Since making its debut in 1994, Friends has been known as one of the greatest and funniest sitcoms to have graced our television screens. Whether it was with Chandler’s sarcasm, Phoebe’s weirdness, Rachel’s ditzy-ness, Monica’s ultra-competitiveness, Ross’ geekiness or Joey’s not-so-big brain, Friends has not failed to keep us entertained for 10 years (plus countless more, thanks to Netflix and DVDs). Whenever you watch an episode, you know you’re in for some laughs.
But, what if you only had seven hours to spend watching Friends? Which ones would you watch? We know it’s really hard to choose because they’re all so good! Luckily for you, we’ve rounded up 15 of the funniest Friends episodes, so that you don’t have to hurt your head making that difficult decision. Did your favorite make the cut? Let us know!
For your information, this list contains many spoilers if you haven’t already binge-watched all 10 seasons of Friends (but don’t let that stop you). And, FYI, for some reason, nearly all episode titles will begin with “The One”.
15. All The Thanksgivings
Appearing in season 5 of Friends, ‘The One with All the Thanksgivings’ is an episode filled with hilarious flashbacks of the gang’s worst Thanksgivings. As if Ross and Chandler’s 80s hair and outfits aren’t enough to make anyone laugh uncontrollably, the flashback catches the two best buds in a revenge plot gone wrong. Basically, during Thanksgiving at her parent’s house, Monica (who was overweight at the time) overhears Chandler calling her fat. The flashbacks then move forward a couple of years to when Monica loses all the extra weight and Chandler suddenly finds her attractive. Monica, wanting to humiliate Chandler for his past insult, gets an idea from Rachel to trick Chandler into taking his clothes off so that she could point at him and laugh. Their plan involves Monica attempting to turn Chandler on by rubbing various objects, including a knife, seductively on her body. The plan fails miserably when she accidentally drops the knife, which cuts off Chandler’s toe. Watching Monica’s attempt to be sexy with a box of macaroni, a carrot and a knife is what makes this episode hilarious. This revenge storyline alone could have been gold, but once you add in Phoebe’s ridiculous Thanksgiving from her “earlier life” and Joey’s head getting stuck in Turkey, you’ve got a truly legendary Friends episode.
14. The Prom Video
This episode is an overall favorite of Friends fans, thanks to the heartwarming end. But, it’s also a very funny episode with unforgettable one-liners (“He’s her lobster”). In episode 14 of season 2, Joey is finally making some money as an actor, so to thank Chandler for all the help, he buys him the tackiest gold bracelet known to man (it even has the words “best buds” engraved on it). Chandler, being his sarcastic self, mocks the bracelet (“I pity the fool!”) and this upsets Joey. So, to make it up to him, Chandler promises to never take the bracelet off. This plan fails when he loses the bracelet, replaces it, and finds the old one again. The whole fiasco is filled with laughs, as you can only expect when Chandler is involved. The episode also offers a flashback to prom night and it is in fact, the first episode to reveal Fat Monica, Rachel with the big nose and Ross with the questionable mustache.
13. When Ross Got High
Part of what made Friends such an amazing sitcom was its ability to have many concurrent plots in each episode. In ‘The One Where Ross Got High’, we get laughs out of watching Rachel mess up in the kitchen. But, we also learn that Ross got high in college and it affected Chandler’s relationship with Monica. To break it down, Ross is the nerd of the gang; he’s a professor of paleontology, after all. So, it’s funny to think that he wasn’t as perfect as his parents thought he was, and that he actually got high in college. Ross’ parents actually believed (mistakenly) that it was Chandler who encouraged Ross to smoke. This has since caused them to have disdain towards Chandler, which causes a problem as he’s now dating their daughter, Monica. His sister then encourages Ross to admit the truth to their parents but when he doesn’t, the result is a hilarious scream fest of revelations about one another (“Hurricane Gloria didn’t break the porch swing, Monica did!”).
