One of the most popular American sitcoms, Friends, is enjoying a revival thanks to being made available on Netflix in January. Now a new generation of fans is laughing at the exploits of Joey, Chandler, Ross, Rachel, Monica and Phoebe as they live in downtown New York, grow into adulthood and drink a lot of coffee.
Over the course of the show, each character has their highs and lows when it comes to their careers. Monica is a great chef, though is reduced to working at a ‘50s diner. Joey falls on tough times after being killed off from Days of Our Lives, and Chandler quits his job at (wait, where does he work, again?) and joins the competitive world of unpaid internships.
This got us thinking, which of the characters did best by the time the show ends? Who had the most impressive career and who is still struggling to get by? We combed through all 236 episodes of the show and teamed up with James Calder from Distinct Recruitment to estimate the wages for each character and see who came out on top:
Looks like Joey, despite his unstable career through many of the earlier seasons, was the highest earner. After being hired back to Days of Our Lives and sharing a film with legendary actor Richard Crosby (Gary Oldman), Joey is riding high when the show comes to an end. He had quite the journey getting there, too, as he racked up 17 different jobs in total. No doubt he had more than a couple of loans from Chandler while slumming it as a cologne sampler, Christmas tree salesman and even, briefly, a gladiator model at Caesar’s Palace in Las Vegas.
While Joey earns the most, we can’t overlook Rachel’s transformation through the show – starting as a coffee house waitress and ending up as a merchandising manager at Ralph Lauren. Chandler had the biggest fall from grace, leaving his job in data analysis and data configuration to become a junior advertising copywriter.
We’re all guilty of it – we’re trying to stay frugal and save every penny, but something comes along that tempts us a little too much. During our research, we found more than a few examples of the Friends gang splashing out and buying something outrageous. Who can forget Rachel’s cat, Mrs. Whiskerson, the boat Joey accidentally buys at a charity auction, or the leather pants that left Ross in a tight spot during a date? Being the lowest earner of the group, Phoebe was also the most sensible with her money, only spending $240 in her attempts to get Rachel to move back in with her.