Continuing the trend of Character Case Studies of F.R.I.E.N.D.S characters today I’m going to do one on Lisa Kudrow’s character, Phoebe Buffay.
Phoebe is a great character. She has the most fleshed out past. She is full of contradictions which make her a joy to watch. She is rigid yet flexible, eccentric yet grounded in reality. Her character is interesting because of the contradictions in her personality. Normal people, even the strong willed, do not have their personality engraved. We cannot describe a whole personality with a single word. People and their motives are complex. This is why people love Phoebe so much.
Phoebe is the glue that holds all the friends together. She keeps them from falling apart. She is wise and doesn’t hesitate from being harsh if it will help her friends make the tough decisions necessary for them to succeed in life. There is a reason most of the times the other friends go to her for advice. She gives them the final push that they need and helps them to confront their feelings.
Phoebe spices up the show. She is edgy. She helps the show refrain from being bland. She has experienced the hardships of life before the other friends. Therefore, she helps them with adding real life perspective. Whenever she is on the screen, we can’t predict what is happening unlike the others. She is like a wild card.
Phoebe is different. She takes pride in being different. However, in the later seasons,during her relationship with Mike, she comes to terms with the fact that she wants to have a life of normalcy. This is completely fine but the other friends have problems adjusting to this in the start because they, or even Phoebe herself do not understand her completely. She has to speak up to Mike because for once in her life, she wants to experience what she did not before: a life of normalcy.