Is this Joey?
September 22, 2014 5:38 PM   Subscribe

Grantland writer Rembert Browne journeys into the "dark heart" of 90s nostalgia via Central Perk, the museum / tourist trap / coffee dispensary dedicated to the popular television show Friends. The modestly popular show premiered 20 years ago today, and had a number of memorable moments which are fondly remembered by its small, but dedicated group of fans. Friends previously and previously on Metafilter.
posted by codacorolla (139 comments total) 12 users marked this as a favorite
 
Could I BE underselling Friends' popularity as a cultural phenomenon any more?
posted by codacorolla at 5:38 PM on September 22, 2014 [32 favorites]


The Friends series finale was 10 years ago

I find it hard to believe that Friends was still on the air as late as 2004. It seems like eons ago.
posted by Atom Eyes at 5:51 PM on September 22, 2014 [15 favorites]


I got to see most of this stuff at the Paley Center a few years ago and I totally admit to geeking out while I was sitting on the orange couch.
posted by roomthreeseventeen at 5:59 PM on September 22, 2014


Could I BE underselling Friends' popularity as a cultural phenomenon any more?

I'm old enough to remember that enunciation being considered a second-rate Seinfeldian knock-off.

Really though, Friends' true genius was to take a situation comedy and spin it into a light soap opera to keep people hooked. It was young, bougie Sam & Diane without the grit.
posted by leotrotsky at 5:59 PM on September 22, 2014 [4 favorites]


Weirdly enough, I think codacorolla captures my Friends experience perfectly. I think I've seen two episodes total and it never hooked me. I was so surprised when my SIL turned out to be a total geek about the show - I had no idea people cared that much and to this day it slightly perplexes me. I mean, it starred Jennifer Aniston.
posted by kariebookish at 6:02 PM on September 22, 2014 [4 favorites]


I don't CARE about it so much as I can't seem to control my unconscious/subconscious absorption of it. I have never seen a brief scene on tv or a gifset on tumblr that I couldn't immediately identify, despite the fact that I don't recall ever really seeking the show out (although there are a number of personally lost years throughout its broadcast history so who knows).
posted by poffin boffin at 6:10 PM on September 22, 2014 [1 favorite]


Yes, it starred Jennifer Aniston.

As a teenage boy in the 90s, this was the primary selling point.
posted by Tevin at 6:11 PM on September 22, 2014 [8 favorites]


Tevin, yeah, as a geeky looking teenage girl, Jennifer Aniston was someone I totally wanted to be. I've also spent too much time thinking about whether it counts if you're on a break.
posted by roomthreeseventeen at 6:12 PM on September 22, 2014 [1 favorite]


I was never that interested in watching Friends, but it blew my mind the first time I heard the theme song on the radio, and not as part of some extended promo either, they were actually playing the theme on the television as if it was an actual song.

Weird.
posted by RonButNotStupid at 6:13 PM on September 22, 2014


I find it hard to believe that Friends was still on the air as late as 2004. It seems like eons ago.

The Nineties were like The Sixties in that they took until around 1994 or so to fully kick into gear, and in TV and music they arguably lasted into the early-to-mid 2000s.
posted by kewb at 6:20 PM on September 22, 2014 [12 favorites]


I always put the end of the 90's at 9/11/2001.
posted by Pope Guilty at 6:26 PM on September 22, 2014 [29 favorites]


Shit. If Friends really ended only 10yrs ago, maybe I am not hurtling towards death quite as rapidly as I had hitherto supposed.
posted by batfish at 6:29 PM on September 22, 2014 [4 favorites]


I wanted at least one of the answers to "Is this Phoebe?" to be "No, it's Ursula."
posted by Guy Smiley at 6:42 PM on September 22, 2014 [7 favorites]


Friends without a laugh track is one of the better arguments for the legal abolition of laugh tracks.
posted by Pope Guilty at 6:43 PM on September 22, 2014 [5 favorites]


Never understood why Jennifer Aniston became the It Girl, rather than Courtney Cox. Now looking it up, I see Cox is five years older and was already 30 when Friends premiered. I guess she just wasn't the brand new thing in 1994?
posted by spaltavian at 6:43 PM on September 22, 2014


Matt Le Blonc is in Episodes, which we started watching recently. It's pretty good! Check it out, Chandler fans! It's also got Fran in it! FraaaaaaAAAAN?
posted by turbid dahlia at 6:54 PM on September 22, 2014 [6 favorites]


The One Where I Realize This Show Doesn't Hold Up Over Time.
posted by Cool Papa Bell at 6:58 PM on September 22, 2014 [19 favorites]


I preferred Third Rock in those days because it was measurably closer to reality.
posted by wrapper at 7:04 PM on September 22, 2014 [8 favorites]


Ok, that was overly harsh. I'll point out something good.

Friends was the first show I can remember where:

* The characters had a shared history built into the lore of the show.
* That history was embarrassing. There were no good old days.

Monica was fat. Chandler's dad had a lifestyle that ruined Thanksgiving. Ross was a nerd with a taste for bizarre electronic music. Rachel was a spoiled, surgically corrected princess. Phoebe was a hobo space cadet. Only Joey was "normal," but his character was drawn as an outright clown.

I know this because they showed it to us. Courtney Cox in a fat suit, Jennifer Aniston in a prosthetic nose.

Like a dish that perfectly combines salt, sweet and sour, the characters were simultaneously aspirational, pitiful and fanciful.

By the way, we were on a break.
posted by Cool Papa Bell at 7:10 PM on September 22, 2014 [12 favorites]


Matt Le Blonc is in Episodes, which we started watching recently. It's pretty good! Check it out, Chandler fans!

oh my god matt le blanc is JOEY hdu sir
posted by poffin boffin at 7:12 PM on September 22, 2014 [4 favorites]


I'm sorry, but Ross is a once and future wiener. I wish there was an episode where he dropped a plate of spaghetti in his lap and just spent 24.5 minutes sobbing to intermittent laugh track queues.
posted by codacorolla at 7:23 PM on September 22, 2014 [13 favorites]


I mean, it starred Jennifer Aniston.

Who was absolutely hilarious and made an unlikable character very likable. I hope she doesn't go down in history as Brad Pitts ex because she is a great comedy actress.
posted by fshgrl at 7:23 PM on September 22, 2014 [13 favorites]


I hope she doesn't go down in history as Brad Pitts ex because she is a great comedy actress

I thought she went down in history as one of Lumberg's exes.
posted by Pogo_Fuzzybutt at 7:36 PM on September 22, 2014 [26 favorites]


I love this show.
posted by Room 641-A at 7:49 PM on September 22, 2014 [1 favorite]


I wish there was an episode where he dropped a plate of spaghetti in his lap and just spent 24.5 minutes sobbing to intermittent laugh track queues.

