Today, Friends is still widely regarded as one of the funniest shows ever to grace TV. With unprecedented wit, unforgettable storylines, quotable one-liners, and iconic characters, its' no wonder Friends is still able to maintain its golden status despite having ended over a decade ago.
The series will always be one of the best sitcoms to come out of the 90s, and it's one worth watching over and over again. One of the funniest elements of Friends was its opening scenes. Like many sitcoms, cold opens were an important, and often hilarious, aspect of the show. Friends had some of the greatest, most memorable cold opens in TV history. Let's take a look at 10 of their absolute best.
10 The One With The Girl Who Hits Joey (Season 5, Episode 15)
This episode picks up right where the last one left off in which everyone in the gang knows about Chandler and Monica's romance... except for Ross. At the end of the episode before this one, Ross is trying to convince his boss that he's mentally stable enough to come back to work until he sees Chandler and Monica making out through the apartment window.
This leads to Ross freaking out, and in the cold open for this episode, he runs to the door of Monica's apartment and tries to burst in, catching Monica and Chandler in the act. David Schwimmer always made Ross' meltdowns utterly hilarious, and this cold open was no exception.
9 The One With Ross' Inappropriate Songs (Season 8, Episode 7)
This episode takes place shortly after Emma was born. Season 9 as a whole wasn't received particularly well by most Friends' fans, mostly due to the fact that the majority of the Rachel/Joey drama was taking place. But the cold open of this episode is particularly memorable. First, we see Ross explaining to Emma that he and Rachel definitely were on a break. The cold open ultimately leads to one of the series' most hilarious moments; Ross rapping "Baby Got Back" to Emma.
8 The One With The Birth (Season 1, Episode 23)
This was one of the last episodes of Friends' first season. It was another memorable episode, and an exciting one at that, since the episode before it ended with Ross discovering that Carol had gone into labor.
This episode opens with the gang in the hospital waiting room, and Ross impatiently pacing around, wondering why Susan hasn't arrived yet. This cold open is a strong one with the gang passing around several humorous jokes. When Carol is finally wheeled into the room, it's revealed that she and Susan had stopped at the gift store.
7 The One With Phoebe's Husband (Season 2, Episode 24)
The episode opens with Rachel having a phone conversation with her mother. Since at this time Rachel is still adjusting to life in New York City, her mother worries about her and all the dangers that come from living in a big city.
Just as Rachel is assuring her mother that she's fine, a pigeon flies through the kitchen window and Rachel completely loses her cool. Not only is this cold open hilarious due to Rachel's dramatic overreaction to being "attacked" by a bird, but it's also memorable because we discover that Phoebe actually has a husband.
6 The One With Russ (Season 2, Episode 10)
The episode is hilarious in its entirety, with David Schwimmer playing the roles of both Ross and Russ. The plot of the episode is that Rachel begins dating Russ, a guy who resembles Ross in every single way. But before this character is introduced, the beginning of the episode features the gang finding a newspaper that includes a review of a play that Joey starred in.
One of the reviews calls Joey's portrayal "disturbingly unskilled", and, although the gang tries to comfort him, the scene is pretty hilarious.
5 The One Where They're Going To Party (Season 4, Episode 9)
In this episode, the guys famously go out to "partay" but wind up discovering that they've outgrown that lifestyle. But in the cold open of this episode, Monica and Phoebe have started their catering business together, and they bring the gang over the see their sweet new ride. It's revealed that Monica and Phoebe will be running their business out of a scarily outdated van which has many obscene and crude features about it. The vehicle is completely ridiculous, but it's also totally unforgettable.
4 The One With All Of The Resolutions (Season 5, Episode 11)
"1999, the year of Joey!" And thus begins the eleventh episode of Friends' fifth season, which focuses primarily on the resolutions that the gang come up with for New Years. The episode reveals all of their—somewhat unrealistic—resolutions, and the cold open features the big countdown to midnight.
Monica and Chandler are still keeping their relationship a secret at this time, and they tell Joey that they're disappointed they can't share a kiss at midnight. Joey takes care of this problem by telling everyone else that they have to kiss at midnight, and honestly, the end result is great.
3 The One in Vegas (Season 5, Episode 24)
The season 5 finale featured a two-parter episode that chronicled the gang's trip to Vegas. Ross and Rachel arrive last after sharing a flight together. The two had been bickering on the plane, and Ross ended up drawing a mustache on Rachel's face. The cold open humorously features Ross and Rachel walking into the Vegas casino getting several strange stares from passersby. Eventually, Rachel realizes what Ross did. This episode as a whole is completely iconic, and the Ross and Rachel portion is particularly unforgettable.
2 The One With The Routine (Season 6, Episode 10)
"The One With The Routine" is one of Friends' most iconic episodes of all time. Monica and Ross' utterly absurd dance routine that they revive from their middle school years is one of the most hilarious storylines on the series and seeing them perform it was unforgettable.
Before all this, though, the cold open presented the gang gathered around a Christmas tree in Monica and Chandler's apartment. As they decorate, Chandler muses about the changes in Christmas light sizes, and Ross marvels at the fact that Monica is actually letting them decorate the tree. However, at the end of the scene, Monica turns the tree around and reveals that the side she decorated is picture-perfect, while the rest of the tree is a hot mess.
1 The One With Monica's Thunder (Season 7, Episode 1)
The finale of the sixth season was an utterly memorable and very special one, as it featured Monica and Chandler's beautiful engagement. The premiere picks up right where the finale left off, with the aftermath of the iconic engagement. While the gang begins to celebrate, Monica literally screams from the rooftops that she is engaged. The cold open is equal parts hilarious and adorable.