Explaining The Plot Holes In ‘Friends’

Ever since old and new fans of the TV show Friends got the opportunity to binge-watch every episode and post their thoughts online, a lot of the show’s plot holes have been pointed out. Today, I thought it would be fun to try and come up with logical explanations for these holes, as if Friends took place in the real world. Sure, it’d be easier to simply say the writers of the show messed up, or nobody thought that far ahead in the beginning of the show, but where’s the fun in that? I’ve actually discussed a few of these plot holes before that you’re welcome to check out here and here. Let me know your thoughts on these storylines! (If you want to read about more of these plot holes, you can click here and here!

Phoebe Speaking French

The Plot Hole: Phoebe (Lisa Kudrow) is supposedly fluent in French but when introduced to Monica’s (Courtney Cox) sous-chef, she was unaware that “sous” was French for “under.” 

My Explanation: So, Phoebe makes that little “sous” mistake in season 8’s fifth episode, The One With Rachel’s Date. Unless I’m mistaken, I don’t recall her ever speaking about knowing French BEFORE that episode. It’s not until 4 episodes later, in The One With The Rumor, where she tells the story about meeting with a group of people behind a dumpster to learn French. That story could’ve been completely fabricated so Phoebe can slip her way into the discussion at hand, and that could’ve been her way of telling the group she knows some French. She could’ve started learning the language in season 8 and over 2 years, she could’ve become fluent by the time she had to teach Joey in season 10.

Ross’ Ice Cream Hatred

The Plot Hole: In season 7, we learn Ross (David Schwimmer) hates ice cream, but in season 2, he eats it with no problem. 

My Explanation: This one’s probably the easiest one to explain. In season 7’s episode, The One Where Chandler Doesn’t Like Dogs, Ross explains that he hates ice cream because it’s too cold and it hurts his teeth. Yet, in season 2’s episode, The One After The Super Bowl Part 2, he’s seen having an ice cream cone with his monkey, Marcel. It’s definitely possible that Ross’s teeth became more sensitive to cold foods over the years, and he stopped eating ice cream because of it.

Rachel and Chandler’s Multiple Meetings

The Plot Hole: Rachel (Jennifer Aniston) And Chandler (Matthew Perry) met for the first time at 3 different points in the show, and they apparently forgot they knew each other every single time.

My Explanation: So, the first time Rachel met Chandler was on Thanksgiving when he and Ross were roommates in college. She and Monica later visited him and Ross at their college, then a year later they all were at Ross’s parents’ house for Thanksgiving again. She was pretty self-involved back in the day, so I buy it if she had to be reminded every time of who Chandler was. Fast forward to 1993: Rachel was engaged and she was having a drink with her friends at a bar Chandler was also hanging out in. He overheard her conversation about one last fling she wants before she gets married. His lame attempt to flirt was made even more awkward when he realized he knew her and she didn’t recognize him. Fast forward to the next year: Rachel left her fiancé at the alter and found Monica in the coffee shop with the rest of the gang. Monica introduced her to everyone pretty quickly. Chandler, wanting to avoid another awkward encounter, just said hi and nothing else. Monica, tired of having to remind Rachel of who Chandler is, just re-introduced them every time. Not to mention Chandler looked drastically different every time they met.

Phoebe’s Apartment

The Plot Hole: How can Phoebe afford an apartment in Greenwich Village as a freelance masseuse?

My Explanation: Phoebe lived with her grandmother after moving out of Monica’s apartment in 1993. In the first 4 seasons, Phoebe worked in a professional massage place and probably earned a decent living. After losing that job in season 4, her grandmother could’ve supported her while she tried to find her path. Then, when her grandmother died, she could’ve left a decent inheritance to Phoebe to continue supporting herself. Then, in season 9’s episode, The One With The Fertility Test, we learn that Phoebe is working at a massage chain with benefits and a 401k. We don’t know when exactly she started that job so she could’ve been earning good money this whole time. So, I don’t think Phoebe had any trouble keeping that nice apartment. 

Ross’s Birthday

The Plot Hole: Ross says his birthday is in December to Gunther but October 18th to Joey.

My Explanation: When Gunther (James Michael Tyler) asked Rachel for her birthday in The One With Joey’s New Girlfriend, he said he was taking down people’s birthdays. Ross automatically assumed he’d be asked for his birthday as well considering he’s sitting so close to them. Ross didn’t like Gunther all that much but he decided to humor him, so he figured he would just give him a fake birthday date – which proved to be futile because Gunther didn’t bother to hear it. Then in season 9’s episode, The One Where Emma Cries, Ross injured his hand and Joey (Matt Leblanc) had to fill out Ross’s forms for him. Since they’re official forms for the hospital, Ross gave his real birthday, October 18th.

Rachel’s Birthday

The Plot Hole: Rachel told Gunther her birthday is May 5th but the cop who pulled her over in season 7 said she’s an Aquarius.

Explanation 1: Like Ross and his birthday, Rachel could’ve given Gunther a fake birthday because she’s not comfortable giving it out.


Explanation 2: Her birthday is really May 5th and when the cop pulled her over, he used astrology to flirt with her. He probably assumed because she’s a woman, she’s really into zodiac signs and threw out Aquarius to keep the conversation going. Notice how Rachel didn’t confirm or deny it was her sign. She doesn’t know anything about zodiacs (that I’m aware of) but she needed to get out of this ticket, so she played along with the cop. Both of them were bullsh**ers. 

Ben’s Absence At Ross’s Second Wedding

The Plot Hole: Why was Ross’s son Ben absent and not even mentioned at he and Emily’s (Helen Baxendale) wedding?

My Explanation: Well, considering that Ross and Emily’s wedding took place in London, there could be many reasons why Carol (Jane Sibbett), Susan (Jessica Hecht), and Ben couldn’t attend. There could’ve been financial issues with Carol and Susan at the time. Another reason could be that because the wedding was put together on short notice, Carol couldn’t get the time off and Susan wasn’t thrilled at the idea of going to her wife’s ex-husband’s wedding with just her and Ben. So, why couldn’t Ross just bring Ben himself? He was probably so occupied with the wedding, he didn’t want to have to worry about Ben too and decided it would be best if Ben didn’t come.  

Joey’s Adam’s Apple

The Plot Hole: In The One Where Heckles Dies, Joey talks about a girl he met with “the biggest Adam’s apple,” but in The One Where They All Turn 30, he calls his Adam’s apple his Joey’s apple, as if he assumed they are named after each individual man. 

My Explanation: Rather than a moment of stupidity on Joey’s part, this could easily be a creative choice of his. He was well aware of its true name, he just wanted to call it his Joey’s apple cause he liked it. However, it could also be that he calls it his Joey’s apple merely to annoy Chandler. He noticed how ticked off Chandler got, so he did it every chance he got just to get under Chandler’s skin. 

Monica’s Locked Door

The Plot Hole: Throughout the show, everyone is able to come inside Monica’s apartment with no key. However, in one episode and one episode alone, The One Where Underdog Gets Away, the door locks automatically and all the characters can’t get inside without the key.

My Explanation: The landlord could’ve decided to make the doors automatically lock in season 1. Then, when the gang is locked out of the apartment with food cooking and almost catching on fire, the landlord could’ve realized it could’ve been a lot worse. Hell, after the incident, many of the tenants could’ve worked together to convince the landlord to change everything back to the way it was. 

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