‘Friends’: All 6 Main Characters Lived in Monica’s Iconic Apartment During the Series
Even casual Friends fans are sure to recognize the most popular filming locations for the show. Ross, Rachel, Monica, Chandler, Joey, and Phoebe were always hanging out at Central Perk, the coffee show located 97 steps from Joey’s apartment (or so he says). But when the gang isn’t there, you’ll inevitably find them relaxing at Monica’s apartment.
The apartment has served as the source of endless speculation and controversy. Some fans wonder how Monica was able to afford such a spacious 2 bedroom abode with a balcony in Greenwich Village. But realistic or not, the apartment with the purple walls is a vital aspect of the show.
And at some point, all six Friends castmates lived there.
Monica illegally sublets her apartment from her grandmother
There’s an easy explanation for why Monica’s apartment is affordable for a restaurant chef and a coffee shop employee. During the show, Monica illegally sublets the place — complete with rent control — from her grandmother who moved to Florida. Apparently, their rent is a mere $200 per month. A comparable apartment in that area of New York would cost about $5,000 per month in today’s market.
Monica is the person who lives in the apartment for most (but not all) of the series. However, she has a rotating cast of roommates over that time.
Phoebe is forced to move out of Monica’s apartment to save their friendship
Rachel becomes Monica’s roommate in the very first episode of Friends. But the audience learns via a flashback episode that Phoebe had been Monica’s roommate previously. Monica’s obsessive cleaning tendencies forced Phoebe to secretly find a new apartment to salvage their relationship.
In “The One with the Flashback,” Monica realizes that Phoebe secretly moved out and tells everyone except for Monica. Phoebe becomes Monica’s roommate again for a short time when Rachel’s hair straightener caused a fire in her apartment.
Rachel lives with Monica for most of the series
The pilot episode of the show has Rachel leaving her fiancé Barry at the altar and starting a new life without the financial support of her family. Monica, a friend she’s lost touch with, reluctantly allows Rachel to move in.
Rachel and Monica remain roommates until season 6 when Chandler and Monica get engaged and decide to live together. He stays in the apartment for the rest of the series. But before that happens, Chandler had already gotten a preview of living at 495 Grove Street.
Rachel and Monica lose their apartment during a game
The stakes were high when Rachel and Monica faced off against Chandler and Joey in a trivia game created and moderated by Ross in “The One with the Embryos.” For the final question, the women offer to swap apartments with the boys if they lose, but if they win Chandler and Joey must get rid of their rooster. Rachel answers the final question incorrectly and they lose the apartment.
Chandler and Joey live in Monica’s apartment for part of season 4 until Monica and Rachel agree to kiss for one minute to get it back after sneakily moving all their furniture back in.
Ross also lives in the apartment for a while
In the series finale, “The Last One,” fans find out that Ross lived in the apartment with his grandmother the summer before going to college while trying to become a dancer. So technically all six Friends have at some point lived there. It’s bittersweet because Chandler and Monica decide to move to Westchester after the birth of their adopted twins.
In the final moments, the apartment stands empty while everyone leaves their keys on the counter as a physical representation of moving on to the next chapter of their lives.