Eight life lessons we learned from 'Friends'

It's been 20 (yes 20) years since Ross, Rachel and the gang first set foot in Central Perk.

The show, which first aired in the US on 22 September 1994, became a hit all over the world and has rarely left our screens since (Comedy Channel back-to-back re-runs anyone?).

A particularly grateful demographic were Christian youth workers looking for culturally-relevant talk illustrations.

For nostalgia's sake, and to show our gratitude, we plunge once more into a world where there was no Christian life lesson which couldn't be demonstrated using a Friends clip. Here are our eight favourites:

1. Always be yourself

Most of us are guilty of putting on an act depending on who we're talking to at church. Found yourself talking to the semi-famous guest speaker? "Let me tell you about the Christian book I'm reading and the top 15 things it's taught me about Calvinism". Or someone's bought a non-Christian friend to church – "Yeah, I've got a past. This one time I had two beers..."

Joey taught us it's always important to be true to who we are:

2. Mean what you say

Ever accidentally found yourself praising the backing vocalist who can't really sing and then ended up having to work out how to stop them from performing at your wedding? Monica has:

3. Thou shalt not steal

This one's fairly black and white in the Bible, though it's amazing how few team t-shirts are handed back at the end of any church event, despite the cringe-y tagline emblazoned across the back. Ross and Chandler reckon it's okay to take some things but not others, see what you think:

4. Beware the dodgy dishes at bring & share events

Churches love bring and shares, don't they? And it's all well and good until Maureen presents her homemade quiche. Again. Don't go there; it's just not worth it. Anyway, there are always a few Joey-like teenage boys to hoover up the more questionable dishes at the end:

5. Don't drink too much at the Christmas party

One too many glasses of Tesco's-own prosecco and we're regaling the time we had a crush on the worship leader. This will not be as funny tomorrow. Put the glass down and snaffle some sausage rolls to sober up, or you could find yourself in a tricky situation come the morning:

6. Don't wear leather pants

You've finally got a date with the new girl in church – score! But if you're looking to impress, keep the leather firmly on your feet. This is not the time for experimentation; chinos are safe. Leather is not:

7. Always be ready to perform...

Christians love an impromptu sing-along (campfire optional, but preferred), and what's a song without a dance? Wallflowers need not apply:

8. ...But choose your moves wisely

You might think now is the time to demonstrate those moves you learnt at your latest pole dancing class. Others may not agree – take it from someone who's learnt the hard way; it's good know your audience:


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