The Best Friends Episodes Ranked
“Friends” is one of the most loved TV shows of all time. The series premiered on Sept. 22, 1994 on NBC (via IMDb) and made actors Jennifer Aniston, Courteney Cox, Lisa Kudrow, Matt LeBlanc, David Schwimmer, and Matthew Perry household names (via Mental Floss). Fans instantly loved the connection that the characters Rachel, Monica, Phoebe, Joey, Ross, and Chandler had together, and of course envied their fun and carefree NYC lifestyle. From its iconic theme song, to the fashion trends that the cast members set, “Friends” ruled the ’90s, as well as the early 2000s.
Viewers couldn’t help but tune in each week to find out what was happening in the characters’ love lives, as well as what kind of hilarious situations they would find themselves in. The show balanced comedy with emotion, which offered the perfect mix for a hit (via Vogue). Today, “Friends” is still one of the most popular and most-watched series, with a new generation of fans being born every day thanks to streaming services such as Netflix and HBO Max. With 10 seasons, there are more than a few standout episodes. So, if you’re looking for the greatest hits of “Friends” episodes, you’ve come to the right place. Here’s a countdown of the 10 best.
10: Friends episode The Last One
Beginning with No. 10, “The Last One” isn’t the all-time best episode of “Friends,” but it may be the one that sticks in the heads of viewers. The series’ curtain call was a double episode that ended the show’s 10-season run. It featured a ton of memorable moments, which included Monica and Chandler becoming parents (via Warner Bros). After struggling to conceive, the couple opted for adoption and found the perfect birth mother, Erica (played by Anna Faris). However, the twist came when Erica was giving birth, and Monica and Chandler found out that they were having twins. They named their daughter Erica after the birth mother and their son Jack, after Monica and Ross’ father.
Meanwhile, Rachel says her goodbyes to her best friends as she prepares to leave New York and move to Paris due to a once-in-a-lifetime job opportunity. She and Ross share one last night together and she slips out the next morning while he’s still asleep. However, Ross quickly realizes that he wants to be with Rachel and scrambles to catch her. Toward the end of the episode, fans finally get the outcome they had been waiting for when Rachel returns home and the couple promise to make their relationship work. The final scene sees the gang leave the iconic apartment for the last time as they move on to the next chapters in their lives. The emotional final moments were tearful as well as funny, ending the series on a happy note.
9. Friends episode The One with All the Cheesecakes
Not all episodes of “Friends” had to be emotional to keep fans interested. Some were purely hilarious, and Season 7, Episode 11 — “The One with All the Cheesecakes” — was one of those. The episode also offers some rare solo scenes for characters Rachel and Chandler as they come home to find that a delicious cheesecake had been delivered to the apartment by mistake (via E! Online). The pair try to resist eating the dessert but ultimately fail. They promise to keep their shameful act a secret, but when another cheesecake shows up, they end up fighting over who gets to eat it. After dividing the sweet treat in half, Rachel drops hers on the ground. When Chandler refuses to share his piece, she knocks it out of his hand. Later, the characters are seen on their hands and knees with forks as they eat the cheesecake off of the ground. Of course, Joey comes upon them and also begins to dig in.
Meanwhile, Ross is excited when he lands a hot date for his cousin’s wedding. Monica later finds out that she wasn’t invited to the ceremony and begs her big brother to take her along. Once at the wedding, Monica confronts her cousin only to find out that she wasn’t invited because the groom is her ex-boyfriend. However, it’s the Rachel and Chandler scenes that drive the storyline.
8. Friends episode The One Where Everybody Finds Out
Season 5 was huge for the “Friends” franchise. The season included an epic Thanksgiving episode that featured Monica, Chandler, Ross, and Rachel as high school and college students. It also showed each character finding out that Chandler and Monica had been secretly carrying on a romantic relationship and hiding it from their BFFs (via TV Overmind). In an earlier episode, Rachel accidentally overhears Monica and Chandler on the phone together and immediately freaks out when she realizes that they’re planning an intimate encounter. Shortly after, Rachel finds out that Joey also knows about the couple’s secret romance, but he makes her promise to keep it quiet. In “The One Where Everybody Finds Out,” the others learn the news as well.
