Monica Geller: ESFJ

Extraverted Feeling (Fe): Monica is “always the hostess” (The One with Rachel’s Crush, 4x13). She loves throwing parties and cooking for her friends – when Phoebe’s apartment burns down, she affectionately names her own apartment “Hotel Monica,” and takes delight in creating a guest bedroom so that Phoebe is comfortable (The One Where Ross Dates a Student, 6x18). She is upset when the group stops spending time in her apartment and refurnishes Joey and Chandler’s place so that she can play the “hostess” role once again (The One with Rachel’s Crush, 4x13). Monica is the glue that holds the group together and is always there to offer emotional support for others, such as counselling Ross through his feelings for Rachel, supporting Chandler through his breakup with Kathy, or advising Rachel about her feelings for Joey (The One with the Soap Opera Party, 9x20).  She values group harmony, and frequently makes personal sacrifices to ensure everyone is happy, such as cooking different kinds of potatoes for her friends so that they could all enjoy Thanksgiving like they had as children (The One Where Underdog Gets Away, 1x09). At times, Monica can feel undervalued by others for her group sacrifices – she refuses to cook Thanksgiving dinner one year because she “doesn’t think it’s fair” the burden falls on her each year (The One with the Late Thanksgiving, 10x08), and is upset when Rachel doesn’t appreciate a birthday she throws (The One with the Two Parties, 2x22). Monica has a strong understanding of social rules. When Phoebe invites a stripper to Rachel’s baby shower, Monica is aghast, calling Phoebe’s actions “totally inappropriate” (The One with the Baby Shower, 8x20). Similarly, she is shocked when Phoebe plans to wear a bohemian dress to meet Mike’s conservative parents, urging her to buy something more suitable for the social setting (The One with Ross’s Inappropriate Song, 9x07). Monica is mortified when she breaks social rules, such as forgetting to invite Rachel’s mother to her baby shower (The One with the Baby Shower, 8x20), and is equally mortified when others break them too, being aghast that she wasn’t invited to her cousin’s wedding, a major social faux pas (The One with all the Cheesecakes, 7x11). At times, she uses her understanding of social rules to manipulate others, such as wearing a white dress to a wedding to spite her cousin for not inviting her (The One with all the Cheesecakes, 7x11). Her manipulative capabilities extend to other areas of life, where she tricks Chandler into having sex with her (The One with Phoebe’s Birthday Dinner, 9x05), and writes a speech to make the audience cry at her parents’ wedding anniversary (The One in Massapequa, 8x18). Monica desperately wants to be liked by the people around her, and often goes to great lengths to receive positive regard from others, such as making candy for everyone in the building so that she would be liked by her neighbours (The One with all the Candy, 7x09), flattering Rachel’s mother in an attempt to win back her approval (The One with the Baby Shower, 8x20), or continuing to wear a pair of uncomfortable boots because she “loved the compliments” (The One with Monica’s Boots, 8x10).

Introverted Sensing (Si): Monica describes herself as having an “eye for detail” (The One with the Joke, 6x12). She has a knack for noticing differences in the environment, immediately being able to tell that the apartment has been cleaned after Chandler employs a maid (The One with the Stain, 8x07), and that the green ottoman has been moved when Rachel vacuums (The One with the Butt, 1x06). She frequently uses past experiences to assess the present, such as comparing a previous thanksgiving dinner to one she had made the year before to assess how much her cooking had improved (The One with the Late Thanksgiving, 10x08). Monica is uncomfortable with change in her environment – she immediately dismisses Rachel’s suggestion that an ugly lamp be added to the living room (The One Where Heckles Dies, 2x08), and feels uneasy when Rachel moves the green ottoman to a different location because she wants things in her apartment to stay the same (The One with the Butt, 1x06). She also struggles with changes in her personal life – when she and Richard break up, Monica shuts herself inside her apartment because she is unable to adjust to life without him (The One with the Princess Leia Fantasy, 3x01). Likewise, she is deeply upset when Rachel has to move out, calling it “the end of an era” (The One Where Ross Hugs Rachel, 6x02). Monica takes comfort in the familiar and the predicable – when times get tough, she tends to turn to things from the past for comfort, such as smoking cigars to feel close to Richard after they break up (The One with the Princess Leia Fantasy, 3x01). She is deeply aware of her past, and is often haunted by her negative childhood experiences – when Rachel and Ross kiss on her engagement night, she is reminded of being overshadowed by Rachel through childhood, and thus accuses Rachel of “stealing her thunder” (The One with Monica’s Thunder, 7x01). Likewise, when Chandler mentions he ended a relationship with a girlfriend because she was overweight, Monica is reminded of being rejected by a boy in fifth grade because she was “too fat” and becomes upset (The One with the Nap Partners, 7x06). Monica is a very sentimental person. She enjoys collecting and reminiscing over past memories, and loves keeping old photographs – she is delighted to share an album full of childhood pictures with Emily (The One with the Fake Party, 4x16), and vows to take more photographs as a new year’s resolution so that she can remember important moments with her friends (The One with all the Resolutions, 5x11). Monica values past relics that hold personal significance – she keeps an antique cabinet because it belonged to her grandmother (The Last One: Part 2, 10x18), and is excited to receive her aunt’s dollhouse because she always wanted to play with it as a child (The One with the Dollhouse, 3x20). Likewise, she is devastated when her childhood memories are destroyed through flooding of her parents’ garage (The One Where Rosita Dies, 7x13). At times, Monica is inclined to project her sentimental streak onto others, who may not always appreciate it – she hires a bunny costume for Chandler because his favourite childhood book was The Velveteen Rabbit, failing to realise that the costume would make him embarrassed instead (The One with the Halloween Party, 8x06). Monica has an excellent memory for details – at one point, Rachel berates her for her ability to remember “every little thing” (The One with Joey’s Dirty Day, 4x14). For example, she remembers each step of a dance routine she and Ross invented as kids and is able to perform it perfectly several years later (The One with the Routine, 6x10). She also has a love for detail which manifests in her approach to planning – she organises a party for Rachel with detailed sketches of the cake and an alphabetised list of music (The One Where Rachel Smokes, 5x18), and plans the seating arrangements for her wedding through strict adherence to a detailed seating chart (The One with Rachel’s Big Kiss, 7x20).

