Joey Tribal may be a fan-favorite character from Friends, but that doesn’t mean he’s always a good guy… everyone knows the Friends gang has problems. Still, Joey may be the most shameless when it comes to doing whatever he wants, no matter who it hurts (or how illegal it might be).
To Get Free Drinks, I Lied
It wasn’t just Joey who was along for the ride; Rachel was as well. But did Joey treat his friend with love and respect when they went to Ross’s big conference to hear him speak? Not. Instead, he came only because it was in Barbados, ignored Ross the entire time, made out with Rachel, and then stole a pass for a different conference to get free food and drinks.
He Consumed His Date’s Dessert
In comparison to Joey’s other actions, this doesn’t appear to be too bad…. but it’s a perfect example of a time when he wasn’t just shameless but selfish! Joey made a big deal that he doesn’t share food in this episode (a recurring theme). When his date asks for a bite from his plate, he’d instead drop it on the floor then give it to her! When it’s time for dessert, and she has the last piece of the dessert he wants, he waits for her to leave the table before devouring the entire dessert. This is after a conversation they had about his dislike of sharing food and after she explicitly told him not to
A Student was sabotaged.
Stealing a dessert is unethical, but it’s nothing compared to what Joey went through as an acting teacher. Despite being an arguably bad actor, he actively sabotaged a student’s chances – or tried to – even though he took a teaching job.
Having been duped (A Lot)
Joey doesn’t exactly have a good track record when it comes to women. He’s a caricature of a player who says whatever he thinks women want to hear, lies to them, and has created multiple times. He made out with Rachel instead of his girlfriend, Charlie. When they believe they are exclusive, he dates numerous women simultaneously. In one particularly heinous episode, Go goes from sleeping with his co-understudy stars to sleeping with the co-star himself… and then telling the poor understudy about it. As a result, she now has to work with both of them, and Joey is unconcerned.
Getting Rid Of A Competitor (By Pouring Water On His Pants)
Compared to the majority of his heinous acts, this one isn’t so bad – and the guy arguably deserved it! Joey attempts (to his credit) to say to the guy that he was hoping to romance the girl that night, but the guy refuses to back down… so Joey splashes water on his rival’s crotch and then announces to the room that he has wet himself! Terrible? Not at all. Shameless? Absolutely.
I Pretended To Be A Doctor
With this one, we’re back to the objectively horrible things. Phoebe meets a patient and thinks he’s cute while in the hospital with his friends (the gang is incapable of going through any medical procedure without everyone coming along for the ride).
Borrowed tens of thousands of dollars from Chandler
Joey expects his friend to pay rent, bills, food, and even buy him headshots and acting lessons (despite Chandler’s desire for a roommate to split the cost – it’s New York!). All of this is understandable because Chandler has a good job, but expecting your friend to foot the bill for the rest of your life is genuinely unseemly.
Theft of an Award
Joey’s habit of sleeping with and then ditching his co-stars isn’t the only way he takes advantage of them. After being the least gracious loser in his category, Joey was sent to accept an award from one of his co-stars. It’s not acceptable to steal an award (and, presumably, pass it off as his own at home at least once or twice).
On His Resume, He lied.
Some might argue that everyone does it now and then, but Joey’s lies about his abilities are on another level. He not only claimed to be a little more talented than he was, but he also claimed to be able to ride a horse, play musical instruments, and even speak French. Joey decided to go ahead and make random ‘french-sounding’ noises during the audition. There is no such thing as shame.
I dated Phoebe’s younger sister.
Most of the Friends gang, admittedly, has some issues with respecting boundaries and not dating their best friends’ siblings (or kissing their parents… Ross!). When Chandler got drunk and kissed one of Joey’s sisters and started dating Ursula, Phoebe’s estranged sister, who is objectively horrible to her, Joey was the only one shameless enough to rake Chandler over the coals. He did ask permission, but even asking after how he treated Chandler is pretty shameless.