Even though Friends hasn’t been on TV in 13 years, many questions still need to be answered. How did they all afford those friendly New York apartments? What is Gunther’s last name? Because one fan rewatched all 236 episodes and did the math. How much coffee does each person drink throughout the series?
Kit Lovelace is well-known on Twitter and a big fan of the TV show Friends. He told me some things he learned after watching the series in one sitting. And keeping track of how many cups of coffee Ross, Chandler, Joey, Phoebe, Monica, and Rachel drank for ten seasons.
Lovelace put a lot of effort into the project, paying particular attention to the Central Perk scenes (and others with mugs present). Even if some of the characters are drinking tea, like Phoebe. He thinks every face on the screen is full of coffee unless he was told otherwise. He believes that the whole group drank 1,154 cups.
Also, he used the information he gathered to make cool graphs showing how each character drank coffee changed from season to season. By the time the last episode aired, almost every character had lost much weight, based on what the sawer had said.
Since they all drank so much coffee, the next question that comes to mind is how much money they all spent to stay so alert. Lovelace also used math to work it out. He did the math based on an assumed price of $1.46 per cup, which, with a 20% tip. Means the group spent $2,077.20 on coffee during their ten years on screen. When you account for inflation, that’s the same as $3,430.23 today.
Nobody is trying to figure out how much caffeine their friends have had for the first time. Scientific American researched the show’s 20th anniversary and found that the friends drank 445 gallons of coffee during the show (though their methods were a bit cruder. And based on estimations rather than the painstakingly precise methodology employed by Lovelace).