It all started with Ross saying ‘I don’t want to be single, I just want to be married again’, and suddenly FRIENDS became a very important part of our lives.
The popular sitcom came onto our television set with the premise of attractive 20-something individuals trying to find their ground in New York, but left with an enormous fan-base, unbelievable TRPs and an irreplaceable place in the history of pop culture.
We empathised with Ross, laughed with Chandler, exclaimed with Monica, rolled our eyes with Rachel, guffawed with Joey and were rendered speechless by Phoebe. And, after 10 years, when all of it was over, we cried a river, as if a part from our own lives was snatched away. Such was our addiction to this sit-com. To create a list of ten of the best episodes of the best sit-com ever is grossly unfair. But here we are, after a lot of brooding and contemplation, reliving some of the greatest memories of the show, picking the best episodes from the series, one season at a time. Take a look.
1) The One with all the Poker (Season 1 )
It’s a fairly simple episode about friends doing what they should do, relax and play games, which is why it is entertaining. The girls ask the guys to play poker, which the guys readily teach them. Rachel loses on a job opportunity and things get heated, stakes get higher until the final showdown. It is majorly about Ross’ deep feelings for Rachel and the easy camaraderie found in the group while they hang-out and play games.
2) The One with the Prom Video (Season 2)
Did you know that according to Phoebe lobsters fall in love and mate for life? And the lobster couple hold each others’ claws and walk in the tank? Well, yes Rachel is Ross’s lobster. In this episode, Rachel tells Ross that they can never be together and as an antidote to it, Monica receives an old box where she finds a videotape that their dad has shot before the prom. It’s about Rachel’s date bailing on her and Ross stepping as her date instead. Rachel melts seeing this, kisses Ross and makes up for everything. We can also, for the first time, see young and fat Monica. It makes for a heart-warming episode and a classic FRIENDS moment.
3) The One Where No One’s Ready (Season 3)
This one goes out for Joey and Chandler’s chemistry. This one also goes for the fact that it was entirely shot in Rachel-Monica’s apartment. The episode where no one gets ready for Ross’ banquet where he is to be felicitated, Joey and Chandler fight for the chair, Monica thinks Richard wants to get back and delays in getting ready, Joey spills food on Phoebe’s outfit and Rachel just can’t choose the right dress. However, the best part is when Joey wears all of Chandler’s clothes. Well, could he be wearing anymore clothes? Hilarious to the core!
4) The One with the Embryos (Season 4)
As Phoebe is to be implanted with her brother and sister-in-law’s embryos for surrogacy, the rest of the gang is busy at home fighting over who knows who the best - the girls or the boys? It leads to Ross being an MC for a quiz kind of a game show to figure out how much they know about each other. It also leads to the girls losing out ‘the’ apartment to the guys. We still crack up every time we watch the episode again, which, by the way, happens very frequently.
5) The One Where Everybody Finds Out (Season 5)
Undoubtedly the best episode of FRIENDS and Phoebe’s best performance till date. Monica and Chandler struggle to keep their clandestine affair a secret. Rachel eavesdrops, Phoebe sees the couple making out and, alas, everybody comes to know. Phoebe tries to mess up with the couple by pretending to be in love with Chandler and saying the famous line, “They don’t know that we know they know we know.” Funny, isn’t it?
6) The One with the Proposal (Season 6)
Just thinking about it makes us go, awww!! Of course, the hour-long episodes always made for an entertaining watch but this one beats every other episode. The sub-plots feature Phoebe and Rachel discussing about Monica and Chandler, while Joey buys a boat that he can’t afford to pay for while Monica goes on one knee to propose Chandler thereby sealing their love story forever!
7) The One with the Holiday Armadillo (Season 7)
Holiday episodes provided some of the best entertainment in FRIENDS, and in this one Ross tries to teach his son Ben about Hanukkah, when he is clearly obsessed about Santa Claus. The episode ends with Santa, the Holiday Armadillo, and Superman lighting a Menorah together. Need we say more?
8) The One with the Rumour (Season 8)
Rachel had both male and female genital parts. And yes, that is the rumour in this helluva comical episode. Who started it? Well, Ross and Brad Pitt, who is also featured as a celebrity guest in this one. It ends with Joey finishing up an entire turkey and us on the edge of our seats laughing out our guts seeing him.
9) The One with the Lottery (Season 9)
“Hello. This is the pigeon from the balcony. I shouldn’t have knocked the bowl from the pretty lady’s hand. It’s all my fault and not hers. Bye. Coo”. That’s Phoebe for you impersonating as a pigeon, and it couldn’t get any better. Monica leads the gang, except for a scoffing Ross, to buy a series of lottery tickets to win a multi-million dollar jackpot. Chandler frets over a call from his company that will give him a permanent position, Phoebe disdainfully succumbing to a pigeon attack while Rachel thinks her daughter Emma has finally uttered her first word. This is one adventurous FRIENDS episode.
10) The Last One (Season 10)
How can we not include this one in the list? The ability of FRIENDS to make us laugh like maniacs and shed hundreds of tears in the same instance is beautifully captured in the final episode. While some sit-coms succumb to the theatrics while touching the final line, Friends, on the other hand, delivered a top-notch episode. Everything was perfect. Monica and Chandler became parents to two beautiful babies; Ross and Rachel were finally together, so were Phoebe and the love of her life Mike and Joey was still single and fabulous. We, on the other hand, were left with many blissful memories. Sniff, sniff!
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