Extraverted Intuition (Ne): Monica is able to see situations not only for what they are (Si), but for what they could be (Ne). When she is offered a job at Alessandro’s, Monica agrees to take it on because she can see the potential of the restaurant, despite giving it a negative review several days previously (The One Where They’re Going to Party, 4x09). She is well aware that the food is bad, her co-workers are unkind, and the restaurant has a terrible reputation, but she embraces what the restaurant could be with an optimistic opening speech (“with a pinch of excitement, a dash of hard work, and a dollop of cooperation, we can have the recipe…”). This ability to see the potential in things is a persistent trait that manifests itself throughout the series – when Monica is forced to move into Joey and Chandler’s apartment, she sees it’s potential as a comfortable living space, and works to transform it into one despite her initial disgust (The One with the Embryos, 4x12). Similarly, she senses the potential in the fake chocolate product “mockolate,” and seeks to improve it by incorporating it into a series of baked goods (The One with the List, 2x08). Monica is open to new opportunities, especially when it comes to her career – she drops her catering gig with Phoebe to accept a job at Alessandro’s (The One Where They’re Going to Party, 4x09), and declines moving with Chandler to Tulsa because she is offered a position at Javu (The One with the Pediatrician, 9x03). She is fairly flexible when it comes to her work, and is willing to try several alternatives (Ne) if it means being able to address more practical concerns like maintaining a steady income (Si). For example, she accepts a job as a kitchen hand (The Pilot, 1x01), a caterer (The One with the Dirty Girl, 4x06), a waitress at a diner (The One with the Two Parties, 2x22), a food critic (The One Where They’re Going to Party, 4x09) and a head chef (The One Where They’re Going to Party, 4x09). At times, Monica is undaunted by change – she views Chandler’s unemployment as “exciting” while he is terrified by the lack of security (The One Where Rachel Goes Back to Work, 9x11). She’s also quick to make connections, realising that Phoebe and Rachel know about her relationship with Chandler without it being overtly stated (The One Where Everybody Finds Out, 5x14).

Introverted Thinking (Ti): Monica has a solid understanding of how things work. As a chef, she knows the flavours that complement each other, and is easily able to pull a recipe apart and put it back together again, such as deconstructing a cookie to figure out the recipe for Phoebe’s grandmother’s cookies (The One with Phoebe’s Cookies, 7x03). She is excellent at troubleshooting – when Joey admits he is unfit for a role because he has been circumcised, Monica helps to solve the problem by fashioning him a range of foreskins from processed meat (The One with Ross and Monica’s Cousin, 7x19). Similarly, she creates a series of baked goods for Mockolate in an attempt to improve their taste (The One with the List, 2x08).  She is curious, sometimes even obsessive, about finding out how things work, on one occasion destroying Joey and Chandler’s apartment in a search for where a switch was (The One with all the Rugby, 4x15). Monica is fairly logical, and often hands out quite frank advice to her friends. When Rachel confesses that she wants to fool around with Joey, Monica advises her not to follow through with it because she believes it “will never work” (The One with the Soap Opera Party, 9x20). Likewise, when Phoebe ditches plans with David to go out with Joey as a way of upholding her personal values, Monica informs Phoebe that her actions are ridiculous (The One with all the Cheesecakes, 7x11). Monica is equally capable of applying the same logical principles to her own life – for example, she breaks up with Richard because she knows a relationship between them is futile when she wants children and he doesn’t (The One with Barry and Mindy’s Wedding, 2x24).

Note: Like Rachel, Monica was incredibly difficult to type because she appears to use Te and Fe equally prominently. Truth be told, I’m not completely sold on ESFJ, and could possibly be convinced by a solid ESTJ argument. This problem can be attributed to inconsistent writing – Monica is generally warmer and kinder as the series begins, before becoming more brash and competitive in later years. I chose ESFJ because Monica appears to use Ti more than Fi – she’s logical, good at troubleshooting and tends to be externally directed with her feelings. If she used Fi, Monica would be less concerned about group harmony and more influenced by her own feelings.

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