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The Best Episodes Of Friends, According To IMDb

In the '90s, sitcom fans who weren't totally taken with the acerbic "show about nothing" vibe of NBC's Seinfeld could be found plopped down in front of the Peacock network's other iconic comedy of that decade: Friends, whose characters grew from spoiled twenty-somethings into semblances of responsible adults over the course of its ten seasons. Over the years, viewers grew to know and love all of the many, many quirks of Ross (David Schwimmer), Chandler (Matthew Perry), Joey (Matt LeBlanc), Monica (Courteney Cox), Rachel (Jennifer Aniston), and Phoebe (Lisa Kudrow), which only grew... well, quirkier as the seasons went on.

Even though it left the airwaves in 2004, Friends still has legions of loyal fans to this day, and those fans know that it can be all but impossible to pick a favorite from among the series' whopping 236 episodes. There is, however, one source we can turn to for a definitive ranking: IMDb, which uses scores assigned by its registered users to rank episodes of pretty much every TV series ever. Without further ado, here is the venerable website's rankings of the top five Friends episodes of all time.

Season 2, Episode 14: "The One with the Prom Video"

"The One with the Prom Video" aired midway through Friends' second season, and it served as a bit of a culmination of the will-they-or-won't-they dynamic between Ross and Rachel to that point. After circling their feelings for each other for the entirety of the first season, the pair had finally gotten together in the seventh episode of season 2 — only to split up in the very next episode, when Ross was busted making a rather piggish and insensitive list of the pros and cons of being with Rachel. This episode saw them finally commit to giving their relationship a shot, due to the titular video, which is dropped off by Ross' and Monica's parents. The video was, of course, shot on the night of Rachel and Monica's high school prom, and it reveals that Ross has always had feelings for Rachel — but that's only part of the reason fans love this particular episode.

The main reason is the video itself, which shows wildly different sides of the characters audiences were already coming to think of as their own friends. There's a much geekier, apparently pre-nose job Rachel; a goofy, overweight Monica, displaying almost none of her typical type-A personality traits; and poor Ross, mooning over Rachel in the corner while sporting the most ridiculous afro anyone has ever seen. The episode ends on a sweet note, with Rachel deciding that Ross deserves another chance — but that uber-'80s prom video is the absolute highlight of an all-around classic installment.

Season 10, Episode 17: "The Last One"

The Friends finale was a two-parter, and next on our list is "The Last One, Part 1." The central storyline again involves Ross and Rachel, who were implied in the previous episode to have slept together the previous night — despite the fact that Rachel is about to leave for her new job in Paris. It turns out that they did indeed spend the night together, although they end up having very different ideas about what it meant: while Ross is convinced Rachel will now stay, Rachel thinks of it only as the "perfect way to say goodbye."

Meanwhile, Erica (a perfectly cast Anna Faris), the surrogate mother for Chandler and Monica, surprises the couple with twins, and Joey surprises Chandler with a gift for his and Monica's new home: a chick and a duckling, replacements for Joey and Chandler's late pets. The episode closes with Phoebe and Ross making a mad dash to the airport in Phoebe's cab, with the intention of stopping Rachel so that Ross can confess his true feelings.

While the episode is perhaps not the best standalone installment, it plays like a nice gift to fans who had been with the series from the start, with voluminous callbacks, that surprise double birth, and even Central Perk manager Gunther (James Michael Tyler) finally getting to confess his feelings for — and get shot down by — his dream girl Rachel, beating Ross squarely to that punch. Of course, most fans would argue that Part 2 was even more special... but we'll have to get to that in a moment.

Season 4, Episode 12: "The One with the Embryos"

The twelfth episode of season 4, "The One with the Embryos," is interesting for one real-world reason: it's the episode in which Phoebe agrees to be the surrogate mother for her half-brother Frank (Giovanni Ribisi) and his much older wife Alice (That 70's Show's Debra Jo Rupp). This storyline only came to be because Kudrow was actually pregnant at the time — and, rather than having the star take a leave of absence, Friends co-creator Marta Kauffman decided to write her pregnancy into the show.

