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Monica Geller's Friends Timeline Explained

The friends of "Friends" had a range of personalities. Phoebe was the quirky, weird one; Joey, the slightly doofy but lovable one; Rachel, the former Long Island princess turned successful businesswoman and mom; Chandler, the dry, sarcastic damaged one; and Ross, the book-smart dinosaur doctor. Which leaves Monica Geller as friend number six — played by Courteney Cox, who some might remember from that one Bruce Springsteen video and the "Scream" franchise. 

Monica Geller was kind of the "mom" of the group. She was always organized, very devoted, and super prepared. But that often translated to being controlling. Monica had some pretty serious relationships throughout the run of "Friends," but of course her most significant was with Chandler, who she'd go on to marry during the series' long run.

Monica's biggest challenge was always learning that she didn't have to be perfect, and not everything needed to work out a certain way or according to a certain plan. Monica's character arc is one of a person who initially tried to control everything about her life, but when met with some pretty big obstacles, had to learn to let it go or take another route. Here's Monica Geller's "Friends" timeline. 

Monica's personality and character traits

Monica's personality is easy to describe. She has a bit of obsessive compulsiveness about her, needing neatness and cleanliness all around her apartment. She loves planning and making everything perfect and being in control. These things sometimes backfire as we see in episodes like "The One With The Flashback" where Phoebe moves out because she needs to live in a place where she can "make a mess." She can be bossy, as some of the other friends have pointed out to her. But later in the series, it's Chandler who steps forward and grounds her, fills her needs, and calms her down. (Most of the time, anyway.)

Despite Monica's intense personality, she's still one of the dearest friends to this gang of characters looking to find their way in life. She took Rachel in when she abandoned Barry at the altar and was cut off by her father. She stuck with Ross and Rachel during their breakups and relationship dramas. She stayed friends with Phoebe despite being so, so different. She nurtured Joey from across the hall. She was the "mom" of the group, cooking multiple Thanksgivings and always feeding everyone. She always had a tissue or an idea, or an exciting story. And she fell madly in love with Chandler, their relationship forming the more stable romantic backbone of "Friends" on the whole.

Growing up on Long Island, overweight, and in Ross' shadow

Monica didn't have the happiest upbringing. Much of her childhood was spent trying to live up to the high expectations put in place by her older brother Ross. His academic excellence overshadowed her, and she always felt like her parents considered her second best and unworthy of their praise. It didn't help that she was also overweight as a child and a teen, so she was constantly ridiculed and made to feel lesser, especially being best friends with the gorgeous and popular Rachel Greene.

In "The One with All the Thanksgivings," we learn that Monica was inspired to lose a lot of weight because Chandler made fun of her during the first Thanksgiving he spent with the Gellers. Monica also became a chef, perhaps as a way of controlling her eating habits. Either way, she grew into a tendency to be a little controlling and get out of sorts when she couldn't plan almost every aspect of her life. Monica is very Type A, but thankfully, throughout the series, she learns to let go a little and loosen up.

Season 1: Reunited with Rachel and becoming an aunt

In the pilot episode of "Friends," Monica Geller's childhood best friend Rachel bursts through the doors of Central Perk after running out on her own wedding, and changes the lives of everyone in the group forever. When Rachel moves in with Monica, Monica finds herself in the middle of her big brother Ross' affections for Rachel while trying to also navigate her own love life. It's clear from the get-go, as Ross is about to become a dad, that Monica wants nothing more than to get married and have some kids. But Season 1 offers up a string of bad boyfriends, from Paul the wine guy to Ethan, the high school senior who lies about his age. At one point, Monica gets so desperate that she even considers using a sperm donor to have kids on her own. Monica is supposed to be 25 to 26 in Season 1 of "Friends," so it's a little strange that she'd feel her biological clock ticking so loudly. But hey, it was the '90s.

Also in Season 1, Monica helps Rachel get a job and quit her father's credit cards. She has her identity stolen by a woman she became friends with. She hosts her first Thanksgiving (everything burns to a crisp). And she becomes an aunt to Ross' son Ben, whom she promises she'll "always have candy."

Season 2: Life with Richard Burke

Season 2 starts out rough for Monica, but don't worry — it gets way better. With Ross dating Julie but Rachel knowing about his affections, Monica has to continue balancing her loyalties to her brother and her friend. Monica also gets fired from her job as a chef at a restaurant called Iridium after taking home some steaks from a distributor. Then Phoebe gives her a really, really, bad haircut to top it off.

