If you’re still scratching your head over the fact that Phoebe Buffay (Lisa Kudrow) ended up with Mike Hannigan (Paul Rudd) instead of David (Hank Azaria) on Friends, you’re not alone. According to co-creator David Crane, things almost went the other way in Phoebe’s love life, and she could have been Mrs. Science Guy instead of Princess Consuela Bananahammock before all was said and done.
Speaking to Radio Times about the final stretch of Friends, Crane revealed that the writers were absolutely noodling on the possibility that Phoebe would choose David to be her lobster at the end of the series instead of Mike. “There was definitely a possibility of that. I mean, we didn’t definitively know,” Crane explained. “They’re both amazing actors. I mean, both Paul and Hank are fantastic, and fantastic with her. We sort of went back and forth. I don’t even remember all the pieces that led to where we landed, but yeah, it could have gone the other way. Phoebe would have been great with either one.”
For some fans [raising hand enthusiastically over here], Phoebe and David made a lot more sense than Phoebe and Mike did. Sure, Mike was adorable, and many snaps are owed to him for sticking up for her in a square-off with his stuffy parents and their “sinfully boring” friends, but David adored and accepted Phoebe for exactly who she was right from the start. David would never have made Phoebe give up her rat babies, for one thing, and there probably wouldn’t have been such a severe drop-off in Phoebe’s guitar gigs if she had ended up with him instead of with another musician. (That’s right: After she and Mike got back together in Barbados, Phoebe stopped playing at Central Perk — THINK ABOUT THAT.)
Of course, David did have his chance to go the distance with Phoebe and chose to move to Minsk for his research grant instead, so we’ll just have to dream up another one of those Friends sideways world episodes where Phoebe and David were endgame instead.
Friends is currently streaming on Netflix but will move to HBO Max in 2020.
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