"Friends" Wasn't Perfect, But It Handled Some Tough Topics Well And Here Are 16 Moments That Prove It
It wasn't always laughs and smiles.
1. When Monica slept with a guy on the first date, and it was no biggie.
2. Changing the idea of a "conventional" and "normal" family completely throughout the characters' developments.
3. When they showed numerous times that people of the opposite sex can be friends in a platonic relationship, with no romantic feelings involved.
4. When Monica and Chandler couldn't biologically conceive children and started the process of adoption.
"As someone who has had fertility issues, I have to say that I felt seen. Pregnancy is so often portrayed as such an easy, natural thing. When it’s not, it’s devastating and potentially something you may never recover from. Bravo to Friends for showing the anxiety, the heartbreak, and the difficult road that followed so well."
5. When Phoebe agreed to be a surrogate for her brother and sister-in-law, but still struggled with the idea that she wouldn't be the one to raise the triplets.
6. And when all the main female characters took their own unconventional approach on motherhood and fertility, from unplanned pregnancy to adoption to surrogacy.
"All of the fertility storylines were done SO well. From Ross learning to co-parent with his ex-wife and her wife, to Phoebe being a surrogate for her brother and sister-in-law, to Rachel having an unplanned pregnancy, and then to Monica and Chandler not being able to conceive and going the adoption route. As someone struggling with fertility and doing IVF, the fertility journeys in Friends have come to mean so much to me, and I really appreciate how varied each story was. Representation matters!"
7. When it showed that a breakup is sometimes necessary, even though both people still have love for the other.
8. When Rachel and her mother had a conversation about being "trapped" in a relationship and held back in life from feeling so.
9. When Monica and Richard realized that they were at different points in life and needed to split ways.
"I liked how the show handled Monica and Richard's breakup, that they realized they want different things and saw no other way."
10. When Chandler had to move away for his career but didn't expect Monica to abandon her life to follow him.
11. When some of the friends struggled with money and keeping a stable career, and some didn't.
"With all the flack, rewatching in my early twenties, early Friends was highly relatable. Especially during the pandemic, when I lost my job and some of my friends didn’t."
12. How Ross, Carol, and Susan were able to keep and maintain a blended family, including involving divorce and a same-sex marriage.
"When Ross walked Carol down the aisle. It needs to be realized that Ross was angry. He felt that Carol cheated on him with Susan. Anybody in his place would be angry at Carol too. Yes, I definitely agree that the show did have some inappropriate homophobic jokes because it seemed OK at that time. But overall, the character of Ross, although problematic, wasn't a homophobe."
Editor's Note: This positive moment doesn’t absolve the show of its poor treatment of Carol and Susan’s relationship, which included many lesbian jokes over several years.
13. When they showed numerous times that you can start over in your relationships, career, and life.
14. When they showed how messy divorces can be from all perspectives.
15. When the show had Joey break certain "manly rules" and what it means to be masculine.
16. And finally, when Monica was called hurtful names, and that made her question her self-worth.
Note: Submissions have been edited for length and clarity.