16 Lessons FRIENDS Taught Us

Friends was my childhood. The TV Show, not actual friends. Man was I lonely. BUT ANYWAY. This show captured my love, attention and loyalty from my first viewing of Series 3 and for many, many years of my life. I learned lots from it. Especially my Chandler-esque sarcasm but most importantly, quite a few life lessons. I’m sure, if you’ve ever sat down to marvel at this silly, wonderful and cheerful TV show, you might’ve learned these lessons too. And if you’ve never seen it – it’s now available, in all it’s 10 season glory, on Netflix!

friends tv show lessons

Don’t stray from good coffee

Just like the gang, who seemed to never go to work but instead hung around in Central Perk all day, it’s essential that you find somewhere that makes good coffee and stay loyal. We all know the disappointment of being addicted to a Starbucks Hazlenut latte only to order one elsewhere and it taste like shit.

Close friendships are important

You don’t need a billion friends, just a close few that are ride or die. Ones that can see you naked without embarrassment. Ones that you can have the money chat with and not feel bad about yourself. Ones that you can have mugged as a teenager but still be close with. OK, maybe not that one, but you get the point.

We were on a break is not an excuse for cheating

Ross, whilst arguably being one of the funniest characters, in an absolute dick, isn’t he? He paraded relationships in front of Rachel when he knew she loved him. He tried to hide her, the mother of his child, away from new love interests. He faked accents at work and got EXTREMELY paggy (passive aggressive) over a sandwich. But oh no, he had to go and out dick himself. He had to sleep with the copy-girl hours after having an argument with Rachel.

The lesson here is that sometimes relationships need breaks. Head-clearing space or just time away from being with each other all the time to actually miss each other, is actually really useful.

It IS NOT an excuse to go and sleep with someone else.

Don’t date people who are going travelling

As Phoebe found out, when she fell head over heels for David as he got a new job in Minsk, going out with someone who is just about the travel around the world is NOT a good idea.

You’ll not want them to go, you’ll find it harder to get over them (because you wanted to be together, you just can’t) and you’ll set yourself up for a huge disappointment.

It’s not that common…

Funnily enough, the lesson learned here isn’t, ‘it’s not that common, it doesn’t happen to every guy and IT IS A BIG DEAL’ because we, as adults, who have experienced enough shit-dick to rival Ross’s, know that it can be quite common.

The lesson learned here is that if someone cheats on you and breaks your heart it’s ABSOLUTELY OK for you to verbally tear them a new asshole.

It’s ok to bleach your hair

Because Gunther looks fucking cool, ok?

Don’t get a pet you can’t look after

Another one on the ‘Ross is a selfish twat’ side of the list but getting Marcel and then having to give him to a zoo because YOU DIDN’T REALISE A MONKEY WAS NOT A GOOD PET, is just wrong.

So take heed, in life, and don’t get pets (or plants, or people) if you can’t look after them properly.

It’s ok to run out of your wedding

Rachel Green showed all of us that you don’t have to settle for a Mr Potato-Head and that you should definitely bolt from being a bride to start a life where you are happier.

Maybs don’t wait til the wedding day to do a runner BUT if it means extricating yourself from excruciating relationships – GET OUT GET OUT GET OUT.

Living with a housemate until your 30s is fine

Because LOL even though the gang seemingly afford million-dollar rents in Manhattan, buying ain’t cheap. And even if you’re in your 30s, a professional (a soap opera actor ffs) and earning some money – it still may not be circumstantially possible for you to live alone.

Get married loads until you find the one

Maybe not LOADS but just don’t beat yourself up over failed relationships. My favourite quote from another amazing New-York set sitcom based on a friendship group (Will & Grace) summed it up perfectly – ‘Oh honey, of course he’s the one! How else are you going to get to the Two and the Three!’

My point is, that failed relationships do not mean that you are a failure. They just mean it’s time to keep trying until you find the one that sticks.

‘It’s fine!’ always means it is not

Now this is an important one to learn. When people say something is fine, 9 times out of 10 IT IS NOT FINE AND YOU ARE IN TROUBLE.

The lesson here also is that we all need to stop excusing our true feelings with, ‘It’s fine.’ If you are hurting, sad or worried, speak out. Tell the people who have hurt you or ask the people who support you for help. But under no circumstances should you minimise your own feelings with, ‘It’s fine.’

Don’t wear leather trousers in summer

Unless you’ve got access to unlimited stock of Lush’s Silky Underwear (which if you have, can you hit a girl up, it keeps selling out) or any other form of talc – this is a bad idea.

Heat swells tissue. Sweat makes fabric stick. Just. Don’t. Do. It. To. Yourself.

Support your children

I mean, goes without saying, but when Ross found out his ex-wife was having his baby, he was given the option of bolting. But he didn’t.

Whilst he’s not exactly the ideal father figure (he wasn’t even bothered that Emma was going to Paris, just that Rachel was) – he always played a part in Ben’s life and kept things amicable with everyone involved.

So if you ever have kids, do the right thing – fundamental, eh?

It’s not ok to spy on neighbours

Because you might see things you do nooooot wan’t to see. Like Ugly Naked Guy’s bare ass. Repeatedly.

Don’t fake it to impress colleagues

The lesson we can take from Ross’s misguided attempt at putting on an accent, or Joey’s endeavour into making a fake foreskin for an acting part or Chandler’s mistake of letting his colleagues call him by the wrong name – is that you should be yourself at work.

Not, ‘Sitting down with hand in pants and chugging beer all day’ yourself, but letting your own personality shine through.

As we learned from the show – faking it is really hard to maintain and you will eventually look like a twat.

Don’t give ultimatums

When Monica and Chandler reached that crossroads in their relationship where they didn’t know whether to make it official or later, whether to get married – they both tried to push each other away by issuing ultimatums and acting nonchalantly towards each other.


As adults, we should be direct with each other about how we feel and what we need and want. Otherwise we are just lying to ourselves. Yes, it may have worked for them eventually but hey, it is a TV show after all.

So there we have the 16 lessons I learned from watching Friends. Let me know in the comments or over on Twitter, what lessons you have also learned from the show!

friends tv show lessons


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