One of my favorite ways to pass time is cuddling up two pizzas (a Joey special), inviting a bunch of friends over and going on a F.R.I.E.N.D.S marathon. It is very rare that a television sitcom can surpass generations and still be popular. Even 12 years after F.R.I.E.N.D.S ended, it continues to be everybody’s favorite show. Despite it being the 90s or the 21st century, the show managed to relate very well with its audience. We’ve often wondered which character we are- Monica, Chandler, Joey, Pheobe, Ross, or Rachel. F.R.I.E.N.D.S transcended generations not only because it was popular, but it taught us a lot about life. Here is a list of the top ten things that F.R.I.E.N.D.S taught me about life.
1. How Life Is Not Always A Bed of Roses
The characters on F.R.I.E.N.D.S went through their ups and downs all throughout the ten seasons. They faced failure, heartbreak, loss, and many other obstacles in life. It wasn’t always a bed of roses for the characters. Yet throughout everything, they still manage to keep their head held high and face the next challenge with confidence. One character who especially has dealt with too many difficulties in her life was Pheobe, who grew up on the streets after her step-mother killed herself and her father was put in prison. She still managed to set her life straight and remained happy despite every problem she faced.
Rachel: Phoebe, I thought your dad was in prison.
Phoebe: No, that’s my step-dad. My real dad’s the one that ran out on us before I was born.
Rachel: How have you never been on Oprah?
2. How It’s Okay To Start Over
Remember how Rachel cut her credit cards and decided to make her own living? It taught us that starting over was difficult, but not impossible. She could have married Barry and lived in a life of luxury, but chose to move to a strange city and leave a comfortable life to prove she could be independent. She definitely proved that she could be a hat and didn’t have to remain a shoe her entire life.
Chandler proved you can start over even at a later age, when he quit his job doing statistical analysis and data reconfiguration (we got it right guys!) and chose to go for advertising instead. He chose to quit a job that he hated, despite all its benefits, to do something that he loved. And he may not have achieved the same level of success at the advertising job, but he definitely was happier!
Chandler: It’s a stupid job, and I could not stand leaving you. And why should I be the only one who doesn’t get to do what he really wants to do?
Rachel: What do you really want to do?
Chandler: I have not thought this through!
3. How It’s Okay If Things Don’t Go According To Plan
F.R.I.E.N.D.S assured us that it’s okay if all our plans don’t go the way they’re supposed to. The memorable episode, where Rachel realizes that her other friends are all successful at her age and she is merely a waitress, freaks her out and also manages to get Monica and Phoebe to think about where they are at in life. But by the end of the episode, she realizes that she doesn’t really want the luxurious, successful life, and merely wants to be around her weird lovable friends.
I’ve got magic beans- Rachel Greene.
4. How To Be Broke And Happy
Throughout F.R.I.E.N.D.S, we see the characters lose jobs and find new ones. They proved that you don’t always need money to be happy. Joey remained broke for the better part of the show but was still one of the happiest characters. Pheobe’s job as a massuese may not have made her ultra-rich, but she was content with what she had from her childhood. Rachel worked as a waitress for the first season and managed to be happy, despite coming from a rich home. Chandler worked for an advertising agency for free, and Monica worked at a 1950s themed diner where she had to dance on the counter wearing a tacky costume. Despite their jobs which paid little or no money, they didn’t let it affect their happiness.
Monica: It bit. It was a 50’s theme restraunt. I have to cook in a costume and dance on the counter. I mean I was a chef at Cafe des Artistes. I mean how could I take a job where I have to make something called Laverne and Curly Fries?
Rachel: So don’t do it.
Monica: How can I not do it? I have $127 in the bank.
5. How Break-Ups Aren’t The End Of The World
We see the characters of F.R.I.E.N.D.S go through heartbreak at one point or the other. Ross is a dishelved mess in the first episode, after his first divorce. Chandler breaks up with Janice multiple times. Pheobe was heartbroken after breaking up with both David and Mike. Monica and Richard went through a brutal break up. But every relationship which didn’t work out was clearly the wrong one for each and every one of them. They got through the break ups and moved on, and went on to meet the person they were destined to be with.
Richard– Monica, I don’t wanna lose you, so if I have to do it all over again, then I will.
Monica: You’re the most wonderful man. And if you hadn’t of said ‘if I have to’ like seventeen times, then I’d be saying ‘okay, let’s do it.’
Richard: But you’re not.
6. How Being Weird And Different is Fun
The characters of F.R.I.E.N.D.S all had their own unique personalities, but one character was memorable as the ‘different’ one. Pheobe never fit into the box, she was always different from the others. Yet, she showed us that it wasn’t necessarily a bad thing. She saw the world with a different view, and while others thought that was weird, she saw it as a way to be herself. She taught us that you never have to be what society wants you to be, since being yourself and doing what you want to do is so much more fun.
Rachel: It’s embarrassing. People were looking at us like we were crazy.
Phoebe: Why do you care?
Rachel: Because they’re people.
Phoebe: But people that you don’t know and will never see again.
7. How You Can Be A Kid At Heart
All the F.R.I.E.N.D.S. characters may have technically been adults, but they were all kids at heart. Even Monica, the ‘mom’ of the group sometimes was a kid. Joey with his childish personality warmed our hearts. Chandler choking on the G.I. Joe toy still cracks us up. Pheobe learning how to ride a bicycle was a memorable scene. Rachel’s imitation of skiing- ‘shoop shoop shoop‘- is one of my personal favorites.
Monica: Are you kidding? This is packing?
Chandler: We’re taking a break!
Chandler: Jumping on the bed.
8. How To Be Happily Single
F.R.I.E.N.D.S. taught us how being single isn’t a sad thing, it can be the best thing ever. Joey isn’t married or in a relationship when the series ended, and yet he is content. Some people just aren’t made for relationships, and that is okay too. Joey may not have had a romantic relationship by the end, but he still loved his friends more than he would have loved any girl. Remember how he gave up a relationship with Janine the Dancer when she hated Chandler and Monica?
Joey: How You Doin’?
9. How True Love Always Works Out In The End
While Joey was single by the end of the show, the other characters did find true love. F.R.I.E.N.D.S. showed us that there will always be a person who will love us, despite all our faults. Chandler and Monica were complete opposites yet when put together, fit perfectly like a jigsaw puzzle. Pheobe found her family in Mike. Ross and Rachel, well, they are each other’s lobsters.
Phoebe: C’mon you guys. It’s a known fact that lobsters fall in love and mate for life. You know what, you can actually see old lobster couples walkin’ around their tank, ya know, holding claws.
10. How F.R.I.E.N.D.S Matter
The characters on the show go through a million things in life, but it all boils down to one thing- they’re all there to support one another. All that matters in life is to have people who look out for you, who either stop you from making bad decisions or join you in making bad decisions. Either way, life is just a little bit more magical when you have F.R.I.E.N.D.S around, isn’t it?
Monica: Welcome to the real world! It sucks. You’re gonna love it!
The show left us with innumerable laughs and tears as we went along with the characters on the rollercoaster ride of life. Their lives showed us how our life can be improved. So if you’re ever feeling down, just dial that phone, order the pizza, and go watch F.R.I.E.N.D.S again!