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30 Best Friends Episodes Ranked

As there are a whopping 236 episodes of "Friends," trying to pick the best 30 is no easy task. A standout episode is well-rounded, meaning all the storylines need to be equally memorable and hilarious. More than a handful of "Friends" episodes have incredible jokes, but are lackluster when taken as a whole. Case in point, "The One With the Routine" from Season 6 has one of the greatest moments of the series, in which Monica and Ross perform a stellar New Year's Eve dance. But the rest of the episode has Chandler, Phoebe, and Rachel searching for Christmas gifts in a super-dull storyline.

To rank the top 30 episodes of "Friends," we turned to IMDb, which bases their rankings on user votes. No one knows the hit NBC sitcom like its massive and loyal fandom, and there's no one better to help rank the best episodes of "Friends" than them. Take a scroll through this list to see where your favorites land — if they made it at all.

30. The One with the Late Thanksgiving (Season 10, Episode 8)

When Monica admits she doesn't want to cook Thanksgiving dinner, Chandler backs her up. However, the four other friends are adamant that she cook for them, so she concedes. Monica and Chandler are left sitting at their table alone with a plethora of food when Phoebe, Rachel, Ross, and Joey don't show up. Phoebe has persuaded Rachel to put Emma in a beauty pageant, while Joey and Ross have gone to a hockey game. All think they'll make it back in time, but they don't, and so they find themselves locked out of Monica's apartment.

The foursome tries to convince Monica and Chandler to let them in, resulting in some hilarious hallway scenes. This episode gives us the iconic moment where Rachel, Phoebe, Joey, and Ross' heads stick out from behind the locked door. Joey gets stuck, and when they try and get him out, the door bursts open, and he takes out a side table holding all the yummy food. Thankfully, Monica is unfazed as she has just found out she and Chandler are going to be able to adopt a baby from the adoption agency.

29. The One with the Nap Partners (Season 7, Episode 6)

This particular episode is named for one of the minor sub-plots that happens within it. The majority of the story revolves around Rachel and Phoebe competing to be Monica's maid of honor. Phoebe wins initially, but lets Rachel have the responsibility because she feels it means more to her. All the while, Monica learns that Chandler dumped his camp girlfriend because she put on a lot of weight, leading the latter to apologize to the girl he treated so poorly all those years ago.

Meanwhile, Joey and Ross watch a movie together and fall asleep. When they wake up, they find themselves snuggling with each other, which freaks them out. Joey admits later that he enjoyed the nap and asks Ross if they can do it again. Initially, Ross refuses, but he gives in later in the episode. After waking from another nap spent curled up together, they see their four friends watching them in disbelief.

28. The One Where No One's Ready (Season 3, Episode 2)

"The One Where No One's Ready" marks the first time the entire story plays out in one location. Shot entirely in Monica and Rachel's apartment, this episode follows the gang as they drag their behinds getting ready for Ross' big night at the museum. Besides Ross himself, Phoebe is the only friend who shows up on time, ready to go.

Monica becomes obsessed with a mysterious woman's voice on Richard's (Tom Selleck) answering machine, while Rachel tries on a million outfits she's all unsatisfied with. Joey and Chandler also fight over the rights to the oversized chair in the apartment, which has the duo at one another's throats. After Joey finds out Chandler hid his underwear, he decides to take revenge. He puts on all of Chandler's clothes while going commando and speaks the famous line, "Look at me! I'm Chandler. Could I be wearing any more clothes?"

27. The One Where Paul's the Man (Season 6, Episode 22)

Bruce Willis appeared in three episodes of Season 6 as Paul Stevens, the father of Ross' young girlfriend, Elizabeth (Alexandra Holden). Paul threatens to have Ross fired, which spurs Ross and Elizabeth into carrying on their relationship in secret. They travel to Elizabeth's grandmother's cabin to get away, but are interrupted when Paul shows up ... with Rachel.

Ross hides in one of the bedrooms, and Paul comes in to amp himself up for his romantic weekend. He starts to dance in the mirror and sing "Love Machine," while also calling himself a "neat guy." When Paul leaves the room, Ross tries unsuccessfully to escape. Paul swears again he's going to have him fired, but after Ross reveals he saw him dance, Paul forgives everything. Later, in a brief moment at the end of the episode, Chandler admits to Phoebe he's going to ask Monica to marry him.

