Fortunately, I was blessed with a very big, very close, and very loving family. Unfortunately, not everyone can say the same — not even fictionally. Case in point, on Friends, Monica Geller’s parents weren't the best. They were such bad parents to her, in fact, that it was a running joke throughout the entire decade that the series ran. But that’s not really what Friends was about, anyway. Friends was about the “I’ll be there for you, because you’re there for me, too” element between Monica, Chandler, Ross, Joey, Phoebe, and Rachel. That's why Monica's real family were her friends, and why her friends made for a far better family than her parents.
What I’m trying to say here is, through Monica's story, Friends showed that we, as a culture, put too much stock into blood relationships and not enough into the bonds we form with people who love us by choice rather than just by blood. For every time that Monica was furious or exasperated by her parents, Chandler, Joey, Phoebe, Ross, and, of course, BFF Rachel, gave her their unconditional love and support without thought or issue.
Case in point, here are all the ways that Monica’s friends were actually her family.
1. Her Friends Loved Her As She Was
No matter how crazy.
2. And They Found Joy In Her Joy
Isn't love wanting happiness for another person?
3. However Bizarre
Like, you know, vacuuming your vacuum.
4. They Found Her Beautiful As-Is
And, no, not just her hubs, Chandler. The lot of them.
5. And They Supported Her No Matter What
Even when it seemed totally crazy. (I have a lot of feelings seeing this right now.)
6. They Were Always There To Comfort Her
Though she often seemed like a tough cookie who didn't need the extra lovin'.
7. They Cherished The Little Things With Her
Like eating particularly good Chinese food.
8. Ross Always Treated Monica As His Friend And Sister, Not Either/Or
They had the best of both worlds — the kind of family you're born with, but who you'd also choose if you had the option.
9. They Certainly Fought Like Family
Let's be real here for a second. Fighting is like a third of what it takes to be a sibling. But, hey, at least it means you're communicating, right?
10. Her Friends Appreciated Her And Acknowledged Her Accomplishments
They were truly proud of her and proud to know her.
11. In Fact, Their Love Was Really The Love That Was Unconditional
I mean, guys, have you heard the theme song? That's what it's all about.
So, whatever trouble she encountered with her parents, Monica had the love of five outstanding friends to make up for it. And, in that way, Friends taught us a lot about life, and the different kind of love that life can bring your way.