The 12 Superior Episodes of “Friends”

During quarantine, my friend and I have been very into ranking things. We decided to try coming up with our top 10 favorite episodes of the hit 90s television show “Friends.” I’m a huge “Friends” fan, so I figured it’d be easy to formulate my list. After looking through all 235 episodes, it was impossible to come up with only 10 because there are 12 episodes that are just superior to all the rest of them.  

Related Article: Ranking Every Thanksgiving Episode of “Friends”

12. Season 3, Episode 9-“The One With the Football

As children, the Gellars used to play a game of touch football every Thanksgiving, competing for the Gellar Cup. Now adults, they challenge each other to a rematch of their childhood game along with their friends while the turkey cooks. Monica and Ross’ relationship as siblings is captured perfectly in this episode. Hilarity ensues when Rachel tries to play a sport and Chandler and Joey try to win the affections of a woman from the Netherlands.

11. Season 3, Episode 2-“The One Where No One’s Ready

There is an event at Ross’ museum and the whole gang is invited. The only problem is nobody seems like they’re going to be ready on time. I’m not the biggest fan of the earlier seasons, but I do really like this episode. All six characters are featured pretty equally throughout. Plus, the whole thing revolves around one event, unlike most of the other episodes. Who doesn’t love, “Could I be wearing any more clothes? Maybe if I wasn’t going commando!”

10. Season 7, Episode 12-“The One Where They’re Up All Night

The gang stays up late to watch a comet from the roof. Afterwards, nobody is able to get any sleep. Ross and Joey find themselves stuck on the roof, Rachel and Tag have to stop a disaster, Chandler isn’t tired, and Phoebe’s fire alarm won’t stop beeping. This one made my list solely for nostalgic purposes. Don’t get me wrong, it’s definitely a great episode. It’s just that this was the first episode of “Friends” I ever watched. What can I say? It got me hooked.

9. Season 8, Episode 20-“The One with the Baby Shower

Rachel’s due date is approaching fast, so Monica and Phoebe decide to throw her a baby shower to celebrate. All of the baby talk and gifts help Rachel realize that she is not ready to raise a baby without a little help from her mother. Meanwhile, Joey forces Chandler and Ross to test out a new game called Bamboozled with him. I love Bamboozled! It’s complete chaos that makes no sense, no matter how many times I’ve seen the episode. Yet, I’m totally down to play.  

8. Season 10, Episode 12-“The One with Phoebe’s Wedding

The title says it all. Phoebe and her fiance Mike make last minute preparations for their wedding as a blizzard strikes NYC. The mix of sweet and funny moments works so well to balance each other out. This episode simply makes my heart swell every time it comes on my TV. Also, Paul Rudd wears a suit, so what more do you need?

7. Season 10, Episode 2-“The One Where Ross is Fine

Ross stumbles upon Joey and Rachel’s new relationship. To prove how totally normal all of this is, Ross invites his girlfriend along with Joey and Rachel over for fajitas and margaritas. Of course, Ross is not okay with any of this. David Schwimmer’s delivery in this episode is phenomenal. This episode also highlights how great of a friend Joey is.

6. Season 9, Episode 5-“The One with Phoebe's Birthday Dinner

Phoebe makes plans with all of her friends to go out to a nice restaurant to celebrate her birthday. Though, She and Joey are the only ones who show up on time. The best part of the episode is when Rachel and Ross lock themselves out of their apartment with Emma inside. Ross’ extravagant story of the eagle flying inside their apartment onto the possibly turned-on stove is the most ridiculous thing I’ve ever heard, yet I love it.

5. Season 10, Episode 11-“The One Where the Stripper Cries

Monica and Rachel need to find a stripper at the last minute for Phoebe’s bachelorette party. Meanwhile, Ross and Chandler attend a college reunion and some secrets come to light. Joey has the opportunity to be the celebrity partner on a game show. I can’t believe this one made it into my top five because Danny DeVito really weirds me out here. However, the other two storylines are wonderful. The amount of times my mom and I quote, “Paper! Snow! A ghost!” is just embarrassing. And the piece at the end with Ross, Monica, and Chandler will never not make me laugh. 

4. Season 6, Episode 4-“The One Where Joey Loses His Insurance

Joey develops a hernia at the most inconvenient time possible: right after he loses his health insurance. On Ross’ first day at NYU as a lecturer, his nerves get the best of him and a fake British accent comes out. I say, “Well, ‘ello, Rachel!” at least weekly for no reason other than I find it funny. Joey trying to audition and act through a hernia makes for a very comedic plotline. 

3. Season 6, Episode 9-“The One Where Ross Got High

Monica needs to tell her parents that she and Chandler are living together, but her parents don’t like Chandler because of a lie Ross told them years ago. Monica and Chandler pressure Ross throughout the day to tell his parents the truth. In addition, Rachel volunteers to make a traditional English trifle for Thanksgiving dessert. Unbeknownst to her, the pages in her cookbook were stuck together, ruining the recipe. I love nearly all of the “Friends” Thanksgiving episodes, but this is the one I always make sure to catch on Turkey Day. The main storyline of Monica, Chandler, and Ross is hilarious when the truth finally does come out in very quick succession. Plus, who doesn’t want to try some of Rachel’s trifle?

2. Season 4, Episode 15-“The One with All the Rugby

In order to impress his girlfriend Emily, Ross gets himself involved in a rugby match. Monica discovers a light switch in her new apartment and is determined to figure out what it controls. Chandler runs into his ex-girlfriend Janice and needs an excuse to never see her again. To put it lightly, I cannot stand Emily. However, her relationship with Ross in this episode is at its peak. I’m definitely the Monica in this situation where I can’t move onto the next task until I figure out some tiny, unimportant detail. I’d forgotten that Chandler moving to Yemen was in this episode, but, wow, is it one of the funniest plotlines on “Friends.” That alone is why this episode is in my number two spot. 

1. Season 6, Episode 17-“The One with Unagi

Ross decides to give Phoebe and Rachel a lesson in self-defense. Even though Valentine’s Day has already passed, Chandler and Monica are celebrating now with homemade gifts. To earn a little extra cash, Joey needs to find an identical twin. If you know anything about me, then you shouldn’t have expected anything less than “The One with Unagi” to be my ultimate favorite “Friends” episode. None of the others will ever top it. I probably quote this episode more than I do any other episode in the series. It’s just the best one. No questions asked.