MY SANDWICH
posted by poffin boffin at 7:50 PM on September 22, 2014 [9 favorites]


I mean, it starred Jennifer Aniston.

Jennifer Aniston was one of the best best actors on Friends (I'd tie her with Courteney Cox, although Monica became one-note much faster), and in the early seasons she carried a lot of the emotional weight of the show. Two of the big arcs were Rachel running away from her wedding and starting a new life in New York, and Ross and Rachel getting together and breaking up again, and the way she played Rachel was warm, funny and unguarded. She walked the line between straight guys want her/straight girls want to be her incredibly well, which no doubt helped her popularity. Along with that hair!

The extended Jennifer/Brad/Angelina tabloid drama seemed to break her in some fundamental way. (And those who don't follow celebrity gossip may not realise that even now they still cast her in the Sad Aniston is Sad narrative, like she's everybody's pitiable friend who has it all professionally but just can't get her personal life together. Stars, they're just like us!) There's a brittleness to her acting where there used to be vulnerability. Add to that some terrible script choices and I understand why people are dismissive of her, but she really does/did have talent. I'll always have a soft spot for her because her Rachel was so great.

What really boggles my mind is that there was a time, a definite time, where everybody thought Lisa Kudrow was going to be the breakout actor in the cast. Not the biggest star, necessarily, but an indie darling, like the second coming of Parker Posey.
posted by Georgina at 7:50 PM on September 22, 2014 [12 favorites]


One thing I appreciated about the show was how quickly the writing got overhauled in the first season. I distinctly remember watching this from the start as I'd just moved to Atlanta and didn't know anybody yet. The jokes in the first few episodes landed with audible thuds and there was no chemistry within the cast, especially noticible if you were accustomed to watching ER, Seinfeld or the X-Files.

That changed very quickly. Maybe they fired the writers room.
posted by MarvinTheCat at 8:01 PM on September 22, 2014 [1 favorite]


Describing Friends as "modestly popular" is inaccurate. It was huge. And timeporn and NYC apartment porn.

It's actually quite well written with some jokes persisting over years and characters.
posted by vapidave at 8:04 PM on September 22, 2014 [2 favorites]


I hear Lisa Kudrow is having another Comeback.
posted by roger ackroyd at 8:05 PM on September 22, 2014 [3 favorites]


Describing Friends as "modestly popular" is inaccurate. It was huge. And timeporn and NYC apartment porn.

Fascinating. I had no idea.
posted by codacorolla at 8:05 PM on September 22, 2014 [27 favorites]


What really boggles my mind is that there was a time, a definite time, where everybody thought Lisa Kudrow was going to be the breakout actor in the cast. Not the biggest star, necessarily, but an indie darling, like the second coming of Parker Posey.

In fairness, she was really, really great in The Opposite of Sex.
posted by lalex at 8:07 PM on September 22, 2014 [8 favorites]


Friends without a laugh track is one of the better arguments for the legal abolition of laugh tracks.

That is amazing.

I feel like Friends is only going to get more interesting over time as the last hugely relevant cultural moment of its kind. I'm trying (and failing) to think of a good analogy, but it's like a dividing line between The Way Things Were, and The Way Things Are/Became.*

Anyway, I was juuuuuuust too young (maybe a year or two) to really have ever cared too much about it. So it's weird to know why it's such a Thing, but not really have any attachment.

* Sunset Blvd 2030 starring Lisa Kudrow with cameos by Reginald VelJohnson and the dad from Dinosaurs. I called it.
posted by graphnerd at 8:16 PM on September 22, 2014 [1 favorite]


"Sam and Diane without the grit" is a really perfect way to sum up Friends. Good call.
posted by xmutex at 9:00 PM on September 22, 2014 [1 favorite]


My ten-year-old daughter's name is Rachel. My fourteen-year-old son's name is Joey.
posted by craniac at 9:35 PM on September 22, 2014 [6 favorites]


Modestly popular?
posted by vapidave at 10:26 PM on September 22, 2014


Describing Friends as "modestly popular" is inaccurate. It was huge. And timeporn and NYC apartment porn.

Fascinating. I had no idea.


Friends was one of the anchor shows for NBC's "Must See TV". It was gigantic in the ratings, even after its peak it was consistently one of the highest rated sitcoms on television. In 10 years on the air, it was never out of the top 10.

Its cultural impact was pretty huge, too. Rachel's hairstyle became a thing copied by women all over the world. Pieces of its language usage have become part of how people talk. "How you doin'?"

It's even possible to argue that it was the end of Friends that marked the end of the "golden age" of NBC's "Must See TV" schedule, and while it took a while after that, even the decline of the network in overall ratings.

I've seen the entire cycle twice, thanks to 2-3 hour long programming blocks in the evenings on some non-affiliated TV station in a city where I was living a while back. I didn't watch it much in first-run, but did enjoy seeing it in concentrated doses long enough to realize I'd seen them all before.

Perhaps in 10 years I will revisit it. I don't think it was groundbreaking in any huge way like I do many of the Norman Lear or MTM programs from the 70s and early 80s, but it was charming and had characters that ended up fully developed over time. You truly felt like you knew these people as actual people, not just sitcom archetypes and cyphers. Friends was the perfect name for the show.
posted by hippybear at 12:14 AM on September 23, 2014 [5 favorites]


Fascinating how a show so apparently huge could have passed so many of us by. Count me down as another who had no clue the show had gathered anything beyond an (admittedly passionate) cult following.
posted by ominous_paws at 12:51 AM on September 23, 2014


Perhaps this has to do with the simultaneous rise of the internet. I stopped watching TV consistently at the end of the 90's.
posted by smidgen at 1:07 AM on September 23, 2014


I'm not a crazed fan by any means, and it's unfortunate that it seems to be becoming dated and not in a good way. It wasn't the most brilliant and innovative sitcom of its era (Seinfeld) nor the most polished and best produced (Frasier), but I really think it was a superb three-camera sitcom, perhaps the true last avatar of its nature. The performers are -- especially in retrospect -- more appealing than talented, Aniston perhaps excepted, and the stories are topical, often overwrought in their demographic targeting, and the singles-and-a-cafe concept was truly wearing threadbare near the end -- but most of the scripts are quite well-constructed and the whole thing maintained a certain enthusiasm to nearly the very end.

