Even 13 years after we left Monica's apartment and shuffled off that lumpy sofa at Central Perk, you can still guarantee that Friends fan theories will "be there for you." Alongside Ross being a bad father, a real Joey Tribbiani, and a meth-addled Phoebe Buffay, tinfoil hat theorists have another doozy to remind us why the show was so great in the first place.
The brainchild of TV presenter Alex Baker, this new theory suggests that #Friends was just a clever marketing ploy to get us to buy Starbucks coffee. When the show first aired in 1994, the green mermaid wasn't yet the mega conglomerate we see today. These days, you can't look left without being assaulted by arabica beans and someone's bad handwriting announcing your name to a room full of potential stalkers. Some of us binge on that brown sludge just as much as we binged the adventures of Ross, Rachel, Monica, Chandler, Joey, and Phoebe, but are the two connected?
We aren't quite sure if Baker is being serious or not, but you can't deny that this'll have you thinking. Sharing a post on social media, Baker writes:
"Wouldn't it be mad, if we found out that Friends (as in 'THE WHOLE TV SERIES') was just an elaborate stage-setter for Starbucks. An elaborate, meticulously-planned priming exercise to manipulate human behaviour, getting them away from pubs (Cheers) and into coffee shops (Friends)."
Across the whole 10 seasons and 236 episodes, Baker had gone back for a rewatch when he spotted some striking imagery. According to his madcap mind, it is no coincidence that Jennifer Aniston's Rachel Green is employed by a coffee shop and that her surname matches the symbolic color of Starbucks. However, our runaway bride doesn't stop working for the coffee company there, Baker also notes that Rachel's haircut bears an uncanny resemblance to the Starbucks logo. Admittedly, Rachel had A LOT of haircuts during the show's run, and her infamous "Rachel" bob looks nothing like the Starbucks mermaid.
Not content with merely screwing with '90s there, Baker then takes us completely down the rabbit hole with the Geller siblings' name. Monica and Ross were two of the show's leads, and Baker reminds us that the word "Geller" sounds like "Gellen," the German meaning for "one who yells." Also there is a thinly veiled reference to Herman Melville's Moby Dick and a character called Starbuck. Chapter 119 of the novel is called "Candles," which just has to be a link to "Chandler," the name the British gave to someone who sold candles. Mind. BLOWN.
Does this mean that Gunther is some Aryan assassin sent by Starbucks to make sure no one exposed the truth, and can we really thank Friends for the success of Starbucks, an organization that now operates in 70 countries with a worth of $84.4 billion? NBC is (obviously) yet to respond, but given that co-creator Marta Kauffman wasn't impressed with the Phoebe drug theory, don't expect her to be any more receptive of Baker's musings. However, if Kauffman is just a paid-off drone of the big green group, she wouldn't reveal their Illuminati secrets, would she?