Friends: Confusing Plot Holes
Friends was a long-running TV show that aired for ten whole years. Its characters Rachel Green, Ross Geller, Monica Geller, Chandler Bing, Phoebe Buffay, and Joey Tribbiani underwent massive development and faced a lot of various situations in the Friends series.
But, although we loved them, there were things about Friends that never made sense. How did Ross and Rachel get the ink off their faces? Was Chandler really incapable of crying? And why did Phoebe’s birth parents disappear after meeting her? Find out in our article!
#1 Did The Ink Just Disappear?
One of the most exciting storylines in Friends was Ross and Rachel getting drunk and married in Vegas. We all clearly remember how it happened, right? After a series of pranks, Ross draws a mustache on Rachel’s face with a permanent marker; she can’t get it off and doesn’t want to go anywhere.
They proceed to get drunk in their hotel room; she draws on his face to get back at him, and they end up going to the chapel to tie the knot… just for fun. The next morning, they don’t remember a thing and… their faces are absolutely pristine.
Rewind one episode and you’ll recall Rachel repeatedly saying the ink “won’t come off!” And you’ll also recall Ross calling the marker company and learning that no, it won’t come off. Sooo… how could it just magically come off just like that the next morning? Did all that alcohol kind of force all the ink out of their pores or something?
If so, I bet the marker manufacturer had no idea, and it had to be a groundbreaking discovery! But theories are the only thing we have, because the ink didn’t only disappear from Ross and Rachel’s faces... It also disappeared from everyone’s minds as no one even asked them how they got it off!
#2 How Long Was Rachel Pregnant For?
We learn about Rachel’s pregnancy during Monica and Chandler’s wedding, and it was the final episode of season seven and the first episode of season eight. And as it was revealed before, the wedding took place on the fifteenth of May. Rachel should’ve been at least one month pregnant by then, so she would have had her baby before spring.
But it looks like pregnancy and childbirth work differently in the Friends universe. Rachel remains pregnant for the entire eighth season. During the Thanksgiving episode (the one that featured Brad Pitt), she has to be about seven months pregnant, but her belly isn’t showing at all. We don’t see Rachel’s bump until around the winter holidays.
And in the episode The One Where Rachel Is Late, she claims how hot she feels with that huge belly while it’s “like 100 degrees outside.” So that means it is already summer in New York, and she’s been preggers for about a year! No wonder Rachel is so pissed at the end of her pregnancy. After all, she’s been carrying this baby for a ridiculously long time!
#3 Was Carol Ross’s First Girlfriend?
We all remember very well that Ross didn’t have a lot of girlfriends before Rachel. As he confesses to her, he only dated Carol and Julie. And he also admits to Joey and Chandler in season one that the first night with Carol was so special for him because it was his first time.
Aw, how sweet! Ross is such a romantic! Unless… he’s lying! Later in the series – in season seven, to be exact – Ross and Chandler argue, and Chandler unexpectedly reveals that Ross was intimate with a cleaning lady while they were in college. And Ross doesn’t deny it!
Since he was in college, she was clearly with him before Carol, so Carol wasn’t his first. So it looks like he forgot about this relationship, although it’s completely unlike Ross to forget such things! After all, it must’ve been a massive moment for him.
Besides that, Rachel also revealed in season eight that Ross made out with a 50-year-old librarian while still in high school. So it leads us to two fair questions: what is it about Ross and school staff? And why didn’t he count the cleaning lady as the first woman he was with?
#4 Can Chandler Cry?
In season six, there’s an episode that reveals Chandler as an absolutely heartless man who never cries over anything. He says that he didn’t even cry when Bambi’s mother died in the cartoon! No matter how hard Monica tries - she even tells him about how if she dies she'll leave him a letter saying how much she will always love him…
She can’t make her boyfriend shed even a single tear! But at the end of the episode, Chandler finally starts crying over how he wants Ross and Rachel to be together.
It’s all hilarious, but… it’s completely different from how Chandler is portrayed throughout the show. He’s always been the most emotional and dramatic one among them, and we actually see him cry multiple times in previous episodes!
In season three, Phoebe recalls how she once made Chandler “cry like a baby”. The guy weeps when he has to go to Yemen to get rid of Janice, even though he only wanted to pretend that he had to go.
And he also cries when Ross says that he wants both him and Joey to be his best men at his wedding to Emily because of what great friends they are to him! Did everyone just forget about all these instances?
#5 What Happened to Phoebe’s Birth Parents?
Phoebe always thought that her mom took her life, but at the end of season three, she learns that it wasn’t her real mother. Her birth mom is alive and her name is Phoebe Abbot. They meet and seem to connect - Phoebe Senior even helps her make a decision about carrying her brother’s child. But that’s the last we see of her!
