Who would have thought that the tales of six twenty-somethings in the heart of the Big Apple would transform into one of the most memorable sitcoms ever. Having burst onto our screens in September 1994, Friends went on to become a worldwide success for American station NBC. With coffee being drank by the bucket load in their local hangout Central Perk, so began a love affair for the next decade.
Friends followed the adventures, misdemeanours, breakups and capers of Joey, Rachel, Ross, Chandler, Monica and of course Phoebe. From the moment you switched on its catchy opening song and fresh faces was a breath of fresh air brought right into your living room. It became a must-watch Thursday night TV show for many on NBC, with the chemistry of the main protagonists being second to none.
Hopeless romantic Monica, played by Courteney Cox, was sister to Ross played by David Schwimmer. Monica lived just across the way from Joey and Chandler. This deadly duo was played by Matt Le Blanc and Matthew Perry respectively who seemed to have a genuine chemistry on screen. The remaining friend was played by Lisa Kudrow as ditzy blonde Phoebe. It was not until the denouement of the pilot that Rachel played by Jennifer Aniston joined the motley crew.
The ensemble evolved into the greatest ever mishmash of characters in television history. Spanning an incredible 236 episodes across ten years, rumours are abound they will be reuniting for a one off 10 year special. They have had turbulent solo careers including Matt LeBlanc in spinoff Joey, but as the old saying goes you can certainly get by with a little help from your friends. Here is the roundup of the 10 most popular Friends episodes
10. The One With the Holiday Armadillo
Seasonal holiday episodes are always a real ratings winner. Nothing could be further from the truth from December 2000. The One With the Holiday Armadillo still tickles ribs all over the world and provides some of the finest comic moments in Friends history. In this particular twenty two minute episode, Ross is attempting to teach his little son Ben all about the Jewish festival of lights known as Chanukah. However, it turns out that Ben is ensconced with Christmas and especially Santa Claus with the result being Ross appearing as a belated Chanukah armadillo.
9. The One With All the Rugby
Another popular episode is the One With All the Rugby. The intertwined storylines are done to a tee where Chandler informs Janice that he is moving to Yemen. In the end, Mr. Bing flies all the way over there, while Monica has her own issues to deal with. She has to cope with a light switch in the opposite apartment which then sees Phoebe think Monica has psychic powers. In addition to this, Ross plays rugby and ends up getting squashed in order to impress his new gal Emily.
8. The One with Ross’ Sandwich
A classic for all Friends fans, this is considered to be one of the most popular episodes of all time. No one can ever forget Ross’s classic line of “my sandwich” as he screams at the professor for throwing his delicious moist maker, or oversized sandwich, away. He is then ultimately forced to have a rest from work. In the same episode, Monica and Chandler lay the blame completely on Joey as they have no choice but to conceal their secret relationship.
7. The One After Ross Says Rachel
One of the best Freudian slips of all time comes in the very first episode of Season 5 in The One After Ross Says Rachel. Taking place in September 1998, it is the TV wedding of the decade as Ross ties the knot with Emily…or is that Rachel? After blurting the latter’s name out loud in front of an on-looking crowd of guests, it occurs at the same time as Chandler and Monica’s blossoming relationship.
6. The One With Ross’s New Girlfriend
An early contender from Season 2, The One With Ross’s New Girlfriend leads to plenty of action as far as Ross and Rachel are concerned. Yet it is even more memorable thanks to the situation that Chandler gets himself into. When visiting Joey’s tailor, we discover exactly what the term “cuppage” means.
5. The One With the Jellyfish
They say a friend in need is a friend indeed and this includes urinating on them after being stung by a jellyfish. In the One With the Jellyfish, this is the exact situation Joey has to face when on vacation with Monica. This all seems to end in hilarity as Monica and Chandler go on to recount the tale to the others.
4. The One with the Prom Video
Another classic from Season 2 goes back to the One with The Prom. With its first airing date in February 1996, it sees Joey provide Chandler with a present to reflect the deep friendship they have together. On the other hand, this episode is all about the big prom night and features the video of Monica and Rachel’s prom. This is viewed by Rachel where she finds out that Ross has always had a thing for her.
3. The One with the Embryos
This episode takes place in just one room and sees all six characters play a part. The crux of the matter is Chandler and Joey go head to head with Monica and Rachel in a bet to win the apartment. Based on that old time favourite Jeopardy, Friends very own Alex Trebek is none other than Ross. He goes on to reveal a number of different secrets not to mention sins and random trivia that give us some iconic laugh out loud moments.
2. The One with the Thanksgiving Flashbacks
Back to Season 5 and The One with the Thanksgiving Flashbacks is high on the list. Aired in November 1998, the festive episode brings back a host of memories for the characters with tales of previous Thanksgiving days. This includes the visit of both Ross and Chandler to the Gellers as well as the priceless moment when Chandler loses a toe in his Miami Vice outfit.
1. The One Where Everybody Finds Out
A real turning point for some, The One Where Everybody Finds Out sees Phoebe catch a glimpse of the simmering love between Monica and Chandler. It is the first time when Monica and Chandler actually discover that both Phoebe and Rachel know everything. The climax of the episode sees Ross move into his new flat where he also catches a glimpse with unexpected results.