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F.R.I.E.N.D.S. is one of the greatest TV shows of all time, and the main reason we all loved it as much is because of the dramatic and exciting romance plots that filled in the story. Even after being air-ed 25 years ago, F.R.I.E.N.D.S. still holds the love of its fans that has only grown in the passing years. There was so much more to learn from this amazing series, and during by 10th rewatch of the entire seriesits entirety, I realised something – this show isn’t all about friendship and love stories. I noticed that not every mother in the show was the exact replica of the other. Every ex and every failed relationship had a new lesson to learn from. And each of those relations defined the personality of the characters that we’ve grown to love in these years. Let’s take a look at the most defining relations throughout the series.
FATHERS: Jack Geller
He was the most lovable goofy dad that the series had to offer. In his own childish innocence, he gave the support that Monica looked for from her mother, and helped Ross become a loving and caring father himself.
Frank Buffay Sr.
Growing up, Phoebe heard and believed any story that was shoved at her. And despite being alive, her father was never there to either give her the loving childhood she deserved, nor to give her the closure for leaving the family. But hey, his childhood lullaby surely inspired “Smelly Cat”, so that’s something!
Dr. Leonard Green
A glimpse of how Rachel’s father is can be perceived from her conversation with him the very first episode. And when he first shows up on the screen, he doesn’t deter much from that image. Rachel is terrified of his overbearing nature, even though it turns out that she’s the only one of his children whom he’s actually proud of.
Ross was the first among the group to ever parent a child. Following the footsteps of his caring, yet dorky father, Ross loved both his children, Ben and Emma, dearly despite the state of his marriages.
Charles Bing / Helena Handbasket
Chandler holds his Drag-Queen father responsible for most of his childhood trauma. But it needs to be addressed that even he must’ve been going through his identity issues. And when Chandler finally approached him with the news of his wedding, he was more than happy to be a part of Chandler’s life again.
Joseph Tribbiani Sr.
It’s often hard when you realise that your parents aren’t being mature and responsible in their actions. And when faced by his dad’s unacceptable behaviour, Joey took no time in being ‘The Man’ of the house, ordering his dad by saying, “As long as you’re under my roof, you’re gonna live by my rules.”
MOTHERS: Judy Geller
Judy, unlike her husband, wasn’t totally fair with her children. Ross remained her favorite, while all criticism was greeted by Monica alone. However, she shares with Monica that it was probably due to her own mother being overly-critical. But eventually, this led to Monica being the Miss Perfection of the group.
Nora was equally responsible for Chandler’s cynicism towards the world and the need of using humor as a defence mechanism as her ‘man-loving husband’. The first thing we ever hear from Chandler was definitely an indication that he doesn’t see her under good light. And when we first see her, we can see why.
We unfortunately didn’t spend much time with her, but the short while we did, Gloria became an absolutely lovable character. Where Joey was afraid for her being hurt by his father’s actions, she calmly told him how she already knew about it and was able to handle it. She taught how immature actions can still be dealt with maturity. But we still kinda feel that she deserved better than this!
Rachel’s overprotective mother offered to move in with Ross and Rachel when they were having their baby. But years before that, Rachel was there for her mom when Sandra was divorcing Rachel’s dad. This really shows that even parenting is sometimes a two-way road.
Rachel joined the group with nothing but her spoiled-brat nature, and her dad’s money to support it. But through the years, Rachel matured and evolved into this self-dependent woman who could raise her child on her own. But it’s safe to say that Ross and Rachel, do make for an amazing parent-team.
However she was only a surrogate mother to her brother’s children, she did give birth to her two nieces and a nephew, and she loved them enough to even think about “keeping one” for herself. The look in her eyes after their birth was pure love.
RELATIONSHIPS: Ross & Rachel
With so many ups and downs throughout their journey, it’s difficult to see Ross & Rachel as a suaccessful couple. But, there is no denial that the two were meant to be together. The story shone light on their determination to stick with each other, no matter how hard the times got. I mean, come on guys, she’s his lobster.
Chandler & Monica
Since the Bing family has been pretty dysfunctional to begin with, it made Chandler grow into his self-conscious and cynical personality. But finding his true love, Chandler was able to look past his parents’ actions and define a future for himself and Monica that wasn’t overcast by his past.
Carol & Susan
After her divorce with Ross, Carol found her love in Susan. They were the best functioning couple on the entire show. They loved and respected one another, and truly worked incredibly well as a pair. This lesbian relationship was treated beautifully in the show and were always a delight on the screen – especially the few interactions between Ross and Susan.
