With that long-awaited Friends cast reunion finally on the way, and as the show gears up for a new streaming run on HBO Max, you may be in the mood to score some Friends goodies for yourself or your Central Perk-obsessed loved one right about now.
While Friends has never struggled to maintain a rapt fanbase, last fall marked the 25th anniversary of Friends' premiere on NBC, which meant the show has recently been celebrated with multiple theatrical runs, a pop-up experience, a traveling couch, and a canoe-load of cool new merchandising choices. So there's never been a time like now to get your hands on the perfect gift... and no, we're not talking about toilet seat covers here.
Whether you're shopping for your very own lobster, a close friend you'd love to lounge with at Central Perk, or even the Gunther in your life, here's an essential Friends shopping guide. The Holiday Armadillo approves.
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The throwback Friends DVDs are essential for any Friends fanatic to own, even if they already have a subscription to HBO Max or even the Blu-Ray edition of the show. Why? Well, that version happens to have the extended versions of certain episodes, featuring key lines and jokes that didn't make it into other versions. We're still hopeful that WarnerMedia will wise up and throw them back into the new streaming platform, but until then, the original DVDs are must-haves -- and, let's face it, they've helped a lot of fans endure the streaming slump in between Friends' jump from Netflix to HBO Max.
OK, OK, so it's no secret that Joey, the spin-off devoted to Joey Tribbiani's (Matt LeBlanc) move to LA, wasn't very good, but it's still an official extension of the Friends story that any true fan should see. The first season is pretty easy to find online, but the second season is a bit more rare (and you'll definitely need some Days of Our Lives-level loot to afford it).
Amazon has released an exclusive edition of Friends Monopoly which features game pieces like Ross' toy dinosaur and the "Joey Special" of two pizzas. The board also includes key locations like Apartment 19, Relaxi Taxi, and real estate bearing the names of the show's most iconic episodes.
It was a no-brainer for Pottery Barn to get in on the Friends gifting game because, ya know, there was an entire episode devoted to Rachel (Jennifer Aniston) dressing her and Phoebe's (Lisa Kudrow) apartment in its wares. And the company so delivered, with a bevy of home goods that honor the series, from the throw pillows that celebrate the purple door and orange couch to the Smelly cat mug and tea towels to a canvas print of that iconic fountain to, yes, even the same apothecary table that gave Rachel and Ross (David Schwimmer) so much joy.
Another company that was even more name-checked in Friends was Ralph Lauren, where Rachel worked. It, too, seized on the opportunity to make some celebratory merch with an entire line devoted to the show. It includes a couch-colored blazer and a new version of Rachel's leopard coat from the fake regatta gala.
If you want to bring Apartments 19 and 20 into your own home, there are a lot of ways to do that. For starters, replicas of the French Jouets poster from Monica's living room are everywhere, as are copies of the Laurel & Hardy image from Joey and Chandler's (Matthew Perry) place. You can also easily find a copy of Monica's (Courteney Cox) pickles pot and the signature front door frame. It's a little harder, but possible, to get your hands on the Kosta Boda face vase from her place, but the same designer has some similar alternatives for sale, and artists have also created framed blueprints of both apartments that can serve as a more clever homage to the series. Other options for dressing up your place with Friends flair include a Central Perk welcome mat or a framed definition of the true meaning of the word "lobster."
Look, it's obviously a lost opportunity that there aren't official versions of Bamboozled or even that fake card game Cups on the shelves, but there are still plenty of cool gaming options for fans to enjoy this season. For starters, there's a whole Central Perk LEGO set up that'll be fun to assemble and even more fun to look at once it's done. There's also an official version of the ball-throwing game that got Monica so worked up. There is also a Friends-themed version of Trivial Pursuit to be scooped up, and, of course, there's trivia. What Friends fan doesn't like to prove their fandemonium with a round of trivia?
Baby Emma isn't the only one who can appreciate Hugsy, Joey's bedtime penguin pal. Who wouldn't want to squeeze the bespectacled little birdy? And, of course, a lobster plush will mean so much more than a generic teddy bear to a Friends fan. For the collector types in your life, though, you can't go wrong with the Friends Funkos. The company has released two lines of Friends figurines; the first features Monica, Rachel, Ross, Joey, Chandler, and Phoebe in their everyday gear, and the second collection throws back to some of their zanier moments, like Chandler's flock of seagulls 'do and Phoebe's Supergirl moment.
For those who don't have the budget for the Ralph Lauren brand (cue the "your job's a joke, you're broke" refrain from the theme song), there are plenty of other options for Friends-themed wearables, including T-shirts that celebrate the best quotes, photos, characters, and places from the show, and even a cute watch that resembles Monica's purple door.
You don't have to go all out to impress the Friends fan in your life, either. You can also pull a Monica and embrace the fridge magnets, honor the "got the keys" conundrum with a show-themed key chain, character-centered blind bags, and even ornaments that call back to Ross' "pivot" and Pat the Dog. For a more personalized approach, you can also have a wine goblet customized with the Friends font and your own friend's name and these creative colored pencils with a Friends spin.
It's no secret that caffeine was an essential part of the friends' lives, and they spent a lot of time sipping on their various coffee drinks of choice, so that Central Perk coffee line is pretty much essential, as is a giant mug (never mind what Phoebe's ex "Rog" had to say about that). To add a little light reading to the mix, the recently-released behind-the-scenes book Generation Friends offers a lot of fun details about the show's production, and, let's face it: It makes for a pretty coffee table adornment.