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Entertainment The one where we rank the 25 best Friends episodes

19:15  29 september  2020
19:15  29 september  2020 Source:   gamesradar.com

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Lisa Kudrow, Matthew Perry, David Schwimmer, Courteney Cox, Matt LeBlanc posing for the camera: Best Friends TV episodes on Netflix © Provided by Total Film Best Friends TV episodes on Netflix

Despite seemingly everyone in North America having watched every episode of Friends at least twice, HBO ended up paying an astronomical $500 million for the show's streaming rights. Why? Because Friends is that one show you can revisit time and time again. Yes, some of the jokes have aged badly – really badly – but spending time with Joey, Rachel, and the gang is like revisiting, well, old friends.

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The question we're here to debate is which are the best Friends episodes. There are 236 to choose from, and we've whittled that list down to just 25. Some of your favourites have inevitably not made the cut, but hopefully, you will agree with a few of our picks. Maybe. All together now, pivot!

25. "The Last One" (Season 10, episodes 17 and 18)

We start at the very end. Friends’ last episode sees Ross and Rachel finally get together for good, bringing the epic saga of their relationship to an emotional end. Of course, things are not exactly straight forward as there's first a chase across New York that sees two men declare their love for Rach (poor Gunther), two airports traveled to, and a phalange mysteriously go missing. If that wasn't enough, Chandler and Monica learn that surrogate Erica is expecting twins. During childbirth. The episode ends with the gang saying farewell to the apartment that hosted them for ten seasons. And everyone, mainly us, was in tears.

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Best line:

Erica: "I’m tired."

Doctor: "Well, you don’t have that much time to relax. The other one will be along in a minute."

24. "The One With The Football" (Season 3, episode 9)

One of the show’s many Thanksgiving episodes, "The One With The Football" is notable for going in deep on the historical rivalry between Ross and Monica. The episode sees the gang play some American football after watching the NFL over the holiday. However, this new interest quickly ends up turning into a contest between the siblings, who will employ any dirty trick to win. There’s a side-plot where Joey and Chandler become obsessed with a Dutch girl, which today feels a lot like lazy (and pretty inaccurate) stereotyping.

Best line:

Monica: "Are we playing football or what? Come on you hairy-backed Marys!"

23. "The One Where Chandler Crosses The Line" (Season 4, episode 7)

Chandler’s (obviously mutual) crush on Cathy really challenges the viewer: you’re rooting for them to get together despite the fact that, effectively, they’re both cheating on Joey. "The One Where Chandler Crosses The Line" sees flirting turn to hairdressing, and hairdressing turn to kissing, but there’s light relief from their guilt by way of Ross’s newfound love of music and discovering his "Sound". Naturally Phoebe is the only one who understands his discordant blend of dog barks, explosions, and keyboard taps, though it’s Rachel that summarises it best: “I can’t believe I ever let him touch me with those fingers.”

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Best line:

Chandler: "Oh it’s the phone, the phone’s making sounds!"

22. "The One With The Girl From Poughkeepsie" (Season 4, episode 10)

While often overlooked as one of the best episodes of Friends, "The One With The Girl From Poughkeepsie" is a genuine gem. Monica hires Joey at her restaurant because the other kitchen staff are picking on her and she wants an ally. When she tries to fire Joey to demonstrate her authority, the actor refuses to leave because he makes too much money in tips (and he gets to call himself Dragon). Meanwhile, Ross is dating two women at once – one from the city, the other he meets on a train to Poughkeepsie. Of course, things do not end well for Ross, who ends up finishing things with them both – but not before falling asleep on the train and ending up in Montreal. Throughout the episode, the jokes are strong and the situational comedy is sharp.

Best line:

Joey: "I was gonna do it! Really! But I was standing there with $327 in one hand and $238 in the other hand, and I was thinking, ‘Wow! It’s been a long time since I had… $327 plus $238!"