Mike & Phoebe
Their relationship was quick to form, yet Mike was a well-received character among the audience. He supported Phoebe and loved her more than anything, and she felt the same way for him. When being introduced to his family , Phoebe goes out of her way to get his parents to like her. And even when she failed, Mike backed her up and declared his love for her.
SIBLINGS: Ross & Monica Geller
Their relationship with each other is just the ideal brother-sister rivalry, where they find their best confidante in each other, yet at points, can’t stand each other’s presence. The two opposites of these can be seen in when they fight for the Geller Cup vs. they try to rock the New Year stage with “The Routine.”
Phoebe & Ursula Buffay
Phoebe has mostly been a loving and caring person with a beautiful soul, which is why it was a hard pill to digest when she was spiteful towards her own (identical) twin sister, Ursula Buffay, whom she also had never mentioned before. It might’ve been the very small things in their childhood that drove the sisters apart, but it surely defined the way they’re going to look at each other forever. Maybe that’s the lesson to take from this – never push the boundaries too far.
Rachel , Amy And Jill (The Green Sisters)
Rachel never had the best relations with her sisters as they were constantly competing to cope from the overbearing father and an overprotective mother. However, with her recent transformation – finding her passion and being an independent woman, Rachel did earn some new-found respect in the eyes of her rivalling siblings.
Joey & The Tribbiani Sisters
Joey was quite protective of his sisters in his role as the big, and only, brother. However childish and innocent Joey is on the inside, he has always felt like he has to be the ‘Man’ of the family, and he tried it best to his ability.
ROOMMATES: Jey & Chandler
One of the best bromances gifted to the viewers, Joey and Chandler were just the best roommates ever. When it hadn’t been Joey’s day, or week, or month, or even his year in his acting career, Chandler supported him and kept his faith on his friend. Joey also tried to do his best. And when they separated, it was clear as day that they won’t be able to live without each other for long – and eventually Joey moved back with Chandler.
Monica & Rachel
From Rachel’s first real job to Monica’s wedding to Rachel’s baby, these two were there for all of the important and unimportant moments. Could there be a greater friendship than one where your BFF is there for every single important moment, every day of joy, and every time of struggle? I don’t think so.
FAILED RELATIONS: Ross & Carol
Ross and Carol knew each other for a long time before they were married. It’s clear to see why Ross took his first divorce so hard. But after some time, aside from the occasional snide remarks from Susan, Carol and Ross maintained a healthy bond with each other. It shows that with a certain level of understanding, it’s quite easy to move on.
Joey & Rachel
This only lasted for a brief run of the show, but it was total wholesomeness while it lasted. Personally, I loved these two together as the two perfectly complemented each other. Rachel brought out the sincerely loving, mature and thoughtful nature of Joey. He himself stated that he has never felt for anyone the way he felt for Rachel. Joey brought out the fun and carefree side of Rachel, who is normally bound up tightly and rarely lets loose.
Monica & Richard
There was a point, where everybody assumed that Richard could be Monica’s “The Right One”. Richard is a classy guy who made Monica happy, and they were really a great couple. But maybe if this had worked out, we wouldn’t have ever known how great Monica and Chandler could be!
Ross & Emily
With his track record, it’s no surprise that Ross landed here again. Ross and Emily’s relationship was the textbook case of rushing too fast. Emily, in her own insecurity, tried to control Ross and asked him to stay away from Rachel. Now be it latent feelings resurfacing, or if it was that distance that brought the two back together – I doubt if even Ross would know that.
Phoebe & David
Just when Phoebe was established as “the eccentric one” of the group, she comes across David, the scientist guy, where Phoebe and her quirks finally felt like home. The moment when Joey sees Phoebe Ditching their date just to sneak-in some fleeting moments with David, is when he understands what love actually felt like. This was just the love story that could never be.
Chandler & Janice
Janice and Chandler were exactly what cringe was made of – and this isn’t the fault of the individual, but them as a couple. Chandler was always the shallow cynic with the harsh undertone of sarcasm, that Janice never even tried to change. They certainly loved each other, because whenever one felt lonely, they came crawling back to the other, but relationships aren’t built on a ‘Last Resort’ basis. It requires commitment, that both of them lacked.
Chandler & Kathy
After a long streak of terrible dates, Kathy was introduced in the group as someone who Joey could actually feel serious about. She was an incredible person, but unfortunately, Chandler and she fell for one another, while she was dating Joey. There was a certain spark between the two, but under the circumstances, it would’ve never gone far.
F.R.I.E.N.D.S. The Central Perk 6
The couch in the cafe, Monica’s living room and sometimes even out in the open, the six of them formed a world which didn’t need anyone else. That didn’t mean that they were completely closed off – they welcomed each others’ dates. And when their relations were over, the group made sure that no one ever felt alone in their lonely times.