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When it comes to accenting the word Friends our conscience doesn’t lead our mind to the webster definition but a faint audio of “I will be there for you” rings in our ears. When writing the term can never miss the legendary rainbow dots and “Oh my god” has captured a distinguished tune in our heart we are not just a regular viewer we are the proud members of the F.R.I.E.N.D.S Fandom. It has successfully cruised the genre of being just a 90s Sitcom to a important part of life providing daily musing to our restless soul. The beautiful lesson acquired from this show was the togetherness among people we don’t share blood yet can address them as family. The title trac itself portrays the ultimate vow made to a friend to be by their right through every circumstance. But there are plenty of life lessons that can be enlisted which sitting on the orange couch sipping coffee in Central Park in exceptionally large cups these six characters have taught us.
Rachel Green was the perfect definition of the one who could have had it all without the hard work. A wealthy husband, a life of luxury boxed with the privilege of an affluential society but her impulse allowed her to give it all up and enter a life of uncertainty. She lacks experience and ability of judgement when she finally endures harsh the reality of being all by herself. But wisdom wordings like, “What if I don’t wanna be a shoe, what if I wanna be a purse or a hat” and “Wish me luck, I am gonna go get one of those job things” paints a soothing picture of her comprehension that she would prefer the life of a normal twenty year old disordered with hardships rather than being prison to a passionless identity inside a diamond cage. That doesn’t mean she didn’t have major setbacks regretting her decision to let go of her previous life that provided financial stability at a quick pace and with ease, but through these disorientation and difficulty she became someone she could be proud of. An irresponsible girl living off of her father’s allowance and one who was laughed at twelve job interviews once, learnt the rules of a self -sufficient existence through her journey. From a waitress she reached the top of her dream job, became an image of pride for her father and a responsible single mother to a beautiful daughter.
Yes, she is high maintenance with an uncanny aptitude towards her surrounding being not just clean but “Monica clean.”  But in this show of six good friends do you ever wonder who is the best friend of them all? It is undoubtedly and most evidently Monica Geller carving our way to understand the true meaning of friendship and the responsibility that walks along with it. Monica Geller is the one best at friendship and the glue that holds the group together. The ardent hostess who is integral to every other character. She holds a unique relationship with all the six friends, Rachel is her high school best friend, Phoebe is her former roommate, Ross is her brother and Chandler and Joey are her neighbours. Though she grew an intimate relationship with Chandler and became romantically involved she always reminded herself how resplendent it is to fall for her best friend. Most of Monica’s humour in the show originates with the obsessive attention to details but subtly it just proves how much she cares about everything. She is a perfectionist who works hard and it also extends up to her being the most generous and kind to all of her friends. She unhesitatingly took Rachel provided her a shelter when she had no place to live even though they haven’t spoken in ages and additionally was even not invited in the wedding. She sustains Joey with food more like daily and selflessly indulges to prepare delicious meals at every Thanksgiving for her friends. She is the one always looking out for them whether it is to take care of their health or putting their love life in track. With the nurturing nature treating every friend like its her own children it is safe to confirm that Monica is that one best Friend on whom all the friends are dependent.
Every Friends fan will accept Chandler to be the funniest owning him the title King of Sarcasm. His dialogue “I am not great at the advice can I interest you in a Sarcastic comment” gives enough evidence that he is the man to pull up a humour turn in every road leading to being serious. But his comedy derives from his life being a punchline itself, from the constant banter with his name, his social awkwardness specially around the opposite gender and of course his infamous third nipple all adds up to confirming the fear off opening up Chandler Bing procures from his bad childhood memories from a dysfunctional family “I am Chandler I make jokes when I am uncomfortable” is a hardcore proof the statement . But undeniably Chandler Bing is the character that transforms his personality the most throughout the show from being a creature of circumstances to a guy who takes charge in his life establishing the possibilities. In the beginning of the series Chandler was portrayed as a boy who is stuck in a career which purposely wasn’t his goal or something he enjoyed. He is devoid of romantic emotions for the lack of love from his family and has a intense fear of commitment as illustrated through his on and off relationship with Janice. It was Monica who encouraged Chandler to open up to his significant other and his friends and in that course of time he comprehended the beauty in commitment. He finally got the courage quit his job to opt for something he desires and at the same time learnt the importance of starting a family by marrying Monica and preparing for a child. Many circumstances in his life revamped him to be a better version of himself which allows him to embrace his weakness rather than shielding it from others. He turned into a man.
