FRIENDS: Where Are They Now

5 Jan

Friends first aired just over 20 years ago. To celebrate its recent release on Netflix, let’s take some time to speculate where might be now. Rachel, the youngest of the group, would be 43. Ross and Phoebe, the oldest, would be 46. What has everyone been up to?


Rachel Green

Obviously Ross and Rachel are divorced. Their split started out amicably enough, with promises about always staying friends and being good co-parents for Emma’s sake, but things went downhill pretty quickly after Rachel accepted another job in Paris and Ross accused her of resenting him for begging her to stay the last time she’d tried to move overseas. Sick of Ross’ unending sob circus, Rachel bluntly told him that yes, she did resent him, not just for Paris but for all the other times he held her back career-wise. Rachel then asked Ross to give her some space, but he continued to send her a barrage of texts and messages until she finally blocked his number and email address. They now only communicate through their lawyers.

After returning to New York in 2011, Rachel started her business as a “sartorial curator” (her term). She specializes in revamping the wardrobes of recently divorced women, and has gained a strong reputation as the It Girl of that niche market. She’s absolutely merciless when it comes to throwing out old pieces that are either outdated or the wrong size or have bad memories associated with them, and is a genius at filling in the gaps with new items perfectly suited to her clients. Socialite Tinsley Mortimer recently said that she has no idea how she would have made it intact through her split from Topper without Rachel’s help.

Two years ago Ross’ son Ben, then in his late teens, reached out to Rachel, saying that he wanted to get to know his half sister. Since then, Rachel has become very close with Carol and Susan, and they’ve been a huge help in raising Emma. Saturday night often finds Carol, Susan and Rachel drinking wine and laughing about how terrible Ross is. Sometimes Emily skypes in from England (she and Rachel reconnected while Rachel was living in Paris). It seems funny to them that such an amazing friendship was born out of the ashes of three terrible relationships (“like beautiful flowers growing out of a pile of manure,” Carol said once), but they can’t help being grateful for the strange circumstances that brought them all together.

Rachel can quote most of Sex and the City from memory.

Ross Geller

Ross is still at New York University, in spite of being widely known as one of the worst professors there. He has dated several of his students and each time has manipulated them into not telling the university administration about their relationship by saying that if he gets fired, he won’t be able to pay child support and his children will starve. Because of this, no formal complaints have ever been made against him, although he does have a reputation on campus as a whiny womanizer. Female first year students are often warned not to go to his office after hours unless they want to be coerced into pity makeouts.

In 2012, Ross published a book called The Science Behind Jurassic Park, which spent a remarkable twelve weeks on the New York Times bestseller list. He and Neil deGrasse Tyson began a friendship on twitter, which then progressed to email and finally meeting in person. Phoebe recently bumped into Ross and Neil while they were out for coffee together, and although Ross was dismissive and condescending to Phoebe, Neil was completely charmed by her. Ross doesn’t know that Phoebe and Neil have met twice since then for herbal tea.

When the Red Wedding episode of Game of Thrones aired, Ross posted a lengthy Facebook status shaming people who hadn’t read the book before watching the show (and gleefully pointing out every discrepancy between the two).

Ross worries on a daily basis that George R.R. Martin will die before finishing his next book.

Phoebe Buffay

Phoebe is still married to Mike, and they are happily childless. Phoebe has come up with a variety of hilarious responses when people ask her why she doesn’t have children, but the truth is that she just doesn’t want to. People kept telling her “Wait until you’re older, you’ll change your mind,” but she’s 46 now and still has no interest in having her own kids. She prefers being the cool aunt to her brother’s triplets and often lets them stay over at her place when Frank and Alice need a break.

With Mike’s encouragement, Phoebe went back to school in her late thirties and became a social worker. She now counsels homeless teenagers through a youth outreach project. She tells herself that if she can help at least one kid get back on their feet then she’ll have repaid her karmic debt, but the truth is that she’s almost certainly done more for those kids than she’ll ever realize. On top of everything else, the teens all especially love the fact that their counsellor actually knows what it’s like to live on the streets.

