Your Complete Guide to Binge-Watching 'Friends'

How you doin’? A staple of our generation, an inspiration for television writers everywhere and the reason you know every word to “I’ll Be There For You,” Friends has influenced the binge-watching lives of many, with 10 seasons and 236 episodes to its name. Following the lives of six young best friends living in New York City, this show will make you laugh, cry and feel like you’re truly a member of their friend group. You’ll crack jokes like Chandler, clean like Monica, eat like Joey, shop like Rachel, play guitar like Phoebe and, of course, divorce like Ross. So what are you waiting for? Put on your tiny “Frankie Says Relax” T-shirt, grab your day-after-Thanksgiving turkey sandwich and lean back in your BarcaLounger. You’re not going to be getting up any time soon.

How to Watch

Netflix, DVDs, Nick At Nite, basically every time you turn on NBC on the weekends

Reasons to Watch

Although the specific characters on Friends may not exactly resonate with you, as a group of Manhattanites in their twenties, they touch on many themes in their careers and relationships that hit home with a wide variety of viewers—especially you, collegiette! Also, it’s basically impossible to not like this show, so watching it will make for an easy go-to discussion topic because, like, who hasn’t watched Friends?! Next time you feel at a loss for words when some hottie strikes up a convo, just ask him if he thinks Ross and Rachel are truly meant to be. That should get you two talking. 

Suggested Rate of Watching

If you’re five episodes deep and not falling asleep to Friends glowing on your laptop every night, we will honestly be insulted. We’ll buy you a latte and scone and make someone dress up like Gunther to serve it to you to get you back in the mood.

You Will Like This Show if You Like…

How I Met Your MotherSeinfeldNew GirlThat '70s ShowScrubs

Best Season


Season Five

Kicking off in London, England, this season is bookended by two weddings and two trips far outside of Manhattan. All of the Friends characters hit their prime, as this is right in the middle of the series, so they have matured from the first few seasons but aren't so mature that we're bored of them. With a huge secret, a birth, fun relationships, new career opportunities and one of the best Thanksgiving episodes in Friends history, it's hard not to enjoy the fifth season.

Worst Season


Season Nine

Well into their thirties, the Friends cast starts to slow down on their adventures. With a new baby having just being born and one of the crew moving to the middle of the country, the storyline becomes pretty bland and pieces of the Friends' lives that normally would have been cute, secondary plot lines become drawn out and exhausted (seriously, how much plot can revolve around trying to have a baby or take care of one?!)

Best & Worst Episodes From Each Season

Season One

Best: 1x05 — “The One With The East German Laundry Detergent”

Worst: 1x15 — “The One With The Stoned Guy”

Season Two

Best: 2x14 — “The One With The Prom Video”

Worst: 2x10 — “The One With Russ”

Season Three

Best: 3x02 — “The One Where No One's Ready”

Worst: 3x17 — “The One Without The Ski Trip”

Season Four

Best: 4x12 — “The One With The Embryos”

Worst: 4x21 — "The One With The Invitation”

Season Five

Best: 5x14 — “The One Where Everybody Finds Out”

***In our opinion, this is hands down the best episode of Friends EVER. You will watch it over and over again.***

Worst: 5x19 — “The One Where Ross Can’t Flirt”

Season Six

Best: 6x10 — “The One With The Routine”

Worst: 6x07 — “The One Where Phoebe Runs”  

Season Seven

Best: 7x16 — “The One With The Truth About London”

Worst: 7x05 — “The One With The Engagement Picture” 

Season Eight

Best: 8x04 — “The One With The Videotape”

Worst: 8x07 — “The One With The Stain”

Season Nine

Best: 9x15 — “The One With The Mugging”

Worst: 9x04 — “The One With The Sharks”

Season Ten

Best: 10x09 — “The One With The Birth Mother”

Worst: 10x13 — “The One Where Joey Speaks French”   

Characters You Will Love to Hate


Janice Hosenstein

Her role: Chandler's girlfriend

What's not to like? Pretty much anything that happens when she opens her mouth


Ursula Buffay

Her role: Phoebe's twin sister

What's not to like? Her apathetic and lying character


Mark Robinson

His role: Rachel's coworker

What's not to like? His negative influence on the Ross-Rachel relationship


Eddie Menuek

His role: Chandler's roommate

What's not to like? Paranoia and insanity 

Couple You Will Be Shipping

Ross and Rachel

From the first episode to the last, Ross and Rachel's relationship basically defines Friends. No matter who else comes into the picture, you'll always be rooting for this couple to last. Ross has loved Rachel since ninth grade—how can you pass up that kind of pining?

Terminology You Need to Know

Central Perk — coffee shop where the gang hangs out.

Days of Our Lives — the soap opera that Joey stars on.

Regina Phalange — Phoebe’s go-to alter ego name.

Ugly Naked Guy — the overweight man who lives in the apartment across the street and never puts on clothing.

Words & Phrases You Will Begin Incorporating Into Your Vocabulary

“Could I BE…”
Lobster
Unagi
The Routine
Moist Maker
Smelly Cat
Work Laugh
“Pivot!”
“How you doin’?”
“We were on a break!”
Holiday Armadillo
Princess Consuela Banana Hammock

And, Of Course, Some Hand Gestures…

Best Guest Stars

Alec Baldwin, Kristin Davis, Anna Faris, Hugh Laurie, Jon Lovitz, Elle Macpherson, Sean Penn, Brad Pitt, Leah Remini, Julia Roberts, Paul Rudd, Winona Ryder, Tom Selleck, Charlie Sheen, Cole Sprouse, Ben Stiller, Reese Witherspoon, and Bruce Willis (just to name a few!)

Snacks to Eat During

Pizza or meatball subs (or the Joey special: two pizzas)

***When you watch “The One With All The Cheesecakes” (Season 6, Episode 11), YOU MUST HAVE SOME CHEESECAKE NEARBY. We cannot stress the gravity of the situation enough. Otherwise, you will be dreaming of cheesecake for days. Or weeks. Or, let’s face it, months.


By the Numbers

10 Thanksgivings
6 weddings
7 divorces
4 deaths
5 pregnancies
6 roommates for Joey
5.5 affairs

What to Do When You’re Done Watching

Call up your five best friends and meet at a nearby coffee shop to wallow in your pain.