26. The One Where Ross Finds Out (Season 2, Episode 7)

Rachel tries desperately to get over Ross, as she's having a difficult time watching him live his life with Julie (Lauren Tom). Monica sets her up on a blind date, and while she's on it, Rachel gets hammered and drunk dials Ross. She tells him that she's over him, then forgets the phone call the next day. At her apartment, Ross asks to use the phone to listen to his voicemails. Totally oblivious, Rachel lets him. When he connects to his answering machine, he tells her she called him.

Rachel suddenly remembers everything and runs and jumps on top of Ross, trying to get the phone away from him. It's too late, and he hears what she said. Extremely confused, Ross asks Rachel, "You're over me? When were you under me?" She then confesses her feelings to him, and he leaves feeling overwhelmed. The two meet up later at Central Perk after hours and have a blowout in the coffee house. After they admit they were doing better before knowing about each other's feelings, they go their separate ways. But Ross comes back moments later, unable to fight his desire for Rachel. They kiss for the first time in the doorway, marking the official start of their on-again-off-again romance.

25. The One Where the Stripper Cries (Season 10, Episode 11)

Ever the good friends, Monica and Rachel throw Phoebe a classy bachelorette party ahead of her wedding to Mike (Paul Rudd). They scramble to find a stripper when Phoebe mentions she wants one, and end up hiring the first man they can find. When the stripper shows up, the women are shocked to find he's a very short and stocky older man, played by the one and only Danny DeVito. Phoebe can't hide her disdain when he starts dancing for her, and the poor man begins crying in utter embarrassment.

While hilarity ensues in Monica's apartment, Chandler and Ross attend their college reunion. Chandler ends up telling Ross that he kissed Rachel all those years ago at a party. Ross is upset as he thinks he also kissed Rachel that night, but as we find out later, he actually kissed Monica on accident in the dark.

24. The One with All the Kissing (Season 5, Episode 2)

After Monica and Chandler hook up in London, they do their very best to keep their relationship a secret, as they're nervous about how everyone will react. They only show affection to one another when they're alone, but at one point, Chandler forgets there are people around and kisses Monica as he gets ready to leave for work. Phoebe and Rachel stare in shock as their two friends smooch, but Chandler reacts fast: He gives both Rachel and Phoebe a kiss goodbye as well and smiles as he walks out the door. 

Later, the women walk in on Chandler and Monica while they're kissing again. Once more, he leaves while planting a smooch on both of them. Monica has to play along and act like she doesn't know what he's doing, giving the excuse that it's some sort of European thing he picked up in London.

23. The One with the Blackout (Season 1, Episode 7)

The only Season 1 episode in our list of top 30 "Friends" episodes definitely earns its spot. The majority of the episode occurs in Monica and Rachel's apartment in the midst of a massive blackout. The apartment is lit up with candles as the friends sit around discussing some of their favorite memories. Ross debates telling Rachel about his feelings for her, but Joey tells him it's too late, as he's already in the "friend zone" — an iconic term made famous by this episode.

When Ross is about to confess his feelings on the balcony, a stray cat jumps on his shoulders. As Rachel looks for the owner, she finds it belongs to her sexy Italian neighbor, Paolo (Cosimo Fusco). They strike up a relationship rather quickly, which absolutely guts Ross.

22. The One with the Football (Season 3, Episode 9)

"The One With the Football" is one of the more well-known Thanksgiving episodes of the series. As Monica and Ross reminisce about playing touch football, the gang decides to compete in a game of their own while the turkey cooks. Initially, the teams are Monica, Phoebe, and Joey versus Ross, Chandler, and Rachel. As Ross and Monica bicker the entire game, the teams change into boys-versus-girls.

Easily the worst out of the group, Rachel fights to get the ball, then runs away in horror when she finally does. With the game tied at the last second, Monica throws a Hail Mary to Rachel, who surprisingly catches it. She throws the ball down in excitement. When Chandler points out that she wasn't in the endzone, Phoebe notes that the play is still going. Ross and Monica dive on the ball, refusing to give it up to the other. As the rest of the group goes back inside to eat, the siblings stay on the field into the night as it starts to snow.