21. "The One After The Superbowl" (Season 2, episodes 12 and 13)

This two-parter (the most-watched two episodes of the entire seres) sees Ross reunite with Marcel the monkey, who is in New York filming Outbreak 2. It’s one of the first of Friends’ star-studded double episodes, and features a cameo from Jean Claude Van Damme (who has a crush on Rachel, but ends up inviting Monica for a threesome with Drew Barrymore) and a non-cameo from Julia Roberts (who leaves Chandler naked in a restaurant bathroom). Phoebe briefly dates Chris Isaak, and The Simpsons voice actor Dan Castellaneta plays a janitor who reveals the true location of Marcel to Ross. Oh, and Joey goes on a date with his very first stalker. It’s a brilliant couple of episodes, where every character gets their hilarious time in the spotlight.

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Best line:

Susie: "My skirt, you lifted, kids laughing. I was Susie Underpants 'till I was 18."

Chandler: "That was in the fourth grade. How could you still be upset about that?"

Susie: "Well um, why don't you call me in 20 years and tell me if you're still upset about this..."

20. "The One In Vegas" (Season 5, episodes 23 and 24)

Another two-parter, this one centres on Monica and Chandler calling a shotgun wedding based on her new-found success at the craps table – only to be beaten to the punch by a heavily inebriated Ross and Rachel. Drunkenness is tough to pull off on the small screen, but Schwimmer and Aniston’s sozzled hotel room scene is both believable and hilarious. The light-relief storylines of Phoebe’s slot-machine rival and Joey’s hand-twin amuse too.

Best line:

Rachel: "Hello? Vegas? Yes, we would like some more alcohol, and you know, we would like some more beers too. Hello? Oh, wait, I forgot to dial."

19. "The One With Unagi" (Season 6, episode 17)

Ross is at his best when being equal parts neurotic and goofy, brilliantly illustrated here by his commitment to Unagi – “a state of total awareness” – which is subsequently shattered when Phoebe and Rachel burst out from behind his living room curtains. That’s one of three memorable storylines; elsewhere, Joey employs a fictitious twin who looks nothing like him, and Chandler gives Monica a mixtape found in his closet for Valentine’s Day. The perfect romantic gesture, until the gap between songs is punctuated by the voice of… Janice.

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Best line:

Rachel: "Ahhhh… salmon skin roll."

18. "The One With The Jellyfish" (Season 4, episode 1)

Bonnie or Rachel, Bonnie or Rachel? Two decades on, it’s impossible to convey the fervour with which fans awaited this episode and Ross’s decision as to whether he would stick with his current, newly bald flame, or go back to Ms. Green. The latter wins, with a hilarious caveat: the 18-page letter. Ross's continued assertion that "We were on a break!" remains one of the series’ most repeated lines, while this is the first tease of Chandler and Monica’s affection for one another spilling over into something more – via the unconventional medium of him urinating on her jellyfish sting.

Best line:

Joey: "That’s right, I stepped up! She’s my friend and she needed help. If I had to, I’d pee on any one of you."

17. "The One With All The Jealousy" (Season 3, episode 12)

It’s Rachel’s first day at her new job in Bloomingdales, and Ross gets seriously jealous when he meets her handsome co-worker, Mark. What follows is classic overcompensation, as he showers her in gifts, including a Barbershop quartet. So it’s ironic when Ross takes Ben on a playdate with a stripper (who shows up to Chandler’s cousin’s bachelor party) and Rachel gets jealous in return. The real laughs, however, comes when Joey gets a part in a broadway musical after lying about his dancing skills on his resume, and Monica hires the same Barbershop quartet to dump a guy at work who has been cheating on her...

Best line:

Quartet guy one: "Mister Pretentious... You think there's no one finer / Well your poems are unpublished / And you work in a diner..."

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All: "You're no God's gift to women / That's all in your head / You are just a butt munch!"

Quartet guy two: "No one likes a butt munch!"

All: "And you're also bad in bed!"

