According to a Reddit theory, each major character from Friends represents a different deadly sin, even though the iconic group only features six friends.
NBC’s sitcom Friends has a very passionate fan base. The popularity of the show remained consistent long after its 2004 finale. Over the years, fans have tossed around a number of intriguing theories about the characters. Some are more outlandish than others — they cover everything from how the characters got their names to even suggesting Phoebe Buffay was a Cold War spy.
One interesting fan theory on Reddit suggests each Friends character represents one of the Seven Deadly Sins. While there are only six members of the show’s core friend group, the theory has two explanations for the seventh sin. But how plausible is this big-picture theory?
Friends’ Chandler Bing Represents Sloth
Chandler represents sloth mainly because of his career. He constantly complained about his job and expressed general disinterest in his profession, but he stayed in said position because it was easier to be compliant than to make a change. When he eventually did start a new career, he put a lot of stress and strain on Monica in order to achieve this shift. He also struggled with general motivation, as exemplified by his workout storyline in which he not only gave up easily but also convinced Monica to slack off with him.
Gluttony Describes Friends’ Joey Tribbiani to a Tee
While he had lustful tendencies, Joey’s love for women was overpowered by his love of food. He once ate an entire Thanksgiving turkey by himself, and one of his most iconic lines was “Joey doesn’t share food.” That statement in particular demonstrates why he represents the sin of gluttony. It was his explanation for why he had a bad time on a date: she ate some of his food. Between his high interest in both food and women, gluttony is a natural choice for Joey.
Friends’ Ross Geller Is the Embodiment of Wrath
Ross had obvious anger issues throughout the run of Friends. He was once put on leave from his job at the museum after having a rage-fueled freak out over his Thanksgiving sandwich being stolen. That was not the only time Ross let his anger get the better of him, lashing out at those closest to him on multiple occasions.
Friends’ Quirky Phoebe Buffay Is Lust
Time Bandits star Lisa Kudrow’s character Phoebe exemplifies lust, as she was often the most overtly sexual of Friends’ main character group. She also repeatedly expressed a kinkier approach to sex than her other friends. And in Season 3’s Thanksgiving episode “The One With the Football,” Phoebe flashed her chest at Chandler in order to take the football from him — demonstrating her ability to use sexuality as a weapon.
Rachel Green’s Pampered Lifestyle Ties Her to Greed
Friends established that Rachel grew up wealthy and spoiled — so much so that even after she became financially independent, she still coveted material things. The character played by Murderville‘s Jennifer Aniston was often seen shopping, and if she couldn’t afford to shop, she complained constantly about that fact. When she finds out that Monica went shopping with Ross’ girlfriend Julie, she is more offended by missing out on a chance to shop than she is about not spending time together, thus tying the act of shopping to her identity.
Monica Geller’s Competitive Nature Links Her to Pride
Friends showed on numerous occasions that Monica hated to lose and was incredibly competitive, making her pride. Her obsessive cleanliness also contributed to her pride in that it could be interpreted as a manifestation of her need to show off. Some of Courteney Cox’s most memorable scenes involved Monica’s competitive spirit. She once bet her and Rachel’s apartment against Chandler and Joey because she was so confident in her ability to best them in a competition. She lost that competition — which means her pride lost them their home.
Gunther and Friends’ Audience Represent Envy
The theory presents two options to represent the final sin. The first is the barista Gunther, who was shown to be in love with Rachel and was therefore envious of all of her boyfriends — Ross in particular. He was also not a part of the group and wanted desperately to be included. That concept could also extend to Friends‘ eternally growing audience. The audience loves the show because they too want to be part of the group of friends, watching the characters’ lives with some degree of envy.
Friends is now streaming on HBO Max.
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