Ever wondered how much your favourite Friends characters earned at their respective jobs? Look this way…
Could the world be any more obsessed with the Central Perk gang?
It’s been almost 25 years since Friends first aired on our television screens, but we’re still binge-watching episodes on Netflix every single night. Not only that, but we’re also learning more about the set (e.g. why Monica’s apartment was actually painted purple), dreaming about the feminist love story that never was, cooing over the fashion choices (so chic, so SS2018), freaking out over dark conspiracy theories, pointing out the numerous mistakes and continuity errors, and, y’know, arguing over whether or not Ross and Rachel really were on a break.
Now, though, we’ve been given some new information to digest alongside our sneeze-muffins and oversized mugs of coffee. Ever wondered how much your favourite Friends characters earned in their dreamy jobs?
While it’s no secret that everyone’s favourite quintet spent more time in Central Perk than at their respective workplaces, the gang knew a thing or two about bossing their dream careers. Monica (Courteney Cox) wanted to be a chef from the very moment she got her first Easy-Bake Oven and opened Easy Monica’s Bakery. Throughout the course of the series, we saw her do everything within her power to make that possible: she worked with creeps, she donned an outrageous costume to waitress in a diner, she opened up her own catering business – and, eventually, she secured the head chef job she’s always wanted at a top restaurant.
Rachel (Jennifer Aniston), meanwhile, went from waitress, to fashion intern, to a fashion assistant, to buyer and personal shopper, to an executive at Ralph Lauren. Joey (Matt LeBlanc) paid his dues as a waiter, extra and embarrassing poster boy for sexually transmitted diseases before securing a lead role in a popular daytime TV show. And Ross (David Schwimmer) “gave up a career in basketball” to become a palaeontologist, penning research papers, teaching classes at N.Y.U. and delivering an important keynote speech at a convention in Barbados.
Elsewhere, Chandler (Matthew Perry) worked in a boring job nobody could remember anything about, specialising in “statistical analysis and data reconfiguration”, before he packed it all in to start a new career in advertising. And Phoebe? Well, while she didn’t exemplify the same passion for her career as a massage therapist, she did choose a job that allowed her to work from home. That allowed her to choose her own hours, and clients, and fees.
Crucially, though, she chose a job over a career because it gave her the chance to focus on her true dream: her music (her awful, awful music).
So who earned the most? Well, Giff Gaff dug through all 10 seasons of the hit sitcom to estimate each character’s salary – and they’ve determined that the highest paid member of the gang is, in fact, Joey.
That’s right: while he had to borrow a lot of money from Chandler throughout the series to keep his head above water, Joey wound up earning a solid $130,000 when he landed a role opposite Richard Crosby (Gary Oldman) in a film about World War I.
Chandler took second place, thanks to the $100,000 he picked up in his job as an IT Procurement Manager. However, he takes a massive pay cut when he takes on a Junior Advertising Copywriter gig at $45,000.
Monica supposedly earns $80,000 as the head chef at Javu (which goes some way towards explaining how she can afford her beautiful rent-controlled apartment), Ross makes $75,000 digging up dinosaur bones and Rachel makes a cool $55,000 when she reaches the peak of her fashion career.
This means that, yes, the lowest paid member of the group is Phoebe – but, considering she’s the least materialistic of the gang, we doubt that news would bother her all that much.
Image: Rex Features