Friends is a show that has been enjoyed by many since its original airdate in 1994, and its popularity never seems to dissipate. This may be due to Netflix, where all ten seasons of Friends have been available since 2015. But with WarnerMedia, the creator of Friends, recently announcing its rival streaming service, fans are worried the show may be leaving Netflix as early as 2019.
The show follows a group of six friends through their adult life in New York City. Ross, Chandler, Joey, Phoebe, Monica, and Rachel navigate work, dating, marriage, and everyday mishaps and achievements. The witty dialogue appeals to every age group and contributes to this generation’s continued interest in the show.
I started watching Friends when it first became available on Netflix. I was instantly hooked by its witty and sarcastic humor that tends to match my own. Now I watch it whenever I can, especially before I fall asleep. It has a way of calming me down after a stressful day. If Friends left Netflix, I would probably just end up buying the whole series on Amazon so I could continue watching—after I sent a strongly worded email to whoever was responsible for its disappearance. I don’t think I could ever get sick of it.
A classic episode of the show that encompasses exactly why it is so beloved is “The One with Ross’s Tan.” (The naming of each episode makes finding exactly what you are looking for easy!) Ross notices his sister Monica’s spray tan, and how good it looks, and decides to get one himself. As Ross tries to remember the procedure, “Spray, pat, count, and turn. Spray, count, and pat,” he counts with the “Mississippi” method and ends up with almost triple the amount of spray tan intended. His friends make fun of him throughout the episode and ask him how his trip to the sun was.
All ten seasons have a Thanksgiving-themed episode. My favorite is the one where Joey gets Monica’s turkey stuck on his head. Since I’ve started watching the show, I always think of that moment when eating my Thanksgiving turkey. The show has a way of creeping into your life after watching it.
My favorite character has always been Joey Tribbiani. This is a controversial topic amongst Friends fans. Opinions on the matter are strong, and I’ve witnessed too many fights over the issue to express my favoritism often. Joey isn’t the smartest of the group, but he has some of the best lines and moments in the show. A classic Joey moment is when he mistakes his Adam’s apple for his “Joey’s apple.” Chandler is left to explain that it’s not named after each individual man. Joey’s moments lacking common sense make me laugh because I can relate to them a little more than I would like to admit.
But the main six characters are not the only stars. Minor characters throughout the show shine. Chandler’s ex-girlfriend, Janice, has a recurring and unforgettable role. Her annoying voice and constant repetition of “OH. MY. GOD” make it almost impossible not to laugh along with the typical sitcom laugh track. Another minor character throughout the series is Gunther, a waiter at the coffee shop the gang frequents. “I love Gunther,” Bayard Eton ’17 told me. “Whenever he comes on, you know something funny is about to happen or a great line is coming up.”
Any given day I can expect to hear a Friends quote like, “PIVOT!” or “How you doin’?” The show’s immense popularity continues to grow. Since the show came out in 1994, it is common ground for both students and teachers.
“Friends was always one of those shows that you could watch if it was on,” says Michael Chapman, my forensics teacher. He told me he was a casual watcher but enjoyed it because it tried to show the strong bonds that people could create with each other and the power of camaraderie.
Unlike Mr. Chapman, I consider myself to be more of a hardcore fan. There are 236 episodes of Friends. Each episode is around 25 minutes, totaling roughly 85 hours of the show. I’ve watched the show from start to finish three times, and I skip around episodes all the time, probably adding up to another season. Now I’ve done the math: that’s 340 hours of Friends, or just over 14 days. That number might be upsetting to some, but I’m proud.
Friends is a must-see for any age group. After twenty-four years, it is still the most popular television show ever watched. If you haven’t already seen the classic, you better start binge-watching now, before it potentially leaves Netflix forever.