Chandler Watches Shark Porn! 6 Friends Storylines That Went Off-Road

Friends' success is built upon tight plotting and relatable characters. Very occasionally, however, the show takes a swerve for the illogical, icky and insane...

[subheader:list:1]Chandler watches shark porn, because shark porn is totally a real thing, okay?[/subheader]

The One With The Sharks (season 9, episode 4)

Monica pays Chandler a surprise visit and catches him watching porn; he swiftly switches over to a wildlife show, leading Monica to believe that he secretly masturbates to footage of sharks. Somehow, this horrifying revelation doesn't leave her pinned against the wall, mouth agape in a silent scream, blindly scrabbling for the door as she points a trembling, accusatory finger at Chandler.

Peak of the madness: Rather than divorce Chandler for his sharkophilia, Monica tries to incorporate “shark porn” into their sex life. “Do you want me to get in the tub and thrash?” she asks, baffling the bejesus out of both Chandler and all of us viewers.

[subheader:list:2]Fully-grown adult Joey Tribbiani truly believes that he's communicating in French[/subheader]

The One Where Joey Speaks French (season 10, episode 13)

Joey gets dafter with every season (you'll recall him thinking he’s hit paydirt when he finds his ‘hand twin’) but his dumbness hits plankton-like levels when Phoebe tries to teach him French. Blabbing out random “ploo plah pleh” noises, the apparently cogent 36-year-old believes he’s swiftly mastered the language. The whole thing is, admittedly, hilarilolz – but srsly, come on now.  

Peak of the madness: Possibly a sign of the writers acknowledging how utterly bananas the storyline is, Joey’s ploo-plah-ing forces Phoebe to lie to a casting director, telling him that Joey is her younger brother and “un peu retardé”.

[subheader:list:3]Joey and Chandler endure a gruelling two-man porn marathon[/subheader]

The One With The Free Porn (season 4, episode 17)

More porn weirdness: a cable-TV glitch gives Joey and Chandler free access to an adult channel. They ‘take advantage’ of this by watching hour after hour of non-stop hardcore action while sitting right next to each other, staring numbly at endless humping flesh and, presumably, nursing throbbing, agonised loins.   

Peak of the madness: Given that neither man once caves in and slips away to 'alleviate the tension', the whole thing is basically a weird arousal-endurance contest. Or maybe this is just how people watched grot back in the '90s – they were simpler, more innocent times...

[subheader:list:4]Ross really, reeeally wants to hump his cousin[/subheader]

The One With Ross And Monica’s Cousin (season 7, episode 19)

Ross’ attractive first-cousin Cassie (Denise Richards) pays him a visit, causing his libido to spiral horribly out of control. Setting aside his morals, the revulsion of his friends and the borderline-illegality of his urges (sex with a first-cousin is outlawed in many US states), the recently-divorced father-of-one attempts to bed his close relative. Dude. Duuude.  

Peak of the madness: Given that he once copped off with his sister (mistakenly, admittedly) and also hallucinated his scantily-clad mother while engaged in foreplay with Rachel, it's safe to say that Freud would have a field day with Dr Ross Geller. 

[subheader:list:5]If you hire a male stripper in New York, there's a chance he'll be balding, overweight, dwarfish, graceless and on the wrong side of 50[/subheader]

The One Where The Stripper Cries [season 10, episode 11]

The sight of tubby, titchy Roy (Danny Devito) writhing his groin around is funny as hell, but it does raise several pertinent questions. Chiefly:


1. What kind of stripper agency would keep such a man on their books? One run by a trusting and easily duped blind person, perhaps?


2. Can this encounter with Monica, Rachel and Phoebe really be the first time in Roy's 32 years of stripping that his suitability for the job has been questioned?


3. Given his wildly inappropriate behaviour and fragile, delusional frame-of-mind, does Roy represent a very real danger to himself and/or others? 

Peak of the madness: Adding to the squirmy vibe, we also learn that, while Chandler's away in Tulsa, Monica has been secretly hiring strippers to come to the apartment and perform for her. What. Duh. Fuh

[subheader:list:6]That whole Joey-and-Rachel thing, but particularly the involuntary-slapping part[/subheader]

It's safe to say that the whole Joey/Rachel romance isn't an all-time fan-favourite storyline – but, as it gave us arguably Ross' funniest episode ever ("I'm fiiine!") we're willing to overlook its wonkiness. But the scene in which Rachel's arm somehow becomes independently sentient and repeatedly slaps Joey's hand away when he touches her? That is 60 seconds of Friends we choose to pretend never happened. 

Peak of the madness: Is there anything wronger than the sight of Rachel and Joey slurping on each other's faces? Truly, it is an unholy abomination before God. 

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