Follow TV Tropes


Series / Friends from College

Go To

Friends from College is a Netflix original comedy television series starring Keegan-Michael Key, Cobie Smulders, Annie Parisse, Nat Faxon, Fred Savage, Jae Suh Park, and Billy Eichner.

The series follows the tragicomic misadventures of a close-knit group of Harvard alumni as they navigate their ambitious yet clumsy and romantically intertwined lives in New York City.

The first season, consisting of eight half-hour episodes, premiered on Netflix on July 14, 2017. On August 21, 2017, Netflix renewed the series for a second season of eight episodes, which was released on January 11, 2019. The series was canceled on February 18, 2019.


This series provides examples of:

  • A Birthday, Not a Break: Sam's forty years birthday is the season finale and also a major hit to everyone. Sam and Ethan are a pile of nerves when they are sure that Lisa is aware of their affair, while Lisa and Nick are a pile of nerves because they will reveal their affair to Ethan. Max learns that all his and Ethan's work was for naught as "Wolf Trials" is a series of YA novels that already exists and has to reveal it to him. Sam's car ends in the pool because Marianne taught her kids to drive. Marianne finds out that Sam and Ethan are still having an affair.
  • Central Theme: You can't live chasing the past.
  • Chekhov's Gag: At the end of the episode where Ethan and Sam replace Marianne's rabbit, it's revealed the rabbit is still alive. At the end of season one, Marianne finds her rabbit on Sam's place, and she finds out that the two are still having an affair.
  • Advertisement:
  • Cut Short: The show was cancelled after its second season, leaving the show with a number of unended plotlines. The show ends with Lisa and Ethan seeing their child that Lisa is bearing, which Ethan went to see instead of going with Sam to France, in order for them to make their relationship work, leaving all relationships stranded.
  • Dead Pet Sketch: Ethan and Sam have to replace Marianne's rabbit Anastasia, but cannot find the exact breed so they have to draw black circles around the new bunny's eyes with eyeliner.
  • Failed a Spot Check: Max was so involved in his personal drama that he didn't notice that "Wolf Trials" wasn't an original idea that he and Ethan were developing together, but rather an young adult novel that his company had already been working on for an year, mentioned in every meeting he participated on and that he even gave ideas offhandedly.
  • Dramedy: An example of Tropes Are Tools: Critics (and most viewers) agreed that the show did a poor job of meshing either element together and the tone transitions were awkward more often than not.
  • Ivy League for Everyone: All six of the main characters are Harvard alumni.
  • Law of Inverse Fertility: Lisa and Ethan work hard through all of their marriage to have a baby to no avail, even when investing in fertilization in vitro. When they are separated, they get drunk and have quick sex in a storage unit, from that Lisa finally gets pregnant.
  • Love Triangle: One of the show's central conflicts is about Ethan being married to Lisa, but at the same time cheating on her with Sam.
  • Manchild:
    • To a degree, all the main characters are this. When they are all together, they are noted to revert to their personalities of when they were 20-somethings in college, which often upsets those surrounding them.
    • Out of all the main characters, Nick in particular stands out. Despite the fact he's around 40-years-old, he dates and parties with college-age women, and doesn't seem to have any kind of stable work, instead living off his trust fund.
  • Most Writers Are Writers: Ethan is a respected but financially struggling writer.
  • Only Sane Man: Max's boyfriend Felix, who tries his best to relate to Max's wacky college friends, but only ends up disgusted with their behavior on many an occasion.
  • Playing Against Type: In-Universe. When his novel "Storm" is considered terrible, Max pushes Ethan into moving his writing from adult fiction to young adult fiction, something he has never written before, nor comprehends or even respects. Some episodes deal with the fact that he has no idea how to write a young adult novel.
  • Time Skip: Between the beginning of season two and the end of season one, about a year has past. Max and Felix are engaged and about to marry and speak about how the group has separated when all the cheating has come to light and hasn't gotten together since, many not even in speaking terms and Lisa basically vanishing. Sam and her husband have spent a year in couple's therapy to almost no avail. Max and Ethan are working in a centaur-themed YA novel.
  • Unsympathetic Comedy Protagonist: Ethan is a somewhat self-involved Manchild that is cheating on his wife with their friend Sam, while he is feeling guilty about it, his reunion with his group causes a large amount of drama due to his own actions.
  • You Sexy Beast: When Ethan has to write a YA novel, he's advised by a very influential author in the genre to think of a kind of monster then sensualize it and write about it. He eventually comes to the decision of writing about werewolves. When another series about sexy werewolves turns out to already be about to come out, he switches gears to centaurs.
  • Your Cheating Heart: Ethan is married to Lisa, but is having an affair with Sam. Likewise, Lisa has a one-night stand with Nick, which she instantly regrets.


How well does it match the trope?

Example of:


Media sources: