If you’re a fan of the iconic 90s sitcom “Friends,” chances are you remember the all-too-relatable “couch” episode.
When Ross Geller goes a little overboard with his thrifty habits and refuses to spring for a new couch to get delivered to his apartment for him, the hapless character finds himself in a bit of a bind trying to get the new piece of furniture upstairs with just his friends helping.
It’s the kind of episode that’s all too easy to laugh along with, because we’ve all been there. Whether it was moving into your first apartment or a dorm room in college, practically every adult on the planet has found themselves acting as their own moving company only to realize just how difficult it is to get some of the more burdensome furniture upstairs.
Although Ross’s plight was met on the screen with resounding cries of “we’ve been there, dude!” from viewers, though, this mathematician decided to debunk his situation once and for all.
Turns out, Ross and his friends totally could have gotten that couch upstairs. All they needed was the Pythagorean theorem!
“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!” said Data Science Consultant Caroline Zunckel.
Helpfully, the U.K.-based housing blog “SpareRoom” provided a full step-by-step diagram of how Zunckel used the high school math formula to prove Ross and his friends totally stayed in an unnecessary bind.
This doesn’t change the fact that moving on your own, without any paid professionals on board, tends to be an absolutely miserable undertaking.
But now, instead of just yelling “we feel you, dude!” when you watch that scene, you know exactly what to call out: angle of vertical tilt (T) = 44.15064 -11.94274xWS (Width of the Stairwell) + 8.69119xWC (Width of the Couch) + 3.65961xLC (Length of the Couch).
I mean, duh!
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