Before the rise of meme culture, podcasts and Comments by Celebs, there was Friends, a show that came about during the rise of the internet but earned its buzz the old-fashioned way, with laugh out loud moments and cliffhanger storylines that left millions of viewers tuned into their TV sets every week.
It’s been nearly 30 years since the show’s debut in 1994, and it’s arguably more popular than ever thanks to on-demand streaming. The original cast has even reunited for a reunion, which you can stream for free on HBO Max starting May 27.
A show about the random events of a group of New Yorkers quickly became fodder for phone calls, dinnertime debates and yes, watercooler talk, while the characters — and actors’ — lives were thrust into the spotlight, with everything from their relationships to their hairstyles picked apart by an enamored and adoring public.
But while Friends generated a ton of buzz for its charismatic cast, it also helped to propel a number of fashion and lifestyle brands forward in the pop culture canon. From Rachel’s jobs at Bloomingdales and Ralph Lauren, to entire episodes revolving around Pottery Barn and Porsche, Friends mastered the art of product placement before it became an even bigger thing. The shout-outs to Boddingtons beer in that after-London Season Five episode may elicit eye-rolls and complaints from a cynical audience today, and yet, we laughed and high-fived along with the characters, and then went out to buy Boddingtons to see what all the hype was about. Long before social media “influencers,” Chandler and Joey were pitching us a creamy, pub-style ale and we didn’t even know it.
The impact of Friends continues to be felt, not only in the way we eat (fact: I can never order an unagi roll in a Japanese restaurant without thinking of Ross’ catchphrase), but also in the way we talk, the way we date (was taking a relationship break even a thing before Ross and Rachel?), the way we shop and — Oh. My. God. — even the way we react to particularly poignant or unexpected events in our lives.
To celebrate the Friends reunion, we’ve rounded up 25 items that capture some of the series’ most memorable people, punchlines, and products. Pick these up for yourself or as a gift for someone special, reminding them that while “things” can come and go, true friends stay with you forever.
- 1 1. Friends‘ Replica Picture Frame
- 2 2. Igloo Quart Limited Edition Friends Cooler
- 3 3. LEGO Central Perk Set
- 4 4. Friends Colored Pencils
- 5 5. Friends 50-Piece Vinyl Sticker Pack
- 6 6. Central Perk Mug
- 7 7. Friends Infographic Poster
- 8 8. Squeaky Friends Dog Toy
- 9 9. Monopoly: Friends Edition
- 10 10. Friends Wooden Utensils
- 11 11. Nestle Toll House Chocolate Chip Cookie Set
- 12 12. Central Perk Poster
- 13 13. Friends x ALEX AND ANI Jewelry Collection
- 14 14. “The One With all the Recipes: An Unofficial Cookbook for Fans of Friends“
- 15 15. Friends Funko Pop Figurines
- 16 16. Brital Friends Grocery Tote Bag
- 17 17. Trivial Pursuit – Friends Edition
- 18 18. Friends Birthday Decorations
- 19 19. Friends Doormat
- 20 20. The One with All the Coloring: An Unofficial Coloring Book for Fans of Friends
- 21 21. Capuchin Monkey Stuffed Animal
- 22 22. “Ill Be There For You: Life according to Friends‘ Rachel, Phoebe, Joey, Chandler, Ross & Monica”
- 23 23. Sofa in a Box from Zinus
- 24 24. “Friends … ’til the End: The One With All Ten Years”
- 25 25. The Rembrandts Greatest Hits
- 26 BONUS: Friends: The Complete Series
1. Friends‘ Replica Picture Frame
Yes there was the Central Perk couch and Joey and Chandler’s big white dog, but few pieces from the Friends set were as memorable as the vaguely Victorian picture frame hung on the back of Monica and Chandler’s door. In fact, when Friends aired its final episode in 2004, the very last shot zoomed in on the yellow frame and the peephole it surrounded.
Whether you want to display it on your door or hang it on your wall, we’ve found a great replica version of the famous yellow frame on Amazon. This replica version measures 8-by-10 inches and hangs easily with a nail or double-sided tape (included). It’s handmade and hand-painted, and made from a durable and classy resin.
2. Igloo Quart Limited Edition Friends Cooler
Take your ice coffee to go in Igloo’s limited edition handheld cooler. The quart-sized container features the iconic Friends logo, a secure top lid, and convenient handle. Igloo says it’s big enough to hold nine cans, which is enough for an afternoon at the beach, or in the park.
