The hit sitcom Friends finished production in 2004, yet 18 years later, fans from all around the world continue to watch their favourite Central Perk customers overcome the challenges in their lives. No matter how significant or minuscule these challenges were, viewers could always expect a laugh or two.
When fans get asked about their favourite Friends episode, the same few always come up; ‘The One with the Embryos’, ‘The One Where No One’s Ready’ and ‘The One where Ross got high’. Unfortunately, many quality Friends episodes get pushed aside. Here are five that should be in the conversation of elite Friends episodes.
Warning: The following article contains spoilers!
The One after the Superbowl (Season 2, Episodes 12 and 13)
This two-part episode deserves more recognition than it generally gets, by far. Not to be confused with ‘The One with the Football’, this episode aired after Super Bowl XXX, featuring some of the best guest stars, storylines and moments in the show’s tenure.
Part one sees Marcel and Ross reunite on a movie set after the group sing ‘The Lion Sleeps Tonight’. Phoebe performs for some children at a local library which gets mixed reactions, and Brooke Shields produces one of the all-time cameos as Erica (Joey’s gullible stalker). Not to mention Matthew Perry proves why he is the improv king.
In part two, Monica and Rachel both heavily pursue Jean Claude Van Damme, producing two hilarious fights, with Phoebe as the mediator. Meanwhile, Chandler is embarrassed by a familiar acquaintance, who is played by Julia Roberts.
The One with the Jellyfish (Season 4, Episode 1)
The season four premiere is widely regarded for the 18-page letter sparking the “we were on a break” catchphrase, but the episode provides more than just this iconic scene. In the first 22 minutes of the season, Ross finally chooses between Rachel or Bonnie. Phoebe, as well as the audience learn more about Phoebe’s birth mother. The awkward retelling of the jellyfish incident provides for good television.
The One with all the Rugby (Season 4, Episode 15)
Later in season four, we are treated with another diamond in the rough. An episode derived from the apartment swap collection (courtesy of ‘The One with the Embryos’), Monica is ticked off by a dysfunctional light switch in apartment 19. Janice wants to be romantically involved with Chandler again after meeting at a nail salon. This leads to Chandler attempting to scare Janice off by ‘moving to Yemen’, but instead has to go through with it when Janice comes to the terminal with him. Also, Ross’ true athletic ability is proven when he plays rugby with some of Emily’s friends from England.
The One where Joey loses his Insurance (Season 6, Episode 4)
Instead of having a standout moment in this episode, ‘The One where Joey loses his Insurance’ has several underappreciated scenes often forgotten by Friends fanatics. Ross becomes a guest lecturer at NYU where he is nervous about the impression he will make on his class. So, he develops a fake accent that Monica and Rachel discover when they visit him. They too catch the bug after a professor introduces himself to them. Despite his best efforts to not make a bad impression, Rachel confronts him on their valid marriage mid class. Meanwhile, Joey’s hernia storyline is nothing short of funny, and Phoebe’s misunderstanding of her fate provides a few laughs too.
The One where Paul’s the man (Season 6, Episode 22)
“I’m just a love machine…hey baby huuuuuuuuu….HUUUUUUUUUU!” When Paul (Bruce Willis) is mentioned, this is what comes to mind, this brilliant scene. But as we know, all of the episodes on the list have more than one standout moment. Joey persists with getting his picture on the wall of a local dry-cleaning shop in typical Joey fashion, whilst Monica frightens Chandler with the thought of marriage after reserving a prestigious wedding venue. One of the biggest plot twists in the show’s 234 episodes came when Chandler tells Phoebe about his intentions to propose to Monica.