The year is 1994. Bill Clinton is president, Animaniacs is the nation’s most popular cartoon, and OJ Simpson has just fled from police in that notorious white Bronco. On September 22, a new sitcom debuts on NBC cataloguing the misadventures of a group of wacky 20-something New Yorkers. Ten seasons and a quarter-decade later, ‘Friends’ still occupies a significant slice of the American pop culture psyche. In honor of its 25th anniversary, writer Lauren Bans imagines a modern-day ‘Friends’ script.
INT. RACHEL AND MONICA’S APARTMENT – DAY
The sun has heated the Earth to a soon-to-be unlivable temperature. Monica scrubs the floor furiously while the rest of the gang sits around the table fanning themselves with newspaper pages.
Monica, stop! There’s no point. You’re literally going to scrub yourself to death.
We’re all dying. But I’d at least like to be remembered as a clean person with an immaculately kept pre-war apartment. Those are original moldings, you know.
Yeah, I’m sure the aliens that eventually discover the remains of the human race will appreciate little touches like that.
Wait, I have an idea!
For the last time, no we cannot launch you into space with a rocket pack so you can “reason” with the sun.
Yeah, if that’s the plan we should send, like, a super qualified negotiater, no offense.
Just hear me out: this one’s actually good.
Good as in like good? Or good as in like the last time you called an idea good and then pitched bras for female dogs?
How else are you supposed to know which dogs are girl dogs?!
Why exactly do you need to know so badly?
Well I wanna hear the idea, Joey. And for the record, if the world wasn’t ending I’d totally invest in dog bras. No one needs to see those weird tiny nipples.
Okay, so here it goes: Instead of me talking to the sun, we fire a nuke at it. Take out the bastard. Eh?
It’s so comforting to know we have the greatest minds of our generation on this.
Or… Plan B. We just take off our clothes?
The group thinks on this for a beat, then everyone starts undressing.
Yes! Tribbiani’s on the board!
(re: everyone in their underwear)
I feel like I could give a speech no problem now!
Go ahead. I love a toast!
No, I don’t have anything to say. Chandler, you say something.
Oh I don’t know… could there be any more global warming?
Technically yes, though we won’t be around to experience it. See, once the planet reaches 1.5 degrees Celsius we’re past the point of no return, and as of yesterday the global temperature was 2.1 degrees Celsius—
Just then ALL THE LIGHTS GO OFF. Everyone SHRIEKS.
This is it. I love each and everyone of you.
False alarm. The lights flicker back on to reveal JOEY AND CHANDLER in a passionate embrace. They both open their eyes and see who they’re holding.