Looking Back on TV: Phoebe Buffay

It’s interesting to me watching shows I loved as a kid as an adult. You notice things you really didn’t notice or pay attention to before. Like how Phoebe was a freak in the bedroom.

It’s obvious to me now but when I was younger I only noticed her quirky nature. I didn’t think about her romantic relationships.

However, for most of Friends she mostly only casually dates. She doesn’t hate it either, she doesn’t long for marriage like Monica and she’s not looking to settle down like Rachel. No, she’s single and dating and she’s enjoying it.

She also enjoys sex, a lot! We rarely see women like that on TV, especially in the 90’s. Wait, there was Sex and the City but I didn’t watch that and that was only for adults. With Friends, anyone could watch it and so they couldn’t be as raunchy but it was made clear Phoebe enjoyed sex.

She was also possibly bi? That episode with Ross’ cousin it ends with Phoebe thinking, “Hit on her, she’s not your cousin” (paraphrasing). And she kissed Rachel with no qualms so she could have been bi but TV was not diverse in the time of Friends so you know… we never got to see that.

When she’s put opposite Ursula she seems like a saint. She seems like she’s tight laced but really she just has morals. And you can have morals and be a freak.

Honestly there’s so much to unpack when it comes to Phoebe. She was clearly scarred by her childhood and she wasn’t as happy go lucky as she seemed. She had a definite edge to her and she could be mean at times.

She’s my favourite honestly, her Monica and Chandler. They grew, they were real and they were well rounded, especially Phoebe and Chandler.

Her relationship with Mike then was very satisfying to watch. Apart from the cop and David we hadn’t seen her settle with anyone or seriously consider it and so to see it work out with Mike and for him to not be like her was great.

I thought in the end they would have paired with someone exactly like her. Or I thought they’d pair her with someone who was different from her in every way. But Mike was neither, he was different from her sure. He grounded her and came with a logical mind. However he was also open minded, strong willed and had his own edge too. They complimented and balanced each other out perfectly.

Apart from Monica and Chandler they are my favourite Friends couple.

Side note: what was the whole thing with David? They met before New Year’s, their romance was short lived and yet they acted like they were this strong and amazing couple. They barely spent time together and did they even truly know each other? Looking back I’m glad she didn’t choose David because that relationship was doomed to fail. Also people change and they were separated for a number of years so how were they even still compatible? Anyway moving on.

So yeah Phoebe is an interesting character to study and to learn from. She was unapologetically herself. She was in charge of her own sexuality. She was strong and confident but still was human and needed help from time to time and needed her friends.

The thing I learned the most from Phoebe was being ok with being weird. I am weird and I know this. I used to feel bad about it but having a character like Phoebe who stood up for her points of view and didn’t change for anyone is inspiring.



Ps: But do you get the feeling that they neglected Phoebe’s romantic storylines so when they reached the season 9 it was like, “OMD I knew we were forgetting something!” So they rushed that storyline. Also what happened to her biological mom and her dad who she started a relationship with after being reunited and her brother and his family, why weren’t they at her wedding?

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