7 Lies "Friends" Told Me About England

Friday, 26 September 2014
As hard as it is to believe, we celebrate the 20th anniversary of Friends this year. To this day I watch the series on repeat, thanks to my DVD collection, and I can still remember crying over the phone to my best friend as we watched the series finale together. It's been ten years since Rachel got off the plane, which is equally hard to believe!

What does all this have to do with my life as an expat and England? Well I'm getting to that. Not only has it been ten years since the series finale of Friends, it has also been ten years since my first trip to London which I talked about in my first travel throwback post. What I neglected to share was one of the reasons why I went to London in the first place was because of Friends

It was a few months before my sixteenth birthday and I was watching one of my favourite episodes of Friends, "The One With Ross's Wedding". You know the one when the whole gang, apart from a very pregnant Phoebe, go off to London to watch Ross get married. My mom wanted to do something special for my birthday and asked me what I would like to do. I blurted out that what I would really like to do is go to London. If you read my travel throwback post, you'll know that's exactly what we ended up doing.

A few weeks back I was watching "The One With Ross's Wedding" again and picked up on several lies that the Friends gang told me about England. It's time to set the record straight..

1. Everywhere in England is London.
In an earlier episode, Emily's uncle says, "She's from London, well Shropshire really, but you know.." No I don't know. Can you please explain to me how Shropshire = London?
How Most Americans View England

To be fair I'm pretty sure most of my family still think I live in London

2. All Londoners wear Union Jack hats.
Sir Richard Branson lied to us, all Londoners do not walk along covered in the Union Jack. In fact, unlike Americans, you'll be hard-pressed to find many English people covered in their flag unless it's the World Cup or something.

Richard Branson as The Vendor on Friends
Richard Branson as The Vendor | © Warner Bros.

3. You will meet royalty on the street.
Not once in my four years of living in England have I ever just casually met a royal à la Joey's chance encounter with Fergie.The closest I ever got was seeing the Archbishop of Canterbury going into Westminster Abbey to deliver a service to the Queen.

Sarah Ferguson (Fergie) on Friends
Sarah Ferguson (Fergie) | © Warner Bros.

4. Everyone has live-in housekeepers.
Friends isn't the only perpetrator of this lie. Remember Martin from the 1998 adaptation of The Parent Trap? Sadly, not everyone in England has a live-in housekeeper, but it is a nice allusion.

June Whitfield as The Housekeeper on Friends
June Whitfield as The Housekeeper | © Warner Bros.

5. Phone etiquette is very important.
I've never been hung up on and asked to call back with the proper phone etiquette. Perhaps my etiquette is too impeccable to fault. However, I think it's more likely that people don't take phone etiquette quite so seriously as the snooty housekeeper.

6. Everyone has a posh accent.
Living in England you will quickly learn that not everyone speaks like the Queen. Shows like Friends often use English actors who have a standard or posh accent as they are easier to understand for us Americans. However, the variety of accents in this country is unbelievable! 

Just listen to my hubby, when he says "beer can" it sounds like he's saying "bacon" in a Jamaican accent.

7. The English will give advice to strangers on their life.
While many Americans will happily chat to complete strangers about their life and the issues they are facing. This is every Englishman's worst nightmare. The Gentleman On The Plane, played by Hugh Laurie, would never have told Rachel his thoughts on her life... ever.

Hugh Laurie as The Gentleman On The Plane on Friends
Hugh Laurie as The Gentleman On The Plane | © Warner Bros.

In closing, although "The One With Ross's Wedding" may have gotten a few things wrong, it remains one of the most iconic Friends episodes of all time! Happy 20th Anniversary Friends!

Q: What is your favourite Friends episode?

Erin x



  1. Shhhh!!! Don't tell people all our secrets!!! You'll give the game away!

    Plus, I think I disagree with you on the last one. If you are on a commute then there is a strict no talking policy, but I think if I was speaking out loud about something bothering me, then it would be likely that a listener would butt in with their opinion.

  1. Very good blog, I think many will acquire a good info from this post..

  1. Carina Chung said...:

    This is such a good post! I loved it :)
    Love how you use things from Friends to showcase your personality and life in England + give people information about england. AWESOME.

    X, Carina
    Running White Horses

  1. Jessica said...:

    I remember in one Friends episode they are mean to Rachel because she puts meat in a mince pie with fruit. When traditionally mince pies did have meat in and even now they often have beef suet.

  1. Tina said...:

    Great post indeed.. I miss FRIENDS so much.. Love that series..

  1. GlassesShop said...:

    Nice post, thanks for the sharing

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