The first episode opens up as Monica, Chandler, Joey, Ross and Phoebe are all gathered around at Webster’s Cafe like any other day. Suddenly, Rachel stumbles in, dressed in her wedding dress. She had just left Barry, her fiancée, at the Pasquerilla altar and, just like that, the iconic group of six is born in Happy Valley for ten glorious and beloved seasons of quality television.
After being stranded in the middle of State College with no money, Rachel has to become a working girl for the first time in her life. With almost no job qualifications or experience, she is forced to get a waitressing job at Webster’s cafe, where the six friends often hang out together. After being fed up with a job she is not cut out for, she seeks out a job in the fashion industry and gets a job at Urban Outfitters. She then works up the ladder and finds herself as a personal buyer at H&M. Throughout the series she lives with each of the friends except for Chandler.
Monica welcomes Rachel into the group and offers her a place to stay in her Penn Tower apartment. Monica and Rachel were best friends when they attended State College High School together. Now, Monica is a chef on the rise currently cooking at Baby’s diner until she moves up the ranks and gets offered the head chef position at The Allen Street Grill, and, eventually, at Zola Kitchen and Wine Bar. With her authoritative demeanor and competitive edge, Monica singlehandedly leads every Penn State sport to their respective national championships.
Phoebe became a member of the group when she moved in as Monica’s roommate. She proved to be too eccentric and free spirited to live with Monica, so she moved out. Phoebe usually purchases her jewelry, tapestries and incense from The Apple Tree on College Ave. She is a freelance massage therapist that works at A Step Beyond Massage Therapy on Beaver Ave. In her free time, she can be typically found at Webster’s either playing guitar on stage or chatting with her other friends. Though she doesn’t live as close to the others, Phoebe lives at Beaver Hill, still walking distance to both her friends’ apartments, and equal distance between both of her jobs.
Chandler met Ross in college at Penn State and lives across the hall from Monica at Penn Towers. He lives with Joey and works at Penn State as a procurement manager for the IST department. He and Joey bond over their love for Penn State Football and Basketball. As the show progresses, he begins to date Monica, and, eventually, proposes to her after they move in together. After feeling unfulfilled at his current job, Chandler decides to switch his career path and become a Junior Advertising Copywriter at the Penn State University Press.
Joey moved in with Chandler after seeing his advertisement looking for a roommate. Joey works as an actor on Blue White TV, always looking for new roles that will hopefully get him his big break. He is famed for his role as Dr. Drake Ramoray on “Days of Our Lives,” a short on Blue White TV. This recurring role, however, is not enough to support him. He works at the State Theatre downtown, teaching acting to prospective students in the School of Theatre. This is convenient for him because it’s within walking distance from Mama Mia’s, his favorite place to eat pizza and other Italian food, but mostly pizza. Joey moonlights as the Nittany Lion to make some extra money and to get into games for free.
Dr. Ross Geller would be exactly where you’d expect him to be, working for the Penn State faculty in the Department of Geosciences teaching paleontology to all budding scientists. Ross would be living at the Legend, conveniently right across the street from where Monica, Rachel, Chandler and Joey live. After having an enormous crush on her when they went to State College High School together, Ross and Rachel date on and off throughout the whole series. In the last episode, Ross would track Rachel down at the State College Airport and try to convince her not to move to Paris.
Nobody told them life would be this way in State College, but, Valley suspects that if “Friends” were to take place in Happy Valley, they’d be happier and better friends than ever before — and there would be no arguments about being on a break.