Phoebe continues to work as a masseuse, although only on weekends, and only with animal clients. She recently developed a combination of essential oils that combats even the strongest pet odours. She markets it under the name Smelly Cat, and it’s available at both Whole Foods and Trader Joe’s.

Phoebe still does not own a smart phone, and swears that she never will.

Joey Tribbiani

Joey spent a few years in pretty dire straits, with all of his acting jobs drying up and few other sources of income. He spent some time living in Chandler and Monica’s basement, trading babysitting for room and board. It turns out he’s pretty good with kids, and he was thinking of starting his own nannying business when his big break came in 2013.

Just weeks after dropping his critically-acclaimed album Nothing Was The Same, singer Drake tweeted “Shout out to Drake Ramoray, the inspiration for my name.” The character Drake Ramoray instantly became a wildly popular internet meme, and  Joey was suddenly flooded with job offers. As he made guest appearances on popular sitcoms and charmed his way through the talk show circuit, his popularity only increased. He most recently collaborated on a soap opera buddy comedy with Seth Rogen, and is currently working on a memoir called From Ramoray, With Love.

Embracing the medium of twitter after Drake’s now-infamous tweet, Joey was soon turned onto hashtag activism. He uses it to promote ideas about enthusiastic consent, a concept that’s been important to him before he even knew there was a specific term for it. Joey considers himself to be a sex-positive feminist, although he’s still not entirely sure what “feminist” means.

Monica Geller

Combining her love of food with the emotional scars left from a lifetime of her parents’ bullying and fat jokes, Monica became a body-positive nutritionist. A fierce advocate of Healthy At Any Size, Monica works primarily with teenage girls, encouraging them to love and care for their bodies.

With Chandler’s help, Monica recently started a public awareness campaign called Stunning At Any Size; the campaign showcases bodies of all sizes, ages, races and ethnicities, and though Monica has received a lot of flak for it from various fat-phobic jerks, it is generally considered to be a resounding success.

Monica does not allow anyone to use the term “obesity epidemic” in her presence.

When Monica’s parents visit, they only ever talk about Ross’ career, especially his book. By this point, Monica actually prefers it that way. Her father once refer to Stunning At Any Size as “your little thing with the pictures of the fat women,” and Monica politely but firmly told him to leave her house. He hasn’t mentioned it since.

Monica loves Taylor Swift.

Chandler Bing

After years of fighting his attraction to men, Chandler finally gave in and had an affair with a hot young coworker. After lying to Monica, his children and everyone else for months, Chandler had a breakdown over Thanksgiving Dinner (of course). This led to a brief hospitalization, and after his release and weeks of intensive therapy, Chandler was able to admit to Monica that what frightened him the most was the idea of turning into his father and abandoning his family.

Monica told Chandler that she loved him but didn’t want to stay together with him just for the kids, especially if he wasn’t attracted to her. He insisted that he was, in fact, attracted to her and still very much in love with her, but that he also wanted to sleep with men. After a few false starts and some stumbling along the way, Monica and Chandler now have a loving and supportive non-monogamous relationship. Monica did initially have a hard time with Chandler dating other people, but seeing how happy he was made it easier for her. Last year, Monica reconnected with Richard, and the two have been an item ever since. Monica now channels all of her controlling tendencies into her carefully-maintained Google calendar, which she uses to schedule plenty of time with both Chandler and Richard, and also to make sure she gets the kids to soccer practice on time.

Monica and Chandler are doing their best to raise Erica and Jack in a healthy, loving household. Monica makes sure never to make comments about their weight or how much they’re eating, and Chandler spends quality time with them by taking them out to Broadway musicals and his queer parenting drop in group. Monica, Chandler and the kids attend Pride every year, and it’s become a family tradition. Erica and Jack attend an alternative school, and plenty of their classmates have non-traditional families. They have lots of friends and love telling people that Thanksgiving turned their dad gay (although every time Monica overhears this, she reminds them not to engage in bi-erasure).

