It is finally happening. After years of bingeing, commenting on and sharing all things Friends, after many trivia nights, relatable memes, beloved merchandise, hilarious gifs and an overall unhealthy obsession, the universe has heard us out. The much-anticipated Friends reunion will be available to stream this Thursday night (27 May) on Binge, at 5:02pm (AEST) to be exact.
*clap clap clap clap*
Although admittedly I was hoping that the characters would come back to life and we’d get to see where they ended up, after watching the trailer for the reunion I am still really excited.
Instead of a regular episode, we’ll get to watch an unscripted interview with our six favourite sitcom characters as they revisit the old iconic sets and discuss (and debate: were Ross and Rachel really on a break?) the most popular scenes and relationships.
In preparation, it would be rude not to rewatch the series again (I’ll take any excuse), but if you haven’t already started it’s probably impossible to get through all ten seasons between now and the reunion’s release. To help you out I’ve picked what I think are the best episodes of each season to quickly watch instead! They’re not always the most dramatic or the most iconic, but they all give you those great ~ Friends feels ~.
The One with All the Poker (Ep 18)
When an episode opens with all the friends sitting around Monica and Rachel’s lounge room whistling the Colonel Bogey March, you know it’s going to be a good one. Later on, the hilarious rivalry between the guys and girls during their poker games makes this one my fav. The girls are clueless at how to play at first, sharing cards and cheering each other on. Phoebe even throws away two Jacks because ‘they didn’t look happy’. Oh, and it’s also the episode where Ross, Chandler and Joey show us that amazing Lion King dance.
The One with the Prom Video (Ep 14)
Yes, I know this season has that magical moment between Ross and Rachel in Central Perk after hours AND that magical moment in the museum under the stars but this episode tops those for me. It’s the first glimpse we get at young Monica, Rachel and Ross and it’s all kinds of cringey and cute. And don’t you just love when Rachel looks past all of her and Ross’s drama and finally just lets the two of them be!!!! That’s a happy moment I say.
The One with the Football (Ep 9)
In this ep we really get to experience the somewhat unhealthy sibling rivalry between Ross and Monica and are introduced to the infamous and scary-as-hell-looking ‘Geller Cup’. Chuck in some super cool, retro sportswear and a perfectly executed clothesline tackle by Phoebe on poor Chandler, and you’ve got some top quality football. See below for a selection of Phoebe’s finest moves…
The One with Ross’s Wedding: Part 2 (Ep 24)
This is perhaps one of my favourite season finales of Friends. Here’s why: it takes place in London, there’s a gorgeous fairytale-esque wedding, Phoebe wears some of her funnest outfits yet (yellow overalls and a funky fluoro nightgown), Ross and Emily finally-almost-sort-of-kind-of end things (sorry Emily, I just wasn’t a fan) and we see the beginning of one of the most unexpected but wholesome relationships of the entire series – Chandler and Monica!
The One Where Everybody Finds Out (Ep 14)
This is my pick of season five for one scene and one scene only: Phoebe’s reaction to finding out about Monica and Chandler, and that beautiful, gleeful, hilarious jump of joy Ross does when he thinks the girls are just excited that he might get a nice apartment. I watch that scene on replay. For your convenience, it plays out between minutes 2:00 – 3:00. You’re welcome.
The One Where Phoebe Runs (Ep 7)
This episode is when you realise the dynamics within the gang have really changed as we watch both Chandler and Monica and Phoebe and Rachel settle into their new living situations. A well-meaning Chandler disastrously tries to clean the apartment for Monica, Phoebe and Rachel fight over the ‘good words’ when recording their new answering machine message and best of all, Phoebe debuts her crazy but freeing running style. There’s also some cute Joey giggles that make an appearance.
The One with All the Cheesecakes (Ep 11)
I just love the concept of this episode: ‘Chandler and Rachel can’t help eating the irresistible cheesecakes intended for a neighbour’. The pinned image on Netflix’s episode selection menu shows the pair standing in the hallway, cheesecake on the floor, fork still in Chandler’s hand. It’s just great. And, the episode brings together two characters that don’t share many other scenes. There’s also a heartwarming subplot following Phoebe’s reunion with a past lover (who in a later season we are not such fans of. But for now we will accept him).
Favourtie quote: ‘Oh, yay, look. There’s a piece that doesn’t have floor on it’.
The One with the Rumour (Ep 9)
I had to pick an episode before the whole Joey-has-feelings-for-Rachel thing begins because let’s be real that storyline should never have found its way into the series. So, I’ve gone for this season’s Thanksgiving episode: the Brad ‘hot stuff’ Pitt Thanksgiving! It’s just a good laugh to watch how much fun they had with Brad’s guest appearance (Jennifer Aniston’s then-husband) who was a co-founding member of the ‘I Hate Rachel’ club in high school alongside Ross.
The One with Phoebe’s Rats (Ep 12)
Although there are rats in this episode, I love that this plotline gives Phoebe and Mike plenty of screen time (the series’ true most wholesome couple). There’s also some tension between Rachel and her co-worker Gavin, which finally turns into a little something more than workplace banter. Favourite quote: ‘I don’t know. But they don’t sound like spa treatments’.
The One with Phoebe’s Wedding (Ep 12)
There are a number of great episodes in the final series of Friends, but I’ve chosen one that I think showcases the best of each character and is just, well, very heartwarming overall. We see Joey’s most wholesome side as he officiates Phoebe and Mike’s wedding (and plays the role of her protective father), Monica at her most intense state in wedding-planning mode, some playful competition between Ross and Chandler as they battle for a spot in the ceremony, Rachel as a calm and supportive, albeit indecisive, bridesmaid and the union of the purest love ever to be shown on television in THE most magical wedding of the entire series.
* gaaaahhhh too cute!*
P.S. If you do successfully complete the entire series between now and Thursday night you deserve to go in the Friends fanclub hall of fame.