When Rachel and Phoebe are scouting the apartment across the street from Monica’s with Ross, Phoebe sees Monica and Chandler kissing through the window and has a hilariously dramatic reaction. Rachel quickly asks her to keep the info from Ross, and the two create a diversion to keep Ross from looking at the window. After realizing that most of the friend group knows, Rachel and Phoebe create a plan to try to make Monica and Chandler confess their secret. However, Monica catches on and plans her own attack, leaving Joey in the middle of it all. By the end of the episode, Chandler confesses his love for Monica and Ross flips when he sees his sister and best friend through his new apartment’s window.
7. Friends episode The One with the Jellyfish
In the “Friends” Season 4 opener, the gang is at the beach. Rachel had just confessed her love to Ross, who was dating fun-loving character Bonnie. Rachel’s jealousy over Bonnie was evident in the previous episode, especially when she helped Bonnie shave her head bald on a whim. Upon deciding to give their romance another shot, Ross spent the wee hours of the morning calling it quits with Bonnie. When he returned to greet Rachel, she handed him a long letter that she’d written, confessing all of her feelings (via Games Radar). She insisted that he read it before they went any further, but Ross was exhausted after getting no sleep the night before. He tried to read the letter (which was 18 pages front and back), but fell asleep. When Rachel asked him for an answer to the very important question the letter posed, he answered yes, not knowing what he was agreeing to. The moment quickly caused conflict between the two, who ended things again later in the episode.
All the while, Monica and Chandler’s romance was foreshadowed as they talked about the possibility of getting together during a day at the beach. However, the relaxing moment turned sour when Monica was stung by a jellyfish and Joey offered to pee on the sting to relieve the pain. Phoebe also found out about her past and met her birth mother during the episode.
6. Friends episode The One with the Football
“The One With The Football” is a classic, early episode of “Friends.” The Season 3 show takes place on Thanksgiving Day, which fans know always marked a very special and memorable episode. While waiting for her turkey to be done, Monica and Ross rekindle their childhood rivalry in a game of touch football (via Entertainment Weekly). The siblings explain to their friends that they used to play football every Thanksgiving in hopes of winning their family’s Gellar Cup — a creepy troll doll nailed to a piece of wood. However, their parents put an end to the tradition because of how nasty and competitive they got during the games.
Ross and Monica promise to keep themselves under control this time around and take their pals to the park to pick teams. Once they are divided up, the two captains use every dirty trick they can to beat each other until the rest of their friends are completely exhausted by their antics and refuse to play. While they go enjoy their Thanksgiving dinner, Monica and Ross continue to bicker over their game long after it’s over. The episode gives some insight into Monica and Ross’ childhood and shows how funny sibling relationships can be even into adulthood.
5. Friends episode The One with All the Resolutions
Season 5’s “The One With All The Resolutions” is another shining example of pure comedy gold within the “Friends” universe. The episode kicks off on New Year’s Eve when the gang create their New Year’s resolutions and vow to stick to them (via TV Tropes). Rachel promises to stop gossiping about others, but immediately finds out plenty of secrets which she’s dying to tell everyone. Meanwhile, Monica declares that she wants to take more photos of her friend group and obsessively begins to annoy everyone. Joey says he wants to learn to play the guitar and Phoebe offers to teach him. However, she’s self-taught, and her methods are less than conventional.
Chandler’s friends encourage him to go an entire week without making a snarky or sarcastic comment. The group then strives to make him lose his cool by doing and saying ridiculous things in his presence. All the while, Phoebe has hopes to fly a commercial jet, not understanding how hard the task will be to accomplish. Finally, Ross tackles the biggest resolution by promising to do one new thing each day. When one of those things is to wear leather pants, hilarity ensues. During a date, Ross begins to sweat in the pants. He takes them off in the bathroom but is unable to get them back on. The moment is one of the funniest in the show’s long history. Needless to say, each member of the gang fails at keeping their resolutions.