But Monica's luck begins to turn around when she agrees to cater an event for her parents. It's there that she runs into Dr. Richard Burke (played by Tom Selleck), a friend of her parents. Monica and Richard immediately hit it off and begin dating despite their large age difference. Ross and Monica's parents, Jack and Judy, disapprove, but her relationship with Richard is one of the healthiest and longest she has ever had. It also coincides with Ross and Rachel getting together, so for a time, the two roommates are in happy relationships. That all changes, however, when Richard tells Monica that he doesn't want to have more kids (his own are adults). As we know at this point, having children is something Monica has always wanted. The two break up — not in anger, just sadness, as Monica heads into Season 3 single once again.

Season 3: Fake boobs, breakups, and flirting at the beach.

Season 3 doesn't offer Monica any sort of stability. She continues a humiliating job at the Moondance Diner, where she has to dress like it's the 1950s and wear enormous fake breasts. She starts dating a waiter named Julio, but dumps him when she realizes he's a total cad. When Ross and Rachel break up, Monica, Phoebe, Joey, and Chandler are thrown in the middle where they constantly have to choose sides and sit through awkward fights. She does start dating a cute billionaire named Pete Becker (Jon Favreau) who makes her the head chef of a restaurant. At first, Monica isn't attracted to him and doesn't want to take the job, afraid things will get weird — but they kiss, and she's into it. He takes her to Rome for pizza on their first date, but his obsession with becoming the Ultimate Fighting Champion leads to their breakup.

It's at the end of Season 3 that a hint of potential with Chandler comes into play. While the gang is hanging out at a sand-flooded beach house while Phoebe investigates her birth mom, Monica and Chandler start flirting up a storm. He tries to tell her all the good things he'd do as a boyfriend, but it's still all just a bit of a joke. Also during this trip, Chandler pees on her after she gets stung by a jellyfish, thus killing any potential romance between the two ... though not for very long.

Season 4: New apartments and new flings

Monica starts out Season 4 by dating her ex-boyfriend Richard's son Timothy, though the two decide to abandon their potential relationship when she says kissing him reminds her of kissing Richard. But hey, at least Monica's professional life is on an upswing: After writing a bad review for the restaurant Alessandro's, the owner calls to offer her the job of head chef. Unfortunately, the rest of the staff is the family of the fired chef. This development is also a rough break for Phoebe, who's abandoned by Monica just as they're starting their catering business. The big change in Season 4 is that Monica and Rachel lose their apartment to Joey and Chandler in a bet. They spend a good number of episodes living across the hall as Monica tries to spruce the place up, but they eventually get their old apartment back.

The end of Season 4 is where Monica's most important relationship begins. While in London for Ross' wedding to Emily, Monica is so upset by another guest assuming she's Ross' mom that she sleeps with Chandler. At first it seems like just a one-night thing, but Monica and Chandler spend the rest of the reception trying to get back together and eventually bring their "friends with benefits" thing home to New York. And that's when the real fun begins.

Season 5: Chandler and chicken

Chandler and Monica decide to keep their relationship a secret from the other friends. At first, it makes sense — they're just kind of fooling around — but soon they start developing actual feelings for each other. (Chandler is the first one to say "I love you," while Monica has a giant turkey on her head.) But once they're deep into it, it becomes even harder to tell the truth, so they keep hiding the fact that they're a couple. Eventually Joey, Phoebe, and Rachel all find out — and in order to mess with their secret-keeping friends, Phoebe asks Chandler out on a date, and they play a game of chicken before Chandler proudly announces that he can't go any further with Phoebe because he's in love with Monica. Ross is the last one to find out, but after realizing Chandler loves his sister, he's happy for them.

Monica and Chandler's relationship continues to deepen during Season 5 as they endure their first rough patches, offset by adorable moments. To celebrate their one-year anniversary, Monica and Chandler head to Las Vegas to meet up with Joey; the rest of the gang joins as well. They have a fight, make up, and while gambling, Chandler says that if Monica rolls a hard 8 in craps, they should get married. They make it to a little chapel, only to be thwarted (and shocked) when a drunken Ross and Rachel burst out. They don't go through with it, but the idea is firmly in their heads.

Season 6: Moving in and moving forward

From here on out, the story of Monica's "Friends" timeline pretty much becomes the story of Monica and Chandler's "Friends" timeline. Monica and Chandler decide to move in together instead of getting married. They butt heads over what to do with Rachel's old room, try to win over her parents on Thanksgiving, and she helps Chandler learn how to cry. She hangs on to her job at Alessandro's for a while, and in an alternate universe double episode showing what might have happened if Monica never lost weight, it's revealed that Monica and Chandler still end up together.

At the end of Season 6, Chandler plans on proposing to Monica, but his plan goes off the rails when Richard shows up at the table next to them at the restaurant. Rattled by Richard's reappearance, Chandler pretends to be uninterested in marriage to try and throw Monica off the scent of his proposal, but his plan backfires. Monica thinks Chandler is never going to want to get married, so she considers getting back together with Richard. Thankfully Joey spills the beans about Chandler's plan, and helps Monica get their apartment decked out in candles so she can propose to him. In the end, they really sort of end up proposing to each other in one of the series' most romantic moments.

