I can't imagine how long it would take to watch all 10 seasons of "Friends," painstakingly recording each cup of coffee as it's poured/consumed. But Twitter-user Kit Lovelace did it, graphing each "Friends" character's coffee consumption over the course of the show's 236 episodes.
Most episodes either began or ended with the six-some gathered on the iconic couch in Central Perk, the coffee shop just downstairs from Monica's rent-controlled NYC apartment. The young 20-somethings would order cups of coffee from Gunther, the barista, then literally take over the coffee shop's prime seating (how they always landed the couch I do not know!). With the coffee consumption at Central Perk becoming such a "central" theme, Kit Lovelace took to Twitter
to show off the results of his research:
That's right; Phoebe is the winner with 227 cups of coffee, and Chandler's not too far behind at 212. Rachel was only associated with 138 cups, which is ironic since she was actually a waitress at Central Perk (albeit a crappy one!).
So how much did the Friends spend on their coffee habit?
This is all based on the assumption that a cup of coffee cost $1.50. In today's market, a grande regular coffee at Starbucks would cost $2.10. That would figure Phoebe's coffee expenditures over the course of the show at $572.04 ($476.70 plus $95.34 in tips).
But was it just regular brewed drip coffee that they drank? Or did they prefer espresso? These days, a grande vanilla latte at Starbucks runs roughly $4.15. So Phoebe would be spending $1,130.46 ($942.05 plus $188.41 gratuity) if she were ordering a vanilla latte each time.
Lovelace also charted how each character's coffee habit evolved over the course of the 10 seasons:
Lovelace isn't the first to be fascinated by the Friends' coffee consumption. Scientific American
explored the issue a few years ago and came up with some calculations of their own:
Of course, each episode of Friends represents a small portion of the characters’ days (sometimes longer). So what if we are only joining the gang once a week? If each episode represented a week of time, on average, then these java junkies downed nearly 3,100 gallons of coffee — enough to fill over half a freight container. This amount of joe could send over 1,900 people to the hospital," Kyle Hill wrote.
NBC's comedy "Friends" aired from 1994-2004 with an award-winning cast that captured the hearts of viewers worldwide. The show encapsulated the life and situational humor of the '90s (read: pre-smartphones), appealing particularly to Gen X'ers.
Wherever Chandler, Monica, Ross, Rachel, Phoebe, and Joey are today, we certainly hope they've switched to decaf. Or, even better, water.