I've tried to watch a few of its descendants, like HIMYM or TAAHM, but I've been severely unimpressed. I really feel like the 90s were peak sitcom, and maybe it's the fragmented culture now where the format is no longer necessary or some other social reason, but the whole format seems to have run out of things to say.
posted by dhartung at 1:14 AM on September 23, 2014 [3 favorites]


Are the people saying they didn't know Friends was huge being ironic? Because a) the show was a massive cultural juggernaut and b) the internet has killed my ability to predict or accurately recognize irony.
posted by Pope Guilty at 1:17 AM on September 23, 2014 [19 favorites]


Yeah, I feel like I need to throw a "whoosh" after vapidave and codacorolla's exchange.
posted by Literaryhero at 2:54 AM on September 23, 2014 [11 favorites]


As far as Friends goes, I didn't watch the original run because I didn't find it funny. Just recently my wife tried watching it again, and she thought it didn't hold up well.

I think it is a little too kind hearted for my taste. I prefer my comedy a bit meaner.
posted by Literaryhero at 3:00 AM on September 23, 2014


Lately, I've been watching this show sometimes on TBS and Nick at Nite. I occasionally laugh out loud. That is more than I can say about the majority of current sitcoms that I have watched.
posted by dogwalker at 3:44 AM on September 23, 2014 [1 favorite]


Rembert Browne is rapidly becoming my favorite pop culture writer. It's refreshing to see someone just get caught up in the sheer fun of stuff and admit it. Also, "a line that unfortunately has an elbow" is the best turn of phrase I've seen this week.
posted by Etrigan at 4:30 AM on September 23, 2014 [1 favorite]


Describing Friends as "modestly popular" is inaccurate. It was huge.

Fascinating. I had no idea.

Friends was one of the anchor shows for NBC's "Must See TV". It was gigantic in the ratings, even after its peak it was consistently one of the highest rated sitcoms on television. In 10 years on the air, it was never out of the top 10.

Are the people saying they didn't know Friends was huge being ironic?


The one where we eventually realized that codacorolla knew that Friends was more than "modestly popular" all along.
posted by ActingTheGoat at 4:32 AM on September 23, 2014 [3 favorites]


Aniston was by far the best actor on the show mainly because she didn't get many zinger punchlines or goofy catchphrases etc to work with, unlike all the rest (Schwimmer a bit less). Working with Joey or Phoebe's lines is much easier for a skilled actor.
posted by colie at 4:33 AM on September 23, 2014


I do really have a fondness of Friends. One of those shows I grew up with, and it was super big in the UK, to the point where I genuinely remember being vaguely excited that a particular episode was going to have updated opening credits. There was a huge fuss when it came over to the UK, and then those episodes were just... super bad. Just really bad. I still really like it, I think some episodes and ideas have aged worse with times, and as I get older and somewhat wiser I become more and more disgusted by the character of Ross.

The funny thing about that show is that they put so much effort into a last reunion between Ross and Rachel, and I really could not care less. Woop, they've got back together on the final episode, I'm sure that pile of emotional mess will definitely not break up in a couple weeks time. Eh, I probably could say a lot about lots of individual moments of that show, but at its best it was really funny, and it was occasionally moving, although only very occasionally.
posted by Cannon Fodder at 4:53 AM on September 23, 2014 [1 favorite]


I really only vaguely remember Friends. I know that I watched it with my ex-, so that would have been before '96. I didn't really watch any TV between '96 and 2001 so my cultural references from that era are pretty limited (explaining why I'd never seen Buffy until marathoning it last winter).
posted by octothorpe at 4:58 AM on September 23, 2014


Of course, if you can't make it to New York, there are other options.
posted by hawkeye at 5:09 AM on September 23, 2014


There is at least one moment of comedy writing genius in the show.

All through one episode, Rachel and Chandler have been stealing these incredibly delicious cheesecakes that have been delivered to the doorstep of a neighbor. While arguing over one, the cheesecake splats onto the floor of the hallway. They don't care. They go back to their own apartments for forks, come back to the hallway and have at it.

A little later, Joey comes up the stairs and sees them hunched over the cheesecake remains on the floor. They stop eating for a moment and Joey looks quizzically at them. Then, in one fluid motion, Joey squats down and removes a fork from his inside jacket pocket and joins them.

That's some great characterization, folks.
posted by AlonzoMosleyFBI at 5:18 AM on September 23, 2014 [23 favorites]


"It tastes like FEET!" still gets regular play at my house.
posted by Fleebnork at 5:27 AM on September 23, 2014 [5 favorites]


I had a friend (who's often delightfully socially clueless) remark that Friends taught her how to interact with people. I reckon there's a solid generation out there who was shown how to be 'normal' by Friends.
posted by litleozy at 5:27 AM on September 23, 2014


dogwalker: Lately, I've been watching this show sometimes on TBS and Nick at Nite.

Nick at Nite has no business airing shows that are so recent. When it started, the shows had at least thirty years on them: Donna Reed, Make Room for Daddy, My Three Sons, Dragnet, etc... I can't get nostalgic for Home Improvement or Full House.
posted by dr_dank at 6:06 AM on September 23, 2014 [1 favorite]


I still laugh out loud when I watch the bit with Isabella Rossellini and Ross (I'm sorry, I have a list of 5 goofy coffee shop guys and I just bumped you for that guy over there), but I generally feel guilty for my enjoyment of the show because I can't come up with an explanation for why it's a guilty pleasure. I've never particularly liked nor been able to relate to any of the characters or their exploits, but there's still something so comforting about watching it as a rerun.
posted by casualinference at 6:11 AM on September 23, 2014


When I went to college in 1988, I basically stopped watching TV for a long time. Nobody had cable in their dorm rooms then (which would only have helped a little anyway; in '88, we were still mostly in a 3-network world), at least not at my school, and the big TV in the basement was mostly just used for movies and sporting events. So I just completely fell out of the habit of watching TV week to week, and really didn't pick it up again (in the sense of having prime time shows I watched every week) until I got laid off after the dot-com crash in 2001 and bought a Tivo.

(Hey, I couldn't find work nearly quickly enough, but I watched ALL OF THE BUFFY in pretty short order.)

That's a long interregnum, and while it was normal for the time and place I spent my college years, I get that (a) it's not something that all GenX types experienced in college and (b) it's unusual that I didn't get sucked in again as soon as I had an apartment and cable.

