Phoebe Buffay, a.k.a. Regina Phalange, was by far the coolest member of the lovable “Friends” gang. Some wanted to look like Rachel and others wanted to cook like Monica, but everyone wanted to be like Pheebs. Even though the show’s final episode aired way back in 2004, there are a few lessons we learned from Phoebe that are still totally relevant today.
1. Honesty Is the Best Policy
I can’t think of a single episode where Phoebe wasn’t 100 percent honest or didn’t say exactly what was on her mind. Whether it be about her desire NOT to do something (“The One Where Monica Gets A Roommate”) or her doubts about Chandler’s sexuality (“The One With Monica’s Thunder”), Phoebe always voiced her opinions and was never too shy to tell it exactly how it was. Brutal honesty was her forte.
It might not have worked out in her favor every single time, but Phoebe was never one to harbor secret emotions, go around telling lies or beat around the bush, no matter how uncomfortable the subject. And while the truth can hurt sometimes, it’s clear to see from the life of Phoebe Buffay that it’s always the best way to go – whether people like it or not, they’ll usually appreciate it.
Something we can all take from this is that being honest with all the important people in your life will not only make you a great friend, but it will also make your life so much lighter and a lot less complicated—something everyone can get on board with.
2. Always Be Yourself
No one who has ever watched a single episode of the iconic show can argue that the character briefly known as Princess Consuela Banana-Hammock (“The One With Princess Consuela”) was ever afraid of being herself.
Princess Consuela was never one to feel the need to conform to societal norms—and it was awesome.
She never cared what anyone thought about her wardrobe, songs or opinions. She wasn’t afraid to talk about her beliefs no matter how unorthodox, and she never let anyone’s sideways glances get to her. All that mattered to Mrs. Banana-Hammock was that she was always true to her ways, vegetarian and all. While it may be difficult to this stick to this tip at a time in your life in which you’re still figuring out who you are, it’s still important that you try.
Phoebe’s bravery to always be herself actually goes hand in hand with another very important lesson we learned from Phoebe over the ten-season sitcom.
3. Confidence Is Everything
Not only was Pheebs never afraid to be herself, she was blatantly proud of it—in a good way. One of the most important pieces of wisdom Phoebe ever shared with the rest of the cast, and the world, was that it was vital to always love yourself from head to toe.
Whether it was her apparent awareness of her own sexiness (“The One With The Red Sweater”) or her total security with not having her life all figured out (“The One With George Stephanopoulos”), Phoebe let everyone know that it’s really okay to be comfortable in your own skin and with wherever you are in your life. Phoebe was never one to stress over what she did or didn’t have going on in her life. She never freaked out about the way things were going. She simply went with the flow and always believed in herself to figure things out eventually.
As college students in some of the most uncertain times of our lives, this lesson can be especially lifesaving. Don’t freak out. Just be like Phoebe and believe in yourself.
4. Be Proud of Your Past
As we all know, Phoebe had a pretty rough life growing up. After her biological mother gave her and her twin sister up to her own best friend, her biological father abandoned them all. Then, when she was thirteen, her adoptive mother killed herself and her step-dad went to prison, leaving poor little Phoebe to fend for herself on the mean streets of New York City.
Audiences know this because Phoebe was always very open about her past. She was never ashamed to admit that she was homeless or to talk about all the scary, disgusting things she had to do and endure just to survive. She didn’t grow up as lucky as the others, but that didn’t faze her one bit. The hardships she was forced to face didn’t keep her from making something of her life.
This admirable characteristic shows that there is absolutely nothing wrong with being proud of where you come from, whether that’s a loft apartment in the Hamptons or a cardboard box in Queens. It will always be part of who you are and play a role in who you become.
5. Love the One You’re With
Over the course of the show, Phoebe Buffay had a total of sixteen lovers. Though the sixteenth—her relationship and eventual marriage to Mike—didn’t work out until the very end of the series, Phoebe was never one to worry about her love life.
While casually dating the previous fifteen men, Phoebe was never too preoccupied with whether or not they were “the one” like so many of her fellow “Friends” cast members. Phoebe was always perfectly happy just enjoying the romantic, fun adventures she had in every unique relationship. The vital thing learn here is that dating is supposed to be fun. It shouldn’t be troublesome and stressful. If everyone was just a little more like Phoebe Buffay, relationships could be a lot more laidback (and a ton more fun).
Instead of wasting so much time trying to figure out who’s the right one for you, just love the one you’re with and enjoy the time you have with that person. There’s something to be taken from every relationship—good or bad. Things will work out when they’re supposed to.
Don’t worry, you’ll find your lobster.