Jennifer Blake: A&J: Friendship from FRIENDS

A&J: Friendship from FRIENDS

July 16, 2012


The posts that Aaron and I wrote a little while back about what it's like to live with each other were a hit! So I decided to start implementing more A&J posts around here. Aaron and I own all the seasons of FRIENDS and started watching them from the beginning a while ago, well we finally made it through all 10 seasons! Sure, we had seen many of the episodes at some point from when it was on TV, plus from randomly watching a DVD now and then, but it's different when you watch it from the beginning you really connect with all the characters, and you get to see their relationship develop over 10 seasons. So today we wanted to share with you the 3 things we took away about friendship.

FRIENDS was on the air for a long time, and not just because it is really really funny. I mean, yea its funny that two single guys raise a chicken and a duck in their New York City apartment and no one really seems to care, or notice the majority of the time. But it is so much more than that. As much as the show is about relationships and careers, it is at its core a show about friendship (go figure, right?). I think that if Jenn were to hit me over the head a little too hard and I woke up with a little spell of amnesia I could relearn everything I need to know about friendship. Here are what I think are the top 3 things you can learn about friendship from FRIENDS.

1.) Best friends can always forgive one another. Look, no one is perfect, and some people are further from perfect than other, but real friends know this. Though they may get mad at each other, like when Chandler fools around with one of Joey’s sisters in the wake of, Oh My God, another bad break-up with Janice. Even though Joey was quite upset, especially after Chandler admitted that not only did he fool around with Mary Angela but he also didn’t know which of Joey’s sisters she was, he still knew that Chandler wouldn’t do something like this unless he was drunk and didn’t know what he was doing. Needless to say, he quickly got over the incident, after he let another of his sisters punch Chandler in the face.

2.) Best friends know that they will pay each other back when they can, and even if they never can they don’t really care. The joke was often repeated that Chandler had to be conscious of money because he was supporting a twenty something Italian (meaning Joey of course). While Joey struggled to make a paycheck for years in the early stages of his acting career, Chandler did everything he could to help from paying for headshots or acting lessons to stage fighting classes and speech lessons that couldn’t even teach an Italian to speak with an Italian accent that doesn’t sound like a bad Mario. Chandler even went so far as to invent a game, Cups, in order to trick Joey into thinking he was winning money, at a point when he was too proud to accept help.
And when Joey is allowed to invite one person to go to the premier of his new World War I movie, and must decide between all of his friends, he chooses Candler because…
"Joey: It’s not just the stuff he paid for, I mean it’s-it’s everything. Y’know? He read lines with me. He-he went with me on auditions when I was really nervous, and then he consoled me after I didn’t get parts that I really wanted. You always believed in me man. Even, even when I didn’t believe in myself.
Chandler: “I always knew you were gonna make it. I’m so proud of you. "
3.) When best friends agree to set each other up on a blind date for their upcoming double date they find you your soul mate. When Joey and Phoebe decided to set each other up, Phoebe had no way of knowing that she would end up Marrying Mike. Well, to be fair, neither did Joey. He did after all know absolutely nothing about him other than his name. Joey had forgotten to find a date for Phoebe and in a last ditch effort just shouted out “Mike!” at Central Perk and that’s how he found… well, Mike. Hey, I didn’t say best friends have great memories. And Okay okay, this isn’t really a universal rule.  But it is a rule that resonates with me a little. I was once in a situation where I needed a date for prom, and my best friends suggested that I ask a girl in my AP Biology class with whom I had never had a conversation, but that they knew pretty well. And now we are getting married!
Over the course of 10 seasons I changed who my favorite character was about 30 times, there were days where Monica annoyed the crap out of me, and days where I couldn't stand the sound of Ross' voice. Honestly thought, by the end I loved all the characters for different reasons and I took a lot more away from the show than laughs!

1) Friends are always there for each other. I know this is really generic, but its true and I could throw out a million examples from the show, but why not start with the first episode. Have you seen it? Monica welcomes Rachel, wedding dress and all with open arms into her apartment, after they really hadn't been in touch, and when Rachel is a little lost about her life, Monica gives her a place to live and welcomes her to the real world, a world without daddy's money. 
    " Rachel: I know that you and I kinda drifted apart, but you're the only person I know who lived here in the city.
Monica: Who wasn't invited to the wedding...?
        Rachel: Oh, I was kinda hoping that wouldn't be an issue."

 2) Friends will go to any length to show you how sorry they are after they mess up. Now I'm not saying it has to be this drastic, but a friend should be willing to show you that they are sorry if they doing something wrong, it's hard to admit we are wrong, but I think it's even harder to show someone you are truly sorry. Joey and Chandler go through numerous fights throughout the seasons, but they always make it up to each other. Remember the episode where Chandler stays inside a crate ALL day with nothing, but a small hole to breath out of? No. Well go watch it, it's a good one! Chandler tells Joey he kissed his girlfriend Kathy, and Joey gets all sorts of angry, Joey decides that six hours locked up in a crate would make him forgive Chandler, so on Thanksgiving Chandler stays in a box to show how sorry he is. 
     "Chandler: The meaning of the box is threefold. One, it gives me the time to think about what I did. Two, it proves how much I care about my friendship with Joey. And three... it hurts!"

3) Friends with protect your secrets. This happens a lot in the show, but one of the biggest times is when Joey finds out about Chandler and Monica's relationship, he doesn't tell a soul even though he so badly wants to. He lets Monica and Chandler keep their secret relationship, even though he really wants to come clean about what he knows to everyone else. I think this is a big one in friendship, you need to be able to trust your friends, no one wants a friend that will go blab all of your secrets away. 


Have you watched FRIENDS from start to finish? Or learn anything while watching a few reruns here and there? 


Images found here, here, and here

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