4. Friends episode The One in Vegas
“The One in Vegas” was a two-part episode that served as the Season 5 finale (via Metro). During the episodes, “Friends” fans watched as Monica and Chandler contemplated their relationship and very nearly got married. However, the two never get the chance due to a shocking cliffhanger moment that featured Ross and Rachel tying the knot in a drunken haze. Throughout the episode, the gang decided to head to Vegas to visit Joey, who was there to film a movie. Ross and Rachel both stayed behind due to work conflicts and promised to meet up with the group later. When Ross spied Rachel walking around her apartment naked through his window across the street, he was convinced that she was sending him signals about wanting to get back together.
Later, the two flew to Vegas together and bickered the entire time. Ross eventually pranked Rachel by drawing on her face, but the marker was permanent and wouldn’t come off. She evened the score by drawing on Ross’ face, and the two reconciled by drinking in their hotel room. They eventually hit the town and get the bright idea to get married. Sadly, this is the closest thing fans ever got to seeing a Ross and Rachel wedding on the show. The pair later legally ended the marriage before getting back together in the series finale.
3. Friends episode The One with the Prom Video
“The One With The Prom Video” is a huge fan-favorite among “Friends” enthusiasts. The late-Season 2 episode features the first look at Ross, Rachel, and Monica as teenagers, per BuzzFeed. Monica finds the video in a box of things from her parents’ house, and when they pop the VHS tape in the VCR, magic happens. Monica’s parents were filming her and Rachel as they got ready to go to their senior prom. When it appears that Rachel’s date is going to stand her up, Ross steps in.
The then-college freshman puts on one of his father’s suits and excitedly gets ready to take his high school crush to her prom. However, by the time that he emerges to be her date, Rachel’s boyfriend was there and the group was leaving for the event. A young Ross looks crushed in that moment. After watching the video, Rachel is moved by how Ross was set to swoop in and save her all those years ago. This prompts Rachel to lay a passionate kiss on Ross as the two seem to finally fall into the relationship that fans had been hoping for since the start of the series.
2: Friends episode The One with Unagi
In this highly quotable episode from Season 6, Rachel and Phoebe decide to enroll in a self-defense class geared toward women. The two are feeling good about their decision and gushing over what they’ve learned when Ross criticizes their knowledge. He tells them that he studied karate for many years, claiming that he can truly defend himself in any situation, per TV Tropes. Ross also tells his friends about the mindset of “unagi,” which he says is “a state of total awareness.”
Ross then attempts to prove his point by sneak-attacking Rachel and Phoebe. However, the attack doesn’t work out for Ross, who is then taken to the ground by the women using moves that they learned in their class. Ross later attends the class to ask the teacher for advice on how to better attack his pals, which leads to a hilarious exchange and makes “The One with Unagi” one of the most laugh out loud episodes of the series.
1. Friends episode The One with the Embryos
This episode is widely considered the best of the best when it comes to “Friends,” which is why it takes the No. 1 spot. The Season 4 episode featured everything a viewer could want in their favorite show, as it delivers some big emotion as well as huge laughs. The episode centers on Monica and Rachel making a bet against Joey and Chandler that snowballs into a huge trivia competition (via Games Radar). Ross, knowing all four of the players so well, makes up questions for the teams to answer. During the competition, an array of hysterical personal questions are asked about the guys and the girls, such as Monica’s childhood nickname and Chandler’s fake name — Miss Chanandler Bong. When the game ends in a tie, there’s a speedy lightning round. Of course, Monica, being ultra-competitive, raises the stakes and bets her apartment. Shockingly, the girls lose and are forced to swap apartments with Joey and Chandler.
Meanwhile, Phoebe’s half-brother, Frank, and his much older wife ask her to be their surrogate mother so that they can start a family. Phoebe eventually agrees and has their embryos implanted. In an emotional moment, she finds out that she’s pregnant with the couple’s child. Later in the season, it’s revealed that Phoebe is carrying triplets. It’s moments like these that continue to drive the “Friends” franchise and create new fans every day. The clothes and hairstyles may be dated, but many of the moments are timeless.
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