat and/or drunk, ie when they freed her from the OCD stuff. Ross was kind of the opposite of Phoebe in that he was (arguably, given the Ross & Rachel stuff) the leading male character but he was emotional and insecure, which is of course read as "whiny" if you're a man. Chandler was the best and comic delivery of certain lines in sitcoms can definitely be dated pre- and post-Perry. I have spoken.
posted by billiebee at 3:32 PM on May 22, 2015 [15 favorites]


Phoebe can be a mixed bag I've found. She insists everyone like her music and when Monica suggests politely that she not sing loudly in front of her restaurant flips out. On the other hand she seems to have the most healthy interactions outside the group so.
posted by Carillon at 3:36 PM on May 22, 2015


Joey started off pretty but dim, but by the end he was just stupid and it really bugged me that he still got all these hot women when in reality they'd be like "Don't talk to me you moronic manchild".

I've dated a not very intellectual but very sweet and caring guy. I recommend it. Joey was kind of perfect when he was in love and not just a sex dummy.
posted by discopolo at 3:37 PM on May 22, 2015 [3 favorites]


David Schwimmer the person actually seems pretty decent. He is on the Board of Directors of The Rape Foundation and his Wikipedia mentions a history of advocacy work on rape and child abuse issues.
posted by almostmanda at 3:38 PM on May 22, 2015 [16 favorites]


Looks like the longer you loved Rachel, the more you are likely to be hated.
posted by MoxieProxy at 3:54 PM on May 22, 2015


Finding out David Schwimmer is a decent human being is exactly like finding out Joffrey is a really cool guy in real life.
posted by Ryvar at 3:54 PM on May 22, 2015 [17 favorites]


Seinfeld is the worst character in Seinfeld.

Who is the worse character in Girls?
posted by Artw at 4:03 PM on May 22, 2015


"Friends" - is that like, an old radio show from before Facebook?

Just think of the new Doctor Who sans science-fiction and you'll have Friends.
posted by juiceCake at 4:04 PM on May 22, 2015 [1 favorite]


I was once taking to a coworker, and I said, off-handedly, "Why is that show called 'Friends' and not 'Passive-Aggressive Codependants Who Sabotage Each Others' Chances at Love out of Fear of Being Alone?" And she laughed.

The next day she came up to me and said "I liked to get home from work and watch Friends. But you are right. They are all horrible people, and I couldn't get through the episode? You may never talk to me about at TV show again, you monster."
posted by GenjiandProust at 4:10 PM on May 22, 2015 [24 favorites]


Metafilter: I'm very bendy.
posted by jenkinsEar at 4:14 PM on May 22, 2015 [8 favorites]


When the show first ran, Phoebe and Joey were my least favorite characters. Watching a bunch of episodes when they appeared on Netflix, they are now my favorite characters, for reasons already detailed: they are, by far, the most comfortable in their own skin; they're the only two who seem to have any perspective about anything; and they're the only two who really seem to be able to have fun and not be so seriously self-absorbed all the time.

Especially Phoebe. The way that Lisa Kudrow played the character, it kind of seems like she never was really sure that she wanted to stick around with these five weirdos, and hung out with them in part because their materialist, other-dependent-self-acceptance was like watching exotic animals up close.

(Speaking of Lisa Kudrow, if you've never watched her HBO show The Comeback, it's really good and she is fantastic in it. Same with Matt LeBlanc, though Episodes isn't as strong a show, he really won me over with his fictionalized-Matt-LeBlanc role. So now those two are my favorite Friends actors, too.)
posted by LooseFilter at 4:29 PM on May 22, 2015 [8 favorites]


poffin boffin: You neglected the part where Xander Harris is demonically possessed by a Hyena spirit during his attempt... that's a mitigating circumstance, at least for the buffyverse.
Furthermore, he's over Buffy by season 2. He lies about Angel because he has his best friend in the hospital because of Angel's action- it's a dick move, but he has serious reasons to doubt the ritual at that point, given what happened to Willow and to Jenny Calender. To me, it sounds like you're only familiar with the first two seasons of the show.

Over the course of the show, Xander has his best friend Jesse turn into a vampire, that he has to kill. He's possessed by evil spirits. Dracula makes him into his Renfield. A cultist tears his eye out. The first woman to show interest in him is a giant mantis, his first real girlfriend is continuously emotionally abusive, and he ends up dating someone who is literally the Patron Demon of Scorned Women. Unlike Ross, Xander has clear and direct traumas, and it's a credit to his maturity that he remains functional and empathetic and loyal to his friends through the course of the show.

