The One Where There Was Too Much Friends-Themed Merchandise

The One Where There Was Too Much Friends-Themed Merchandise
Screenshot: (Warner Bros.)

Look, I’ll admit it—I like Friends. It’s corny, dated, and deeply problematic in many ways, and yet it’s the kind of television show I tend to watch when I’m anxious or stressed and want to feel pacified by the laugh track and lack of conflict. Friends is a stupid show but sometimes a soothing one, and I understand the nostalgia now that its 25th anniversary has rolled around. But I must implore you, brands: stop with the fucking merchandise.

Buzzfeed reports that Ralph Lauren is launching a collection inspired by Rachel Green, who so famously made her way from bad coffee shop server to good fashion buyer over the course of 10 seasons. The collection seems to consist of expensive turtlenecks and sensible pants and blazers, along with a $3,000 haircalf coat I don’t remember Rachel wearing, but maybe I wasn’t paying attention.

I’m sure there are some people who can’t wait to drop hundreds of dollars to dress like a TV character from the 1990s. I am sure there are also people who were thrilled to hear that Pottery Barn was launching its own Friends-themed furniture line. I wish those people well.

And yet, I yearn for the end of this Friends nostalgia fever. My pleas will certainly fall on deaf ears, but it is wild to me that a show that celebrated a very specific of-its-time bland white yuppie culture—a culture that should have died out in the Great Recession, or when the Occupy Movement took hold in 2011, or at the very least, whenever we started to have Real Conversations about wealth disparity in this fucking country—is now, 25 years later, still prompting people to try to model their lives, closets, and living rooms after it.

Not to mention the fact that that $295 grey wool-blend blazer is ugly as fuck. Brands, do better.

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