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Interesting Things to Know About Phoebe Buffay

  • Phoebe Buffay has always been the quirkiest member of the “Friends” group.
  • Phoebe was the only person in the group to get arrested and even mugged Ross when they first met.
  • Actress Lisa Kudrow was actually pregnant during Phoebe’s scripted pregnancy.

Phoebe Buffay has always been known as the quirkiest member of the group on NBC’s  “Friends.”

Even long-time “Friends” fans may not know some of the most intriguing facts about Phoebe, played by Lisa Kudrow.

Phoebe once paused her vegetarian diet

phoebe on the first episode of friends

Lisa Kudrow as Phoebe Buffay on “Friends.”


Phoebe is a vegetarian who almost never eats meat, but she makes an exception when she’s pregnant with triplets.

Phoebe gives in to her cravings after Joey says that he’ll stop eating meat while she’s pregnant.

Her biological mother isn’t actually dead

Phoebe’s mother, Lily, died by suicide when Phoebe was 14.

But, at the end of season three, Phoebe discovers that Lily wasn’t her biological mother.

Her biological mother is also named Phoebe and is occasionally mentioned throughout the rest of the series, though she only appears in three episodes.

Her father is only in one episode

Phoebe with her dad

Lisa Kudrow as Phoebe Buffay and Bob Balaban as Frank Buffay.


Throughout the show, Phoebe repeatedly says that her father abandoned her.

Though Phoebe originally tries to reconnect with her father but ends up meeting her brother instead, she unexpectedly runs into her father at her grandmother’s funeral in the fifth season.

Since Phoebe already had an entire arc about wanting her dad in her life, it seemed that her father might have had a bigger part in the franchise, but he is never shown again after the funeral episode.

Phoebe’s stepfather is never shown

Lily remarried after Phoebe’s father left them.

Phoebe’s stepfather’s name is never given, though it’s mentioned that he is in prison at the start of the series.

Phoebe never contacts him, so it isn’t explained if he’s still in jail, has been released, or has died.

Phoebe has two different birthdays

Phoebe on the phone

Lisa Kudrow as Phoebe Buffay.


During season three, Phoebe tells her brother, Frank Jr., that her birthday is February 16. This date apparently changes in a later season.

During season nine’s “The One With Phoebe’s Birthday Dinner,” Phoebe celebrates with an early birthday dinner.

The episode aired on Halloween, which would suggest that her birthday is in November and not February.

She’s likely an Aquarius

If Phoebe was born on February 16, then she’s an Aquarius.

Her personality matches the traits of this sign, as Phoebe is a free-thinker who can be a bit overly emotional at times.

She stole money from her twin sister, Ursula

Phoebe has a strained relationship with her twin sister, Ursula, throughout the series.

On “The One Where Chandler Can’t Cry,” Phoebe learns that Ursula is working as a porn star using Phoebe’s name.

Phoebe then steals checks made out to Ursula, which is never mentioned again.

Phoebe was possibly the first friend to get married

Phoebe (Lisa Kudrow) and Mike (Paul Rudd)

Paul Rudd and Lisa Kudrow on the set of “Friends.”

NBCUniversal/Getty Images

On the season-two episode “The One With Phoebe’s Husband,” Phoebe reveals that she married a Canadian ice dancer she was friends with so he could get a green card.

They were married years before the show’s timeline, though Phoebe doesn’t say exactly when.

Given that Ross and Susan were only married for three years and divorced in season one, it’s likely that Phoebe’s wedding would have occurred sooner.

In this timeline, Phoebe would have been the first in the friend group to get married. She later marries who some beleive to be her third husband, Mike, during season 10.

At one point in the series, before she wed Mike, Phoebe may have alluded to once getting married in Vegas

She is the only friend who has been arrested

Phoebe often mentions that she used to live on the streets. The period of time that she spent experiencing homelessness is almost only brought up when Phoebe jokes about it.

She says that she stabbed a police officer and went to jail. A police officer she dates during season five also confirms that she has a criminal record.

Kudrow was actually pregnant during the season when Phoebe was

Kudrow was pregnant while filming the fourth season.

The “Friends” writers wrote Kudrow’s pregnancy into the story, in which Phoebe is a surrogate mother for her younger brother and his wife.

When she was younger, Phoebe mugged Ross

After Ross and Phoebe are mugged in season nine, Ross says the same thing happened to him as a teenager.

Phoebe realizes that she was the one who had mugged him, and mentions that she held onto the comic she stole from him.

Ross was the first of the friends that Phoebe met

Phoebe and Ross sit on the couch

Lisa Kudrow as Phoebe Buffay and David Schwimmer as Ross Geller.

NBCUniversal/Getty Images

Monica, Ross, and Rachel met in high school, Ross and Chandler started their friendship in college, and Joey and Phoebe became a part of the group when looking for roommates.

However, Phoebe mugged Ross 18 years before season nine, so she actually met Ross before meeting any of the other friends.

She’s fluent in French

During season 10, Joey needs to learn French for an audition in “The One Where Joey Speaks French.”

Phoebe teaches him French, saying that she became fluent when studying with a group of people while she lived on the streets.

Phoebe briefly has a roommate that is never shown on-screen

Phoebe says she lives with her roommate, Denise, when Rachel needs to find a new apartment in “The One With Ross’s Denial.”

Rachel does eventually move in with Phoebe, who made Denise move out, but Denise is never shown or heard on-screen.

Because the audience never sees Denise, some fan theories suggest that she may have never existed and that Phoebe lied to deter Rachel from moving in at first.

She’s the only left-handed member of the friend group

Phoebe holds a guitar

Lisa Kudrow as Phoebe Buffay.

Getty Images North America

Phoebe can be seen writing with her left hand in multiple episodes, though she plays the guitar right-handed.

This is because Kudrow is left-handed.

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