How FRIENDS Characters Had Money Without Working? Finally Answered

OK, this is a very popular question among the fans of Friends, and since it is one of THE MOST POPULAR TV SHOW OF ALL THE TIMES, this question has popped up on the internet several times. Everyone wonders how they can afford the lifestyle they enjoyed without having any steady jobs, and even when they did had a job they were hard working. Mostly they just hang out at their apartments or the Central Perk.

How one can even keep a job when they didn’t even show up at work most of the week?

The answer is right in the title! You too have been reading it as ‘Friends’ all your life didn’t you? You silly cow! Didn’t you see the full stops?

No, it’s not an abbreviation. It is a code for an idea they were trying to pitch back in the time for the public. A financial idea, that will appeal to the public, that you can afford to live a pretty decent life without working your ass off in a nine to five job. Yes, it was all about financial security and its perks (or Central Perk) if I may say, and you think it was about friendship? Think again!

It’s even in the theme song of the TV Serial, which is all about finances when you think of it. Go listen to that song one more time with the perspective of financial security. Imagine a steady passive income source is singing that song! Your job’s a joke, You are broke … I will be there for you! Still, don’t believe me? Read the lyrics for yourself here.

So no one told you life was gonna be this way
Your job’s a joke, you’re broke
Your love life’s D.O.A
It’s like you’re always stuck in second gear
When it hasn’t been your day, your week, your month
Or even your year, butI’ll be there for you
(When the rain starts to pour)
I’ll be there for you
(Like I’ve been there before)

I’ll be there for you
(‘Cause you’re there for me too)You’re still in bed at ten 
And work began at eight
You’ve burned your breakfast, so far 
Things are going great
Your mother warned you there’d be days like these
But she didn’t tell you when the world has brought 
You down to your knees andI’ll be there for you
(When the rain starts to pour)
I’ll be there for you
(Like I’ve been there before)
I’ll be there for you
(‘Cause you’re…

Mind Blowing right? So what F.R.I.E.N.D.S is actually a code for?

It’s a play on two related abbreviations F.I.R.E and N.D.S.

F.I.R.E is a lifestyle moment to Financial Independence and Retire Early while N.D.S is Non-Deliverable Swap which is an excellent source of passive income for investors.

Both of these ideas are about saving enough money to invest in passive sources of income so you can bid farewell to your hectic and boring jobs to enjoy life the way you want.

An important and part of starting your journey of financial freedom is saving money so you can invest it in passive income sources and retire early. In season 2 episode 14 when Monica told her parents she lost her job, even her dad said “10 % of your paycheck, where does it go?” and “in the bank” was Monica’s and Ross’s answer in the union.

My guess is, Ross and Chandler who were good friends since college, were the first ones to set on the journey of Financial Independence and that’s why we never saw them struggling for money. When Monica lost her job and Ross lend her money Ross let her in on his secret to financial freedom. Since Joey was always borrowing money from Chandler and his career was unstable Chandler probably get him started on his Journey of Financial Independence after his insurance trouble when he had a hernia, as that was the last time we saw Joey struggle financially.

Of course, Financial Independence is not just one decision but it is a journey and you achieve different levels of financial independence. You are not completely financially independent until you are able to quit your job and live comfortably on passive income. In season 9 episode 16 Joey lend some 2000$ to Monica because they burned out all their savings after Chandler quite his well-paying job and decided to go for a less paying but more fulfilling job (financial independence level 4).

Now, this is unlikely that a couple working on financial independence burnt out all their savings, thus I will suggest that they didn’t want to touch their savings as they were planning to have a baby at that time and probably thought it would be best to leave their savings untouched. The show really pitched some great financial advice.

When Monica and friends helped Rachel cut her credit card, I will say that was the most iconic scene for starting a journey of financial independence. It is one of the most important things I have recommended for retiring early and gaining financial freedom in my blog post.

Another question fans ask is that how come the sofa at Central Perk was always available for the group? Were there no other customers?

To answer that there was one episode in which they arrive at the coffee house and their seat was taken so that left. This could imply that they only hung out at Central Perk when the seats were available, or because they frequented the place thus it actually became ‘theirs’ and maybe Gunther asked other customers to move in favor of Rachel and her friends.

Note: If this has got you interested in learning more about financial freedom so you too can live like characters from F.R.I.E.N.D.S did, click here to learn how to save money so you can retire early.

In my alternative theory, the group or one of the friends owned the shares of coffee and therefore they frequented it and received special treatment. Let’s be real owners of Central Perk showed some great tolerance for incompetencies of Rachel and Phoebe which usually business owners don’t.

Do you think may be Monica was the one who has invested her money in Central Perk? Possibly because it was a food related place and she never tried to seek a job there despite being jobless sometimes.

Or alternatively, maybe Chandler was the investor because he was the one who never had money problem there, but again he and Ross were bullied at Central Perk which would never have happened if he owned the place.

Do let me know what do you think of the entire idea in comments. Do you have any better theories? Don’t shy from sharing them.

7 thoughts on “How FRIENDS Characters Had Money Without Working? Finally Answered

  • June 13, 2019 at 8:00 pm
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    This is an interesting concept! I just always assumed it’s a TV show and they didn’t have to go to work lol. Personally, I could never understand how that couch was always there for them too, nor could I wrap my head around them never having mentioned struggling with money.

    Reply
    • June 14, 2019 at 7:23 pm
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      IKR! Like most people, I too tend to take things at the surface level mostly and especially the entertaining content on television. Among all other TV shows, FRIENDS is my all time favorite and I have seen it more than six times so it was only natural to over analyze it. This led me to a need to iron out all the ifs and buts and hence this theory. Glad you liked it.

      Reply
  • June 14, 2019 at 4:58 am
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    Okay, This blew me away especially the part about F.I.R.E and N.D.S!!! Even though I have watched the series numerous times yet I never thought about these points. A good and unique blog post which makes us rethink about a series all over again!

    Reply
    • June 14, 2019 at 6:18 pm
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      Thank you for stopping by and appreciation

      Reply
  • June 14, 2019 at 2:40 pm
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    This is a really interesting theory, especially that one of them has shares in Central Perk.
    Really great blog thank you!

    Reply
    • June 14, 2019 at 6:18 pm
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      I am so glad that you liked my theory. Thank you for stopping by

      Reply

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