Happy Endings

With today’s final taping of Friends, fans across the country wonder what’s in store for TV’s six pals. Will Rachel and Ross finally find romance? Will Joey’s career take off? Our writer is ready with spoilers for the final episode in May.

Phoebe gets back the publishing rights for ‘Smelly Cat,’ and has to choose between success in the music industry and her neo-hippie values. Chandler and Joey patent Fireball, forcing Chandler to choose between the opulent life of a popular game creator or his developing alcoholism as Monica’s husband. Ross offers Rachel $250,000 to get back together, but as soon as she considers his proposal, he’s offered both a record contract for his keyboard anthems and a prestigious position on an archeological dig in Africa.

Instead of making their tough decisions, the gang decide to cook Thanksgiving dinner while Monica and Ross do their dance from Dick Clark’s New Year’s Rockin’ Eve.


* * *

Ross leaves his job at the university under duress after being caught ‘going commando’ in a Neanderthal wrap from the hall exhibit.


* * *

With today’s relaxed television standards, we finally see Ugly Naked Guy—full-frontal.


* * *

Chandler weigh-in at commercial break: 220 pounds.


* * *

Ross trades apartments with Joey, Joey trades apartments with Monica and Chandler, Rachel moves in with Ross, then Phoebe swaps rooms with Rachel. They all plunder each others’ underwear drawers. Rachel walks in on Ross as he’s trying on one of her bras.

She snorts, ‘I thought we were on a break…’

Ross cries. As she should have done years ago, Rachel punches him in the face.


* * *

In an emotional reunion, animal-rescue workers return Marcel the monkey to Ross. Across the street, Joey shares a beer with the chimp from Ed.


* * *

Monica and Rachel are audited by the I.R.S., who question how seven years ago they could afford a spacious, two-bedroom apartment in the Village—as an assistant buyer for Bloomingdale’s and an intermittently employed chef. Their fathers bail them out.


* * *

Chandler weigh-in at commercial break: 120 pounds.


* * *

Heartbroken over his breakup with Rachel, Joey gets back together with Diane. He then signs on to do a picture with Richard Burke (Tom Selleck) and Steve Gutenberg and moves to L.A.

Ross moves to the Sudan.

Phoebe moves into her taxi.

Fish dies.

Chandler and Monica, with their adoption papers already approved, discover Monica’s pregnant and, as everyone suspected, they’re really a gay-lesbian couple—the ultimate, indeed, of friends.

After a short stay in a mental hospital, Monica boards a helicopter and finally says goodbye to Korea.


* * *

The show, the characters, the coffee place—everything—turns out to be just a dream in the mind of a TV executive. Which is true.


* * *

The stage lights on the Central Perk set come up to reveal the Rembrandts playing the theme song that made them famous. The directors and executive producers edge in from the sides, clapping, and gather around the coffee table. The writers all jog in from stage left as the cast members cheer them, then sit on the couch in center stage, each raising a prop coffee mug and ‘toasting’ the audience. Matt Perry slips over to a director’s chair, holds aloft one of Chandler’s sweater vests from season one, and slings it to a lucky audience member. Standing next to David, the radio winner from Baton Rouge dabs the tears from her eyes.


Andrew Womack is a founding editor of The Morning News. He is always working on the next installment of the Albums of the Year series at TMN. More by Andrew Womack