September 2019 will mark the 25th anniversary of the premiere of Friends. The classic TV sitcom went on to become one of the most-watched shows in history. Throughout ten seasons, fans watched the ups and downs of the six pals as they navigated love, loss, and life in their 20s and 30s. Everyone rooted for couples to get together (and in some cases break up). Now, however, we have learned that everyone’s favorite flighty friend, Phoebe Buffay lied to us about lobsters, and it has destroyed everything we know about love.
What was Phoebe Buffay’s theory on love?
In Season two, Ross Geller lamented the loss of his potential love interest, Rachel Green. You see, Ross had feelings for Rachel from the time they were kids. When she finally reciprocated those feelings, Ross had moved on with Julie. Ross eventually picks Rachel, but not before he made a demeaning list about her most prominent flaws.
Unfortunately for Ross, Rachel sees the list. Perturbed by the notion that he thinks she has “chubby ankles,” she shuts down the potential pairing. Phoebe, to make Ross feel better, informs him that he and Rachel will end up together because they are each other’s “lobster.” According to Pheebs, lobsters mate for life.
The sentiment has inspired tee-shirts, greeting cards, and other merchandise over the years. Though, Phoebe was utterly mistaken! Everything we learned about love from FrIends suddenly seems wrong.
Lobsters don’t mate for life
While we would like to believe that little old Lobster couples hang out together until death, that’s not the case. In fact, it’s the exact opposite. Mental Floss explains that female lobsters pursue a male when she is ready to be fertilized. She lets her chosen male know by peeing on his doorstep (yes, literally).
Once the male accepts the female, she heads into his den and sheds her exoskeleton. Once fertilized, she hangs out in the cave until her new shell comes in. Once her shell is hardened, she heads out, and another female lobster takes her place. The male and female lobster don’t couple up; they don’t hang out after they do the deed. It’s all a business transaction for lobsters.
Some animals do mate for life, though
If you are feeling blue about the fact that lobsters are not, in fact, monogamous, don’t worry. There are several members of the animal kingdom that do mate for life. According to National Geographic, gray wolves are mostly monogamous. The alpha male picks his chosen female, and they essentially become a couple. The pair’s coupling sets the pecking order for the rest of the pack.
Macaroni penguins are also monogamous. In fact, they are so monogamous that they actually show excitement when they see their love again after time apart. They make noise and swing their heads when they are reunited with their love.
Bald Eagles also bond with their partner. Apparently, the famed birds hang out together during mating season but spend the rest of the year apart. Each year, they meet back up to mate, and the male bald eagle protects the eggs during that time.