The one for the superfans

Lily Rulnick, Reporter

The Friends Experience allows local fans of the famous television series “Friends” to live out all of their “Friends” fantasies for the price of $35. Located on F Street in Northwest Washington, D.C., this one-of-a-kind interactive experience is only open for a limited time. So, be sure to grab a cup of coffee from Central Perk before it closes on June 5.  

The famous red, yellow and blue theme of the series can be seen throughout the entire experience, beginning with a colorful door leading the way to the start of the experience. The door’s text, which reads “The One in Washington D.C.,” is a fun homage to the title of each and every “Friends” episode. Before the experience begins, the guests partake in a quick round of trivia to test their “Friends” knowledge.  

The first stop in the experience is the instantly recognizable orange couch from the opening credits, which stands in front of a water fountain. As I entered the first room, I was immediately transported into the world of “Friends,” which is a surreal experience for an avid fan like myself. “I’ll be There for You” played in my head as I looked around at the familiar setting. 

After exiting the opening credits staging area, my group was led to a display of costumes that were worn by the actual cast. As someone who is very interested in fashion and has always loved the costume design on “Friends,” it was cool to see the costumes in person. We were also able to read a little bit about costume designer Debra McGuire’s processes and thoughts behind each character’s signature look.

Throughout the entire showroom, hand sanitizers are placed in many different locations as a COVID-19 precaution. Even the sanitizers connect to the show, as they are marked with a “Monica Clean” seal of approval. These little details are scattered throughout multiple different places in the displays, which add to the uniqueness of the experience.

Next, we moved on to the set of the famous “Pivot” scene, where Ross, Rachel and Chandler were unable to get Ross’s new couch up the stairs to his apartment. Though the set was not much more than a photo opportunity, it was still exciting to see the scene I could picture so vividly in my head displayed right out in front of me. 

One of the most surreal moments of the tour was being able to recline in Chandler and Joey’s actual recliners from the series. If you know “Friends,” you know these BarcaLoungers. Being able to recline in these chairs transported me to their iconic and well loved apartment. 

Monica’s apartment was my favorite stop. The kitchen was identical to the set on T.V., from Monica’s black stand mixer to her “Homemade Pickles” utensil holder. It felt like a fantasy to be able to look inside of Monica’s iconic yellow-framed peephole and see Chandler and Joey’s apartment door across the hall, marked with the number “19.”  

Weaved throughout the showroom, fun little details were added to enhance the experience. The showroom displayed everything from the ceramic dog that was a staple in Chandler and Joey’s apartment, to Chandler’s sawn in half bedroom door and a jukebox that played specific moments from various “Friends” episodes.

The experience concluded with a trip to Central Perk, which felt like a dream. The attention to detail was incredible, from the addition of the staple oversized mugs to the neon light signs on the wall. Of course, Central Perk would not be Central Perk without the legendary orange couch, which had a great view of the array of fake ingredients and other small details stocked on the various shelves. 

Though the Friends Experience in D.C. might just seem like a series of photo opportunities for some, for a true “Friends” fan it was a complete dream come true. Whether you go with friends, family or a guy you meet in a coffee shop named Mike, be sure to stop by the Friends Experience and step into the world of the show that changed television history.