Women’s History Month: Highlighting the women of Friends

382997 01: From l-r: Lisa Kudrow (as Phoebe), Jennifer Aniston (as Rachel) and Courteney Cox (as Monica) act in a scene from "Friends" (Season 7, "The One With The Nap Partners"). (Photo by NBC/Newsmakers)
382997 01: From l-r: Lisa Kudrow (as Phoebe), Jennifer Aniston (as Rachel) and Courteney Cox (as Monica) act in a scene from "Friends" (Season 7, "The One With The Nap Partners"). (Photo by NBC/Newsmakers) /

Even after years of being off the air, popular television series Friends continues to be one of the most watched and talked about shows. And rightfully so! It’s one of the best sitcoms out there.

The six characters were so well-written and relatable. You could find yourself connecting with one, or finding different pieces of your personality in each. Monica, Rachel, Phoebe, Ross, Chandler, and Joey will be names everyone will always know.

While maybe not everyone can relate to Monica’s super Type A personality (I definitely can!), Phoebe’s wacky nature, and Rachel’s girlish self, each lovely lady brings something unique to the show.

With March being Women’s History Month, we’re taking a look at what made these three characters so great.

Friends moment quiz
(Photo by Warner Bros. Television) /

Highlighting the women of Friends


Monica is known as the “mother hen” of the group, and that shows from the very first episode. Though she and Rachel lost touch after high school, it’s Monica the runaway bride thinks of when she flees her wedding. Rachel doesn’t give Monica much of a choice, but she still welcomes Rachel to move in with her. It’s thanks to her that Rachel learns how to take care of herself and build such a strong support system around her.

The strong-willed chef climbs her way up and gets the job of her dreams by the end of the series as head chef at Javu. Monica and Chandler also end up being the couple of the series and explore a hardship many couples also go through.

We’ve known from early on that Monica has always wanted to be a mom. When she and Chandler find out they can’t have kids, they don’t give up. They find a different avenue that leads them to adopting their twins. I love how much focus the show put on this in the final season and portrayed one journey of adoption.

Jennifer Aniston was scared of Matt LeBlanc
(Photo by Warner Bros. Television/Getty Images) /


Rachel is probably the one who had the biggest character growth out of everyone in the group. When we meet her, she’s spoiled and has absolutely no idea how to be an independent adult. She’s always been dependent on her dad’s money and really has to reevaluate her life when he cuts her off for running away from her wedding.

This character very easily could have been one-dimensional. But the writers did the exact opposite. They showed the audience that if you put your mind to something, then it’s never too late to change for the better. We steadily see her grow into her own, and it just makes me smile every time I think about it.

She gets a great job and does something she’s passionate about. By the final season she has the opportunity to work at Louis Vuitton in Paris. Now whether she made the right decision to turn down that huge opportunity for Ross can be argued about on both sides. But what I choose to focus on is the character’s growth – going from the very first episode of not knowing what to do with her life to becoming the successful woman by the end.

Rachel also has an unexpected pregnancy following a night with Ross. It’s a very hard position to find herself in, but she takes it in stride. Of course Ross is there to help, but she’s the main parent to Emma.

Friends quiz
382997 03: Lisa Kudrow (as Phoebe, L) and David Schwimmer (as Ross, R) act in a scene from “Friends” (Season 7, “The One With Phoebe”s Cookies”). (Photo by NBC/Newsmakers) /


It’s an understatement to say that Phoebe had a tough childhood. Her mother killed herself, she was abandoned by her father and grew up homeless, and her sister basically wants nothing to do with her. And that’s just the tip of the iceberg.

But instead of letting those hardships bring her down, she turns into a strong woman who isn’t afraid to speak her mind. She can definitely beat any man in a fight with her street skills as well! Though her personality is very different from the rest of her friends’, she’s no less smart or capable.

She becomes a surrogate mother for her brother’s children. Though biologically they’re not hers, she still feels an attachment to the triplets because she carried them for nine months. It’s very emotional when she needs to let them go and accepts that’s she’s just going to be the cool aunt. Friends explored pregnancy and children in so many different ways, and each felt like it was represented fairly. I have a very soft spot for Phoebe and Mike, so I’m happy this girl got her happy ending.

Even when the three women got into disagreements or arguments, they always made up. They knew they had each other’s backs. Monica, Rachel, and Phoebe’s relationship is one of the best female friendships shown on television. It proved that women always at odds with each other, isn’t what makes good TV. What’s really heartwarming is that the three actresses behind the awesome characters are still very close friends, which  makes our hearts very happy!

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