Anyway, Friends falls squarely in the period of time I wasn't watching TV. Consequently, its appeal more or less completely escapes me. Like anyone else who lived through the era, I'm aware of its characters and tropes (just as I'm aware of ER and Seinfeld), but I was never really a fan at all, and the older I get the weirder this seems precisely because of the enormous cultural footprint.
posted by uberchet at 6:40 AM on September 23, 2014


I enjoyed Friends through its entirety, but I was also a devotee of the NBC Thursday night Must See TV block. When it came to romantic entanglements, I always felt that Chandler and Monica were the most authentic couple and the one that I wanted most to know turned out fine. They shared a wonderful awkwardness together and it was adorable.

When Friends went off the air it symbolized the end of an era for NBC. It tried to bring us the next "Friends" in the form of "Couplings" based off of a British comedy of the same name(which I think was likely inspired by Friends). Yes, we will replace the highly popular group comedy involving three guys and three girls with a group comedy with three guys and three girls. It didn't work at all. It was aired after Friends to receive that tsunami wave of a lead in and it failed miserably. Even though 30 Rock, the Office, and Community were all on the horizon, none of those shows had the same cultural or economic impact as Friends (the Office being the closest). When Friends left the air, it was the beginning of the end for NBC having a comedy that reverberated with Mainstream America (with apparent exceptions amongst our MeFi commentators). NBC has never recovered in this regard and just recently, surrendered the idea of Must See Tv on Thursday nights.
posted by Atreides at 6:42 AM on September 23, 2014 [3 favorites]


You are mistaken. There was no American version of Coupling.

Ever.

No.
posted by murphy slaw at 6:51 AM on September 23, 2014 [4 favorites]


I was a mild "Friends" fan during its initial run, but could never get too passionate about it because I never bought into the central premise that I was supposed to be rooting wildly for Ross and Rachel to get together.

Ultimately, "Friends" feels a little bit like a "Nice Guy" wish-fulfillment fantasy. Hopelessly nerdy guy has a lifelong crush on a stunningly beautiful woman who is about 1000x out of his league looks wise.. Once she discovers his feelings, she of course falls madly in love with him too since he's always been really nice to her.
posted by The Gooch at 6:55 AM on September 23, 2014 [6 favorites]


I could never really get into Friends — it seemed too tame always — but I am a massive HIMYM fan, mostly because it matched my life (I'm the same age as all the characters and lived in NYC at the time), so I like to think Friends was that to other people.
posted by dame at 7:16 AM on September 23, 2014 [1 favorite]


Add me to the list of people shocked that Friends ended only a decade ago. My college roommate fell asleep every night watching old episodes that he'd somehow managed to download (we're talking maybe 1999 or 2000 here, so it wasn't hard, but it wasn't easy, either). I think I assumed that it had ended sometime before that.

Also I really, really hate Friends. Joey is a lovable simpleton, but the rest of them are just awful. Also zero laughs.
posted by uncleozzy at 7:20 AM on September 23, 2014


Friends was one of the first shows I remember people scoffing at for being too popular.
posted by soelo at 7:23 AM on September 23, 2014 [2 favorites]


...and NYC apartment porn.

So fake it's distracting?
posted by griphus at 7:24 AM on September 23, 2014 [3 favorites]


Friends was pretty good for a while, but when Chandler and Monica got married/Rachel got pregnant, it was like somebody flipped a switch. It was basically unwatchable for me after that. Not in any unique way. It seems like lots of sitcoms get to that point eventually, where there are a ton of awful new characters, the old ones are reduced to bundles of wacky traits, and the writers try to get laughs by making everybody twice as mean to everybody else. For some reason, in the case of Friends (unlike e.g., Frasier or The Golden Girls or Seinfeld, where the same thing happened), it was so bad that it retroactively ruined the older episodes for me a bit.
posted by two or three cars parked under the stars at 7:49 AM on September 23, 2014 [3 favorites]


Yeah, I wouldn't call it the greatest show of all time, but it had a couple of pretty solid seasons. If nothing else, the "trivia contest" episode was pretty great.

"Big Fat Goalie!!!"
posted by Chrysostom at 7:52 AM on September 23, 2014 [3 favorites]


Witnessing people waxing nostalgic over this show is like watching folks rhapsodize about Three's Company or The Facts of Life.
posted by Palindromedary at 7:54 AM on September 23, 2014 [2 favorites]


I've never a managed to consciously watch a whole episode of Friends but whenever it comes up I m reminded of my friend Otto's line about it "Guy sent me a picture of his dick against his Friends DVD box for comparison and while it was bigger than the box, do I really want to fuck someone who owns a Friends DVD?"
posted by The Whelk at 7:54 AM on September 23, 2014 [8 favorites]


The jokes in the first few episodes landed with audible thuds and there was no chemistry within the cast, especially noticible if you were accustomed to watching ER, Seinfeld or the X-Files.

That changed very quickly. Maybe they fired the writers room.


Nothing so dramatic. The first few episodes of most TV shows tend to be rocky - the premiere of a good-to-great show is usually good, and then there's three to six episodes of the writers saying "okay, how do we make this work."
posted by mightygodking at 8:07 AM on September 23, 2014


Every time my friends are moving something, I am overwhelmed by the urge to helpfully yell "PIVOT!"
posted by maryr at 8:19 AM on September 23, 2014 [14 favorites]


Of course, if you can't make it to New York, there are other options.

There's a Central Perk in Geneva as well (I only passed by it while visiting, I wasn't in Switzerland long enough to get to the ironic tourism).
posted by maryr at 8:23 AM on September 23, 2014


I never understood the massive popularity of the "Rachel" hairdo. It was never not awful.
posted by Sys Rq at 8:27 AM on September 23, 2014


as I get older and somewhat wiser I become more and more disgusted by the character of Ross

I always got an "I will someday lose my shit and hit a woman" vibe off of Ross. The episode where there's a hee-lary-us joke along those lines ("Ha ha, this martial arts instructor thinks Ross wants to beat up Rachel") made me realize someone in the writers room got that vibe too.
posted by Lentrohamsanin at 8:34 AM on September 23, 2014 [1 favorite]


I once tried to work out what song I've heard the most times in my life, and I'm pretty sure it's the theme from Friends.
posted by rollick at 8:38 AM on September 23, 2014


Witnessing people waxing nostalgic over this show is like watching folks rhapsodize about Three's Company or The Facts of Life.

