Why Chandler owes Phoebe 7000 Dollars

True Friends fans might already know what we’re talking about. Otherwise, this might be a pretty hard core piece of easter egg. Friends is full of plot holes and discrepancies, but this one is pretty interesting. Let’s take a look at Chandler Bing, Phoebe Buffay and the deal they made in the fourth episode of season one. A deal he breaks more than once…

In the Friends episode The One with the Thumb Joey has to smoke for a role he is playing, but he can’t. Chandler, who supposedly used to smoke, wants to teach him how to do it.
“Think of it as the thing that is missing from your hand.” Chandler says to Joey, while looking at a cig like it’s a bar of gold. “When you’re holding it, you feel right. You feel complete.” he continues, at which Joey asks if he misses it.
The funny thing is that this scene could be about the same, but with a smartphone in 2019. But I digress.
After Chandler takes a drag, he sighs: “Oh, my god…” and the damage is done. Chandler smokes again, after three years of being clean.

Phoebe’s problem

Meanwhile Phoebe has a weird problem which she shares with the group. Her bank added 500 Dollars to her account. While Rachel makes the excellent point that spending it ‘would be like shopping’, Phoebe feels badly about keeping the money. She contacts the bank and gets a letter.

“Dear ms. Buffay. Thank you for calling attention to our error. We have credited your account for 500 Dollars. We’re sorry for the inconvienience. We hope you’ll accept this football phone as our free gift.”

Now she has a thousand Dollars and a football phone. What to do? Pheebs gives the money to a homeless friend, who buys her a soda as a thank you. In the can is a severed thumb! “Floating in there like a tiny little hitchhiker.”
Meanwhile Chandler has trouble with his new smoking habit. He’s in his cubicle with his cigarette in a desk drawer. Apparently people’s sense of smell was pretty lousy back in the nineties, because nobody notices it. The other friends call him out on it. Chandler defends his ‘flaw’ by calling out the others on their shortcomings. He does try to quit, but he only gets grumpy.

The deal

Phoebe is bummed out because the soda people gave her 7000 Dollars for the thumb in her can. When Monica tells the group she’s breaking up with her amazing boyfriend Alan, they’re very sad about it. They usually never like Monica’s boyfriends. The friends, minus Monica, are dejectedly eating ice cream and then this conversation happens:

Chandler: That’s it, I’m getting cigarets. I don’t care. I don’t care! Game’s over. I’m weak. I’ve gotta smoke. I’ve gotta smoke.
Phoebe: If you never smoke again, I’ll give you 7000 Dollars!
Chandler: Yeah, alright.

Phoebe is not one to break her word, so we can be sure she gave the money to Chandler. The deal is he NEVER smokes again… Let’s fast forward to season 3.

Season 3, episode 17: The One Without the Ski Trip

In this episode Ross and Rachel have just broken up and they’re being total dicks about it. Chandler lights a cigarette.

Phoebe: Chandler, what are you doing?
Chandler: (Pointing at his smoke) Oh, my god!
Joey: You’re smoking again?!
Chandler: Actually yesterday I was smoking again. Today… I’m smoking still.
Phoebe: Why would you start again after chewing all that quitting gum?


Chandler: I’m telling you, this is just like my parent’s divorce, which is when I started smoking in the first place.
Monica: Weren’t you nine?
Chandler: Yeah? I’m telling you something, that first smoke after nap time…

‘Handle’ is my middle name. Actually it’s the middle part of my first name…

Phoebe apparently doesn’t recall their deal about the 7000 Dollars, but Chandler manages to quit smoking via hypnosis tapes.
In a later season his whole team lights up cigarettes during a meeting at work and he caves again. He tries to hide his smoking from his wife Monica, with whom he’s trying to have a baby at that point. She finds out, of course, and is furious about it. Maybe not a furious as Phoebe should be? This is the second time mr. Bing smokes again after accepting a buttload of money from his good friend Phoebe. The fair thing would have been if Chandler paid her back in The One Without the Ski Trip. Although we know that Phoebe probably wouldn’t have accepted it, but make him buy ten boxes of nicotine patches and a crapload of quitting gum in stead.


Breaking Bad theory: the secret of Walt’s last scene

Yeah, science! AMC’s Breaking Bad ended quite some time ago, but that doesn’t make it any less awesome. After rewatching all 5 seasons for the third time, we noticed something interesting about the very last scene… Let’s take a look at Breaking Bad in general and this scene in particular. If you haven’t watched this show yet: why are you still reading this? Go watch it! SPOILER ALERT

Main character Walter White, also know as the legendary meth chef Heisenberg, stole our hearts in the very first episode. A downtrodden chemistry teacher with a second job in a car wash who discovers he has lung cancer and decides to cook meth to make extra money. His bitchy wife Skyler is pregnant with an oops-baby and their son Walter Jr. has cerebral palsy. A little extra cash is not a bad idea in this situation. Bad is the key word here, though.