3. LEGO Central Perk Set
Get a double dose of nostalgia with this LEGO-sized set of “Central Perk.” The LEGO recreation of the café TV studio set is packed with authentic details, including a menu board, cash register, mugs, flowers and even a cookie jar. All six main cast members are included in LEGO minifigure form, with a bonus addition(!) of Gunther. Each of the characters are depicted with a signature item from the show, including Joey and his “man bag,” and Phoebe with her guitar. The set includes more than 1,000 pieces in total.
4. Friends Colored Pencils
We don’t know what colored pencils have to do with the show either, but this 12-piece set, dubbed “The One With the Colors,” does feature some pretty impressive puns-as-color names. Kudos to whoever came up with “How You Bluin?” and “We Were on a Grey-k.” One of the colored pencils is also called “Rachel Green,” but that’s almost too easy.
5. Friends 50-Piece Vinyl Sticker Pack
Fill your notebooks, walls, or fridge with vinyl stickers commemorating iconic quotes and catchphrases from the show’s 10 year run.
The stickers come in all shapes and size, and feature a mix of quotes and pictures. Looking at the photo above, there’re stickers for every situation, from helping a friend move (Pivot!) to staking your territory in a shared fridge (Joey Doesn’t Share Food!).
6. Central Perk Mug
Drink your coffee of choice from this replica Central Perk mug, which features the fictional cafe’s iconic logo on both sides. The 24oz mug is big enough to hold multiple cups of coffee, cereal, or a small bowl of soup. It’s dishwasher and microwave safe, and BPA free, too. If you want a new brew to get you through your next Friends re-watch, we have you covered.
7. Friends Infographic Poster
There are generic cast posters that rip-off famous black and white photographs, and then there’s this: a full-color Friends infographic poster that’s actually pretty cool. The poster measures 24 x 36 inches and comes ready for framing. It contains memorable catchphrases, lines and characters from the show, and makes a great conversation (or trivia) piece for the home or office.
8. Squeaky Friends Dog Toy
Your dog has probably seen Friends almost as much as you have, so why not treat them to a squeak toy inspired by the show. This pet toy is modeled after the turkey Monica wears on her head in The One With The Thanksgiving — it even has sunglasses and a fez.
9. Monopoly: Friends Edition
This fun, Friends-themed version of Mononpoly is sure to inspire smiles every time you play. Every space on the game’s board has been renamed after an episode or show reference except for Jail and Free Parking. Our favorite touch is that the traditional Monopoly tokens have been replaced with symbols that represent each of the six characters. This may be the closest we ever get to a game of Bamboozled.
10. Friends Wooden Utensils
If you’re a home cook looking to channel Monica’s focus each time you prepare a dish, get this five-piece bamboo utensil set, which contains a curved spatula, slotted spoon, fork spoon, slotted spatula, and solid spoon. Each tool is etched with a well-known Friends reference — mostly food and drink themed — and has a hole at the bottom that makes them easy to hang.
11. Nestle Toll House Chocolate Chip Cookie Set
In the third episode of season seven, Monica desperately tries to decipher Phoebe’s grandmother’s chocolate chip cookie recipe only to discover that — spoiler alert — it was actually a recipe from the back of a Nestle Toll House package (Phoebe had mis-remembered her “French” grandmother’s name as Neslee Toulouse, which leads to the underwhelming discovery).
This Nestle Toll House set includes the famous cookie mix and a mini cast iron skillet to bake up one large cookie in the oven. The individual-sized cast iron skillet measures five-inches and can be used for other types of cooking as well.
12. Central Perk Poster
Take home a piece of Central Perk with this 23-by-34-inch poster, which recalls the view through the windows at one of TV’s most famous coffee shops (eds note: that’s debatable). The durable, easy-care poster wipes clean without damaging the paper, and this is shipped in a tube to prevent creasing.
13. Friends x ALEX AND ANI Jewelry Collection
From charm bracelets to necklaces, this capsule collection of accessories from Alex and Ani features some of the series’ most memorable quotes engraved on fun, costume jewelry. The pieces include adjustable bracelets made with metal wire and a silver-gold finish, and a friendship necklace made with multicolored crystals and a rafaelian silver finish.
14. “The One With all the Recipes: An Unofficial Cookbook for Fans of Friends“
Courtney Cox may have played a chef on the show, but now you can (attempt to) be one IRL with this cookbook, inspired by food-specific storylines on the show. From Phoebe’s grandmother’s not-so-secret chocolate chip cookie recipe, to a classic Thanksgiving turkey, there are dozens of recipes here, all accompanied by full-color photographs and easy-to-follow instructions. The book is divided into sections (appetizers, sides, brunch, dinner, desserts and drinks) and author Teresa Finney says the recipes are designed for all cooking skill levels and appetites.