21. The One with the Two Parties (Season 2, Episode 22)

In this episode, Monica throws Rachel a massive birthday party. As Rachel's parents have just split up, Monica only invites Rachel's mother. But before the party begins, Rachel's dad shows up to surprise her and sees that festivities are in order. He invites himself in, causing the friends to scramble to create two separate parties in different apartments.

The entire episode sees the gang trying to prevent Rachel's parents from seeing one another to stop a massive fight from breaking out. Joey and Chandler host a fun party with beautiful women, while Monica hosts a rules-heavy shindig boasting a Boggle tournament. Phoebe ends up smuggling bored guests out of Monica's party to the fiesta across the hall, including Gunther (James Michael Tyler). The group is able to keep the parents apart, thanks primarily to Joey, who plants a kiss on Rachel's mother at the last second to distract her.

20. The One with the Morning After (Season 3, Episode 16)

One of the more heartbreaking "Friends" episodes, "The One with the Morning After" sees Ross and Rachel officially break up. Rachel finds out that Ross slept with the Xerox girl while they were on their break, and she ends things after a long, emotional conversation in her apartment.

All the while, Joey, Chandler, Phoebe, and Monica are trapped in the latter's bedroom listening to the argument. Stuck in there for hours with no food or water, they decide to eat the organic wax Monica ordered off television for her legs. The foursome provides most of the comedy for the episode, while Ross and Rachel bring a hefty amount of drama.

19. The One with All the Resolutions (Season 5, Episode 11)

In this New Year's Eve episode, everyone makes a fun resolution. Monica decides to take more photos of everyone, Chandler promises not to make fun of his friends anymore, Phoebe makes it her goal to pilot a commercial jet, Rachel vows to gossip less, Joey takes up playing the guitar, and Ross plans to do something new every single day. It is that last resolution that gives us one of the greatest moments in the entire series.

One of Ross' first "new things" is to buy a pair of leather pants, which he wears on a date. But when he goes to the bathroom that night, he can't get his pants back up due to sweatiness. He calls Chandler for help, but Joey answers and suggests bizarre solutions. Covered in lotion and baby powder, Ross is left pantsless after tirelessly trying to clothe himself. He has to leave his date's apartment mortified and half-dressed.

18. The One with Chandler in a Box (Season 4, Episode 8)

Chandler commits the ultimate betrayal in Season 4 when he kisses Joey's girlfriend, Kathy (Paget Brewster). After he confesses, Joey decides to pack some things and move in with his parents while looking for a new place. Begging for forgiveness, Chandler says he'll do anything to make things right. Referencing an earlier episode in which Joey gets locked in an entertainment unit, Joey decides to put Chandler in a box so he can think about what he's done.

For most of this Thanksgiving episode, Chandler is indeed inside a large wooden box in Monica's apartment. Kathy shows up to tell Chandler she's going to end things because she can't stand to see his and Joey's friendship end. Unable to talk in the box, Chandler waves goodbye through his air hole. Joey feels bad and lets Chandler out, letting him reunite with Kathy to save their new relationship.

17. The One with Ross' Sandwich (Season 5, Episode 9)

Ross is devastated when he finds out someone at work ate his "moist-maker" — a post-Thanksgiving sandwich prepared by Monica. This causes him to have a mental break, and he's put on a sabbatical on account of his "rage." In the meantime, Joey is forced to keep Monica and Chandler's relationship a secret.

When Phoebe finds men's underwear on Monica's couch and Rachel finds Monica's razor in Chandler's bathroom, the group suspects something is afoot. The last straw comes when Rachel finds Joey looking at a naked photo of Monica, which he accidentally stumbled upon. Still keeping his friend's secret, Joey tells the rest of the group that he and Monica slept together in London, and that she's become obsessed with him.

