Joey from Friends believed there is no such thing as a selfless good deed. However, an earlier episode proved there are unselfish good deeds.
Joey Tribbiani’s theory that there are no selfless good deeds was proven wrong in an earlier Friends episode. While Joey’s character is indisputably not the most intelligent character of the Friends gang, sometimes he offers hard truths to his friends. For example, in the episode “The One Where Phoebe Hates PBS,” Phoebe berates Joey for going on PBS for a fundraising telethon since the station didn’t help her when she wrote to them as a child after her mother died. In response, Joey tells Phoebe that he wants to do a good deed as she did by being her brother’s surrogate, but Phoebe says what Joey is doing is a selfish move as it would get him publicity.
This prompts Joey to tell Phoebe that she, too, is selfish as there are no selfless good deeds. He says, “it made you feel really good right…so that makes it selfish,” and Phoebe sets out to prove him wrong. After several failed attempts at finding a selfish good deed, Phoebe decides to donate a large amount of money to the PBS telethon, which is a good deed, but she isn’t happy about it. That is until her donation gets Joey an appearance on TV, which makes her happy and so makes her good deed selfish. The end of Phoebe and Joey’s fight insinuates that Joey’s theory is correct. However, Friends already showed the perfect selfless good act.
Ross Walking Carol Down The Aisle Proves Disproved The Unselfish Good Deed Theory
Back in season 2’s episode “The One With The Lesbian Wedding,” Ross initially refuses to attend Carol and Susan’s wedding as Carol had cheated on him with Susan. Later, Carol comes to see Ross because her parents have refused to go to the wedding, she and Susan fought, and they might cancel the wedding. Despite his hurt feelings, Ross convinces Carol that she should go through with the wedding and even walks her down the aisle. At the reception, Ross keeps to himself and still seems upset, even after being told he did a good thing.
This act is the perfect example of a selfless good deed. Ross did not have any obligation to help Carol in this situation. Despite Ross and his ex-wife Carol being on good terms, it’s clear he is still hurting that she cheated and left him. Ross’s kindness was unselfish because while it was the right thing to do and made Carol happy, Ross did not feel any better afterward. Many of Ross’s best moments are overlooked, but this one is special as Ross proved that even though it wouldn’t help him, he was still willing to be there for his ex-wife.
Other Friends Characters Who Proved Joey’s Good Deed Theory Wrong
There have been a few other examples of the characters in Friends doing good things despite them not being happy about doing so. For instance, Rachel initially races to London to stop Ross from marrying Emily but sees how happy they are. She decides at the last minute to wish him luck instead, even though Rachel is in love with Ross. Likewise, Monica’s ex-boyfriend Richard stepped out of the picture so Chandler and Monica could get engaged. Chandler broke up with Janice so he wouldn’t break up her family. Even Joey buried his crush on Rachel because he didn’t want to hurt Ross.
All the characters on Friends could be selfish at times and were also happy to support one another through their troubles. However, those special moments when they had nothing to gain and put the happiness of each other over themselves that proves Joey’s theory wrong. There are selfless good deeds, and the Friends characters are prime examples since they’ll always be there for each other.
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