When reading the this question, I wondered how on earth Chandler (and Joey) could afford living where they did. The linked question provides some clue as to why Monica was able to afford hers, but her rent seems to be way lower.

So how were they able to afford living in their apartment?

(Note: I'm not an American so I have a hard time determining whether their living arrangements are realistic.)

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    Chandler Bing has a fairly high paying job as I recall. $100k plus p.a. would not be inconceivable. Joey less so but was a soap star for a while which is not a small salary role. - triplemint.com/blog/…
    – Paulie_D
    Commented Aug 9, 2018 at 12:39
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    – Paulie_D
    Commented Aug 9, 2018 at 12:42
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    Not sure why...two separate article seem to agree that Chander could afford the apartment and Joey paid what he could when he could. The size of the apartment is, of course, exaggerated for TV.
    – Paulie_D
    Commented Aug 9, 2018 at 12:51
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    I'm sure they mention a couple of times (including the last episode) that the apartments are rent controlled and therefore "a fricking steal". EDIT - although upon reading the wiki page on rent control, this might only apply to Monica's apartment.
    – Darren
    Commented Aug 9, 2018 at 12:59
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    @Vishwa ... why? Sure, when Joey is doing jobs like working at Central Perk he's probably living beyond his means, relying on Chandler even, but when he has a regular acting job those don't pay that badly. The (main) problem with being an actor is just not having regular work.
    – iandotkelly
    Commented Aug 9, 2018 at 13:02

1 Answer 1

  • Out of universe: cramped environments, unless relevant to the plot, are needlessly obstructive to watch a show/movie. It's a common complaint that living spaces are roomier than the supposed income of the character would allow for.

  • Chandler is by no means badly paid. His job is boring and specific details are obfuscated because it's part of the joke as it "proves" how boring Chandler's job must be, but it's still a well-paid office job. Consider that Chandler has a private office and an assistant, he should be able to afford an apartment's rent.

  • Joey struggles with employment but his stint as Drake Ramoray will have been well paid. Actors live a life of uncertain income, but high income when they have a job. I also seem to remember Joey getting part-time jobs if he couldn't find a part to play for a long time.

  • It doesn't seem out of character for Chandler to help Joey out if he couldn't make rent.

  • This answer gives an elaborate breakdown as to how much Joey owes Chandler, which confirms that Chandler is likely paying most of the bills when Joey can't cover his part.

  • "It doesn't seem out of character for Chandler to help Joey out if he couldn't make rent." It's not just implied by Chandler's character; it's explicitly stated that he has been loaning Joey rent money for years.
    – GendoIkari
    Commented Feb 13, 2020 at 16:26
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    @GendoIkari: Loaning entails paying it back. I meant Chandler simply footing more of the bill without the expectation of repayment (not unlike how me and my then-girlfriend didn't split the bills 50/50 but rather scaling it to our different wages)
    – Flater
    Commented Feb 13, 2020 at 20:15

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