Every series has a few fan theories that either contradict or complete the story perfectly, and even Friends has its fair share of ideas, many of which are darker than the show itself. Six twenty-something friends in New York City are best friends, and the show is one of the most famous American sitcoms ever.
Friends became so popular because of its outrageous, upbeat humour. But some fans wish it had been more realistic, leading to a slew of dark fan theories. Phoebe, the group’s outcast, is the focus of the most sleazy conspiracy theories.
It all started in 2015 when a user on Twitter wrote about how they felt the series should have ended. The entire show was revealed to be a fantasy created by Phoebe, who has been homeless ever since her adoptive mother killed herself; as a result, her singing gigs, masseuse job, and twin sister aren’t real either. She’s also made up the names and personalities of the friends she’s been watching through the window of the coffee shop the entire time. As a result, she’s referred to as a “crazy lady” by everyone else in the group.
Unbeknownst to Marta Kauffman, a co-creator of the hit show Friends. The theory spread across the internet and gained strange popularity amongst fans.
At the 2017 ATX TV Festival in Austin, Texas, she was asked about the theory by ET.
I’ve never heard anything so heartbreaking!” She remarked. “That’s a terrible theory, but I’ve never heard it. That’s out of this world… Like, a crazy idea for an alternative TV show… I’m completely mesmerised. Somebody’s got to live, is all I’m saying. That’s all I’m saying: someone needs a life.”
Sometimes, fan theories go a little too far, even for the creators of the work in question. In this case, it’s the cynicism of the fans. Some people search it hard to believe that Phoebe’s upper-middle-class friends would spend time with her. In light of her time on the streets. They don’t think the other characters will accept her or that she can recover from her mother’s suicide.
Despite her outwardly happy demeanour, Phoebe has had to deal with the loss of her adoptive mother and the hardships of being homeless. However, she has a grandmother who provides her with a place to live. Fans have developed a habit of overanalyzing every scene with her to try and prove this cynical fantasy even though the co-creator does not agree with it.