An Imaginary Alternative Ending For Friends

The series ends with a life lesson: life goes on… We can’t live in one phase forever… In a way, our friends are family. Then comes a new step when we each start our own family. Everyone starts anew. Our friends will always be friends. We may not see them as frequently as we used to. We may even relocate to new locations further apart… That’s sad, but life goes on.

Although we understand, I believe the ending (leaving Monica’s house, the show’s focal point) teaches us this lesson in an extreme way:

Changes need not be drastic… Life changes with the seasons… Monica and Rachel share an apartment with Joey and Chandler in the first episode. Rachel had to leave, and Chandler moved in with Monica and had a more serious relationship… Rachel has evolved from a spoiled girl to a responsible working mother… Ross had two kids… Phoebe wed…

Despite these changes, they kept this great friendship alive, which they all needed… They know they are not alone in their struggles… This treasure should not be lost.

The last episode shows them realizing they have all lived in this place at some point in their lives and have keys. Watching them leave looks like the end of a friendship, with all the memories they shared and we shared. Monica’s apartment represents this bond…

That’s when the show ended… We see them complete a lovely phase of their lives without giving us any indication of the next. Just shut the door… After ten years of loud laughter, the series ended with tears instead of hopeful smiles.

Joey meets Erin (or Janine)… Both of them have had multiple relationships and seek a serious one. They start dating, and we think Joey will finally find the one… He will also move on and will not be alone.

Monica and Chandler moved into their new home with other friends. They plan their move. This apartment holds many memories… Cooking for everyone in Monica’s kitchen… Rachel’s first night after fleeing her wedding with Barry… Joey’s old fridge… tables where they ate Thanksgiving, Christmas, and birthdays.

When asked if Monica and Chandler have to move out soon, they say they can’t afford it. Ross and Joey asked if they considered the daily commute from that far away. Rachel and Phoebe ask if they’ve considered the frequent doctor visits for both babies… They all agree that staying at the apartment for a while saves money on transportation… The apartment may be saved. All four claim they have valuable memories here that they cannot afford to lose.

They say they will help with the rent… They are all better off now… Joey is a more famous and wealthy actor… Ross has a permanent job at university…. Ralph Lauren has increased Rachel’s pay… Phoebe has a successful career and a stable home life. So they’re all ready to keep this place full of memories.

So, Monica and Chandler will remain at this apartment while they can spend wee-ends in the house. They suggest they all meet at the new home. And Monica can be the hostess, as she always has.

Then we move to the new house for an after-birth baby shower for the new baby twins. View of a new home… Monica and Chandlers host… Joey and Erin eat… They watch Ben and Emma play in the garden. Phoebe and Mike are planning a baby… Monica and Chandler tell them there are still houses available in the area…

All couples agree that it will be nice to live here again and be neighbors… They’ll all ponder it… They mention the upcoming Thanksgiving… In her apartments, Monica says, not in the new house.

We see them all (8 characters) on Thanksgiving in Monica’s apartment. They discuss plans for work and life… Monica brings the food to the table… They thank this house for witnessing their memories and life chapters. They raise a glass to their unbreakable bond.

The camera zooms out… We see their joy… We see a happy and lively house… End.

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