Friends (the TV show, not the concept of finding humans you think are mostly OK and standing near to them) is back on everyone’s lips after Netflix dropped all 10 seasons of the beloved sitcom onto its service at the end of last year.
This has led to reignited debate about how well the show holds up in 2018 (i.e. is Friends woke enough?), whether you’d actually want to be mates with any of them (I dunno, they all seem like quite high maintenance) and of course the perennial one: who was the best Friend?
In a frankly scandalous poll in 2016, the British public named Ross their favourite. Yes, Ross. And while Ross is funny in a very laughing-at-him-not-with-him way, we have thankfully righted this wrong in a new vote commissioned by YouGov, and published today.
So, without further ado, Britain’s new favourite Friends character is (bizarre, other-worldly sounds on a keyboard-roll please)… Chandler! Could he BE any more [*single shot fires out*].
The Chan Chan Man took 20% of the vote, and was followed in second by Joey with 17%. Meanwhile, there was no love for the Geller siblings. Ross took just 6% of the vote, with Monica in last place with 5%.
Here’s how the standings ended up:
- Chandler - 20%
- Joey - 17%
- Phoebe - 15%
- Rachel - 13%
- Ross - 6%
- Monica - 5%
But YouGov went a lot further than just ranking the Friends’ general popularity. They also delved deeper into individual characteristics.
Chandler was also voted the funniest of the Friends, followed by Joey and then Phoebe, which reflects the top three in the main vote, suggesting humour is our main impetus behind feeling particularly attached to a character.
Phoebe was voted the nicest Friend, with Monica at the other end of the scale. People found Ross the most annoying, and Joey the most fun, while Rachel was overwhelmingly voted the most attractive, receiving a whopping 50% of the vote share.
Unsurprisingly then, Rachel was also voted the character people would most like to date, while Joey was chosen as the character who would make for the best spin-off show, despite cold, hard evidence to the contrary.
One of the most surprising stats in the survey revealed that 27% of 18-24-year-olds have never watched a single episode of Friends - a figure you expect will drop the longer it stays on Netflix.
Meanwhile, more than a third of 25-34-year-olds said they have watched every single episode. That may not seem that high, but we bet there’s not been any other TV show in history that could come even close to that sort of number for this generation.
The stats show that Friends really was a show for the millennials and baby boomers - the 25-34 and 35-44 age groups were the only ones in which more people had seen every episode than hadn’t seen any at all.
And finally, we were also asked about the big question - were Ross and Rachel really on a break? The answer is, overwhelmingly, yes.
61% of voters said the couple were on a break when Ross slept with Chloe, but that doesn’t mean we thought what he did was acceptable.
The vote there is very close, with 41% saying it was OK, and 37% saying it wasn’t. However, men were more supportive of Ross’ side of the story (47% vs 33%), and women of Rachel’s (40% said it wasn’t OK, compared with 36% who said it was).
Interestingly, the results also differed between age groups. People between the ages of 18 and 34 sided with Rachel, while 35-54-year-olds backed Ross. The more traditional 55+ voters were then pretty evenly split.