12 'Friends' Episodes With Hilariously Outdated Problems That Today's Technology Would've Easily Solved
Although we are indeed living in a great Friends revival, it's easy to forget that the series is nearly 21 years old. That's right, you'd be able to buy Friends a drink in another few months. Deal with THAT reality. Subsequently, when we look at some of the earlier seasons of Friends we stumble upon some aspects that are truly '90s- specific, and could easily be resolved by a swift injection of today's technology. Or, additionally, would simply not fly in this era of inflated prices and high speed Wifi.
From Chandler's computer problems (his thick little laptop had 12 MBs of RAM, you guys) to all the weird luck with jobs, I plucked some of the more outdated moments in Friends episodes. I couldn't cover all bases, sadly; you can make only so many jabs at hairstyles and oversized cellphones. But, at the end of this, I think we'll all agree that early Friends was truly a product of its time.
Without further delay, here's a whole list of some of the most '90s problems in Friends in quasi-chronological order. It'll make you nostalgic for time gone by, but also give you a solid appreciation for the absolute convenience provided by modern tech.
"The One With The Black Out"
Chandler gets trapped with Victoria's Secret model Jill Goodacre in an ATM vestibule, has to borrow her cellphone, and tries to ask for the surveillance video the next day. The first issue is that NOBODY would be caught without a cellphone in 2015, and, further, that occurrence would be thoroughly Instagrammed, and live-tweeted if it went on today.
But secondarily, as Joe Reid club of The A.V. Club points out, "the Jill Goodacre Era in popular culture was very short, confined to basically the week prior to this episode aired and maybe two weeks after." If I didn't have the wiki confirmation that she was, indeed, a lingerie model, I'd be completely at a loss. We can't all be Heidi Klums and Tyra Bankses.
"The One With Ross's New Girlfriend"
Phoebe gives Monica an atrociously short new haircut by confusing Dudley Moore with Demi Moore. There's NO way that kind of mistake would occur today, between Pinterest and Google Images alone. THAT SAID, Phoebe is kind of a light-hearted, proto Girls character Jessa Johansson, so it's very plausible that she'd find the Internet too bland for her anyway.
"The One With Phoebe's Husband"
Not so much a problem, but a side joke in this episode is that Joey was in a porn video, albeit as an uninvolved extra. Archaic because, I mean, who buys porn anymore?
"The One Where Ross Finds Out"
The basis of this iconic episode is that Rachel leaves a drunken voicemail on Ross' answering machine, spewing out all sort of feels. It's not that drunk-dialing doesn't exist anymore, of course. Answering machines, however? Suffice it to say, Rachel would probably have sent over a badly-spelled drunk text filled with sobbing emojis if this took place today, and, if she DID leave a voicemail... well, thank god nobody checks their voicemail anymore.
"The One With The List"
In which Ross basically lists all the reasons why Rachel is THE WORST, inexplicably on Chandler's computer. It doesn't print out, leaving the notorious pros and cons list stuck on the screen. Of course, printing hasn't necessarily improved in the past 20 years (every time I need to get concert tickets, my printer has a mid-life crisis), but the whole use of the computer seems weird and ridiculous. It's not an extensive list. Why would it need to be typed up? Nobody would do that today; they'd either pencil it in a Moleskine or at LEAST put it in the notes section of their iPhone. Amateur hour.
"The One With The Prom Video"
Stress again on "video" for why it's so outdated. While it's fair to say that revisiting the relics of our embarrassing past is something still alive today, this would be akin to stumbling upon someone's humiliating high school YouTube Vlog or Livejournal.
"The One With The Two Parties"
Rachel's divorcing parents end up at two different impromptu parties for Rachel. Monica invited only Rachel's mom, Rachel's dad showed up unexpectedly, it was a whole thing.
This would never happen today because Monica would send out a mass Facebook invite, and 11 people would respond but only 3 of them would show up.
"The One With Barry And Mindy's Wedding"
Chandler's chatting with a mystery married woman ~on the web~ and it turns out to be Janice, which is a whole basket of problems. But, all that aside, it's MUCH harder to maintain anonymity on the Internet today, what with Skype and Facebook and general demands of nudes... like, it isn't that Janice couldn't catfish Chandler. It's just that, today, you could hear that "Oh. my. god!" from a mile away.
"The One Where Rachel Quits"
Rachel quits her coffee waitressing job and lands a job in fashion, for which she has no credentials, no knowledge, no internships, nothing to fall back on. Lol no. The only thing that makes it relatable in the modern era is that it's STILL a job that's simply about pouring coffee, but you need a PhD to get one of those these days.
Double "lol no" to when she snags a spot at Bloomingdale's.
"The One With Ross' Thing"
Dude, if you have an unidentified "thing" on your back, you retreat swiftly to Google, with a pit stop to Web MD.
"The One With The Jellyfish"
Rachel writes an 18 page letter to Ross asking him to confirm that he was responsible for their break up. Who writes out an 18 page ANYTHING to anyone? A wall of text would've taken care of this.
The One Where Anyone Is Living In New York On A Waitress "Salary" OMFG
I don't care if you're subletting from your grandma, this is NOT a plausible thing anymore.
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