TV shows lose their sheen after a decade or two once aging kicks in. If you were to watch a show you know nothing about from the 1980s, then you’re bound to feel as if it is incredibly dated. The shows that were big around those times won’t feel half as cool to you now because you’re accustomed to a different style of presentation. The greatest shows out there, though, never have problems like this.
Friends has been off-air for twenty-five years in 2019, and yet we’re talking about it as if it were on-air even today. The show has incredible replay value as it features a concept that will never get old. We all have been in our twenties and thirties, and the air of relatability Friends provides is one we can all connect to. This is the reason why the show is still syndicated and will never run out of success: that is an absolute guarantee.
Being evergreen is the secret to Friends’ success, but it is the content of their episodes that have helped the show stand up to modern TV shows. These episodes have the most quotable lines you can find and the jokes will always leave you laughing no matter what year you’re in. Although the good outweighs the bad, there are still a few episodes on the show that don’t rank so high because they lack the level of entertainment value the best episodes do.
With all of that said, here are The 15 All Time Best (And 10 Worst) Episodes of Friends, Officially Ranked.
25 Best: The One With the Morning After
People might be inclined to skip this episode because of its sad setting of Rachel and Ross’s breakup, but that would be a big mistake. This episode has hilarious jokes until the last second; Rachel and Ross’s breakup itself was filled with funny moments like Rachel forcing Ross to eat anchovies and Ross handing the paper to Rachel to smack him with it.
The funniest part, however, has to be the rest of the gang stuck in Monica’s room and forced to eat organic wax. To top it all off, we were treated to Joey’s new walk.
24 Worst: The One With Monica's Thunder
Friends would occasionally dabble with bottled episodes where the setting never changes from the apartments and the action stays confined. This episode was one of the most boring ones they could have thought of as the entire plot had to do with Monica being angry at Rachel for making out with Ross on the former’s engagement night.
This was the worst way the show could’ve started a new season and there were hardly any jokes worth remembering. It didn’t help that Phoebe and Joey were afterthoughts.
23 Best: The One With the Blackout
Around this time, NBC had a shared universe thing going on and the events of Mad About You caused a blackout in Friends. This episode was a very innovative one as it featured the events happening in near darkness.
Chandler had a memorable plot with Jill Goodacre that was the first time we saw him being his awkward self around a woman. It also had the hilarious scene where Ross was attacked by a cat while the other friends sang without anyone being the wiser.
22 Worst: The One With Mrs. Bing
This one saw the first appearance of Chandler’s attractive mom Nora Bing and was a missed opportunity with her. It caused Chandler to become very angry and he was far from the kook we became used to seeing him as. Ross’s kiss with Chandler’s mom also made the former less likable, and his pursuit of Rachel hit a snag.
Phoebe and Monica, meanwhile, came across as sort of crazy stalkers as they cared for a man whose coma they were the cause of.
21 Best: The One Where They're Up All Night
In another innovative Friends episode, we were treated to storylines that were engaging for all concerned. Phoebe had a singular story where she was antagonized by her own fire alarm system while Rachel and Tag had some shenanigans going around at the Ralph Lauren office.
The highlight of the episode was Ross and Joey, who were trapped on the roof and had to devise several ways to try and escape. It had the unusual scenario of Joey being the straight man and Ross being the weird, funny one.
20 Worst: The One With the Sonogram at the End
This was just the second episode of the series, but it doesn’t go down well compared to the other episodes released since then. This episode showed to us how awful Carol and Susan were to Ross when it came to Ben’s birth.
The manner with which Ross was treated was played for laughs but it was anything but funny when considering the father of the child was being spoken to as nothing more than a donor. After this episode, we knew Susan wasn’t a character we would ever be liking.
19 Best: The One Where the Monkey Gets Away
Episodes that have the main characters running around engaging in one hijinks after another are always sure to delight, and this one did just that. In the first season, the episodes would always have the friends be involved in storylines as a group, so it was a nice change to see them scattered over the place and interacting with others along with their characterizations.
The ending was a classic ‘90s style event where a freak accident caused the story to take a turn completely.
