Last week I started writing about my favorite episodes from seasons 5-8 of Friends with numbers 6-10. Here are my top five, and number one even surpasses my previous winner as my new favorite episode of the series so far.
5) “The One With Monica and Chandler’s Wedding” (Episodes 7×23 and 7×24)
I have never been more angry with Chandler Bing than I was during the early parts of these episodes. His commitment issues decide to finally catch up to him at the worst possible time, causing him to flee just before his wedding day. His friends have to struggle to find him and talk some sense into him, all while keeping Monica blissfully ignorant of the fact that anything is wrong on her perfect day. Luckily, Chandler comes to his senses, and the wedding is lovely—even though officiant Joey is late and covered in fake blood after rushing from the set of his new movie, and Rachel once again upstages Monica (haven’t they had that talk SEVERAL times?) with the reveal that she’s pregnant. All of this makes for a very eventful two episodes jam-packed with comedy and touching moments, such as the vows.
Nora Tyler Bing: “As I recall, I saw the groom in the wedding dress.”
Charles Bing: “But that was after the wedding. It’s not bad luck then.”
Nora Tyler Bing: “Honey, it’s not good luck.”
4) “The One Where Ross Got High” (Episode 6×09)
There’s just something really fun about the episodes of this show that involve the characters blurting out each other’s secrets. Combine this with the fact that it’s also a Thanksgiving episode and you’ll understand why it makes my top five. The Geller parents are coming over for Thanksgiving—but they don’t know Monica and Chandler are living together, or even dating, because she’s been afraid to tell them since they never liked Chandler. Awkward! In the hilarious subplot, Monica allows Rachel to make dessert and immediately regrets it when she accidentally combines a trifle recipe and a shepherd’s pie recipe. It all culminates in Monica and Ross alternating blurting out decades worth of secrets, and also in the Gellers’ acceptance of Chandler because if he’s put up with their children this long, he can’t be all bad.
Monica: “Dad, Chandler didn’t melt your records, Ross did.”
Jack Geller: “Is that…”
Monica: “And Dad, you know that mailman you got fired? He didn’t steal your Playboys, Ross did.”
Ross: “Yeah, well Hurricane Gloria didn’t break the porch swing, Monica did.”
Monica: “Ross hasn’t worked at the museum for a year.”
Ross: “Monica and Chandler are living together!”
Monica: “Ross married Rachel in Vegas and got divorced. AGAIN!”
3) “The One Hundredth” (Episode 5×03)
This is yet another episode that made me cry. In my opinion, few moments of the show are more poignant, heartbreaking, or real than Phoebe’s sad goodbye to her brother’s triplets she served as surrogate for. I was disappointed when this storyline was so rarely mentioned in the seasons that followed. Carrying these babies for nine months and being forced to give them up was such a defining moment for Phoebe as a character, and I wish it had been explored more after the touching ending of this episode. Nevertheless, it’s fitting that the hundredth episode of the series featured such a life-changing moment for one of the friends.
Nurse: [pointing to Joey and Ross] “Now, which one of you is the father?”
Phoebe: “Oh no, neither of them are the father. The father is my brother.”
Rachel: “I am so gonna miss seeing you freak people out like that.”
2) “The One in Vegas” (Episodes 5×23 and 5×24)
These episodes are notable because all six friends have genuinely great storylines. Monica and Chandler start the trip (which coincides with their one year anniversary) on a rocky note when he learns she had lunch with her ex, Richard. After a hilarious bit involving Monica’s immediate love for gambling (because of course), the two come SO close to getting married after reconciling. They’re beaten to it, of course, by Ross and Rachel, who get wasted in a hotel room after he draws on her face in a childish prank on the airplane (typical Ross) and end up blacked out at the chapel. Joey, who is embarrassed the movie he came to Vegas for is on hold, ends up finding his identical hand twin, which leads to the introduction of Phoebe’s alter ego Regina Phalange. Sitcom gold.
Rachel: “Hello! Vegas? Yeah, we would like some more alcohol, and y’know what else? We would like some more beers. Hello? Ohh, I forgot to dial!”
(There’s a knock on the door.)
Ross: “That must be our alcohol and beers!”
Ross: “Ohh, it’s Joey! I love Joey!”
Rachel: “Ohh, I love Joey! Joey lives with a duck!”
1) “The One Where Everybody Finds Out” (Episode 5×14)
As soon as I saw it, this episode became my favorite Friends episode, and it has yet to be surpassed. While Joey and Rachel have already found out about Monica and Chandler’s relationship, this is when Phoebe and Ross find out. Joey and Rachel are so relieved that Phoebe also knows that they decide to use the opportunity to mess with Monica and Chandler, whom they THINK only think Joey knows. Yup, that’s how confusing this can get, and where the signature quote of the episode (and one of the signature quotes from the series) comes from. While it’s hilarious when Phoebe and Chandler nearly seduce each other to see who will crack first, the best moment of the episode comes when Chandler blurts out that he’s in love with Monica, something she is hearing for the first time. This show is always at its best when it combines humor with a truly touching moment. It’s then right back to humor when Ross, who is moving into Ugly Naked Guy’s vacated apartment, is the last to find out about Monica and Chandler when he sees them having sex through the window.
Phoebe: “They don’t know that we know they know we know. And Joey, you can’t say anything.”
Joey: “Couldn’t if I wanted to.”
I’m zipping right through seasons 9 and 10. Stay tuned for a final top five episodes from the final two seasons!