I am no big fan of "Friends", but this is a bad comparison. "Friends" was a fair-to-good sitcom. The other shows you've mentioned here were fucking awful.
posted by Ipsifendus at 8:48 AM on September 23, 2014


Friends is kind of hard to parse, because on the one hand, it is culturally so very, very bland, and almost aggressively non-edgy. It was designed to be non-offensive to the widest-possible swath of people. For that reason, it will never be cool, nor should it be. I mean, the first season featured an episode where they all went to a Hootie and the Blowfish concert!

But on the other hand, it was often so well-done. It was well-written, the comedic timing was great, the characters played off each other well, etc., etc.

Also, I was recently shocked to realize that the character of Rachel is actually sort of a feminist hero. The show starts with her as this girl whose only jobs have ever been to be pretty and marry a rich man. She decides that life isn't for her, and makes a huge leap into a new life of independence without any safety net besides the one she builds for herself with the help of her friends. She dates lots of different men, she builds an amazing (if improbable) career for herself, she's a single mom. It's a pretty great story of female empowerment.

(We can just ignore that silly reunion she and Ross had at the end. As cannon fodder says, they would have broken up again like two weeks later.)

I also really like Chandler and Monica's relationship. I remember reading something at the time about how the writers knew that they'd made everything SO DRAMATIC with Ross and Rachel, so with Chandler and Monica, they decided to go the other way and just make it funny and low-drama. And because of that, they feel like a real couple who pretty much treat each other like friends and equals. They bicker like people do, but they're also on the same team, which is surprisingly rare on shows like this.
posted by lunasol at 8:49 AM on September 23, 2014 [11 favorites]


The most (and in fact, nearly all) the Friends that I watched was in 2004/2005, when the show was ending. I was living in Beijing with a Chinese host family, and my host sister, who was a few years older than me, LOVED Friends. Which was surprising because it seemed so thoroughly rooted in American experience- a broad experience, but American to the core. So many of the jokes, and gags, were based on American idioms. My ability to read Chinese characters, particularly at the pace of subtitles, was limited, so I don't know how the translators did it. But she loved it, and thought it was hilarious, and we would sit and watch episode after episode.

She also claimed to enjoy Sex and the City, which, as a high school girl who had been living in a girls' dorm for three years, I was very well versed in. But I think it often made her uncomfortable, especially when there were explicit scenes (Samantha, of course).

We also went on marathons where we watched as many of the older James Bond movies as we could fit into one weekend.
posted by Aubergine at 9:39 AM on September 23, 2014


The one where we eventually realized that codacorolla knew that Friends was more than "modestly popular" all along.

Yeah, but they don't know we know they know we know.
posted by mixedmetaphors at 9:45 AM on September 23, 2014 [9 favorites]


But on the other hand, it was often so well-done. It was well-written, the comedic timing was great, the characters played off each other well, etc., etc.

There was also this amazingly deep canon, something that very few other television shows had aside from Seinfeld and non-sitcom stuff like Star Trek. You never saw Lucy refer to an argument from two seasons ago or Mr. Brady remind Greg about the Johnny Bravo thing.

It's something I guess we take for granted now with the new age of dramatic TV (think Lost, Mad Men, Breaking Bad, etc), but I think at the time of Seinfeld/Friends this was new territory. Can anyone else provide a counterexample?
posted by JoeZydeco at 9:55 AM on September 23, 2014


it blew my mind the first time I heard the theme song on the radio, and not as part of some extended promo either, they were actually playing the theme on the television as if it was an actual song.

This was not uncommon at all back when TV shows had actual theme songs. Friends was probably one of the last theme songs with radio play.
posted by Room 641-A at 9:57 AM on September 23, 2014


Here's the thing about Friends: With the exception of Ross/Rachel, no one ended up with the right person. Chandler should've married Janice. Monica should've married Richard. Phoebe should not have married Paul Rudd (classic sitcom "introduce a character at the last minute to tie up a loose end" move). Joey was never a real person, but more of a collective hallucination.

And the final episode should've come back around to Rachel walking into Central Perk in her wedding gown, just to emphasize the awful crushing circularity of their lives.
posted by the sobsister at 10:07 AM on September 23, 2014 [2 favorites]


My earliest memory of the show is having it come up as a quiz bowl bonus question, where we had to name all six of the actors or characters. This was in 1996, when they were on the edge of domination. I was irritated because I could only maybe name one of them.
posted by ZeusHumms at 10:21 AM on September 23, 2014


Its cultural impact was pretty huge, too. Rachel's hairstyle became a thing copied by women all over the world.

Not only copied, I remember it being a freakin' event every time they changed her damn hair. Ridiculously popular. I was only a casual watcher and to this day every time I lift something heavy or am working though a small space either my wife or I will inevitably start with the "PIVOT! PIVAAT!! PIVAAAAAT!!!"
posted by tetsuo at 10:26 AM on September 23, 2014 [1 favorite]


Aubergine, I can verify that Friends is very popular in China, and is still regularly recommended to people who want to get into 美剧 (American TV drama.) It's thought to be a great English learning tool, with all the slangs etc.
posted by of strange foe at 10:34 AM on September 23, 2014 [2 favorites]


Back in the mid-90s I broke up with my long-time boyfriend and moved into a strange smelling studio apartment in a duplex building. My neighbors were two guys who created or produced electronic music and I was subjected to night after night of pounding bass and the same section of these bafflinf thumping songs being played over and over as they mixed them. These guys also had a pet duck. It was a really nice looking duck and would follow them around and sometimes get loose, so the neighbors would go around knocking on doors asking if anyone had seen their duck, which is how I met them.

I told some of my on-line friends the whole saga and the neighbors were quickly nicknamed Techno Joey and Techno Chandler which really made an annoying situation much funnier for me and enabled me to not take these guys seriously at ll and start pestering them to keep it the fuck down in the middle of the night, so thanks, Friends!
posted by Squeak Attack at 10:49 AM on September 23, 2014 [1 favorite]


Friends is great on-in-the-background comfort viewing, for me.

Ross and Rachel getting together at the end still makes me so mad though. He was just such a consistently terrible partner to her, and the idea that her otherwise great independence arc (as lunasol outlines) ends with her giving up a dream job in Paris to go back to him doesn't sit so well with me. In my head, she and Emma are still hanging out in Paris, having coffee and croissants on the weekends at a cafe that reminds her of Central Perk. Maybe she ends up with French-Gunther.
posted by lwb at 10:49 AM on September 23, 2014 [4 favorites]


In my head, she and Emma are still hanging out in Paris, having coffee and croissants on the weekends at a cafe that reminds her of Central Perk. Maybe she ends up with French-Gunther.

