20 years, folks. It's been 20 years to the day since Friends first graced television screens in America. 20 whole years since Rachel raced into Central Perk wearing a wedding dress, bumped into her old friend Monica, and became part of our lives.
The One With The Husband Who Doesn't Get It
Well - I say our lives, but it's really a marmite show, isn't it? My husband cannot stand it. He absolutely does not get it, doesn't think it's funny, doesn't like the audience laughter, and doesn't watch it. He passes no remarks if I'm watching it, but I know it drives him up the walls. My mother never got it either - but my sister and I could spend a very happy half hour throwing Friends quotes back and forth at each other. I remember last year, I said something like "I have a really sore throat" and husband replied "Oh yeah, I had that, and a runny nose" and it continued, I have this, I have that - then I said "Okay Ben, it's not a contest" - see, my sister would have WEEPED at that. He just looked at me and went "Who the hell is Ben?!" Sigh.
The One With All The Rewatches
It's something I never tire of - I'm currently halfway through Season 3 of a rewatch. My rewatches happen about twice a year - I start from the Pilot episode (one of only two episode names that doesn't start with The One With..., the other being The Last One) and work right up to the end. I got my boxset on Amazon for under €50 here - it's gone up over £70 now, but it's on sale regularly so keep an eye out - it's full of unseen footage and comes with loads of great extras (bloopers, interviews, etc). I do still watch any episodes I happen to catch on TV too.
The One Where The Kids Grow Up
Altogether, there were 7 children born on the show. Ben, Frank Jr. Jr., Leslie, Chandler, Emma, Jack and Erica. The actor who played Ben from seasons 3-8, Cole Sprouse, is 22 now. Frank Jr. Jr. (aka Dante Pastula) is 17; Leslie (Allisyn Ashley Arm) is 18; Chandler (Sierra Marcoux) is 16. The twins who played Emma (Cali & Noelle Sheldon) are 12, and the twins who played Jack & Erica would be 10 this year. Feel old enough?
The One With The Truth About The Big White Dog
You know that big white dog in Chandler & Joeys apartment? The one Ross rescued from the bailiffs when Joey went a bit mad with the cash in Season 2? This one?
It actually belonged to Jennifer Aniston. Some friends of hers bought it for her as a good luck present when she started acting, and she donated it to the show.
The One With The Creepy Fan Fiction
Ahh, you have to love fanfic writers. They really do put an enormous amount of effort into their work. You'd imagine there would be just a lot of Chandler/Joey stuff, but people have gotten really inventive. Not necessarily in a good way. There's this story, titled "The Abduction of Erica Bing" - in which little Erica gets abducted at her sixth birthday party. This one is all about Rachel as a child, and there are ones I wouldn't even link to - they go way, way into the dark side. Why you would want to take your favourite characters and introduce self-harm, rape and murder - I do NOT know, but it's there. It's all there.
The One With All The Guest Stars
I can't think of any other sitcom that had the kind of guest stars Friends could get. Susan Sarandon, Julia Roberts, Brad Pitt, George Clooney, Fergie, Chrissie Hynde, Sean Penn, Billy Crystal, Robin Williams, Bruce Willis, Charlton Heston, Danny De Vito - the list is endless. My favourite guest appearance had to be Brad Pitt, I thought he was absolutely hilarious.
The One Where Life Imitates Art
In the show, Monica and Chandler have fertility problems. In reality, Courtney Cox discovered that she has a rare antibody in her blood that will attack a fetus. In order to have her daughter, Coco, she went through IVF and had to give herself injections of a blood thinner daily. Right after one miscarriage, she had to film the scenes of Friends where Rachel was giving birth to Emma. Ever since I found that out, it makes me so sad watching her in that episode.
The One With The Best Poster Ever
I first saw this graphic over on Chloe's blog, and again a few days later on a blog I happened to find randomly. I tracked the poster down to iposters.co.uk and have bought 4 of them to date - my one takes pride of place on the back of my bathroom door, and it gives me a laugh every time I see it.
The One With The Catchy Music
The theme tune by The Rembrandts - I'll Be There For You - was released as a single in 1995. Accompanied by a video featuring all 6 main cast members, it shot to number 1 in the US and Canada. It hit number 5 in the Irish charts. What I didn't know until recently, was that it was co-written by Allee Willis, who penned (among others) September for Earth, Wind and Fire. Other co-writers include Martha Kauffman and David Crane, co-creators of Friends. While the theme is catchy, it's not quite at the level of some of Phoebe Buffay's material. To this day I cannot hear or read the name Emma without hearing "Your name poses a dilemma" in my head. Her Christmas song, in particular the line: "Please tell Joey, Christmas will be snowyyyyyyyyyyyy" pops into my head randomly.
The One With The Inaccurate Quiz Results
On this Buzzfeed Quiz (you know how much I love a Buzzfeed quiz, Facebook friends) - I got Monica. Monica!! I KNOW!! You can take the quiz here and share your equally inaccurate results below if you want. Or not, whatever. I'm breezy.
The Best Ones
This varies from person to person. Actually - it varies from day to day if I'm honest. I have my favourite episodes - The One Where Ross is Fine, The One With Ross' Tan, The One With All The Cheesecakes, The One With All The Resolutions (leather pants), The One Where Ross Got High and The One Where The Stripper Cries are all favourites. Some of the lines still have the power to make me laugh out loud:
"The answer is - the brazil nut." "What was the question, what's more boring than him?"
"It's a Moo point. Like a cow's opinion. It doesn't matter. It's Moo."
"Go! Go Alan! Run you hairy bastard!!"
"I am *this* close to tugging on my testicles."
"He...he comes in here, Mr. Johnny new eggs, with his - his moving the mail and his *see ya pals* bleeeggggghh"
"Ohh, it's okay Pheebs" "Honey? That's your name.."
"I went to that tanning place your wife suggested." "Was that place........the sun?"
I'll stop, or I'll never stop. Thanks, Friends. Thanks for the arsenal of smart-arse responses. Myself and my slow wit are forever grateful.
And for the record - I really, really hope they never do a movie. Have we learned nothing from Sex and the City?