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In Friends episode S01E20, The One with the Evil Orthodontist, at some point while hanging out in Monica's apartment, the gang discovers that some lady is spying on them with a telescope from across the street.

Later in the episode, they catch her doing it again, at which point Joey says something about catching her spying on him in his apartment while cooking naked.

Since the guys' apartment is right across from the girls' and that the window we see her spying through is facing the front door, is it in any way possible that she was spying on both apartments, or can this only be described as a plot goof?

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    Do the windows of the apartments not both face the same way? – Cearon O'Flynn Feb 8 '17 at 16:31
  • do they? maybe I got the layout wrong in my head – Traceur Feb 8 '17 at 16:40
  • Hopefully I've managed to explain it in an answer.... – Cearon O'Flynn Feb 8 '17 at 16:47
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The windows face the same way

The windows in the Boy's & the Girl's apartments are oriented the same way. The doors to both apartments are opposite each other, no corners or bends are present to change the orientation.

As you enter Chandler and Joey's apartment the window is on your right, as you enter Monica and Rachel's it is on the left.

This means they are on the same side of the building.

This floorplan:

Apartments

Made by fans after apparently watching hours of episodes as detailed here, shows this better than my description. I know this is dubious canonicity, but it is here merely as a visual representation of what I am describing.

BUT...

There are bulgy parts that would block her view.

However...

These bulges do not match with the exterior shots of the apartment building (Note: there are no balconies either):

Exterior

Therefore this looks like either

  1. Joey is lying, maybe making a joke, or just saying something "Off the cuff" without thinking about if it actually happened, a fairly typical "Joey Comment".
  2. Its a plot hole where the writers haven't taken into account the apparent strange shape of the building on the inside.

I'm opting for number 2 due to the picture of the outside not matching either, I don't think the writers have paid much attention to the layout of the apartments.

  • 2
    The only windows she could have been spying through are those behind the boys' sofa and the one on the girls' terrace. Given the two obstacles between then (the mysterious closet and the boys' bathroom), she'd have to have been miles away to be able to see in both windows simultaneously. Thought just occurred: she could be spying from different windows. – Darren Feb 8 '17 at 16:51
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    I'm also not sure how she saw him cooking naked, unless he strolled into the living room at some point. There are no windows in the kitchen. – Walt Feb 8 '17 at 16:52
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    I've seen a few of these "floorplans" for TV show apartments now, and I always find myself wondering "who builds apartment buildings with such a jagged exterior wall?" I mean, there's a window over Monica's sink, so it's not like the face of the building smooths that out across the staircase. (I know, I know, set design != architecture and they probably never intended anyone to figure this out... but here we are =P) – Steve-O Feb 8 '17 at 16:52
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    @Steve-O, what about the interior walls? It's not an efficient way of maximising the number of apartments in the building. – Darren Feb 8 '17 at 16:53
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    Also worth noting is that Joey isn't exactly known for thinking before he speaks, so I really don't think there's any thought behind his answer. It's just a "Joey comment", and not anything that's supposed to be possible. – Tom Feb 8 '17 at 22:41

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