Netflix new comedy Friends from College follows the friendships of six characters living in New York. The only thing missing is a Central Perk for them all to hang out. So if the Friends from College characters were the Friends characters, here’s who I think they would be (warning-spoilers ahead).
Marianne = Phoebe, with a little bit of Joey
Marianne is a free spirit. She gives her friend Lisa an herbal tea to help her get pregnant and wakes up early for yoga. Let’s not forget her love and devotion to her rabbit Anastasia. (Remember when Phoebe thought the spirit of her dead mother inhabited a cat?)
Like Phoebe, Marianne is deeply offended when people personally wrong her. She hits the brakes on the party bus when she feels like she’s singled out. She also kicks out Ethan and Lisa for messing with her romantic relationships.
But Marianne’s also a struggling actor in New York City, and for all her bad plays she’s in, she’s got a little bit of Joey’s love of the craft.
Lisa = Rachel but also not
I feel like Lisa should be the Rachel of the show. She’s got a girl-next-door-vibe about her, and she’s the least neurotic out of the friend group. Rachel and Lisa also both make really big, stupid decisions when they’re drunk. Rachel decides to get married in Vegas. Lisa decides to have an affair at the Cayman Islands.
We should be rooting for her marriage to Ethan, but in truth, their relationship was doomed from the start. For that reason alone, Lisa cannot be Rachel.
Nick = Joey (but maybe Ross?)
Nick’s one of the characters we learn the least about in the first season. We do know, however, that he doesn’t work because he’s got a trust fund. We also know Nick dates younger women. I think Nick would actually use Joey’s classic pick-up line, “How you doin’?”
Like Joey, he also lives in the moment and isn’t held down by commitments, but the last couple episodes of the season hint that he’s had a thing for Lisa ever since college. If Nick’s pining for Lisa works out, maybe Nick is Ross and Lisa is his Rachel.
Max = ?
Max has the delight of Joey and the work ethic of Monica. I feel like he wants to be Phoebe, but he’s book smart like Ross and capable of charming people like Rachel. I honestly can’t pinpoint Max to one Friends character.
Maybe Max is who the friends would grow up to be. Like if Joey met Max twenty years later, he’d think he’s a pretty cool guy. Max would nerd out with Rachel about her romance novels and with Ross about libraries. Phoebe would probably try to date him if she were single.
Sam = Rachel with a little bit of Monica
Sam is particular like Monica. I bet if we snooped the cabinets in Sam’s Connecticut house, we’d find the dishes categorized by color, but she’s got a wild streak like Rachel.
She also loves fashion, but the real reason why she’s Rachel is because I think she’s destined to be together with Ethan for better or worse. Rachel just couldn’t shake Ross, and Sam just can’t shake Ethan. But Sam’s married to someone else. I bet on Ethan’s wedding day, Sam nearly skipped it and maybe secretly hoped he’d say her name instead.
Ethan = Ross but he’s actually Chandler
It’s clear from the very first moment of Friends from College that Ethan is going to be the Ross of the show. He’s been pining for Sam for twenty years, like how Ross pined for Rachel ever since high school.
Ethan’s also an academic. He prefers to write real literature that nobody reads, but is backed into a corner to write a young-adult romance novel about a hot monster. (Maybe Ethan should’ve picked dinosaurs instead of werewolves.)
Although it’s clear Ethan is supposed to be our romantic hero, he’s actually more Chandler. When Ethan gets uncomfortable, he resorts to speaking with weird accents or strange voices. It’s an awkward tendency, and when I saw it, I couldn’t help but think of that time we heard Chandler’s work laugh. Ethan is actually the lovable, sarcastic, and awkward Chandler Bing of the friend group.