Friends Inspired One Particular Storyline on Abbott Elementary, Quinta Brunson Says

Friends Inspired One Particular Storyline on Abbott Elementary, Quinta Brunson Says
Image credit: ABC, NBC

You must already know what it is.


  • Abbott Elementary and Friends are two very different shows.
  • But there is an AE storyline that was largely inspired by Friends.
  • So much so that the two shows even have very similar scenes.

Abbott Elementary and Friends have very little in common. They are set in different cities: one in Philadelphia, the other in New York. They have different formats: one is a mockumentary, the other a classic live audience sitcom. And they follow very different characters: one the staff of the public elementary school of the same name, the other a group of six friends and neighbors.

At the same time, there are some similarities. For example, both Abbott Elementary and Friends feature ensemble casts. And both shows have a similar storyline, which turns out to have been borrowed by the ABC mockumentary from the legendary sitcom. According to Abbott creator and star Quinta Brunson, Janine and Gregory's will-they-won't-they arc was largely inspired by the iconic Ross and Rachel dynamic from Friends.

The Source of Drama on a Comedy Show

Since Season 1 of Abbott Elementary, Ms. Janine Teagues and Mr. Gregory Eddie have been processing their feelings for each other.

Friends Inspired One Particular Storyline on Abbott Elementary, Quinta Brunson Says - image 1

In Season 2, the characters explored their attraction by kissing at a party, but things didn't go further as both were afraid of ruining their professional relationship. However, their feelings didn't go anywhere and it was obvious that Janine and Gregory were in love, which is why the audience went crazy guessing if they would end up together.

'I know that you pretty much mastered the will-they-won't-they,' Quinta Brunson recently told Jennifer Aniston about Janine and Gregory's dynamic in a conversation for Variety.

According to the Abbott Elementary creator, Cheers' Sam and Diane were also a big inspiration for Janine and Eddie's love arc, but it was definitely Ross and Rachel who defined Brunson's vision for her character's love story.

'You two are funny on your own. And I think that's what was so inspiring to me, that you really stood on your own as a comedic character,' Quinta Brunson praised Jennifer Aniston's performance as Rachel. 'You're just so funny. And then David Schwimmer is his own funny entity. And I thought that's what was most important for this ensemble comedy.'

The Big Moments

The inspiration Quinta Brunson took from Friends must have been really great, because Janine and Gregory's big moment in the Season 3 finale is very reminiscent of Ross and Rachel's iconic first kiss. On Friends, Ross and Rachel argue at Central Perk about her revelation of her feelings, and he leaves only to knock on the doors of the coffee shop for her to let him back in and share a kiss.

On Abbott Elementary, Janine and Gregory do not fight, but he leaves the party at her apartment only to return moments later and knock on the door for her to let him in and share a kiss. And the most remarkable thing is that this trope worked perfectly both times.

Source: Variety.