Well after doing our Ross and Phoebe appreciation posts, one thing became clear. We HAD to give all six of our favorite friends their moments in the sun. Let’s give Joseph Francis Tribbiani some love today, shall we?
To put things in Freudian terms (“All you want is a dinkle!!”), Joey represents the Id of the group. Joey is driven by his basest desires (namely food and sex. He just wants girls on bread!) and also tends to blurt our whatever is on his mind at the exact moment he is thinking it (“I WANT TO GOOOOOOOOOOOOOOO.”) but that is all part of his charm. Joey could have easily been a caricature of a dumb ladies man, but in the hands of Matt LeBlanc…yes, he was a dumb ladies man. But he was also goofy, sweet, strangely wise, and the best friend a person could ask for. There is not a malicious bone in Joey Tribbiani’s body. Despite being a ladies man, he actually respects women. Think about it. With as many women as Joey hooked up with, he never came off as mean or coniving…he was just Joey. Even when he threw a girl’s wooden leg in the fire it wasn’t done in a cruel manner! Joey is the first one to come to the defense of all his female friends whether it is when Mr. Traeger yells at Rachel or when he proposes to Phoebe when he thinks she is pregnant and alone. He’s nothing short of a stand-up guy when it really comes down to it! Joey is definitely someone I would want in my corner.
There are millions of reasons you should love Joey Tribbiani…but for the sake of (moderate) brevity, let’s spotlight ten of them…
1) “How You Doin’?”
Ladies and Gentlemen, the world’s GREATEST pick-up line. Simple and to the point.
Also, your response to “How you doin’?” is a good way to measure how drunk you are…
“Ross!! Don’t let her drink anymore!”
2) His Relationship with Food.
One time my sister and I went to my favorite Mexican place in Nashville, where the queso is basically liquid crack it’s so delicious and addictive. As we were waiting to place our order, she turned to me and asked “Wanna share a queso?’ My response? “KIMMIE DOESN’T SHARE QUESO!!”
Thank you, Joey.
Monica: Anyway, it just doesn’t seem worth it to make a whole turkey for just three people. Okay? It’s a lot of work.
Joey: But you gotta have turkey on Thanksgiving! I mean, Thanksgiving with no turkey is like-like Fourth of July with no apple pie! Or Friday with no two pizzas!
Monica: All right fine! If it means that much to you! But just—there’s gonna be a ton left over.
Joey: No there won’t! I promise I will finish that turkey!
Monica: All right, you’re telling me you can eat an entire turkey in just one sitting?
Joey: That’s right! ‘Cause I’m a Tribbiani! (To Rachel) And this is what we do! I mean we may not be great thinkers or world leaders, we don’t read a lot or run very fast, but damnit! We can eat!
Joey Tribbiani is the reason that every Thanksgiving morning as I put on my stretchy pants I say, “These are my Thanksgiving pants!!”
Joey’s not a hard man to please. Just give him sandwiches. Or an English Trifle mixed with Shepherd’s Pie. Or just plain old jam. Or the true love of his life (aside from Chandler)…Pizza.
Our Friends trivia team is called “The Joey Special” and every time they say our name, we shout “TWO PIZZAS!” at the host.
3) His Love Affair with Chandler.
Forget Ross and Rachel. Forget Monica and Chandler. The true OTP of Friends is Joey and Chandler. J-Man and Channy (who CALLS them that??) are one of the ultimate friendships in all of television history. From their shared love of Baywatch and Yasmin Bleeth (“Run, Yasmin! Run!”) to being Bracelet Buddies (“That’s what they’ll call us!”) to raising a chick and a duck together, Joey and Chandler are soul mates. They have their own secret mumble language (“PUT JOEY ON THE PHONE”) and they also know exactly how to push each other’s buttons (“I’m Chandler! Could I BE wearing any more clothes?”), which is something that only the closest friends can do.
And let’s face it…when Joey moved out in season two, it was sadder than Ross and Rachel splitting up because of the list.
