Decades Later, Fans Have Thoughts On A Glaring Issue With The Friends “Pivot” Episode


Highlights

  • The iconic Ross Geller couch scene was in season 5, not the “pivot episode.”
  • Fans still quote & love the Friends couch moment, even if it was silly.
  • Some are rethinking the scene, suggesting mathematical solutions for moving the couch.


Ask any longtime fan of the NBC hit sitcom Friends about the show’s most hilarious episodes, and one is likely to get mixed responses. That’s not at all surprising considering Rachel (Jennifer Aniston), Monica (Courteney Cox), Phoebe (Lisa Kudrow), Ross (David Schwimmer), Chandler (the late Matthew Perry), and Joey (Matt LeBlanc) had everyone laughing for 10 incredible seasons. That said, there is usually some consensus when it comes to the most hilarious moments on the show, and among them is that time when Ross got Chandler and Rachel to help him move his new couch up to his apartment.

While Schwimmer and the rest of the main cast have certainly amassed a fortune from their time on Friends in real life, Ross, in this episode, refuses to pay for the couch’s delivery fee. Instead, he decides to direct the move of the couch himself, yelling ‘pivot’ as the group attempted. In the end, the moment turns into an extremely hilarious scene that was a challenge to get through, even for the actors involved.


That said, some fans have also come to admit that the Ross Geller couch plot still doesn’t make much sense to this day. Here’s what to know about the Pivot episode, how the moment was received, and how fans are rethinking it today.


Ross Geller’s Couch Episode Was In Season Five

‘The One With The Cop’ had a subplot featuring Ross’s couch

Jennifer Aniston, Matthew Perry and David Schwimmer
via NBC

Some viewers may be quick to refer to it as the “Friends pivot episode” but in reality, this sequence can be found in the season 5 episode entitled The One With the Cop. Yes, it may come as a shock that Ross’ quest to find the perfect couch and get it into his apartment was not the main storyline.

Instead, it was a subplot (along with Joey thinking that he’s falling for Monica) to the episode’s main storyline about Phoebe finding a police badge in Central Perk and making arrests on behalf of the cop who owns it.


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In the end, things worked out for the group for the most part. Phoebe eventually encounters the cop who owns the badge and finds herself a date in the process. Joey realizes that he was never really in love with Monica, but in his quest to have a serious relationship of his own, ends up on another one-night stand.

As for Ross, it looks like the couch never made it to his apartment. He also brings it back to the store, although it was already cut in half. When Ross demands some store credit in exchange for the halved couch, he is offered $4.

“I will take it,” Ross says.

The Friends Pivot Moment In The Episode Became A Hit

Fans still quote the Pivot moment today

Matthew Perry's Addiction Didn't Affect His Portrayal Of Chandler
via: YouTube

Years after it first aired, the Friends couch sequence has been considered one of the show’s iconic scenes. It’s something that show creators never expected; Marta Kauffman and David Crane weren’t even sure if the whole subplot would work.


“I remember in the writers’ room there was a discussion about, ‘Can we do a story as simple as getting a couch up a flight of stairs,’” Crane recalled during an interview. Once they were filming the scene, however, he realized that it could stay in the episode because Schwimmer, Aniston, and Perry were hilarious together while working on it.

“The three of them were just brilliant, and it was all they could do to get through it,” Crane added.

2:10

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At the same time, as a New Yorker himself, Crane knew that the whole couch ordeal would be something that others could relate to. “They all lived in those apartments, but try to get a couch up a flight of stairs! That’s New York. That’s where we captured the New York we actually lived in,” he explained.

Some Point Out A Simple Solution To The Friends Couch Problem

Today, fans have a different perspective on the Pivot scene

Jennifer Aniston, David Schwimmer, and Matthew Perry in 'Friends'
NBC


Now, years after the so-called Friends pivot episode aired, many fans of the show are still thinking about Ross Geller’s couch situation and how the problem could have been dealt with better, even after Ross presented Rachel and Chandler with a supposed diagram of his plan. After all, space continues to be an issue for most New Yorkers, and getting couches (and other bulky items) up to their apartments can still pose a real challenge. That said, there’s a way to get it done.

For instance, one user on Reddit pointed out that the couch could have been moved at a different angle considering that Ross’ apartment building featured a high ceiling. “Why did he decide to pivot along the x/y axis instead of z?” the Redditor posted, arguing that moving the couch up vertically would have made more sense.

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At the same time, astrophysicist and mathematician Caroline Zunckel has also determined that the Friends couch dilemma could have been solved had Ross, Rachel, and Chandler pivoted the furniture at the right angle.


Using the Pythagorean theorem, she came up with the equation: Angle of vertical tilt (T) = 44.15064 – 11.94274 x WS (Width of the Stairwell) + 8.69119xWC (Width of the Couch) + 3.65961xLC (Length of the Couch).

Before even moving the couch up the stairs, Ross, who also happens to be the only one with a doctorate in the group, should have taken note of the furniture’s measurements and then applied Zunckel’s equation to determine the minimum angle at which the couch could be titled upward so that they could navigate the 90-degree corner of the building’s stairwell.

The moment the group reaches that corner, they would have been unable to move the couch anymore. At this point, they should have tilted the couch vertically to keep going.

Now, with this in mind, some may no longer find the Friends couch sequence to be as funny. That said, it still has fans wishing that everyone had pals like Rachel and Chandler who would jump in to help even if something doesn’t make much sense.




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