40 Responses to “FRIENDS: Where Are They Now”

  1. Nithinpurple January 5, 2015 at 4:20 am #

    Nice description/like a story

  2. athenarcarson9 January 5, 2015 at 4:42 am #

    I don’t know who to petition to make this official canon, but we totally should. I ESPECIALLY like that Ross and Rachel broke up – I never thought they were all that good together. I mean, seriously – what mature grown-up nurtures the SAME crush since high school?

    • southsidesocialist January 5, 2015 at 10:55 pm #

      I’m not giving up my Harrisonn Ford crush and you can’t make me

  3. Rebecca Meyer January 5, 2015 at 4:50 am #

    This is fabulous! I’ve been loving these “Where are they now?” posts catching up with old television shows. They’re so much fun to read.

  4. The Double Parent January 5, 2015 at 4:52 am #

    Can’t like this enough!!!!! So true to character. Well done.

  5. Mario Savioni January 5, 2015 at 5:05 am #

    Brilliant work. Who are you?

  6. disconcerted72 January 5, 2015 at 5:17 am #

    Love it!!!!

  7. mshanaallan January 5, 2015 at 6:11 am #

    Reblogged this on allan and commented:

  8. ddmoonsong January 5, 2015 at 6:32 am #

    Love it all except the Chandler/Monica part. I never believed Chandler had gay tendecies, they just used to tease him about that as a joke. Also I dont think Monica would EVER share anyone with anybody – she’s not the type for an open relationship.

  9. uju January 5, 2015 at 6:55 am #

    Hehehehe this is really funny. I just recently began to watch FRIENDS again–still funny as ever *sniffs*

    Thanks for the catch up lol

  10. Asha Maria January 5, 2015 at 12:23 pm #

    After an evening spent revisiting top 40 hits of the 90s on YouTube this really just made the experience complete. Sooo good. Thanks!

  11. dreamsinalaska January 5, 2015 at 12:51 pm #

    This was so awesome! The irony is that I spent Saturday watching a Friends marathon. 😄

  12. aekessler January 5, 2015 at 1:58 pm #

    I was never a huge fan of Friends, but this is perfect.

  13. Dork January 5, 2015 at 3:11 pm #

    Stupid shit. Where are they now? Hopefully they stayed off the pipe and saved enough dough to never have to work again. Shittiest show in TV history to go that long. Bunch of fucking assholes.

  14. hollyedollye January 5, 2015 at 4:39 pm #

    Reblogged this on Smile Sessions and commented:
    I loved this.

  15. Jessica Malionek January 5, 2015 at 5:00 pm #

    Thanks for making me smile!

  16. mtyokum January 5, 2015 at 5:18 pm #

    Best line: Monica loves Taylor Swift

  17. Mari January 5, 2015 at 8:59 pm #

    I love this!! You are brilliant!!!

  18. Greg Allan January 5, 2015 at 9:07 pm #

    Why so harsh with Ross?! Basically the guy gets dumped on for ten seasons and somehow he’s the bad guy?

    • guessingatnormal February 20, 2015 at 2:02 am #

      I know, right? I loved this except for all the Ross hate. I do agree that he and Rachel were never that good together (and not only because of *his* faults), but I like to think he learned a few lessons along the way, especially about the dangers of hitting on/dating students.

  19. sophiedoes2015 January 5, 2015 at 9:53 pm #

    Was Ross your least favourite character by any chance?? haha.

  20. lysa January 6, 2015 at 3:36 am #


    • wwalabi January 6, 2015 at 8:22 am #

      What a bunch of fuck ups

    • hannahmrobinson January 6, 2015 at 11:12 pm #

      This is spot on 🙂

  21. pauline January 7, 2015 at 9:22 am #

    Brilliant piece thanks

  22. fonduekid January 7, 2015 at 8:47 pm #

    Reblogged this on FUN @ WROK | JSUT AONTEHR BRCIK IN TEH WLAL and commented:
    Hilarious. Good one.

