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No one told you life was gonna be this way.
In the final scene of Friends, the whole gang gets reminiscent as the last of new parents Monica and Chandler’s belongings are moved out of that iconic apartment. It was, at one point, everyone’s home, but now it’s time to move onto the next part of their life—once they’ve had one more cup of coffee at Central Perk, that is. It’s a simple and sweet send-off for the show that took over our TVs for 11 seasons.
Except that according to one theory, that ending is a lot darker than we ever imagined.
Gareth Stranks, a 30-year-old Friends fan from London, had been watching the show with his girlfriend and roommate this past Sunday when he came up with the theory.
“Over dinner we were saying how Friends is basically the story of Rachel Green,” Stranks told the Independent. “Then we started talking about the different themes across the show and I thought it would be hilarious if there was a ‘big reveal’ ending that died it all together.”
And while the “it was all a dream” finale had been overdone to him, he still wanted to come up with a way where everything came together in the end.
The end result? It wasn’t real because Phoebe, who’s homeless and addicted to meth, imagined the entire thing.
Friendless and alone, she latched onto these five people she didn’t know inside Central Perk and and created a bunch of fantasy situations in which she hung out with them. It explains her zany personality and her constantly pointing out how much of an outsider she was. Every fight, every hookup, the children, and even her one-time husband were all made up. And yes, she even created Joey’s ginormous life debt to Chandler.
At the end of the show, the audience would get a glimpse at what Rachel, Ross, Monica, Chandler, and Joey were really like—along with how creepy they found the homeless woman who constantly stared at them.
In all fairness, Stranks admitted he probably made things so bleak for Phoebe because she was his least-favorite character.
Obviously that didn’t happen, and our Friends went on with their merry lives. But maybe there’s a point in reconsidering the darkness within that happy construct. Considering Rachel ended up with the ultimate “nice guy” at the end of the series, maybe it wasn’t as cheery as we remembered after all.
Michelle Jaworski is a staff writer and the resident Game of Thrones expert at the Daily Dot. She covers entertainment, geek culture, and pop culture and has brought her knowledge to conventions like Con of Thrones. She is based in New Jersey.