Earlier this month, Netflix added Friends to its roster. But that’s not news to you. If you identify as a “millennial” (or if common parlance identifies you as a “millennial”) you’ve likely streamed an episode or two (and at most every. single. episode. back. to. back. in. one. sitting. while. eating. nothing. but. macaroni. and. cheese). To be frank, most people we know have been racing home post work to continue binging on the beloved ’90s series and hang out with their Friends friends who truly feel like real friends. Honestly I feel like I LIVE at Central Perk, I know exactly how much gel Ross has in his hair at any moment, and the Monica/Richard break up is still one that cuts me to my bones.
One of my very favorite reasons for the show’s existence, however, can be summed up in two proper nouns: Phoebe Buffay. Ahh, free-spirited, quirky, child-like, eccentric Phoebe. How can you not love her? She’s just so endearing, not to mention hilarious. I can’t tell you how many times I’ve wished Phoebe was actually my friend IRL, but I can tell you why she’s the best.
She’s always the optimist.
Phoebe’s had a pretty rough life — her mom committed suicide, her dad’s a deadbeat, her stepfather went to prison, she’s estranged from her twin sister, and she was homeless for a while. Despite all of it, Phoebe possesses an eternal exuberance that makes her character incredibly fun-loving and actually pretty inspiring come to think of it.
She’s a hardcore animal activist.
Remember that time Phoebe jumped in front of that tranquilizing dart to save Ross’ monkey Marcel? Yeah, so do we. And it’s one of the best scenes on Friends ever. Thank you, Phoebe, for sacrificing your butt for the monkey. Not to mention, Phoebe’s also a vegetarian and refuses to eat “food with a face.” What a mantra.
Her confidence is enviable.
Every girl has to admire Phoebe’s killer confidence: She’s fabulous and she knows it! Plus, she’s not afraid to do or say anything, not even perform at Central Perk or go out of her dating comfort zone (remember when she had to bring a translator on her date because the guy was an Eastern European UN diplomat?!). She’s super self-assured, and we love her for it.
“Smelly Cat” is the catchiest song about a smelly cat we’ve ever heard . . . and she wrote it!
Seriously, this tune is a classic and stuck in our heads, like, every day.
She’s always honest.
Phoebe is completely honest, 100% of the time. If she doesn’t want to do something she’ll tell you. Like for instance when Joey asked for her help in putting together Ross’s furniture in season one her reply was epic: “I wish I could help, but I don’t want to.” Ugh, can’t we all be like that?!
She sends good vibes.
Phoebe’s all about world peace, love, harmony, and good vibes — she’s our number one positive energy guru. I’d love for Phoebs to lead a real-life meditation class. I’d be the first to sign up!
She’s flawlessly bossy.
In a world full of passive-aggressive, non-confrontational people, Phoebe is completely comfortable with opposition and isn’t scared to step up to the plate as bosswoman. High-five to our heroine.
She values art over money.
Remember when Phoebe ran into her ex-singing partner Leslie in season 3, and she forced Leslie to choose between selling “Smelly Cat” as a jingle or jamming with her? Phoebe’s not interested in making a profit; she’s all about art for the sake of art. Rock on, Phoebs.
She’ll do anything for her loved ones.
Phoebe is fiercely loyal to the people she cares about. In season four, she carries her little brother’s babies because his wife isn’t able to. Another example: Phoebe married her friend, an (ostensibly) gay Canadian ice dancer, because he needed a green card. Now that’s selflessness.
She doesn’t sugarcoat anything.
Hey, it’s better to know, right?