The one where “Friends” leaves Netflix


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After 5 years, the classic is being removed from Netflix.

Kelsi Seltenreich, Memorial Staff Writer

Years of laughs, memories and fun made up the popular series “Friends.” So imagine the outcry when this classic was removed from Netflix. The 236 episodes about the lives of the characters Rachel, Ross, Monica, Chandler, Phoebe and Joey can only be found in Blu-ray box sets.

The show was added to the popular streaming platform in 2015 upon spending $100 million for the rights to stream the series.

Last July, WarnerMedia paid over $400 million for the rights of the show in 2020, outbidding Netflix. This left many fans streaming the series on Netflix until the last possible second.

“On New Years Eve I watched it until 2:00 AM which is midnight Pacific time,” English teacher Melissa Hernandez said. “It was 2:05 and when it normally goes to a new episode, it went to a whole new show.”

With “Friends” no longer on Netflix, the only current way to watch it is live on cable television or through the DVD series (which costs around $200). Starting in May, it will be accessible on HBO’s new streaming service, HBO Max.

However, not all “Friends” fans will be able to pay for another streaming service, and the ones that can pay must wait until May to stream it again. Even though not all of them can watch it anymore, “Friends” has influenced the lives of its viewers, especially freshman Adele Drummond.

“I’m definitely a lot more sarcastic and I am prone to start singing ‘Smelly Cat’,” Drummond said.

‘Smelly Cat’ is a music video that character Phoebe made, and even though it is only mentioned for a short time, it’s a funny memory of the show that many viewed for the first time in the server.

“When “Friends” was on Netflix, I watched it every other week for two to three years,” seventh grader, Cate Nichols said.

This removal will take a toll on Netflix. “Friends” was the second-most streamed series on the platform, just behind the popular series “The Office,” which will be removed from Netflix in 2021.

Part of the impact that the series has had on its fans happened through Netflix, a server that made it fast to find and watch any specific episode. This series is especially nostalgic to Drummond.

“It reminds me of all my friends that I miss at home,” Drummond said.

When she first began watching the series it was at a sleepover with her best friend. She recently moved, and now can’t see her old friends very often. “Friends” is not just a series, but a time capsule filled with memories that can be undug whenever they’re most needed. “Friends” also holds memories for Hernandez.

“It brings back memories of watching it with my friends,” Hernandez said.

When Hernandez was in college, she always watched the series with her friends. Now that she is an adult English teacher when she watches the show it reminds her of the good times, and it’s a way for her to stay in touch with old friends.

Now new generations are experiencing it and making new memories together. The fans young and old were so set on keeping the series on Netflix that there were multiple Instagram posts fighting for it.

The removal of this series was a shock, leaving “Friends” fans all over disappointed and deciding what to do next.

Contact Kelsi Seltenreich at [email protected]