ByGenevieve Van Voorhis, writer at
Game of Thrones, ASOUE, and all things '00s. Twitter: @gen_vanvee Email: [email protected]
Genevieve Van Voorhis

It's hard to figure out which episode of is the best. Hell, it's hard to figure out which 10 episodes are the best. Or 20. Hence, this list of the 23 best episodes of Friends. It covers a broad range of episodes, from the most comedically brilliant, to the most emotional, to the most iconic. When you've got Friends playing on loop in the background while you're at home, these are the episodes that suck you in. After 20 years, they still make you laugh out loud. Or cry. Or, if you're watching with someone else, they make you go "Wait SHHH! PAY ATTENTION!"

Now, here they are, painstakingly considered, gif-ed, and organized in ascending order of awesomeness. Be sure to add your own favorite episodes in the comments!

The Best Episodes Of 'Friends'

23. The One With The East German Laundry Detergent (Season 1, Episode 5)

Ross hits his head on the dryer 'Friends' [Credit: NBC]
Ross hits his head on the dryer 'Friends' [Credit: NBC]
  • Air Date: 20 October 1994
  • Guest Stars: Camille Saviola (The Horrible Woman), Maggie Wheeler (Janice)
  • Why It's Great: Friends, meet Janice. Janice, meet Friends.
  • Best Quote: "So... Saturday night, the big night. Date night. Saturday night, Sa-tur-day night!"

22. The One With The Routine (Season 6, Episode 10)

  • Air Date: 16 December 1999
  • Guest Stars: Elle Macpherson (Janine Lecroix), James Michael Tyler (Gunther)
  • Why It's Great: Monica and Ross's dance routine.
  • Best Quote: "That's a good story, Grandpa!"

21. The One With Unagi (Season 6, Episode 17)

Unagi 'Friends' [Credit: NBC]
Unagi 'Friends' [Credit: NBC]
  • Air Date: 24 February 2000
  • Guest Stars: James Michael Tyler (Gunther)
  • Why It's Great: Joey truly believes he can hire an actor to play his twin ("Damn it, Karl!"), Ross gets schooled by Phoebe and Rachel, and Janice crashes Monica and Chandler's Valentine's day via mixtape voiceover.
  • Best Quote: "Ah, salmon skin roll."

19. The One With The Holiday Armadillo (Season 7, Episode 10)

The Holiday Armadillo 'Friends' [Credit: NBC]
The Holiday Armadillo 'Friends' [Credit: NBC]
  • Air Date: 14 December 2000
  • Guest Stars: Cole Sprouse (Ben), James Michael Moore (Gunther)
  • Why It's Great: What started out as something totally random turned into a complete classic.
  • Best Quote: Chandler: "Santa, really?" / Monica: "Yeah, is that okay?" / Chandler: "Did your dad ever dress up like Santa?" / Monica: "No..." /Chandler: "Then it's OK!"

18. The One With All The Resolutions (Season 5, Episode 11)

Joey drops Phoebe's guitar 'Friends' [Credit: NBC]
Joey drops Phoebe's guitar 'Friends' [Credit: NBC]
  • Air Date: 7 January 1999
  • Why It's Great: Chandler resolves to stop making fun of his friends and Rachel tries to quit gossiping, but it's Ross's leather pants that make this one of the funniest episodes ever.
  • Best Quote: "If the paste matches the pants, you can make yourself a pair of paste pants and she won't know the difference!"

17. The One Where No One's Ready (Season 3, Episode 2)

Could I BE wearing any more clothes? 'Friends' [Credit: NBC]
Could I BE wearing any more clothes? 'Friends' [Credit: NBC]
  • Air Date: 26 September 1996
  • Why It's Great: All the friends together in Monica's apartment in real time.
  • Best Quote: "You were gonna drink the fat!"

16. The One With All The Cheesecakes (Season 7, Episode 11)

Rachel dumps Chandler's cake 'Friends' [Credit: NBC]
Rachel dumps Chandler's cake 'Friends' [Credit: NBC]
  • Air Date: 4 January 2001
  • Guest Stars: Hank Azaria (David)
  • Why It's Great: It's easy to skip over this episode because you know it'll trigger a massive cheesecake craving, but you should indulge anyway. It's one of the few Rachel/Chandler stories, plus Hank Azaria as David is always a welcome addition.
  • Best Quote: Chandler: "Where do you want to go to lunch?" / Rachel: "Mama's Little Bakery, Chicago, Illinois?"

