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How Did The Show Friends End? The Huge Finale & What Happened Next Explained

All good things must come to an end, and "Friends" is no exception. On May 6, 2004, 52.5 million viewers tuned in to see how writers Marta Kauffman and David Crane could possibly wrap up a decade of laughs, tears, and everything in between. In an interview with EW, Crane said, "...it was all about closure — not just of the 10 years, but of the journey they'd been on in their 20s and early 30s."

After struggling to conceive, Monica Geller (Courteney Cox) and Chandler Bing (Matthew Perry) expand their family by two thanks to Erica (Anna Faris), who chooses them to adopt her twins. As for Ross Geller (David Schwimmer), he's raced to the airport by Phoebe Buffay (Lisa Kudrow) to tell Rachel Green (Jennifer Aniston) that he loves her before she boards a plane to Paris for a job. Spoiler alert: she gets off the plane.

There are a number of bittersweet scenes, from Chandler and Joey Tribbiani (Matt LeBlanc) saying goodbye to their foosball table to the gang's last time in Monica's purple apartment. Before she and her family head to their new place in the suburbs, it's suggested that they all get coffee, to which Chandler sarcastically asks, "Where?" 

As they head downstairs for one final Central Perk gathering, "Embryonic Journey" by Jefferson Airplane plays. The camera pans the entire empty apartment until it rests on the iconic yellow frame on the front door, marking the official end of "Friends."

The Friends cast has ideas about what happened to their characters

Marta Kauffman and David Crane are fiercely opposed to any sort of "Friends" spin-off. Kauffman told EW, "We just felt like this show is about a certain time in your life, and once you're past that time in your life, the show is over." While no new plotlines are likely to come, aside from the two-season "Joey," which sees Joey Tribbiani (Matt LeBlanc) move to Hollywood, cast members have their own ideas about where their characters are now. Jennifer Aniston sees Rachel Green married to Ross Geller (David Schwimmer), living in New York City and launching her own clothing line.

Courteney Cox told People her prediction for Monica Geller: "I always just feel like Monica would be doing something competitively with other mothers and trying to outdo them, whether it's the bake sale at school or something. I mean, she'd be so annoying. She'd be at the head of the PTA or something." As for Chandler Bing, according to Matthew Perry, he's still funny and is honing those skills as a comedy writer.

Lisa Kudrow pictures Phoebe Buffay and Mike Hannigan (Paul Rudd) living in Connecticut and supporting their children who are, naturally, a little quirky. LeBlanc thinks Joey is still in California, but finally lets the acting dream go in exchange for another passion: food. He says on Max's "Friends: The Reunion," "I think he probably opened a sandwich shop in Venice Beach."