Friends might have been light-hearted comedic fare, but a lot of highly troubling behaviour on the show was brushed under the rug in the spirit of laughter. One enduring issue was Joey’s brazen disregard for decency, as these points prove.
1. He treats women as nothing more than conquests, even kicking out a female roommate after finding out she has a boyfriend.
Yes, that was the way his character was written – as the constantly flirting, womanising, dumb but lovable rogue. Unfortunately, that’s pretty scummy behaviour, with him looking at women as nothing more than conquests.
2. He’ll stoop to any level to get a job he wants, including by sabotaging the career of his students.
As Joey admits in this clip, he tried to screw over an actor who was auditioning for the same part by telling him to ‘Play it homosexually’. If that wasn’t problematic enough as it is, that actor also happened to be a student of Joey’s.
3. He was always borrowing money and mooching off people to an annoying degree.
Friends ‘lend’ each other money, and oftentimes don’t return it – that’s how things work. But the sheer amount Joey borrowed from Chandler and the rest to a lesser degree is indicative of how selfish he was, especially considering he never even paid anything back.
4. He constantly gave horrible advice to his best friends, as well as his students.
There’s multiple instances where he jokes about never cheating on your SO unless it’s with someone really hot. While he’s teaching acting, he gives his students little gems of ‘wisdom’ that make no sense. And he even once asked Ross who he’d rather sleep with, Monica or Rachel, despite Monica being his sister.
5. He’s proven himself to be a bad friend on multiple occasions, from life-threatening situations, to weddings.
When Joey, Chandler and Ross go for a ride-along with the cop Gary, Joey apparently jumps in front of the two to save their lives when there’s a gunshot. What we later find out is that he actually jumped to save his sandwich, and didn’t actually care about his friend’s lives. In The One With The Worst Best Man, he loses Ross’ engagement ring, which he specifically stated he would protect with all his heart.
6. He was even mean to babies.
In The One With The Memorial Service, baby Emma became highly attached to Joey’s favourite stuffed toy, the penguin Hugsy. Following this, Joey even tried to steal Hugsy back from the baby, before finally giving up begrudgingly.
7. He’s done some truly despicable things, such as throwing a woman’s wooden leg in the fire.
In The One With Phoebe’s Ex-Partner, Joey tells Phoebe and Monica about how he was with a woman named Ginger who had a wooden leg, which he unknowingly used as wood to fan a flame. When he realised what he’d done, he ran away without saying anything. What a guy.
8. The way he made a list of pros and cons about Julie and Rachel was pretty messed up.
In The One with the List, he helped Ross make a rather insulting list of pros and cons about continuing a relationship with Julie or pursuing Rachel instead. The entire operation was quite demeaning.
9. The fact that he forgot Ben – a little kid – on a public bus while flirting with some women is pretty indicative of the kind of person he is.
In The One With The Baby On The Bus, that name of the episode is exactly what happens, and it’s all because Joey and Chandler were flirting with some women. You can’t just forget a baby on a bus!
10. The fact that he uses different names while hooking up with women is highly disturbing.
In The One With The Videotape, we find out that Joey frequently uses different names while linking up with women. This isn’t just dark, it’s almost criminal. He uses names such as Ken Adams so the women he’s with won’t be able to call him back.
Pretty messed up!