Okay, NBC, we get it: the much-rumored Friends Reunion season is never going to happen. Thanks a lot for crushing our dreams. It’s not like I’m super depressed now or anything.
But -– and indulge me here -– what if it were to happen? What would that even look like? Would it be an amazing return to the screen for everyone’s favorite posse? Or would seeing the Gang round out their 50th birthdays just be too weird?
Either way, I’ve come up with a few hypothetical episodes of “Friends” Season 11. Maybe Marta Kauffman will see them and realize how much potential this reunion season could have. Or, you know, not.
The One With the New Babysitter
Monica and Chandler hire a new babysitter (Jennifer Lawrence) so they can have more free time to spend in the city with the gang. But she proves so popular with the rest of the friends that they end up spending all of their time at the Bings’. (Monica: “We hired her so we could get OUT of the house!” Joey: “Why? She’s so hot!”)
The One With the Online Dating
Joey lies about his age to make an account on CougarLife.com in the hopes of snagging a sugar mama. When he meets his first cougar in person, it turns out to be Janice. (“OHHHH MYYY GAWWWWD!!!”)
The One With “The Talk”
Ross takes Emma, now 13, on a father-daughter weekend for some quality time. But when Emma gets her first period, Ross must attempt a painful and lengthy explanation of female puberty, which culminates in the writing and performance of an elaborate rap about hormones set to the tune of Gangnam Style. (“Heyyyyy! Brand new lady!”)
The One With the Live Studio Audience
Monica is offered her own cooking show on the Food Network! She is so nervous before the taping of the pilot episode that Chandler gives her an Ambien, which results in her babbling incoherently the whole time and ultimately setting the audience on fire. (“This has been Mixing it Up –hic!–With Monica Bing!”)
The One With the Re-Tweets
Chandler writes a sarcastic tweet about gun control that is un-ironically retweeted by Bill O’Reilly; now he has 50,000 hardcore republican followers who “just don’t understand [his] tone!”
The One With the Farmer’s Market
Phoebe decides to go gluten-free until Mike assures her that gluten is not, in fact, an animal.
The One With the Maxi Dresses
Rachel finally launches her first fashion line, but doesn’t realize that her clothes are being marketed as maternity wear. (“But these dresses weren’t designed for pregnant women!” wails Rachel. “Of course not,” says the sales rep (Maya Rudolph), “they look great on plus-size women too!”)
The One Where Ross is a Cheater
Ross is disappointed in Ben’s low SAT scores. When Ben challenges that Ross couldn’t do any better, Ross decides to take the test himself. Stumped by the difficulty of the test, Ross tries to cheat, but he is caught and kicked out by the frumpy proctor (Melissa McCarthy.) Too proud to admit his failure to Ben, Ross maintains that the SATs were easy to ace, until Ben goes in to take them a second time and sees Ross’s picture prominently displayed on the test proctor’s wall of “CHEATERS.”
The One Where Monica Is Very Productive
Monica gets addicted to Adderall.
The One With the Book Club
Rachel, Phoebe, and Monica are all obsessed with reading “50 Shades of Gray.” The guys mock them, but when Chandler steals Monica’s copy and starts reading it out loud to Ross and Joey, the men are all sucked in. Chandler, Ross, and Joey start meeting in secret to continue reading it together, until they are found out, much to the girls’ delight. (Rachel: “Well, well, well. What do we have here?” Joey: “It’s a New York Times bestseller!”) (Monica: “Is that…Chapter Six?” Chandler: “I’ll meet you in the bedroom in 15 minutes?” Monica: “Make it 10.”)
The One With Parent’s Night
Monica and Chandler are shocked in parent-teacher conferences when they learn that twins Jack and Erica (now 9) have become the leaders of a second-grade bullying ring. Monica blames Chandler’s negative attitude rubbing off on the kids, while Chandler blames Monica’s disciplinary methods for teaching them how to manipulate others. After an episode of bickering, they finally learn that Phoebe has been deliberately instructing the twins on gang-fighting, “in case they ever find themselves backed into a corner without a shank.” (“WHAT corner?” yells Chandler, “In WHAT corner are my children ever going to need a shank?!” Phoebe: “That’s the kind of attitude that’s gonna get you shanked.”)
The One with the Amaro Filter
Joey starts dating a younger woman (Miley Cyrus) who is obsessed with taking iPhone selfies with him. (“I just don’t look good from that angle! I need natural light!” laments Joey.)
The One At Coachella
In a moment of mid-life crisis, Rachel insists the gang spend her 45th birthday at Coachella. Hijinks ensue. (Chandler: “There should be a sign that says ‘You must be THIS high to enter.’” Phoebe: “You mean you’re not?”)
Of course, we’ll never get to see any of this come to life. Ah, well. Thank goodness we still have Go On, Cougar Town, and Episodes to fill our Friends-fueled excellent-comedy quota (And if you’re not watching all of those, you’re missing out on some of the best writing on TV). And Jennifer Aniston in like, every movie ever. And Lisa Kudrow and David Schwimmer doing…whatever it is they’re doing. Theatre or something. Whatever. So we’ll move on. Just like we’ve been moving on for the past eleven years (sadly, with a lot of re-runs and emotion-eating.)
RIP, Friends. We’ll never stop wishing for more.