A fan did the math

By Rebecca Firkser
Updated February 13, 2018
EC: This Is How Much Coffee 'Friends' Characters Drank in 10 Years
Credit: Photo by NBC / Contributor via Getty Images

It’s likely that many of us have spent an evening binge-watching Friends (heck, I did it just last night!), but who among us can say they know exactly how much coffee each Friends character drank at Central Perk and beyond? Probably not quite as many. Since you’re now probably really curious, luckily one fan did the math—and turned the results into a handy bar graph. Author Kit Lovelace recently posted the results of recording every coffee-drinking scene from all ten seasons of the sitcom. Inspired by a story in Scientific American which discussed the general amount of coffee consumed on Friends, Lovelace told the Huffington Post he was disappointed to find that no one had calculated the exact quantity—so he took up the challenge himself.

The grand total: 1,154 cups of coffee, drank at their main hangout spot Central Perk and their various other locations throughout the series. Not a die-hard Friends fan, Lovelace said on Twitter that he “scrubbed through the non-Central Perk scenes, keeping a keen eye on any mug/potential cup activity.”

According to Lovelace’s findings, Phoebe is the clear winner, with 227 cups of coffee (there was probably a lot of time to caffeinate in between all those performances of “Smelly Cat”). Chandler is a close second at 212 cups, the majority of which were likely the espressos he chugged before the first time he broke up with Janice. Monica (198 cups), Joey (191), and Ross (188) all drank similar amounts of coffee in the median range, probably because they were more interested in cleaning, eating pizza, and thinking about dinosaurs to order coffee. Rachel brings up the rear with 138 cups, likely so low because she spent the first few years as a Central Perk waitress, serving the coffees to her friends instead of drinking much herself.

Lovelace also created a chart detailing the breakdown of how the crew’s coffee-drinking habits changed over time. There’s a clear drop in the whole group’s caffeine habit towards the middle of the series, perhaps because the group began to grow up, spending more time on their responsibilities than on hanging in a cafe. More realistically, one Twitter user speculates the absence of Central Perk has to do with the cutting of sets to account for the cast’s massive salaries.

Math and graph-making were never my strong suits, so I’ve asked Lovelace if he’d consider taking on this task again for Gilmore Girls, because I’m pretty sure we’re all dying to know the breakdown.