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10 Things I Learned from Watching FRIENDS

I have watched a lot of television in my 20 years, but about 70% has been FRIENDS reruns. Biased note: no sitcom will ever be as good as this series. After re-watching each episode multiple times, I have come up with some simple life lessons that the gang can help you with.

1. How to make friends.

Season 1, Episode 1: “The Pilot

Probably the most feared part about going to college is the thought of acceptance. Will I make friends? How do I get total strangers to be life-long buddies? What if they hate me? Right off the bat this sitcom shows us that there is no better way to get to know people than by being the most vulnerable person you can be. Rachel Green bombards the group donned in a saggy wedding gown with complimentary runny mascara all while crying on the phone to her daddy. She lays it all out on the line and ends up moving in with Monica Geller. This just goes to show that there is no better way to win people over than by having them hear you tell your father you want to be a hat.

2. Don’t get matching tattoos.

Season 2, Episode 16: “The One Where Joey Moves Out

Everyone has contemplated getting a tattoo…don’t act like you never have. Now, tattoo’s can be a beautiful way to add artistry to your body. However, when your roommate comes up with the idea of getting matching ink, you have to always say no. When Phoebe Buffay and Rachel decide to brand their bodies, Phoebe does not really hold up her end of the deal, as she chickens out while Rachel is stuck with a heart stamped on her. Thus, unless you and your BBFL are going to get inked at the exact same time, you should think of a better way to commemorate your friendship. This episode is also a great reference for the common issue of “How Do I Tell My Parents I’m Dating an Older Guy?”

3. How to test out new medical treatments and physicians.

Season 3, Episode 23: “The One With Ross’s Thing

One of the best parts about going to college is simultaneously the worst part: being independent. This can make health issues a little extreme since your parents are not there to write you a note, make you soup or tell you if that sore is infected or not. During this story, Ross spots a peculiar mark on his derrière. After flocking to his friends about it, he decides to take action and see Phoebe’s trusted herbal remedy doctor. The spot ends up being no big deal, but it does pose a good lesson. Be prepared for the most bizarre when it comes to awkward medical appointments. Also, be careful when testing out new medical treatments and physicians. College is a time of experimenting, just not he kind that could endanger your body.

4. How to break the barriers.

Season 4, Episode 1: “The One With The Jellyfish

It is always hard to find the point in a friendship where you can completely be yourself around that person. As in, you can literally do anything and they will still ask if you want to get snow cones after. In this episode, after Monica gets stung by a jellyfish, Chandler Bing saves the day by giving her wound the remedy it needs; Chandler pees on Monica. I mean…I would feel like it’s safe to say that all barriers are broken when you are the tinkle-er and the tinkle-ee. After this point, passing gas in front of them will be the most mundane thing there is. Word of caution: please do not go around taking a leak on all of your friends just so you can get to this point. Also, jellyfish are dangerous and should be avoided.

5. Your friends will still love you no matter what car you drive or what job you have.

Season 5, Episode 24: “The One In Vegas (Part 2)”

Feeling ashamed of something is never a good thing whether it be your job, your car or your guilty pleasure. However, that’s not to say that our friends won’t still adore us even after they find out the truth. If fact, they will probably be right there with you as you binge watch Keeping Up With The Kardashians. In this episode, Joey has to reveal to his pals that instead of filming a movie in Las Vegas, he is now a casino worker dressed as a Trojan (my guess is at Caesar’s Palace).  Immediately, you see Monica, Chandler and Phoebe support and comfort Joey. Queue a chorus of “aww.”

6. Let your freak flag fly. Do not let other people try to pressure you to conform to social norms if that is not who you are.

