The power of UNAGI
The lyrics of Smelly Cat.
Lobster love, PIVOT on repeat, Central Perk sessions.
And a whole new meaning to break time shenanigans.
Along with lots of laughs, FRIENDS is synonymous with coffee and (the) couch, prom videos and poker games and a long list of favorite cameos. More than one-liners, the most popular TV sitcom of all-time (up for debate!) is a 10-season lesson on how to navigate life in the city. And just like that, it’s 25 years later and we still can’t get enough of this coffee-klatching group of six.
Whether you fell for the character quirks or hilarious storylines, FRIENDS continues to hold a special place in the heart of every legitimate TV-goer. With a catchy theme song and a relatable cast, the show was bound to become an international success. Somewhere between the inside jokes and roommate switches, the gang welcomed its viewers into their world — even if it was only for 30-minutes a week. Similar to a catch-up over coffee, each episode provided fans with a date and time to hang out with their (on-screen) besties.
Thanks to streaming services and studio tours, the show experienced a resurgence and reached cross-generational status. While millennials know each episode line by line, members of generation Z are being introduced to its biggest and best moments through re-runs and memes. At the top of the list: The One with the Breast Milk, The One with the Jellyfish and The One with the Blackout (just to name a few). Since the power of nostalgia is currently having a pop culture moment, with the revival of 90s and noughties fashion trends, Rachel’s signature hairstyle is making a comeback.
In honor of the show’s 25th anniversary, fans, brands and companies are taking a stroll down memory lane. From Cineplex screenings to special-edition LEGO sets, everyone is getting in on the action. In the words of Chandler Bing: could this be anymore exciting? For a re-cap of the iconic sitcom and a list of reasons why we continue to heart these guys and gals, read on.
1. Rachel’s runaway bride sitch
• After fleeing her wedding and finding Central Perk, the prom queen enters the coffee shop with her veil (still) on-point
• During her quarter-life crisis on the show’s pilot episode, Rachel compares herself to a shoe before cutting up her credit cards
2. A blast from the past
• Every now and then, Friends shows flashbacks of its characters pre-across the hall antics — and they are everything and more
• Ladies, meet Ross Geller: musician with a moustache
3. Monica’s crazy competitive side
• When it comes to coin flips, ping pong games, football tackles and big bets, the clean freak is all about winning
• Switching gears from competitive to manipulative, sniffling, sneezing, robe-wearing Monica seduces Chandler into having sex
• “Are you saying you don’t want to get with this?”
4. The famous faces of Friends
• Beyond the core cast, the sitcom features both established and emerging stars as re-occurring and one-off roles throughout its 10 seasons
• The award for most memorable guest: Julia Roberts as Susie Moss aka “Susie Underpants” (revenge is sweet)
• Honorable mentions: Giovanni Ribisi, Tom Selleck, Brad Pitt, George Clooney, Noah Wyle, Bruce Willis, Paul Rudd, Reese Witherspoon, Christina Applegate, Anna Farris (and the list goes on)
5. Pheobe’s hippy dippy take on life
• Points to Pheebs for taking over the stage with her guitar, living her best taxi life, marrying a gay Canadian ice dancer (for a green card) and delivering triplets on the show’s 100th episode
• Remember the time she convinces Dr. Ross Geller, paleontologist, that there’s a chance he could be wrong about evolution
6. Chandler’s sense of humor and sarcasm
• Mr. Boss Man Bing’s combination of self-deprecating and sarcastic af humor makes for too many beauty one-liners to name
• Delivering the most physical comedy of the six, he cracks jokes when he’s uncomfortable and searches for love in all the wrong places; one word: Janice
• Luckily, he still scores the girl in the end
7. The ups and downs of Ross and Rachel
• Years in the making, Ross and Rachel overcome lists, breaks and other love interests to finally lock lips forever
• The hella long ride leads to laughs, tears and everything in between
• “I got off the plane!”
8. Joey’s pick-up line
• “How you doing?” Enough said.
9. It’s a team effort
• A groundbreaking show in a number of ways, Friends features a true ensemble cast offering equal lines, laughs, screen time and pay
• In the years to come, the sitcom will continue to generate laughter and relate to viewers because it’s about shared experiences such as growing up, facing adulthood and loving friends like family
• It’s a good thing for rent control
10. Ross’ sticky situations
• The one that grows on you: often reactionary in nature, Ross’ comedic timing is perfection
• Because you’ll never look at leather pants or leftover sandwiches in the same way ever again