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Why Phoebe Buffay Was The Best "Friend"!

Written by Andi Ortiz. Published: March 01 2024


It’s been 20 years since we said goodbye to the gang, but if the official and unofficial cast reunions we’ve seen over the years are any indication, not much will have changed in terms of chemistry.


Circumstances might be different for the characters themselves, though, but odds are, a few through-lines would be the same too.


Ross (David Schwimmer) would almost certainly shout this, at least once:



Chandler (Matthew Perry) and Monica (Courteney Cox) would still be happily married, Joey (Matt LeBlanc) would still be…well, Joey, and Phoebe (Lisa Kudrow) would still be the best of the Friends.


Because, you know what? After 20 years, it needs to be said definitively: Phoebe was always the best character on the show. How exactly? Let me count the ways.


From the moment we met Phoebe in the "Friends" pilot, she was honest with what she was thinking. Remember when the guys asked her if she wanted to help put together Ross’s new furniture?



If only we could all be brave enough to use this response a bit more.


Through 9 seasons of the show, Phoebe was always, always, always honest – even when it verged on being blunt. She gave Ross hell when he hid the fact that he hadn’t gotten the annulment from Rachel, she told Joey the truth when she was briefly his agent, and she let Rachel know exactly what she thought of her kissing.


Beyond being truthful, Phoebe Buffay was always confident in herself. She played her music anywhere and everywhere they let her, without fear. And lest we forget, “Smelly Cat” was an absolute bop. Taylor Swift even played it during one of her shows.




But Phoebe was confident in more than just her abilities; she fully knew her worth as a person. When she discovered her birth mother in Montauk, she confronted the woman head-on. Phoebe told her mother just how crappy it was to leave, and then to ignore every opportunity to make things right. It was one of the more poignant storylines on the show, and to give it to a character like Phoebe could have been a risk.


Instead, it paid off in a deeply layered character, who at the same time was – to borrow her future husband’s words – just so “wonderfully weird.”



And on that note, we have to acknowledge her genius for marrying this gem of a man.



As the cherry on top, Phoebe Buffay was truly kind. Sure, she had some biting remarks. But actions speak louder than words, and her actions were pretty special. She had 3 babies for her brother. She took a tranquilizer dart to the butt to save Marcel from animal control. When she mistakenly received $1,000 from the bank, she gave it away to a homeless friend, accepting only a soda in return.


Phoebe Buffay may have been a bit misunderstood, but without her, "Friends" would’ve been much worse for the wear. We love you, Phoebe!