Since the advent of TV binge watching, slight inconsistencies on the sets of different shows have been subject to the scrupulous eyes of avid fans and the unemployed. Today’s subject: the apartment in Friends.
In season 5, episode 15, “The One With the Girl Who Hits Joey”, from his window across the street, Ross sees Monica and Chandler going at it in their apartment. After running from his building to theirs, he attempts to burst through the door, only to be stopped by the door chain lock.
First of all, at this point, Monica and Chandler have been working to keep their relationship a secret for quite some time. Yet, here they are, getting busy on the floor of their living room with only the chain lock engaged on their door? Perhaps, in the heat of the moment and the haste to get at it, one of them put the chain lock on without locking the deadbolt. Fine. The point is that Ross is stopped from entering Monica and Chandler’s fully clothed, 2003 network TV-appropriate love session by a chain consisting of 9 links.
To their benefit and safety, this is narrow enough to abide by Wikipedia’s recommendation that the chain to “not allow the door to open sufficiently for a person’s hand to reach through the gap between the door and the doorframe, as otherwise the door chain could be quickly opened from the outside by an intruder”.
HOWEVER, five years later in Season 10, Episode 8, “The One With the Late Thanksgiving,” Ross, Joey, Rachel and Phoebe all arrive an hour late to Monica and Chandler’s Thanksgiving dinner. In an angry response to their friends’ inconsideration, the Bings lock the door. Rachel then uses her spare key to open it, only to be stopped by the chain lock. BUT WAIT. The chain is now significantly longer, as you can see, when Joey easily slips his head through the door to try to talk to his friends.
Here, there is a chain with 13 links. That is FOUR extra links, which leads any normal, productive person with many important things to worry about on a weekday afternoon to wonder “why?” Also, WHEN did this happen? And who made the foolish decision to place a security chain long enough for a child-size murderer or thief to easily force entry?
One might think “oh, well, in moments of hilarity and plot necessity, that door has been broken down multiple times.” For instance, in Season 6, Episode 1, “The One After Vegas,” perhaps the chain was damaged and it needed to be replaced. But one can clearly see after Joey breaks through the door that the chain is perfectly fine and, therefor, would not need to be replaced.
But EVEN IF, at some point between seasons 5 and 10, the door and/or chain were destroyed, IF Chandler theoretically played the role of dutiful boyfriend and went to the hardware store to purchase a new chain; IF he thought “hey, wouldn’t it be fun to get a really long one”, WHERE WOULD HE HAVE FOUND IT? Even now, 12 years later, scouring the internet – the source of all things – one cannot find a chain lock long enough to allow the passage of a human head.
Perhaps, in a world where 20-somethings can afford enormous, well-lit two bedroom apartments in Greenwich Village with a work schedule that allows ample coffee shop loitering, details like the length of a door chain lock needn’t be examined. Oh, to live in that world! (as he typed from his perch in a midtown Starbucks).
This is one of the most intense ‘Friends’ fails most fans definitely didn’t notice. At the expense of continuity, a hit TV show needs to modify its set for the sake of hilarity…