Phoebe Buffay-Hannigan is a fictional character on the U.S. television sitcom Friends (1994–2004), portrayed by Lisa Kudrow. Kudrow received an Emmy Award and a Golden Globe nomination for her performance.
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Phoebe Buffay is a fictional character from the NBC sitcom Friends, portrayed by Lisa Kudrow. Kudrow received an Emmy Award, Screen Actor Guild's Award and a Golden Globe nomination for her performance. Her twin sister, Ursula Buffay, who first appeared on Mad About You, eventually becomes Governor of New York.
Phoebe Buffay is the younger twin daughter born to Phoebe Abbott (Teri Garr) and Frank Buffay, roughly in 1970; her twin sister, Ursula (also portrayed by Lisa Kudrow), was born one minute earlier. Frank was married to Abbott's best friend, Lily, at the time; Lily adopted Phoebe and Ursula. Phoebe does not talk much about her early years except to note that she was from upstate New York, her father abandoned the family when she was very young, Lily remarried to an unnamed man. Lily committed suicide when Phoebe and Ursula were fourteen, by sticking her head in an oven; afterward their stepfather went to prison. She occasionally mentions Lily's strange behavior and methods of raising her children. By age fifteen, Phoebe was living on the streets. Many references to Phoebe's colorful past on the streets are made throughout the series. Phoebe lived in many locations such as in an abandoned Buick LeSabre automobile, in an AMC Gremlin with "a guy named Cindy who talked to his hand," and with an albino man who washed windows outside the Port Authority Bus Terminal. She did not attend high school or college, but claimed that she met behind a dumpster with a small group to learn French, in which she is fluent. Phoebe occasionally resorted to mugging to survive; at one point, when she was fourteen, she mugged her later good friend Ross Geller (David Schwimmer) near a comic shop, stealing the only copy of Ross's comic Science Boy, of which she claims "taught me well". Phoebe also mentioned that she once lived in Prague, Czech Republic but refuses to discuss it further. She also claims that she contracted hepatitis when a pimp spat in her mouth; was stabbed by a police officer, whom she stabbed in return; learned to box at a YMCA; has been tortured; and at one point made sombreros (and got called "bad little white girl" by her employer for not making them big enough).
She moved in with Monica Geller (Courteney Cox) when she answered a roommate ad, which began their friendship. While living with Monica, she married a man named Duncan Sullivan (Steve Zahn), a gay Canadian ice dancer, in order to help him obtain a green card. He later revealed that he is straight, and was just pretending to be gay "to fit in", resulting in a divorce during the second season, although Phoebe had genuine feelings for him. She moved out when she could no longer handle Monica's controlling tendencies, choosing to live with her grandmother in her apartment, at 5 Morton Street. After her grandmother's death in the fifth season, Phoebe inherited the apartment and her yellow taxicab.
Having not experienced a normal childhood, Phoebe is childlike, innocent, and considered the "weird one" of the group. Paradoxically, she is also known in the group for having the best street smarts. Although usually friendly, Phoebe, when sufficiently exasperated, reverts to a harsher "Street Phoebe" persona, noting that "Street Phoebe" would never have befriended the other characters. In later seasons, Phoebe can often be seen ridiculing the other friends (especially Monica and Chandler), and doing things for self-gain but always maintains her good heart. Phoebe is the most promiscuous girl of the show, highly preferring casual sex (and it is hinted that she enjoys very kinky sex.) When she first met Mike, she was in her very early thirties and had never been in a relationship that lasted longer than a month. Although she and Joey are debatably equally promiscuous, Phoebe will not avoid monogamous dating and was very eager to get married after Ross made the mistake of pointing out that she has never had a serious relationship.
Phoebe, in addition to being a musical performer at Central Perk, worked as a massage therapist. Except on a few occasions, she kept professional relationships with her customers. She worked at many different spas, including a place called Healing Hands, but was fired for kissing a client. She went on to work at a more upscale massage clinic for the benefits and higher pay, despite it clashing with her liberal ideals.
Her age seemed to have differed throughout the series. In "The One With The Mugging", it is implied that Phoebe is older than Ross, seeing as she was fourteen when he was 12. This episode made her possibly the oldest in the group. Also in "The One Where They All Turn 30", Phoebe had been shown to be the oldest among the group as when she had turned 30 she got to know from her twin sister Ursula that she was actually 31.
musical performer at Central Perk, massage therapist, spa worker
Ursula Buffay (twin sister)
Phoebe Abbott, Lily Buffay (adoptive mother, deceased)
Frank Buffay Jr. (half-brother)
Frances (grandmother, Deceased), Duncan Sullivan (ex-husband), Mike Hannigan (husband), Frank Buffay Jr. Jr. (nephew), Leslie Buffay (niece), Chandler Buffay (niece, Alice Buffay (sister-in-law)
Rachel Green, Monica Geller, Joey Tribbiani, Chandler Bing, Ross Geller
Full Name at Birth
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