16. The One with Unagi (Season 6, Episode 17)

Desperate for money, Joey hires a so-so lookalike to help him get into a paid study about identical twins. At the same time, Monica and Chandler scramble to come up with last-minute Valentine's Day ideas. Monica confesses she screwed up, while Chandler gives her a re-gifted mixtape. Feeling horrible, Monica does everything in the world for Chandler. It all comes crumbling down when they dance to the mixtape and Janice's (Maggie Wheeler) voice comes pouring out of the speakers, proving the tape was once a gift from the fast-talker.

Elsewhere, Phoebe and Rachel take self-defense classes and feel all-powerful. Ross tells them they need to master "unagi", the state of total awareness which he learned taking karate lessons. The women mess with Ross throughout the episode, proving that he is not as aware as he thinks. They end up surprising him in his apartment, and he retaliates by trying to surprise them in Phoebe's place. Naturally, he fails, and the girls pin him to the ground.

15. The One with the Flashback (Season 3, Episode 6)

Taking place one year before the premiere episode, "The One with the Flashback" details all the ways the friends almost hooked up with each other in the past. We find out that when Joey moved in with Chandler, he and Monica had a major attraction to each other. When she invites him over for lemonade, he drops his pants in her apartment, thinking it's an invitation for sex. She tells him that's not what "lemonade" means, and he apologizes for misreading the situation.

We also see Phoebe and Ross kiss briefly after he discovers his wife is a lesbian. They stop from going further after the group walks into the bar — their pre-Central Perk hangout. Rachel also shows up at the bar, still spoiled and engaged to Barry. She and Monica reconnect and part ways, thinking they'll never see each other again. On her drive home, Rachel fantasizes about kissing Chandler, who she saw at the bar.

14. The One with the Jellyfish (Season 4, Episode 1)

Picking up where the Season 3 finale leaves off, "The One with the Jellyfish" sees the recoupling of Ross and Rachel — but only briefly. After getting back from the beach, the two have a massive blowout when Ross sticks to his guns about being on a break. Their argument is a "Friends" classic spurring one of Ross' best moments when he yells "FINE BY ME!" when Rachel confirms they're broken up.

Before the fight, Monica, Joey, and Chandler tell the group about an unfortunate incident that occurred while they were on the beach. Monica was stung by a jellyfish and was in so much pain she needed immediate treatment. Remembering what he'd seen on the Discovery Channel, Joey said pee would help with her pain. Unable to pee due to "stage fright," Joey turned to Chandler to step up. They reveal to the group that Chandler was able to do it, saving Monica from further pain.

13. The One with the Red Sweater (Season 8, Episode 2)

Rachel's baby's father remains a mystery for the first episode of Season 8, but we finally find out who it is at the end of Episode 2. As Phoebe, Joey, and Monica try and figure out his identity, we're first led to believe Tag (Edmund Patrick Cahill) is the father, based on a red sweater left in Rachel's apartment. But when Phoebe brings Rachel to see Tag, he's wearing the same red sweater, and we're back at square one.

At the end of the episode, Ross and Chandler come back to the apartment after looking for disposable cameras. When Ross goes to leave, he sees the garment on the table and says, "Hey, my sweater! I've been looking for this for like a month!" Just like that, we find out Ross is the father of Rachel's baby. Phoebe and Monica put two and two together immediately, while it takes Joey a few seconds to connect the dots.

12. The One with All the Thanksgivings (Season 5, Episode 8)

"The One With All the Thanksgivings" takes us back several decades as we see the gang celebrate the titular holiday during multiple different years. Two take place at the Geller household, with the earlier one featuring Monica at a higher weight. Chandler is shocked to see the change in her body at the later Geller Thanksgiving, and attempts to hit on her. Monica ends up severing his toe when she drops a knife after a poor attempt at being seductive with the blade.

Chandler gets mad at Monica back in the present during the retelling of the story, as he learns he lost his toe because she was trying to pay him back for calling her fat. He leaves the apartment, which prompts Monica to put a turkey on her head with oversized glasses — a play on another story in which Joey gets a turkey stuck on his head.

11. The One in Vegas (Season 5, Episodes 23 and 24)

Known these days as a two-part episode, "The One in Vegas" originally debuted as a single one-hour episode which was subsequently broken down for syndication purposes. The gang travels to Las Vegas to see Joey, who went out west to shoot a movie. It ends up getting canned, so he works at Caesars Palace to make some money.

