You already know I'm a Friends fanatic from here and here. So I hope I've eased you in gradually enough that you are ready for how neurotic this obsession really is...
I've actually visited Monica and Chandler's building on Grove and Bedford in New York. Where Central Perk should be is a quaint little place called The Little Owl (at least it was when I was there almost 5 years ago).
At the Warner Bros. Studio Tour in California, I got to see the house Monica and Ross grew up in - the one where most of the flashbacks of bubbly fat Monica and Chandler's flock-of-seagulls-hair were shot. We also passed by Stage 24, the only stage in the WB lot with a name: The FRIENDS Stage.
And of course, my favorite FRIENDS moment of all: standing right in the middle of the Central Perk set!
It was so surreal. We were so giddy about being there that we didn't even catch the part when our tour guide said we were not allowed to touch the set. By the time we realized it was prohibited, we had already leaned on the iconic orange couch!
I have watched each episode at least a thousand times that I know things like their apartment numbers started out as 5 & 6, but soon changed to 19 & 20. I have never encountered a Friends trivia question I could not answer that I, my hubby and the other Friends fanatic we know have come up with our own trivia games like: Name the 10 Thanksgiving episodes in the right order, or Name the 10 season-enders, or Name the most celebrities who've guested on the show. And we've been playing that last game for so long, actors from shows of today were not even considered celebrities yet: Actors like Michael Vartan of Alias who played Tom Selleck/Richard Burke's son who Monica also dated, Glee's Principal Figgins who was Joey's doctor when he had kidney stones, CSI Miami's Emily Procter who, I swear, looks and sounds like the girl Joey dated when he was the Hombre perfume guy, and of course, House's Hugh Laurie who sat beside Rachel on the plane to Ross' wedding in London.
Oh, and between me and my hubby, we have collected a considerable share of Friends shirts: You already know of my Regina Phalange shirt from here. We, of course, also have shirts with the FRIENDS logo, the Central Perk logo and the iconic couch. My hubby has one with Joey's signature pick-up line, "How you doin'?", one with a cartoon of a smelly cat & "what are they feeding you?" printed on the back, and one with Ross' sketch of how they were supposed to maneuver his new couch up the stairs of his building - with scribbles of "Pivot! Pivot! PI-VOT!!!". I almost popped $30 at the NBC store for a regular white tee with...
... in plain black i-think-Times-New-Roman printing on the front, had it not been for my enterprising friend K who insisted she could easily have those words printed on a white shirt. Maybe we could even add Joey's headshot at the back - which is actually more like the actual giveaway at Ross' bachelor party. Explore my photo archive for photos of these shirts. And as luck would have it, I chanced upon Ross' FRANKIE SAYS RELAX shirt in the most unexpected place -- a People Are People store! It's much bigger than Ross' tiny t-shirt, but it seems as thin and comfy. And like Rachel, I love to sleep in it!
And so even though they've taken their final bow...
I love that there are still bits and pieces of FRIENDS in existence today. Oops, my neurosis showing again... Hope I haven't scared you away. If it helps, I promise to make this my last Friends post for a while. :)
Photos are from here, YouTube (screenshots) and my own. Source of the Final Bow photo is credited in my original post here. Photos of the shirts in my picasa archive are from here, here, here, here, here and here.
Click here for previous posts from the Oops, My Neurosis Is Showing... series.