|“||All I want is the simple life my mother and father had together, without arguing or keeping secrets.||”|
|“||I've always wanted to meet a herpetologist. The island doesn't have an expert on snakes. There's so much of the world I'm missing by living here.||”|
Friday was born on The Island to Miranda Caliban. At Ishmael's suggestion, Miranda told Friday that her father, Thursday, died in a storm and was eaten by a manatee; this was a lie to cover up Friday from worrying about the schism that divided her parents, and the fact her father left the island.
Friday is estimated to be six or seven years old. She wears a white seashell around her neck in which she keeps her coconut cordial. She has a great respect for the island traditions, such as drinking coconut cordial at every meal and the building of the outrigger to set alight on Decision Day should nobody choose to leave the island. Every night they would switch tents with other families.
She has more of a free spirit than the other islanders, as shown when she walks into the camp wearing sunglasses which are outside the strict dress code because Ishmael only prefers that they wear the robes. She also did many things secretly that Ishmael and the other islanders disapproved of; Professor Fletcher taught her and the other island children to read, and Omeros taught her to skip rocks. However, without books, Friday could really only practice sketching the alphabet in the sand. She mentioned that she had always wanted to meet a herpetologist.
She has a bit of a problem standing up to the peer pressure of the other islanders, and would prefer to do things in secret than openly oppose Ishmael's beliefs.
|“||I don't want to rock the boat. Ever since my father's death, my mother has wanted me to be safe, which is why we left the world far behind and decided to stay here on the island. But the older I get, it seems the more secrets I have.||”|
Friday gets up early after a storm to go Storm Scavenging, where she finds sunglasses she thinks may be useful on bright days. There, she meets the castaways Violet, Klaus and Sunny Baudelaire, as well as Count Olaf. While at first shy, she quickly welcome them to the island, and after observing Olaf's unkind behavior, informs him that he will not be welcome. He threatens to shoot her with a harpoon, but she calmly informs him that the inhabitants of the island will see his violence and forbid him, and after he listens to her, she tells him to go away and leaves with the Baudelaires.
She informs the Baudelaires of their customs on the way to camp, and takes note of the fact that Sunny is interested in cooking; at some point, she slips her a whisk to hide from Ishmael. Upon reaching camp, Friday presents the siblings and the sunglasses she found to Ishmael. Ishmael welcomes them, and suggests Friday give the sunglasses to the sheep to take to the arboretum, as she should follow custom by dressing only in white. Friday hesitantly obeys.
She helps the Baudelaires get their robes and abandon most of their belongings, and returns to Ishmael, who suggests she help her mother prepare lunch instead of hang out with the Baudelaires. She does help her mother cook, and shows her new friends how to use the runcible spoons. At mealtime, she suggests they drink a toast to the Baudelaires. She tells them that she hopes they stay "forever and ever."
When Olaf returns dressed as a pregnant Kit Snicket, Friday sees through his disguise and tells him off; the other islanders are quick to believe her and leave to get Ishmael, with Friday and the Baudelaires guarding him. Olaf tries and fails to threaten her again, and she reminds him that he could've lived on the island if he had behaved better. He pretends to be ready to give up his villainous ways, but Friday won't budge until the others return.
Behind Olaf is the real Kit Snicket on a raft of books. Friday is fascinated by them, as she had never seen a book before, and she hopes Ishmael will allow them to keep them. She then reveals to the Baudelaires that she hid something she found behind a wooden crate; the Incredibly Deadly Viper, which she saw as friendly.
Ishmael and the islanders return, and trap Olaf in a giant birdcage. Upon Olaf revealing that the Baudelaires have kept items, hidden from the other islanders- Violet's ribbon, Klaus's commonplace book, and Sunny's whisk- Friday takes the items and begs Ishmael to let their mistake go. She also keeps the Baudelaires' secret that they know the Incredibly Deadly Viper, claiming that it "seemed friendly", though the other islanders want it to stay on the coastal shelf.
The Baudelaires try to get the islanders to help Kit Snicket, but Ishmael believes that they have brought treachery to the island with them, and suggests they be exiled on the coastal shelf. Friday looks as though she might cry, but Miranda takes her away before she can say anything.
The next morning, on Decision Day, several islanders begin a coup and try to overthrow Ishmael while he is at the Arboretum. He returns with the Baudelaires, who see that Friday and Miranda are standing back-to-back as if they would never speak to each other again. A schism begins among the islanders, in which Miranda finds out that Friday has learned how to read. Friday is astonished by Byam's wish for a complicated life, as all she wants is the simple life her parents supposedly had.
Olaf arrives, and when Ishmael shoots him- revealing to the islanders that he can walk- he inadvertently releases the Medusoid Mycelium on the islanders, poisoning them. Ishmael suggests everyone drink cordial, while the Baudelaires leave to find a cure.
The Islanders, drunk on the fermented cordial, blindly follow Ishmael onto the outrigger, where he claims they will find a cure on shore, though they only have an hour. The Baudelaires return with horseradish-apple hybrids as a cure, and after failing to convince the other islanders, beg Friday to take an apple and not succumb to peer pressure.
Friday doesn't seem to be as affected by the cordial, as unlike the other islanders, she is visibly "terribly frightened." She grabs Klaus's hand and apologizes for leaving the Baudelaires, but she doesn't want to leave her family. Klaus tries to tell her the truth about her father, but Miranda pushes her away, preventing her from taking an apple.
Ishmael then sets sail and Friday rides off in the boat with her fellow islanders and mother.