18 Worst: The One With the Ick Factor
The main storyline here had no bearing in the future but it was presented in such a way you would think it was something important. The main plot had to do with Monica hooking up with a boy who wasn’t even out of high school.
This certainly was an “icky” storyline, although it seemed like it was heading toward a genuine angle until it was completely dropped in the next episode. Monica was presented as a bit too desperate for love by this point, and this really needed to change.
17 Best: The One With the Baby on the Bus
Season 2 was when Friends seemed to deliver one hit after another every week. It also helped that we had become very accustomed to each one of them, so it was like watching your own family on TV.
In this episode, we have a classic happening of Chandler and Joey losing little Ben on the bus. The resulting jokes still will make you hoot with laughter, most particularly when Chandler asks Joey what kind of scary headless clowns came to the latter’s birthday (it makes sense in context).
16 Worst: The One With the List
The storyline with Ross and Julie was abruptly ended when Ross found out about Rachel liking him, and it seemed like Ross and Rachel becoming a couple was also abruptly happening.
This was shot down when Rachel read a list about the things he didn’t like about her, and the Ross and Rachel story came to a complete halt for several episodes. This was a lazy story that could easily have been fixed had Rachel not been so uptight about it, and was only done so Ross and Rachel would get together later on.
15 Best: The One in Massapequa
If you can resist laughing at Alec Baldwin’s antics in this episode, then there’s no funny bone in your body. The guy completely stole the show and was on top of his comedy when he went loose on all the friends with his crazy behavior.
It was an amazing display of comedy as Baldwin’s character Parker displayed overenthusiastic behavior that turned off even Phoebe of all people. She had a very accurate description of how he behaved at the end of the episode, but we know Parker is our go-to-guy for playing Jenga!
14 Best: The One With All the Candy
This one was amazing for just one scene, which will still leave you laughing. It was the culmination of the story within the episode of the neighbors hounding Monica for free candy, and Chandler stepped up to take everyone down a peg.
Just go back and watch how Chandler mocks the “Candy Lady” guy and tell us it didn’t make you break into laughter. Not only that, but Joey falling into the ‘Mob Mentality’ also made for a fun outing. All around, this episode should be viewed whenever you’re feeling down.
13 Worst: The One Where Joey Moves Out
Nobody wanted Chandler and Joey to split apart and just the reminder of that makes us feel this wasn’t a good plot (although it would lead to an incredible episode later). The manner of how they separated, though, made us think it could’ve been done better and wasn’t a justification or funny enough.
The secondary plot of Ross forcing Rachel not to get a tattoo on her own body was outrageous even back then, and it wasn’t funny how he felt he could dictate what Rachel wanted tattooed on her body.
12 Best: The One With the Ball
We all love those times when we engage in random things with our friends. Those are the moments that show how good friends you are with the other person that you would partake in something so mundane yet make it a lot of fun.
This episode had no point other than the friends throwing around a ball for over ten hours. Although Phoebe had the main story with breaking up with Gary, the episode is still only remembered for how long the friends went without dropping the ball.
11 Best: The One Where Eddie Won't Go
This is the epitome of hilarity you can expect from a sitcom. The Eddie angle had not one scene where you didn’t want to bawl with laughter. Even the first scene where Eddie spied on Chandler while he slept is too funny for words.
To this day, we have no idea what was wrong with Eddie, but are we glad he was one freak of nature. The actor deserves all the praise he can get for his antics, but Chandler’s reaction to all of Eddie’s over-the-top craziness led to a lot of classic jokes.
10 Worst: The One With Phoebe's Ex-Partner
The episode was hardly memorable other than how angry it made the viewer feel because of the betrayal by Phoebe’s “friend”. The story had to do with Phoebe’s former singing partner returning to have another chance at their pairing, only to betray phoebe again by selling the song “Smelly Cat” to a corporation for a lot of money.
It also didn’t make sense how the song could be sold as a jingle considering Phoebe had earlier made an actual song out of “Smelly Cat” in Season 2.