16. "The One With Chandler In A Box" (Season 4, episode 8)

A key entry in the Chandler-Cathy chronicles, "The One With Chandler In A Box" sees Joey punish his best friend’s unfaithfulness by locking him in a box for six hours. Likewise, the episode makes for an important marker in the chronicles of Monica-Richard, when the former kisses his son, Tim. The funniest moment, though, comes when Chandler waves a silent, single-finger goodbye through a hole when he thinks his relationship with Cathy is over – immediately earning Joey’s forgiveness. “Now go! ‘Cause you can still catch her! And Merry Christmas from your secret Santa!”

Best line:

Joey: "All right, who got Chandler? ‘Cause I, uh, need to trade."

15. "The One Where Ross Got High" (Season 6, episode 9)

The show gets a lot of mileage out of the Chandler/Monica romance. This episode taps into the universal fear/comedy of "telling the parents" about a relationship. While Chandler is sucking up to Mr. and Mrs. Geller (because they don’t like him), he lets slip that Ross got high as a teenager… and blamed Chandler. What follows is a hilarious family breakdown, highlighting the extreme insecurity and competitiveness at the heart of the Geller clan. There’s plenty of yelling, but ultimately this is a feel-good episode that further cements the connection between Monica and Chandler.

Best line:

Chandler: "Hey, I can be pretty charming, babe, I won you over, didn’t I?"

Monica, hugging Chandler: "I don’t think you’ll ever get my parents that drunk!"

14. "The One With All The Cheesecakes" (Season 7, episode 11)

Chandler and Rachel end up eating a cheesecake delivered to their door by mistake… and it’s the best cheesecake they’ve ever had. So begins their illicit obsession, which ends with them eating the ruins of a cheesecake off the floor. An iconic moment for any Friends fan. Meanwhile, Monica isn’t invited to her cousin’s wedding and insists that Ross takes her instead of a date, only to discover it’s because she used to date the groom. The moment makes for some wonderfully awkward TV.

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Best line:

Joey sees Rachel and Chandler eating off the floor, and pulls out a fork from his pocket: "All right, what are we havin'?"

13. "The One With Ross’ Tan" (Season 10, episode 3)

"The One With Ross’ Tan" delivers hilarious slapstick and body comedy in spades. Ross gets envious of Monica’s fake tan and decides to get one himself, but messes up the application and ends up looking hilariously mahogany. There’s a bit of heart here too, as Rachel and Joey wrestle with their burgeoning physical relationship. The episode, though, is mostly about laughing at Ross because of his silly tan. Sometimes that’s just what you need.

Best line:

Ross: "I went to that tanning place your wife suggested."

Chandler: "Was that place the sun?"

12. "The One With All The Resolutions" (Season 5, episode 11)

David Schwimmer barely ever gets the credit he deserves for his hilarious performance in Friends. Against the other characters, Schwimmer's boring, divorced father is the straight man to everyone else’s comedy flailing. Yet, Schwimmer has some of the best timing and delivery in the whole cast, something he gets to show off during this episode’s "leather pants" incident. At a New Year's Eve party, Ross gets trapped in a date’s bathroom, unable to put his trousers back on. Cue a gentle slide into madness involving talc, moisturizer, and an eventual bare-legged exit. It’s also, crucially, the episode where Chandler and Monica’s relationship is finally discovered by Rachel.

Best line:

Monica, speaking on speaker phone as Rachel listens in secret: "I can't wait to see you. I'm just going to tell Rachel that I'm doing laundry for a couple hours."

Chandler: "Laundry. Huh. Is that my new nickname?"

Monica: "You know what your nickname is, Mr. Big…"

Rachel: "Ahhhhhh!"

11. "The One With Ross’ Wedding" (Season 4, episodes 23 and 24)

"I Ross, take thee, Rachel." .The world stopped for a minute after that line. "The One With Ross’ Wedding" is the most famous episodes of Friends, with cameos from Richard Branson, Jennifer Saunders, the Duchess of York, and – best of all – Hugh Laurie as Rachel’s straight-talking plane neighbour. This episode sets off everything that was to come in Friends, with Ross' messed wedding vows clearly indicating that he and Rach are not over ‘over’. The episode also sees Chandler and Monica get together the first time with a move so popular the TV studio audience that Perry and Cox had to hold their pose, after Monica lifts the bed covers, for 27 seconds.