French-Gunther is actually the real Gunther with a beret and a fake mustache. He totally followed here there.
posted by dogwalker at 10:57 AM on September 23, 2014 [3 favorites]


My former brother-in-law looks uncannily like Ross. It was kind of disturbing at the time.
posted by Chrysostom at 11:24 AM on September 23, 2014


Techno Joey and Techno Chandler

O
r >

O
r
posted by Sys Rq at 11:25 AM on September 23, 2014


Ultimately, "Friends" feels a little bit like a "Nice Guy" wish-fulfillment fantasy. Hopelessly nerdy guy has a lifelong crush on a stunningly beautiful woman who is about 1000x out of his league looks wise.. Once she discovers his feelings, she of course falls madly in love with him too since he's always been really nice to her.

I don't remember Rachel falling in love with Gunther.
posted by Room 641-A at 11:43 AM on September 23, 2014 [2 favorites]


If they must have Ross and Rachel end up together (and I'm sure they thought they must), it should have been with Ross giving up his tenure and heading to Paris instead of Rachel giving up her dreams to settle for Ross.
posted by ckape at 11:45 AM on September 23, 2014 [3 favorites]


an episode where they all went to a Hootie and the Blowfish concert
Only Ross, Chandler and Monica went. The others were too poor to go.

At first I was just going to jokingly correct that bit of unimportant trivia. Then I realized the whole episode was about Joey, Rachel and Phoebe pointing out they don't have as much spending money as the other three and asking them to stop suggesting such expensive activities or assuming money is not a big deal. I've rarely seen that kind of plot point done in a sitcom, and it was done well. Phoebe's brother and birth mother storylines were pretty good, too.
posted by soelo at 11:51 AM on September 23, 2014 [5 favorites]


My former brother-in-law looks uncannily like Ross.
Is his name Russ and is he a periodontist?
posted by soelo at 11:54 AM on September 23, 2014 [6 favorites]


Man, I remember liking this show when it first came out as part of the Must See block. But as it went on and became more and more a turgid soap opera, as I got more and more sensitive to race, class and homophobia, I just descended into loathing. I really don't like any of the characters, I hate the inane quirkiness… grrr, even thinking about it right now is just sending me into an inarticulate fugue of disgust and revulsion. I like to pretend it ended with The One Where They All Die In The Twin Towers. (And a couple years after Friends premiered, ER started getting terrible too.)

I knew so many people who patterned their lives on this shit, and I hated them too. I think Jennifer Anniston is the only one who came out of that show to do anything worthwhile afterwards, even though she did her share of rom-coms with embarrassing costars, like Jay Mohr, the Zubas of romantic leads.
posted by klangklangston at 11:54 AM on September 23, 2014 [1 favorite]


Is his name Russ and is he a periodontist?

Another great sequence. "You could not be more wrong. You could try; but you would not be successful."
posted by Chrysostom at 11:59 AM on September 23, 2014 [1 favorite]


(And a couple years after Friends premiered, ER started getting terrible too.)

Friends and ER premiered in the same week.
posted by Sys Rq at 12:01 PM on September 23, 2014 [1 favorite]


This is one of the shows that was so foundational in my life as a tv-watcher that I can't actually watch it objectively. I can sort of tell that things are terrible, but I can't actually dislike or not enjoy them. It is very strange.

That said, when I watched it as a kid, Phoebe was my least favorite character. Only when I started re-watching it as an adult did I realize she is my MOST favorite character, because she basically spends every episode trolling everyone else in the ways they most deserve. Only Phoebe is as mean to Ross as everyone should be to Ross. Only Phoebe constantly makes everyone feel awkward about their wealth and privilege by faux-blithely talking about her years on the street, but the obvious pleasure she gets from their uncomfortable responses shows she was never as loopy as she pretended to be.
posted by a fiendish thingy at 12:32 PM on September 23, 2014 [9 favorites]


Then I realized the whole episode was about Joey, Rachel and Phoebe pointing out they don't have as much spending money as the other three and asking them to stop suggesting such expensive activities or assuming money is not a big deal. I've rarely seen that kind of plot point done in a sitcom, and it was done well.

This was one of the first episodes I saw where I really connected with the show. I never became a fan, per se - I couldn't fully relate to an America devoid of all ethnic diversity - but there were some parts of being young in that period that they nailed. The other episode that hooked me was when they had to navigate their first Thanksgiving with friends and apart from family.


This was not uncommon at all back when TV shows had actual theme songs. Friends was probably one of the last theme songs with radio play.

Dive in the Pool from Queer as Folk got overplayed at the clubs, thought I don't remember if it was a theme song. QAF was another quintessentially "90's" show that didn't even air until the 2000's.
posted by kanewai at 12:37 PM on September 23, 2014


Oh wait I remember now, the exterior establishing shot for the apartment housed the infamous drag bar Bar D'O at one point so I just decided they really lived above one.
posted by The Whelk at 12:47 PM on September 23, 2014


Only Phoebe constantly makes everyone feel awkward.

The one where Monica micro-manages planning a party and Phoebe decorates with all the plastic cups.

Phoebe is my favorite.
posted by Room 641-A at 12:58 PM on September 23, 2014 [3 favorites]


When you see an early episode, it's striking how the boys are always thinner and the girls always fatter (I mean healthily). Hollywood.
posted by colie at 1:00 PM on September 23, 2014 [1 favorite]


"Friends and ER premiered in the same week."

I didn't remember that, but it doesn't change the truth of my statement. I think ER got bad more slowly than Friends did, mostly because I remember a time where I'd have to find something else for half an hour before coming back, but eventually that wasn't worth the effort either.
posted by klangklangston at 1:10 PM on September 23, 2014


[Phoebe] basically spends every episode trolling everyone else in the ways they most deserve

About gravity: "Lately I feel like I am not being pulled so much as pushed."
posted by soelo at 1:12 PM on September 23, 2014 [1 favorite]


Though in going back and looking at the schedules (THANKS INTERNET), it seems like there was only one year where Friends was after Seinfeld — the rest of the time I remember skipping shitshows like Just Shoot Me or Veronica's Closet. But that can't really be blamed on Friends OR CAN IT?
posted by klangklangston at 1:14 PM on September 23, 2014


colie: "When you see an early episode, it's striking how the boys are always thinner and the girls always fatter (I mean healthily). Hollywood."

