Central Perk No More: How ‘Friends’ Characters Would Actually Be Doin’ Today (If We Got The Scripted Reunion Everyone Wanted)
“How You Doin’?” It’s a question as old as season 4 Joey Tribbiani. Now that Friends: The Reunion has finally arrived, it’s one we’re asking the sitcom’s characters. Similar to last year’s Fresh Prince of Bel-Air reunion, Friends‘ reunion is an unscripted event featuring the core cast, supporting, and random celebrity cameos. Jennifer Aniston, Courteney Cox, Lisa Kudrow, Matt LeBlanc, Matthew Perry, and David Schwimmer return to familiar sets, reminisce in front of a live audience, and sing a “Smelly Cat” duets with Lady Gaga. It’s probably the last time we’ll see them all together on television…unless we get that scripted episode or movie everyone keeps asking for.
As you know, Friends has remained hugely popular since “The Last One” aired in 2004. The showrunners have since said that it was important to end the series with everyone in a good place; checking in with them 17 years later would be unraveling those happy endings to appease the masses. During the reunion, James Corden (of all people) asked the cast where they thought their character would be today—which is also something the showrunners have commented on in the past. Their answers essentially reiterated the finale when, in reality, it’s unlikely Central Perk would’ve survived 2020. Without further ado, here’s the one where we ask how Friends’ characters would be doin’ today as they continue to complain about how no one told them life was gonna be this way.
Photo: HBO Max
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Ross and Rachel
In the finale, Ross tells Rachel, “this is it. Unless we’re on a break.” A joke that does not go over well. While everyone wants the iconic, on and off lovers to embrace the “til death” concept, their relationship is plagued by all the things Relationships for Dummies warns us about: jealousy, resentment, and, well, neurotic behavior. Dysfunction doesn’t die when the credits roll. Both Jennifer Aniston and Friends co-creator Marta Kauffman said that Ross and Rachel would be married and still together—the former still “playing with bones” and bitching about the popularity of the Jurassic Park franchise. However, we beg to differ. In a ironic twist of fate, Ross said "Emily" at he and Rachel's wedding. The pair, along with Emma and Ben, are in therapy.
Monica and Chandler
Screw Ross and Rachel. Any fan worth their salt knows Monica and Chandler were Friends’ real love story. That said, the couple is still be going strong today. “I think Monica and Chandler are together,” Kauffman said. “They have their twins. They’re doing great.” Courtney Cox says Monica is still very competitive and in charge of the bake sale at the local elementary school (even though her kids are probably already graduated). Chandler’s is starting to make more and more “how would you like your steak? On the grill” type jokes but he still makes Monica laugh. Life in the suburbs is good until Chandler has a full-blown meltdown about the twins getting married. Joey occasionally sleeps on the couch...at 53.
Joey ended the show single. While Matt LeBlanc says he thinks Joey ended up opening a sandwich shop in Venice Beach, ignoring his deplorable spinoff series, we think he’s since settled down. Either that or his playboy ways haven’t aged well and he’s creeping on the Raya dating app. However, even Kauffman said, “I think he’s married and has six kids.” In addition to that, Joey has rediscovered his affinity for teaching soap acting via the tweezer method (among other things). Every now and again, he stills asks young women “How you doin’?” except now he actually expects an answer. Also, he occasionally sleeps on Monica and Chandler’s couch—which his Chiropractor keeps lecturing him about...or at least Joey thinks he's a Chiropractor but we're pretty sure that's not how you do...
If you haven’t seen the reunion, we hate to break it to you, but Paul Rudd does not make an appearance. Who would’ve thought he’d become more famous than the rest of the cast? Everyone. The man was a gem out of the gate. Anyway, Lisa Kudrow says that Phoebe and Mike aka Crap Bag will still be married and most likely living in Connecticut with Princess Consuela Banana Hammock (formerly) advocating for kids that are different, creating an arts program, etc. In addition to adopting children, Phoebe continued her spirited yet unsuccessful musical career up until Central Perk closed due to COVID-19 (no more open mic night), Phoebe, like the rest of us, spent too much time watching the news—which inspired her to get into politics. She’s currently in the process of forming her own party in support of Christmas. Mike is still rich.
We're Good With This Ending
Au revoir, or as Joey would say, "tout le plaisir est pour moi, mon ami."
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