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A chef known for her cleanliness, competitiveness and obsessive-compulsive nature, Monica is the younger sister of Ross and best friend of Rachel, the latter of whom she invites to live with her after Rachel forsakes her own wedding.

The two characters spend several years living together as roommates until Monica begins a romantic relationship with long-time neighbor and friend Chandler, whom she marries.

Ultimately, the episode aired unchanged after the studio surveyed the audience, the results of which returned in favor of Monica's existing storyline.

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Monica is tricked into bed with him after Paul lies to her about his sex life, falsely alleging that he has not slept with anyone in the two years since his wife left him.

At first, NBC executives worried that audiences would react to Monica's role unfavorably, thus they decided to survey the studio audience and ask them whether or not they thought that having Monica sleep with someone on their first date made her character too promiscuous.

Despite the warm reception received from the audience, Silveri and Goldberg-Meehan were at first uncertain as to whether or not they should continue expanding upon their relationship even further, and proceeded with caution by having Monica and Chandler initially keep their relationship hidden from their peers.

Bianco observed that "On most shows, linking two main characters like Monica and Chandler would have been an act of desperation." However, "On Friends, it was a stroke of genius that made both characters more appealing while providing a needed diversion from the show's central task: Retaining a romantic equilibrium between Ross and Rachel." Meanwhile, Silveri believes that Friends ultimately ran as long as it did due in part to Monica and Chandler's romance, explaining, "if the center of Friends had remained Ross and Rachel, you would've seen a much shorter shelf life for the show"; Monica and Chandler's arc is believed to have extended the series by approximately three years.

Critics have been largely receptive towards both Cox and her character; the Los Angeles Times holds Cox's acting responsible for disproving the stigma that attractive women are incapable of delivering comedic performances.

Revered as a television icon, Monica famously addressed several topics that were rarely discussed in prime time television at the time, including safe sex, casual sex, and age disparity in relationships.

Andrew Harrison of The New Republic believes that the writers deliberately broke up any main character who was approaching a borderline life-changing relationship because "The ones the Friends were really meant to be with were, after all, the other Friends".

Because Monica and Joey were initially conceived as the show's two most sexual characters, Crane and Kauffman had originally intended for them to be the show's main couple, before ultimately replacing them with Ross and Rachel.

Unable to conceive children on their own, the couple eventually adopts twins and moves out of their apartment into a larger house in the suburbs.

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