Most of us belong to that one group of friends with whom we’ll go through thick and thin, who become like family, and who, let’s be honest, we probably know way too much about. As wonderful as these individuals are, there is one group of friends that we can put above the rest and thank for being the perfect model of what friendship should be.
This group is the original “Friends,” and in honor of their reunion this year, it’s time to celebrate the 10 life lessons that Rachel, Monica, Phoebe, Chandler, Joey and Ross taught in their 10 seasons on-air from 1994 to 2004.
Lesson 1: The importance of feminism
“Oh, I’m a man. Oh, I have a penis. Oh, I have to win money to observe my power over women,”—Rachel Green, played by Jennifer Aniston
Oh, Rachel Green. Most know her for her materialism and crazy good looks, but this girl is all up sticking it to the man and proving that she doesn’t need a man to stand on her feet. She’s proved that every woman needs to fight for their rights, whether by becoming a businesswoman or not allowing a cheater to get away with his crime.
Lesson 2: Grammar is important in any situation
“Y-O-U’R-E means you are! Y-O-U-R means your!”—Ross Geller, played by David Schwimmer
As much as this simple rule is taught in schools, there are always people who just can’t seem to grasp the concept. NSU might be primarily science majors, but there is nothing more important than writing skills. Grammar is everywhere — in lab reports, and, yes, even in the letters you write to your significant other.
Lesson 3: You know what they say about opinions…
“It’s a moo point. It’s like a cow’s opinion; it doesn’t matter. It’s moo.”—Joey Tribbiani, played by Matt LeBlanc
There’s not too much research available on what cow’s opinions are, but, honestly, it’s probably something along the lines of wanting to stay on the farm and not end up on a toasted bun. Regardless, everyone has an opinion. And even if it’s not always the popular opinion, there’s no rule saying you have to agree. Just agree to disagree, and focus on the more important things in life, like the new burger joint down the road.
Lesson 4: Appreciate all life
“How long do cats live? Like assuming you don’t throw ‘em under a bus or something?”—Rachel
“Smelly cat, smel-ly cat, what are they feeding you? Smelly cat, smel-ly cat, it’s not your fault.”—Phoebe Buffay, played by Lisa Kudrow
The only thing more rampant than biology students at NSU are the cats living next to the residence halls. It’s no secret that people on campus either love or disdain these creatures, but no matter how you feel about cats, you should remember that they are living beings that you need to respect. It’s not their fault they don’t have homes and they’re smelly. Phoebe said so herself.
Lesson 5: Nobody’s perfect
“I’m not so good with the advice. Can I interest you in a sarcastic comment?”—Chandler Bing, played by Matthew Perry
Not everyone is apt to help in every situation; it’s what makes people unique. So, if you have a friend like Chandler, you probably shouldn’t turn to them for serious advice — unless you want a good laugh, of course. Don’t hold it against your sarcastic friend for not being able to hold down a serious conversation; he or she just likes to enjoy life for the little things.
Lesson 6: You should always face your fears
“Face your fear. You have a fear of heights, you go to the top of a building. You’re afraid of bugs, get a bug.”—Joey
It’s not recommended that you go to the top of a building or harvest bugs, but you get the idea. Don’t be afraid to try new things. More often than not, facing your fear or succeeding in a challenge instills such a large confidence boost, you can’t help but laugh at yourself for being afraid in the first place. So go skydiving, sing in front of an audience, or, if you must, buy an ant farm.
Lesson 7: Respect others’ boundaries
“Joey doesn’t share food!”–Joey
Nothing creates memories quite like food. With all the various aromas and tastes of our fancy feasts, it’s hard not to want to take a bite out of life. Just make sure that you don’t take that bite out of someone’s personal space. In Joey’s case, no one was allowed to touch his food; no matter the boundary, you should respect it. Stay in your space, and let others stay in there’s.
Lesson 8: The truth about adulthood
“Welcome to the real world. It sucks. You’re gonna love it!”—Monica Geller, played by Courteney Cox
Remember being an impatient 14 year old waiting for adulthood? You probably had the same level of patience as Joey when there’s a box of pizza sitting in the room. Well, now’s about the time where you’re probably wishing you could go back and change your mind. Adulthood isn’t completely awful — the whole independence aspect is a huge plus — but paying bills and having to make your own doctor’s appointments? Yeah, not so much.
Lesson 9: Sometimes, the best approach to a situation is taking a step back
“I have to go before I put your head through a wall.”—Phoebe
People will try your patience, and that’s just a fact of life. Before you get hot-headed and lose your temper, remember to take a step back and collect your thoughts so you don’t say something in anger. Sometimes, the best way to approach conflict is to temporarily put the problem on hold and rationalize the situation.
Lesson 10: Most importantly, a true friend is there for you through thick and thin
“Sure, I peed on her. And if I had to, I’d pee on any one of you!”—Joey
OK, so peeing on someone who gets stung by a jellyfish is an extreme case, but the reasoning behind is applicable across all situations. True friends are the people who are not only friends but also family. These are the people you would do anything for and who would do anything for you in return, whether it’s taking the burn out of a jellyfish sting, helping you resolve a personal issue or just taking the time to binge watch your favorite series on Netflix.
Just remember, no one told you life was going to be this way. Your class is a joke, you’re broke and your love life’s D.O.A. It may not be your day, your week, your month or even your year, but your true “Friends” will always be there for you.