Not sure about you guys, but I get by with a little help from my Friends. (Is that the oldest cross-reference in the book, or what? Forgive me.) Since I started writing my weekly EINTKILFs, I could not wait to drop some Friends knowledge on all y’all, and assume that everyone would love and appreciate it as much as I do because who the hell doesn’t love the show Friends? Aliens, or people that are lying to themselves and that is all. I was waiting for just the right time, and guess what? Today is Lisa Kudrow’s birthday, one of my best friends! (In my dreams.) So, without further ado:
EINTKILF Phoebe Buffay
1. Don’t lie to kids.
In (one of my favorite episodes ever) “The One After the Superbowl,” Phoebe dates Chris Isaak (WHO I SAW IN REAL LIFE ONCE) who gets her a gig singing to kids at schools. Phoebe, being the innocently honest person she is, sings kids songs that are slightly inappropriate.
Phoebe: Someday you’ll want to sleep with people so they’ll like you, but that’s another thing you won’t want to do, you won’t want to do. Everybody, you won’t want to do, you won’t want to do.
Chandler: Very informative!
Rachel: Not at all inappropriate!
After Phoebe is asked to not return because parents are uptight and no fun, the kids find Phoebe at the coffee shop and praise her for being so awesome. Case in point: don’t tell your kids you sent the dog to a farm. They are probably smarter than you and they deserve to know the truth, damn it!
2. Have a go-to fake name.
Phoebe relies on the use of “Regina Phalange” as her name when she needs an alias, or when she needs to create a broken part of a plane to stall Rachel’s flight to France.
Monica: I still don’t get why Brad and Jenny would give us a fake number.
Joey: You know, if they knew what they were doing, they probably didn’t give you real names, either.
Monica: Okay, maybe people give out fake numbers, but they don’t give out fake names.
Joey: Oh yeah? Hi, Ken Adams. Nice to meet you.
Phoebe: Regina Phalange.
Do you have a fake name? I sure don’t, but I think I might get one. It’s like how Lance Bass checks into hotels as Ted Geisel. Or, you know…it’s nothing like that.
3. Never give a jingle bitch a second chance.
Phoebe’s ex-best friend Leslie comes to town and after performing at Central Perk (what a usurper!), begs Phoebe to get back into business with her. When Phoebe finally gives in, Leslie stabs her in the back (again!) and sells the song “Smelly Cat” to a kitty litter company. (Kitty litter? Is that what it’s called?) The point is, giving second chances is great, but never trust your friends-turned-enemies-turned-friends with the same issue you had the first time.
Also, why in the world is Phoebe the only friend that has other friends?!
4. Make sacrifices for others.
Phoebe is such a good person. Have you ever noticed that? She, and potentially Ross, are the most self-sacrificial friends of all the Friends. Phoebe has her brother’s children, for the love of Frank! In one of the most touching episodes, Phoebe gives birth to Frank and Alice’s three babies, and at the last minute, while in labor, decides she wants to keep one of them. She only tells Rachel (they are so sweet in their alone moments), and when Rachel finally tells her Frank wants to keep all three babies, Phoebe bids them goodbye in one of the saddest moments in Friends history. Selfless!
5. It is okay if you have never had a serious relationship.
When Phoebe first meets Mike (who will be her husband one day, lucky girl!), she realizes she has never been in a serious relationship before and decides to make one up in order to make Mike think she is “normal.” After a long and involved lie about a man named Vikrum (which sounds like Viktor Krum) she drops the lie, and realizes that it is totally okay to be 30-something without ever having a “serious relationship.”
But, I mean, I’d call Gary a serious relationship, but whatever.
6. Don’t be a whiner.
Here’s the deal: Phoebe had the hardest life of not only any of the other characters, but also of any people in the city, probs. Her mother killed herself, her father bailed, she used to live on the streets begging for money, etc, etc. Having gone through all of that in her life, she is still the least whiny of everyone she knows. Rachel and Ross are the worst and the only bad things that ever happen to them involve each other. Chandler is pretty whiny as well, and he pretty much only ever whines about being hopeless and awkward and desperate for love…which, I understand. It is so much easier to complain about things that do not matter than to complain about the things that do. I had a rough life, but you will only ever find me complaining about stupid boys that I shouldn’t talk to ever again, and never about like…my parents sucking or things that involve any emotional attachment whatsoever. No offense, boys in my life.
Also, as my best Friends friend stated (like a real life person, not one of the characters): “Chandler’s parents got divorced and he milked it for like…ten years.” Seriously, buck up.
7. Getting married in Vegas still counts.
Phoebe: What’s the big deal, y’know? It’s not like it’s a real marriage.
Phoebe: Yeah, if you get married in Vegas, you’re only married in Vegas.
Monica: What are you talking about? If you get married in Vegas you’re married everywhere.
And while we are on the subject, Phoebe taught me never to marry a gay person, because he may actually be straight!
8. Don’t eat food with a face.
…unless you are pregnant and have a friend sweet enough to give up meat for you. Also, stay away from dairy.
“New York City has no power, and the milk is getting sour, but to me it is not scary,’cause I stay away from dairy. Lalalalalalalalalalalalala!”
For the record, I do not mind if you eat meat, but I do think living a vegetarian lifestyle is important and good for you and for the animals! I was a vegetarian for a long time, and then I ate a cheeseburger and it was really delicious. And now I eat chicken sometimes, but still. It’s a good motto.
9. Don’t date two guys at once…maybe.
In season three, Phoebe dates a school teacher and a firefighter at the same time. Phoebe spends the episode trying to decide which she should choose: the hot bod, or the sensitive one? It turns out both have both (again, lucky girl!) and Phoebe cannot decide between the two, which leads her to keep “playing the field.” Both guys end up visiting her during a set at the coffeehouse and bust her in her deceit! And actually, it turns out just fine, so I guess what I am saying is: it is totally okay to date two guys at once as long as you haven’t declared exclusivity. (Phewwwwwwwwww. It’s kinda my thing right now.)
10. The Lobster Theory.
Yes, everyone’s favorite part of Friends, “he’s her lobster,” came from Miss Buffay. Phoebe tells Ross that Rachel is his lobster, and explains to him that lobsters mate for life. Old lobster couples can still be seen, walking around their tanks, holding claws. If Phoebe says it is a known fact, it counts as known fact. And was she right?
She got off the plane, didn’t she?
Oh, and Phoebe also taught me how to play guitar. I mean, I don’t play guitar, but if I ever wanted to try, I could do “bear claw,” “turkey leg” and “old lady,” no problem.
“That’s short for Phoebe? I thought that was just what we called each other!”