18 Weird Life Lessons From Friends

It’s hard to say what is the most precious thing about Friends - its cozy atmosphere of never-ending friendship, warm humor or lovable characters of this show with problems that are all too familiar to us. 

What can be said for sure, though, is that Friends gave us some invaluable lessons on how to get on with our lives. Sometimes these lessons might seem… a little bit odd, just like Phoebe’s jogging style. Some of them are rather odd, but still very helpful.

1. Weird songs are life. It doesn’t matter if most people don’t get your art as long as it brings your friends together. Besides, you never know - maybe a couple of decades later you’ll sing one of your highly underestimated songs in front of a huge audience with everyone cheering and singing along!

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Still, an artist should be prepared for disappointments. Some of your songs might never get the credit they truly deserve. And some of them will forever haunt your friends at night.

2. Think twice before throwing your colleague’s sandwich away. As one of the famous Gotham villains said: your colleague might be going through dark times in his or her life, surviving a divorce or an existential crisis, and you don’t want to add the loss of a sandwich on top of that. Especially if there was a note telling you not to touch it. For you, it’s just a sandwich - for someone else it could be their last link to sanity!

3. You should stop being a shoe at a certain point of your life if you aren't one. Sometimes meeting the expectations of your family or loved ones means giving up your own path and following someone else’s design. 

For example, being a shoe instead of a purse, or becoming a rich wife instead of a merchandising manager in the fashion industry. And that is exactly what you shouldn’t do - even if your decision means giving up the luxury of your father’s money. 

4. Sometimes life gives you friends that make you eat cookies over the sink. All of us have some peculiar traits and small habits. But some friends take it a little bit too far with their sense of perfectionism. They have a strictly determined place for every single thing, they are the fearless fighters in an endless war against dust and chaos, and they might wanna drag you into this war as well. Never mind, we will accept them and love them all the same. Mostly.

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5. Don’t let your job title bring you down. Be like Chandler. Your parents and friends are unable to understand what your job is even though you patiently explained it to them for hours? You are the only one whose job title is pronounced wrong? Did you have to think of a relatively simple synonym to explain to people what you do for a living? 

Don’t worry, Chandler Bing was an IT procurements manager, he feels your pain. Look on the bright side: in the long run, Monica even managed to memorize his specialization. Maybe your grandma will do that for you as well someday. If you are lucky.

6. Leather pants are more dangerous than they look. For a while, they might make you look awesome, but beware! The tiniest of mistakes - and you’re doomed. If you are a fan of leather, at least make sure not to walk in Ross’s footsteps: don’t wear them to a date. They might be the reason you get naked, that’s true, but it won’t bring you any pleasure at all.

7. Don’t let your age define you. To understand adult life, you have to dress like an adult, talk like an adult, behave like an adult, you need to be an adult! At least that’s what people tend to believe before they find out that adult life is in fact quite boring.

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But some of us don’t get fooled that easily - take Chandler, Joey and Phoebe. Nothing, absolutely nothing holds them back from having fun the way they want it. These three know how to keep their inner children pleased - and never mind their ages. Way to go!

8. Don’t worry if you don’t have a plan. Sometimes it seems like everyone around you has everything figured out: education, career, family, self-development and a healthy lifestyle. You are the only one unfortunate enough to drift helplessly down the river of life. The future looks bleak and blurry, and you have nothing to hold on to. Time to get desperate?Not really. We’ve all been there - and it always gets better.

9. “Oh. My. God”s can be contagious! You let a single “Oh. My. God” kind of a person into your life and the disease is unstoppable.

10. Follow your heart. Even if it means eating someone else’s food. Even if this someone is your date. Look, it’s not that it’s not important to care about other people and their feelings. Of course, it is. But sometimes you should simply give in to your deepest darkest desires and eat that chocolate cake. Joey didn't feel sorry about it, and neither should you. Though you’d sure be sorry if you tried to pull that one on him.

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11. Before taking a break in your relationship, make sure that you and your partner understand the word “break” in the same way. Otherwise, this break can become permanent and not a temporary phenomenon. And you don’t want that, do you? We all are suckers for a happy ending.

12. You could always change your name, but you don’t always need to. Some people are annoyed with the names their parents gave them at birth. It might get a little bit tiring to always be the second Ann or the third John in the company. But if you do decide to change your name, try not to get as carried away as Phoebe did.

13. It can be hard to grow up and take responsibility for your actions and fate. The world is tough, it tests your courage every single day. Rachel found that out the hard way. All of us do. And still, it pays off - especially if you have your best friends by your side.

14. Be yourself in all your ugly nakedness as if no one is able to see you. An ugly naked man was an invisible, yet important guest on the show. Fortunately or unfortunately, the audience only got to see random parts of him - unlike six of our favorite friends. Despite his relative presence on the screen, the ugly naked man taught us one thing: stay true to who you are and let the world watch it.

15. Girls can and should propose to boys. We live in times of growing gender equality. But some things are still considered to be a man’s responsibility - like proposing to a partner, for example. One more stereotype to be ruined! After all, proposals aren’t easy. It’s simply not fair not to share this burden of saying the most important words between men and women. And Monica was one of the first ones to fix this injustice!

16. A story about backpacking in Western Europe is the best way to get laid. Has anyone ever told you a story about hiking in the foothills of mount Tibidabo? If yes, then we have big news for you - it looks like someone tried to hit on you. Though it’s possible that by now you figured it out yourself. If not, you now have a possibility to make use of this story yourself - all you need is to memorize Joey’s tips and choose the right tone.

17. There is a way to give the finger without actually giving it. What if your boss isn’t being a good guy, and you really want to emphasize that with a gesture, but still need this job? Or what if your friends deserve to be flipped off, but you love them too much for the hardcore version of that? No worries - Ross invented a censored way to give the finger.

18. Sometimes to make things right you simply have to get off the plane. Let’s say you’ve been waiting for your finest hour for a while. Life hasn't been easy on you, and you fought for every step towards success. And here it is, a shiny path to your very own paradise - however, to walk in you need to throw away something very precious to you. One of those hard life choices, where you can't just guess the right answer.

But Rachel proved something important - sometimes you need to take a step back to get to the right place. Next time someone makes fun of you for rewatching Friends for the hundredth time, don't pay them any mind.

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Our “Friends” are there to keep our hearts warm, but at the same time, this show is also a collection of life's random gems of wisdom.

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