Friends: Why is Joey so dumb in later seasons

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“Friends” first aired in 1994, and by the last episode in 2004, Joey had become much dumber. The show lasted 10 seasons, making it one of the most successful and beloved American sitcoms of all time. For 10 years, the main group of characters—Chandler, Ross, Monica, Phoebe, Rachel and Joey—grew as the series progressed. Every change in the gang of Friends from season 1 to season 10 is noticeable, but most of all, Joey’s developing intelligence stands out.

In the pilot episode of Friends, Joey Tribbiani (Matt LeBlanc) is immediately characterized as a stereotypical womanizer and slightly naive. This expands in a later season when Friends tell how they first met each other. At the first meeting with Monica, Joey took her offer to drink lemonade in her apartment as a kind of sexual promotion, completely misinterpreting the situation. He begins to show off, being quite simple-minded, but becomes more and more imbecile because of a child’s understanding of even the most basic concepts. Examples such as the reference to his “Joey’s apple” and the infamous scene in which Phoebe tries to teach him French show how much stupider he has become.

Related: Friends: How did Joey pay for the boat (is this a plot hole?)

The reason for this transfer of his intelligence probably lies in the fact that initially the writers found their support in each character and played relatively safe for the pilot series of “Friends” and the rest of the first season. After they got the audience’s reaction, they seemed to play the roles of the characters that people liked the most and which parts caused the most laughter, which led to most of the group of Friends who became parodies of themselves. . Ross becomes a full-fledged computer scientist, Monica becomes more and more obsessed with cleaning, and Joey becomes much more stupid.

Joey fits the stereotype of a group of friends about a “dumbass”, and since “Friends” is a comedy show, this aspect of his character is emphasized. However, sometimes this is balanced. Joey was the first to conclude that Monica and Chandler were dating, long before other people found out about it. Even then, Rachel and Phoebe only found out about Monica and Chandler’s relationship by accident, whereas Joey actually figured it out with a simple eyelash curler. While this conclusion was impressive for him, his funniest moments and the show’s funniest moments still happen when Joey is particularly lackluster.

In fact, he received Homer Simpson’s treatment. Homer also started out as a fairly ordinary parody of a suburban dad, but after learning how much laughter his stupidity could cause, he was written to get dumber and dumber. Television shows naturally grow depending on how actors perceive their characters, audience reception, or storylines that seem natural, and the program adapts to changes. For example, the ending of “Friends of Ross and Rachel” was not part of the original plan, but as the series progressed, the story happened. Joey’s lackluster character was a commercial argument and could be used endlessly for bits, so this was the direction chosen for his character.

In later seasons of Friends, the characters have a certain level of self-awareness, as if they all know what roles to play. Even Chandler’s catch phrases and mannerisms are parodied and ridiculed by his friends in the same way as in real life viewers. This extends to Joey, who seems dumb for the sake of being dumb. However, Friends have mastered the art of never overdoing it, as it’s easy to do with an incompetent character. Joey, in his growing dullness, has always been charming, funny and attractive-so much so that he was the only “Friends” star to get a spin-off.