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Someone Figured Out How Much Money Joey Owed Chandler On "Friends"

It's quite a large sum.

Originally posted on
Updated on

There are plenty of facets of Friends that aren't true to life — how most of them pay their rent, how adults manage to have breakfast EVERY SINGLE DAY, why anyone is friends with Phoebe, etc.

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But few things are as unrealistic as how much Chandler supports Joey financially, which one Friends fan figured out would amount to over six figures over the course of their friendship.

That's a lotta sandwiches.

In the Season 8 episode, "The One Where Rachel Is Late," Joey forgives Chandler for falling asleep during his movie after he tallies up just how much Chandler has paid for his rent, acting and dance lessons, headshots, cable, and more.

So on the subreddit They Did The Math, one Redditor asked: How much did Joey owe him, exactly?

And redditor ASmileThatKills accepted the challenge:

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.

[Ed. note: $3,500 split in half should actually be $1,750, so we'll add in the difference.]


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.

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So we're at over $50,000 — and then you have to factor in all the food. So much food.

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.


... 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.

That brings us to $108,760 when you add in the extra money for rent.

BUT that doesn't include the time Chandler spent replacing all the furniture stolen from their apartment, which the writer estimated would be about $5,500.

So that leads us to the final tally: $114,260.

$114,260

This is obviously a rough estimate — as Uproxx pointed out, that doesn't even include TV Guide subscriptions or duck and chicken food. So it could probably be double that.

A commenter pointed out that Chandler didn't actually pay for Joey's hernia surgery, so we've taken out those numbers, and fixed a minor math error.

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