Phoebe Buffay can sometimes feels like the odd one out among the Friends. Mostly because she doesn’t hold a direct relation with anyone. She is not a roommate or romantically involved with the main character, her living arrangement is also not around the Central Perk area. She is the weird character with a bizarre past documentary. Even major storylines don’t revolve around her in a way proving Rachel’s point somewhat right that if any friend have to be phased out of the group it would be Phoebe but without her the show would be too mundane and normal. She is the mystery ingredient like salt, not talked about much but acts as the major taste enhancer. Her edgy honest without a cause nature is what makes the Friend group notably entertaining. Her personality adds complexity, a lack of which would make things to simple to watch. Don’t we all need a Phoebe in her group do add that special magic? The three type of ice in Chandler’s surprise birthday authenticate Phoebe to be the one to always add something abnormal turning something as conventional as a birthday into something amusing to the experiencer. This is the biggest life lesion that Phoebe Buffay teaches us is that too normal is too boring and a eccentric touch in daily life can make the day worthwhile. Phoebe is always accepting and appreciative to the little things in life always sprinkling splashes of positivity. Like the time she builds a doll house from scratch which would easily give a tough competition to all the expensive one. Her famous words “I like to think of myself as the puppet master of the group” evidently turns out to be true because her insightful and non-judgemental nature always helps her friend to be their un apologetic true self in front of her. Her love for animals is beyond belief and she is really be that friend who would selflessly give up her own comfort for her Friends.
Other than the obvious charming flirty personality that Joey Tribbiani beholds with perfection there is also no denying of the fact that he is a child who is fond of living a simpler life. He is continuing his life in the twilight zone of childhood and adulthood. Where every twenty something is running a race to reach somewhere to end this unpredictable stage of life where they fail to understand their purpose with a career and a love life, wanting or not wanting children Joey is the soul character who teaches us the art of enjoying the journey with no obligation or responsibility and keeping the time with your friends as the priority. For Joey friendship is also a form of romance considering he is the only character in the show who ends up having his friends as partners. He is the one reflecting on the deeper message that the show solely provides is that Friends are not a second thought but the most important thing in life. Joey is that one friend who sacrifices his personal life for the love he has for his friends. Like the time when he forgave Chandler for kissing his ex-girlfriend Kathy for the deep affection, they both had for each other or the time he gave up Rachel because of Ross’s already existing feelings for her. He also without hesitating broke up with Janine for his friends. So, it is evident that when it comes to choose between love and friendship the second option will always win for Joey Tribbiani. Joey also helps us look at the brighter side of life where we can let loose for a while giving ourselves a break through all the tough responsibilities that comes along in life.
“Three divorces” is surely not a category that any man wants to attach in his profile but Ross Gellar has surely faced the unfortunate. Yes, one might infer that he was too impulsive, quick or careless every time he proposed the idea of a marriage but it is also important to note that every time, he loved each girl very dearly. Ross Gellar teaches us the biggest lesson of never giving up on love and loving unconditionally. When Phoebe asked his opinion about marriage even after having three divorces he always supported and extremely loved the concept of being with the person you love forever. The Ross and Rachel dynamic also teaches us a lot about Ross’s opinion about love. It was a one-sided love for a long time and once they finally came into a relationship it had hardships which lead to break up but Ross never stopped loving Rachel or move away from the idea that one day, he might actually be with her. His pronouncing Rachel’s name while he was being wed to Emily is a proof that he has dreamt of this moment to share with Rachel more than once. Through Ross we understand that love will have failures and its not perfect every time but always having a faith on love will always make the wait worthwhile.

- Deepanwita Dey
Amity University


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