Carrie Bradshaw Is the Best Example of a Toxic Friend


  • Carrie Bradshaw’s self-centered behavior, including putting her own problems before her friends, is a red flag for toxic friendship.
  • Carrie has shown a lack of understanding and representation of women’s concerns, as seen by her comments on condoms and vaginal odor.
  • Carrie’s financial irresponsibility and manipulation of friends to fulfill her own desires demonstrate her immaturity and inability to be a functioning adult.

Sex and the City tells the story of Caroline “Carrie” Bradshaw’s (Sarah Jessica Parker) story alongside her friends — Samantha Jones (Kim Cattrall), Charlotte York (Kristin Davis), and Miranda Hobbes (Cynthia Nixon) — as they navigate being friends despite their different personalities, major social issues, and their always changing sexual lives. Despite being created by real-life writer, Candace Bushnell for her column “Sex and the City” in The New York Observer, the character of Carrie has now taken on a life of its own.

She also appears in two films Sex and the City and Sex and the City 2, and the series And Just Like That…, a continuation of the main show, all portrayed by Parker, as well as the prequel series The Carrie Diaries, where the character is portrayed by AnnaSophia Robb. Throughout the course of the main storyline within the Sex and the City franchise, Carrie shows a disturbing view of friendship, one that could be considered more than toxic.

While Sex and the City has received critical acclaim, including multiple awards, as well as a loyal fan-base, many people are noticing that Carrie, in particular, is not the kind of friend people want in their lives. In 2021, Vox writer Alex Abad-Santos wrote a scathing piece on the character, noting that “two Carrie Bradshaws exist: The flirty, quirky one we’re supposed to follow through her ups and downs and the sociopathic psychic vampire who leaves her boyfriends as husks of their former selves and bullies her girlfriends for unconditional (financial!) support, all while refusing to let them have even one moment in the sun.”

From not caring about her friends’ concerns to outright cheating, these are the reasons we think Carrie Bradshaw is a perfect example of the kind of friend everyone should avoid having.

Puts Her Own Issues Before Her Friends

The Girls of Sex and the City

There are many times in Sex and the City where Carrie seems to think her problems are bigger and more important than those of her friends. From using her friends’ plights to talk about herself to shaming them for living life to cheating on her significant other, Carrie has a lot of problems she needs to get out there, but not caring about what is going on with her friends is one of the worst.

A few great examples of this happen in Sex and the City, like when Carrie forces her boyfriend to go help a naked Miranda up after she slipped a disc in her back, but then Carrie brings bagels, so, of course, all is well. In a different episode, Miranda, who has just had a baby, seems very depressed and unsure about motherhood, but when Carrie comes over to talk, she makes it all about her, completely disregarding her friend’s concerns.

Related: 20 Iconic Guest Appearances on Sex and the City

Then, in another episode, Carrie spends days wandering around the city wondering what would have happened if she hadn’t gotten an abortion, while her supposed friend Charlotte was having trouble conceiving and had just been talking about fertility issues. But that isn’t even the half of it, Carrie also fat-shames one of the friends when she puts on a small amount of weight, makes fun of a friend for going out and having one-night stands, and even makes fun of the house her fiance builds. And if none of these counts as being a toxic friend, we don’t know what will.

Has Problems Representing Women’s Concerns

Sarah Jessica Parker in And Just Like That
Max (formerly HBO Max)

This has happened multiple times throughout the shows and films within the Sex and the City franchise, where Carrie seems to have an issue with discussing women-centric problems. And for a show that is supposed to be about independent women befriending one another despite their flaws, some of Carrie’s choices don’t align with how she views women’s health. There are two main examples of this happening that are completely unreasonable and would make many think Carrie doesn’t understand her own body at all.

In Season 2, Episode 6 of And Just Like That…, Charlotte’s daughter Lily informs her that she is planing to lose her virginity and eventually requests condoms. When this is mentioned in the friend group by Charlotte, bringing up a conversation about STIs, Carrie takes offense, essentially saying that only sluts need condoms. Prior to this, in Season 1, Episode 2 of And Just Like That…, Carrie ends up getting the entire broadcast studio shut down where she held her podcast because she refused to read a promotion for suppositories, essentially saying she wouldn’t talk about vaginal odor being a normal and common thing women face.

Overall, it seems like Carrie has issues with female anatomy, but as a sex columnist and woman, she should be open to promoting women’s health, not shaming it.

Related: And Just Like That… Season 3 of the Sex and the City Spin-Off Is Officially Happening

Does Not Know How to Be an Adult

And Just Like That Sarah Jessica Parker as Carrie Bradshaw
Max (formerly HBO Max)

Most adults figure out that they need to be financially responsible — pay the bills before blowing cash on random stuff (i.e. shoes) — but not Carrie. She lacks all the skills that would make her a functioning well-rounded member of society. A perfect example of this is in Season 4 of Sex and the City when, after breaking off her engagement with Aidan (John Corbett), Carrie spends all her money on fancy, designer shoes, and then she cannot afford a down payment on the apartment she and her fiance were planning to share.

If this doesn’t highlight Carrie’s habit of being the toxic person in her relationships, the next bit should. Carrie then asks Charlotte for the $30,000 she needs, but Charlotte declines to assist her, saying she needs to sort out her financial situation herself. Later in the episode, after shaming her friend, Carrie essentially then makes Charlotte give her an over two-carat Tiffany ring worth a lot of money.

While a bit of retail therapy within reason is not a bad thing, forcing a friend to give you something valuable to get money is downright toxic. Carrie basically says she is a grown woman who can take care of herself, then she shirks all her duties for fashion; and while her clothes are great, perhaps being a bit more responsibile would be a good thing for her in the future.

With And Just Like That recently renewed for Season 3 at Max (via Variety), hopefully the future season will bring much-needed improvements to the beloved character.