“Why? Why do bad things happen to good people?” Ross Geller laments after discovering shampoo has exploded in his bag.
Ross, of course, is one of the six main characters on Friends, one of the most popular TV shows of all time. He’s also perhaps the most reviled of the six friends, especially for his treatment of his on-again-off-again girlfriend, Rachel Green. (For the record, they were not on a break.)
But Ross isn’t the only member of the main Friends cast who is a bad person. In fact, all six friends are, in their own ways, terrible — and the worst part is that they don’t seem to realize.
On some sitcoms, the characters are well aware that they’re not good people. Take It’s Always Sunny in Philadelphia, a show that revolves around its principal characters screwing each other over on a daily basis. They know they’re bad people — they just don’t care.
The characters of Friends, though, really don’t seem to realize that they’re all lousy people. Phoebe uses her mother’s suicide to manipulate people’s emotions but often bemoans her lack of family. Rachel is conceited and self-centered, often lying to get her way — she convinced one of Ross’ girlfriends, Bonnie, to shave her head and told a coworker that her attractive secretary, Tag, was gay. Monica is possessive and obnoxious; when confronted, she just gets more obnoxious. Joey uses women for sex. Chandler falls asleep during Joey’s movie premiere, tells a child he’s adopted and, worst of all, pretends to move to Yemen to avoid sweet-but-annoying Janice. Oh, and both Joey and Chandler manipulate the clearly mentally ill Eddie into moving out.
At times, the friends recognize their reprehensible behavior and apologize — like that Thanksgiving when Chandler got into a wooden box after kissing Joey’s roommate — but they never really changed.
Of course, the friends’ horrible personalities don’t mean Friends isn’t still a great show. But next time you boot it up on Netflix, don’t wish the friends were your friends.
Alex McCann is a junior studying journalism at Ohio University. Please note that the views and opinions of the columnists do not reflect those of The Post. Do you agree? Let Alex know by tweeting him @alexrmccann.