Even though it's been off the air for 13 years, there are plenty of questions about Friends that remain unanswered, like how the hell could they all afford to live in those cushy NYC apartments? And what is Gunther's last name? Luckily, we can at least put to rest one of the most curious queries of all -- the precise amount of coffee the characters consumed over the course of the series -- thanks to one zealous fan who rewatched all 236 episodes and did the math.
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Twitter personality and Friends superfan Kit Lovelace recently posted some data he collected after plowing through the entire series and tabulating the number of cups of coffee Ross, Chandler, Joey, Phoebe, Monica, and Rachel each consumed over the course of 10 seasons. Spoiler: they were an alarmingly caffeinated bunch.
Lovelace took on the project with a meticulous attention to detail, closely watching the scenes that took place in Central Perk (and others with mugs present). Although it's possible some characters -- namely Phoebe -- might actually be drinking tea, he presumed every mug on screen to be filled with coffee, unless otherwise stipulated. In all, he estimates the group drank an astonishing 1,154 cups, collectively.
With the collected data, he assembled some snazzy graphs to represent how each character's coffee drinking habits changed from season to season. Based on his observations, nearly every character cut back significantly by the time the finale came around.
Considering how much coffee was being consumed, there's an obvious follow-up question: how much money did they all spend to stay so caffeinated? Lovelace did the math to figure this out, too. Using context clues from specific scenes and lines of dialogue, he based his calculations on an assumed price of $1.46 per cup, which -- when factoring in a 20% tip -- presumes the gang spent $2,077.20 on cups of joe during their 10 years on-screen. If you account for inflation, that's a whopping $3,430.23 in 2017 dollars.
This isn't the first time someone has attempted to tabulate exactly how much caffeine the pals were ingesting. On the 20th anniversary of the show's debut, Scientific American did a little research and found that the friends collectively consumed some 445 gallons of coffee over the course of the series (though their methods were a bit more crude and based on estimations rather than the sort of painstakingly precise methodology employed by Lovelace). Based on their calculations, SA surmised that amount of coffee contains enough caffeine to send 300 people to the hospital.
Now, who's going to do the legwork to figure out how much alcohol the It's Always Sunny In Philadelphia crew have imbibed? That'll be a doozy.
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