She’s only mentioned once afterward when she sends her grandmother’s fur coat to Phoebe. She doesn’t come to see Phoebe when she’s at the hospital delivering the triplets and doesn’t even attend her wedding. And the very same thing happens to Frank Buffay Senior.
He appears in only one episode during Phoebe’s grandmother’s funeral, they talk and seem to get on pretty well, especially after he recalls the lullaby he sang to her when she was a baby. They finish their meeting on good terms, but… we never see him again. Okay, they didn't really hit it off because Phoebe's dad was a complete stranger to her.
So we get why he never appears in her life. But what happened to her birth mother? She said that she was sorry to leave Phoebe as a child and wanted to mend things, but then she disappeared again. We need answers!
#6 What Was Monica and Chandler’s Wedding Venue?
It might seem an unimportant question, but the original venue was actually why Chandler decided to propose to Monica in the first place! Remember when she visited a museum with Rachel and Phoebe and decided it was the perfect wedding venue, so she added their names to the waiting list, even though she wasn't engaged yet?
When Chandler gets a call about an early cancellation and the option to have an earlier wedding, he flips out and makes Monica think that he’s not ready for marriage. While at the same time, he plans a secret proposal. But it seems that Monica forgets about the museum right after they get engaged and begin preparing for the wedding.
It’s never even mentioned again, and it’s never explained why they decided to change the venue, especially after all that fuss around the original one. Their engagement lasts for a while, and the grand event takes place at a completely different location.
#7 Does Ross Like Ice Cream?
In season seven, we learn a horrible truth – Chandler doesn’t like dogs. And while the shock is still fresh, we get another blow – Ross doesn’t like ice cream! And he explains why: “It’s too cold!” he states. “It hurts my teeth!”
Whoa, this guy has some sensitive teeth… one would say if they didn’t pay attention to Friends at all. We actually see Ross enjoying an ice-cream cone at least twice in the show. It happens when he spends a fun day with his favorite monkey Marcel in season two.
And then, we see Ross walking down the street with his then-girlfriend Elizabeth, and they are both happily tucking into their ice-cream cones. Of course, it isn’t a plot hole that messes up the whole plot, but still… How can we trust you after that, Ross?
#8 What's Wrong with Monica's Apartment?
We all know the plot hole with the girls' apartment number. It was 5 and then it was changed to 20 - it's not exactly news to Friends fans! But, in fact, there was something else you didn't notice about Monica's apartment door. Remember how it was never locked and everyone could come in whenever they pleased?
Then why was it locked in the first season's Thanksgiving episode? Do you remember that one? Everyone goes to the roof to see Underdog, who broke free from the parade, and was flying all over New York City... And when they come back, it turns out that Monica thought that Rachel had the key and Rachel thought the same - but about Monica.
The whole gang ends up spending half of Thanksgiving dinner in the hall. Rachel's late for her plane, Monica's dinner is ruined, and everyone's pissed. But eventually, they all enjoy each other's company and they celebrated Thanksgiving together ever since. Maybe they also do something with the lock to make sure that it stops working because the same thing never happens again in the show.
#9 Did Chandler Forget He Knew Rachel and Monica Before?
In the very first episode of Friends, Rachel joins the gang, and Monica introduces her to everyone, except for Ross because Rachel obviously remembers her high school friend’s brother. But in fact, there’s one more person in the room who didn’t have to be introduced – it was Chandler.
He’s been Ross’s friend since college, and, as revealed in later episodes, he attended Thanksgiving dinners at the Gellers twice. At least one of them was particularly memorable – I’m talking about the one when Monica accidentally chopped off part of Chandler’s toe, of course.
And what’s more, Rachel and Monica were at a party at their college once, and Rachel and Chandler even made out! How could both of them forget about each other? But in fact, it seems that Chandler has amnesia when it comes to remembering people he met at college.
After all, when everyone watches a tape with Monica and Rachel’s prom, he’s surprised to see Monica was so big. But he already knew how she looked back then, so his shock makes little sense.
#10 What Are Their Ages?
Now, this is probably the most glaring plot hole in the show ever. None of the main characters seem to know when they were born or how old they are. For example, Ross says in the fourth episode of season one, which is set in October, that his birthday was seven months ago.
But in the fourth season, he says he was born in December, while in the ninth one, he claims that his birthday is October 18. What’s more, he says that he’s 29 years old in seasons three, four, and five! But he’s not the only one.
Rachel says that she was born in May, but it’s later revealed that she’s an Aquarius, which means that her birthday is in late January or early February. And she’s the last one in the gang to turn 30, although it was mentioned previously that Joey is the youngest among them. Monica says she’s 26 in season one, but she only turns 30 six seasons later. What a mess!
Of course, we get that it’s hard to keep all the details in mind when you’re working on a 10-season show, but establishing the characters’ birthdays and ages seems to be kind of important, don’t you think?