15. Friends Funko Pop Figurines
Fans of Friends will love this Funko Pop collectors set, which features miniaturized versions of the six main characters in some of their most memorable outfits (think Monica’s vacation hair and Joey wearing all of Chandler’s clothes). All six figurines come in their own box, making this great to give as a set, or as individual gifts.
16. Brital Friends Grocery Tote Bag
Show off your Friends fandom at the grocery store or beach with Brital’s large, cotton reusable bag. The 17-inch tote is covered with Friends references, from the iconic couch to Monica’s frame, to Phoebe’s taxi cab. This bag would make a great eco-friendly gift, or might encourage you to cut down on the plastic bags you get at the grocery store.
17. Trivial Pursuit – Friends Edition
A travel-sized edition of Trivial Pursuit featuring all the best characters and moments from Friends. Sample question: What remnant of Richard does Monica drop in Ross’ cereal? (answer here).
This set includes 600 questions (broken up by seasons) and comes with dice, cards and a travel case.
18. Friends Birthday Decorations
Throwing a Friends-themed celebration? This multi-piece birthday decoration set is a must-have. It comes with a pre-assembled banner that uses the show’s official typeface and 24 cupcake toppers with images and quotes from the show.
19. Friends Doormat
Whether you decide to move out to the suburbs like Chandler and Monica, or stay in the city like the rest of the gang, this Friends doormat will help the lobsters in your life feel home. It’s made out of water-resistant, sustainable coconut coir, with a non-slip back that prevents it from moving when you brush your feet. The doormat is 17-inches tall and 30-inches wide, which is plenty of room for two people to clean their shoes at once.
20. The One with All the Coloring: An Unofficial Coloring Book for Fans of Friends
This unofficial Friends adult coloring book is an excellent way to unwind. The 48-page book features 20 hand-illustrated pages featuring scenes from the show’s entire 10-year run. You can color these pages in to make the scenes look like they do in the show, or let your creativity run wild. As a bonus, this is the perfect way to use your Friends colored pencils.
21. Capuchin Monkey Stuffed Animal
Speaking of Marcel, who is actually a female Capuchin monkey named Katie, the animal actor hasn’t exactly been swinging off into the sunset since the end of Friends. It was announced recently that Katie is set to star in Y: The Last Man, a Brian K. Vaughn comic book being adapted for television on FX.
Pick up your very own Marcel (or “Marty” or “Marcia” or whatever you decide to name it) with this stuffed Capuchin monkey toy. The plush toy measures just over eight inches tall and promises to be way easier to work with than y’know, a real, live monkey.
22. “Ill Be There For You: Life according to Friends‘ Rachel, Phoebe, Joey, Chandler, Ross & Monica”
This new book serves as both an unofficial fan guide and an unofficial guide to life, as seen through the characters on Friends. From fashion advice to dating tips, learn what to do — and what not to do — from the experiences of the gang. The book also includes Chandler-approved jokes and one-liners, plus Buzzfeed-style quizzes (think: “Which Friends Character Are You?”) and a behind-the-scenes look at how the show’s influence extended beyond the screen and into pop culture history.
23. Sofa in a Box from Zinus
Ross may have had a hard time getting his new couch up the stairs in a season five episode, but you won’t have that problem with the new sofa collection from Zinus. The online company, best known for their mattresses in a box, now deliver full-sized couches in a box, making it easier to move and carry without having to pivot. The couch is delivered for free and Zinus says it sets up in minutes without needing any tools.
Zinus offers a number of different models online but we like the Ricardo Contemporary Sofa, which comes in three colors and sits on a sturdy wood frame. The easy-care fabric wipes down easily and Zinus offers a one-year warranty and a satisfaction guarantee.
24. “Friends … ’til the End: The One With All Ten Years”
Released in 2005 in conjunction with the show’s series finale, this hardcover tome features 280+ pages of photographs, insights and personal anecdotes from the cast and crew. A great collector’s piece and coffee table book, the printed endpapers feature the cast’s autographs, while the book itself comes with hardbound with a jacket and ribbon.
25. The Rembrandts Greatest Hits
Best known for writing and performing “I’ll Be There For You,” the theme song from Friends, The Rembrandts really deserve more credit for ushering in a wave of jangly, low-fi beach-pop that’s influenced everyone from Rooney to Local Natives.
BONUS: Friends: The Complete Series
There’s no better way to re-live the laughs than by picking up this collectible box set, containing all ten seasons of Friends on Blu-ray or DVD. The 21-disc set includes all 236 original broadcast episodes on 21 discs, plus more than 20 hours of bonus content, including never-been-seen footage and deleted scenes.
The extra content also includes a new, one-hour documentary about the making of the show, plus new interviews with the cast, writers and producers. This is a must-have for any Friends fan, or for fans of television in general.