All right, confession time: I'm 23 years old, and I have never seen a single episode of Friends . On September 22, 1994, NBC aired the first episode of the cult phenomenon that introduced the world to chef Monica Geller (Courteney Cox), stats analysist Chandler Bing (Matthew Perry), actor Joey Tribbiani (Matt LeBlanc), Monica's emotional brother Ross Geller (David Schwimmer), free-spirit Phoebe Buffay (Lisa Kudrow) and "almost married" Rachel Green (Jennifer Aniston). I was only one year old when the show first premiered, so I obviously didn't catch it then — but I have, of course, had numerous opportunities through Reruns. Though my inner social circle and numerous pop culture references suggest that I should have jumped on the bandwagon way earlier, I barely knew anything about the show, its characters, or how they all knew each other to actually generate my interest in watching.
But it was time — exactly 22 years as of September 22 — to take the plunge. I figured I couldn't watch the entire 10 seasons quickly, but I wanted enough insight in the lives of these characters and I knew I wanted to feel what so many others felt on that fated day in '94 when I was just in diapers. And feel them I did — the series of thoughts I had while watching the first episode ofre's every thought both you and I had when we pressed play on the first episode of Friends, "The One Where Monica Gets a Roommate (Pilot)" was a rollercoaster.
1. How On Earth Were They All So Ahead Of Their Time With Their Monochromatic Style?
As soon as the theme song came on, you knew you were in for something truly spectacular. Miraculously enough, that fountain has aging powers, because how on Earth did Jennifer Aniston not age? And the fashion is still on point today.
2. So, This Is Central Perk?
Literally, this is so much better than I ever imagined. Admit it, you know you have never wanted to have this large of a coffee shop in your city more than you do right now. How is there so much room?
3. The Clothes Are All So '90s
Everything about this episode has '90s fashion written all over it. From the cut-off jean jackets to the large belt buckets to the colorful layers to the hair. I can't deal.
4. Ross = Eeyore
It's easy to identify with Ross. I mean, how could you not? He is depressing and sad and filled with so many emotions. His entrance is him literally dripping with rain water because he got caught in a thunderstorm Ross' hello is our hello. Thank you Ross. Thank you.
5. Phoebe Is Bae
Phoebe cleansing Ross’ aura… I am literally dying. Who does this? Can we all be Phoebe?
6. Perfectly Timed Runaway Bride
Rachel's entrance into Central Perk was perfectly timed to reflect what Ross just said about wanting to get married again. So, um, is this a coincidence?
7. Wait, Two Gellers?
Who knew Monica and Ross were siblings? But she literally just introduced Ross as her brother. Is your mind blown, too?
8. Why Did No One Give Rachel A Change Of Clothes?
When the scene changes to the infamous purple apartment, which we later found out was Monica's. Why didn't anyone give runaway bride Rachel a change of clothes? Why is she still in her wedding dress?
9. Who Is Paul?
Monica has a "not-a-real-date" date, and already I have a bad feeling about this. First of all, he is a wine guy. Secondly, he apparently took a while to ask her to actually go out. I don't like him. At all. Side note: Why has no one gone home yet?
10. Yup, Phoebe Is Definitely Bae
OK, so I've changed my mind, I identify with Phoebe. Phoebe is my hero.
Joey: Hey Pheebz, do you want to help?
Phoebe: Oh, I wish I could, but I don't want to.
11. Ross And Joey Are A Perfect Pair
After watching this scene, I realized how much I love Ross, again. Despite his wet blanket life approach, he definitely has a heart of gold and even bigger sense of humor.
12. Monica, Seriously, Forget About Paul
Dearest Monica, listen to me, I am your friend. A Friends newbie, but your friend. Monica, honey, listen to me, he is a dud, Monica, move on.
13. My Spidey Senses Are Tingling About Rachel And Ross
The back and forth juxtaposition of Rachel and Ross really gives me a feeling that they are going to be together. Am I right? Can someone tell me, please?
14. Monica, I Said No Paul
No, not Paul! You're too good for him, Monica! I don’t like this. This is not going to end well.
15. Rachel's Getting A Job?
How has Rachel never had a job? I had a job since I was 16.
16. When You Find Out You Were Right About Paul
Finding out that Monica was a chef was incredibly interesting, but even more interesting was finding out that her coworker knew Paul. Oh yeah, and that her coworker slept with him, too. Oh yeah, and that her coworker thinks she cured his two-year performance anxiety. I told you so, Monica.
17. It Was, In Fact, A Line
Monica, maybe next time, you should listen to me. I have a sixth sense.
18. Seriously, How Do They Find Time To Do Everything Together?
One of the unique things I found out while watching the first episode is how many scenes all six friends shared collectively. I don't know if I am overstepping my boundaries here, but why do they do everything together?
19. Phoebe Is The Most Perfect Human Being
Phoebe's backstory was a little crazy, with her coming to the city at 14 after her mom committed suicide, and her step-dad went back to prison, and she lived with an albino guy who cleaned windshields before he killed himself too, and then she found aromatherapy… but it was all too perfect, too hilarious, and too amazing.
20. OMG, Rachel And Ross Are Happening
After everyone (finally) leaves, Ross and Rachel share an intimate conversation about Ross' past crush on Rachel. This is literally just the beginning folks, something is definitely stirring.
21. Rachel Got A J-O-B
Somehow, some way, Rachel Green finally got a job. She is now a barista at Central Perk. Ah, now I get the name.
After spending 22 minutes getting to know six brand new friends, I have now realized the power that this classic has had on so many generations around the world. Clearly, for this group, the word “family” goes far beyond blood relations, and, while hanging out with each character and seeing just how tight-knit this group is, proved that bonds between friends can be stronger than those made by DNA. Each character stood behind another as they supported, cared, and encouraged one another. The first episode of Friends is a definite stepping stone to a foundation filled with love, and I can't wait to see what the rest of the series and this family has in store for me. Not bad for a single pilot.
Images: Warner Bros. Television (22)