9 Best: The One Where Everybody finds Out
For more than half of Season 5, Chandler and Monica kept their relationship a secret and it every couple episode a friend would stumble upon this knowledge. All this came to a head in this episode where everyone finally found out about them, and it was in complete hilarious fashion.
For one, Ross and Ugly Naked Guy’s story where the former tried everything to impress the latter was awesome, only for it to be topped with how Phoebe tried to get Chandler to confess he was seeing Monica by pretending she was attracted to him.
8 Best: The One With the Two Parties
Like we mentioned before, Season 2 was when the friends group began feeling like a family of our own, so an angle where they all banded together for Rachel’s sake was something that felt personal.
In this episode, there were two birthday parties for Rachel as the friends tried to keep her divorcing parents away from each other. It was a great display of contrasting styles as well as Chandler and Joey’s party greatly contrasted with Monica’s boring one. We also got a great ending where Joey kissed Rachel’s mom to distract her.
7 Worst: The One With the Tiny T-Shirt
There was nothing of note in this episode other than Pete Becker’s further attempts to impress Monica. The other storylines weren’t memorable, and Joey’s attraction to the insufferable Kate was expanded upon.
No one liked the Mark angle that ended Rachel and Ross’s relationship, and this episode only furthered it by having Rachel go on a date with her. At the very least, it spelled the ending of Mark’s involvement in the show, and had Ross be more compromising in the end, even if it was during a breakup.
6 Best: The One Where Joey Speaks French
Nearing the ending of the show, we wanted to squeeze up every ounce of Friends that we could, and this episode gave us something that we still hold onto today. Joey’s gibberish-speaking French attempts highlighted just how hilarious his dimness was and led to incredibly funny scenes where he simply spoke random gibberish – unintelligible words that Friends fans can actually recite perfectly.
After ten years, we realized that we truly didn’t want Joey to change at all and remain the very same until the finale, which he most certainly did.
5 Best: The One With the Football
Outdoors-y episodes in sitcoms are always fun. Rather than being confined to an obvious set, we got to see the friends in an outdoor location and a game of American Football ensued.
We were treated to the first real instance of Monica and Ross’s competitiveness and sibling rivalry as the two battled it out to win the ugly troll doll they called the ‘Gellar Bowl’. The episode also informed us how Joey thought Peter Pan and Tinker Bell lived in the Netherlands.
4 Worst: The One That Could Have Been
Now, this was nothing more than lazy writing to fill up the episode count for the season. In what should have been an offhand joke, we got two whole episodes where we saw alternate versions of the friend gang.
The joke ran far too long to be funny, and the second episode of the two-parter was just as needless as it could’ve come. The jokes were just meh at best as well, and by the end, we had no clue why the show even had this alternate reality episode at all.
3 Best: The One Without the Ski Trip
Ross and Rachel breakup may have been a sad event, but it gave us so many funny moments that we’re glad it happened. The friends group was divided due to the breakup and Rachel snagged the friends for a weekend trip; here was where the fun started.
We saw them get stranded in the middle of nowhere and the jokes flooded the screen one by one. Chandler was hilarious with his addiction to smoking and Joey’s leadership was in question after he though ‘HELP’ was spelled ‘PLEH’ when read from the sky.
2 Worst: The One With the Soap Opera Party
The Rachel and Joey storyline is the worst plot the show had ever come up with and this episode only made it official. We also got introduced to Charlie, someone whose sole purpose seemed to be to drive a wedge between Joey and Ross.
All in all, there was nothing really funny about the episode either other than Chandler being stuck in a one-woman show, which should have been reserved for another, funnier episode. In repeated Friends viewings, we won’t be surprised if people altogether skip this episode.
1 Best: The One Where Ross is Fine
Although Rachel and Joey’s storyline was a disaster from the start, it still gave us funny episodes in Season 10. The second episode of the final season showed to us why the series still was at the top of its game with this cracker where Ross does everything he can to be “fine” with his best friends and mother of his child getting together.
It was David Schwimmer at his acting finest and this episode deserves all the repeated viewings it can get. After all, Ross did put some extra work in those fajitas.
What episode is your favorite from Friends? Let us know in the comments!