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Character Profile of the Month - January 2002

BUFFAY, Phoebe
5 Morton Street
Apartment #14
New York City, NY (Greenwich Village)

Photo © Copyright National 
                                Broadcasting Company
Lisa Kudrow as Phoebe Buffay on NBC series FRIENDS

Phoebe "Pheebs" is a former teenage runaway turned New Age space cadet and masseuse for Healing Hand, Inc. When Phoebe was 14 years old, her step-mother committed suicide. At the time, Phoebe thought her step-mother was her real mother but later found out that her birth mother was still alive and living in Montauk. Her father Frank Buffay deserted the family before Phoebe was born. After her step-mother's suicide, Phoebe moved to New York City where she lived with an Albino guy who washed car windows outside the Port Authority. When he killed himself, she lived in a box, using the Chelsea Reporter to keep her warm. At 18 she was living in a car with a guy who talked to his hand. Phoebe is borderline psychic (but her memory sucks) and she likes to cleanse people’s auras’. Despite all the adversity in her life, Phoebe still displays a pleasant upbeat personality. But don't let her sweet, ditzy air-head persona fool you. When confronted,  Phoebe can quickly retrieve her street-smart darker side to resolve a problem.

Born February 16th, Phoebe used to live with Monica Geller at Apartment #20 but moved 20 blocks to her grandmother's old apartment on Morton Street because Monica was a neat freak. Rachel Green replaced Phoebe as Monica’s roommate and later moved in with Phoebe for a time after Monica’s boyfriend Chandler Bing displaced her. Once after Phoebe got fired for getting to affectionate with a client, she freelanced and proposed a business called Relax-a-Taxi where her customers got a massage during their taxi ride.

Phoebe’s favorite hangout is the Central Perk, a local coffee bar where she plays guitar and sings very unique lyrics like "Smelly cat, Smelly cat, What are they feeding you?" [it became a hit record]. Terry, the Perks’ owner once critiqued Phoebe’s singing by saying "It’s not that your friend sings’s that she sings so bad that she makes me want to gouge my ears out and reach in and swirl my fingers inside my brain." 

Phoebe’s twin sister Ursula [middle name: Pamela] works at a nearby cafe called Riff’s Bar [frequented by Paul and Jamie Buchman from Mad About You]. Phoebe is a vegetarian ["no food with a face"]; Ursula eats meat. Phoebe later learned she had a half-brother named Frank and agreed to be a surrogate mother for him and his new wife, Alice. Phoebe gave birth to triplets [Frank Jr. Jr., Leslie, and Chandler] and had to give all the kids to his brother despite her request for "just one." The babies were born while a TV set in the delivery room broadcast a Happy Days episode entitled "Fonzie Plays the Bongos." During her pregnancy, Phoebe’s intense craving for meat forced her to discontinue her vegetarian diet until the kids were born. 

Phoebe once married a gay Canadian figure skater named Duncan so he could get his green card. She really loved him and later got really pissed when he announced he wasn’t gay and wanted a divorce to marry another woman. Phoebe also dated Vince, a fireman; Jason a kindergarten teacher; David, a scientist guy who moved to Minsk, Russia; and a seemingly nice policeman who one day shot a songbird through the bedroom window to shut it up.

The three things that you should know about Phoebe: Her friends are the most important thing; she never lies; and she makes the best oatmeal-raisin cookies in the world. Phoebe used to believe her grandmother’s secret recipe for chocolate-chip cookies was tremendous and she wanted to give the recipe to her friend Monica Geller as a wedding gift. Unfortunately, the recipe burned in an apartment fire. To recreate the ingredients, Phoebe and Monica experimented with various taste combinations only to discover that Granny’s recipe turned out to be the same as Nestle’s Tollhouse cookies. As a keepsake, Phoebe keeps her grandmother’s ashes in a wooden box under the front seat of her car (a taxi). Phoebe divined her death date to be October 15, 2032.

Some Classic Phoebe Quotes

Phoebe: I got a call at like 2 in the morning, and all I could hear was like this high squeaky sound, so I figure oh, OK, so it's like a mouse or a possum. But then I realized, where would a mouse or a possum get the money to make the phone call? 

Phoebe: I didn't watch the ending, I was too depressed. It just kept getting worse and worse. It should have been called "It's a Sucky Life and Just When You Think it Can't Suck Any More - It Does"!

Phoebe: You know, it's worse when you're twins.
Rachel: You're a twin?
Phoebe: Oh yeah. We don't speak. She's this real high-powered, driven career-type.
Chandler: What does she do?
Pheobe: She's a waitress.

Rachel: So Pheebs, what do you want for your birthday?
Phoebe: Well, what I really want is for my mom to be alive and enjoy it with me.
Rachel: Okaaay. Let me put it this way: Anything from Crabtree and Evelyn?
Phoebe: Ooh! Bath salts would be nice!

Okay, okay, if I were omnipotent for a day I would want, um, world peace, no more hunger, good things for the rainforest. And bigger boobs!

      Photo © Copyright National Broadcasting 
Phoebe and her friends (left to right) Ross Geller, Joey Tribianni, Monica Geller, Chandler Bing and Rachel Green

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