Greatest TV Characters – Joey Tribbiani from Friends

The Character

Joey Tribianni was portrayed by Matt Le Blanc for the entire 10 season run of Friends. He is a struggling actor, food lover and womanizer who lives with/off of his best friend, Chandler. He is the relatable everyman who, and outside of his ladies’ man personality, is caring, kind and confident, living for life’s basic pleasures of beer and a big old bucket of chicken. He makes it big-time playing Dr Drake Ramoray on TV series Days of Our Lives; this cemented his characteristics as, even though he moved to a bigger, fancier apartment, his principles, naivety and childish charm remained intact. His loyalty and protective nature towards his friends is admirable; nothing means more to him than their trust and approval. Although very accident prone and childish, he has a touching emotional side, as seen after he is ordained as a minister to marry three of his friends.

Perhaps his biggest and most argued flaw is his womanising, which is sometimes very creepy, but deep down his intentions are pure, he’s just looking for ‘the one’. If you analyse his serious relationships (Kathy, Charlie, Rachel) he does have a respect for women, he just has a rather different way of showing it.

His Journey

Over the course of 10 seasons, Joey goes through a rollercoaster of events, emotions and progressions. His introduction in episode one portrays him as a highly dim-witted, short on life experience, out of work actor who lives off of Chandler. By the final episode of season 10, he’s far more intelligent, is able to support himself with regular work and has a better understanding of life. To get him there he’s had several serious relationships, was responsible for raising the Chick and the Duck, married Monica & Chandler, Phoebe & Mike, and experienced what it’s like to live alone (although that didn’t work out too well). Let’s also not forget about his education of the letter ‘V’. His childish, cocky naivety is what got him fired from Days of Our Lives, but it’s the very same childishness that helps Monica and Chandler adopt their children.

Perhaps the most heartfelt and emotional journey are the trials and tribulations with best friend and non-biological brother Chandler. Aside from Ross and Rachel’s connection, their bromance is possibly the most powerful. Their relationship blossoms throughout 10 seasons, sharing the best (free porn, fireball, London) and worst (Kathy breakup, robbery, broken foosball table) moments together.

Why he is such a great character

Joey may not be the brightest, the funniest or the most talented friend, but there’s no doubt that he steals most scenes, elevating them to a higher level. Whether this means adding validity to Chandler’s Jokes, offering different perspectives to Ross’ theories or simply being Monica’s taste tester, his natural charisma and presence provide the platform for excellence. As a huge Friends fan, I understand that this is an ensemble cast that would crumble if you removed any Friend from the scenario (proof of that is the break-off, unsuccessful series Joey). Joey however, is the best, most caring “friend”, who you can count on the most. He puts up with Janice, he lets Chandler keep the foosball table, and date his ex-girlfriend only seconds after breaking up with her. He keeps secrets and most importantly takes the blame for sex tape videos.

All around, Joey is just a great guy comfortable in his own skin, stating “I’m curvy and I like it”. He’s polite (unless you take his food), trustworthy, dependant and friendly, but most importantly … he’ll be there for you!

Greatest Quotes

  • How you doin’?

  • I’m Joey, I’m disgusting, I make low-budget adult movies

  • Joey doesn’t share food

  • Season 10 episode 11: The Pyramid game show is hilarious…google it.


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