Pop Culture Cardboard Boxes: The Friends Boxing Match

To celebrate the versatility of the humble cardboard box, we’re looking at their place within popular culture with a series of blog posts. In our first instalment, we’ve delved into the Friends archive and picked out our favourite box moments.

When a cardboard box appears in Friends, they play a vital role in the storyline and tend to either make or break the characters day. We’ve pitted box against Friend in this pop culture boxing match to see who packs the best punch. Over nine rounds, the boxes and Friends will battle it out for a point and we will total them up at the end to see who is the ultimate boxing champion.
 
Round 1
The One Where the Box Falls Over
 
 

In this episode, the group are sitting down to Thanksgiving Dinner with Monica and Chandler’s expensive china wedding plates. Throughout the episode, Monica is wary of anyone damaging her plates, and even gives Joey a ‘special’ different plate. When the boxes are safely packed away and are seemingly out of harm’s way, Chandler picks up Emma’s changing bag which gets caught on the back of the chair, knocking the box of china plates over. Thankfully, Monica is out of the room getting the pie so is unaware that her plates are broken. Chandler tapes the box back up and pretends that the plates are fine. They decide never to use the plates again as the dinner was just too stressful, so Monica says a last goodbye to her plates as they go back into the cupboard. Returning to the room, Joey says, “So you told her you broke the plates then, huh?”
 
Round 1 Scores

The cardboard box was a great choice for china storage as the they fit snugly inside, offering an adequate amount of plate protection. This was, until Chandler knocked the box over.
 
Box: 1
Friends: 0
 
Round 2
The One Where the Boxes get Packed and Unpacked
 
 
 
When it’s time for Rachel to move out so that Chandler can move in with Monica, it’s an emotional time for everyone. Rachel still hasn’t packed, but uses Monica’s love for organisation to her advantage, claiming that her not packing is a parting gift to Monica. During the episode, Phoebe suggests that Rachel and Monica list each other’s negative qualities to stop them from getting so emotional. This backfires as the pair end up arguing, resulting in Rachel refusing to leave. She starts to unpack her things from the boxes as Monica quickly tries to repack them with frustration. Realising they aren’t getting anywhere, Rachel storms into the kitchen to start packing Monica’s things into boxes instead.
 

Round 2 Scores

No level of packing or unpacking boxes of belongings can get in the way of true friendship. Monica and Rachel always win when it comes to friendship. Sorry boxes!

Box: 0
Friends: 1

 
 Round 3
The One Where Ross and Joey Move Boxes
 
 

 
This episode sees both Ross and Joey unknowingly help the same pretty girl move in. Ross is first on the scene and asks if he can help her move some boxes. Kristen asks if he could grab a box for her as it’s quite heavy. Even though the box is quite clearly too heavy for Ross to carry, he puts on a brave face for the sake of impressing Kristen. Chandler sparks a conversation between the three of them, leaving Ross holding the box which is getting heavier and heavier. When Kirsten is finally out of sight, Ross drops the box, screaming “Oh my god, it’s so heavy!”.
 
Later, Joey walks by as Kristen is moving boxes from her car and also offers to help. On the floor are two cardboard boxes, one marked ‘books’ and one marked ‘pillows’. After careful consideration and an assessment of the box weights, Joey opts for the box marked pillows and carries it upstairs with ease.
 

Round 3 Scores

Joey outwits the boxes by selecting the lightest one, and Ross still gets a date with Kristen even though he couldn’t manage the heavy box.

Box: 0
Friends: 1

 
Round 4
The One with the Chick in the Box
 
 

As Joey returns to the apartment holding a box, he’s excited to show Chandler what’s inside. After watching the news, Joey decides that it would be a good idea to adopt a baby chick for Chandler. As he places the box down on the kitchen counter, he removes the lid to reveal what’s inside. Chandler is unimpressed by the baby chick and Joey is disappointed with his reaction. He leaves Chandler and the chick to ‘bond’ for the day. When Joey returns home, he and Chandler begin to argue that Chandler is not spending enough time with the chick. Chandler feels that the only way to fix the problem is to take the chick back. When he tries to take her back, he discovers that if the chick fails to be adopted by someone, she will be put to sleep. Unprepared for this to happen, Chandler brings the chick back home and also brings home a duck as a friend.
 
Round 4 Scores
 
The wholesome cardboard box brings joy to the lives of Joey and Chandler by carrying in the cute little chick but is soon forgotten about.

Box: 0
Friends: 1
 
 
Round 5
The One Where Joey Hides in the Box
 

As a surprise for Monica, Chandler decides to be helpful and clean the kitchen. He starts by taking everything out from the cupboards so he can get in and clean them to ‘Monica standard’. While he’s out of the room, Joey spots a large cardboard box and decides to play a prank on Chandler so gets in. When he returns to the room, Chandler can hear giggling and quickly works out that Joey is in the box. He plays along by asking “Where is Joey?” to which Joey responds with more giggles. As he approaches the box, Joey jumps out and laughs at Chandler, thinking that he genuinely surprised him and is proud of his prank.
 
