So lately I’ve been watching this little show called Friends. Friends (if you haven’t heard of it) is a sitcom that premiered on September 22, 1994 and ran until May 6, 2004. The show centered around the lives of six friends (Rachel, Ross, Monica, Chandler, Joey, and Phoebe), while they live in New York City during their late-20s through early-30s.
Throughout the show each of the main characters have romantic relationships with numerous people. Some of these individuals turn into serious significant others that often become fan favorites. However, one thing I’ve noticed from watching this show is that when it is time to write these characters off the show it seems to sometimes be for the most random reasons.
So here I present you with a few examples of significant others the “friends” had and the random reasons why the relationships didn’t work out.
*Also just so you know, the reason I believe these break ups seem so random is that often times the character one of the friends is dating seems great until one episode where the writers decided to throw a wrench in the whole thing just to write them off the show.*
Name: Pete Becker
Who did he date?: Monica Geller
Why they broke up?: Mixed Martial Arts
Played by Jon Favreau, Pete Becker was one of the most interesting significant others that the show introduced. He was charming, had a great sense of humor, and was extremely wealthy. So wealthy in fact that he took Monica to Rome for pizza on their first date. Pete was an interesting character and as an audience we spent six episodes getting to know this guy, but then Pete randomly just decided that he wanted to become the ultimate fighting champion. He failed miserably, getting his butt handed to him in the ring. So after a man broke most of Pete’s bones, Monica broke his heart and ended the relationship.
Name: Paul Stevens
Who he dated?: Rachel Green
Why they broke up?: Crying
Played by Bruce Willis, Paul Stevens was the tough single Dad of one of Ross’s girlfriends. Eventually Paul starts to develop a relationship with Rachel Green. Their relationship seemed to be going relatively okay, except Rachel didn’t feel like Paul told her enough and basically asked him to be more expressive about his life and feelings. Well out of nowhere Paul turns out to be this emotionally suppressed bubble that Rachel has popped, and now Paul is hardcore crying, rethinking traumatic experiences from his life. Paul even cries after sex. This all happens within one day, and to be fair I think Rachel could have given him another chance after this one day, but we never see him again. He done got dumped.
Name: Elizabeth Stevens
Who she dated?: Ross Geller
Why they broke up?: Water Balloons… also Ross randomly decides that she was too “immature”
Played by Alexandra Holden, the daughter of the previously discussed Paul Stevens and Ross’s girlfriend for five episodes. Elizabeth was a fun character and a super relatable character for any college student. That is of course because she was a college student while dating Ross who was a professor and 12 years older than her. Now I’m not judging age gaps but Ross was a professor at her college and the relationship wasn’t that great to begin with. Besides it isn’t until Ross finds out that she is participating in a water balloon fight that Ross decides she is too “immature” for him. This relationship itself was just random, and it is honestly more on Ross than anyone. Like she did “immature” stuff before but one day he was just like “Water Balloons? Not having it.”
Name: Gary (just Gary)
Who he dated?: Phoebe Buffay
Why they broke up?: He shot a bird
Played by Michael Rapaport, Gary is the most random break up in terms of abruptness. Gary is a funny character, him and Phoebe get along really well and he even becomes one of her most serious boyfriends in the series. A whole episode is dedicated to how much Gary cares about Phoebe and how he wants her to move in with him. However within the last few minutes of that same episode Phoebe and Gary are cuddling in bed, they hear a bird chirping, and Gary shoots it. Phoebe dumps him off-screen and we never hear about him again. I imagine the conversation in the writers room going a little bit like this:
Writer 1: “How should we write-off Gary?”
Writer 2: “Have him shoot a bird, that’d be funny”
Writer 1: “Genius”
So all, and all, there were just some random relationships on the show Friends and even more random reasons why these relationships ended. In the end however, who really cares? It was still a very entertaining show and even if some things that happened where random, they were entertainingly random. Keep in mind though, we cannot forget the fact that one episode Ross wanted to have sex with his cousin, tries to kiss her, and then when she is shocked he says the words “I haven’t had sex in a very long time.”