The one where mass unrest is created
You’re invited to the party.
It’s nothing too fancy, just a few drinks, maybe some vol au vents and tiny fight will break out over whether Shrek 2 has a better soundtrack than Cruel Intentions (it does).
When the party wraps up, you’ll stick around to help clean up. Monica will refuse your offer to sweep the floor, so you’ll drink beer on the balcony and smoke a jazz cigarette with Phoebe and Joey.
In the taxi home, the party’s WhatsApp group will buzz. It’s Ross. He’s livid. Someone linked him to this article. “Aw it’s just one person’s opinion, wouldn’t worry about it too much”, you respond. But Ross isn’t worried. He’s angry.
Lawyers get involved, it becomes a whole thing, but I refuse to delete the article.
The Friends never speak again. Chances of a reboot dwindle. I’ve ruined everything. Years pass. Nobody speaks.
25 years later, Chandler gets in touch. He’s old now, but still just as funny. “Could I BE any more popular?”, he asks.
Monica Geller is the human embodiment of a spot that’s completely invisible to the naked eye and only you can feel it pulsing away under the skin, paralysing half your face with the ferocity of its invisible rage. Nobody can see or feel it but you, and that’s the kind of energy Monica brings to Friends. Everyone tolerates her, despite her bringing very little to the table. Monica is a literal chef and how many times did she cook for her mates? Not enough, is the answer. Did she bring leftovers home from the restaurant? Maybe once, but that’s it. She is selfish and rude.
Remember that time Monica used a mini hoover so that she could hoover the outside of her hoover? That’s not the kind of person you would ever want to be friends with. Have you ever been in someone’s house and they keep cleaning up around you, hinting that you should’ve taken your shoes off at the door and politely edging a coaster towards you each time you take a sip, remarking that you really should use a tissue to mop up your nose bleed as opposed to their couch cover? Go to hell, Monica. Loosen up. Hygiene isn’t a personality.
Ross Geller is the human embodiment of a little piece of skin at the side of your fingernail that you pull, expecting it to be a seamless endeavour, but end up creating an open wound roughly 2cm wide and 5mm deep that won’t heal for a decade. He is a deviant and the second worst Geller in the Friends group of friends. Ross is whiney and a big dinosaur nonce who cares only about himself and his self-inflicted misfortunes. Rachel can do better, so can Emily, so can Carol and also anyone else that has ever come into contact with him.
Imagine you’re at a party, precisely three beers deep and having a hoot. This big dorky guy walks up to you and does that stupid hand gesture to simulate turning down your volume. It’s Ross Geller and he is trying to impress you. Everyone laughs and he walks away, calling you a jerk under his breath. Remember when Ross got with Charlie literal minutes after her and Joey broke up? He is a trash friend, a trash brother, a trash father and a trash lover. Ross Geller is very nearly the worst of the Friends, except for the fact that his sister is slightly more intolerable.
Joey Tribbiani is the human embodiment of a £5 note you find in the pocket of an old jacket. You wish it was more, but you’ll settle for what you’ve got because the alternative is having nothing at all. Joey’s role within the Friends group is to be a big dumb loveable idiot who has brief moments that show his thoughts actually do run a little deeper than simply “chicks” and “food”. A true mark of someone cool during the 90s was if they had floppy hair and sometimes said “How you doin’?” in Joey’s voice, so he deserves some clout for that.
Remember that time Joey put all of Chandler’s clothes on because he took his underwear? Then Joey did a really bad impression of Chandler, saying “Could I BE wearing any more clothes?”, that was peak Joey. It fully showcased his desire to not be taken for a fool, while also being a bit of a fool at the time. On paper, a friend like Joey would be fun, but in reality, he would be nightmare. There’s no way he has ever successfully returned something he has borrowed and he definitely turns up to the cinema late, missing the trailers and causing a fuss getting into the middle of the row, disrupting everyone and leaving a trail of popcorn in his wake.
Phoebe Buffay is the human embodiment of a dog that keeps peeing outside the designated pee area but is genuinely trying very hard to rectify the situation to the best of her ability. She’s got a gentle sadness to her, buried deep inside, but compensates for it with whimsy, which is almost too relatable. Plonk her into 2019 and Phoebe would absolutely be selling hummus at a farmer’s market, preaching to everyone about a life “off the grid” (not using social media). She’d write handwritten letters to Trump each day, detailing the ways in which he is wronging the world.
When Phoebe made it okay to have a husky voice due to illness, the world looked on in amazement. To this very day, the level of shame that comes with having a sore throat has been greatly reduced. People embrace their temporary vocal impediments, citing it as “sexy” and then bursting into a verse of Smelly Cat. Every time I have a cold, I praise thanks to Phoebe Buffay for paving the way. She walked so that we could run. We owe her a great deal. Also, she had some killer jokes, like the time Rachel asked if she wanted to see a movie and Phoebe said deadpan “No thanks, I’ve seen one”.
Rachel Green is the human embodiment of a Malteser hiding at the bottom of the packet when you thought you’d already finished them all. She is the bonus Malteser. The victor’s snack. Often overlooked as simply “the hot one”, Rachel had actual depth to her character and was secretly very bloody funny. She’s that friend who doesn’t showboat their sense of humour, often sitting back to allow the extroverts to tire themselves out, quietly chiming in when they’ve all gone to bed. Someone had to call Ross out on his perpetual thirst for bullshit and our Rach did that.
Remember when Rachel said “No uterus, no opinion” to Joey and Ross after they offered up some feedback on childbirth? That was the beginning of feminism, right there and then. Rachel Green invented feminism and she did it with a phenomenal haircut that inspired an entire generation to beg their parents to pay for highlights and gentle face-framing layers. She can do a lot better than Ross Geller, but whatever, even the greatest of historical figures have their weak spots. Reboot or not, Rachel Green will live on forever if we simply let her.
Chandler Bing is the human embodiment of free pizza at work. He is fun, he is good warm or cold and he is better in moderation but you can’t resist the temptation to gorge yourself on too much of a good thing. Out of all the Friends, Chandler was always the most relatable. His reactions were similar to your own and he was funnier than you actually are, but at an attainable level that you could probably reach if you worked really hard at it. Chandler is the friend you want to be, but also have. I would like to have several beers with him at some point in my life.
His one-liners were unfathomably good. So good that they would often fly under the radar, taking a moment or two to fully appreciate. Remember when Rachel excitedly said “Guess what?” and he replied, “The fifth dentist caved and now they’re all recommending Trident?”. That’s a 200k RT tweet, easy. A character named Chandler Bing doesn’t deserve adoration, that’s how good he is. Joey didn’t deserve a spinoff show. Chandler was robbed. Sit down, sir. A true clown is about to make his way into the circus ring. Bing 2020. Make it happen, America.
Images via NBC