A number of the best Friends episodes will be shown in cinemas this fall, but the re-release is missing a few important installments of the classic sitcom. Friends is hitting theaters in honor of its 25th anniversary, with a total of 12 episodes being shown across three nights in late-September and early-October, with four different episodes being shown each night.
Night 1 will take place on September 23, and include: "Pilot"; "The One With the Blackout"; "The One With the Birth"; and "The One Where Ross Finds Out". Night 2 will then be September 28, and feature classics such as "The One With the Prom Video," "The One Where No One’s Ready," "The One With the Morning After," and "The One With the Embryos". Finally, Night 3 will be on October 2, with the episodes shown being: "The One With Chandler in a Box," "The One With Ross’ Wedding - Part 2," "The One Where Everyone Finds Out," "The One Where Ross Got High".
It's hard to argue with some of those choices, and night 2 especially features some of the very best Friends episodes, but across nights 1 & 3 there are a few more questionable decisions, especially when considering some of the episodes that didn't make the cut. Part of this is because the episodes chosen come from the series' peak between seasons 1-6, but while that's undoubtedly when Friends was at its best, there are still some great episodes that came after that period.
Night 3 includes two Thanksgiving episodes, which is good because they're an important hallmark of Friends' seasons, and yet the best of them - "The One With The Rumor" - is missing, quite possibly because it's from one of the show's lesser runs. Less understandable in this regard is the lack of "The One With The Football", which isn't just a stellar Thanksgiving episode, but also one that highlights the strength of the entire group, and one of the best in understanding the sibling dynamic between Ross and Monica.
Ross and Rachel episodes get plenty of love here, which is no surprise given how central the couple was to Friends' success, but what is surprising is that some of their best episodes aren't present: "The One The Morning After" is superb, but it's better when paired with "The One Where Ross and Rachel Take A Break", which is the true beginning of Friends' most iconic running gag. "The One With The Jellyfish" would fit nicely with these too, and has the benefit of including strong moments for the entire group, rather than just being about the one-and-off-again couple.
It also would've been great to see another Monica and Chandler episode to go alongside "The One Where Everybody Finds Out". Both "The One With The Proposal - Part 2" and "The One With Monica and Chandler's Wedding Part 2" are wonderful, heartfelt installments that reaffirm just how much they love each other and the happiness they've found together, while serving as a reminder that Ross and Rachel weren't Friends' only important couple.
"The One With The Birth" feels like an odd choice, and it would've been better to include "The One Hundredth", which isn't just a huge milestone but also a better childbirth-related episode overall, and most importantly it's one of the few genuinely great Phoebe-centric installments, something that the Friends cinema re-release is lacking. It also would've been great to see something like "The One Where Eddie Won't Go", which not only includes one of Friends' all-time great supporting characters, but brilliantly highlights the show's actual best relationship: Joey and Chandler's friendship.
Of course, it's hard to condense Friends down to just a dozen episodes, given there are 236 of them in total and none can be considered really bad as such. At the same time, including some of the episodes mentioned above, rather than ones such as "The One With The Birth", "The One With Ross' Wedding - Part 2", and "The One Where Ross Got High" would've made for a better spread of Friends episodes.