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16th Aug 2018

A mathematician has solved the “PIVOT!” scene from Friends

Kyle Picknell

This seems like a good use of anyone’s time

You know the scene. The “PIVOT… PIVOT… PIV-OT!” scene from Friends. Otherwise, you wouldn’t be reading this.

It’s one of those moments in pop culture that becomes so ingrained in the conscious of the masses that it is now almost impossible to carry something – be it a sofa, a desk, a curtain rail, whatever – with one person at either end without screaming “PIVOT” at each other, regardless of how straightforward the manoeuvre actually is.

In fact, the more straightforward it is, like simply just moving the kitchen table two feet across the room, the funnier it is to scream “PIVOT” at each other like two dogs barking over a fence.

The stairwell in Friends actually looked quite tricky to navigate, especially with Rachel not really trying, Chandler getting trapped against the wall and under the sofa, and Ross, well, just being Ross.

Fortunately, a mathematician has actually worked out how the trio could have got Ross’ beloved cream couch up to his room.

In case you needed any excuse, here it is again to remind you of the sitch:

Speaking to SpareRoom, Caroline Zunckel reveals: “By applying Pythagoras’ theorem to the estimated measurements of Ross’s sofa in a vertical position and dimensions of the stairs, I was able to establish that it would have been possible to get the item upstairs. It’s quite simple really!”

That’s what they all say though, isn’t it. All those scientists, after spending hours on an equation: “Oh, it was quite simple really.” So was learning how to drive, but it still takes you 20 lessons with a grumpy man called Frank eating sandwiches next to you. Anyway.

Ross was wrong to put so much emphasis on the pivoting of the sofa, which, you know, is quite obvious anyway. Instead, he should have been concentrating on the tilt.

This is the equation: Angle of vertical tilt  = 44.15064 – (11.94274 x WS) + (8.69119 x WC) + (3.65961 x LC).

WS being Width of Stairwell, WC width of couch and LC length of couch.

Simple. Really, really simple. Extremely simple. It’s absolutely mad how they didn’t just include Joey sitting quietly with a pencil and a notepad in the scene quietly arriving at this Pythagorean equation to solve the problem.

Here’s the infographic explaining it all:

Infographic courtesy of SpareRoom

Thank you for that, Caroline Zunckel. Now please could come up with an algebraic formula to solve Brexit for us. Cheers.