Remember When Friends Left a Message for 2020?

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With 62 Emmy nominations and 10 seasons on air, it’s safe to say that Friends has cemented its place in American television history. Decades since the show’s 1994 premiere, stills of ’90s Jennifer Aniston as Rachel Greene remain plastered on Pinterest inspo boards, and social media still remembers the national emergency that ensued following the show’s disappearance from Netflix in early 2020. More recently, fans got a dose of nostalgia seeing Aniston and co-stars Courtney Cox and Lisa Kudrow hanging out together for this year’s Emmys (“We’ve been roommates since 1994,” Aniston joked). Even 25 years after its debut, we can’t get enough of Friends.

After all, the show checks all the boxes of a classic American sitcom: a dysfunctional co-ed friend group somehow living in spacious New York City apartments on paleontologist, masseuse, and struggling actor salaries. Oh, and inter-friend group relationship drama.

As we celebrate Friends‘ birthday in a time where celebrations feel few and far between, one particular episode stands out: “The One with the Cake.” In Season 10, Episode 4, which aired in 2003, Ross and Rachel throw a celebration for their daughter Emma’s first birthday. As a future gift for Emma’s 18th, the couple begins working on a video compilation—or a time capsule, as Phoebe (Lisa Kudrow) enthusiastically calls it—of birthday messages from friends and family.

“It’s the year 2020. Are you still enjoying your nap?” Chandler asks. Oh, to be a blissfully napping baby in a year like 2020.

Noelle Sheldon, who shared the role of Emma Geller-Greene with her twin sister, poked fun at Chandler’s message in a January 1 Instagram post.

With a serenade from Phoebe, a discussion of death from Ross’ parents, and a creepily flirtatious salutation from Joey, 18-year-old Emma has a lot to unpack in 2020. Hopefully, though, the show’s loyal fanbase will guide her through the experience of waking up from a nap to the strangest year of all time.

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