Central Perk was the place to be from 1994 until 2004. While viewers couldn’t physically be present at the famous coffee shop, we joined Rachel, Monica, Chandler, Joey, Phoebe and Ross through our living room television. The characters of “Friends” delighted audiences with corny jokes and a mostly-unique storyline for 236 episodes. At this point, the fictional personalities are our close companions. Let’s commemorate our companions where they truly shine. Here are the top ten episodes from our favorite comedy series.
The One With Ross’s Tan (Season 10, Episode 3)
I find this episode hilarious, especially since it’s so realistic. Miscommunication between Ross and a tanning booth leads to his skin turning to a much darker orange than he anticipated. A true “fake tan,” if you will. I feel for Ross, but it’s really hard not to laugh at his misfortune.
The One with the Embryos (Season 4, Episode 12)
This episode is shocking because the girls lose the apartment. What? I know, crazy. In an intense battle of trivia between the girls versus the guys, the boys prevail. The ladies, who foolishly offered up their apartment as compensation, ended up losing the bet. Chandler and Joey’s reign over the space doesn’t last long, but the twist is a surprise nonetheless.
The One with the Jellyfish (Season 4, Episode 1)
This title leaves nothing to the imagination. Monica gets stung by a jellyfish on the beach, and experiences a whole lot of pain. Chandler ends up urinating on her foot to relieve the sting when Joey can’t step up to the plate. The trio are later traumatized by the experience and refuse to relay the happenings to the others. In the end they do, but it is a ball playing the guessing game. I definitely didn’t want to go anywhere near the ocean after watching this episode for the first time.
The One with Chandler in a Box (Season 4, Episode 8)
Chandler is known as the jokester of the group. He can make a joke out of anything and everything, but this time, he’s not joking. Chandler stays in a box for six hours to gain Joey’s forgiveness after he kissed Joey’s girlfriend Kathy. He stays in said box for the majority of the episode — what else do I have to say?
The One with Ross’s Wedding Part 2 (Season 4, Episode 24)
Ross’s wedding might be a major part of this episode, but it’s not the reason it makes the list. This is when we first see a spark between Chandler and Monica. Their relationship lasts for the next six seasons, so this is huge. Plus, the pair are my favorite couple and the beginning of their partnership is worth celebration alone.
The One with the Prom Video (Season 2, Episode 14)
Ross has been in love with Rachel since the moment he first set eyes on her. Rachel doesn’t understand until she sees just one Geller home video, where Ross acts as a knight in shining armor. Once Rachel sees the depth of Ross’s feelings for her, the two are inseparable. (At least until the two are, as Ross puts it, “on a break”)
The One with Phoebe’s Wedding (Season 10, Episode 12)
I’ll be honest, this one made the list for two reasons. First, Phoebe finally gets the happy ending she deserves. After many failed relationships and several heartbreaks, she finally marries the man of her dreams. I couldn’t be happier for her. Second, this episode features Paul Rudd’s occurring character. Enough said.
The One with the Cop (Season 5, Episode 16)
Perhaps this is one of “Friends” most memorable episodes. All I have to say is “pivot!” and fans know what I’m talking about. While trying to carry a heavy-looking sofa up a flight of stairs, Ross hollers “pivot!” at Rachel and Chandler in a most hilarious display of his frustration. The memes circulating the internet should be enough to tell you how iconic this scene truly was. It’s definitely one of the funniest on the “Friends” roster.
The One with the Soap Opera Party (Season 9, Episode 20)
Let’s be honest, “Friends” is pretty whitewashed. Almost all of the characters are white, and those who are of an ethnic minority lack a recurring position on the show. This episode is significant since it presented the first recurring black character in the series. Charlie Wheeler is an accomplished black woman who remains in the show for 13 episodes. Her appearance was a step in the right direction for “Friends.”
The Last One Parts 1 and 2 (Season 10, Episodes 17 and 18)
When “Friends” ended, I felt as if a piece of me was missing. What wasn’t missing was the ending we all needed and deserved. Almost everything I wanted to happen in Friends happened in these last two episodes. Rachel and Ross finally ended up together while Chandler and Monica adopted twins. Truth be told, I cried a lot for this episode. It was heart-wrenching when Monica’s iconic apartment was left empty. However, all good things come to an end and I’m okay with this one.
My list obviously leaves a lot of good episodes out, but these are the memories which left a lasting impact. “Friends” is like an American heirloom, something we will hold on to forever. I think it’s time to binge-watch it for the hundredth time.