It should not come as any surprise to any one who knows me, even in a very superficial sense, that my favorite Friends character is Phoebe Buffay.
Seriously, she’s the absolute best, and there is no way anyone could convince me otherwise. While the rest of the cast seemed to be reduced to caricatures by the end of the series, Phoebe grew into something more while remaining as quirky as ever. Her wedding to Mike was my favorite on the show – Carol and Susan’s is a close second – and she delivers some of the best lines:
“If we were in prison, you guys would be, like, my bitches.”Phoebe, to Rachel and Monica, as she breaks up their fight over Jean Claude Van Damme; from “The One After the Super Bowl, Part 2” in Season Two
Because the more I drink, the less there is for the kids to drink.Phoebe, to Rachel, on why she’s drunk in the morning, from “The One After Vegas” in Season Six
“Oh, I wish I could, but I don’t want to.”Phoebe, to Ross, Chandler, and Joey, after they ask if she wants to help them set up Ross’ furniture, from “The First One” in Season One
“One really does have a stick up one’s ass, doesn’t one?”Phoebe, to a waiter, from “The One with Phoebe’s Birthday Dinner” in Season Nine
Rachel: How could you not tell me she has hair??
Phoebe: I don’t know! I hardly say that about people!in regards to Bonnie, a woman who was once voluntarily bald that Phoebe set Ross up with, in “The One with the Ultimate Fighting Champion” in Season Three
Phoebe: Someday, I’ll tell you about the time I stabbed a cop.
Phoebe: What, he stabbed me first!on explaining why she is such a badass, from “The One with Ross’ Sandwich” in Season Five
Ultimately, though, it’s just that I identify with her so much more than I do with the other characters. I obviously didn’t grow up on the streets of NYC, and I have way more in common with Ross, Monica, and Rachel on the childhood side of things (my dad’s a doctor, my mom’s a nurse practitioner, and my sister and I never wanted for anything). But Phoebe has a certain childlike approach to life that I share, and our mutual love of weird things is almost uncanny. She’s blunt, sometimes to the point where her friends have to remind her to think about what she says before it comes out of her mouth.
“But there isn’t always time.”Phoebe to Monica, in regards to thinking words before saying them, from “The One Where the Monkey Gets Away” in Season One
She’s open-minded, almost to her detriment, and creative, from her songwriting (which I’ll get to on Day 26) to her artwork*.
Part of her charm comes from her relationships with the other characters, too. The friendship she shares with Joey is particularly my favorite because of how honest and real it seems, from their monthly dinners (that Phoebe casually mentions late into the series) where they talk about the rest of the group to their frequent stories together (like the cab ride back from Vegas). I do love how playful she is with Chandler, though, and even though she has less interaction with Ross, the banter between the two of them, based solely upon their differing views, is some of the best of the series (I love how, in Season Two, she breaks him in the episode where they are cleaning out Mr. Heckles’ apartment). Phoebe seems to balance out Monica and Rachel, which comes from her almost-outsider status: she sees them as they are now, as opposed to being constantly reminded of how Monica was heavier and Rachel was ridiculously (more) self-absorbed in high school.
And I think that’s really what makes her stand out to me: Phoebe doesn’t have an obligatory reason to stay in the group. She’s no longer Monica’s roommate, isn’t related or tied to the others in any way (save her mugging of Ross when they were much younger), and has a very active life outside the other five. She’s there because she wants to be, and that says a ton about who she is as a person. That’s definitely the type that I would want in my life. Basically, she’s the best, and I will fight anyone who tells me differently.
* I saw this absolutely horrible lamp that was made with a doll’s head and was thisclose to buying it, except it was like $400, and that was when one of my friends was like, “I’m sorry, are you the Real Life Phoebe Buffay?”