The main characters of were a solid group with some of the strongest friendships seen on TV, but there were various moments throughout the series that almost put an end to their friendships. Although many years have passed since came to an end, its impact and legacy are such that it continues to be regarded as one of the greatest TV shows ever. ’ arrival in the world of streaming has brought the series to new generations and allowed multiple rewatches, which not only expand its audience but also bring to light some of the show’s flaws.
Surely, no matter its legacy, , as there are some problematic details that, if the show was made now, would face serious consequences. Other flaws in that have been pointed out in recent years are how the main characters weren’t exactly the best of friends, as they did some horrible things to each other that could have ended their friendship. From lying about important stuff to stealing each other’s dates, messy break-ups, and even lacking empathy, here are 10 moments that almost broke the group’s friendship beyond repair.
It was revealed that, before the events of the series, Phoebe was Monica’s roommate, but it came to a point where she couldn’t handle Monica’s obsession with neatness and cleaning anymore. However, instead of talking to Monica and letting her know she was moving out, she moved her stuff piece by piece into her grandmother’s apartment and snuck out every night and back in every morning to make Monica believe she was still living there. When Monica found out, Phoebe explained that she loved her and wanted them to stay friends, but that wouldn’t be possible if they continued living together.
Although the six friends were the main characters and the show followed their many ups and downs, focused more on the unstable . Their first breakup after their infamous “break” left the rest of the group not knowing how to handle being with both in the same place, so they tried to split their time between being with Ross and being with Rachel. Their second breakup, while less messy, also put Ross and Rachel’s friendship at risk, and Ross’ reluctance to get a divorce after their drunken Vegas wedding a couple of seasons later should have also broken their friendship.
Rachel and Monica were best friends, but . One of those moments, which could have broken their friendship, happened in the episode “The One After the Superbowl, Part 2”, where Monica was too shy to approach Jean-Claude Van Damme. Monica sent Rachel to talk to him, and she ended up getting a date with him. After a fight, Rachel gave her date up and let Monica go out with him, but she told Van Damme that Monica wanted a threesome with him and Drew Barrymore. Not only did Rachel steal Monica’s date with her celebrity crush, but she also lied to him to make Monica look bad.
Joey dated many women over the course of ’ 10 seasons, but there was one that Chandler was attracted to: Kathy. Chandler and Kathy kissed while she was still dating Joey, but she broke up with him shortly after. When Joey learned that Chandler was the “other guy”, he was so angry at Chandler that he considered moving out of their apartment, but Joey being Joey, and after Chandler begged him for forgiveness too many times, he decided Chandler’s punishment would be getting in a giant, wooden box to think about what he did. Kathy eventually told Chandler she couldn’t be with him because she didn’t want to break their friendship, and Joey finally agreed to forgive Chandler and let them be together.
On a completely different occasion, Joey did move out of the apartment. It all started with a fight over certain habits of Joey that Chandler found disgusting, such as licking spoons and putting them back in the drawer. Joey was then offered a luxurious apartment by a colleague, and after another argument with Chandler, he moved out. Joey and Chandler’s friendship was put to the test with the arrival of , and how lonely Joey felt in his new apartment, but quickly fixed this and brought Joey and Chandler back together.
Monica was always the host, and as she’s a chef, she was the one who always prepared Thanksgiving dinner for everyone. In season 10, Monica and Chandler decided not to make Thanksgiving dinner, but after Phoebe said the previous year’s Thanksgiving wasn’t that good, Monica took it as a challenge against herself and agreed to make dinner. However, everyone else ended up making plans for that night, and none of them took the time to tell Monica that they were going to be late. Phoebe and Rachel entered baby Emma in a baby beauty contest (which she won), while Ross and Joey went to a New York Rangers game.
Not only did they arrive late, but they ruined the food when trying to free Joey after his head got stuck in the door. Luckily for them, Monica and Chandler got a call from the adoption agency to let them know they were selected by a woman to adopt her baby, so they no longer cared about their friends’ lies.
As mentioned above, Rachel wasn’t that good of a friend to Monica, but the latter reached a boiling point in season 7’s episode “The One With Monica’s Thunder”. As the whole group got ready to go out and celebrate Monica and Chandler’s engagement, Rachel, feeling sad and lonely, asked Ross for a “bonus night”, and they were caught kissing in the hallway by Monica. Monica was very angry as Rachel had stolen her “thunder”, and let her know it wasn’t the first time she had done that. This prompted a huge fight between them, but Monica forgave Rachel when she said she was sad about not being close to getting married, and apologized for stealing and ruining her special night.
Monica and Chandler became a fan-favorite couple, but their relationship was put to the test during its first months, before their friends found out they were together. During Thanksgiving dinner, the group shared some of their worst Thanksgiving memories, and Monica’s turned out to be when, many years before, she overheard Chandler calling her “fat”. The following year, Monica lost a lot of weight and was convinced by Rachel to take revenge on Chandler for calling her fat, but it went terribly wrong and she ended up accidentally cutting off Chandler’s toe. Chandler was very upset after hearing the story, but after Monica put a turkey on her head and danced for him, they made up.
One of the most hated couples in is Ross and Emily, as it not only felt like a forced pair, but Emily pretty much wanted to isolate Ross from his friends after their wedding. It all began after instead of Emily’s, and what followed was a lot of confusion and awkwardness in the group as Emily didn't want Ross to be near Rachel, but she's one of his closest friends. The solution was Ross breaking up with Emily and getting a divorce, and Emily was never seen again.
In season 2, the group was organizing a birthday dinner for Monica, but Rachel, Phoebe, and Joey were having money issues. Chandler, Monica, and Ross' jobs were more stable and with higher incomes than those of their friends, but they never took that into account when organizing Monica’s birthday dinner. Rachel, Phoebe, and Joey explained their situation during dinner, but it got worse the next day when Ross, Monica, and Chandler bought concert tickets for everyone. The friends never reached a deal nor did they solve this issue, as they all left it behind when Monica was fired.