21 Burning Questions I Had Watching 'Friends' Season 1 For The First Time

I'm a 'Friends' virgin.

On Sept. 22, 1994 -- exactly 21 years ago as of September 21 -- NBC aired the pilot episode of a little show called "Friends." Maybe you've heard of it? JK.

I was only two years old at the time, so obviously I wasn't watching Rachel Green (Jennifer Aniston), Monica Geller (Courteney Cox), Phoebe Buffay (Lisa Kudrow), Ross Geller (David Schwimmer), Chandler Bing (Matthew Perry) and Joey Tribbiani (Matt LeBlanc) blow up the small screen. But thanks to the Netflix gods, I can now catch up on every episode and finally understand all those "Friends" pop culture references I've been missing out on.

(I literally had no idea WTF "Smelly Cat" was when Taylor Swift sang it on stage with Kudrow earlier this year. I know, SHAME.)

I recently finished the first season of "Friends" and have some very important questions about what I saw. Check 'em out below. In the meantime, I'll be continuing my marathon binge-watching sessions in the hopes that someday I will find the answers.

Why didn't Rachel change out of her wedding dress?

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C'mon, she was running around New York City looking for Monica all morning. Wearing a floor-length, bright white gown on Manhattan sidewalks isn't exactly the best way to keep a very expensive outfit clean.

Was it really necessary to cut up Rachel's credit cards?


Credit card

Now this is just rude. I understand that Rachel needs to learn the value of a dollar and all that good stuff, but now she's stuck using cash and only cash from here on out. Talk about inconvenience.

Does Monica cover Rachel's rent?

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Rachel goes from unemployed to working a minimum-wage job as a waitress at Central Perk. You really expect me to believe she makes enough dough to afford Monica's swanky apartment? How much did Monica's grandma pay for that place, anyway? It's basically a mansion in Manhattan terms.

What bank does Phoebe go to?

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After Phoebe's bank accidentally deposits an unexplained $500 in her account, she -- through a series of strange events -- ends up $7,000 richer after finding a human thumb in her soda. Where can I find a bank that'll accidentally give me money? Sign me up for an account there, please.

How has Rachel never done her own laundry?



What did she do in college? Buy new underwear every time she ran out? This seems wasteful.

What is in the Tiki Death Punch?



Besides rum, of course. The people must know!

What is Phoebe's breakup talk?



When Phoebe calls it quits with someone -- whether it was her boy Tony or Chandler's girl Janice -- they part on good terms and a friendship hug. What kind of sorcery is this?! Phoebe, teach us your ways.

How did Paolo's cat get on the roof?



We know cats have nine lives and all, but how did this kitty find its way to Monica and Rachel's deck? Cats surely aren't that good at climbing. At least the feline introduced Rachel to her hunky Italian boyfriend.

Why did Monica and Ross' Nana steal Sweet'N Low packets?

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These seem like an odd thing to collect. Also, why Sweet'N Low? Why not just plain ol' sugar?

How did Bethel rescue Marcel from a lab?

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When Ross's friend Bethel rescues a capuchin monkey, Ross takes in the furry creature as his new roommate and beloved pet. We love Marcel and all, but how exactly does one break a monkey out of monkey lab jail? Asking for a friend.

How does Ross even know how to take care of a monkey, anyway?

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Marcel 2

Marcel was surprisingly well-trained for a wild animal. Google wasn't really much of a thing back then, so it's not like Ross looked it up on the internet. Did Bethel fill him in on the basics? Did Ross read up on it in the library? Did he just wing it? Marcel is such a mystery.

Did "Friends" make "The Lion Sleeps Tonight" a famous song or was it already famous?

Marcel was a big fan of the tune, and I remember jamming out to it in middle school with zero context about why this song was a thing people knew about. Did "Friends" catapult it into pop culture fame?

(After Googling it, I now know that the song came, like, decades before the show.)

How did Marcel change the TV's language to Spanish?

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Marcel 3


How did Monica get so good at foosball?

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It's not like you played this in gym class. It's not a sport. If practice makes perfect, where has Monica been playing foosball on the down low? Joey and Chandler didn't stand a chance.

How did Chandler forgive Ross for kissing his mom?

OK, in Chandler's defense, he does initially get mad at Ross for smooching his mother. But this is probably one of the biggest violations of Guy Code out there. How is this feud completely forgotten after just one episode? I call bullsh-t.

Why does Central Perk keep letting Phoebe perform?

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Is it because Rachel works there? But Rachel's also terrible at her job. Wait, how is Rachel not fired yet? Is Gunther really so much in love with her that he's cool with losing customers over her terrible service? SO MANY QUESTIONS.

And what's the deal with Mr. Heckles?

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What happened in his life to make him so bitter? And why did he think dressing Marcel in a pink tutu was a good idea?

How is it physically possible to staple someone's hand?

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Nina staples Chandler's hand when she finds out that he was lying about her employment and their ~relationship~. I feel like the average desk stapler isn't strong enough to puncture skin, but I'd rather not test this out IRL. This is one question I'm cool with never knowing the answer to.

Why is Phoebe's twin Ursula such a jerk?

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Seriously, how's Phoebe so nice and welcoming and friendly while Ursula is ... well, Ursula. Soooo bizarre.

Do Phoebe and Joey end up together?


That kiss was on ???!

More importantly, do Rachel and Ross end up together?!

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Rachel Ross

Please don't tell me I have to wait 10 seasons to find out.

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