They’re still our Friends 25 years later
Could there be a more iconic television show than Friends? A cultural phenomenon, Friends has built a legacy of devoted fans that has spanned 25 years.
The comedy series that follows the lives of a close-knit group of pals living in New York City debuted on NBC in 1994 and is still a syndicated staple that millions of people tune into today. When it hasn’t been your day, week, month or even your year, siblings Ross (David Schwimmer) and Monica Geller (Courteney Cox), along with friends Chandler Bing (Matthew Perry), Phoebe Buffay (Lisa Kudrow), Joey Tribbiani (Matt LeBlanc) and Rachel Green (Jennifer Aniston) have been there to provide comedic relief. During its 10-season run that came to a close in May 2004, the beloved cast became woven into the fabric of pop culture, giving us no shortage of witty one-liners that cemented the series’ legacy in television history. Even a quarter of a century later, multi-generational audiences can’t help but crack a smile when hearing the word “Pivot!” or singing along when Phoebe starts strumming “Smelly Cat” at the gang’s hangout, The Central Perk coffee shop.
The show’s 25th anniversary was a testament to its popularity and perennial staying power. Warner Bros. Television pulled out all the stops to bring the show to life with fan experiences in 2019. The Central Perk—complete with its signature orange couch—was painstakingly recreated in Manhattan to mark the milestone. The replica coffee shop not only served up Java and pastries, it doubled as a pop-up museum and gift shop featuring Phoebe’s guitar, Rachel’s wigs and headshots of soap opera star Joey.
The studio even teamed up with American fashion designer Ralph Lauren to release the Rachel Green Collection mimicking Jennifer Aniston’s trendsetting character’s show stopping style. Rachel, who famously landed her dream job at Ralph Lauren in the show, inspired a decade’s worth of fashion and beauty trends, most memorably leather knee-high boots and, of course, “The Rachel” layered haircut. The collection is being sold at Bloomingdale’s, another company Rachel Green worked for on Friends.
A favorite among fans and critics alike throughout its 10-season run, Friends not only won an Emmy for Outstanding Comedy Series, but also garnered Emmy awards for Aniston and Kudrow. Friends was created by David Crane and Marta Kauffman, who executive produced the series with Kevin Bright through Bright/Kauffman/Crane Productions in association with Warner Bros. Television.
The cast, which are friends in real life and have even been known to playfully troll each other’s Instagram accounts, didn’t hold back their heartbreak when the show concluded with Ross and Rachel finally getting back together after a whirlwind romance no one could look away from—he is her lobster, after all.
As the series wrapped, Aniston emotionally stated, “We’re like very delicate china right now and we’re speeding toward a brick wall.”
But a show with this much staying power can’t stay away for too long. Following in the footsteps of several other popular ’90s sitcoms such as Full House and 90210, Friends is rumored to be headed for a reboot.
According to the Hollywood Reporter, the six original stars, along with the creators of the show, are in talks to reunite on HBO Max, a new streaming service that includes shows and movies from HBO and Warner Bros., among others. No concrete details have been confirmed as far as the possible plotline for the reunion show since both HBO Max and Warner Bros. Television have remained mum regarding any negotiations. Still it is a small step forward in answering the questions fans have been asking since Friends ended 15 years: Will there be a reunion?