I tend to feel like I’m mostly a realist. I know that romantic comedies, not fairytales, gave me unrealistic expectations about love (because, like, hello, the asshole doesn’t change after a meet cute at a coffee shop — the asshole would never have been at your pretentious coffee shop). I know that porn gave my boyfriend unrealistic expectations about sex (no one with boobs that big has nipples that small). And I know, that “Friends” gave me unrealistic expectations about friendship.
No one is able or willing to meet up for lunch with their actual friends every day. With an hour for lunch and a fifteen-minute commute to your favorite coffee shop both ways, the thirty minutes you might have to meet up with people in the middle of the day is just not worth it. Normal people eat lunch alone in their cars every day to avoid their coworkers. None of your friends want to hang out every single night at your apartment. It’s always, like, “no, come to my house,” and then everyone is so stubborn that you sit alone bored every night. And no one — I mean no one — lends money to their friends as often as Chandler lends money to Joey.
I mean, don’t get me wrong, I’ll pay for the occasional coffee at a Starbucks drivethrough window when it’s too inconvenient to ask for two separate orders, but I expect a drink at the bar in return later that night. That’s just how friendships work now. But not for Chandler and Joey. Chandler Bing, the best Friend essentially supports starving actor Joey throughout the show’s duration and one Redditor figured out just how much Joey owes.
In season 8 episode 22 of Friends, Joey is figuring out how much money he owes Chandler for rent, acting lessons, dance lessons, head shots, etc. After seeing the final number, Joey forgives Chandler for falling asleep during his movie and calls it even. How much did Joey owe Chandler?
He says that there were 2 sets of head shots, each at $500. So there’s $1000. Let’s assume that the acting lessons, dancing lessons, and voice coach sessions were all $1000 on average. So now we’re at $4000.
He then says 3 years worth of rent, utilities, and food. They live in Manhattan in a nice area of The Village, in a 2 bedroom, 1 bath, apartment on one of the upper levels. That is a very expensive location to live in; today an apartment like that would cost around $5000 a month easily, using Zillow.com as a guide (and I’m low balling it assuming they got a good deal). Using an online dollar appreciation site, and using the year 1997, i found that $5000 would translate too about $3500 (*Edit: which after researching was actually their monthly rent that was actually mentioned in the show, so spot on) for them. The rent was supposed to be split 2 ways, so this is 3 years of chandler paying Joey’s $1250. So $45,000 in rent alone. Now we’re at $49,000.
LOL at all of this. If I even heard of someone asking a roommate to front someone’s rent for a day or two, that person would go down in history as “shittiest human alive” for the rest of time.
Now for utilities, bills, food. We can guess the utilities may have been $1000 a year so lets add another $1500 for the 3 years of joeys half. So $50,500.
We know they had a phone and cable. Using today’s basic phone and cable TV prices, lets say that would be $100 a month (no cell phones/data remember) counting inflating for 1997 would be around $70 a month; so Joey’s half over 3 years would have been $1260. So now we’re at $51,760.
We’re now at more money than most of you will make in a year your first job, and no one has even eaten yet.
Now for food, this is huge. Joey is known to be a huge eater, and add that to the fact that the group goes out to eat constantly; while watching the show you see that not only does chandler cover him every time they get coffee/dinner, he also gives joey money for him to go on all of the dates he constantly goes on; as well as chandler buys all the groceries (Which would be a lot). I can only guess the amounts but lets say $100 a week on groceries+$100 a week on pizza/takeout/coffee+ $50 a week for Joey’s dates, every week for 3 years (which i’ll say counts as 1997 value). So $39,000.
In total, if he calculated everything, it would be around $108,760*. Chandler basically funded the living expenses of a full grown man for 3 years in one of the most expensive parts of Manhattan, so it was pretty costly to him.
But what about some miscellaneous stuff, like the time Joey let some dudes rob their entire apartment and Chandler foot the whole bill? Our Redditor has an answer.
That doesn’t include the time Joey got the entire apartment’s furniture and electronics stolen when he got tricked, and chandler had to replace everything. Including a TV, a stereo system, a CD collection, 2 Lazy boy chairs, a full size couch, a few different seating chairs, and an early laptop which was pretty expensive at the time as the technology was new. If you wanted to take a guess at the worth of all that i’d say (Scaled back for 1997) the TV may have been $500, the stereo system $200, the CD collection value at $200, each full leather Lazy boy brand chair is at least $800 even at that time, the couch, chairs, whatever other furniture maybe $1000 in all (the whole place was cleaned out), and the laptop was probably over $2000, they were extremely expensive when they first came out. So there’s an extra $5,500. So $114,260* if you want to include that.
That also doesn’t count the time that Joey’s health insurance lapsed because he didn’t work enough that year, and Chandler payed out of pocket for him to have a hernia surgery. A quick Google search estimates between $6000 and $10000 for that surgery. So lets say $8000 in today’s money, scaled back to 1997 again, we’d have around $5,500. If you add that on top of the original and on top of the first edit, you have $119,760* total.
That is six figures that Chandler just gave away… in the ‘90s! This only leaves one question: how much did Chandler make, and why does Monica keep ending up with rich guys?.
*These totals have been adjusted to correct a mathematical error from the Redditor’s original quote.
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