15. The One With Phoebe's Birthday Dinner (Season 9, Episode 5)

Pick up the sock! 'Friends' [Credit: NBC]
Pick up the sock! 'Friends' [Credit: NBC]
  • Air Date: 31 October 2002
  • Guest Stars: Dan Bucatinsky (Waiter), Christina Pickles (Judy Geller)
  • Why It's Great: All three separate storylines are solid, but Ross has the classic, sarcastic, fantastic monologue below.
  • Best Quote: "A pigeon, a pigeon. No, no wait, no, no, an eagle flew in. Landed on the stove and caught fire. The baby, seeing this, jumps across the apartment to the mighty bird's aid. The eagle, however, misconstrues it as an act of aggression and grabs the baby in its talons. Meanwhile the faucet fills the apartment with water. Baby and bird still ablaze are locked in a death grip, swirling around in the whirlpool that fills the apartment."

14. The Last One Part 2 (Season 10, Episode 18)

The end 'Friends' [Credit: NBC]
The end 'Friends' [Credit: NBC]
  • Aired: 6 May 2004
  • Guest Stars: Anna Faris (Erica), James Michael Tyler (Gunther), Paul Rudd (Mike)
  • Why It's Great: They all go get another cup of coffee, we just don't get to go with them.
  • Best Quote: "I got off the plane." (Honorable Mention: "Gunther! Oh, I love you, too. Probably not in the same way, but I do! And when I'm in a cafe having coffee, or see a man with hair brighter than the sun, I'll think of you.)

13. The One That Could Have Been Part Two (Season 6, Episode 16)

  • Air Date: 17 February 2000
  • Guest Stars: Jane Sibbett (Carol Willick), Jessica Hecht (Susan Bunch), Mitchell Whitfield (Barry Farber), Paul Gleason (Jack), James Michael Tyler (Gunther)
  • Why It's Great: Fat Monica and deadbeat Chandler fall in love anyway.
  • Best Quote: "I tell you something. We are gonna do THAT again!"

12. The One Where Ross Finds Out (Season 2, Episode 7)

Ross and Rachel's first kiss 'Friends' [Credit: NBC]
Ross and Rachel's first kiss 'Friends' [Credit: NBC]
  • Air Date: 9 November 1995
  • Guest Stars: Lauren Tom (Julie)
  • Why It's Great: Ross and Rachel's first kiss.
  • Best Quote: "What? You're, uh, you're... you're over me? When... when were you... under me?"

11. The One Where Joey Speaks French (Season 10, Episode 13)

Joey chugs a gallon of milk 'Friends' [Credit: NBC]
Joey chugs a gallon of milk 'Friends' [Credit: NBC]
  • Air Date: 19 February 2004
  • Guest Stars: Anna Faris (Erica)
  • Why It's Great: Joey really, really can't speak French, but Matt Leblanc sure can commit to a bit. Watching Ross squirm around Rachel's father is always fun, and Monica and Chandler worry that their baby might be the spawn of shovel-y Joe.
  • Best Quote: "Écoutez — Je vais vous dire la véritê. C'est mon petit frére, il est un peu retardé." (Honorable Mention: "Toot de la froot.")

10. The One With Phoebe's Rats (Season 9, Episode 12)

Mike Hannigan 'Friends' [Credit: NBC]
Mike Hannigan 'Friends' [Credit: NBC]
  • Air Date: 16 January 2003
  • Guest Stars: Paul Rudd (Mike Hannigan), Dermot Mulroney (Gavin Mitchell)
  • Why It's Great: As hard as it is to accept the addition of a seventh friend, this episode proves that Paul Rudd is the perfect candidate for the job.
  • Best Quote: "Careful! Those are my rat babies!"

See also:

9. The One With Ross's Wedding Part Two (Season 4, Episode 24)

I Ross, take thee, Rachel reactions 'Friends' [Credit: NBC]
I Ross, take thee, Rachel reactions 'Friends' [Credit: NBC]
  • Air Date: 7 May 1998
  • Guest Stars: Elliott Gould (Jack Geller), Christina Pickles (Judy Geller), Helen Baxendale (Emily Waltham), Tom Conti (Steven Waltham), Hugh Laurie (The Gentleman on the Plane), Jane Carr (Ticket Agent)
  • Why It's Great: All that Ross-n-Rachel melodrama juxtaposed with the the upbeat sneakiness of the early days of Monica and Chandler.
  • Best Quote: "I, Ross, take thee, Rachel."

8. The One With Joey's New Brain (Season 7, Episode 15)

Ross plays bagpipes 'Friends' [Credit: NBC]
Ross plays bagpipes 'Friends' [Credit: NBC]
  • Air Date: 15 February 2001
  • Guest Stars: Susan Sarandon (Jessica Lockhart), Eva Amurri Martino (Dina Tribbiani)
  • Why It's Great: Ross playing the bagpipes, and Joey learning to be Susan Sarandon.
  • Best Quote: Monica: "Why is your family Scottish!?" / Chandler: "Why is your family Ross!?"

