There comes a point in every Friends fan’s life when they have re-watched the series on Netflix too many times and have to start from square one yet again. But instead of doing another re-watch straight through the series, you could spice things up a bit and watch a handful of the best episodes to remind you why you fell in love with the show in the first place. And this ranking of the best Friends episodes will definitely make your next Friends marathon a little easier.
To say that these are the best episodes of the entire series is purely subjective. There are so many episodes that some fans might prefer the earlier seasons, while others might love everything that happened after the London episodes. But looking back at all 10 seasons of one of the greatest sitcoms ever, these are easily some of the best episodes that Friends churned out. From Ross and Rachel answering the question of will they/won’t they for the first of many times to Chandler’s awful new roommate he brought in to replace Joey, all of these hold a special place in my heart. And, I'm sure, the hearts of other Friends super fans.
So without further ado, here is a countdown ranking of the 25 best Friends episodes from good to great.
25. The One With Chandler In A Box (Season 4 Episode 8)
With five single friends, everyone was bound to play musical partners at some point, but Chandler really did a number on Joey when he kissed Kathy. To punish Chandler, Joey makes him spend Thanksgiving in a large box in the living room. To be more exact, he makes Chandler spend six hours in the box, which was the same amount of time Joey spent in their entertainment center when they were robbed earlier in the season.
24. The One With The Jellyfish (Season 4 Episode 1)
This episode picks up where the Season 3 finale left off, leaving viewers to wonder whether Ross picked his new girlfriend Bonnie or chose Rachel. In this episode, fans find out that Ross picked Rachel. In order to make things right with her, he has to read an 18 page letter that asks him to take responsibility for all of their relationship problems. Needless to say, their reconciliation is short-lived.
23. The One With Phoebe's Wedding (Season 10 Episode 12)
While some fans might still say that Phoebe and Joey would have made a good couple, it made more sense for her to end up with someone outside of their inner circle. And even though Mike wasn't as much of a free spirit as she was, they went well together. Their outdoor winter wedding in Season 10 is pretty perfect.
22. The One With The Proposal (Season 6 Episodes 24/25)
Both parts of this episode get a spot on this list because they were basically part of one long episode that sent fans on a rollercoaster. Just when it seems like Monica and Chandler might not make it after running into Richard and revisiting Chandler’s commitment issues, Monica surprises him with a proposal and it’s adorable.
21. The One With The Routine (Season 6 Episode 10)
Any time Ross and Monica’s sibling nerdiness came out, it made for comedic gold. It was moments like their dance routine during a taping of Dick Clark's New Year's Rockin' Eve that made them seem like actual brother and sister.
20. The One Where No One’s Ready (Season 3 Episode 2)
The entire episode centers around a series of unfortunate events among all of the friends. Ross shows up to Monica and Rachel’s apartment to pick up everyone for an event, only to find that not everyone is ready. He yells at Rachel, causing her to refuse to go, Chandler and Joey fight over a chair, Phoebe gets hummus spilled on her gown, and Monica obsesses over a message she leaves on Richard’s answering machine. Nothing really gets resolved, but it’s an episode that is a perfect representation of all of the characters’ personalities.
19. The One Where Eddie Won’t Go (Season 2 Episode 19)
When Joey moves out, Chandler brings in Eddie, a new roommate who at first seems like a totally normal guy. But from talking to himself to having a goldfish cracker in a fish tank as a house pet, Chandler starts to see how unhinged his new roomie is. When Chandler kicks him out, Eddie refuses to accept it until Chandler literally has to lock him out and convince him that he doesn't live there.
18. The One Where Everybody Finds Out (Season 5 Episode 14)
Until this episode, not everyone knew about Monica and Chandler's secret relationship. But in this episode, everyone finally finds out about them, including Ross, who sees them kissing across the courtyard from his new apartment. Watching your best friend and your sister make out probably isn't the way you want to learn about their relationship.
17. The Last One (Season 10 Episodes 17/18)
This is another double episode that gets lumped together on this list. The final episode of Friends has just the right amount of humor, callbacks, and emotion to make any fan a blubbering mess by the end of it. Even if you had already seen it 12 times.
16. The One With Ross’ Sandwich (Season 5 Episode 9)
The title of this episode comes from Ross’s boss eating his special post-Thanksgiving sandwich from the employee refrigerator at work, but the episode also centers around Monica and Chandler’s secret relationship. With Joey being the only friend who knows about them, he is forced to cover for them, including lying about his underwear in Monica’s apartment and about being a sexual deviant.
15. The One With Russ (Season 2 Episode 10)
In an effort to get over Ross completely, Rachel starts dating a new guy — Russ. He looks and acts like Ross in every way but she is the only one who can't see it until she watches the men argue and suddenly sees how alike they are. At the end of the episode, Ross’s ex, Julie, crosses paths with Russ and they seem to hit it off, so at least someone finds happiness in the end.
14. The One With The Late Thanksgiving (Season 10 Episode 8)
Maybe I’m just bias for including this Season 10 episode, because like Monica, I could totally see myself locking my friends out of my apartment if I spent hours cooking a Thanksgiving dinner, only to have everyone show up late. All is forgiven, however, when Monica gets the call from the adoption agency that someone wants her and Chandler to adopt their baby.
