Friends is still binge-watched and beloved 26 years after its premiere in 1994. Rachel, Joey, Chandler, Monica, Phoebe and Ross were all unforgettable characters in their own right and provided plenty of laughs for audiences. The show had plenty of memorable storylines, as well, but some just wouldn’t happen today, due to technology improvements, changes in society, and more.
Season 2 found Ross and Rachel finally getting together, Joey’s acting career taking off, and Monica dating Richard. However, there were moments that happened back then that certainly wouldn’t happen now.
10 The One With The Museum Exhibit
Rachel, at first, has difficulty being with Ross on their first date, but her giggles melt away after they spend the night together. Unfortunately, they have an audience the next morning, as they’ve fallen asleep in a museum exhibit.
This kind of thing would probably not happen today, given security upgrades and the like. It might have been romantic and spontaneous, but Rachel and Ross really should have taken off before the museum opened.
9 The Ones With Eddie
Eddie moved in after Joey moved out, and he stuck around for far too long. Chandler tried to make it work with his new roommate, but eventually asked Eddie, multiple times, to move out.
There’s no way Eddie could’ve gotten away with sticking around as long as he did, however deranged he was, in 2020. Chandler would’ve taken further steps beyond just yelling at him to leave. He was actually afraid of Eddie, so he probably would’ve sought out a restraining order, among other things, to ensure Eddie was gone for good, sooner rather than later.
8 The One With The Home-Baked Cookies
Monica doesn’t have much money, but she tries to do a nice thing by baking cookies for people as a thank-you during the holiday season. Unfortunately, it doesn’t go over well, as those people preferred cash to cookies.
As everyone knows, 2020 has the world experiencing a pandemic, and many people probably won’t be giving out cookies or anything of the like, so as to prevent the spread of disease.
7 The One With No More Chickenpox
When this episode aired in 1996, the chickenpox vaccine was still new to the world, having become available in the US in 1995, according to the CDC.
With vaccinations having taken place since then, chickenpox is no longer as common as it once was. Meaning, in 2020, Phoebe wouldn’t have to worry about catching the rotten disease today and could’ve happily spent her time with Ryan (Charlie Sheen) without feeling the need to scratch every five seconds.
6 The One With All The Bullying
There are far more anti-bullying messages and campaigns today than there were in the 90s. Because anti-bullying advocacy is more common now than it was when “The One with the Bullies” aired, it seems unlikely that such an occurrence would happen now, especially in a coffee shop.
Ross and Chandler eventually worked things out with their bullies, but in 2020, they might all have become friends without any bullying happening at all.
5 The One With The Breastfeeding
In the second season episode, “The One with the Breast Milk,” Ross is uncomfortable with Carol’s breastfeeding and is horrified when Joey and Phoebe taste it. Ross does eventually give it a try, but it’s not without difficulty.
Breastfeeding, in general, has become more normalized in recent years, so this incident may have been played off with a bit more tact and respect and less horror if it was done today.
4 The One With The Truth About Movies
Phoebe is horrified to learn the true endings of the movies she watched in her childhood, such as Disney’s Old Yeller. There are many more entertainment websites and far more access to the internet now than when the episode aired in 1996.
There’s no way Phoebe wouldn’t have stumbled upon a YouTube video or read an article and discovered what really happened in the movies she watched as a kid if the same thing happened now.
3 The One With The Inappropriate Tailor
Chandler is horrified when Joey’s tailor touches him inappropriately while tending to his pants. Joey, until Chandler tells him and Ross about the incident, had gone years never knowing that this was wrong.
Joey wasn’t always the brightest, but he’d definitely know something was up if that happened in 2020, given that misconduct is more widely discussed today. Not only that, but given the steps taken to prevent such harassment over the years, it would be very rare for a tailor to do something like this now, if at all. In fact, it was weird then.
2 The One Where Joey Made Up “Joseph”
After Joey is fired from Days of Our Lives, Chandler helps him get a temp job at his office. While there, Joey creates quite a problem with his newly adopted persona of “Joseph.” As part of his character, he invents a wife and kids and makes trouble for Chandler by blaming his own mistakes on his best friend.
Today, Joey could never get away with such an act, especially with social media being as prominent as it is. Someone in the workplace would find out Joey was lying in seconds if they looked him up and call him out on it.
1 The One With The Misplaced Baby
Chandler and Joey manage to grab all of Ben’s things, but they forget Ben on a city bus. This seems highly unlikely to begin with, considering someone definitely would’ve noticed the lone baby and should have told the guys they were forgetting Ben.
Plus, wouldn’t the bus driver notice that Chandler and Joey were leaving with a bunch of baby things, but no baby? Just as it seemed unlikely then, such a heart-stopping incident seems even more far-fetched now.