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Sneeze Muffins, Lies, and the Inadvertent Kiss: Rachel Was Friends’ Worst Employee

Analysis of the show finds 58 workplace indiscretions, including 21 sackable offences  

Rachel Green was the worst employee among the main characters of TV sitcom Friends, tallying the most HR breaches and workplace indiscretions throughout the show.  

To celebrate the announcement of the Friends reunion in spring, B2B furniture ecommerce site [email protected] worked with experts in HR and Employment Law to study each of the six character’s behaviour at work for potential indiscretions and HR breaches.  

Across the 236 episodes, Rachel was judged to have committed the most offences when on the job with 16.  

In total, the characters committed 58 indiscretions whilst working at their various roles across the 10 series of the popular show. Based on how many breaches they committed at work, the famous six came in the following order: 

1.    Rachel – 16 

2.    Joey – 15  

3.    Phoebe – 9 

4.    Ross – 8  

5.    Chandler – 6  

6.    Monica – 4  

Total: 58 

Rachel’s most serious indiscretions include an admission that she sneezes on customer muffins while working at Central Perk (made in The One with Five Steaks And An Eggplant) and fabricating a story about the sexuality of a colleague at Ralph Lauren (in The One With Rachel’s Assistant).  

Joey made just one fewer indiscretion than Rachel during the show. His biggest gaffes on the job include exposing his hernia to a child on set in order to make him cry (done in The One Where Joey Loses His Insurance) and fighting on live television to get more screen time (in The One Where Phoebe Hates PBS).  

Throughout the show, serious HR breaches were made by many characters without punishment. In total, Joey and Rachel were the luckiest in work, as both committed five sackable offences but managed to remain in employment.   

Despite making just nine indiscretions throughout the show, Phoebe received the most firings with five. Among them is in The One with The Ballroom Dancing, when she is fired for kissing a client she is giving a massage.  

[email protected] said of the results:  

“It’s now two and half decades since one of the most popular shows of all time began. We’ve spent many evenings on the sofa following the lives of the characters from Friends.    

“Based on our findings, one thing’s for sure – Rachel, Joey and co. are not the model employees. From sex in a museum to biting customers, many of our favourite characters in Friends would struggle to see out a year in most offices across the US.”    

You can find more about the HR breaches committed by each character, including graphics and expert comment, on the [email protected] blog: https://www.furniture-work.co.uk/blog/office-lifestyle/lying-biting-and-sneeze-muffins-which-friends-character-was-the-worst-employee/