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The Bizarre Phoebe Theory That Changes Everything On Friends

The longer a TV show runs, the more continuity issues start to crop up. An entire subsection of YouTube is devoted to trying to make sense of the "Simpsons" timeline. How is Mr. Burns older than Grampa yet looks younger and serves under him in World War 2? Make it make sense.

These kinds of backstory fudges are easy to make on a cartoon, but even cartoonish live-action characters suffer from impossible personal histories. Of all the Friends on "Friends," Phoebe is the most like a living cartoon character. Phoebe Buffay (Lisa Kudrow), alias Regina Phalanges, has lived one heck of a life. Or lives, if you believe her Thanksgiving flashbacks. She lived with her mother and twin sister until her mother's suicide. Then she was unhoused on the streets of New York, mugging people and stabbing cops. In fairness to Phoebe, the cop stabbed her first. Somehow, she managed to get her massage therapy license and learn both French and Italian. And at one point, she lived in Prague? How can one person have so much life before even hitting 30?

Some fans think Phoebe is a time traveler

Comedy writer and "Friends" stan Rachael Brennan is convinced that Phoebe is actually from the future. Phoebe knows the exact date of her death, she knows exactly when Rachel will give birth to Emma, and she knows that Ross and Rachel will eventually get together and stay together.

Phoebe also says that on the day she got her first paycheck, from Dairy Queen, there was a mine cave-in that killed eight people. "There wasn't a Dairy Queen in NYC before 2014," Brennan writes at Nerdbot. "However, Dairy Queen expanded into Poland and the Czech Republic in 2015. Shortly thereafter in 2016, there was a cave-in at a copper mine in Poland, killing 8." So Phoebe had her first job in Prague as a teen ... years after the show ended.

This theory could even explain how Phoebe remembers getting her arms blown off in the Civil War and World War 1. If Phoebe is from a far-flung future where time travel is possible, people can probably also re-grow arms. Phoebe is born in the 3000s, lives in 2010s Prague in her teen years, travels back in time to do some good works in various wars, gets her massage therapy license, and then hangs out at a coffee house for 10 years straight. Hey, it makes as much sense as Rachel not going to Paris.