I believe Matthew Perry had a drastic weight loss while struggling with a painkiller addiction.
posted by Chrysostom at 1:25 PM on September 23, 2014


I didn't remember that, but it doesn't change the truth of my statement. I think ER got bad more slowly than Friends did, mostly because I remember a time where I'd have to find something else for half an hour before coming back, but eventually that wasn't worth the effort either.

Ah, but do you remember the week where ER suddenly had a weird "Viewer Discretion Advised" warning before the episode started and you and your friends were like weird, do they always do that? and you were like, guys, I think some shit might go down this episode, and then the episode started and you were still discussing what might happen with this incoming trauma that and BAM helicopter chops Romano's hand off?

Because, uh, I remember that week.
posted by maryr at 1:35 PM on September 23, 2014 [1 favorite]


It was his whole arm!
posted by soelo at 1:38 PM on September 23, 2014 [2 favorites]


I believe Matthew Perry had a drastic weight loss while struggling with a painkiller addiction.

My recollection is his weight yo-yo'd a bit as he went in and out of rehab in the later years.
posted by Lentrohamsanin at 1:52 PM on September 23, 2014 [1 favorite]


I just came into this thread to say:

Chanandler Bong.
posted by entropone at 1:55 PM on September 23, 2014 [4 favorites]


That's Ms. Chanandler Bong.
posted by Etrigan at 2:02 PM on September 23, 2014 [3 favorites]


Actually, it's MISS Chanandler Bong.
posted by Chrysostom at 2:08 PM on September 23, 2014 [6 favorites]


Oh look, a person of color on that couch. It's like seeing a sasquatch.
posted by lumpenprole at 2:29 PM on September 23, 2014 [3 favorites]


I wasn't keeping track, but Friends is one of the first mainstream TV shows I remember that portrayed same-sex partners raising a child together in a positive (and fairly unremarkable) light. Sure, the "my wife left me for a woman!" trope is old and tired, but their story line was usually just about Ben. Actually, all the baby arcs were pretty well done.
posted by Room 641-A at 3:56 PM on September 23, 2014 [2 favorites]


Not only that, but Friends had one of the first gay weddings on television. I still remember the opening speech by the officiant: "Nothing makes God happier than when two people -- any two people -- come together in love." That's pretty radical for primetime tv in 1996.

The network wouldn't let Carol and Susan kiss, though.

It was always weird to me that a show that was progressive on homosexuality was so unprogressive on race. New York has never been so white as it was in a Friends episode.
posted by Georgina at 7:37 PM on September 23, 2014 [4 favorites]


codacorolla and I were on a BREAK. Also he broke my fridge.

Yeah, I'll be posting to AskMe soon as to how to get my irony meter repaired.
posted by vapidave at 9:01 PM on September 23, 2014


A friend who lived hundreds of miles away was a BIG fan. Talked about it a lot.

On my first visit a married couple came over one night expressly to watch the show with him/us.

They all dutifully laughed along with the laugh trac. Every single time.

I found that deeply weird.
posted by wrapper at 9:44 PM on September 23, 2014


They all dutifully laughed along with the laugh trac. Every single time.

Friends didn't have a laugh track. It had a live studio audience.
posted by hippybear at 11:31 PM on September 23, 2014


My friend and his friends laughed everytime the live studio audience laughed. Every single time.

I found that deeply weird.
posted by wrapper at 11:52 PM on September 23, 2014 [1 favorite]


Yes, it's weird to laugh at the same time a bunch of other people laugh to things that have been refined to be funny to a bunch of other people.

Wait, what?
posted by hippybear at 1:19 AM on September 24, 2014 [3 favorites]


It was always weird to me that a show that was progressive on homosexuality was so unprogressive on race. New York has never been so white as it was in a Friends episode.

I'd argue that Seinfeld's New York was way whiter.

Seinfeld was about four friends in New York and the show included a very, very extended group of friends and acquaintances who were almost exclusively white. The many, many women Jerry dated? Mostly white. Off the top of my head, other than Jackie Chiles (who was based on Johnny Cochran) I can't think of another black character on Seinfeld. Friends was about six friends in New York that rarely explored the people outside this group's immediate circle, yet two of Ross's three other girlfriends happened to be women of color. That may not be peak TV diversity, but it's hardly the worst offender of 90s television.

Phoebe should not have married Paul Rudd

How does one not marry Paul Rudd if given the chance? Does not compute.
posted by Room 641-A at 5:41 AM on September 24, 2014 [3 favorites]


I still remember the opening speech by the officiant: "Nothing makes God happier than when two people -- any two people -- come together in love."

The officiant was played by Candace Gingrich, also known as Newt Gingrich's gay half-sister!
posted by casualinference at 7:06 AM on September 24, 2014 [3 favorites]


New York has never been so white as it was in a Friends episode.

Friends has a weird generic-American-city-but-not-New-York feel to it a lot of the time, IMO. And not just because of the enormous apartments.
posted by naoko at 7:53 AM on September 24, 2014


Yeah, Friends may have taken place in New York but there was very little about it that was New York.
posted by entropone at 7:56 AM on September 24, 2014


How does one not marry Paul Rudd if given the chance? Does not compute.

Because she should have married Hank Azaria.
posted by maryr at 8:05 AM on September 24, 2014 [4 favorites]


"It was always weird to me that a show that was progressive on homosexuality was so unprogressive on race. "

…except that a good half of the jokes between Joey and Chandler were about homo panic. See this supercut for about an hour of them.
posted by klangklangston at 8:42 AM on September 24, 2014 [1 favorite]


Yes. Whenever there's a Friends episode on TV, I stick around and wait for the inevitable instance of casual homophobia or gender policing. You know, male characters being mocked for acting like a girl, dressing like a girl, throwing like a girl, being addressed like a girl, interacting with men like a girl, and so on and so on. It's never once disappointed me. And it's more aggressive than the background noise of the culture occasionally slipping in, imo; the writers must have considered this stuff to be an absolutely essential ingredient of their show. It's a fairly big part of the reason I'm not really interested in rewatching it.

Thanks for the link, Klang.
posted by two or three cars parked under the stars at 8:57 AM on September 24, 2014


Apart from my aforementioned inability to consider the show objectively, I also think it is a bit exacting to expect a show from 1995 to live up to 2014 standards. Saying it was progressive “at the time” means that at the time, Joey and Chandler’s gay panic WAS progressive, because the very idea that two guys doing fun things together might be lovers instead of solid heterosexual companions was a signal of a drastic paradigm shift (as were Susan and Carol.) Those plot lines are cringeworthy now, but for a hit show to acknowledge the existence of longterm, domestic gay partnerships as overtly normal (Ross is portrayed as oblivious for not figuring out his own wife and college sweetheart was a lesbian!) was pretty mind-blowing at the time, and it made a lot of people re-think their assumptions about what being gay meant.

