There is an episode of the very popular TV series Friends wherein Phoebe says that she wants to patch things up with her twin sister before their 30th Birthday (in a flashback in The One Where They All Turn Thirty).

Why do Phoebe and her twin sister Ursula never talk to each other?

  • 3
    > Why do Phoebe and her twin sister Ursula never talk to each other? From a purely practical standpoint, it can't be easy to film scenes that include two characters who are both played by the same actress. I'm sure the writers invented reasons for the split between them, but the real reason is most likely related to production.
    – Caleb
    Commented May 22, 2012 at 22:27

4 Answers 4


I don't remember any specific reasons why they dislike each other, but Ursula was born 1 minute earlier and did everything earlier so was deemed the better of the two to family and friends.

In episode 1.16 - The One with Two Parts (Part 1), the following conversation takes place

Rachel: Um, Pheebs, so, you guys just don't get along?

Phoebe: It's mostly just dumb sister stuff, you know, I mean, like, everyone always thought of her as the pretty one, you know. Oh, oh, she was the first one to start walking, even though I did it, later that same day. But, to my parents, by then it was like "yeah, right, well what else is new"?

Also, the fact that Ursula doesn't care about Phoebe's feelings, including not showing her the suicide note that their mother left (Episode 4.01 - The one with the Jellyfish)

Ursula: No, I umm, I read about her in Mom’s suicide note.

Phoebe: There-there was a suicide note?! (Ursula nods ‘Yes.’) Well, do you still have it?

Ursula: (disgusted) Hang on. (She goes into her apartment and slams the door in Phoebe’s face.)

Phoebe: I can’t believe you didn’t tell me there was a suicide note!

I'm sure there are more references etc. but this should help.

  • 4
    My fav was the episode where Pheope discovers Urusla has used her name during her porn-star career, which includes such "classics" as "Buffay (as in "Pheope Buffay")the Vampire Layer". Commented Aug 26, 2014 at 11:09

They dislike each other pretty much for no reason at all. In the very episode Ursula is introduced, Joey seems to catch an attraction to her but Ursula seems to be put off by him. Phoebe is concerned for Joey because she thinks Ursula's cold demeanor could hurt Joey and eventually she actually acts like Ursula and gently stops Joey from pursuing it further.

They have significant persona differences: Phoebe is shown to be carefree and easygoing while Ursula is shown rather mean and cold in her cameos. For example, when Phoebe tells Ursula about her biological mother whom she meets, Ursula replies that she already knew about her but hadn't told Pheobe.

If you want you can read about their other meetings here. Although I don't recall any distinctive back story to their mutual hatred for each other.

  • 1
    FYI, in the episode where "she actually acts like ursula and gently stops joey from pursuing it further" - She fails to act like ursula and Joey finds out. This is the episode where she Kisses Joey for the first time. Then Later there is an episode where Joey has to kiss a Guy in an audition, he does it and the guy says, "Good Actor. Not a Good Kisser.". Joey then goes to his friends and requests the ladies to kiss him and tell him whether he is a good kisser or not. Pheobe steps up saying, "I have kissed him before, i can do it again" - this is a reference to the failed acting like ursula.
    – user1356
    Commented May 23, 2012 at 3:36
  • Watching the series if pretty clear that Ursula is mean to Phoebe (and mostly anyone). There are plenty of reasons.
    – algiogia
    Commented May 31, 2021 at 8:13

Ursula is selfish and naughty and often harms Phoebe.

For example:

- She throws away her mothers letter without informing Phoebe of the content
- She starts a career as porn actress using Phoebe's name
- She know who their real father is and doesn't tell Phoebe

(I'll add more examples when I remember them)

Phoebe doesn't really do anything against Ursula. She just knows the sister is bad and tries to avoid her.


More notable and important details than what's answered already I cannot remember, and I've watched the entire series quite recently. It's never made clear, except that their miserable childhood probably had impact on the relationship between Phoebe and Ursula. Their mother killed herself and after that, Phoebe and Ursula lived on the streets for years.

Phoebe usually tried to get on Ursula's good side, but always failed, poor Phoebs.

But yes, all in all, it comes down to the fact that Ursula is just a b*tch.

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