10 years later, ‘Friends’ still fascinates us

It’s been 10 years since 52 million “Friends” fans tuned into the iconic show’s series finale, but the fascination with the sitcom that focused on a sextet of 20-somethings navigating their way through life in New York still lives on.

And why not? “Friends” was more than a fun Thursday night fix for fans. It was a defining pop-culture phenomenon.

“Every once in a while a show comes around that completely defines the decade that it aired in,” Dave Karger, Fandango’s chief correspondent, told TODAY. “For the ’90s, it was ‘Friends.'”

The show turned into a touchstone for a generation of TV viewers.

“It had dialogue that you could instantly quote — people are still quoting to this day — and some of the best TV characters ever created,” Karger added.

There’s no arguing that point. As audiences followed the friendships, romances, breakups and makeups among Ross, Rachel, Chandler, Monica, Joey and Phoebe, they adopted their language (“We were on a break!”), their songs (“Smelly cat, smelly cat …”) and their look (The Rachel cut).

Heck, in 2011, one fan adopted the yellow picture frame that bordered the peephole on Monica’s door for a decade, bidding more than $51,000 for it at auction.

And the show didn’t just impact the lives of the stars and viewers, even the band behind the theme song considers the show’s impact “life changing.”

The Rembrandts stopped by TODAY Friday to perform the hit that made them a household name. And it turns out the tune came to them in a whirlwind fashion.

“It was super fast,” lead singer Danny Wilde explained of the creation of “I’ll Be There for You.” “I think we found out about it on a Wednesday; we had a meeting on a Thursday; we cut the song on Saturday; and it aired the following week.”

But fans holding out hope that “Friends” might air again one day (outside of reruns) — either in the form of a small-screen reunion or a move to the big screen — shouldn’t hold their breath.

Star Courteney Cox recently told “Late Show” host David Letterman that’s it’s just not going to work out.

“Let me tell you something: There’s six friends, and I’ve been trying to put together a cast dinner for 10 years. It doesn’t happen!” she said. “I can get the girls to come, maybe Matthew Perry. Matt LeBlanc canceled last time right at the last minute. Schwimmer lives here (in New York). So it’s just not gonna happen.”

But we’ll always have the memories!