Saturday, July 12, 2008

They'll (Still) Be There For You...

During the ten years Friends spent breaking ratings records and seeping so far into pop culture that hairstylists all across America learned to perfect a style known only by a character’s name, the NBC phenomenon had its fair share of notable guest stars. And with such an abundance of comedic talent flocking their way, it should be no surprise that even now, four years after they stopped producing new episodes, Friends is still one of the most-quoted programs in history. When talking to diehard fans-- you know, the kinds of people who own the trivia game and can make it all the way around the board, winning the game, in one turn-- some of the most memorable, still chuckle-worthy lines of dialogue were ones that came out of the mouths of guest stars.

When speaking to fans in Los Angeles, of course one of the first quotes that gets mentioned is Brad Pitt’s “Look at her standing there with those yams. My two greatest enemies, Ross: Rachel Green and complex carbohydrates.” In the ninth episode of the eighth season of the series, Pitt certainly made his mark in “The One With The Rumor” as the sexy, smoldering-- but once fat and dorky-- friend of Ross and Monica’s from high school that comes to dinner. The episode was a big one not only for the characters but the actors as well, as Pitt was the last real life spouse to make a guest appearance, and of course his A-list movie star status was anticipated and rumored long before he appeared. Having him play opposite his then-wife Jennifer Aniston as someone who didn’t particularly care for her was an expected twist that offered even more laughs.

However, there are dozens upon dozens more one-liners that are not only still quoted religiously today but are enough to elicit a callback to the episode as a whole. Elliot Gould as Monica and Ross' loud and slightly inappropriate dad is perhaps most responsible for such lines of dialogue, but his best moment has to have been when, in Episode 4.24 "TOW Ross' Wedding: Part 2," upon reading a bill that sounded more like redecorating a house than having a party, he lashed out with: "I'm not paying for your wine cellar, you thieving, would-be-speaking-German-if-it-weren't-for-us, cheap little man!" Not exactly the best way to endear himself to his new in-laws, but that bluntness is Jack (and Elliot) in a nutshell).

Some of Friends' most snort-worthy lines were somewhat obscure and somewhat simple, but they all epitomized the show's tone, sense of humor, and therefore essence. Just by hearing these one-liners, the surrounding scene is set up perfectly, and it is easy to hear what follows verbatim... or at least those are the voices in my head anyway. Here are the Top Ten, in order of appearance:

"Well you know, you have to take a course otherwise they don't let you do it." -- Jessica Hecht, Episode 1.9 "TOW Underdog Gets Away"

"I could have birds." -- Larry Hankin, Episode 2.3 "TOW Heckles Dies"

"The way I feel about you, it's like I finally understand what Lionel Richie is singing about. I mean, what we have, it's like movie love." -- Maggie Wheeler, Episode 3.8 "TOW The Giant Poking Device"

"I like her; she seems smart." -- John Bennett Perry, Episode 4.18 "TOW Rachel's New Dress"

"You're the prettiest fake undercover whore I've ever seen." -- Michael Rapaport, Episode 5.16 "TOW The Cop"

"I think he's stoned again." -- Christina Pickles, Episode 6.9 "TOW Ross Got High"

"Maybe I passed out, and you did stuff to me while I was sleeping." -- Winona Ryder, Episode 7.20 "TOW Rachel's Big Kiss"

"I have to tell you, being here with all of you in Event Room C, I feel so lucky. To think of all the good times that have happened here: the birthdays, the proms, the mitzvahs-- both bar and bat-- none of it will compare to tonight. My God, I don't want to forget this moment: it's like I want to take a mental picture of you all... click!" -- Alec Baldwin, Episode 8.18 "TOW Massapequa"

"How about this? If you guys die and the crazy plate lady dies, do I get the baby?" -- Christina Applegate, Episode 9.8 "TOW Rachel's Other Sister"

“I climbed like a billion stairs... its not like I can take them two at a time.” -- Danny DeVito, Episode 10.11 “TOW The Stripper Cries”

1 comment:

Jaime said...

Ok, I totally had a whole bunch of quotes to email you, and then my job took over, I was tired all the time...I forgot to email them...

My favorite, though, that isn't on this list is Reese Witherspoon saying "Can't have? Excuse me, the only thing I can't have is DAIRY!"

Really bad quality, sorry.