Although the era in which Friends has graced us with its witty jokes has ended, its legacy lives as it has taught me a few, nay, everything I know about how to function in society. High school taught me to make sense of Shakespeare’s plays and a college biochemistry course taught me all the enzymes and mechanisms that go into gluconeogenesis, but sorry mom and dad, although I appreciate your dedication to furthering my pursuits in academia, all the lessons I have learned about being a functional member of society (which, frankly, are the only lessons that matter, right?) came from six BFFs: Joey, Chandler, Ross, Rachel, Phoebe, and Monica.
Below are ten examples of why everything I know about socializing, came from Friends.
1. Don’t Gamble Away Your Most Prized Possessions. Money is chump change when compared to Monica and Rachel’s beautiful apartment. Somebody told me that I wouldn’t squander my money because there are no holes between my fingers when squeezed together (aka-money won’t slip through my fingers). Just like my hips, my hands don’t lie.
2. A Joke Will Always Make An Awkward Situation…More Awkward. As a person that thrives on awkward moments, I have embraced this life lesson to the fullest. One ticket to Awkward City, USA, please. Thank you Ms. Chanandler Bong.
3. Homie Hoppin’ Ain’t Right. Rachel, Ross, or Joey. It’s hard to keep track of who Rachel is dating. One thing is for sure, it’s confusing and I don’t like it. Let’s keep it real ladies – once you hit it and quit it with one guy, don’t go back to his friend group for a swim.
4. Sushi Rolls Are For More Than Just Eating. It can be and will be used to convince people you are, in fact, a karate master. Unagi is no longer eel, but rather a knowledge of your surroundings. Since I’m allergic to fish, Kappa and California rolls will have to do. Throw in some chicken teriyaki while you’re at it.
5. Express Your Feelings. (Sometimes.) I’m all for being overtly honest and blunt about it, but err between two boundaries: the leftmost, being the pettiness behind the Gellar Cup, and the right being of anything on the lines of calling your significant other a nickname, a la “Bing-A-Ling.” No one needs to know you despise their idiosyncratic ways and nobody wants to know what you call main squeeze behind bedroom doors. Everything in between is fair game.
6. You Don’t Have To Like Everyone. You just have to be able to tolerate them. Just like Joey’s strong dislike for Janice and her nasally voice, after a “day of fun,” he realized he could stand her. If we had a deep connection with everyone we met, who would we converse with about the weather? The weather needs to be discussed, people.
7. Fake It Until You Make It. Just like Monica’s fake flame-retardant boobs, you can’t have it all. Sometimes you have to serve coffee or dance on a counter of a diner because it’s remotely related to the field you’re interested in. If there was a job for every actor or model in LA, there would be a drastic decline in employees in the restaurant business. Even Brad Pitt worked as a waiter before he made it big.
8. Anything Casual Never Works. There is no such thing as an innocent burger. Countless hours of passive-agressive texting and waiting for phone call rituals could have been saved if we just learned from Ross and Rachel’s confusion of the definition of a “break.” You have to pick one: friends or lovers, but never an in-between. Circle it, check a box, do what you gotta do, but get yer done.
9. Food Can Be Eaten Off Any Surface. The traditional route being a plate, bowl, or spork, and the road less traveled being the ground or the garbage. But thanks to Mr. Tribbiani, we know to never, ever wear our food. Although it may be convenient to always have a little snack on you, literally, your friends will definitely not understand and you will forever be stuck at the kids table.
10. “Do You Boo Boo Cuz Imma Do Me.” I have to give Kevin Hart some credit here for coming up with this lesson’s brilliant line. Hang your freak flag high, people! If you want to do a crazy Chandler and Joey dance in front of your jaw-hanging friends, do it! And while you’re sticking to your selfie guns, don’t do anything that’s not your vibe. Ross should have never tried to look like he was from the Jersey Shore by way of getting a spray tan had he been at all unsatisfied with how he looked in the first place, let alone need the reassurance of his friends that he looked like a guido.
Friends may come and go, but for a whopping $180, Friends will be there forever.