The characters on Friends were far from perfect, which is part of what made them so endearing. Monica, Rachel, Ross, Chandler, Joey, and Phoebe each had eccentricities and downfalls that inspired even more love from fans.
Phoebe Buffay (Lisa Kudrow) was by far the most unique character of them all. Though she was an integral member of their friend group, in many ways Phoebe was an outsider with a wild past and odd tendencies. Mostly these quirks were well-received by viewers. But there was one time on Friends when Phoebe behaved selfishly toward her good friend, Monica.
Phoebe has a shocking life before meeting her ‘Friends’
Out of all the characters on Friends, Phoebe has the most interesting and mysterious backstory. She frequently shocks the five other castmates with stories from her past that she sees as normal and they find outlandish.
Phoebe and her twin sister, Ursula, are adopted by Frank and Lily Buffay. Frank leaves and Lily commits suicide by putting her head in an oven. At various points, Phoebe is homeless in New York City or lives in her car. She never goes to high school or college but learns a lot of street smarts when she’s forced to grow up so young.
It’s hard to keep track of all the interesting thing Phoebe did before the series began, from learning French to living in Prague and stabbing a cop. At one point she even insinuates she was in jail for a while. But even with her background, fans had a hard time forgiving Phoebe for being really mean to Monica.
Phoebe jeopardizes Monica’s job during season 9
For the most part, Phoebe gets along with all the Friends characters. But she does clash with Monica in season 9, episode 19, “The One With Rachel’s Dream.” Instead of putting her friend first, Phoebe selfishly chooses her own interests.
Monica, a chef, is excited about her new job as head chef at the restaurant Javu. When Monica notices customers complaining about the music being played outside the restaurant, she’s surprised to find Phoebe outside singing bizarre songs. Monica asks Phoebe to leave but Phoebe refuses.
Part of the problem was Monica being too nice about it. She tells Phoebe she can’t play there because it’s a fancy restaurant, so Phoebe comes back the next night dressed in a nice gown and pearls, yet still singing offensive songs.
Fans think this is just one instance of Phoebe’s selfishness
After Monica insulting Phoebe’s music and Phoebe insulting Monica’s cooking, the two make up and resolve their conflict. But some fans on Reddit insist this storyline points to a deeper issue of Phoebe’s character.
“Phoebe is one of the worst and the most selfish characters on the show. Everything just had to be for and about her,” one Redditor wrote. “Once again, definitely a moment where it can be questioned how one stays friends with Phoebe for so long with crap like this,” another agreed.
Considering how much Phoebe went through in her past, it helps explain her looking out for herself. But that’s not enough to make Friends fans forgive her for hurting Monica.
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