The absolute best episode from every season of Friends
Need a marathon watching all 10 of these back to back
Everyone has their favourite Friends episode, but it’s honestly a solid job to whittle down 234 episodes of the greatest sitcom of all time to one singular favourite episode. Instead, how about one from each of Friends’ 10 seasons? Here’s the best episode from every season of Friends – as per a super fan’s opinion.
Season one: The One With The Blackout
Season one isn’t chock full of contenders for the greatest episode of Friends, but the best is The One With The Blackout. The show was barely 10 episodes into its establishment of the core six we’ve come to know and love and it produced this bit of magic that feels a lot like a later episode. New York has a blackout, resulting in Chandler getting stuck in an ATM vestibule with a model and the others hanging out in Monica and Rachel’s apartment. A cat attacks Ross too, which is perfection.
Season two: The One With The Prom Video
Widely regarded as one of the greatest episode of TV of all time, The One With The Prom Video gets Rachel and Ross together for real after the group end up watching a video showing the nice thing Ross did for a teenage Rachel after her prom date turned up late. It’s super moving, and also gave us Phoebe’s iconic “He’s her lobster”. Side plots involve the chaos around Joey buying Chandler the ugly bracelet.
Season three: The One Where No One’s Ready
The best Friends episode of season three for me is The One Where No One’s Ready. A perfect example of a bottle episode – a TV term that means it’s an episode where the characters all stay in one location and it unfolds in pretty much real time. I love bottle episodes so much because I feel like it encourages the best out of writers, and the chaos of this episode proves it. The escalation of Chandler and Joey’s argument about being “in my seat”, Rachel’s outfit changes, Phoebe’s hummus saga and Monica breaking into Richard’s answering machine all come together in perfect harmony.
Season four: The One With The Embryos
Named after Phoebe trying to get pregnant with the embryos for Frank and Alice, but most famous for the absolute chaos of the trivia quiz where Monica and Rachel compete against Joey and Chandler to prove who knows the other pair better. The bet gets out of hand when if Joey and Chandler win the game they win Monica and Rachel’s apartment, and Ross oversees all as a game master.
Season five: The One Where Everybody Finds Out
The best episode ever. Everyone is amazing, especially Matthew Perry and Lisa Kudrow. I could watch this on loop and laugh out loud every time. It’s the one where everyone finds out about Monica and Chandler being together, but you knew that. Rewatch needed NOW.
Season six: The One Where Ross Got High
There’s a reason there’s two Thanksgiving Friends episodes on this rundown of the best episode from each season: it’s because the show always smashes these seasonal episodes out of the park. The One Where Ross Got High, also memorable for Rachel making an English trifle that’s half that and half a shepherd’s pie because the cookbook pages stuck together, is golden. It’s perfect ensemble comedy. Everyone is at the top of their game, and it perfectly uses Jack and Judy Geller – two of the funniest recurring characters.
Season seven: The One With Chandler’s Dad
Perhaps a rogue choice for some, but this final episode before the Monica and Chandler wedding is my best Friends episode from season seven. I’m not sure why Kathleen Turner was cast as Chandler’s dad, but she does a great job. I’d rather a trans woman have played this part, or a gay man in drag – it’s ambiguous as to what Chandler’s dad goes by as a gender identity but considering she’s female presenting at the wedding I guess she’s trans. Anyway, slight 90s problematic portrayals aside, its heart’s in its right place and I find it really moving.
I also love the side plot of Rachel and Ross in the car flirting with the cops to avoid traffic tickets.
Season eight: The One With The Rumor
Right back in with another Thanksgiving classic: Brad Pitt, who was with Jennifer Aniston at the time, stars as Will – an old friend of Ross and Monica’s who hates Rachel Green with all his heart and soul and started a rumour about her when he was in an I Hate Rachel Green club along with Ross. So funny. Comedy gold actually. Everyone is amazing in this.
Season nine: The One With The Lottery
This entire list really speaks on how much my best episode of each Friends season is often one where all six of the group are together and doing some combined nonsense. I love the dynamic of all six of them bouncing off each other, and the lottery chaos is a great late show example of that. Everyone behaves so in character and how we know and love them, whether that be Ross’ cynicism, Phoebe’s mysticism or Monica’s competitive nature. The pigeon saga is one of my funniest Friends bits ever.
Season 10: The Last One
I’ve generally avoided putting season finales as the best episode of the Friends season in this, mostly because I genuinely prefer the standalone rather than the overall narrative but also because I think it’s a bit of a copout. What’s not a copout is The Last One, an impossible feat of finishing one of the most beloved and biggest shows ever in a way that satisfies fans – and the fact it’s done this great is amazing. Hilarious, moving, quotable – just a really fitting and well done ending that deserves all its praise and solidified the show’s legacy as a proper classic.
RIP Matthew Perry – 1969-2023.
Friends is streaming now on Netflix. For all the latest Netflix news, drops, quizzes and memes like The Holy Church of Netflix on Facebook.
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