The beloved Friends sextet has given fans an endless supply of laughs over the years. Whether you enjoy Ross’s spray tan mishaps, Phoebe’s stint as “Princess Consuela Bananahammock,” Rachel “balding” Ross’s girlfriend, or the time Joey put on all of Chandler’s clothes, this series’ ten seasons are filled with hilarious moments.
Most Friends fans would find it hard to narrow down their list of favorite episodes to just ten. Thankfully, Rolling Stone magazine has done the heavy lifting on that one, creating a list of the installments they thought were the best.
“The One With The Proposal” (S6, E24 & 25)
When Chandler reveals that he plans to propose to Monica, viewers excitedly cheer him on. In true Chandler fashion, nothing goes according to plan. At the restaurant, Monica’s ex-boyfriend Richard and his date show up and join them at their table – much to Chandler’s dismay. Richard later goes to Monica’s workplace to declare his undying love for her. Meanwhile, Chandler is trying to throw Monica off the scent by pretending he’s not ready for a marriage commitment.
This episode earns its place in this list when Monica gets down on her knees and Chandler joins her in a teary-eyed joint proposal, one of Friends’ most romantic scenes. Its important place in Monica and Chandler’s relationship timeline also cements it as one of the best ever Friends episodes.
“The One After Ross Says Rachel” (S5, E1)
At the end of the fourth season, fans are treated to two shocking reveals – Chandler and Monica become romantically involved and Ross accidentally says Rachel’s name during his wedding vows to Emily. This highly anticipated follow-up to the season 4 finale expertly propels the plot forward without giving too much away.
As expected, Emily is devastated and Rachel is confused. Chandler and Monica are having fun while trying to keep their new relationship a secret. And the show’s devotees are treated to two new and very important storylines making it an important episode in the series as well as one of the best ever.
“The One After Vegas” (S6, E1)
Chandler and Monica plan to get hitched in Vegas, although neither are truly comfortable with getting married yet. In one of the most unexpected things to happen in Friends, it is Rachel and Ross who wind up tying the knot in a bout of drunkenness. When the recently wedded but clueless duo wakes up together sporting marker-drawn facial hair, they laugh it off and head down for breakfast.
Part of what makes this episode special is the fact that fans are always one step ahead of the characters. Viewers see the words “Just Married” penned across Ross’s back, but he and Rachel remain in the dark. Fans also know that Ross is only pretending to have their marriage annulled, but Rachel has no idea.
“The One With The Rumor” (S8, E9)
Guest-starring Brad Pitt, this episode will go down in the history books as the only time Jennifer Aniston acted alongside her then-husband. Pitt plays Will, a formerly overweight high school friend of Ross and Monica, whom Monica has invited for Thanksgiving dinner. It turns out that Rachel was mean to him at school, resulting in Will and Ross forming an “I Hate Rachel Green” Club.
Not only is it fun to see Pitt and Aniston sparring, but Joey’s promise to make sure that Monica is not saddled with leftover turkey is a tremendously funny subplot. Donning a pair of Phoebe’s maternity pants (a.k.a. his “Thanksgiving pants), he settles in to wipe out the 19-pound bird in one sitting.
“The One With The Prom Video” (S2, E14)
This season 2 gem reveals much about the character’s teenage selves when they uncover Rachel and Monica’s old prom video. Fans learn that Rachel had a nose job, Monica wasn’t always slim, and Ross was willing to take Rachel to her prom after her date was a no-show. Seeing these well-known characters at their most vulnerable makes this episode extra special.
It also introduces fans to Phoebe’s memorable phrase, “He’s her lobster,” relating to the fact that the crustaceans mate for life. And, when Joey buys Chandler a thank-you gift of a clunky, engraved bracelet – the one he calls the “woman repeller” and the “eyesore from the Liberace House of Crap – viewers are treated to comic gold.
“The One Where Everybody Finds Out” (S5, E14)
By the time this episode rolls around, fans are dying for Monica and Chandler’s relationship to come out in the open – making this a very momentous installment in the series. When Phoebe sees Monica and Chandler making out from across the street, she and Rachel decide to team up to mess with their heads. Phoebe pretends she is lusting after Chandler, sparking a flirtatious game of cat and mouse, seeing who will back down first. When Chandler breaks down and declares that he loves Monica, viewers everywhere utter a collective “aww” and television history is made.
Ross discovers that his best friend and sister are romantically involved in a hilarious way. Plus, this is the episode where fans are first introduced to Joey’s beloved stuffed toy, Huggsy the Penguin.
“The One Where Ross Got High” (S6, E9)
In what many contend is the series’ greatest Thanksgiving episode, Chandler tries to impress Monica’s parents to no avail. It turns out that Ross blamed him when his parents discovered pot in his possession years ago. What starts as a confession to make things right turns into a battle of Ross and Monica squealing on each other about every misdeed they’ve ever committed.
Meanwhile, Phoebe finds herself attracted to Mr. Gellar. And, Rachel makes an inedible dish comingling the ingredients for a trifle with those of a shepherd’s pie – one of Rachel’s funniest scenes in Friends. Everyone loves to watch a holiday-gone-wrong and no one does this better than Friends.
“The One Where No One’s Ready” (S3, E2)
Filmed almost entirely in real-time within the confines of Monica’s apartment, this episode revolves around Ross trying to wrangle up his friends and bring them to an important function. When Joey and Chandler fight over a chair, chaos ensues resulting in Chandler hiding Joey’s underwear and Joey wearing every item of clothing that Chandler owns.
This episode spawns Joey’s phrase, “I’m Chandler and could I be wearing any more clothes?”—a line that Friends aficionados everywhere know by heart. This season 3 favorite also shows Ross’s willingness to express his affection for Rachel by ingesting a glass of chicken fat. It’s often cited as one of the show’s landmark episodes and for good reason. It shows each of the character’s personalities perfectly and has plenty of side-splittingly funny moments to boot.
“The One With The Embryos” (S4, E12)
As Rolling Stone points out, this episode is clearly mistitled as the highlight is not Phoebe’s IVF procedure, but the high-stakes trivia game played by Joey, Chandler, Rachel, and Monica. Not only are fans treated to a treasure trove of facts about each character – Monica’s pet peeve is animals dressed up as humans and Joey’s childhood imaginary friend was Maurice the Space Cowboy – but this is the episode that cost Monica and Rachel their spacious apartment.
Of course, the one question the girls can’t answer is “What is Chandler’s job?” – something that even the most devoted of fans would find hard to answer and one of the funniest running gags on Friends. In an interesting twist, the guys’ chicken is really a rooster, waking everyone up before dawn.
“The One Where Ross Finds Out” (S2, E7)
“Ross and Rachel” episodes are huge fan favorites, but this one is especially important. After a full season of Ross carrying a torch for Rachel, followed by Rachel pining for Ross (who was then dating Julie), viewers want to see things work out for the pair. When an intoxicated Rachel leaves a telling message on Ross’s answering machine declaring that she is over him, Ross confusedly asks, “When were you under me?”
This episode invites eager viewers to share Ross and Rachel’s first kiss and the start of a series-long on-again-off-again relationship is born. And fans will cheer these two on until the bittersweet finale.
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