“How does Monica afford her lavish apartment on a chef’s salary?” is the question most Friends fans have spent too much time obsessing over (“why does Ross own a monkey?” gets a pass, though). But another noodle-scratcher in the COULD THIS BE ANY MORE OF A SITCOM universe is how much money Joey owes Chandler. His mooching is mentioned a few times throughout the series, including most prominently in Season 8’s “The One Where Rachel is Late,” where we learn that Chandler has been keeping his buddy financially afloat, including paying his rent and bills, for years now. Guess Mac and C.H.E.E.S.E. didn’t pull in the big bucks. Anyway, Redditor lincoln9659 posed the question on the They Did the Math subreddit — “How much did Joey owe Chandler?” — and in two shakes of a PIVOT, they got their response.
Between head shots, acting and dance lessons, voice coach sessions, rent, utilities, phone, and cable, we’re already in the tens of thousands. And that’s before we include 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.
In total, if he calculated everything, it would be around $90,760. 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. (Via)
There’s more, though, including an extra $5,500 spent replacing everything that was stolen from their apartment. And when Chandler paid for an uninsured Joey’s hernia surgery out of pocket.
The first total would be $108,760. So after the furniture replacement that would be $114,260, and after the surgery would be $119,760. (Via)
That’s a lot of scratch (no wonder Joey couldn’t make it on his own), and it doesn’t even include TV Guide subscriptions and duck and chicken food. That’s probably another $75,000 right there.