Friends is back for a reunion, and no one told you life was gonna be this way. Or maybe they did, and you just didn’t have time to do the full 10-season rewatch before the special airs. Given that the special will be a talk show featuring the six cast members together for the first time in a while as opposed to a continuation of the show’s plot, being fully caught up on how Friends ended likely won’t be a requirement. But if you’re looking for a refresher about the last time we saw the Friends friends, here’s where we left each of them in “The Last One”:
Joey and Phoebe
These two did not pair off together (or with any of the other titular friends) but they did both get their happily ever after, so to speak, a little earlier. In the final season, Phoebe got engaged and married to Mike Hannigan (Paul Rudd, looking the same as he does now). In Mike’s final scene in the finale, he and Phoebe talk about starting a family. “How about a whole bunch?” Phoebe exclaims. “We can teach them how to sing and we can be like the Von Trapp Family!” With just that peek into the future of the Buffay-Hannigans, Phoebe spends the rest of the finale helping Ross through his feelings.
While the rest of his friends were going through major life changes, Joey ends the series in the same apartment, complete with the new chick and duck he was going to give to Chandler as a going away gift. He would eventually move to LA for the short-lived Joey spinoff, but no one really needs to remember that show.
Chandler and Monica
After a few years of marriage and struggling with infertility, Monica and Chandler finally decided to adopt. Over the course of Season 10, they agree to adopt a baby from Erica (Anna Faris, as charming as ever), a pregnant teenager from Ohio (or rather, she agrees to let them adopt her baby, after some shady sitcom shenanigans led them to lie to her). In the finale, Monica and Chandler usher a prematurely-in-labor Erica to the hospital.
Luckily the babies are born safely — because, oh yeah, Erica is having twins, which no one told her explicitly enough for her to understand (“They kept saying both heartbeats are really strong and I thought, Well that’s good, because I’m having a baby.”) So Chandler and Monica end the series with two babies, Jack and Erica (named for her birth mother). They also move to the suburbs and abandon their rent-controlled apartment — which, for some reason, none of their friends want to take, a decision that’s a little beyond comprehension in the New York real estate market.
Ross and Rachel
After years of will-they-won’t-they, fighting, having a baby together, and friendship, Ross and Rachel finally come together. After sleeping together on Rachel’s last night before she moves to Paris for a job with Louis Vuitton, Ross thinks that they’re together for good. But after she calls it a “perfect way to say goodbye” (and seeing her turn down Gunther), he gets cold feet about telling her how he really feels.
At least, until he finally listens to what Phoebe has been saying (and singing) and watches Rachel walk out the door. Rachel’s plane gets delayed thanks to Phoebe’s antics scaring off some of the other passengers, so Ross has time to race to the airport and then race across town to the correct airport and confess his love. And when he does she ... gets on the plane.
Ross, dejected, heads home and finds a message on his machine.
Even with the resulting confusion about what this means for Rachel’s career, the voicemail scene is an all-timer. Rachel and Ross are together for good, and we can all rest easy.
In the final scene of the finale, all six of the friends gather at Monica and Chandler’s apartment as the movers take the last of their stuff out. They cry, hug, leave their keys on the counter, and head downstairs to grab a cup of coffee.