Best line:

Phoebe, after hitting Rachel during therapy: "Okay, how do you feel now?"

Rachel: "Well, I like you less."

10. "The One With Joey’s Porsche" (Season 6, episode 5)

Season 6 may be a rockier ride than its predecessors, but there are still a couple of gems.  In "The One With Joey’s Porsche", our favourite wise-cracking New Yorker finds the keys to a Porsche and, when no owner can be found, claims it as his own, realising the car's ice-breaking capabilities with the ladies. Yet, Joey still can’t let go after being reunited with its owner, and scenes dressing as a Porsche nerd and replacing the car with a giant pile of boxes raise big laughs.

Best line:

Rachel: "I am so mad, Ross. I don’t think I’ve ever been this angry."

Ross: "What about the time I said we were on a break?"

9. "The One Where Ross Is Fine" (Season 10, episode 2)

Ross is not fine. The relationship between Joey and Rachel has been quietly eating away at him. Things peak when Ross invites the pair over for a dinner party and he ends up getting roaring drunk – so drunk he gets a dish straight out of the oven without using gloves. Meanwhile – in another excellent, cringe-inducing plot – Chandler and Monica visit the house of a couple who have adopted their son, to get an idea of what’s involved in the process of adoption. Chandler, in his biggest moment of foot-in-mouth ever, accidentally tells the child he’s adopted, which he didn’t know previously. His follow-up line about Santa is priceless.

Best line:

Chandler: "I'm so sorry, but you should have a sign out there or something. Or at least whisper it to people when they come in the door. 'Owen doesn't know he's adopted, and he also thinks that Santa is real.'"

8. "The One With The Cop" (Season 5, episode 16)

Joey and Rachel become a surprise couple at the end of season 9, but their pairing is actually briefly foreshadowed four seasons earlier in this episode. (At this point Rach is nonplussed by his awkward advances, which are based on a dream about Monica.) Love is in the air for Phoebe, too, when she finds an NYPD badge in Central Park and begins using it to accost mild law-breakers – only to flash it the badge's owner, Gary, who offers her dinner. Also, one word defines this episode: “Pivot”!

Best line:

Ross: "Piv-ot. Piv-ot. Piv-oooooot!"

Chandler: "Shut up! Shut up!" Shuuuut Uuuuup!"

7. "The One With The List" (Season 2, episode 8)

On the surface, "The One With the List" is a cruel, heartbreaking episode. The boys encourage Ross to make a list of Rachel’s pros and cons, apparently to help him decide whether or not to dump Julie for Rach. Unlike many Friends episodes, the comedy here is mixed with tragedy as the list prints just in time for Rachel to read – a cruel twist that denied fans who had been shipping Ross and Rachel for one and a half seasons. It’s smartly done, and the show doesn’t shy away from commenting on how unacceptable the objectification of potential partners is. Meanwhile, Monica accepts work for the Mockolate company, resulting in one of the funniest side-plots in Friends history.

Best line:

Chandler: "This must be so hard. Oh, no. Two women love me. They're both gorgeous and sexy. My wallet's too small for my fifties and my diamond shoes are too tight."

6. "The One With The Blackout" (Season 1, episode 7)

A classic episode of Friends, and rightly so. There’s a power cut across most of New York, and the gang find themselves stuck – Chandler is trapped in an ATM booth with Jill Goodacre, the model, and the rest are stranded in Monica’s apartment with a dwindling supply of candles. Chandler gets the more heartwarming story, as Jill warms to his goofy brand of humour after she saves him from choking on a piece of (someone else’s) chewing gum. Meanwhile, Rachel meets Paolo and ends up kissing him when the candles burn out, giving Ross a sickening shock when the power comes back on. Poor guy.