13. The One With The Rumor (Season 8 Episode 9)
Apparently, Friends Thanksgiving episodes are where it’s at, because the Season 8 turkey day episode is another gem. Brad Pitt guest stars as a former classmate who hated Rachel in high school. He reveals during dinner that he and Ross started the I Hate Rachel Green Club and circulated a rumor that Rachel was born with male and female genitalia.
12. The One With The Nap Partners (Season 7 Episode 6)
A lot of the episode is about Chandler and Monica’s upcoming wedding, but the title stems from the other storyline about Ross and Joey’s newfound love of napping together. After falling asleep once together, they finally give in and nap again, in each other’s arms, on the couch. The rest of the gang is there when they wake up and it’s clear why they resisted taking another nap together in the first place.
11. The One With Unagi (Season 6 Episode 17)
After Phoebe and Rachel take a self-defense class, Ross tries to school them by telling them the ultimate form of defense is Unagi, which is, apparently, a state of total awareness. He proceeds to teach them about it by randomly popping out to scare them, but they do the same with him, proving that they really are a lot tougher than he is. As if anyone really needed confirmation of that.
10. The One With The Red Sweater (Season 8 Episode 2)
After Rachel reveals that she’s pregnant, the only thing left to do is find out who the father is. Since she isn't ready to tell the group about him just yet, they investigate it themselves. They come to the conclusion that whoever her mystery guy is had been wearing a red sweater he left over the apartment the night they hooked up. At the end of the episode, Ross grabs the sweater and literally everyone is shook.
9. The One Where Chandler Can't Remember Which Sister (Season 3 Episode 11)
Chandler makes out with one of Joey’s seven sisters at a birthday party, but the next day, can't remember which one it was. Joey orders him to do right by his sister and at least tell her that he has no intention of being with her, but when Chandler visits Joey's parents' house, all of Joey’s sisters do legitimately look like clones of one another.
8. The One Where Rachel Finds Out (Season 1 Episode 24)
In true Ross and Rachel fashion, this episode is a case of too little too late with them. When Ross is out of town, Rachel finds out his true feelings for her and realizes that she is also into him. But when she shows up at the airport to pick him up, with flowers no less, she sees Ross with a new girlfriend he apparently met while on his trip. It’s pretty heartbreaking.
7. The One In Vegas Part 1 (Season 5 Episode 23)
The gang heads to Vegas to support Joey, who flew there to shoot a movie, and to make up for Phoebe missing out on the London trip. But Monica and Chandler are off to a rough start after he hears that she had been in contact with Richard and Rachel and Ross have a battle of embarrassment as they see who can outdo the other by embarrassing each other both on and off the plane.
6. The One With Ross's Tan (Season 10 Episode 3)
Ross gets his first ever spray tan but, even as a paleontologist, he doesn't have the smarts to figure out how the process works. He ends up with an epic burnt-looking spray tan and he's basically a guido by the end of the episode.
5. The One Where Ross And Rachel Take A Break (Season 3 Episode 15)
Ross’s insecurities about Mark come to a head when Rachel finally tells him that they need to take a break. Ross, taking this to mean that she wants to break up, has a drunken kiss with the girl from the copy place and the "we were on a break" saga begins.
4. The One With The Embryos (Season 4 Episode 12)
This is the episode where Monica and Rachel lose their apartment to the guys in a trivia game to end all trivia games. Luckily, the light at the end of the dour episode is when Phoebe takes a pregnancy test, revealing that the embryo implantation worked.
3. The One With The Truth About London (Season 7 Episode 16)
While planning their wedding, Chandler finds out that Monica actually intended to sleep with Joey when she came to their hotel room in London. Joey assures him that he and Monica are made for each other, and Phoebe imagines an overweight Joey being served up Monica’s food if she had ended up with him instead.
2. The One With The Prom Video (Season 2 Episode 14)
After so many boyfriends and girlfriends that got in the way of Ross and Rachel being together, it’s the prom video, which shows Ross ready to take Rachel to her prom when her date doesn't show, that brings them together. At the end of the episode, Rachel, touched by Ross’s would-be gesture, kisses him, and it’s clear that they are endgame.
1. The One With Ross’s Wedding (Season 4 Episodes 23/24)
Ross’s wedding episodes were the start of so many things and marked a turning point in the series. Monica and Chandler sleep together for the first time and Ross says Rachel’s name at the altar. Unfortunately, it’s a long time before Ross and Rachel end up together, but the episodes are the start of his downfall with Emily. On the flip side, they are also the start of Monica and Chandler’s relationship, and you can't be mad at that.
Maybe some of these top Friends episodes don't make the cut for some other fans. One person’s high ranking of "The One with the Nap Partners" might be another person’s "The One with Ross’ Wedding." But overall, the one thing that is abundantly clear among most Friends fans is that there is something special about every single episode. And if you agree with at least half of these rankings, then you should probably go start another marathon on Netflix ASAP.