‘Friends’ remains one of the best television shows to grace the screens. While this is partly due to its epic mix of love and comedy, many revere the series to date for its invaluable life lessons.
Following the lives of a group of six friends thriving to find their paths in life while navigating the dating waters in New York City, “Friends” swept through households like a whirlwind from the mid-nineties to early 2000s.
The television sitcom, in addition to starring some of TV’s biggest stars, portrayed a knowledge-packed storyline, spiced with comedy, drama, and a plethora of life lessons.
Little wonder fans could hardly contain their excitement following the announcement of the release of a “Friends” reunion special, “Friends: The Reunion,” also titled, “The One Where They Get Back Together.”
The spinoff, set to premiere on May 27, 2021, would feature appearances from the all-time favorite “Friends” casts, who have notably grown in age and maturity in the last seventeen years.
In honor of the big day, take a look back at some mind-blowing life lessons learned from watching “Friends.”
1. LIFE WAITS FOR NOONE
Throughout the show, one pattern everyone noticed was how opportunities always stuck around for only a brief moment before they fizzled out. Hence, opportunities that are not grabbed soon enough, move on to someone else.
This lesson played out in the case of Ross and Rachel. After waiting too long to hit it off with Rachel, Ross lost her to Paolo. Again, Richard’s reluctance to have kids made him lose Monica to Chandler, who remarkably proved to be her better match.
2. A PERSON’S PAST NEVER DEFINES THEM
Almost all the main casts on the series had embattled pasts even before their paths led them to each other. Ross, a divorcee, Rachel, a runaway bride, Phoebe, the product of a disturbed childhood, and Chandler, at loggerheads with his parents.
Yet, when fate brought them together, they seamlessly embraced each other without giving their flawed pasts a second thought. They forged ahead in life irrespective of what they were running from, and eventually found lasting happiness.
3. THE IMPORTANCE OF KINDNESS
How six of the kindest people in the world found themselves lumped up as flatmates remains a mystery. Yet, that’s exactly what happened on “Friends.”
All six major characters were nice to a fault, so much they could drop everything to help someone else. Granted, many used their kindness against them on more than one occasion, their good hearts eventually paid off in the long run.
For instance, when Chandler decided to do the right thing by letting Janice return to her ex-husband for the sake of her baby. The heartbreaking decision eventually became a blessing, leading him into the arms of his one true love, Monica.
4. NEVER GIVE UP
As the least smart in the group, Joey often ended up as the subject of almost every laughing spree. But he taught one of the most important lessons on “Friends.”
The pursuit of his acting dreams even after hundreds of failed auditions eventually paid off when he landed a big role and became a superstar. That goes a long way to show the importance of never giving up on one’s dreams.
5. STAY LOYAL TO TRUE FRIENDS
Real friends are rare. Yet, what’s even rarer is having true friends willing to sacrifice everything without counting faults, which makes the six leads on “Friends” arguably the luckiest people in the world to have found each other.
The secret of the longevity of their friendship, which sustained even after several breakups, long arguments, and becoming exes, remained in their willingness to stay loyal and true to each other. And that is priceless!
6. BEING A RISK-TAKER PAYS
Almost every time someone took a risk on “Friends,” the result turned out positive. One memorable risk was Rachel’s decision to abandon her flight to Paris to start a new life at the last minute for love.
Her decision to live in the moment, and take her chances with Ross paid off, as he was willing to put Emily behind him and begin anew with Rachel. A second’s decision rewrote their stories for life.
7. HONESTY IS A NO BRAINER
The saying, “honesty is the best policy,” came to play on several occasions on “Friends.” The comedy-filled storyline did justice when it came to the detrimental effects of keeping secrets in any form of relationship.
Be it friendship, romance, or a professional relationship, it always pays to come out clean, to everyone. Notably, most feuds that played out on the series could have been averted if the involved parties opted for honesty in the first place.
8. DRINK RESPONSIBLY
Every time someone got drunk on the show without a sober friend on hand to guide them through, something regrettable and spontaneous always happened.
From Rachel and Ross’s spontaneous wedding in Los Vegas which led to a string of lies and coverups, to Monica’s 30th birthday. This list is inexhaustible.
9. THE HEALTH OF A RELATIONSHIP SUPERSEDES WINNING AN ARGUMENT
The love story of Ross and Rachel hit rock bottom after the duo decided to take a break. Sadly, the duo had different interpretations of what “taking a break” meant. Hence, when Ross wound up with another woman during the said break, it birthed one of the biggest conflicts in the series.
With neither willing to reach a compromise about who had the ideal definition, their misunderstanding evolved into more bouts of bitterness and anger. This eventually led them to go their separate ways.
10. LOVE ISN’T ALWAYS ENOUGH
It takes more than love to make a relationship work. Sometimes factors like commitment, shared interests, age, compromise, and ambitions come to play.
Fans of “Friends,” saw this invaluable life lesson take form in Monica and Doctor Richard’s love story. Despite their deep love for each other, they had to let go of the relationship when their dreams clashed.
While Monica dreamed of marriage and kids with her 21-years older beau, Richard never wanted any of that. Eventually, the unaligned goals led to their heartbreaking separation.
What did you learn from watching “Friends?”