12. The Final Episode (Parts 1 & 2)
The last episode is arguably the best one in the entire Friends series. The emotions run high, we all get the ending we wanted and we laugh our pants off the entire time. Phoebe is probably the highlight of this episode, as far as comedy goes. She recklessly drives Ross to the airport, screaming like the crazy lady she is. Then, she makes up a story about a missing left phalange on the airplane in an attempt to make Rachel get off her flight to stay with Ross. This causes an unnecessary scene on the plane when a paranoid passenger overhears the conversation. Chandler and Monica also experience one of the most important moments of their lives in this episode (the birth of their baby), which Chandler finds a way to make funny. Of course, we can’t forget about the Chandler and Joey duo, who also endure a very emotional situation involving their chicks and foosball table. The acting and writing is truly top-notch in this episode and makes you feel like you’ve been right beside the gang on their journey.
11. Ross’ Tan
In ‘The One With Ross’ Tan’, Ross goes to the tanning salon several times but manages to mess up each and every single time, despite the very simple instructions. Ross’ reactions in the tanning salon are amusing but this line pretty much ties those reactions for funniest scene in this episode:
Ross: “I went to that tanning place your wife suggested.”
Chandler: “Was that place the sun?”
In this episode, we’re also treated to an appearance by the over-the-top Amanda Buffamonteez (whose name alone is over-the-top), played by the hilarious Jennifer Coolidge. We watch as she brags about her fabulous life, attempts fake accents and even does a dance for Chandler.
10. When No One’s Ready
A true testament to the six actors’ comedic ability, this season 3 episode takes place entirely in one room (with the exception of the last minute) because the producer felt that it was a great way to save money. Though the situation presented is nothing out of the ordinary (the friends are hurriedly getting dressed to go out), the little things (like Rachel not being able to decide what to wear or Monica leaving a voicemail) seem refreshing and inspired. Joey and Chandler also get into a silly fight about who sat in whose seat and when Chandler hides Joey’s clothes, Joey threatens to do the opposite to him (see if you can figure that one out).
9. When Ross Can’t Flirt
Watching people attempt to flirt and fail miserably is always funny, but when that person is Ross, it’s even funnier. In season 5, episode 19, Ross attempts to flirt with the hot pizza delivery girl, Caitlin. His pickup lines somehow lead to ramblings about gas and how it gets its smell (yes, you read that correctly) and him stating, “I happen to like eight-year old boys” (yes, you read that correctly, too). What makes it even funnier is that he does all of this while all of his friends are right there, watching him suffer. As an aside, Joey also wants to show off a bit, but to his lovable grandma who doesn’t speak a word of English. He puts on an episode of Law & Order (which should actually be called “Order & Law”, according to Phoebe), that he’s supposed to be in and his grandma is excited. But, when he realizes they cut his scene out, the whole gang creates a funny diversion by smiling for a freakishly long time.
8. The Embryos
Phoebe’s journey to helping her brother, Frank, and his wife have kids continues in ‘The One With The Embryos’, as she goes to a fertility clinic to be artificially inseminated. Frank suggests some pretty funny ideas for making the procedure work but the highlight of the episode actually has nothing to do with embryos. Back at the girls’ apartment, Joey, Chandler, Rachel and Monica are caught up in a competitive game of trivia (about each other). We learn many hilarious tidbits about the gang (Viva Las Gay-gas, Big Fat Goalie) as we watch the girls versus the guys for the ultimate prize (the girls’ apartment). Their enthusiasm is so over-the-top (yet, completely believable) while playing, you can’t help but love this hilarious episode.
7. Chandler In A Box
The Friends gang always get themselves into some weird and unlikely situations, luckily for those of us looking for some laughs. In the 8th episode of season 4, Joey (who’s mad that Chandler stole the girl he liked) gives Chandler the ultimate test of proof of friendship: to stay locked up in a wooden box for 6 hours. While in the box, even though he can only move his fingers and we can’t see his facial expressions, Chandler still manages to make us laugh by spewing out his sarcastic comments and making jokes. The episode also features one of Monica’s greatest lines. After everyone makes fun of her for dating her mature ex’s son, Monica yells out: “Fine, judge all you want to but married a lesbian, left a man at the altar, fell in love with a gay ice dancer, threw a girl’s wooden leg in a fire, live in a box!”
