Phoebe Buffay may seem like a charming, quirky, creative woman who would be all kinds of fun to hang out with, but the Friends‘ resident hippy chick was actually a pretty terrible person, sometimes. Sure, she could be warm and caring, but she had a tendency to lie and manipulate when it suited her, and she definitely took a lot of pleasure in making fun of her friends and putting them down. She was incredibly high-maintenance (for a woman who claimed to be the opposite), and she often acted childishly.
However, we can forgive her most of this – she had a tough life, and she often makes up for her worse qualities with how much she loves her friends, how much she tries, how much fun she is to be around, and how devoted she can be. Still, the times that she is the absolute worst are when she’s not just a bad friend, but a total hypocrite.
One of Phoebe’s biggest moral stances in the show is her vegetarianism and her passion for animal rights. So when she was gifted a fur coat, she was furious, and made a big deal of wondering how anyone could wear such a thing… until she put it on, realized it looked good, and started wearing it. This on its own isn’t what makes her a hypocrite, though, as she actually struggled with wearing it due to her beliefs, and ended up giving it away. What makes her a hypocrite is that she flipped out over fur… but later on wears leather jackets, suede, and in her baby shower episode, is gifted leather pants (that she always wanted). If she refuses to wear animal skin for fashion, that should extend to leather, surely?
Another aspect of Phoebe’s vegetarianism that comes under fire is her refusal to eat ‘any food with a face’… except when she does. The most obvious example of this is when she eats meat while pregnant, but like her fur coat, she struggles with this, and only does so because she trades off meat-eating with Joey until her cravings pass. However, she’s seen eating meat in a few scenes, most notably when she is eating a lasagne with Monica early on. This could be considered a continuity error, rather than a moment of hypocrisy, but it wouldn’t be totally out of character for Phoebe to self-righteously eschew meat… unless she really wants it.
In the early seasons of Friends, Phoebe has a job as an independent masseuse, which suits her character perfectly. However, in later seasons, it’s revealed that she took a job at a chain spa – which also makes sense. She’s still doing the job she loves, but she has security, better pay, and benefits. The hypocrisy comes in when she tells all her friends that she hates chain spas because they put independent workers out of business, and flips out at Rachel for wanting to use a gift certificate at the place where she herself works.