Phoebe’s Ending In ‘Friends’ Was Going To Be Very Different

'That is brand new information!'

phoebe buffay lisa kudrow mike hannigan paul rudd

by Katie Rosseinsky |
Published on

It may have taken Phoebe Buffay until the penultimate season of Friends to find her lobster, but Mike Hannigan (who she eventually marries in a Central Perk ceremony presided over by Mr Joey Tribbiani) was worth the wait, providing the gang’s resident kook with a much-deserved happy ending. Forget Ross and Rachel; who doesn’t ship Princess Consuela Banana Hammock and Crap Bag?

However, it turns out that the show’s writers initially had a totally different fate in mind for Phoebe - but Paul Rudd was so damn charming that they turned things around. We’d expect nothing less, Paul.

phoebe buffay wedding friends
Relationship goals ©Getty Images / NBC

In a new interview with The Huffington Post, Hank Azaria, who had a recurring part as Phoebe’s scientist boyfriend David (the one who disappeared off to Minsk to do some important research, remember?), reveals that his character was actually originally supposed to end up with Phoebe. As Ms. Buffay would put it herself, ‘that is brand new information!’

‘The plan was kind of to bring [David] back,’ he said. ‘I think, honestly, what happened was Paul Rudd is so awesome that they sort of found a groove with him and [David] became more of just the grist for that mill. As opposed to the other way around.’

As a quick refresher, David returns from Minsk in season nine, when he proposes to Phoebe – making Mike (despite previously claiming that he never wanted to marry again) propose in retaliation. Despite initially turning both men down, Phoebe reconsiders Mike’s offer – cue much ‘aaaaah’-ing from the studio audience.

phoebe buffay wedding friends
'Why are you so charming, Paul? How do you do it? ©Getty Images / NBC

Luckily, the pang of rejection has faded over time for Azaria, although he adds that ‘it actually did sting a little bit. Whatever part of me is David the science guy who went to Minsk, which admittedly is probably a small part of me, but that part of me wanted to end up with Phoebe. So I was sort of sad when I didn’t.’

Just like the Friends team and the cinema-going public, though, it seems that Azaria isn’t immune to the Paul Rudd effect. ‘[Mike] certainly has gone on to prove that he was comedically deserving of Phoebe’s love,’ he concedes. ‘He’s a handsome devil. He’s actually annoyingly handsome. He shouldn’t really be allowed to be that handsome. He’s like the Tom Brady of comedy.’

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