5 Ways Friends Has Aged Poorly (& 5 Ways It's Timeless)

Friends is a classic show, but it is very hard to watch it sometimes. One of those reasons is that it is not very realistic.

Not everyone can spend all day hanging out with their best friends in a coffee shop. In real life, most people have to work, as well as take care of other important things. Another thing that makes this show hard to watch is how the rest of the characters treat Janice.

She can be rather annoying, but there are moments when she is the only one who makes any sense. These are just a couple of things that can make it hard for fans of the show to re-watch it. Here are some of the parts of Friends that didn’t age very well, as well as a few of the things that make it so great.

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10 Poorly: All The Fat Jokes

This series definitely has a lot of fat-shaming in it, especially when it comes to Monica Geller. There are multiple episodes that show viewers that she used to be a bit overweight when she was younger, which was what many of the show’s jokes were based on.

That is something that really would not fly today. It gets a little worse when viewers realize that “fat Monica” is portrayed as sloppy, and she is always eating something. But when she is thin, Monica becomes obsessive about keeping things clean and tidy, and she is no longer a slob. Times have changed a lot, and most people no longer find things like this funny. The creators of the show used Monica’s weight to poke fun at her, and that is one part of the show that has not aged very well at all.

9 Timeless: Their Relationships Are A Bit Complicated Sometimes

The characters on Friends had a lot of very complicated relationships, which is part of why the show is actually very relatable. An awesome example of this is the episode called “The One At The Beach,” which shows Phoebe Buffay meeting her birth mother, whom she was named after.

While they have a decent relationship later on in the show, Phoebe has some unpleasant feelings about her birth mother in the beginning, which is understandable. The series also shows how hard dating can be, especially when it comes to Ross Geller and Rachel Green. While they do end up together in the end, their relationship throughout the series is a bit rocky.

8 Poorly: There Was A Lot Of Homophobia And Transphobia

It seems as though two of the main themes in Friends are homophobia and transphobia. There are multiple jokes at the expense of Ross’s ex-wife, Carol Willick, since she left him so that she could be with another woman, whose name was Susan Bunch. The series also features lots of humor surrounding Chandler’s father, Charles Bing, who is also known as Helena Handbasket.

There is nothing wrong with featuring drag queens and lesbian couples in a show. But it appears as though these characters were only written into the series so that they could be made fun of, and they also made the other characters uncomfortable. They never had meaningful storylines of their own.

7 Timeless: They Have Strong Bonds With Each Other

The characters on Friends are incredibly loyal to one another, which is one thing that definitely makes the show enjoyable. This series has probably taught its’ fans a lot about what it means to be a great friend to someone, since the characters are always there for each other no matter what.

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Ross and Rachel are a pretty good example of this. In the episode called “The One With The Chick And The Duck,” Ross gives up a chance to be on television so that he can take Rachel to the hospital. He even helps her put on her makeup and get dressed, despite the fact that their romantic relationship seemed to be over at that point in the show.

6 Poorly: The Sexism

“The One With The Male Nanny” is one of many sexist episodes of Friends. In this episode, Ross and Rachel are looking for a nanny to keep on eye on their daughter while they are both at work, and they come across a man named Sandy, who is basically the ideal person for the job.

The only issue is that Ross is not a big fan of him because he can’t wrap his mind around the fact that a man can be a nanny. Ross even asks him questions about his sexuality. If that happened in real life, Ross could have gotten himself into some serious trouble.

5 Timeless: The Characters Evolve

People evolve as they age, and so do the characters on Friends, which is part of what makes this show so relatable. Rachel is probably the greatest example of this.

At the beginning of the show, she was a spoiled rich kid who left a guy at the altar. By the end of it, she had a successful career at Ralph Lauren, and she was also a great mother as well.

The other characters also saw a great deal of development. In season one, Chandler was afraid of commitment, but in later seasons, he married Monica. The only one who didn’t see much of an evolution was Joey, but that is because his story continued in a short-lived spin-off called Joey.

4 Poorly: The Lack Of Diversity

The cast of Friends lacked diversity, which was something that actress Aisha Tyler later addressed. Tyler played Dr. Charlie Wheeler on the show. Tyler’s character was a love interest for both Ross and Joey.

According to Tyler, lots of people were always aware that this series lacked people of color. Even at the time, people were constantly pointing out that Friends wasn’t as diverse as the Manhattan of the real world,” said Tyler.

The ethnicity of Tyler’s character was not specified in the show’s script, which is why their decision to cast her was so important. Up until that point, there was very little diversity on the show.

3 Timeless: There Are Moments Of Sheer Comedy

There are a lot of moments in Friends that are simply hilarious, and they will never get old. It is really hard not to watch Ross get attacked by a cat in “The One With The Blackout” without at least giggling a little bit.

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Another really funny moment in the show is when Monica has to serve a restaurateur who is trying to find a chef for his restaurant. He had obviously been ingesting some kind of illegal substance before he arrived, which was what made the whole thing so funny. Moments like these can make anyone laugh, and they’re what make the show so fantastic.

2 Poorly: The Possessiveness And Jealousy Between Ross And Rachel

One thing that seems pretty obvious is that Ross is a very jealous and possessive character, and that is especially easy to see when he is dating Rachel. When she has a fulfilling career that makes her very happy, he complains because she is not spending as much time with him as she used to.

Ross could have just been happy for Rachel, but instead he was worried about his own selfish needs. Then when she starts working with a man named Mark, he shows up at her office so that he can spy on her to see if there is something going on between her and Mark. Ross never seems to trust Rachel.

1 Timeless: There Are A Lot Of Heartwarming Moments

Friends is full of heartwarming moments, which is one of the show’s most redeeming qualities. One of those scenes is when Rachel finds out that she is pregnant with Emma right before Monica and Chandler get married.

Another very emotional moment in the show is when Chandler speaks with a woman about him and Monica adopting her baby. He tells her that he wants to raise a child, and that he will learn to be a great dad, and he also tells her that Monica is already a mother, even though she does not have a baby. Tearjerking scenes is something this show really doesn’t lack.

NEXT: The Simpsons: 10 Storylines That Have Aged Poorly

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