Smelly Cat

Just Hear Me Out, Phoebe Buffay’s ‘Smelly Cat’ Genuinely Deserves A Grammy

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There’s a special place in my heart for iconic pop songs written for television. And while I’ve already ranted about ‘A Little Bit Alexis’ from Schitt’s Creek, I’d like to turn your attention to the greatest song ever written for TV, and that’s ‘Smelly Cat’ by Phoebe Buffay from Friends

Smelly Cat

Any Friends fan will know that Lisa Kudrow’s singing ability doesn’t match that of a Mariah or an Ariana, but that didn’t stop ‘Smelly Cat’ from becoming a smash hit.

Smelly Cat’ is heard nine times throughout the 10-year run of the series in various forms. And even though Phoebe had better melodies in other songs, this was by far her biggest hit. 

As a result, let’s talk about why ‘Smelly Cat’ deserves a Grammy:

I have four reasons.

The Lyrics

Smelly Cat

Firstly, the lyrics are genius. The use of repetition in the chorus (“Smelly Cat, Smelly Cat, What are they feeding you? Smelly Cat, Smelly Cat, It’s not your fault”) make this song an instant earworm. Seriously, this tune walked so that Megan Thee Stallion’s ‘Body’ could run.

Also, shout out to the line “They won’t take you to the vet, You’re obviously not their favourite pet.” Incredible lyricism with outstanding storytelling ability. 

The Melody

Secondly, the tune is so damn catchy. I never would have picked Phoebe Buffay as one of the world’s greatest songwriters, but evidently, she’s on par with the Max Martin’s and the Taylor Swift’s of the world.

It took us until the Season 3 episode “The One with Phoebe’s Ex-Partner,” to fully realise this when the song became a jingle in a commercial for cat litter.

Spoiler alert: It’s incredible. 

The Video

Thirdly, the music video is iconic. I bet the MTV Video Music Awards are regretting not giving Phoebe Buffay the video of the year award now! 

The music video debuted in “The One Where Eddie Moves In.” In this Season 2 episode, Phoebe Buffay attempts to record a studio version of the song but struggles with creative direction. Eventually, Phoebe Buffay is given a copy of the music video which, it turns out, doesn’t feature her own vocals. But to this, we say, Milli Vanilli won a Grammy so… 

The Longevity

This was a grower. The acoustic-tune grew with us over the 10-year run of Friends. So, while we didn’t necessarily appreciate it at the time, we certainly appreciate it now. In recent memory, we’ve seen covers of ‘Smelly Cat’ from Taylor Swift and Justin Bieber, among many other pop stars. 

Ultimately, Phoebe Buffay deserves a Grammy. So, consider this my official petition for the 2021 nominations.