Over 20 years since the last episode of this cult comedy show was aired, Friends continues its streak of unceasing popularity. And while we've learned a lot from this lovable bunch who stuck with each other through thick and thin, we also had to stick with them through occasional embarrassing scenes and awkward moments.
The quarter-century that separates us from the very first episode of Friends also didn't do the show much justice, as newer viewers will have to sit through a ton of scenes that today seem like cliches, in addition to the myriad of those that were uncomfortable to begin with.
Nevertheless, Friends delivers these scenes with more charm than perhaps any other show, so it's no wonder why a TV Time study still ranks it as one of the most-binge watched TV series of all time. Today, we're listing some of the cringiest and most unwatchable moments Friends have ever put us through. Reader discretion is advised.
10 When Frank Jr. made out with his teacher
We all know that Pheobe's (Lisa Kudrow) younger brother Frank Jr. (Giovanni Ribisi) is that guy dating his much-older teacher (like, grandma-older). And, as if that weren't awkward enough by itself, in season three, the two of them decide to get married and have children, with the pinnacle of that cringe-fest surely being their make-out scenes that provoked a disgusted reaction in both Friends and the audience alike. Not judging here, but no one wants to see these two in a middle of a tongue war.
9 When Officer Goodbody did his striptease dance
Knowing the eccentric Pheobe Buffay, it was expected that her bachelorette party would be something really bizarre. But NO ONE expected to see Danny Devito appear in the role of a middle-aged stripper named Roy. Not only was his "exotic" dance extremely uncomfortable to the ladies and everyone else watching, but his own reaction was awkward as well, especially when he started crying. As cringy as it may be, this scene is a perfect example of how unusual yet entertaining Friends can be, and we still remember it today.
8 When Monica finds out who her midnight mystery kisser was
Apart from the uncomfortable moments in "The One Where the Stripper Cries," this season 10 episode contains one scene that's perhaps even more awkward. See, in her talk with Chandler (Matthew Perry) and Ross (David Schwimmer), Monica (Courtney Cox) finally finds out who her midnight mystery kisser (and first kiss) was on that faithful night in 1987. Well, it's her own brother, Ross. Needless to say, the information led to disgust among all three as well as everyone watching the show. Oh, poor Chandler, what did you marry into?
7 When Monica gets stung by a jellyfish
"The one with the Jellyfish" is a premiere episode that, at the very start of season 4, provided us with one of the most famous Friends cringe moments ever. Yes, it's the one when Chandler marked his territory on Monica. You could cut the tension with a knife while Joey (Matt LeBlanc), Monica, and Chandler were retelling their embarrassing secret, barely able to look at each other.
In short, Monica was stung by a jellyfish at the beach and to her aid came Chandler who promptly peed on her. Fun fact: a jellyfish sting should NEVER be treated by the "golden shower," as the salt in urine could activate the tentacles to sting even more and make the wound worse!
6 When Ross says the wrong name
Most girls fantasize about the "most important day of their lives" from a very young age, but Emily (Helen Baxendale) surely never planned on what Ross would do on the day of their wedding. Actually, her dream day soon turned into the most uncomfortable nightmare when her groom, in front of all the members of his and her family and friends, exclaimed "Rachel" instead of "Emily" during his vows. Pretty sure that's the worst possible time to say the wrong name. It goes without saying that the whole situation was extremely humiliating for Emily, and even more tragic is that they agreed to proceed with the wedding so everything again ended Ross style - with a divorce.
5 When Phoebe is pretending to seduce Chandler
Although the level of discomfort between Pheobe and Chandler is quite high in this episode, the whole thing was actually really entertaining for us viewers (okay, besides that awkward and unwatchable kiss). Come to think about it, the whole notion about trying to seduce your friend just to see if they're loyal to your other friend is weird beyond words. And Pheobe's resolve to see the thing through was definitely a one-way ticket to cringeland. Let's also remind ourselves that, at the end of the episode, Ross finds out about Monica and Chandler in the most unexpected way: by seeing them "getting it on" from his apartment window, across the street.
4 When Monica was aroused when Phoebe massaged her
Phoebe never suspected she'd regret her decision to massage Monica in "The One With The Secret Closet." Why, you might ask... Well, as it turns out, Monica reeeally enjoys massages, to the extent that she starts expressing her pleasure with loud and extremely inappropriate "sex noises." And if this still doesn't sound cringy enough for you, there's more: Pheobe's solution to the problem was to basically fight fire with fire, "Yeah, say my name. Say it!" What in the world...? Though, she quickly realized how awkward things have gotten, "...and now I'm going to cover you back up, and, um, I won't be speaking to you for several weeks."
3 When Rachel and Joey end up together
Cringe may very well be the whole definition of the relationship between these two. It's no secret that for many Friends fans, Joey and Rachel's (Jennifer Aniston) relationship is the worst plot choice of the entire series. Even the Friends cast themselves considered their scenes unwatchable. The pinnacle of this would have to be either their first kiss in "The One After Joey And Rachel Kiss" or when Joey proposes in "The One Where No One Proposes." Luckily, the whole awkward situation ended soon enough, leaving us fans in cringe-recovery.
2 When Rachel was trying to get Joshua's attention
Season 4 includes some of the most desperate Rachel moments, but what she does in "The one with the fake party" probably takes the cake. Like the title suggests, the episode revolves around Rachel and heir failed attempts at seducing Joshua during the fake "bon-voyage-Emily" party. We see her desperately trying to get Joshua's attention by first putting on a sexy dress and later a highschool cheerleader outfit - sounds good, doesn't work.
That's not all, after performing a cheerleading act in front of everyone, she trips and bites her lip really hard. We also see her choking on a cherry stem and attempting to remove her bra through her sleeve (and getting it stuck there). Ladies, don't try this at home, unless a cringe is what you're aiming for.
1 When Monica counted to seven
If you need to know what makes it go from "nice" to "My God, somebody's killing her in there!" (you know what we mean), then Monica's the person to ask ...or, you can simply watch "The One With Pheobe's Uterus."
The episode features Monica trying to help Chandler by informing him about the seven erogenous zones on a woman's body as well as various techniques. We praise Courtney Cox for her performance in this extremely amusing (and educational, it seems) scene, but we have to admit that the sight of Monica orgasmically screaming "SEVEN, SEVEN, SEVEN-SEVEN...!" is still one of the most hilarious and most cringe-worthy scenes ever!