Fans of Friends always wondered how much the six earned to be able to afford those apartments and lifestyles in the heart of New York City, one of the most expensive cities to live in, even in the 1990s! At least we knew Chandler was footing most of the bills for Joey. But have you ever wondered how much Joey owed Chandler on the show?
Like most queries about life, someone already solved the math on Reddit years ago after someone posted a thread about it.
In the sixth season of Friends, Chandler (played by Matthew Perry) reveals to Joey (Matt LeBlanc) that he is owed a substantial sum of money, precisely $3,400. However, a curious Reddit user, ASmileThatKills, took it upon themselves to calculate the true extent of Joey’s debt to Chandler.
The user meticulously factored in expenses such as rent, acting lessons, dance lessons, headshots, and even Joey’s hernia surgery. According to ASmileThatKills, a user who has long deleted his account on Reddit as one does, the total sum was a whopping $119,760. They may no longer lurk on Reddit, but this comment lives on in several corners of the internet, including Buzzfeed.
Breaking down the calculation, the user wrote, as per Buzzfeed, “He says that there were 2 sets of headshots, each at $500. So there’s $1000. Let’s assume that the acting lessons, dancing lessons, and voice coach sessions were all $1000 on average. So now we’re at $4000.
He then says 3 years worth of rent, utilities, and food. They live in Manhattan in a nice area of The Village, in a 2 bedroom, 1 bath, apartment on one of the upper levels. That is a very expensive location to live in; today an apartment like that would cost around $5000 a month easily, using Zillow.com as a guide (and I’m low balling it assuming they got a good deal). Using an online dollar appreciation site, and using the year 1997, i found that $5000 would translate too about $3500 (*Edit: which after researching was actually their monthly rent that was actually mentioned in the show, so spot on) for them. The rent was supposed to be split 2 ways, so this is 3 years of chandler paying Joey’s $1250. So $45,000 in rent alone. Now we’re at $49,000.
[Buzzfeed Ed. note: $3,500 split in half should actually be $1,750, so we’ll add in the difference.]
Now for utilities, bills, food. We can guess the utilities may have been $1000 a year so lets add another $1500 for the 3 years of joeys half. So $50,500.
We know they had a phone and cable. Using today’s basic phone and cable TV prices, lets say that would be $100 a month (no cell phones/data remember) counting inflating for 1997 would be around $70 a month; so Joey’s half over 3 years would have been $1260. So now we’re at $51,760.”
The figure may not be accurate, but it is undoubtedly eye-watering, which only proves that Chandler was more than a true friend to Joey. He was, in fact, a rather loaded, albeit generous, friend to Joey.