“Friends: 10 Times The Characters Probably Should Have Gone To Jail”
It’s been over 26 years since the pilot first aired and Friends remains one of the most popular sitcoms today. Whether it’s because the fans love to watch Chandler and Monica’s romance unfold on-screen or because they enjoy Phoebe and Joey’s friendship, the show was full of fun and laughter.
Although some of the storylines were designed for comedy relief, did you realize that several of the plots could have landed the gang in jail? From Ross giving a massage to Chandler and Monica shoplifting in Vegas, here are 10 moments the characters should have gone to jail.
10 Ross giving a massage without a license
In “The One With Rachel’s Book,” Phoebe decides to move into Ross’s apartment so that Monica and Chandler can have some time alone together. However, it turns out that Phoebe had another motive for moving in when Ross finds her using the apartment to give people massages.
When Phoebe isn’t there, a client turns up and asks Ross if he is a masseuse. Ross is forced to give the man a massage after he pretends he is a masseuse to hit on another woman. Believe it or not, an unlicensed massage in New York is a felony and could land you in jail. Let’s not forget that Ross only agreed to the massage because he believed he would be massaging the daughter, which would have been sexual assault.
9 Phoebe a bigamist and green card marriage
In “The One With Phoebe’s Husband,” fans were shocked to discover that the masseuse was married to the ice skater, Duncan. The wedding came about after Phoebe and Duncan found out that the Canadian ice skater was going to be deported. Duncan eventually came back to New York to request a divorce from her.
However, this could have caused a lot of trouble for Phoebe as we later found out she had gotten married to another person. In “The One After Vegas,” Phoebe implies to the gang that she had gotten married in Vegas, believing the ceremony was a joke. When the gang reveals the marriage would be legit, she says “Oh no”. It could have been during the four years, but with Phoebe in New York the majority of the time, it was probably pre-series.
8 Ross and Marcel
The most obvious entry on the list has to be Ross keeping Marcel. As we all know, Ross had a white-headed capuchin monkey that he kept as a pet in season 1. Eventually, Ross and Marcel had to be separated, with the mammal given away to the zoo after it reached maturity.
Not only is keeping a monkey as a pet weird but “The One Where The Monkey Gets Away” Ross also revealed that he shouldn’t have him because he was an illegal exotic. Luisa (the woman in animal control) even tells the gang that, “possession of an illegal exotic is punishable by up to two years in prison and the confiscation of the animal.”
7 Rachel steals from the museum
It may not be as obvious as all the other entries on the list but Rachel committed a crime when she stole a fossil from the museum. In “The One With Chandler In A Box,” Ross and Rachel find themselves in an argument when the paleontologist believes she does not possess anything sentimental from their relationship.
Rachel then pulls out a box of keepsakes containing objects from different parts of their relationship. Among the stuff is a billion-year-old antique, which Ross says she was not supposed to take. Not only did Rachel technically commit vandalism but she was also in possession of stolen goods.
6 Phoebe’s life on the streets
Phoebe should have been in prison for a lot of the crimes she committed as a teenager. In “The One With The Mugging,” the gang is shocked to discover that Phoebe had a criminal past. Whilst she was living on the streets, the masseuse used to mug people to survive (including Ross).
Not only did she used to mug people but she has also been involved in several assault charges. For instance, in “The One With Ross’s Sandwich,” Phoebe tells the gang that she once stabbed a cop in self-defense. She has said in the past that she has been to jail, so who knows what crimes it was for.
5 Monica and Chandler shoplift
In “The One in Vegas: Part 1,” the group decides to take a trip to Las Vegas to surprise Joey. On the way there, Monica and Chandler get into a fight after the chef didn’t tell him that she had dinner with Richard. While making up, Monica and Chandler decide they should get married.
Whilst they are looking for something borrowed, Chandler and Monica find a souvenir shop. Here, they break the law when they shoplift a shirt under their jumpers. Even though it wouldn’t get a serious charge, if Monica and Chandler had been caught they would have been reprimanded into custody and forced to pay a fine.
4 Phoebe impersonates a police officer
In “The One with the Cop,” Phoebe finds an NYPD badge whilst she is at Central Perk. Instead of returning it to the station, Phoebe decides to use it to her advantage and reaps its rewards. For instance, she uses it to threaten a woman after watching her put of a cigarette on a tree. She also uses it to threaten Gary when he parks his car in front of Central Perk’s entrance.
Chandler is correct to warn Phoebe about pretending to be a cop as it could have led to her being arrested. Depending on state law, punishments for the crime include imprisonment (up to five years or more), fines, probation or a permanent criminal record. She just about got away with it.
3 Joey and the naked man routine
Another controversial move that could lead to an arrest is “the naked man” routine. In “The One With The Flashback,” we get to see how Joey was introduced to the gang and became Chandler’s roommate. Surprisingly, there was a brief sign of attraction between Monica and Joey. However, this was soon put to a stop when Joey stripped naked in her apartment.
Regardless of whether a person is attracted to another or not, it does not give you the right to strip off in the middle of their apartment – especially when they haven’t give any consent. Joey was practically a stranger to Monica and all she did was offer him a drink. He’s lucky that Monica is understanding because he could have been arrested.
2 Abandoning Ben on the bus
Joe and Chandler committed another crime when they left Ben on the bus. In “The One with The Baby on The Bus,” Chandler and Joey volunteer to babysit Ben when Monica has to take Ross to the hospital. Here, the roommates decide to use Ben to help them pick up women.
However, the pair become too distracted by this cause that they end up forgetting about Ben and leave him on the bus. As many know, a parent can be prosecuted if they leave a child unsupervised, especially if they are placed in unnecessary danger or their health is at risk. Surprisingly, social services didn’t visit Ross at some point.
1 Rachel and Monica commit fraud
The biggest crime committed on the show had to be when Rachel and Monica committed insurance fraud. This all occurred in “The One With Two Parts” when Monica and Rachel are forced to go to the hospital after the fashion executive hurt her ankle falling off the roof.
When Monica and Rachel arrive at the hospital, Rachel reveals that she doesn’t have any health insurance and asks Monica to put her name down on the form. This is a crime that is illegal in all states and can lead to both parties being incarcerated (the penalties depend on whether they would be charged on the state or federal level).
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