6. Ross’ Sandwich
‘The One With Ross’ Sandwiches’ is a showcase of David Schwimmer’s comedic talent. In this episode, Ross gets unbelievably upset when someone steals his turkey sandwich (“the only good thing he had going in his life”) at work. It becomes so bad that his boss suggests that he take a leave of absence to deal with his anger issues. It’s hilarious seeing Ross over-exaggerate and walk into Central Perk all drugged up. We also continue to see Joey keeping Monica and Chandler’s relationship a secret by covering for them, leading to some awkward moments in which Joey is seen as a pervert by all his friends but he accepts it because he’s just that loyal (“I’m Joey. I’m disgusting.”).
5. All The Resolutions
Fans of Friends know its characters all too well. So when Rachel, Chandler and Ross make New Year’s resolutions that go against the very things that define their characters, the results are pure, classic comedy. Rachel simply cannot go a day without gossiping nor can Chandler go a day without making a sarcastic comment (and we really don’t want him to). As for always-playing-it-safe Ross, watching him attempt something new every day is intriguing. His struggle to get out of his new leather pants is probably the best scene in this 11th episode of season 5. There’s a situation we’d never wanna find ourselves in!
4. The Blackout
We dare you to watch Chandler’s scene in ‘The One With The Blackout’ (season 1, episode 7) without shedding some tears from laughing so hard. When he gets stuck at the bank during a blackout with Victoria’s Secret model, Jill Goodacre, we are treated to the script running through Chandler’s head. You can just imagine how funny his thoughts are, considering the things that typically come out of his mouth. He tries so hard to strike up a conversation with the model, yet the best thing that he can come up with is: “Gum would be perfection.” But, perhaps one of the best parts is when he calls his friends to tell them the great news, “ImstuckinanATMvestibulewithJillGoodacre,” and only Joey can understand. That, or watching Ross struggle with a cat on his back while his friends are completely oblivious.
3. The Proposal (Part 1)
Watching Chandler try to keep his secret about his perfect plan to propose to Monica in the first part of ‘The One With The Proposal’ (season 6, episode 24) is hilarious. He becomes so nervous about everything and starts cracking awkward jokes when the two bump into Monica’s ex during their date. The episode also features a storyline in which Rachel brings Phoebe and Joey along to a silent auction associated with her workplace. Phoebe cracks some classic one-liners when she’s tipsy, like when she says she’s actually helping the kids (“Because the more I drink the less there is for the kids to drink.”). Watching Joey’s reaction when he thinks that he won a boat by guessing the right price (during a silent auction) is also priceless.
In episode 18 of season 8, it’s Ross and Monica’s parents’ anniversary and the whole gang is invited. Phoebe’s boyfriend, Parker (played by Alec Baldwin), has such zest for life that he’s comparable to “Santa Clause on Prozac in Disneyland, getting laid.” Every time he sees something, he thinks that it’s the greatest and that he “must take a mental picture.” Even the damn hallway is amazing to him. Ross and Rachel also give us quite a laugh as they pretend to be married (as per Ross’ parents’ wishes) and get carried away with wedding stories, like pretending to be married on a cliff in Barbados while Stevie Wonder sang (yeah, right!).
P.S. Isn’t this the greatest episode you’ve ever seen?
1. The Dollhouse
Who would think that a dollhouse could be so entertaining? In episode 20 of season 3, Monica inherits a dollhouse from her aunt and she treats it the way she treats her real house. That is, she doesn’t let Phoebe have any say in the décor or its inhabitants (attic ghost and giant dog). This leads Phoebe to build her own dollhouse, complete with licorice, a slide instead of stairs and an aroma room (which eventually causes a fire in the dollhouse). The funniest part is Phoebe’s reaction to the fire (“the Foster puppets!”) and the way Ross plays the part of the fire chief. Another storyline in this episode involves Rachel’s boss, Joanna, who finds Chandler attractive. Rachel, wanting to get on her boss’ good side, sets them up but things don’t go so well. His complete inability to resist the urge to say: “I’ll give you a call, we should do it again sometime” is what makes this so funny.