Monica and Rachel’s apartment on Friends is one of the most recognizable locations in television history. The unbelievably spacious two-bedroom abode boasted beautiful purple walls and a balcony (even if their only view was into Ugly Naked Guy’s apartment). As far-fetched as it seemed that these 20-somethings could score such a lovely living area — albeit with help from Monica’s grandmother — what was even more implausible was the comically low amount they forked over for rent each month. Nearly three decades since the NBC sitcom premiered, just what would it cost to live in such an establishment in 2022?
Because of rent stabilization established in the 1940s, Monica was able to move into her grandmother’s old apartment for the low, low price of just $200 a month. This proves Chandler was right when, in the series finale, he commented that rent control made living there a “friggin’ steal.”
So how much would that same apartment cost today? Hoval, an interior design institute, estimates (via Fox 10 Phoenix) that a two-bedroom apartment in Manhattan’s West Village today would put you out about $6,554 a month. That’s almost three years of rent in Monica and Rachel’s time.
All six of the main characters lived there at some point, and why wouldn’t they? Splitting the rent between two roommates makes that monthly bill just $100, and it suddenly makes a lot more sense why they were able to spend so much time drinking coffee at Central Perk, rather than, you know, working. Central Perk waitresses and freelance massage therapists likely aren’t pulling in the $3,200 it would take to make their half of what that rent would be today.
It also makes one realize just how high the stakes were when Monica and Rachel were forced to switch apartments with Joey and Chandler after they lost a game to see which roommates knew more about the other pair in Season 4’s “The One With the Embryos.” Check out that classic moment:
Monica’s trademark, “Nooooooo!” at the end of that clip really takes on a new meaning when you realize she just gambled on paying $100 a month to live there. Over the course of 10 seasons, we saw different combinations of the Central Perk 6 taking up residence in the apartment. Monica (Courteney Cox) met Phoebe (Lisa Kudrow) when they lived there together before the events of the sitcom. Rachel (Jennifer Aniston) moved in in the series premiere after running out on her wedding day.
We later saw Joey (Matt LeBlanc) and Chandler (Matthew Perry) temporarly lived there after winning the apartment from the girls, and Chandler moved in with Monica after they became a couple. In the series finale, Monica pointed out that Ross (David Schwimmer) had also lived there for a summer before college, when he was pursuing a career in dance. (Between that and Chandler’s history as a mime, the potential exists for a really interesting series, should Friends ever be reimagined as a drama.)
For now, fans can revisit all 10 seasons of Friends, including 2021’s Friends: The Reunion, with an HBO Max subscription, and check out our 2022 TV schedule to see what other series are premiering soon.