Season 7: Wedding planning and pregnancy scares

Monica spends much of Season 7 planning her wedding to Chandler, going through some ups and downs along the way. She finds out that her parents spent her wedding fund on a new beach house, so they have to pay for it themselves. Chandler has plenty of savings stashed away, but doesn't want to spend it all on one event, and stands up to Monica. They also can't find a minister they like, so Joey agrees to perform their ceremony. Then another bride tries to steal her wedding dress and does steal her band, and she ends up having to choose another dress. Her devotion to Chandler and the fact that she gives up her dress so he can have the Swing Kings play at their wedding shows how much she's grown, doing what she can for Chandler's one request.

Their wedding is of course beautiful, but not without its drama. Chandler's parents, played by Kathleen Turner and Morgan Fairchild, don't get along. And Chandler gets cold feet when he hears someone refer to them as "the Bings." Then Phoebe finds a pregnancy test in the trash and assumes it's Monica's, which Chandler finds out about — and is surprisingly okay with. Joey is super late to the wedding, and has to interrupt a Greek Orthodox priest so that he can finish the service. In the end, as it turns out, Monica isn't the one who's pregnant after all..

Season 8: Happily ever stable

With Monica and Chandler married, their happily ever after can finally begin. But they encounter some unexpected obstacles first. First, she opens all the presents without Chandler, leading to their first married "fight," which is really nothing and resolves pretty quickly. On their honeymoon, Monica's competitive nature kicks in when they try and get some free perks and special stuff for their big trip, and the couple they meet ends up ghosting them. The season's big storyline picks up when the gang discovers that Rachel is pregnant — and Ross is the dad. Though this makes Monica happy because that means she's going to be an aunt again, she's also a little sad because of her own desire to have a baby.

Overall, Monica and Chandler are fairly stable in Season 8. She's doing well at Alessandro's, and she and Chandler are enjoying their first year of marriage (although he does discover her darkest secret: the apartment's designated "messy closet"). She also accidentally hires him a sex worker, thinking she was a stripper, for his post-wedding bachelor party. One of the biggest things to happen to Monica in Season 8 is that she loses. The woman who loves competition and winning loses her bets with all of the other friends over when Rachel will finally go into labor. But while Rachel is giving birth, Monica and Chandler decide to go for it and try having a baby of their own.

Season 9: Separation and low motility blues

Monica and Chandler's attempts to get pregnant, however, don't get very far. First, Chandler is given an assignment to head up the new office in Tulsa, Oklahoma. At first, Monica is going to go with him, but she stays when she's offered an even better job than the head chef at Alessandro's: head chef at Javu, an even fancier, more upscale restaurant in Manhattan. Monica doesn't go to Tulsa, but they try and make the long-distance thing work, with Chandler flying back home every weekend and Monica sometimes going out to visit him. But the distance is hard, and Chandler eventually quits and restarts his career through an advertising internship, which strains Monica as the breadwinner.

Their fertility issues also aren't resolved once Chandler gets back. Eventually the two discover over the course of Season 9 that Monica has a "hostile uterus" and Chandler has "low motility," i.e. lazy sperm. By the end of the season, after weighing their options, they decide to go the adoption route. Facing infertility after wanting to have a baby her entire life is one of the hardest obstacles Monica faces; Chandler, thankfully, remains a helpful and supportive partner through the process.

At other points in Season 9, Monica has her share of typical "Friends" shenanigans: She sings karaoke with exposed nipples, plays along with what she thinks is Chandler's shark fetish, borrows money from Joey for once, and gets a bad set of braids on their trip to Barbados.

Season 10: Becoming a mom

Season 10 finds Monica and Chandler going through the adoption process. First, they meet a potential birth mother for their new baby, but due to a file mixup, the mom, Erica (Anna Faris) thinks Monica is a reverend and Chandler is a doctor. They come clean, and Erica ends up choosing them anyway after a loving speech from Chandler, who assures Erica that Monica will make the best mother because she's been ready for years. To prep for their baby's arrival, Monica and Chandler buy a house in the suburbs to house their growing family.

In the series finale, Erica goes into labor and the Bings get a big surprise: Erica was pregnant with twins. Chandler is understandably shocked by the news, but Monica insists they keep both babies. They name the little boy Jack after Monica and Ross' dad, and the girl Erica after their birth mom. The "Friends" series finale finds Monica and Chandler introducing their new kids to their friends, and the whole gang going off to Central Perk for a big cup of coffee.