Everything I Need to Know, I Learned From Joey Tribbiani
Short intro: I have written about 5/6 of the Friends. Now it’s Joey’s turn!
EINTKILF Joey Tribbiani
1. The definition of a “moo” point.
The best thing about Joey is, as Rachel stated, is that he makes sense! His naivete and innocence and just… lack of knowledge in general is kind of understandable.
Or endearing, at the very least.
2. Don’t fall in love with your friends.
…or, you know, your friends’ exes.
I spent years and years hating the Joey/Rachel story line until I became an adult. (I know, it’s the worst, right?) I was finally able to step back and admit that there is no way Joey would not have fallen in love with Rachel after all of those years. Those two had the sweetest friendship–they lived together, they understand each other, they have similar opinions and lifestyles. Those two are always on a team–usually with Phoebe, as well. They have seen each other through all of their relationships, including every step of the Ross saga, and beyond all of that, they are both really attractive people. Of course they would have feelings for each other. Should they have ever acted on them? Absolutely not, because respect for Ross should have been both of their priority, buuuut. I can admit that I have chosen my feelings for a boy (and yes, I mean boy) over a friendship. Luckily, as things go, neither of us ladies are friends with that boy (and yes, I really do mean boy) anymore, but that doesn’t mean that I thought the potential relationship with this guy was worth more than my friendship with that girl. You know what I’m saying? Feelings get the best of you sometimes, even when they shouldn’t.
It isn’t a bad story line. It is a frustrating one that I would never in a million years support, but it is not stupid. That all being said, just try your darnedest not to love your best friend’s person. It is just not okay.
3. Bro love is important.
I don’t love the term “bro love” all that much, but there is not much of a better term for Joey and Chandler. Their relationship is a different kind of “true love.” The kind that allows you to live together, mostly conflict-free. The kind that allows you to overhear one another in the bedroom, if you know what I mean.
“Joey–we always know what you mean.”
The kind that means foosball matches all the time, forgiveness after wronging a sibling, forgiveness after hiding a secret relationship, forgiveness after falling for the other’s girlfriend–and acting on it. The kind that means loaning money, cool guy handshakes, and never being afraid to be open with each other. The kind that means ordaining the other’s wedding, defending the other against a potentially unfaithful wife, fighting for one another’s honor, raising pets together, stalkers, robbery, eyebrow shaping, other roommates, and …a ton of Baywatch.
No one loves each other like those two.
4. It is okay to cry.
At this point, we all know Chandler has a hard time feeling emotional about much, and we all know everyone seems to have a problem with it, namely Monica. Though I would never describe Chandler as insensitive, I certainly would not claim he is the crying type. Joey, however? He cries at sad movies, he cries when he is worried that Beth is going to die in Little Women, he cries when exciting or sweet things happen between his friends, and, my personal favorite:
5. Financial issues are nothing to be ashamed of.
Over the course of the Friends series, Joey sees his fair share of money issues. One of my favorite episodes, especially as I have gotten older, is TOW Five Steaks and an Eggplant. I love this episode because, for the first time ever, Joey, Rachel and Phoebe admit that they cannot keep up financially with their other friends. As a massage therapist, a waitress/barista, and a struggling actor, the three poor-er friends cannot afford to go out to fancy dinners or lavish concerts anymore. Though this is one of the few episodes that actually brings that very realistic situation to light, Joey’s financial issues are a recurring joke. He borrows a lot of money from Chandler, and even when he gets high-paying, steady acting gigs, his spending is still questionable.
Joey: Hey, look, I don’t need you getting all judgmental and condescending and pedantic.
Ross: Toilet paper?
Ross: Look, I’m not being any of those things, okay? I’m just being realistic.
Joey: Well knock it off, you’re supposed to be my friend.
Ross: I am your friend.
Joey: Well then tell me things like, ‘Joey you’ll be fine,’ and, ‘Hang in there,’ and, and, ‘Something big’s gonna come along, I know it.’
Ross: But I don’t know it. What I do know is that you owe $2300 at “Isn’t it Chromantic?”
Joey: Hey Ross, I’m aware of what I owe.
Ross: Okay, well then get some sense. I mean it took you what, 10 years to get that job, who knows how long it’s gonna be till you get another.
Hey, I can relate. It sucks learning that you have to put at least 40 hours (like a trillion hours for a freelance writer) into a work week and come out of it not being able to buy anything except electricity and a roof over your head. Thank god Joey kept that stupid porcelain dog. He earned that thing.
6. Diets are the worst.
You know what? He is curvy and he likes it. Preach.
7. All you need in this life of sin are pizza and sandwiches.
You know when Chandler gets upset with Joey because he thinks he jumped to save Ross during that car backfire they all thought was a shoot-out? And you know how Joey was really just trying to save his sandwich? That’s true love. And you know how the Joey special is “two pizzas”? Yeah, Joey is the best. Not only does he love food, he loves the best kind of food. I have always appreciated the juxtaposition of Joey and Monica. Monica is a fancy chef who makes fancy things–like flan instead of birthday cake. And then there’s Joey. He lives across the hall from Monica, eats all of the food that she makes, and all of the food that isn’t his to eat, yet he still prefers the simplest things in life. That’s a good man.
8. Love yourself.
Along the same lines of “diets are the worst,” I have always really appreciated Joey’s self confidence. Yeah, he is a little ditzy. Yeah, he doesn’t always have a job. Sure, he mistakes words for other words, but you know what? He has always just been himself.
9. Don’t date actresses.
Joey: I don’t get you, Kate. First you hate me, then you sleep with me, then you want nothing to do with me, and now you want me again?
Kate: What, you’ve never dated an actress before?
I mean…just sayin’.
10. Ladies’ men are not all that bad.
Of the six friends, Joey is the most loyal. He is the sweetest, the most protective, the goofiest. He is good looking and certainly loves the ladies, but he respects women! He really does. He loves his mother to the point of going to bat for her against his own father when he finds out he is having an affair. He loves his grandmother, the little old woman who speaks only Italian, yet still watches her grandson’s television shows. He loves his sisters, more than anything, even more than his best friend. And he loves his friends, which we all know. How many times does Joey defend the ladies–Phoebe against that jerk upstairs. Rachel against her boss who he thinks is trying to buy her baby. Monica when she needs help being taken seriously at work.
And the boys. Of course he loves them, as well. Joey is the best. Nothing wrong with a little simplicity.