The acclaimed TV show aired for 10 seasons, with the final episode broadcast in May 2004. But despite ending all those years ago, many of us are still quoting our favourite lines and new generations are discovering it for the first time.
So what is it about Friends that makes it so iconic? Why did so many viewers tune-in every week to watch Rachel (Jennifer Aniston), Monica (Courteney Cox), Phoebe (Lisa Kudrow), Joey (Matt LeBlanc), Chandler (Matthew Perry) and Ross (David Schwimmer)? Why does it continue to be popular today?
Here are 5 reasons that made us all fall in love with Friends…
It might seem odd at first but coffee – or rather the Central Perk coffee house – is at the heart of Friends.
So much of what goes on in Friends happens at Central Perk. It's the coffee shop where Rachel works and where they all meet for lattes. It’s where Rachel and Ross share their first kiss, where Phoebe sings “Smelly Cat”, where Rachel quits her job and Joey becomes a waiter, where Monica and Chandler sneak out of the closet…and of course, where Gunther (James Michael Tyler) is a mainstay.
From daily encounters to character-defining scenes, Central Perk is a consistent backdrop of life for these friends.
Of course, you can’t mention Central Perk without the iconic orange couch that takes centre stage at the coffee house.
The retro furniture is one of the defining symbols of the show. It’s a constant backbone of bringing the group together, as well as welcoming different characters throughout the show. Whether it’s everyday life, celebrations or commiserations, this sofa has been through it all.
Lazy day? Lounge on the couch.
Friends over? Hangout on the couch.
Going through a breakup? Mope on the couch.
Tired? Nap on the couch.
What makes Friends so relatable is that we’re all humans in need of connection, friendship and love. So we feel all the feels watching these six friends go through life's changes and challenges together.
You can’t deny that their lives aren’t aspirational – living in New York City, chasing successful careers and calling a huge Manhattan apartment home – but these characters experience real-life lows and when they happen, the connection of friends is what pulls them through.
We definitely laugh a lot with them, but we’ve also cried too. We’re moved by them and their stories, and it’s our own connections that make that happen.
Friends is a show notably known for its humour; thanks to the brilliant writing and lovable characters, we watch and laugh at the everyday situations. This is why it’s given us such iconic, timeless quotes.
Who can remember these classics?
“Could I BE wearing anymore clothes?” – Joey
“They don’t know that we know they know we know.” – Phoebe
“Unagi is a state of total awareness. Only by achieving true Unagi can you be prepared for any danger that may befall you.” – Ross
"Custard? Good. Jam? Good. Meat? Good." — Joey
"She's your lobster." — Phoebe
"We were on a break!" — Ross
“Oh my god!” – Janice
And then there's the quotes and catchphrases that have broken into everyday conversations, like, "How you doin'?" or "Pivot!".
Friends catapulted it’s six leading actors straight to stardom, and it didn’t take long for huge A-listers to appear throughout the series, with brilliant cameo roles.
There isn’t enough room to mention all of them, but here are some highlights:
- Brad Pitt as an old school friend who had a huge grudge against Rachel (Jennifer Aniston) joined for a Thanksgiving dinner to remember
- Reese Witherspoon made a couple of appearances as Rachel’s youngest sister, Jill
- Bruce Willis was the father of Ross’s girlfriend in season 6, who it’s safe to say didn’t approve because of the age difference
- ER stars George Clooney and Noah Wyle appeared together as doctors in season one
- Monica’s Richard is mentioned throughout the show, and he was of course payed by Tom Selleck
- Danny DeVito was hilarious as the stripper at Phoebe’s bachelorette party
- Sean Penn appeared in the show as Phoebe’s twin’s sister’s fiancé
- Kathleen Turner made a number of appearances as Chandler’s transgender father
These – plus many more reasons – are why we watch Friends again and again, and love the show so much. So all that’s left to say is, Happy 25th Anniversary! #Friends25