The reason the episode is so fondly remembered, though, has nothing to do with Ms. Phoebe Buffay. No, that's because of its side-splitting final act, in which Monica and Rachel square off in a trivia contest against Joey and Chandler (with Ross flexing his game show host skills as the trivia master) to see who knows whom the best. At first, only $100 is on the line — but the stakes escalate to the point where Joey and Chandler must give up their pet birds if they lose, while Monica and Rachel must give the guys their cherished apartment.

After the questions fly fast and furious, the game ends in a tie... but Ross, of course, has prepared a "lightning round." With their apartment at stake, Monica and Rachel blow it on the final question: "What is Chandler Bing's job?" (As fans well know, this is never made clear throughout the series, and it turns out they weren't the only ones for whom Chandler's profession was a mystery.) The girls go down in flames, the guys win the apartment, and Rachel learns the hard way that "transponster" isn't a word.

Season 10, Episode 18: "The Last One, Part 2"

The final episode of Friends puts Ross through the wringer. First, he and Phoebe arrive at the wrong airport to try to stop Rachel from leaving for Paris; with a bit of clever trickery on Phoebe's part, they manage to stall Rachel's flight, and get to the correct airport just in the nick of time. Ross confesses his undying love, but to no avail — an incredibly flustered Rachel gets on the plane anyway, leaving Ross to return home in utter defeat.

When he gets home, though, there's a message from Rachel — and as Ross listens, it becomes clear that she's defying the protests of her flight attendant and deplaning. Suddenly, the machine malfunctions, and as Ross frantically tries to fix it — wondering aloud if Rachel actually got off the plane — she appears in the doorway behind him. "I did," she says. (Get the tissues.)

The B-story involves Joey and Chandler attempting to free their chick and duckling, who are stuck in the pair's beloved foosball table (unable to bring themselves to break it, they call in Monica, who has no such qualms). But the narrative thrust of the series' finale is all Ross and Rachel, and even as their beloved show came to an end, Friends finally gave the fans what they'd always wanted: the pair finally together for good.

The episode ends with the six buddies leaving behind the empty apartment where they had all lived at various points, heading out for one more cup of coffee before going their separate ways. "Where?" Chandler asks (ha, ha), and as they set out for Central Perk, the camera lingers on the front door, and the picture frame which had been hanging there since the very first episode.

Season 5, Episode 14: "The One Where Everybody Finds Out"

According to IMDb's users, "The One Where Everybody Finds Out" — the fourteenth episode of season 5 — is the best episode of Friends ever. What does everybody find out? Well, that's what makes the episode so much fun; unbeknownst to everybody but Joey (who somehow managed to put it together in the season's fifth episode) and Rachel (who came a little later to the party), Monica and Chandler had been secretly dating since the final episodes of season 4. They'd had increasing difficulty throughout season 5 keeping their secret, but finally, in episode 14... well, it's right there in the title.

The episode is genuinely hilarious throughout, with a subplot involving Ross trying to get in good with Ugly Naked Guy, whose apartment he covets. (All it took to get the place? A batch of mini-muffins, and a bit of reciprocal nudity on Ross' part.) But the highlight of the episode is the final scene, in which Phoebe (who Joey and Rachel had clued in to Monica and Chandler's secret) attempts to coax the truth out of Chandler by seducing him in the most hilarious, awkward manner possible. Chandler breaks down and admits his love for Monica, and Monica (who had been hiding in the bathroom) responds in kind — but not before Phoebe extracts perhaps the single weirdest kiss in screen history out of Chandler.

The scene is comedy gold, and even though it ends on a cliffhanger (as Ross discovers that Chandler is dating his sister), fans of Friends fondly remember "The One Where Everybody Finds Out" as one of the single best episodes of the entire series — so good that IMDb's users put it at the top of the heap.