7. The One With The Morning After (Season 3 Episode 16)

Ross and Rachel break up 'Friends' [Credit: NBC]
Ross and Rachel break up 'Friends' [Credit: NBC]
  • Air Date: 20 February 1997
  • Guest Stars: James Michael Tyler (Gunther), Angela Featherstone (Chloe)
  • Why It's Great: As the only Friends episode that ends on a truly sad note, "The One With The Morning After" is likely one of the most skipped over. But what it lacks in comedy it makes up for in raw emotion and a good storyline that feels natural and true to the characters.
  • Best Quote: "Alright, look, if you absolutely have to tell her, at least wait until the timing's right... and that's what deathbeds are for."

6. The One With The Late Thanksgiving (Season 10, Episode 8)

The floating heads 'Friends' [Credit: NBC]
The floating heads 'Friends' [Credit: NBC]
  • Air Date: 20 November 2003
  • Why It's Great: By Season 10, the writing flows like a well-oiled laugh machine. Plus, it reuses the delightful technique of breaking the tension from a fight by announcing that someone's going to have a baby.
  • Best Quote: "Oh, sure, now they lock it, but when they're having sex on the couch it's like, 'Come on in, my butt is surprisingly hairy!' (Honorable Mention: "This Thanksgiving kicks last Thanksgiving's ass!")

5. The One Where Ross Is Fine (Season 10, Episode 2)

I think everyone would feel better if we had some Flan. 'Friends' [Credit: NBC]
I think everyone would feel better if we had some Flan. 'Friends' [Credit: NBC]
  • Air Date: 2 October 2003
  • Guest Stars: Giovanni Ribisi (Frank Buffay Jr.), Aisha Tyler (Charlie Wheeler)
  • Why It's The Best: A highly underrated episode, "The One Where Ross Is Fine" showcases David Schwimmer at his screechiest, funniest ever.
  • Best Quote: "Ah, love. L-O-V-E love. 'L' is for life. I mean what is life without love? 'O' is for OH WOW! 'V' is for this very surprising turn of events which I am *still* fine with by the way. 'EEE' is for how extreeemeely normal I find it that you two are together and that one day you might get married... and have children of your own..."

4. The One With All The Thanksgivings (Season 5, Episode 8)

Chandler's Flock of Seagulls hair 'Friends' [Credit: NBC]
Chandler's Flock of Seagulls hair 'Friends' [Credit: NBC]
  • Air Date: 19 November 1998
  • Guest Stars: Morgan Fairchild (Nora Tyler Bing), Christina Pickles (Judy Geller), Elliott Gould (Jack Geller)
  • Why It's Great: Fat Monica, Rachel's old nose, Ross and Chandler's hair, plus we get the incriminating backstory from Monica and Chandler's first meeting. Oh, plus Monica dances around with a Turkey on her head and Chandler says he loves her for the first time.
  • Best Quote: "Oh my God. There's a toe in my kitchen."

3. The One With The Prom Video (Season 2, Episode 14)

Ross in the Prom Video 'Friends' [Credit: NBC]
Ross in the Prom Video 'Friends' [Credit: NBC]
  • Air Date: 1 February 1996
  • Guest Stars: Elliot Gould (Jack Geller), Christina Pickles (Judy Geller)
  • Why It's Great: The first time we get to see Fat Monica, Rachel's old nose, and Ross's ridiculous hair, plus the added bonus of Rachel finally forgiving Ross (the first time).
  • Best Quote: "See? He's her lobster."

2. The One With The Proposal Part 2 (Season 2, Episode 14)

  • Air Date: 18 May 2000
  • Guest Stars: Tom Selleck (Richard Burke)
  • Why It's The Best: Even after all these years, your heart still breaks a little bit for Chandler when Joey tells him Monica's gone to stay with her parents. But once he opens the door to that über-romantic fire hazard, cue the waterworks.
  • Best Quote: "All my life, I never thought I'd be so lucky as to fall in love with my best [friend]." (Honorable mention: "I knew you were likely to take a wife!")

1. The One With The Embryos (Season 4 Episode 12)

Joey and Chandler roll in on the dog 'Friends' [Credit: NBC]
Joey and Chandler roll in on the dog 'Friends' [Credit: NBC]
  • Air Date: 15 January 1998
  • Guest Stars: Giovanni Ribisi (Frank Buffay Jr.), Debra Jo Rupp (Alice)
  • Why It's Great: No other episode so perfectly encapsulates everything that's so great about Friends: It's got jokes, it's got physical comedy, and — nearly 20 years later — it still manages to tug on the ol' heartstrings.
  • Best Quote: "My sister's gonna have my baby!" (Honorable Mention: "It's actually Miss Chanandler Bong.")

What's your favorite episode of Friends? Tell us in the comments below!


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