Season 6, Episode 7: “The One Where Phoebe Runs

Your niche of close friends should never, ever make you feel awkward, uncomfortable or make you feel obligated to change yourself. As a general note, no one should ever make you feel that way. But sometimes you may shave your legs funny or use a bizarre hair product to maintain your silky smoothness. You friends shouldn’t judge it, but embrace it. During one of the scenes, Rachel learns that Phoebe runs in a very interesting way while they take a jog throughout Central Park. Throughout the episode Rachel tries to fix the way Phoebe runs because it is a distraction to the surrounding pedestrians. Instead of changing herself, Phoebe makes Rachel realize that there is a method to her madness and she sprints this way for a reason. Rachel comes to terms that there really is no reason to try and fix Phoebe’s problem because it is what makes her awesome. Now, Phoebe’s character in general is a great role model for not pandering to what you feel obligated to do as a social norm. Also, I would totally suggest trying to run the way Phoebe runs because it is incredibly exhilarating!

7. How long does the 5 second rule really last?

Season 7, Episode 11: “The One With All The Cheesecakes

We’ve all been there. Our well-deserved and overpriced dessert of choice has fallen on the floor. (Pause for a momentary heart attack). All the feels come and you are torn between going and getting another morsel of goodness or quickly snatching it off the floor in hopes you don’t get any cooties. Panic not my friend, because here Chandler and Rachel ate cheesecake off the floor of their apartment complex and they still where kicking 3 seasons later. So, I think it’s safe to say that with a little dusting and scrapping here and there, your treat is still safe to savor. This rule does not apply to any liquids or mixed salads. Those are just a lost cause and the only thing you can do is hope you are more careful the next time you’re juggling a coffee, your cell phone, car keys, pet leash, Walmart bag, purse and delectable delight.

8. Don’t wear heels if they are uncomfortable (or if you just can’t walk in them).

Season 8, Episode 10: “The One With Monica’s Shoes

Ladies, heels are only meant to worn by those who can walk in them. It does not matter how saucy, sexy or outright snazzy they are. If you cannot walk in them, you cannot buy them. Chandler tries to prove this to Monica after she buys some very overpriced designer stiletto boots. The poor girl can barely make it a block in them, and thus leading to a disastrous date with her newlywed hubby. So, the next time you are contemplating which shoes to wear for a night out on Dickson or the dinner date with the cutie pie in your Art History class, definitely opt for the pair with a small or more stable heel. In fact, maybe even no heel because it just makes life so much easier when your date doesn’t have to slower their normal walking pace to adhere to your shoes.

9. Just be yourself when meeting the parents.

Season 9, Episode 7: “The One With Ross’s Inappropriate Song

One of the most nerve wracking moments is when you meet your significant other’s parents. It’s like going for a job interview that may or may not be for life (depending on the level of commitment in the relationship). For those of you who are getting antsy to meet the judgmental mother or close-minded father of your main squeeze, just remember this: you don’t have to love the parents, just the kid (however, it is really nice if you do click with the family). In this episode, Phoebe meets her boyfriend, Mike Hannigan’s, parents. They are the total opposite of what Phoebe is, so she pulls out an obviously fake British accent along with a purple pastel number. The poor girl even endures eating veil during the main course! For those of you confused, Phoebe is a vegetarian. Anyway, Mike’s parents end up offending Phoebe in front of Mike, and thank goodness, he stands up for his woman. So, the next time you have to be on the hot seat in front of his/her mom and dad, just remember to be yourself.

10. Thou shalt not steal thy neighbor’s food.

Season 10, Episode 9: “The One With The Birth Mother

Coming to a close, FRIENDS teaches us the second golden rule: thou shalt not steal thy neighbor’s food. In this episode, Joey’s date tries to steal some of his food while out to dinner. Let me just ask you: when was the last time you tried to treat yourself to your buddy’s fries and they slapped your hand like it was on fire? It’s just one of those things that you should not do. If you come in between my chips and guacamole (unless you are my sister) you will probably lose a fingernail. Maybe it’s a little more lenient amongst friends, but when out on a date, it is one of the least classiest of things anyone can do. Ladies, do not order a light salad just so you can chow down on your dates’ mozzarella sticks. Just because it is not on your plate does not mean that it is void from your diet regiment.

Photo Credit: All from Google. Thanks, Google!


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