Premiering in September 1994 and continuously topping the list of distinguished sitcoms, Friends is an entertainment staple, creating a legacy that no other sitcom has yet rivalled. It remains a dependable facet of modern television guides, routinely airing back-to-back seasons and regular weekend specials promoting certain highlights of the series' history.
It was almost too big a show to fail - and fail it did not.
Now a calling for niche trivia prominent throughout quiz nights, Friends was crammed with lore that, lamentably, interchanged as Friends' writing team saw fit. These omissions to the normality can be written off as errors in the writing process, as it's unlikely the David Crane and Marta Kauffman-created sitcom set out to make viewers ponder Ross' (David Schwimmer) repulsion towards ice cream or Rachel's (Jennifer Aniston) need to wear glasses.
Such plot points - if they even qualify as such - weren't a necessity for the Friends umbrella of facts. They weren't commonplace in each episode, instead coming up once or twice and leaving the Friends gathering examining each episode for similar tidbits of story lapses.
Instead, viewers should be more preoccupied with studying why a titanic amount of Friends characters abruptly departed the series...
10. Several Key Characters Vanished
The index of Friends characters is eternal. Outside of the hexagonal ensemble, secondary characters include Phoebe's (Lisa Kudrow) eventual husband Mike (Paul Rudd), Monica (Courteney Cox) and Ross' parents Jack (Elliott Gould) and Judy (Christina Pickles), Chandler's (Matthew Perry) sometimes-lover Janice (Maggie Wheeler), and the late Central Perk barista Gunther (James Michael Tyler).
But what about the flock who swiftly left the series without so much as a whimper?
Ross and Carol's (Jane Sibbett) son Ben (Cole Sprouse) made a fleet of appearances throughout the show's first eight seasons before vanishing. He's also peculiarly absent from Ross and Emily's fourth-season wedding, despite being cited as the reason Ross couldn't move to England to be with his second wife.
Phoebe's parents also disappear after seasons worth of impassioned buildup, failing to appear at her and Mike's tenth-season wedding, though this could be put down to the snowstorm that swept across New York.
Joey's (Matt LeBlanc) troop of sisters were infrequently spotted together, but the most notable was Dina (Drea de Matteo); she reappeared in season eight, now pregnant. Joey assured Dina that he'd look after both her and his unborn niece before they both vanish from the series, the status of her pregnancy never again voiced.
It's a strenuous undertaking trying to create end points for everyone, but given the noteworthy nature of these characters, a bit more effort could've been put into their departure from Friends.