The Danger

As Walt teams up with a former student of his, Jesse Pinkman, things start to unravel very quickly. People die left, right and center, Walt builds an empire and gradually turns from the good guy into a very bad guy. He is not in danger, he IS the danger, remember? Although his cancer goes into remission and the White’s financial situation is stable, Walt doesn’t want to recind his meth empire. It’s the only thing in his life he built for himself, the only time in his life he ever felt powerful and in control. We don’t really know where we stopped rooting for this crazy sociopath.

Ending such an amazing show is a difficult task. It’s not possible to satisfy every fan. After 5 seasons Walt’s story ends with… complete closure. We knew from episode one that he would some day succomb to his cancer, but what would be the outcome for all the other characters? Jesse, Skyler, her sister Marie, their brother in law DEA officer Hank and the multiple Angry Latino Baddies. It appears to end pretty well rounded. Walt ends up apologising to Skyler, revealing where Hank and his collegue Gomez’ bodies are buried, ensuring that the kids get the remainder of his money, murdering the remaining bad guys and saving Jesse’s life. He dies from a wound in his stomach (and probably the results of his returned cancer) amidst the meth equipment he came to know so well, kind of smiling.

The end scene

The problem a lot of folks had with this ending is that Walter dies basically getting everything. He wins without having to atone for his crimes and without getting punished for them. He does a lot of awful things during the runtime of the show, of which making harmful drugs is not even in the top 5. You can say: “Yeah, but he dies.” He did. But he died on his terms. Or did he…

How are we sure that Walt is actually dead?

“Come on, we see him die, Wordy.” But do we really? Okay, we see him lying on the floor for about twenty seconds. But let’s look at soms facts. The University of Maryland Medical Center says that the three most important factors for determining someone’s chances of surviving a gunshot wound are as follows.

1 The location of the wound.
2 The amount of blood loss.
3 How quickly the person gets medical attention

What happened?

1 In the final showdown, Walt comes to the neo-nazi hide out with an automated remote controlled turret that he built in a car. After tackling Jesse, he pushes the button to make the gun mow down everyone left standing in the building. Near the end of the attack, Walt gets hit by something, but we don’t actually see what it is. The bullets and the ar 15 accessories from the gun in his trunk are pretty heavy duty, as they are able to go through the metal of the car and the concrete of the building. It’s not likely that Walt is hit by one of those bullets because he’s too low to the ground, covering Jesse. You can see from the holes in the wall that the bullets come in higher. Of course it can be a ricochet. But! According to research, higher power bullets like the ones Walt used tend not to ricochet. They either break apart or crush into the object they hit. It’s more probable that a piece of shrapnel hit Walt’s side.

2 The blood loss seems to be pretty minimal if we look at his clothes. The fact that he walks around for about ten minutes, determines that it’s probably not a vital organ. But what about his cancer, Wordy? Surely that would have been cause of death?

Time and timing

Believe it or not, Walt’s lung cancer might actually have increased his chances of survival. Research suggests that suffering from lung cancer makes it more likely to form blood clots. Cancer skews the natural balance towards clotting and actually lessens internal bleeding. This means there is a good chance that Walt’s blood clots, buying him precious time.

3 If Walt had been hit by shrapnel in the middle of the desert, he would have been done for, but we see the cops arrive right after he collapses. The Albequerque Police Department regulations state that arrested persons or intoxicated persons should be provided with medical care. Not only are they obligated to help Walt, but the Heisenberg case is a big story nationwide. They would have wanted Walt to see trial, so trying to save his life will be a priority. How do we know how much time there is between seeing Walt’s bloody hand on the vat and the cops entering the building? Well, if you look closely in the scene, you can already see the cop cars rushing towards the site, right before Walt falls down. A good question is: how did the cops know where to go? Remember that there was some time between the bullets and the moment Walt enters the lab. Also the neo-nazi compound wasn’t in soms deserted area. Someone could have heard the bullets and called the cops. There is a high probability that a hospital wouldn’t be far away either.


So, to summarise: Walt wasn’t vitally injured, his clotting slowed down the bleeding and help was there within 15 minutes after being hit. The chances of Walt having fainted but surviving the last scene are pretty large by now. The very last thing we see is a cop kneeling next to Walt and checking for a pulse. Of course we didn’t get to see the outcome. This was a purposefully done move by an amazing creative team who thought through every last detail of every shot in Breaking Bad. What looks like a closed ending is actually open to interpretation. We could easily imagine an end credit scene in which Walt is alive and handcuffed to a hospital bed. But that would have ruined the show’s ending more than the original ending.