Believe it or not, it’s officially been twenty years since Friends first came on to our screens. To mark this, I’ve rounded up — what I consider to be — the twenty best episodes. To keep things even, I chose two from every season — a classic and a personal favourite! Read on and let the memories come flooding back…and be sure to share your own favourites too!
Classic: The Pilot
Where it all began — we’re introduced to newly divorced Ross and his younger sister Monica, roommates Chandler and Joey, kooky Phoebe and runaway bride Rachel.
Personal Favourite: The One Where Underdog Gets Away
Thanksgiving doesn’t go quite as planned as Rachel misses her flight, Joey “gets” V.D and everyone gets locked out of the apartment as dinner burns inside.
Classic: The One with the Prom Video
The gang watch an old videotape which shows Rachel and Monica’s prom night. Thinking Rachel has been stood up, Ross dons his father’s tuxedo but her date then arrives and Ross is left disappointed and alone on the stairs. When the video ends, Rachel kisses Ross for the first time.
Personal Favourite: The One with the Lesbian Wedding
Phoebe believes she’s possessed by the spirit of an elderly woman who wanted to see everything before she died. Ross’ ex-wife Carol and her partner Susan marry; and at their wedding, the spirit finally leaves as Phoebe blurts out “now I’ve seen everything!”
Classic: The One the Morning After
Ross desperately tries to prevent Rachel from finding out that he slept with another woman. When she eventually learns the truth, Ross utters his famous defensive “we were on a break!” line for the first time. Meanwhile, the others are stuck in Monica’s bedroom, forced to listen to the break-up.
Personal Favourite: The One with the Football
It’s Thanksgiving and what starts as a friendly game of touch football ends with Ross’ pride and Monica’s competitive streak going in to overdrive. Joey and Chandler compete for the attention of a woman from the Netherlands…which is where Joey thinks Peter Pan lives.
Classic: The One with Ross’s Wedding (Part Two)
Excluding a heavily pregnant Phoebe, everyone is in London for Ross and Emily’s wedding. Realising that she still has feelings for Ross, Rachel has shown up at the last minute and her sudden appearance causes Ross to say the wrong name at the alter.
Personal Favourite: The One with the Embryos
Ross devises a quiz where Joey and Chandler compete with Monica and Rachel to see who knows the most about the other two. The girls lose the game…and their apartment! Phoebe becomes a surrogate for her brother and his wife.
Classic: The One Hundredth
Surrogate mum Phoebe gives birth to triplets. Joey has “sympathy pains” and goes through the agony of passing kidney stones with Ross by his side.
Personal Favourite: The One in Vegas (Part One)
Monica and Chandler decide to travel to Vegas for their anniversary but Phoebe decides to make it a group trip. Ross catches Rachel naked in her apartment and mistakenly believes it to be an attempt to seduce him. On their flight the next day, the two try to see who can embarrass the other the most.
Classic: The One with the Proposal (Part Two)
Planning to propose but wanting to throw her off the scent, Chandler has made Monica believe that he has no interest in marriage. Unfortunately for him, his idea works too well and Monica starts to doubt their relationship. Things get even messier when her ex Richard gets involved. Thinking he has blown it, Chandler returns to their apartment where he finds her waiting for him. She attempts to propose but he soon takes over and they become engaged.
Personal Favourite: The One Where Phoebe Runs
Rachel asks Phoebe to join her in jogging through Central Park but is mortified when she sees Phoebe’s wild running style. Phoebe defends herself, saying she enjoys it because it reminds her of when she was a child “running towards the swings or running away from Satan (the neighbour’s dog…!)”.
Classic: The One with Monica and Chandler’s Wedding (Part Two)
Thinking that Monica is pregnant and worried about commitment, Chandler disappears. The others frantically search for him but he soon comes to his senses and returns on his own accord. The couple get married and at the end, it’s revealed that Rachel is the one that’s secretly expecting.
Personal Favourite: The One with Phoebe’s Cookies
Monica desperately wants to be the mother who makes the world’s best cookies and asks Phoebe to share her grandmother’s secret recipe. After baking endless test batches for Phoebe and Ross to try out, Monica eventually realises that the recipe is actually from Nestle Tollhouse.
Classic: The One with the Red Sweater
Rachel is refusing to name the father of the baby but Joey remembers that a man’s red sweater had been left in their apartment. Phoebe guesses that it’s Rachel’s ex Tag and secretly arranges for them to meet. When they find out that Tag isn’t actually the father, the friends are left confused…until Ross shows up and claims the sweater as his own.
Personal Favourite: The One with the Baby Shower
Monica and Phoebe organise a baby shower for Rachel but forget to invite her mother until the last minute. Monica is beside herself with guilt and overenthusiastically tries to make up for it at the party. Rachel panics over the near arrival of her baby and agrees to allow her mother to move in until Ross persuades her otherwise.
Classic: The One in Barbados (Part Two)
The gang are in Barbados for a conference in which Ross is a key note speaker. Two of Phoebe’s exes propose to her but she turns both of them down. Monica and Mike get involved in a competitive game of Ping-Pong. Joey and Charlie break up which leads to Charlie kissing Ross and Joey kissing Rachel.
Personal Favourite: The One with the Mugging
One of Phoebe’s friends from the street attempts to mug her and Ross until he recognises her. Phoebe realises that she mugged Ross in their teen years and feels compelled to admit this to him. Although Ross is initially upset, he forgives her when she shows him that she kept the comic book he created. He’s even pleased to find that his creative efforts taught Phoebe about science.
Classic: The Last One
Monica and Chandler finally become parents as Erica gives birth to twins. Rachel is due to fly to Paris to start a new job but realises at the last minute that she wants to be with Ross. She makes it off the plane and they’re reunited. Monica’s apartment is cleared out but before she moves away with her new family, the gang decide to go for one last cup of coffee.
Personal Favourite: The One with Phoebe’s Wedding
An unexpected snowstorm hits the city but rather than delay their wedding, Phoebe and Mike decide to marry outside on the street. Organized by Monica and officiated by Joey (who became an ordained minister online for Chandler and Monica’s wedding and stayed as one so he “can ride the subway for free”), Phoebe has the simple but beautiful wedding she always wanted.
image sourced from comedy central uk