The show’s running gag and one of Phoebe’s trademark characteristics is her song “Smelly Cat”, which she performs at Central Perk. The song is about a cat who is shunned by society because of its foul stench as a result of flatulence (“What are they feeding you?”). However Phoebe sympathizes with it because she can relate to being an outcast. The verses consist of Phoebe rattling off a list of ways in which the cat is disliked (“They won’t take you to the vet”, “you’re obviously not their favorite pet”, etc.) while the chorus ends with the uplifting message to anyone who is different or unique that “it’s not your fault”. In the episode, “The One Where Eddie Moves In,” Phoebe is discovered by a record producer who wants to make a music video for “Smelly Cat”. Phoebe is delighted with the end result, somehow missing what her friends spot immediately – that the voice used in the video belongs to another woman. Phoebe turns down the opportunity, feeling bad for the woman who will not get any recognition for her voice because she does not have the “right look” – declaring that the woman IS, in fact, Smelly Cat. In the episode, “The One With Phoebe’s Ex-Partner,” Phoebe’s former singing partner, Leslie, portrayed by E.G. Daily, wants them to get back together. The partnership fails again when Leslie sells the song “Smelly Cat” to a commercial agency against Phoebe’s wishes. Phoebe teaches the song to Chrissie Hynde, who releases it in a 1999 album.On August 26, 2015, Kudrow performed the song as a duet with Taylor Swift during Swift’s concert in Los Angeles as a part of her 1989 World Tour.
Her age seemed to have differed throughout the series. In “The One with the Mugging”, it is implied that Phoebe is older than Ross, seeing as she was fourteen when he was 12. This episode made her possibly the oldest in the group. In “The One with the Jellyfish” (Season 4), Phoebe states that she is twenty-nine, placing her birth in approximately 1968. However, in “The One Where They’re Going to Party” (Season 4), Ross states he is also 29, which does not work with the previously mentioned two-year age gap. According to “The One with Frank Jr.”, Phoebe was born on February 16; however, in Season 9 (“The One with Phoebe’s Birthday Dinner”) Phoebe’s birthday is sometime in early November, since they could not make the reservations and the dinner had to be moved back to October 31. In “The One Where They All Turn Thirty “(Season 7), it is revealed that Phoebe was born a year earlier than she thought, believing she was 30 but was truly 31, which further adds to the inconsistency of her age throughout the show’s run. Phoebe also tries on at least one occasion to manipulate the other friends into celebrating her birthday again within months of a previous birthday party.
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