Phoebe Buffay was a friend who really loved her job. She had discovered aromatherapy and had decided to become a massage therapist very early in her life. That said, her working hours were difficult and, being a freelance masseuse, she was often short of money.
Hustle was part of Phoebe’s life on Friends and she sought solace in her music. In between finding stability as a freelance massage therapist, she also dabbled in telemarketing and catering. Fans appreciate Phoebe’s ability to weather financial uncertainty, and she’s seen something valuable in the many survival jobs she’s landed along the way.
8 dairy queen
In the underrated Friends episode, “The One with George Stephanopoulos”, when Rachel excitedly held her first paycheck, Phoebe stepped in and remembered the day she got hers. Her words, “There was a cave-in in one of the mines, and eight people were killed”, led everyone to think she was working in a mine.
Phoebe was quick to point out that her first job was at Dairy Queen. At that point, fans learned that she used to be a fast food worker and then moved on to an entirely different industry.
7 secretary desk
In Season 1’s “The One with the Ick Factor”, Phoebe played Chandler’s secretary and found great pleasure in working under her. She was looking for short-term work and between the choice of operating a drill press and secretarial work, she chose the latter.
Phoebe’s time in Chandler’s company has been a sweet ride. She was invited to work at parties and told about work secrets. Everyone got along with her, and she helped Chandler see that he was a great boss, despite the awkwardness surrounding his promotion.
6 budding musician
Phoebe was dedicated to her music and wanted to become a great musician. She was an entertaining busker, as seen with her “Your Love” performance in the Friends pilot episode. She wrote a total of 55 songs throughout Friendsand some of Phoebe’s best tunes include “Smelly Cat” and “Your Love.”
Phoebe’s songs were far from mainstream and the lyrics weren’t always pleasant. In season 2’s “The One Where Eddie Moves In” Phoebe was signed by a record company to do a video for “Smelly Cat”, but her voice ended up being replaced entirely by another singer. Although she didn’t mind being replaced, she couldn’t find more success as a singer.
5 Massage therapist at Healing Hands Inc.
Phoebe worked as a massage therapist at a salon called Healing Hands Inc. She knew she was truly blessed to work every day with a big purpose. She would initiate small conversations when needed, and her clients always felt at home.
Unfortunately, Phoebe’s stint at Healing Hands Inc. was cut short in “The One With the Ballroom Dancing,” when she developed a crush on one of her clients. Her boss, Mrs. Potter, caught her fooling around with Rick and she was released.
4 Catering partner with Monica
After Monica and Phoebe realized they were a great catering team in “The One With the Dirty Girl,” they decided to go into business together. They got off to a good start and even invested their money in a van to run their restaurant business at full speed.
Unfortunately, Monica was offered a job as head chef at Allesandro and had to step back. Phoebe obviously couldn’t work without her, and they dissolved the company.
After Phoebe told Ross she was in a hurry for money in “The One Where Rosita Dies”, he suggested she take a temp telemarketing job. In no time, Phoebe showed up at Empire Office Supplies and was inducted into salesperson training over the phone.
Phoebe was doing pretty well the first day, but got distracted after talking to an office worker named Earl. She saw him in person because he was going through a tough time. Earl was played by Jason Alexander, and his appearance is considered one of the best single characters in Friends. Phoebe quit telemarketing soon after and returned to her job as a massage therapist.
2 Extra set the days of our lives
Once again, Phoebe was running out of money in “The One Where Rachel Returns to Work” and her good friend, Joey, came to her aid. He found him a job as an extra on the Days of Our lives together since it paid well and she could work as long as she needed. Although she seemed excited at first, she became all shaky and nervous with the director’s commands.
Phoebe was struggling to play the part of a nurse and the director wasn’t helping either. Thanks to Joey’s pep talk, Phoebe managed to lift the set to the operating table but broke character before the director shouted cut. The next day, she worked as a waitress and demanded to know why the show used the same extras for different parts. Phoebe was fired and had to be kicked off set by a security guard.
1 Massage therapist in a corporate massage chain
Phoebe’s jobs often put her in survival mode, but landing that stint at a chain spa at the end of Season 9 was her big break. She eventually started earning money on a regular basis, and the company gave her benefits, such as medical and dental care.
But this is where it gets complicated. Nobody knew that Phoebe worked at the newly opened massage spa in SoHo, and she made Rachel feel guilty about going to massage chains. Long story short, Rachel always chose to go, and coincidentally, Phoebe was assigned as the masseuse. The women argued but nothing changed their choices. Phoebe lied about quitting and the incident revealed that she and Rachel might not be real friends after all.
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