Round 5 Scores

An extra-large cardboard box is just too much temptation for anyone not to climb in and hide! We’re all friends here, so let’s be honest, Joey did a poor attempt at hiding in it!

Box: 1

Friends: 0

Round 6
The One with Monica’s Towel Boxes
 

Chandler bets that he and Joey know more about the girls compared to what they know about him and Joey. True to her competetive nature, Monica accepts the challenge and turns it into a bet. The bet quicky escalates into a full-scale quiz hosted by Ross, complete with a stopwatch and whiteboard. The stakes are the guys get rid of the chick and duck if they lose, or Monica and Rachel give up the apartment if they lose. During the lightening round, Ross asks Joey and Chandler how many categories of towels Monica has. They start counting them, naming ‘everyday use’, ‘fancy’, ‘guest’, and ‘fancy guest’ but are rushed for time so blurt out ‘eleven’, to which they are correct and win the apartment.
 
When the girls have reluctantly packed their things up, we see a pile of cardboard boxes, many of which are dedicated to Monica’s towel categories. We can see: beach, bath, kitchen, old and best.
 
Round 6 Scores

It looks like the girls needed a lie down after this round! After all their hard work, the girls lost the quiz and their apartment, meaning they needed to pack Monica’s towels into boxes – all eleven categories of them!

Box: 1
Friends: 0
 
Round 7
The One Where Joey’s Life is in Boxes
 
 
 
The episide starts out with Chandler telling Joey that living with him can be difficult sometimes as he doesn’t like some of his bad habits. The pair argue for a while until they go to brunch with Joey’s colleague, who surprisingly offers Joey his apartment. After taking a liking to the apartment, Joey seriously considers moving in but Chandler thinks it’s just a dream. Upon realising that Joey really is moving out of the apartment, the pair argue over who gets to keep the foosball table and decide to play for it. Joey wins the match and is awarded foosball table rights which makes Chandler even more sad.

The group help to pack Joey’s things into boxes and Monica labels them up. As they take them outside, Joey tells Chandler that the foosball table can stay with him and they shake hands before Joey leaves. Joey comes back into the apartment to tell Chandler he forgot something and goes in for a big hug with his best friend.
 
Round 7 Scores

Friendship conquers all in this episode and even moving out boxes of Joey’s belongings can’t come between him and Chandler.
 
Box: 0

Friends: 1

Round 8
The One with the Rat Babies in the Box
 
 
 
When Mike moves in with Phoebe, he’s shocked to see a rat in her apartment and insists they put down rat traps. Phoebe explains that the Rat is her pet that comes to visit and is called Bob, but Mike insists. When Bob has been killed by a rat trap, Phoebe and Mike learn that Bob was actually a female rat and has had babies. To avenge the death of female Bob, Phoebe decides to look after the rat babies, so puts them in a cardboard box so they can go with her to Rachel’s party. Thinking they’re shoes, Rachel opens the box and quickly throws it away when she see’s baby rats inside. Phoebe takes the rat babies home where she learns that they breed quickly and it’s just not possible to look after them any longer.
 
Round 8 Scores

Phoebe’s kind-hearted nature gave the rat babies life and were looked after, with Mike agreeing to help her as her partner. Go friends!
 
Box: 0
Friends: 1
 
Round 9
The One with the Cardboard Box Fort
 
 
 
When Ross finds himself with nowhere to live, Chandler and Joey let him move in with them. Quickly, Chandler is reminded of Ross’s annoying habbits and can’t take it anymore. The guys take Ross to view a small apartment to encourage him to move out but soon feel bad and tell Ross he should stay with them.
With Ross’s belongings in carboard boxes scattered around the apartment, Joey finds a way to have fun. Chandler comes home from work to find Joey in the middle of the boxes and knows instinctively what he’s doing. In typical Chandler fashion, he sarcastically says that Joey must’ve had a productive day. Joey replies “Why don’t you be a grown up and come watch TV in the fort?”.
 
When Chandler next returns home, he’s greeted by both Joey and Ross playing in the cardboard box fort playing cowboys and Indians. This time, he decides to join in with the guys and play in the box fort, putting on a hat that suspiciously looks feminine.
 

Round 9 Scores

With that many boxes, who can resist making a childish cardboard box fort? We’ve decided to split the points in this round as everyone was happy!
Box: 1
Friends: 1



 
Final Decision
 
Over nine tough rounds, the opponents have battled it out and acquired points each. At times, it looked like anyone could win, and the scores are tight. The cardboard box fought flat out and totted up 5 points, but it was no match for the Friends’ teamwork who racked up a total of 6 points. In this pop culture boxing match, BCS crown Friends as the ultimate boxing champion.
 
Total Box Points: 5
Total Friends Points: 6
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