Friends always said what was on her mind, and self-censorship was totally opposite of her way of life. So, it's no wonder there are so many Phoebe Buffay one-liners that deserve a round of applause. In some ways, the blonde character acted as a reality check on the privilege of others like (initially) spoiled daddy's girl Rachel Green. After all, having moved out to live on the streets of New York City at just 14, Phoebe from could and did take offense at the others bellyaching over relatively small issues. Friends
But the real joy of the character? Her ability to condense her world view into snappy, perfectly-honed one-liners that made the other characters grimace, but had those of us at home howling with laughter. Look past the songs and the numerous romances and the fact that she was the show's resident boho weirdo. The masseuse was so much wittier than you remembered.
And she wasn't a one tricky pony. The joy of Phoebe's humor was how multifaceted it was. Whether she was being way too honest (in situations where the average person would default to a white lie), more self confident than all the rest of the women on the show, or indulging her quirky side, this character was all about delivering solid gold nuggets of humor.
"Oh I Wish I Could, But I Don't Want To"
When you’re done with people pleasing and you don’t care who knows it. Help you, Joey? As if. This quote is perfect for using when you swing by a friend’s shared apartment for coffee and get asked to pitch in on cleaning the kitchen. No freaking way.
"They Shouldn’t Have Called It 'It's A Wonderful Life,' They Should Have Called It 'It’s A Sucky Life And Just When You Think It Can’t Suck Any More It Does.'"
If you’ve ever seen the critically-acclaimed 1946 Christmas drama, you will be living for this one-liner. Yes, spoiler, protagonist of the movie George Bailey does eventually get his happy ending. But before that point, there’s suicidal-level depression, financial issues, and hearing loss. So, really, Phoebe's succinct summary of the movie is a lot closer to the reality of watching it.
"I May Play The Fool At Times, But I'm A Little More Than A Pretty Blonde Girl With An Ass That Won't Quit"
In "The One With The Red Sweater," Phoebe (incorrectly, but confidently) predicts that Joey is the father of Rachel's baby. But why should they believe her? See the above. While Miss Buffay is aware of her ample physical charms, she doesn't allow anyone to pigeonhole her as a dumb blonde.
"Your Love Is Like A Giant Pigeon, Crapping On My Heart"
Hey, if anyone gets to sing this disparaging song about love, it’s the masseuse. Remember how she married gay Canadian ice skater Duncan Sullivan, supposedly to help him get a green card, and realized that she was in love with him the whole time? And then he realized he was heterosexual when he fell in love with another woman? Remember when she dated Jim Nelson, fell head over heels for him and later found out he penned erotic stories for kids? Or how it felt like her and David the scientist guy were fated to be together but then he had to move to Minsk? You’ve got to sympathize with the message of this classic Phoebe song.
"Meet Princess Consuela Bananahammock"
This isn’t just a great line, but was part of one of the best ever storylines on the show. During the 10th season, Phoebe gets hitched to Mike and suddenly realizes that she can change her name to whatever she wants — “Princess Consuela Banana Hammock” is what she opts for. Which is fine and dandy, except that her new husband hates it and retaliates by renaming himself “Crap Bag.”
"Yeah, By The Way, Good Luck In Your Next Life As A Dung Beetle"
In Season 2's "The One With The List," Ross asks Chandler for help choosing between Rachel and Julia. Chandler suggests he make a simple pros and cons list, which leads to outrage when Rachel finds it. Everyone's pissed and even more so when they discover Chandler's partly responsible. He appeals to Phoebe for support, saying "Pheebs, back me up here, OK? You believe in that karma crap, don't you?" This is her wonderfully withering response.
"The More I Drink, The Less There Is For The Kids To Drink"
When Rachel takes Joey and Phoebe to an event designed to raise money for a charity that helps kids in the sixth season finale, "The One With The Proposal", the character finds the perfect excuse for drinking to excess.
"Well Everybody Does, I'm A Really Cool Person"
In the Season 4 premiere, she has a heart to heart with the woman who turns out to be her real mom: Phoebe Abbott. When Phoebe's biological mom expresses her interest in getting to know her daughter better, the masseuse responds with her usual breezy self-confidence. Besides all of this, you've got to admit that it also functions as a great response for the next human who tries to talk you up at a bar on a Friday night.
"Well, Let's See, It's Not Really Like That Because That Was An Actual Problem"
When Rachel bellyaches about whether or not to go to Ross's wedding in Season 4's "The One With The Worst Best Man Ever", her best friend is there to provide a reality check. "How is this like that?" Rachel asks, to which the blonde delivers the ultimate put down, "Well, let's see, it's not really like that. Because that was an actual problem." Ouch.
"I Just Have This Really Strong Feeling That This Cat Is My Mother"
In Season 4's "The One With The Cat," Phoebe forges an intense connection with a feline. When Ross wants to know if the cat is the same as her mom in Montauk, she clarifies: "This is the spirit of my Mom Lily, the one who killed herself." This one is for everyone who's ever felt a strong bond with their pet, and it makes no sense to anyone but you.
“Now, If You Want To Receive Emails About My Upcoming Shows, Please Give Me Money So I Can Buy A Computer”
For every singer-songwriter who wanted to build their mailing list at the open mic night, only to realize... hang on a second. I'm missing one key piece of technology.
"He May Not Be My Soulmate, But A Girl's Gotta Eat"
When Phoebe starts dating a British guy she's convinced is Monica's soulmate, the others are intrigued. Why would you bother taking things further with a person who's totally perfect — for your friend? But it's hard to dispute the formerly homeless lady's logic: sometimes you've just got to put food first.
"Yeah, I Was A, Um, Thigh Mega Tampon"
When someone starts questioning you more closely about that elaborate lie about being in a sorority. You panic and the next thing you know, this is what comes out.
It's strange that we celebrate Chandler for being the wittiest part of the show. Sure, dude's funny, but it was Phoebe who provided the best one-liners.