Best line:

Ross: "Do you know the word, 'crapweasel'?"

Paolo: "No."

Ross: "That's funny, 'cause you are a huge crapweasel!"

5. "The One Where Everyone Finds Out" (Season 5, episode 14)

"The One Where Everyone Finds Out" uses both Phoebe and Chandler ingeniously. The episode starts with Phoebe learning that Monica and Chandler are together, and she wants revenge. Egged on by Rachel and Joey – “They don't know that we know they know we know!” –  Phoebe begins flirting with Chandler. Chandler tells Monica, and they decide to play their own game: having Chandler reciprocate those flirtations. The result is an awkward game of chicken escalates that leads to the series’ most awkward ever kiss, delivering huge laughs every step of the way. “Oh my God! He wants me to come over, and feel his bicep, and more!” Then, during the credits, Ross finds out too…

Best line:

Ross: "What are you doing? Get off my sister!!"

4. "The One With The Prom Video" (Season 2, episode 14)

"The One With The Prom Video" marks the moment Ross' unrequited love for Rachel became one of the defining storylines of the entire show. However, while that may be the case, the real star of the episode is the eponymous High School prom video. Using makeup to reveal the cast as teens in the ‘80s, the video features our first looks at an overweight Monica, Rachel’s original nose, and Ross’ Jheri curl. Crucially, though, Rachel gets to see what happened after her and Monica left for the prom – a crushed Ross appears in prom gear, ready to take Rachel when it looked like her date wasn’t going to arrive. In the present, Rachel kisses Ross and sets the agenda for the next eight seasons.

Best line:

Phoebe: "See, he’s her lobster."

3. "The One With Ross’ Sandwich" (Season 5, episode 09)

Perhaps it’s cruel to laugh at the breakdown of one of the show’s core characters. Perhaps. All we know is that it’s also hilarious to see Ross lose his cool when one of his coworkers accidentally steals his sandwich (it’s actually his boss), and all his pent up anger about his divorce with Rachel and his eviction come spilling out. The ending, where Joey covers for Monica and Chandler’s secret relationship – by painting himself as a sex addict – to avoid inciting Ross’ rage further is brilliant.

Best line:

Phoebe: "Alright, wait! Just wait. Everybody just calm down. Okay? Let's give our friend Joey a chance to explain why he's such a big pervert!"

2. "The One Where No-one’s Ready" (Season 3, episode 2)

Friends’ writers crafted some great episodes based entirely in Monica’s apartment, and this is the best of the bunch. Cleverly, it plays out in real-time: Ross has 20 minutes to persuade everyone to get ready for a black-tie work dinner. It lends the episode an certain intensity that helps balance the laughs – and there are many, particularly Joey and Chandler’s schoolboy squabble over a chair – with a fan-pleasing pay-off: Ross proving his love to Rachel by attempting to drink Monica’s leftover cooking fat.

Best line:

Joey: "Look at me, I’m Chandler. Could I be wearing any more clothes? Maybe if I wasn’t going commando…"

1. "The One With The Embryos" (Season 4, episode 12)

Friends’ best episode is also its most misleadingly titled. While the story of Phoebe’s embryo implantation on behalf of brother Frank delivers both laughs and a feel-good ending, it’s the quiz where the remaining quintet test how well they know each other – with Chandler and Joey ultimately winning Monica’s apartment – which steals the show. “Miss Chanandler Bong!” “He’s a trans… trans… transpondster!” “His legs flail about as if independent from his body!” “I can’t believe we live here!” With more quotable lines in one half-hour sepisode than some series manage in an entire run, "The One With The Embryos" marks Friends’ pinnacle.

Best line:

Ross: "What is Chandler Bing’s job?" [Silence]

Want more of the best TV on the airwaves? Check out our best It's Always Sunny in Philadelphia episodes and best Fresh Prince of Bel-Air episodes.

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