I'm going to give Xander Harris a pass because, flawed as he is, he is the proxy for all of the normal people victimized in the Buffyverse. We don't really get to see much of the suffering of the siblings and friends of most of the students killed in the course of Buffy, but we get to see toll that is taken on Xander. And while he is definitely craven during the first season, he matures and develops over the course of the show.

I feel a similar sympathy for Cyclops in X-Men. He's a square and a jerk, but that seems to be as much because the universe keeps screwing him over. It's not easy to be the guy that can destroy everything he looks at if his concentration skips. He's got a terrible person for a role model (Professor X) and so he grows into a flawed leader.

There is no excuse for Ross however. He is unjustifiable.
posted by LeRoienJaune at 4:32 PM on May 22, 2015 [9 favorites]


From one of the links: Homophobic Friends.

Wowza.
posted by Joseph Gurl at 4:32 PM on May 22, 2015 [4 favorites]


Without "Smelly Cat" there would be no "Soft Kitty."

(YMMV as to whether this is a point in favor of or against Phoebe.)
posted by DevilsAdvocate at 4:57 PM on May 22, 2015 [1 favorite]


that's a mitigating circumstance, at least for the buffyverse.

nope, there's never a mitigating circumstance, bye.
posted by poffin boffin at 5:16 PM on May 22, 2015 [2 favorites]


Rachel was the best. Not sure how it could be anyone else. She was the only real character on the show.
posted by mrgrimm at 5:30 PM on May 22, 2015 [2 favorites]


It's pretty clear that Xander didn't try to rape Buffy, the hyena spirit that was controlling him did it. I also don't believe we're supposed to view the other students as murderers for killing and eating Principal Flutie. And if we don't buy that a Buffy character may not be responsible for actions taken while possessed, then Angel should've been killed the first time he showed up. I realize the two sides of the Xander Question will never, ever agree on this and many other things.
posted by Mavri at 5:30 PM on May 22, 2015 [6 favorites]


And The Comeback is GREAT, but Phoebe is the worst. Sorry.
posted by mrgrimm at 5:30 PM on May 22, 2015 [1 favorite]


I used to make fun of Friends (without having seen more than a few minutes at a time) because it just seemed such bland, corny, anodyne middle class garbage.

And then one night I watched an episode at the gym because it was playing on the TV in front of my treadmill and I was amazed at how snappy and consistent the humor was. No, it wasn't laugh out loud funny most of the time, but the jokes were just ... really consistent both in timing and quality. It seemed like a really good show for what it was.

Yeah, Ross always annoyed me too.
posted by jayder at 5:37 PM on May 22, 2015 [8 favorites]


If anyone remembers when Friends first appeared (in the coveted post-Seinfeld slot), nobody liked it for at least 1.5 seasons. Then it took off for some reason. It almost feels like it barely got renewed that first season.

I was rooting for it back then, b/c it wasn't that bad. Then it took off, and I couldn't care about it.
posted by mrgrimm at 5:43 PM on May 22, 2015


because it just seemed such bland, corny, anodyne middle class garbage

This is how I used to feel about Seinfeld... until one day, it just bloomed for me. I guess there's a point in your life where you begin to appreciate craft, or at least realize just how hard it is to make even the most bland, corny, anodyne thing successful.
posted by easter queen at 6:30 PM on May 22, 2015 [1 favorite]


There is one comeback Phoebe had that I've actually been tempted to use - it's at a party, and someone says something strange to Phoebe, and she first says "huh, really?"... But then after a beat she says, "okay, I don't know how to talk to you," and just walks away.
posted by EmpressCallipygos at 7:29 PM on May 22, 2015 [6 favorites]


Wait Phoebe didn't win? THIS WHOLE COURT IS OUT OF ORDER
posted by Potomac Avenue at 7:32 PM on May 22, 2015 [6 favorites]


It goe Phoebe, Joey,Rachel,Gunther,Paul Rudd,the Monkey,Rudy Guiliani, then Ross and chandler tied for last
posted by Potomac Avenue at 7:34 PM on May 22, 2015


Anyway that show is bad. #hottakes
posted by Potomac Avenue at 7:35 PM on May 22, 2015 [2 favorites]


This is how I used to feel about Seinfeld... until one day,

for some reason Seinfeld hasn't "aged well" as a show, for me. I can't watch it. Oddly I find Curb Your Enthusiasm just brilliant ... I say "oddly" because CYE, I always thought, was basically supposed to be the "raw" version of Seinfeld.
posted by jayder at 7:36 PM on May 22, 2015 [1 favorite]


Could some genius edit this show so it's about the main characters Phoebe and Joey and their close pals Jack and Karen?
posted by Potomac Avenue at 7:38 PM on May 22, 2015 [4 favorites]