  23. Friends Expert January 8, 2015 at 10:02 pm #

    This is absolutely horrible… Completely pessimistic and not even slightly true to characters or the show. There are so many factual issues with this it hurts, I wouldn’t even classify it as satire. It’s just shit. Whoever wrote this, get your depressing brain out of your ass and stop ruining such a lighthearted show.

    • R November 20, 2015 at 12:35 pm #

      Pessimistic? There’s an awful lot of positivity in it, which you seem to have missed. That can happen when you don’t actually read a whole piece before commenting.

  24. Emmeline (@emeriin) January 12, 2015 at 12:35 am #

    Oh this is amazing, and far truer to the characters than most of the ‘where are they now’ stuff for the show. There was a lot of gross stuff couched in a peppy laugh track, and while I came here for the Ross/Rachel break up, Joey becoming a feminist, Phoebe helping street kids, Chandler being bi and happy while Monica refuses to pass her eating issues along were just as magical.

  25. Christine Watson January 12, 2015 at 2:41 am #

    That was the bee’s knees! You’re the best! ❤

  26. girlwhoknowsthings January 14, 2015 at 1:15 pm #

    This is brilliant material and extremely well written! I was never a fan of the show, but did see enough episodes to know the characters, and YOU have nailed the perfect “Where are they now?” segment! Bravo!

    (Side note: As I was reading this, An der schönen blauen Donau A.K.A. The Blue Danube came on my music shuffle!)

  27. Venus Mahmood January 31, 2015 at 9:54 pm #

    This is so much more realistic than the “happily ever after” that it made me a bit sad (Ross and rachel fan all the way). 😀 Awesome post! 🙂

  28. starlitwishes February 21, 2015 at 10:18 pm #

    Love, love, love this! Especially Rachel and Ross not being together! 🙂

  29. matricom March 5, 2015 at 2:18 pm #

    hahaha that is great loved this show and the joey part that was too good love it..

  30. shakesperoine June 2, 2015 at 7:08 pm #

    This is awesome! I love that I can see all of this happening to the characters. I like Monica’s and Phoebe’s the most.

  31. Friends Fan August 15, 2016 at 6:51 pm #

    Moderately clever satire – but a very negative and condescending view of the characters.

    1) Ross is a Renaissance Man in the sciences. When the show starts he’s 26 and already has a PhD in paleontology from Columbia and a museum job. He teaches sedimentary/igneous rocks (geology), carbon dating (recent paleontology) and Greely’s theory of dominance (sociology). He does anthropology work for the museum, rebuilds dinosaur skeletons, and published a highly regarded paper on sediment flow rate. Guy is a world-class scientist. Wouldn’t have any trouble getting women from sophisticated circles to like him.

    2) Despite his issues, Chandler loves his parents and is always nice to gay people. But he’s clearly straight. Its good to see him date some cute women and have a good time with his guy friends even though he can’t live up to tough-guy stereotypes. He doesn’t need to prove himself as a man. But your Chandler is a closeted wreck in a sham marriage. Despite issues, he & Monica probably had the best relationship on the show. Really loving & supportive. No reason to bash it.

    3) Joey’s a successful soap star and way past living in Chandler’s basement. But he might be pretty good on social-media & talk shows, so I’ll give that one a pass.

    4) Rachel is no angel but she is a sweet, easy going person at heart. Basing her social life on obsessive Ross-bashing is a bizarre satire of the character.

    5) Almost everyone can be lean & healthy when they eat whole plant foods. Scientific evidence is overwhelming. But no amount of exercise will make you thin when you eat processed junk. For Monica to easily stay so thin on the show, she had to know that eating real food is the key to health. She wouldn’t say you’re great at any size. She’d use her impressive energy to teach millions of kids how to eat right, lose weight, and lead happier lives. She’d be non-judgmental but direct, and would actually help people.

    6) Phoebe is spot-on. Absolutely perfect analysis.

  32. E September 11, 2016 at 6:24 am #

    What a biased perspective lmao.


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