25 Years Later: Why Gen Z Can't Get Over a 90s Sitcom

It has been 25 years since Friends first premiered, and 15 years since the last episode aired.The show gained popularity and a large fanbase during the 90s, which continued to grow after it ended.

Now, a new generation, Gen Z has started to show their love for this comedic yet lovable show. There are a lot of new comedy shows that have been gaining popularity, but why do we keep binge watching the same show? From its interesting storylines to the jokes that never gets old, it has all of the ingredients that places it above every other show in television history. 

The Characters

If you have watched the show, you know what I am talking about. The storylines wouldn’t have been this good if it wasn’t for the cast. The show made each character unique to its own while steering away from the stereotypes. The characters became so popular that their names became synonymous with their characteristics. Tell me you don’t think about Monica Geller when you see someone who loves cleaning, or compares the sarcastic friend in your group to Chandler. Phoebe’s little quirks, Joey’s love for food, Ross’s divorces, and Rachel’s tantrums are all too familiar for any Friends fan. 

The Journey    

It is hard for the writers of a show to form a connection with their audience through the plot. But in the case of Friends, they succeeded very well. With only 20 minutes long of episodes over the years, viewers feel that the characters are just another regular person that lives across the street. We know THEIR story. When we, as Gen Z’ers, watch the show, it’s like a very long and fun movie we don’t want to stop watching. We should be glad that unlike the generations before us, we did not have to wait for each episode or the next season altogether. 

The Humor

No one can deny that Friends wasn’t funny, but what made it special was it wasn’t just funny. Sometimes, it was too weird (“Smelly cat, smelly cat, what are they feeding you?”, Phoebe singing her favorite original song “Smelly Cat”) or too smart (“Was that place the SUN?”, Chandler when he notices Ross’s regrettable fake tan) or just a bit uncomfortable. The uncountable one-liners and Joey’s ignorance were just a few examples of things that made the show great. 

The Escape from Reality

In the real world, the same characters would have lived less funny but similar lives. The ability to transform the saddest of situations into a funnier one is what drives people to watch such shows. The various storylines, including Ross getting multiple divorces, Monica wanted to have a baby only to realize she would never be able to have one of her own, or Chandler’s inability to commit is dark. Still, with the writers’ presence of mind, they were turned into something very reasonable and easy to accept, both for the characters and the audience. It taught us how to live through bad times. 

The Friendships 

Lastly, the show targets the human longing for companionship, even though our generation is closer to each other through social media, we still lack real friends at times. This show showcases friendship in its rawest state. There are times when things aren’t that well between the characters, and we know now that it is okay to not be okay with everything our friends do. We know that friends are what we have and that we should cherish every single moment with them. 

Friends has brought smiles, tears, laughter and so many other emotions to their fans. It’s no wonder that Gen Z’ers love the show because it gives them a place where they can forget about their worries for a few minutes. So gather your friends and dance to the catchy theme song for an episode of Friends!


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