Who Was Phoebe's *Real* Soul Mate on "Friends"?

Are you #TeamDavid or #TeamMike?

Associate Digital Editor
Phoebe, David, and Mike (Lisa Kudrow, Hank Azaria, and Paul Rudd) in a fighting scene in Friends

A new revelation about the TV show Friends has us choosing sides. And no, it has nothing to do with Ross and Rachel being on a break or not. The real question, now, is which love interest Phoebe Buffay (Lisa Kudrow) should have ended up with: David the Scientist Guy (Hank Azaria) or Mike Hannigan (Paul Rudd).


Though it's been 12 years since the cast turned in their keys in the season 10 finale, this new detail only came to light yesterday, when Azaria, who played David (you know, Phoebe's first serious love who went to Minsk) revealed something we (gasp!) didn't already know about the show during a Huffington Post interview about his Emmy-nominated role in Ray Donovan


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Naturally, the interview veered into Friends territory (because obviously, none of us can let that show go), and the outlet outright ask him what happened with his character's relationship with everyone's favorite quirky character. "I didn't know that was the end of David," Azaria said. "The plan always was kind of to bring him back."


Though the timing was never right for David and Phoebe, David did come back for one final goodbye—when he accompanied Phoebe to Barbados following her breakup with Mike and proposed to her, only to be rejected in favor of Mike, who showed up unexpectedly. Then Phoebe and Mike got together and, after a series of bad proposals, engaged. They became Mr. and Mrs. Crap Bag and Princess Consuela Bananahammock, and the rest, of course, is sitcom history.


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But what if it had gone another way? Azaria has a theory as to why David didn't get his happy ending: "I think, honestly, what happened was Paul Rudd is so awesome that they sort of found a groove with him and [my character] became more of just the grist for that mill … as opposed to the other way around."


Can you really blame the writers? Paul Rudd is pretty charming, which Azaria fully knows. "He's a handsome devil. He's actually annoyingly handsome. He shouldn't really be allowed to be that handsome. He's like the Tom Brady of comedy."


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But that doesn't mean Azaria—er, David—wasn't heartbroken. "It actually did sting a little bit," said Azaria. "Whatever part of me is David the science guy who went to Minsk, which admittedly is probably a small part of me [laughs], but that part of me wanted to end up with Phoebe. So I was sort of sad when I didn't." Since then, though, the actor has moved on. "[Mike] certainly has gone on to prove that he was comedically deserving of Phoebe's love," Azaria admits.


Who do you think Phoebe should have ended up with? 


David …

Phoebe and David (Lisa Kudrow and Hank Azaria) kissing in a scene in Friends

Or Mike?

Phoebe and Mike (Lisa Kudrow and Paul Rudd) in a scene from Friends

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