By Stephanie Schaefer
“Friends” is one of those shows that simply never goes out of style. Daniel Ford and I recently finished rewatching the entire series, during which I laughed at jokes I’ve heard many times before and got misty-eyed during the finale yet again. Netflix will soon make it easy to follow our binge-watching lead as the company recently announced that all 236 episodes will be available for your streaming pleasure starting January 2015 (say goodbye to your social lives).
Choosing my favorite “Friends” moments was as difficult as Joey deciding if he’d rather give up food or sex, but I finally narrowed down my list. Take a look at my top picks and share your favorites in the comments section!
1. When Rachel and Ross visit the laundromat in “The One With the East German Laundry Detergent”
Why I Love It: This scene sets the stage for the Ross and Rachel romance, long before the on-again, off-again lovebirds actually get together (and before Ross gets weird in the later seasons). The two go on a pseudo-date when Ross accompanies Rachel and takes her “laundry virginity.” He's there to comfort her when she accidentally mixes a red sock within her whites, making her wardrobe look like a marshmallow Peep. More importantly, he’s there when she stands up to the laundry bully and is rewarded with a friendly kiss for his support.
Memorable Quote: “I know this is gonna sound really stupid, but I feel that if I can do this, you know, if I can actually do my own laundry, there isn't anything I can't do.”—Rachel
2. When Monica and Rachel pretend to be each other in “The One With Two Parts”
Why I Love It: Before George Clooney made an honest women out of Amal Alamuddin—aka that lady whose name no one can pronounce—he guest starred on “Friends" as his “ER” character. When Rachel hurts her ankle, she pretends to be Monica in order to use her insurance. The girls land dates with the two cute doctors while swapping their identities, making for some hilarious backstabbing.
Memorable Quote: “And by the way, have I mentioned that back in high school, I was a cow?”—Rachel (pretending to be Monica)
3. Ross and Rachel’s first real kiss in “The One Where Ross Finds Out”
Why I Love It: This is 1990s romance at its finest. Rachel learns that Ross is buying a cat with his new girlfriend, prompting her to have a little too much wine and reveal her feelings about him. The star-crossed duo then argues dramatically in Central Perk. Ross rushes out in anger, while Rachel bolts the coffee shop’s doors shut and cries on the couch. Cue the rain, music, Ross’s return, and a passionate first kiss.
Memorable Quote: “I didn’t get a cat.”—Ross
4. When Phoebe and Chandler sing together in “The One With the Giant Poking Device”
Why I Love It: Not many television shows are good all the way through the closing credits, but “Friends” proved it could keep you watching right until the end. In this episode, Janice goes back to her first husband, but not before she compares her love for Chandler to a Lionel Richie song. Here, Phoebe shows that true friends are always be there for each other when she joins in with heartbroken Chandler as he sings Ritchie’s “Endless Love” off-key.
Memorable quote: “The way I feel about you, it’s like, I finally understand what Lionel Richie’s been singing about.”—Janice
5. When the girls drink beer on the couch in “The One With All the Wedding Dresses”
Why I Love It: Best friends, wedding dresses, and liquor can truly remedy a broken heart. When Monica picks up Ross’s bride-to-be’s dress, she can’t help but try it on herself. At the end Rachel, who’s upset over Ross’s engagement, joins Phoebe and Monica as they play dress up, leading to a memorable scene between our favorite ladies.
Memorable quotes: “I gotta tell ya, this really does put me in a better mood.”–Rachel
6. When Monica and Rachel compete against Joey and Chandler in “The One With all the Embryos”
Why I Love It: The girls and guys take part in a game show-like competition to prove who knows each other better and hilarity follows. Monica and Rachel’s large, rent-controlled, and completely unrealistic New York City apartment is on the line when the stakes are raised. We learn some pretty funny stuff about our favorite friends in this classic scene, which proves just how great the chemistry is between them.
Memorable quotes: Ross: “I’m afraid the TV Guide comes to Chanandler Bong.” Chandler: “Actually, it’s Miss Chanandler Bong.”
7. When Ross says Rachel’s name in “The One With Ross’s Wedding: Part 2”
Why I Love It: Plain and simple, no one liked uptight Emily. We were all rooting for Ross to break up with her. An iconic moment in sitcom history is born when he says Rachel’s name at the altar.
Memorable quote: “This is worse than when he married the lesbian.”—Judy Geller
8. When Chandler admits he’s in love with Monica in “The One where Everybody Finds out”
Why I Love It: Even though everyone was obsessed with the Ross and Rachel storyline, the true heart and soul of “Friends” was Chandler and Monica’s relationship. There didn’t need to be any of that “We were on a break” drama for this romance to work. It just two friends who fell in love and never looked back.
Memorable quote: “I thought you guys were doing it, I didn’t know you were in love.”—Phoebe
9. When Monica Proposes to Chandler (& vice versa) in “The One with the Proposal”
Why I Love It: Everyone loves a happy ending, especially when candles are involved.
Memorable quote: “There’s a reason why girls don’t do this.”—Monica
10. When Rachel runs without inhibitions in “The One where Phoebe Runs”
Why I Love It: The great thing about “Friends” is that it can always put you in a better mood no matter how rough of day you had. This episode, where Phoebe runs like a toddler/crazy person, is definitely a feel-gooder, especially when Rachel joins in on the free-spirited jog at the end.
Memorable quote: “I swear when she runs it’s like a mix between Kermit the Frog and the Six Million Dollar Man.”—Rachel