In the F.R.I.E.N.D.S when Phoebe was getting married, why wasn't Frank and birth mom invited given the fact she was very particular about her family?

I know the reason for stepdad not showing up and Ursula too but Frank and even her birth mom wasn't there.

  • It's been a long, long time since I last watched Friends, so forgive me if I'm forgetting something, but didn't Phoebe's mother kill herself? I seem to recall an episode revolving around a cat that Phoebe believed was her mother's reincarnated spirit.
    – Steve-O
    Commented Apr 5, 2019 at 13:08
  • Yes, she killed but when they visited the beach (season 4 episode 1) in search of his father she came by this lady who later on turns out to be her birth mom. Apparently, she got pregnant but she abandoned her kind of something and Lily raised her.
    – Maxima
    Commented Apr 5, 2019 at 13:10

3 Answers 3


The absence of her mother is possibly remarked upon during the rehearsal dinner:

there is a brief mention of Phoebe's mother at the rehearsal dinner, and Phoebe is about to explain why she isn't there, but Monica keeps rushing her through her speech. (Although it's not entirely clear whether she means her birth mother or her adoptive mother.) Not sure if this was one of the deleted scenes that wasn't in the original airing.

(Note that IRL Teri Garr had been diagnosed with MS in the years before this episode, so that might explain why she wasn't in the episode.)

The most likely explanation is however that the Friends writers were awful at continuity and forgot about plenty of close family members of the characters for years (e.g. Ross's son etc.).

  • Her dialogue: "I wanna take a moment to mention my mother who couldn't be here...and moments over" its seems pretty obvious its about Lily.
    – Maxima
    Commented Apr 5, 2019 at 13:49
  • "The most likely explanation is however that the Friends writers were awful at continuity" — or, you know, the actors weren't available, or wouldn't have added enough to the story to justify the expense of getting them in, or any number of other practical issues common in TV production that don't involve off-handedly insulting people's work. Commented Jan 30 at 13:18

Would it be possible that they weren't there because of the snowstorm?

Phoebe had to change most of her wedding plans due to the storm and only those who lived nearby came to the ceremony.


As we see in The One Where Ross is Fine, Frank Junior and Alice struggle with caring for their triplets.

They may not have any family or friends available to look after the kids while they attend Phoebe's wedding, and they might not relish the stress of trying to keep them under control at a kind-of-boring-for-kids event like a wedding— especially one where the groom's family are pretty well-to-do, and already having a little trouble adjusting to Phoebe's more unconventional lifestyle.

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