By Hillary Busis
Updated July 30, 2013 at 03:42 PM EDT


  • TV Show

It’s strange but true: Lisa Kudrow, forever immortalized as 20-something (and, later, 30-something) Phoebe Buffay on Friends, enters her sixth decade on Earth today.

And while it’d be easy to mark this golden jubilee by, say, somberly contemplating the ravages of time and our own mortality, we’d rather be a bit more celebratory.

So here’s to you, Lisa Kudrow — and, more specifically, everything we’ve learned from you and Phoebe over the years. (Michelle Weinberger and Valerie Cherish deserve some special recognition as well.) How have your lessons enriched our lives? Let us count the ways:

50 Things Lisa Kudrow taught us

1. How to run

2. How hamburgers are made

3. What really happened to Grandma

4. The easiest way to make $7000

5. That the best present you can give your brother is triplets

6. How to give a pep talk to a gang of embryos

7. Lobster Theory

8. That there’s no such thing as a selfless good deed

9. What rhymes with “Rachel and Chandler”

10. Where Minsk is. (Wait, it’s not in Russia?)

11. That the hats have ganged up to form one giant super hat

12. How to make Chandler tell the truth

13. The nuances of human sexuality

14. The power of the Sexy Cold Voice

15. Guitar chords’ real names — Bear Claw, Turkey Leg, Old Lady, Tiger, Dragon, Iceberg…

16. That it’s okay to wear a fur coat if you look really, really good in it

17. That Tegrin spelled backwards is Nirget

18. That classes held behind a dumpster are a perfectly legitimate way to learn French

19. Which sorority is best (Thigh Mega Tampon)

20. That in England, the race car beds are sold on the other side of the store

21. There’s a teeny-tiny chance evolution may not be real

22. A tiny blue dot is a perfectly reasonable tattoo

23. That they don’t know we know they know we know.

24. Joker is “poker” with a “J.” Coincidence?

25. The best excuse for bowing out of an imaginary wedding: “I already have a unicorn baptism and a leprechaun bar mitzvah”

26. The best excuse for bowing out of, well, anything: “Oh, I could, but I don’t want to”

27. That it’s not Smelly Cat’s fault

28. The difference between Demi Moore and Dudley Moore

29. What we should really call crullers: “phallic-shaped man cakes”

30. You can eat the wax if it’s organic

31. How to quit smoking: “You have to dance naked in a field of heather and then bathe in the sweat of six healthy young men”

32. “Unagi” is Japanese “for freshwater eel”

33. The moors in Wuthering Heights represent the wildness of Heathcliff’s character

34. You should wait a month before making a move on a guy who just broke up with his girlfriend. (Monica says three or four. Joey says a half-hour.)

35. New York has heavy metal bands called Carcass and Karcass — and they’re both great

36. How to pronounce Nestle Tollhouse

37. Patience is the road to understanding, which is the key to a happy heart

38. How to respond when you’re pretending to hear something for the first time: “That is brand new information!”

39. To stop the dog movie halfway through

40. What we should really call It’s a Wonderful Life: It’s a Sucky Life, and Just When You Think It Can’t Suck Any More, It Does

41. How to talk Jason Alexander out of killing himself

42. What “mockolate” tastes like: “Evil”

43. That Regina Phalange knows what’s up

44. What to say when you can’t remember where a person actually is: “He’s at Flimby’s”

45. That little dinosaurs go “ruff!”

46. That “Phoebe Buffay, What Can I Say? I Really Loved When We Were Singing Partners, And I Shouldn’ta Left You That Way?” is one of those “look for the hidden meaning” songs

47. Monica’s full name: Monica Felula Geller

48. Who’s the Mary, and who’s the Rhoda

49. The chemical formula for Post-It glue

50. That after a long day at work, she doesn’t want to see that!

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