Monica and Chandler debate getting married in Sin City, but they're stopped in their tracks when a very drunk Ross and Rachel come running out of the chapel. Both have ink drawings all over their face and refer to each other as Mr. Rachel and Mrs. Ross before they go their separate ways. It's the perfect season finale cliffhanger, leaving everyone wondering what on Earth is going to happen next.

10. The One Where Ross Got High (Season 6, Episode 9)

In this Thanksgiving episode, Monica tries to hide the fact that she's with Chandler from her parents because they don't like him. Ross reveals the real reason they have a problem with Chandler is that they caught him smoking weed in college, which he blamed on his friend. Ross and Monica proceed to go back and forth revealing shocking stories about one another, much to their parents' surprise.

While Chandler tries to win over the Gellers, Rachel prepares a trifle for dessert. But she accidentally makes half an English trifle and half a shepherd's pie, as the cookbook pages are stuck together. Everyone decides to act like the meal is delicious — except for Joey, who genuinely likes it — to spare her feelings.

9. The One with Monica and Chandler's Wedding (Season 7, Episodes 23 and 24)

Another two-parter, this episode details the events before and during Monica and Chandler's wedding. It also aired as an hour-long special, which was subsequently  split into two very different halves. The first sees Chandler get cold feet, leaving the audience to wonder if he's going to go through with the wedding at all. Luckily, he comes to his senses when he hears that Monica is pregnant — a rumor Phoebe spreads after finding a pregnancy test in her trash can.

In the second part of the episode, we get to see Joey marry the happy couple. The episode ends with Phoebe whispering to Rachel that the newlyweds are going to have a baby. Rachel replies, "Uh-huh," making it instantly clear to the audience that she's actually the one who's pregnant.

8. The One with Ross' Wedding (Season 4, Episodes 23 and 24)

"Friends" fans certainly love a wedding episode. Set in London, Ross and Emily's wedding is quite the event as Monica, Chandler, and Joey travel across the pond to witness it all. Rachel stays back with Phoebe, who is too far along in her pregnancy to fly.

At the last minute, Rachel decides to get on a plane and go to the wedding, as she wants to tell Ross she still loves him before he marries Emily. When she gets there, she sees Ross and Emily kiss before the ceremony, and decides to keep her feelings to herself. While exchanging their vows, Ross says Rachel's name instead of Emily's, making this episode the single most jaw-dropping installment of the series. This episode also marks the beginning of Chandler and Monica, who hook up the night before the wedding.

7. The One with the Rumor (Season 8, Episode 9)

"Friends" has an impressive list of guest stars, but Brad Pitt's appearance in Season 8 is hands-down the greatest cameo in the series. Still married to Jennifer Aniston at the time, Pitt played Will Colbert, a friend of Ross' from high school who is in town for Thanksgiving. He joins the group, and we find out that he absolutely hates Rachel for being a bully to him in high school.

Will further reveals to everyone that he and Ross were in an I Hate Rachel Green Club, and that they started a nasty rumor about her. Will is still proud of the rumor, while Ross feels very guilty about it all. It's also revealed that Ross kissed the 50-year-old librarian, an act which Rachel walked in on and subsequently told the entire school about.

6. The One with the Videotape (Season 8, Episode 4)

After Rachel tells Ross that she's pregnant, the group wants to know how their hookup came about. When the duo argues over who came onto who, Ross reveals he can prove that Rachel initiated the tryst, because he has the evidence on videotape. Ross was practicing a seductive speech on camera when Rachel came in and asked for help with a wedding task for Monica. The two were then accidentally filmed having sex. The group wants to watch the footage, to find out who initiated things.

It turns out it was Rachel after all, as she's busted using the magic story Joey uses on women when he wants to sleep with them. Joey tells Ross about the faux story earlier in the episode, which involves him backpacking through western Europe. Rachel tells the same tale word-for-word, proving she started the evening which led to her pregnancy.

