If you’re an aspiring producer, then you need to keep Friends as the ultimate benchmark for success — the show has an even more enormous fan following 25 years later than it had in 1994.
With the internet now coming into play with the fan base, there are hundreds of fan theories centered around the show. These tend to get crazier than you’d think, with some veering into morbid territory. However, it’s the fact that these fan theories all sound plausible that makes the idea of them being canon all that possible. With that in mind, here are 10 insane Friends fan theories, including the craziest one of Mr. Heckles being possibly murdered!
10 Phoebe Wasn't Ever A "Friend"
This theory is both downright morbid and darkly hilarious that Friends fans probably won’t take too kindly. In it, the idea is that Phoebe was an intoxicated woman who didn’t actually have any friends and was leering in on the rest of the characters, where she imagined the whole series.
It would turn out in the final episode that Phoebe craved having friends of her own, so she thought of herself as being part of the group. Ursula was just her reflection in the mirror, and the iconic fountain was just an area where she slept...since she was homeless.
9 Mr Heckles Was Killed
While the group thought Mr Heckles was an annoyance, the fan base loved his infrequent appearances where he admonished the gang for making noise. His final appearance was rather dark due to his death, but this theory makes it downright eerie.
According to this person on Reddit, Mr Heckles did have company with him when he claimed he had a dinner party, and his apartment was empty only because whoever was there killed him and took off. It’s argued that the banging made by Mr Heckles wasn’t even the man himself, but the altercation between him and his killer escalating to the point that it could be heard upstairs.
8 Richard Swooping In On Monica
Maybe Richard wasn’t the nice guy we always thought him to be. In his last appearance, he showed up to propose to Monica, when he realized she was the love of his life — this was done after Chandler’s botched proposal attempt.
This theory suggests Richard’s realization over Monica didn’t happen on the spur of the moment, but because he felt the ring on Chandler’s person when the latter hugged him in the restaurant. It was at this point Richard realized he would never have a shot with Monica, so he went ahead to sabotage Chandler’s chances by swooping in. If that indeed was his plan, it sure as heck almost worked.
7 Joey's Elaborate Pancake Plan
Joey always showed his smarter side when one would least expect it, and this fan theory goes further by inferring that Joey was actually a diabolical genius. In a Season 7 episode, Joey mentioned to Rachel how Chandler would make pancakes for him, an act Rachel declined to do herself.
However, once Joey seemingly has his heartbroken due to Rachel trying to play matchmaker for him, the latter offers to make pancakes as a sign of apology. Joey yelled “Finally!” when the moment arrived, suggesting that he was glad his elaborate plan of hiring a girl Rachel would want him to settle down with (only for her to dump him) worked, and now he had access to free pancakes again.
6 Ross And Rachel's Curse
There’s a superstition where the belief is that bad luck befalls someone if their umbrella opens indoors; this happened to Ross when he greeted Rachel in the pilot episode. According to this theory, all of Ross and Rachel’s relationship problems happened because of this.
The umbrella opened in September 1994, while Rachel revealed her pregnancy in September 2001 — a full seven years later. It would appear the timer on Ross’s bad luck finally ran out, and he had the happiness of a daughter because the curse was lifted off of him and Rachel.
5 Monica's Conditioning
Yikes! This one just makes us feel sorry for Monica, and hopefully this was never the canonical idea. Basically, the theory is that Monica’s cleanliness was the side effect of a mental conditioning she went through when she was at fat camp.
Once her weight was reduced, Monica developed a sort of disorder where she became obsessed with cleaning as part of her mind attempting to substitute the need to eat with the need to be tidy. Weight is added to the argument by pointing out that the alternate reality episode (where Monica was still overweight) didn’t show her with her obsessive cleaning problem.
4 Central Perk Was Reserved For Rachel
Remember how madly in love Gunther was with Rachel? Well, this fan theory seemingly sheds some valuable light over it by positing that Gunther deliberately reserved the friends’ favored spot for them.
His reasoning to do so was because this would motivate Rachel to keep coming to Central Perk, since otherwise she would just head over somewhere else had she been unable to find a place to sit. Considering Gunther’s intense love for her, this is one theory that isn’t out of the realm of possibility at all; perhaps all of the friends’ good times at Central Perk were because of Rachel being the object of Gunther’s affection.
3 Friends Meets Parks And Recreation
One never associates Parks and Recreation with Friends, seeing as the shows are so different and were released at different time periods; however, this fan theory brings both shows together.
Rachel was mentioned to have had a one-time liaison with Ben Wyatt, which was the name of one of the characters from Parks and Recreation, and the theory adds up due to their similar ages (Rachel was only three years older than him). If this holds up, it would mean both shows are in the same universe, and Ben would be the reason why Rachel doesn’t hook up with guys on the first date anymore.
2 Monica Was Unfaithful
Richard did get mentioned by Monica quite a lot despite her being in a relationship with Chandler. According to this fan theory, it was because Monica felt inwardly guilty of cheating on Chandler with Richard early in their relationship, which is why he kept being mentioned.
This would bring context to why Monica encouraged Chandler to flirt with other women, as she wanted to be relieved of the guilt she felt for not being faithful to him. In Season 8, she sent a woman over to Chandler’s for his bachelor party, even though Chandler had said he didn’t want that kind of a party.
1 It Was All An Imaginary Future
We’d all love to have the kind of dynamic the friends had in the show, but it seems too good to be true. According to this fan theory, it really was a fantastical possibility, as the series was imagined by the characters, who were actually in high school.
This would mean that all their adventures in the city were just the imaginations of six teenagers who didn’t know how to cope with the reality of growing up, and so they manufactured a future in their minds how they found a loyal friend group to make things easier for themselves. In some ways, this sounds like a pretty neat coming-of-age story in itself.