“Oh! Oooohhhhhhh!!!!” as Phoebe Buffay would say! Friends: The Reunion, didn’t only bring stars Jennifer Aniston, Matt LeBlanc, Lisa Kudrow, Courteney Cox, Matthew Perry and David Schwimmer together when it arrived on HBO Max Thursday (May 27), it also delivered on one heck of a fan-favorite: “Smelly Cat.”
[If you haven’t yet watched Friends: The Reunion, stop here to avoid anymore spoilers.]
The endearing song — made popular by Kudrow’s kooky character Phoebe — delighted audiences anew when the actress sat down in Central Perk to deliver her acoustic performance. “Yeah, don’t get too excited. I haven’t done this in a long time,” Kudrow warned the cheering crowd before saying to herself, “I should be Phoebe for this. OK!”
Partway through the tune, Lady Gaga — dressed in a very Phoebe outfit, down to the the long blonde hair with the two little messy buns — opened the door to the coffee shop, her own guitar in hand. “You need some help?” she asked before joining Kudrow on the couch. “I love ‘Smelly Cat’! It’s one of my favorite songs. You mind if I take ‘Smelly Cat’ for a spin?”
The 12-time Grammy winner then added her professional touch to the silly song, belting out the chorus and earning a “not bad!” from Kudrow. But that wasn’t all — the two then continued with a duet. After finishing, a choir came on to the Central Perk set, adding an upbeat and joyful touch as Gaga and Kudrow joined in again.
After the delightful performance, Gaga was grinning from ear to ear, while Kudrow — still in character — hilariously muttered, “I still think it’s better when it’s just me.”
The sweet moment didn’t end there. The Oscar winner went on to share with Kudrow how much Phoebe meant to her: “Thank you so much for being the person for all of us on Friends that was the — I don’t know if this is the right way to say it — but the different one, or the one that was really herself.”
Gaga wasn’t the only major celebrity to show up for the Friends reunion. In addition to guest stars from years past, famous megafans made appearances throughout the nearly two-hour special hosted by James Corden. Among them was Justin Bieber, who participated in the fashion show highlighting the beloved NBC sitcom’s memorable outfits. Though Bieber — who watches Friends every night before bed — didn’t have any lines, he did do a little jig down the catwalk while dressed as “Spud-nik,” Ross’s Halloween costume from season eight.
And earlier in the reunion, global superstars BTS made a video appearance. “My mom bought the DVDs of the whole series when I was in elementary school,” shared RM. “Friends really had a big hand in teaching me English. And the show really taught me the things about life and true friendship.” Then, together with his bandmates, he yelled, “We love Friends!”
Watch Friends: The Reunion on HBO Max now.