Okay so this post is a little late. Blame the unexpected hospital stay that meant I couldn’t post it on Monday, which was the actual 20th Anniversary since the first episode of Friends was screened in America. I’m even early for the UK’s own anniversary! Like many people now in their early 30s, I loved Friends when it began – the exciting idea of living in NYC, in that amazing flat and with such great friends surrounding you. I always hoped that would be me one day, when I was as old as them and had life worked out. Well it may not be NYC and I’m still working out life, but I can definitely say I have just as great a group of Friends!
As with all my other Television Nostalgia posts, I’ve thought about my favourite episodes of this classic series and set them out below. I’ll admit from the start, I preferred the early years so this list is definitely biased towards those. Feel free to leave your own favourites in the comments.
1. The One Where Ross & Rachel…You Know (series 2, episode 15)
I think this will always be my favourite episode. Yes it’s the episode with Ross and Rachel in the museum (which seemed quite raunchy to me at the time!), but it’s the wonderfully brilliant storyline of Chandler and Joey’s incredible chairs that makes me laugh most.
2. The One Where Everybody Finds Out (series 5, episode 14)
A close second is this episode where everyone discovers Chandler and Monica are secretly dating. The tactics the gang go to to get them to admit it is hilarious to watch, especially the final war of wills between Phoebe and Chandler!
3. The One With The Prom Video (series 2, episode 14)
“See, he’s her lobster.” Surely one of the ultimate lines over its ten years. This is such a sweet episode. I was never really a fan of Ross (far too irritating for me) but even I found myself being swayed by his secret teenage plan to save Rachel from being stood up for the Prom. What girl would not be moved by that? For me, it was clear from then on that if the series didn’t end with them together I’d be annoyed!
4. The One With The Embryos aka The Quiz One! (series 4, episode 12)
I still find it odd that this episode is better known for the storyline not referenced in the title! The quiz in which the boys compete with the girls as to who knows who best has some of the funniest moments in the series and the ultimate shock result – the girls lose the apartment!
5. The One With Chandler In A Box (series 4, episode 8)
Chandler kisses Joey’s girlfriend and must be punished. In Friends fashion this has to be something quirky and so we have an episode in which Chandler remains in a crate the whole time! He was always my favourite of the six and I love how his witty dialogue is still stealing the show even when you can’t see him!
6. The One With All The Poker (series 1, episode 18)
One of my top early episodes, with all the gang in some great scenes together, as the girls battle the boys at poker. Ross letting Rachel win was always going to happen though!
7. The One Where No One’s Ready (series 3, episode 2)
Another fab episode with a classic line: “I’m Chandler Bing. Could I BE wearing any more clothes?!” You also have Monica in a panic over answer phone messages left for Richard and Ross trying not to anger Rachel in his desperate attempt to get everyone to leave the flat on time!
8. The One With The Football (series 3, episode 9)
An episode where Monica and Ross’s family rivalry gets to shine as they battle over the treasured family football cup. Seeing how dreadful some of them are at the game, while Joey and Chandler desperately flirt on the sidelines is always great entertainment.
9. The One Where Ross Finds Out (series 2, episode 7)
An early warning in my youth of the perils of leaving drunk messages for people. They can come back to get you. Then again, as this proves, sometimes it’s not always a bad thing! I think the whole world of fans cheered!
10. The One Where Eddie Won’t Go (series 2, episode 19)
Chandler and Joey were such a wonderful duo and having them not live together was horrifying to me. The Eddie storyline was so brilliantly acted by Matthew Perry and the way he actually gets Eddie to think he never lived there was genius.
So those are my favourites. I think I really may have to rewatch them all now (I am fairly sure there are some in the latter years I haven’t even seen!). I’ll always think of Friends fondly as one of the first television series I truly became hooked on, not to mention it’s wonderful theme song and fun tie-CD soundtrack and no doubt it’ll continue to draw new generations to it’s special brand of comedy for years to come.