Yeah, I thought it was called "Friends" because it was short for "(Why the hell does Phoebe have these people for) Friends".
posted by 23skidoo at 7:38 PM on May 22, 2015 [4 favorites]


Re: Xander

I never forgave him for stringing Willow along while he pined after Buffy, and then, once she had Oz and he had Cordy, he cheated on Cordy with Willow. Not because he actually wanted Willow, but he couldn't stand the thought of someone else playing with his toys and was intimidated by Oz because he was 'cool' and neded to prove something.
posted by Windigo at 7:41 PM on May 22, 2015


SB NATION PRESENTS WHO IS THE WORST BUFFY CHARACTER:
AND THE PEOPLE OVERWHEMLINLY CHOOSE
#1: Joss Whedon
(#2: the audience)
posted by Potomac Avenue at 7:48 PM on May 22, 2015 [7 favorites]


Xander is the worst in so many ways. I know it was implied he came from an abusive family and while I didn't need to see Xander be beaten or anything, I just don't know if that was enough to justify his behavior. (Let's also talk about how Xander got his eye poked out in the last season whereas all of the female characters had faced a lot of crap -- all of Xander's things were "funny")

I still watch Buffy and like it. I do find liking Friends less complicated though.
posted by darksong at 8:05 PM on May 22, 2015


Phoebe is the best, Ross is the worst, and I don't care what happens in the middle.
posted by sourwookie at 8:38 PM on May 22, 2015 [2 favorites]


I'm guessing what most people remember from Friends is Ross constantly whining and the unresolved "will they or won't they" thing with Rachel, so, yeah. On the other hand, Chandler and Joey got to do the crazy sitcom antics, and Phoebe was kind of the "crazy" friend (who could probably do a show on her own with what she does offscreen). Monica was not exactly interesting, but also didn't have the ongoing sad-sack romance storylines both Ross and Rachel had.

Who is the worse character in Girls?
Mumford and Son.

Also, SBNation should give Bois his own Grantland style blog. Except instead of aiming for quality, aiming for Boisness. Is that a thing? If not, it should.
posted by lmfsilva at 11:53 PM on May 22, 2015 [1 favorite]


Chandler was always the worst for me. Granted, Janice was obnoxious, but he was so passively-aggressively cruel to her that I lost all sympathy for him. He always seemed like the mean funny guy who was mean because he had not a lick of courage; whose 'funniness' didn't make up for it. On second thought, I can't believe how seriously I am thinking about friends after all these years...:.)
posted by branravenraven at 12:27 AM on May 23, 2015 [2 favorites]


I think what bugged me about Friends when it was becoming popular is that it reflected a type of lifestyle that I couldn't imagine wanting, with a group of people who were my generation but whom I would likely avoid whenever possible. Except Phoebe. She seemed like someone I could relate to.

Seinfeld was a favorite at the same time, in part because they weren't supposed to represent anyone in a stereotypical way according to Nielsen demographics. Friends always seemed calculated to appeal to aspirational Gen X 20-somethings, but despite their amazing apartments in a high priced city, to me their lives seemed so trivial and dull (aside from Phoebe's). Seinfeld's characters were not necessarily leading more interesting lives, but at least they were fully aware of that fact, and so nakedly cynical that nobody really thought of them as aspirational or representative of some tv audience demographic. They were awful, self-absorbed people without the predictably bland tv-character pretense. Friends was well-written and performed, but it was so canned to me that I couldn't get past it enough to fall in love with it... That's not to say I didn't watch it or know the dramatic arcs, but still...
posted by krinklyfig at 12:29 AM on May 23, 2015


Ross lost me when he freaked out about Sandy the male nanny. I was old enough by then to be like "Ross, fuck the patriarchy!"
posted by like_neon at 1:53 AM on May 23, 2015 [9 favorites]


Yeah, the social awareness was pretty much bro-level. It felt a little too clueless in the '90s to be rehashing joke premises that could easily have been written for Three's Company.
posted by krinklyfig at 2:31 AM on May 23, 2015


Episodes is clearly superior to Friends, since the latter contains no Tamsin Greig at all.
posted by Dr Dracator at 3:11 AM on May 23, 2015 [5 favorites]


You people seem to know an awful lot about a show you purport to hate.
posted by GhostintheMachine at 5:25 AM on May 23, 2015 [6 favorites]


Who is the worse character in Girls?

Now that is an impossible question. I have been able to eliminate Shoshanna but that is all.

And if you'd like to discuss the awfulness of Xander Harris, please join us over in FanFare. We're constantly hoping that this is the episode where he starts to get better, and our hopes are constantly dashed. I'm getting to the point where I think he might only do two good things all series (yellow crayon and telling Dawn she's extraordinary).
posted by yellowbinder at 6:28 AM on May 23, 2015 [4 favorites]


Just think of the new Doctor Who sans science-fiction and you'll have Friends.

