The Wowcher Guide to Friends


In 1994, I was running around in nappies. On the other side of the globe, there was a gang of six twenty-something New Yorkers who started to hang out and were characters in Friends: the best TV comedy there has ever been (not that I’m biased or anything… but it is my favourite programme).

I got into the show during my school years and have never looked back since. Friends was also a common interest between my friends and I at university. Even after graduating nearly five years ago, a Friends quote is always mentioned whenever we meet up.

The episodes are simply timeless and are still as funny as ever after the 72nd watch. We cry, we laugh and we always remember all the good and bad times of our Friends.

There are other Friends fanatics in the world (thank Gunther) and the glorious Friends Fest makes a welcome return from 15-24th September in London and across various locations and dates around the rest of the country from July. Friends Fest will have some original memorabilia for you to gawk at and will also be recreating Chandler and Joey’s apartment, Monica’s (and Rachel’s) place – and Central Perk, of course. Because what would Friends be without a cup of coffee?

So in honour of this special occasion – which I believe deserves at least one bank holiday – let us celebrate the gang and remember some of Friends’ best moments and the life lessons that it has taught us. I’ll be there for you… and will provide you with a cup of coffee at the end. Now let’s all clap in unison and start the show.

1. The One with All the Resolutions

Friends - Ross bids adieu...

Ross Gellar, Ross Gellar. Where do we begin? He is my favourite character, and he gets himself into all sorts of pickles, be it dating, fake tan or Christmas costumes. Here we have poor Ross at New Year, and his resolution is to try something new every day. His new thing is leather trousers. What Ross taught us is to never, ever wear these, especially when it’s hot. What’s more, one should never try and pull the trousers up with moisturiser. Otherwise you’ll hit yourself in the face and end up walking around New York City with no trousers on at all.

“If the paste matches the pants, you can make yourself a pair of paste pants and she won’t know the difference.” —Joey

2. The One Where Ross Got High

Friends - Joey tuck into the trifle...

Remember that time when we had that Shephard’s pie and trifle pudding after dinner? Said no one. Ever. Well the rest of the Friends gang and the Gellar parents are the only ones who could say that when Rachel cooked dessert that one time at Thanksgiving. Us Brits might not be great at our food, but we do know one thing – beef and jam don’t go together.

“It tastes like feet”. – Ross

3. The One with the Cop

Friends - Ross gives some helpful advice...

Furniture shops sell pieces that come in all shapes and sizes, and we all know this from trusty IKEA. The thing we learned with this episode of Friends is to measure furniture. Especially if you are going to hurl a sofa up a narrow flight of stairs in an apartment block. Otherwise you will hear the screaming words of “pivot” and end up cutting the sofa in half. And you’ll get store credit in the amount of four dollars.

“Pivot, pivot, pivoooooooot!” – Ross.

4. The One with Unagi

Friends - Ross loves sushi

Identical twins are something special. The clue is in the name. You look the same. Looking like someone else and having the same eye and hair colour doesn’t mean you look identical. At all. So if you want to join a medical study revolving around the study of identical twins and you’re not one, I’d look somewhere else my friend.

“Damn, it Carl”. – Joey

5. The One with All the Thanksgivings

Friends - Monica woos Chandler

We all like to scare our friends as a prank. We hide behind a pair of curtains, we hide something of theirs and make them think they’ve lost something. We do not put a turkey on our head. First of all it stinks, and second of all it’s a turkey, so you just wouldn’t ever put it on your head. If you do, you might drop a knife and cut someone’s toe off.

“Well then help me get it off! Plus, it smells really bad in here.’’ – Joey

There’s just nothing quite like Friends. It’s a true classic with some fantastic one-liners. These moments by no means make up a definitive list, of course, and there are a heap of other memories we continue to laugh at (remember when Ross taught Rachel and Phoebe about unagi, the art of self-defence?). Above are just a few perfect Friends moments and some lessons that it has taught us. That’s the thing with Friends, it’s not just a barrel of laughs and great jokes, it’s about teaching you something, whether that be about cooking, clothing, genetics or otherwise. Those New Yorkers are some wise folk. Thank you to everyone involved with Friends for the laughs and for those unforgettable life lessons. Oh and FYI colleagues – I will never steal someone’s moist maker sandwich at work. Now cue the marathon while I get a cup of coffee, a Joey special of two pizzas and a non-beef and jam dessert…

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