5. The One with the Proposal (Season 6, Episodes 24 and 25)

This double-length season finale details the events leading up to Monica and Chandler's engagement. Chandler is all set to propose at a romantic dinner when Richard (Tom Selleck) walks into the same restaurant and puts an end to his plan. Richard realizes he still has feelings for Monica and tells her later in the episode that he wants to be with her and start a family together.

Monica doesn't know how to handle the news, as Chandler has been pretending to hate marriage to throw her off. Things get super tense between the couple, and it looks like they might break up — until Joey tells Monica that Chandler loves marriage and is trying to keep the proposal a secret. Monica ends up proposing to Chandler in her candle-lit apartment — but he has to take over when she can't stop crying.

4. The One with the Prom Video (Season 2, Episode 14)

In the middle of Season 2, we're stuck in a will-they-won't-they storyline with Ross and Rachel. Things look good after they share their first kiss, but when Rachel finds a pros and cons list Ross made about dating her, she stops things from progressing. Things change when the whole gang sits down to watch a videotape of Rachel and Monica getting ready for their prom.

The hilarious throwback offers us a glimpse of a very different Monica and Rachel. We also see Ross rocking a curly hairdo as he watches the girls get ready. When Rachel's date Chip is late, she's devastated, as she doesn't want to go to prom alone. Ross decides to take her and gets dressed up, only to be heartbroken when Chip shows up at the last minute. Not knowing this happened, Rachel is overcome with emotion at Ross' gesture. After the video ends, she kisses him. It's the first point in the series where Ross and Rachel are officially an item.

3. The One with the Embryos (Season 4, Episode 12)

This memorable episode of "Friends" sees Monica and Rachel compete against Joey and Chandler to determine which duo knows the other better. If the girls win, Joey and Chandler have to get rid of the chick and the duck, but if the men are victorious, they get the girls' apartment. Ross creates a game to test their knowledge, and after a tie, it goes into a lightning round. The men come out on top, and the women are forced to give up their digs.

While this is all going down, Phoebe is implanted with Frank Jr. (Giovanni Ribisi) and Alice's (Debra Jo Rupp) fertilized eggs. She does her best to ensure she gets pregnant, even though it's out of her hands. At the end of the episode, she finds out she's pregnant, which ends the fight between the rest of the group.

2. The Last One (Season 10, Episode 17 and 18)

It's no surprise that the final episode of "Friends" lands so high on the list. This story, which spent 10 years on the air, gets wrapped up with a bow when Monica and Chandler are blessed with twins, thanks to Erika (Anna Faris), who gives her children up for adoption. Seeing their friends' happiness, Phoebe and Mike decide they also want to have children.

Meanwhile, Rachel departs for Paris after accepting a position with Louis Vuitton. Despite sleeping with Ross the night before she leaves, she still decides to go. Phoebe urges Ross to go after her, and they follow Rachel to the airport, where he meets her at the gate. Declaring his love for her, Ross is shot down again when Rachel still decides to get on the plane. He goes home devastated, but finds he has a message on his answering machine. It's from Rachel, who apologizes for their conversation and realizes mid-message that she's still in love with him. Still on the plane, Rachel decides to get off, but is stopped by a flight attendant who says it's too late. Her message is cut off. As Ross yells at his answering machine, asking if she got off, Rachel shows up in his apartment and says, "I got off the plane." The couple finally gets back together, and all is right with the world.

1. The One Where Everybody Finds Out (Season 5, Episode 17)

Monica and Chandler are only able to keep their relationship a secret for so long. While Ross checks out the ugly naked guy's apartment with Rachel and Phoebe, the latter woman sees Monica and Chandler "doing it" through the window. Lisa Kudrow proceeds to deliver one of Phoebe's best moments: "My eyes! My eyes!"

Rachel (who also knows about Monica and Chandler) and Phoebe decide to mess with the couple, and one of the best "Friends" scenes ever is born. Pretending to be sexually interested in Chandler, Phoebe starts to flirt with her friend aggressively. He and Monica pick up on her game and play right back. On their pretend date, Chandler and Phoebe go back and forth, trying to push one another to confess they're not interested. As both of them refuse to give up, they start getting closer. They eventually kiss, and Chandler has to wave his white flag as he's been pushed too far. He admits to being in love with Monica, a sentiment she reciprocates.