Friends: Why Is Joey Dumber in Later Seasons?

By Friends’ last episode in 2004, Joey had become dumber. The program ran for 10 seasons, making it a popular and successful American sitcom. Chandler, Ross, Monica, Phoebe, Rachel, and Joey grew across 10 seasons. Joey’s devolving IQ sticks out the most from season 1 to season 10.

Joey Tribbiani (Matt LeBlanc) is an archetypal womanizer and narrator in the Friends plot. Later seasons show how the Friends met. When they first met, Joey mistook Monica’s offer of lemonade for a sexual approach. He begins out simple-minded but grows feeble-minded, grasping even fundamental things like a kid. Examples like “Joey’s apple” and Phoebe teaching him French indicate how foolish he grew.

This decline in IQ is likely due to writers’ playing it safe during the Friends plot and first season. Once they had the audience’s reaction to playing off, they played up the elements of the characters that people enjoyed the most, resulting in most of the Friends group becoming parodies of themselves.

Ross becomes a nerd, Monica becomes cleaner, and Joey grows dumber.

Because Friends is a comedy, Joey’s “stupid” stereotype is accentuated. It’s occasionally balanced. Joey was the first to realize Monica and Chandler were dating. Rachel and Phoebe accidentally discovered Monica and Chandler’s relationship, but Joey figured it out through an eyelash curler. Joey’s best moments, and the show’s, are when he’s being exceptionally dumb.

He became Homer Simpson. Homer started as a standard suburban dad parody but was created to become dumber and dumber. TV programs expand based on the performers’ perspectives on their roles, audience reaction, or natural narrative lines, and the program adapts. Therefore, that was his character’s direction.

In later seasons of Friends, the characters are more self-aware and recognize their responsibilities. Joey appears dumb to be dumb. His buddies deride Chandler’s catchphrases and mannerisms as they would be by the audience. Friends never overdid an inept character, as is easy to do. Joey’s rising dumbness was charming, humorous, and likable enough to earn him a spinoff.

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