Here’s hoping that the stuff we find groundbreakingly progressive on TV these days will be similarly viewed as embarrassingly retrograde and clunky in twenty years.
posted by a fiendish thingy at 9:59 AM on September 24, 2014


I agree with that to some extent, but when I consider, say, Roseanne's treatment of its gay characters, I can't really give Friends that much of a pass. That show certainly wasn't perfect, but it was much more matter-of-fact, the characters (especially Leon) were well-developed and integrated into the main storylines in more complex ways, and most importantly, I guess, the homophobia seemed more organic and and less gratuitous -- it seemed to emerge from the show's milieu and not from some gross bro-infested writers' room. Roseanne was off the air by 1998 and it still seems more progressive than Friends to me. Plus it had its gay wedding first. It's a shame Roseanne the person turned out to be a massive transphobe, but it doesn't change my opinion of her show.

Even other big sitcoms that were around at the same time, though they weren't above these gay panic jokes, don't seem to reach for them constantly the way Friends does. Seinfeld and Frasier both had gay panic-themed episodes (the "it moved" episode of Seinfeld and lots of episodes of Frasier, including the ones where he has a sexual dream about Gil and where he leads Patrick Stewart on in order to keep enjoying his fabulous life) where the issue was dealt with creatively and productively. And the joke was mostly on the straight characters for being ridiculous and insecure or false and greedy. Whereas on Friends, it was usually like, Haha, you're like a girl. And rather than laughing at the asshole who said it, the audience was supposed to laugh at the character it was said to for ever allowing his masculinity to be in question.
posted by two or three cars parked under the stars at 10:44 AM on September 24, 2014


I'm always amazed at the gap between what made it onto the air and the much harder-edged atmosphere of the Friends writers' room (Courtney Cox's nethers are "full of dried up twigs"?!?) that was revealed during a lawsuit. I imagine that's pretty typical of sitcoms, but it was eye-opening when it came out.
posted by COBRA! at 10:57 AM on September 24, 2014


Even other big sitcoms that were around at the same time, though they weren't above these gay panic jokes, don't seem to reach for them constantly the way Friends does.

Not that it excuses it, and it does take away from the progressive cred of the show, but in the milieu of twentysomething unmarried people in the '90s, the equivalent of #nohomo was constant. Seinfeld and Frasier were about older people.
posted by Etrigan at 11:30 AM on September 24, 2014 [1 favorite]


I'd also give them a prop or two for putting Lea DeLaria on network television (even if it was for only like 25 seconds).
posted by Lentrohamsanin at 11:46 AM on September 24, 2014


Friends walked a really odd line with LGBT issues. But I think Chandler's character probably would have an unusual amount of fear and anxiety about being perceived as gay. I'm not entirely sure I understand Chandler's dad's gender identity - in earlier seasons it seems like he(?) was supposed to be a gay drag queen, but in later seasons appeared to be portrayed as a transgender woman. Always referred to with a male name and male pronouns, though. They definitely did some horribly offensive stuff with that character. But I liked the storyline where Monica insisted that Chandler's dad attend their wedding. I liked that Chandler walked down the aisle with both his parents dressed to the nines, and that he seemed to have been able to rekindle some sort of positive and even affectionate relationship with his father. And, you know, it sort of felt realistic that it would be a struggle for him.
posted by lwb at 12:05 PM on September 24, 2014


but when I consider, say, Roseanne's treatment of its gay characters, I can't really give Friends that much of a pass.

The difference is that Rosanne Barr/Arnold/Just Rosanne was in charge of her #1 show and had the power to do whatever she wanted.
posted by Room 641-A at 4:23 PM on September 24, 2014


Because she should have married Hank Azaria.

They were so cute that Azaria and Kudrow should've married IRL.
posted by Pope Guilty at 5:17 PM on September 24, 2014


They were so cute that Azaria and Kudrow should've married IRL.

Hmm.

Prior to 1993, Lisa Kudrow was in a relationship with Conan O'Brien--that is, while he was writing for The Simpsons, where Hank Azaria works. Hank Azaria was in a relationship with Helen Hunt from 1994 on through the run of Mad About You, in which Lisa Kudrow played the recurring role of Ursula.

With those facts (and maybe also the fact that the end of the Azaria-Hunt marriage coincided almost exactly with David's brief return from Minsk), you could run wild with spurious speculation. But I mention them only to say that Hank Azaria and Lisa Kudrow totally had a window of opportunity back in '93-'94.
posted by Sys Rq at 6:17 PM on September 24, 2014 [3 favorites]


Headcanon accepted.
posted by maryr at 6:25 PM on September 24, 2014


in which Lisa Kudrow played the recurring role of Ursula.

Phoebe and Ursula were twin sisters, like really, in the alternate reality sitcom universe.
posted by hippybear at 11:37 PM on September 24, 2014 [1 favorite]


There was a huge fuss when it came over to the UK, and then those episodes were just... super bad. Just really bad.

Sure, but... while the timelines don't line up perfectly, one of the UK shows you'd compare Friends to is Spaced*. And that's like comparing a flashlight -- even maybe a really good flashlight -- to the simultaneous supernova of an entire galaxy.

*And Coupling, duh. But I can't speak for how Coupling and Friends compare as I bounced off (UK) Coupling inside an episode.
posted by ROU_Xenophobe at 6:21 AM on September 25, 2014


Phoebe and Ursula were twin sisters
Was it Friends or Mad About You that had Jaime and Fran run into Phoebe and assume she was Ursula? Phoebe's nonsensical replies and not recognizing them just added to the assumption.
posted by soelo at 12:56 PM on September 26, 2014


Was it Friends or Mad About You that had Jaime and Fran run into Phoebe and assume she was Ursula?

It was Friends, The One With Two Parts.
posted by Etrigan at 1:01 PM on September 26, 2014


I've never a managed to consciously watch a whole episode of Friends but whenever it comes up I m reminded of my friend Otto's line about it "Guy sent me a picture of his dick against his Friends DVD box for comparison and while it was bigger than the box, do I really want to fuck someone who owns a Friends DVD?"

YOU TELL OTTO I BORROWED THAT FRIENDS DVD
posted by Guy Smiley at 9:15 PM on October 3, 2014


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