How ‘Fat Monica’ on Friends Stuck With Me All These Years


Self image, self acceptance.

TIME

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Friends has a few recurring backstories — Phoebe’s shady past, Ross’s divorce — but one seems to come up again and again: Monica used to be fat in high school.

We actually get to see it in Season Two. Mr. and Mrs. Geller drop off boxes from Monica’s childhood bedroom. The friends all happen to be over when they unearth a video of Monica and Rachel prepping for prom. The tape clicks into the VCR, and there’s Monica in a fat suit and a billowy maroon dress, clutching a sandwich.

“Some girl ate Monica!” crows Joey. And the audience laughs.

I thought grown-up life would basically be a Friends rerun. As a kid, I clung most to that image of adulthood. ’90s New York life seemed so fun and glamorous — the impossibly large apartments, the casually fashionable overalls, the Hootie & the Blowfish concerts.

My family wasn’t hopelessly devoted…

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