The One in Which Rachel is a Hat

“Welcome to the real world. It sucks. You’re gonna love it.”-Monica

Title: “The One Where Monica Gets a Roommate” (S1,E1)

Air Date: (09/22/1994)

Run Time: 22:45

*Editor’s Note: Full disclosure, I have seen this episode of Friends numerous amounts of times, so my reaction might be a little skewed.*

The scene: a coffee shop named Central Perk. The people: four friends having coffee and talking about their lives. Enter in a very sad man, who then hits a woman in a wedding dress with an umbrella.

Don’t be confused, these are the first few minutes of the pilot episode of Friends. This is how we are introduced to Monica, Chandler, Joey, Phoebe, Rachel, and Ross.

A few points of contention with this episode: First of all, obviously this is the ‘90s, but for the love of ice cream, Chandler and Joey what the what is going on with your hair? Second, Chandler Bing, I love you, marry me. Third, Rachel Green, why do you talk like a 1950s actress?

Moving on.

We find out that Rachel and Monica were besties for realsies in high school, and have sort of lost touch. But, fear not, nothing brings back together two friends like one of them pulling a runaway bride and ditching her groom at the altar. To quote Rachel: “I realized I was turned on more by this gravy boat than I was by Barry.” Talk about being caught in a bad romance.

Moving on to our other plot: Ross and his mess of a love life. He’s basically a bumbling baby giraffe who’s in love with Rachel, the Barry gilt-er. Side note: We get it Ross, your wife left you for another woman, please move on.

Now charging forward into the plot where Paul the Wine Guy is scum; pure scum. Monica, amidst dealing with Rachel’s drama and gaining a new roommate in the form of Rachel, finds herself on a date with Paul the Wine Guy—shouts for being a real asshat Paul. Later we find out that Paul the Wine Guy lied to Monica about not getting off in a certain amount of years and has been sleeping around with her co-workers. Men are dumb. Honesty is the best policy, boys.

The biggest surprise of the episode is that Phoebe’s life is more dark and twisty than Meredith Grey’s, but you know Phoebs just keeps on keeping on and is a ray of sunshine. We could all probably be more like Phoebe.

Unsurprisingly, Ross kind of asked Rachel out. I wonder how their relationship will turn out (*hint it’s relationship status complicated*).

Also, how do these people hang out in a coffee shop all day? Do you work? How do you pay your rent?

What the first episode of Friends gets completely right is that it shows adulthood sucks. It’s a shock to the system, for sure, but it’s also pretty great. If you feel stuck in your life, then just remember what Rachel tells her dad:

It’s like all my life everybody keeps telling that I’m a shoe. You’re a shoe, you’re a shoe, you’re a shoe! But what if I don’t want to be a shoe anymore? Maybe I’m a purse, or a hat… I don’t want you to buy me a hat, I’m saying I am a hat! It’s a metaphor, daddy!

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