The wonderful thing about Joey and Chandler’s relationship is the sense of give and take. Early in the series, when Joey is a struggling actor trying to make ends meet, Chandler supports him. And then later on, when Chandler is out of work and Joey’s doing well on Days of Our Lives, Joey repays the favor. The only time you see the money as a bone of contention is in “The One with Five Steaks and an Eggplant” and even then it is really an issue within the whole group. You never see either of them holding the money issue over the other’s head in a resentful way, which is a sign of a true and deep friendship.
In my head canon, Joey now comes out to Chandler and Monica’s place on the weekends. He stays in his Joey room. He plays with Jack and Erica. He cleans out Monica’s refrigerator and she pretends to get mad about it. He and Chandler kick back with some beer in their matching recliners (that Monica lets them have in his study) and watch Baywatch repeats. And they all lived happily ever after.
Because we are ALL agreed that Joey never happened, RIGHT??
4) Hugsy, His Bedtime Penguin Pal
Only Joey can make a stuffed penguin seem manly. Sometimes we all just need a friend to cuddle.
(Honorable mention goes out to Alicia May Emory, Joey’s Cabbage Patch Kid.)
5) His Wisdom
The word “moot” has been removed from my vocabulary thanks to Joey Tribbiani. Saying something is a “moo point” is much more fun anyway. And it’s true. A cow’s opinion DOESN’T matter. It’s moo.
Also, I dare you to think of Thursday as anything other than the “third day” after watching this clip.
He’s a wise man, that Joey.
6) He’ll Officiate Your Wedding
When it comes to television (and real life) weddings, I love it when a close friend of the couple is the one to officiate the wedding. I love that Joey was the one to marry Monica and Chandler. He was the first one to find out about them, after all. And he WAS giving away his life partner to Monica. There was no one more fitting to marry them and I love how excited he got about performing the ceremony. It was pure joy.
ALSO JOEY’S FACE AS HE PERFORMED PHOEBE AND MIKE’S WEDDING. It was obvious that Joey and Phoebe had soft spots for each other (and CLEARLY did it once or twice, right?), so I love the joy (again) in his face as he wed his best girl to a guy as classy as Mike Hannigan. And the fact that Joey is the REASON Phoebe even meets Mike at all makes it so much sweeter. Joey is so happy when his friends find happiness in their lives which is one of the reasons he is the best friend a person could ever have.
And clearly, when Ross and Rachel got married, Joey was the one to do it. Head Canon Accepted.
7) He’s Cuddly
Because there are times you just need to snuggle up with one of your best friends and take a nap. Joey will be there for you.
He’s also always willing to be the big spoon, which is a bonus.
8) He’s a Student of Life
(True Story: Sage and I recreated this entire scene at brunch this past weekend.)
Some of the best Joey and Phoebe stories revolved around her trying to teach him something. Bless his brand new soul though, he proved to be an impossible student. But that never stopped him from trying. He really NAILED that Old Lady.
9) His Acting
Bless all the friends for going to all of Joey’s crappy shows just to support him. From Freud! the Musical to watching every episode of Mac and C.H.E.E.S.E., they are far better people than I. But the role of Joey’s life was Dr. Drake Ramoray on Days of Our Lives: the both dreamy and dastardly neurosurgeon who once delivered twins, even though only one of them was his.
Joey also gave us many rules about acting that hold true to this day including the standard “if there is no chemistry on stage, they are definitely doing it off stage rule” (which is SO TRUE) and the forever relevant “Smell the Fart” acting, which I always thought was a subtle dig at Drake Hogestyn (John Black) on DOOL. Go back and watch him…he’s the king of it.
Great soap opera acting tonight, everybody.
10) His Game Show Skills
I mean…sure he may lose you a TON of money on Pyramid but in Joey’s defense, “Things that are White” is a REALLY HARD category.
I too thought Bamboozled would have been the greatest game ever. I’ll take the Wicked Wango Card, Joey.
And that’s our Joey appreciation post! Up next…Sage takes on the delightfulness that is Rachel Karen Green. In the meantime…share your favorite Joey Moments with us here!