Probable Death/Chances of Survival
It is unknown if she met her fate by being poisoned by the Medusoid Mycelium. However, it is noted that the Incredibly Deadly Viper followed the boat with an apple, and as the Baudelaires did not know this, it is possible some islanders survived to report this to Lemony Snicket; as Friday knew the snake to be friendly, and seemed less affected by the cordial, it is possible that Ink saved her life. On the other hand, she may have continued to succumb to peer pressure, causing her death.
Netflix Series Divergent Canon
In the TV series, Miranda mentions she was brought to the Island when she was on a cruise while pregnant with Friday, but the cruise hit an iceberg, and she washed up on the Island. Friday seems to be very close to her mother in this canon, as she is rarely seen away from her after her first scene and is usually hugging her.
Friday has much less development and screentime in the series; her only role is to bring the Baudelaires and Olaf to Ishmael, leading to Olaf's capture. She is the first one to spot Kit's raft reach the shore, and is astonished upon seeing books, having never seen them before - if she is not lying about it.
After Olaf is shot and the poisonous spores enter the air, Friday clings to her mother and says that she doesn't want to die before departing with the islanders. She is portrayed by Nakai Takawira.
|“||Every time there's a storm, everyone in the colony gathers everything that's collected on the coastal shelf. One never knows when one of these items will come in handy.||”|
— Chapter Two
- Count Olaf: I am your king! Bow before me, Friday!
- Friday Caliban: No, thank you. Our colony is not a monarchy.
|“||It seems that everything eventually washes up on our shores.||”|
— Chapter Two
|“||In a few minutes, all the inhabitants of the island will be out storm scavenging. They'll see any act of violence you commit, an you won't be allowed on the island. Please point that weapon away from me.||”|
— Chapter Two
- Sunny Baudelaire: Yuck.
- Friday Caliban: There's nothing yucky about it. It's the colony's most important custom.
|“||Of course, people rarely leave the island. No one has left since before I was born, so each year we simply light the outrigger on fire, and push it out to sea. Watching a burning outrigger slowly vanish on the horizon is a beautiful sight.||”|
— Chapter Three
- Miranda Caliban: To the Baudelaires!
- Friday Caliban: I hope you stay here forever and ever!
|“||The Baudelaires told me you were not to be trusted, and I can see that they spoke the truth. You'll stay right here, Olaf, until the others arrive and we decide what to do with you.||”|
— Chapter Six
|“||I've never seen a book before. I hope Ishmael thinks it's okay to keep them here.||”|
— Chapter Six
|“||And now I have another secret, just for me.||”|
— Chapter Six
|“||They made a mistake. We'll let the sheep take these thins away, and forget all about it.||”|
— Chapter Six
|“||I'm sorry to leave you behind, Baudelaires, but I must go with my family. I've already lost my father, and I couldn't stand to lose anyone else.||”|
— Chapter Thirteen
- Violet Baudelaire: What's your name?
- Friday Caliban: Friday.
- Violet Baudelaire: Will you take us to your colony?
- Friday Caliban: Do I have to take your friend?
|“||I found some castaways!||”|
|“||You're Count Olaf! A child can see that.||”|
- Alonso: I've never seen so many books.
- Friday Caliban: I've never seen books at all.
|“||I don't want to die.||”|
- Friday's full name can have multiple different interpretations and implications:
- Like her father Thursday, she is named after a day of the week (notably the one after her father's name), one which marks the weekday that is the beginning of the Jewish sabbath. It is also named after Frigg, the Norse goddess of wisdom and foresight, possibly referencing Friday's desire to learn.
- The name "Friday" could also be derived from the name "Frideswide," meaning "strong peace," potentially referring to the "peace" on the island.
- The name was used for an island inhabitant in Robinson Crusoe by Daniel Defoe, a famous castaway novel from which Robinson also takes his name.
- Her name also could come from 1953 British Comedy film Our Girl Friday, from which Sadie Bellamy also takes her first name.
- Friday's only appearance in the series is the thirteenth book; or The End, a reference to the unlucky date of Friday the thirteenth.
- Her surname, Caliban, is taken from another fictional island inhabitant, from the Shakespeare play The Tempest. Her mother, Miranda, takes both her names from this play, and other islanders with names from this play include Alonso, Ariel and Ferdinand. Alonso also mentions an acquaintance named Gonzalo, and in an earlier book, Count Olaf used the name "Stephano" as a disguise.
- She is right-handed as an illustration of her right hand is shown drawing in the European version of The End.
- There is a theory that Mrs. Widdershins and Miranda Caliban are the same, meaning Fiona and Fernald are Friday's siblings or half-siblings (depending if Thursday is Captain Widdershins or someone else.)
- Fernald, Fiona and Friday are all names beginning with F, which could support this theory.
- Another fact supporting this theory is that most siblings in the series come in groups of three, and even on the rare occasions that only two siblings are known of, the existence of a third sibling is usually hinted at (such as the White-Faced Women). The only known siblings in groups of two (aside from Fiona and Fernald) are from All the Wrong Questions: Pip and Squeak Bellerophon, Kellar and Lizzie Haines, Zada and Zora, and Tatiana and Treacle Cozy.
- Something against this theory could be that Kit Snicket believes Friday's father and Miranda's husband, Thursday, is alive and well, and mentions dining with him the day before meeting the Baudelaires. The day before meeting the Baudelaires, Captain Widdershins was with them on his submarine, and by the time Kit was discussing Thursday, Kit believed the Captain to be either deceased or in mortal peril due to the crash of the Queequeg and arrival of the Great Unknown.