No, for better or worse they don't repeatedly replace the female cast with younger actresses but mostly the same lines. (This is why Donna is best, combo breaker!)

Also Friends has better special effects.
posted by maryr at 8:34 AM on May 23, 2015


Also, the most real, amazing, heart breaking moment in all of Friends is when Phoebe thinks she'll be able to keep one of the triplets.
posted by maryr at 8:35 AM on May 23, 2015 [3 favorites]


Friends suck.
posted by rankfreudlite at 10:04 AM on May 23, 2015


pivot! table
posted by bottlebrushtree at 10:32 AM on May 23, 2015 [2 favorites]


I have not moved a single piece of furniture without "pivot!"ing in a very long time.
posted by billiebee at 10:52 AM on May 23, 2015 [3 favorites]


Chandler and Joey have to tie at tops for me. Mostly because theirs is the best slash pairing ever *fans self*. Rewatching seasons one to four was a revelation after that discovery.

But yes, Ross was definitely the worst. I never understood what he and Rachel were supposed to have seen in each other.
posted by freya_lamb at 1:34 PM on May 23, 2015 [1 favorite]


If anyone remembers when Friends first appeared (in the coveted post-Seinfeld slot), nobody liked it for at least 1.5 seasons. Then it took off for some reason. It almost feels like it barely got renewed that first season.

You're remembering some sort of alternate universe. Friends was ranked eighth in ratings for the season, averaging 24 million viewers per episode. The season finale pulled 31.3 million viewers. They were on the cover of Rolling Stone, US, Vanity Fair, Entertainment Weekly, and a variety of other publications within that first season. They were everywhere, and loved by millions, from their first episode, more or less.

(Being ranked eighth in the ratings for their first season is the only factoid I could find in support of your premise. That was the lowest finish the series ever had.)
posted by aureliobuendia at 5:29 PM on May 23, 2015 [2 favorites]


I always liked Ross because he was a failure who kept trying. He started out as the most successful, mature one of the group -- college graduate, dream academic job, married with a kid -- and season after season, while the other characters matured and grew around him, he just withered. At the end Rachel looks like a grown-up and he looks like a child.

I find this interesting from a storytelling point of view because it's something that happens in real life. We all have that friend who was "most likely to succeed" in high school who ends up delivering pizzas for a living. Who has some kind of mental issues and never really figures life out.

He ends up being the childish comic relief in later seasons while Joey and Chandler deal with real grown-up romances and careers.

The only issue I had is that the writers still let him get Rachel in the end... when they're really different people by then. I think it would have been perfect to end the show with Ross showing up at Rachel's door to deliver a pizza and seeing her with Gunther and their three kids.

[Go team Gunther!]
posted by mmoncur at 5:53 PM on May 23, 2015 [5 favorites]


Joey angrily gesticulating with the turkey stuck on his head will never be not funny to me. In terms of physical comedy, body language, and facial expressions, LeBlanc was great on the show.
posted by Ghidorah at 5:26 AM on May 25, 2015 [1 favorite]


Rachel's Thanksgiving trifle is one of my favorite moments.
posted by maryr at 10:20 AM on May 25, 2015 [2 favorites]


It smells like feet!
posted by mmoncur at 4:24 AM on May 26, 2015 [1 favorite]


I was really all for Rachel and Joey and got really mad when all of that build up ended in that stupid slapping thing when they tried to kiss. So much build-up and then THAT?!?
posted by jillithd at 6:56 AM on May 26, 2015


I hated the Rachel and Joey thing. There was zero chemistry there and I didn't buy it at all. And yeah, it was stupid how it ended. It was like the writers came up with it one day out of the blue - "Hey Rachel and Joey should get together because she's done Ross, and Chandler's with Monica, and there are no other men in New York" - and then had no idea what to do with it. "So, uh, they go to kiss and she can't do it? Ok, that's wrapped that up!"
posted by billiebee at 7:34 AM on May 26, 2015 [4 favorites]


It smells like feet!
No, it TASTES like feet! That line made me gag.
posted by soelo at 12:42 PM on May 27, 2015 [1 favorite]


It was never a super great show, and the characters became caricatures after a few seasons, but I still think of a few bits and laugh - "One Yemen Road, Yemen", "Ross - that opens my cervix", "Could I *be* wearing any more clothes?", "That's *Miss* Chnandler Bong."

More than most shows can say, really.
posted by Chrysostom at 10:17 PM on May 27, 2015 [2 favorites]


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