Joey Tribbiani had a lot of jobs in Friends, but one stands out as the most humiliating one: the VD poster, which was pasted all over New York City. Even worse: the poster appeared in another episode, showing just how big the campaign was. Created by David Crane and Marta Kauffman, Friends debuted on NBC in 1994 and came to an end in 2004 after ten successful seasons. The series followed the lives of six young adults (Phoebe, Rachel, Monica, Joey, Chandler, and Ross) in New York City, doing their best to balance their social, personal, and professional lives.
Over the course of ten seasons, viewers followed the lives of the main characters quite closely – from all the ups and downs in their love lives, to many jobs and changes in their careers. Though all of them went through different jobs, Joey was the one with the less stable career, and took part in various plays, TV shows, commercials, and even worked at Central Perk at some point. Joey was constantly struggling with his acting career (not even his role in Days of Our Lives was set in stone), and took various jobs that weren’t exactly the best – like a modeling gig for a clinic.
That job turned out to be a campaign to raise awareness for sexually transmitted diseases, so Joey’s face ended up all over the city, and was an obstacle when meeting women on the street (and also with his family, as they didn’t let him come for Thanksgiving dinner). Joey had a hard time seeing the poster everywhere, but the campaign didn’t last one episode, and the poster made another appearance.
Friends Easter Egg: Joey’s Poster Returns
In season 1’s episode “The One Where Underdog Gets Away”, Monica and Ross decided to have Thanksgiving dinner together at Monica’s apartment, while the rest spent the holiday with their families. However, things didn’t go as planned: Rachel missed her flight, Chandler was still boycotting “all the pilgrim holidays”, Phoebe joined Monica as she celebrated two Thanksgivings (the other one being in December with her grandmother’s boyfriend, who used a lunar calendar), and Joey wasn’t welcomed after his family saw the poster featuring him as a man with VD. The poster was pasted on the subway, newspaper stands, bus tops, and more.
Unfortunately for Joey, “The One Where Underdog Gets Away” wasn’t the beginning and end of the campaign. The posters can be seen in a later episode – specifically “The One With Mrs. Bing” – in a corner of the street. It looks like the campaign was much bigger than Joey imagined, but he eventually got over the shock of seeing himself on a poster as a man with VD. Surely, Joey had many questionable jobs (never forget the commercial for “Ichiban! Lipstick For Men”), but the VD poster is by far the most humiliating one, and the return of the poster is a fun Easter egg of an event in Joey’s life that he surely would like to forget.
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Adrienne Tyler is a features writer for Screen Rant. She is an Audiovisual Communication graduate that wanted to be a filmmaker, but life had other plans (and it turned out great). Prior to Screen Rant, she wrote for Pop Wrapped, 4 Your Excitement (4YE), and D20Crit, where she was also a regular guest at Netfreaks podcast. She was also a contributor for FanSided’s BamSmackPow and 1428 Elm. Adrienne is very into films and she enjoys a bit of everything: from superhero films, to heartbreaking dramas, to low-budget horror films. Every time she manages to commit to a TV show without getting bored, an angel gets its wings.
When she’s not writing, you can find her trying to learn a new language, watching hockey (go Avs!… But also Caps and Leafs), or wondering what life would have been like had Pushing Daisies, Firefly, and Limitless not been cancelled. Breakfast food is life and coffee is what makes the world go round.
Guillermo del Toro said “hi” to her once. It was great.
“Vänligheten är ett språk som de döva kan höra och de blinda kan se”.