If you ask any Friends fan, all the episodes are good. Yes, all 236 of them (though, some have admittedly aged better than others). But if you’re hoping to relive the glory days in preparation for the 237th episode, aka the Friends Reunion, you’re running out of time.
It would take over 5 days to rewatch every Friends episode back to back, and with the reunion dropping this Thursday, there just isn’t enough time left on the clock. So, if you want to scratch that Friends itch you’ll have to be selective.
Here are our picks for the best episodes from each season that you can power through before the reunion.
Season 1, Episode 1: ‘The One Where Monica Gets A Roommate’
Monica and the gang introduce Rachel to the “real world” after she leaves her fiancé at the altar.
Go back to where it all began with the very first Friends episode, which will make you super nostalgic for the ’90s. At the time none of the actors, or any of us, knew what the show would become after that first episode and it’s incredible to see how much has changed.
Honourable mentions: ‘The One With The Blackout’, ‘The One With The East German Laundry Detergent’.
Season 2, Episode 14: ‘The One with the Prom Video’
The gang watches a home video from the night of Monica and Rachel’s prom. Joey gives Chandler a hideous bracelet.
The prom video is just one of many great throwbacks to the times these old pals shared during high school. But this episode also has one of the most touching moments in Ross and Rachel’s rollercoaster relationship, where we find out just how much Ross has always loved Rachel.
Honourable mentions: ‘The One Where Ross Finds Out’, ‘The One With Five Steaks And an Eggplant’.
Season 3, Episode 9: ‘The One With The Football’
Old sibling rivalry between Monica and Ross resurfaces and postpones Thanksgiving dinner when the gang decide to play a game of “touch” football.
Friends‘ Thanksgiving episodes are often some of the best of the bunch, but this one, in particular, was a touchdown.
Honourable mentions: ‘The One Where No One’s Ready’, ‘The One With The Flashback’, ‘The One Where Ross and Rachel Take a Break’.
Season 4, Episode 12: ‘The One With The Embyros’
Phoebe’s uterus is examined for implantation of the embryos. Meanwhile, a seemingly harmless game between Chandler and Joey against Monica and Rachel escalates into a full-blown contest where the stakes are raised higher and higher.
Something we know the Friends reunion will be revisiting is the iconic quiz game from season 4, which saw the friends put their apartments on the line to see who knew the other best.
Honourable mentions: ‘The One With Chandler In A Box’, ‘The One With Ross’s Wedding’, ‘The One With All The Haste’.
Season 5, Episode 8: ‘The One With All The Thanksgivings’
The gang remember and share with each other their worst Thanksgivings
Some of the best Friends episodes have flashbacks, and others have Thanksgiving. So what can be better than an episode full of flashbacks to Thanksgivings past? You won’t regret rewatching Joey and Monica get a turkey stuck on their heads.
Honourable mentions: ‘The One After Ross Says Rachel’, ‘The One Where Everybody Finds Out’, ‘The One With The Cop’.
Season 6, Episode 15: ‘The One That Could Have Been’
Barry and Mindy’s impending divorce prompts the gang to fantasize about what their lives might be like if they’d all taken different courses.
We’ve had flashback Friends episodes but how about alternative futures? It’s always interesting to consider where your life could’ve gone with one different decision and that’s exactly what the group wonders here.
Honourable mentions: ‘The One With Unagi’, ‘The One With The Proposal’, ‘The One With Rachel’s Sister’.
Season 7, Episode 14: ‘The One Where They All Turn 30’
Rachel’s 30th birthday prompts the rest of the gang to reminisce about their own 30th celebrations.
Friends is so great because it deals with the real worries and problems of 20-somethings as they figure out life. Turning 30 may seem like a pretty trivial concern but the show goes a bit deeper on the topic and looks at how to deal with age and growing apart – while still making us laugh, of course.
Honourable mentions: ‘The One With Monica’s Thunder’, ‘The One With All The Cheesecakes’.
Season 8, Episode 9: ‘The One With The Rumor’
Monica invites Will, an old school friend of her and Ross over for Thanksgiving dinner, unaware he isn’t too fond of Rachel.
Friends is full of famous guest stars but one of the best was Jennifer Aniston’s husband at the time, Brad Pitt. The two may have played adversaries on screen but it’s the only time you’ll see Brad and Jen act opposite each other.
Honourable mentions: ‘The One With The Red Sweater’, ‘The One With The Halloween Party’.
Season 9, Episode 17: ‘The One With The Memorial Service’
When Chandler and Ross joke around on their college website, Ross is accused of being dead which leads to the fact that he was not popular in college. Joey is not willing to give his favourite stuffed animal, Hugsy, to Emma. Monica helps Phoebe not call Mike.
Who wouldn’t throw a fake memorial service just to see who still cares about you from your high school and college days? Well, no one, but you can’t deny it would be interesting to see, and that’s what Ross found out.
Honourable mentions: ‘The One With Rachel’s Other Sister’, ‘The One With The Lottery’.
Season 10, Episode 17: ‘The Last One’
Phoebe races Ross to the airport in a bid to stop Rachel from leaving for Paris. Monica and Chandler pack up their apartment ahead of their move to their new house, and Joey buys Chandler a new chick and duck as a leaving present.
After 10 years of entertaining us, it was finally time to say goodbye to our friends. All the storylines were wrapped up (except for Joey who had a short-lived spin-off series that we do not talk about) and the apartments were emptied in one bittersweet finale. This is a must-watch before the reunion to remind yourself of how things ended.
Honourable mentions: ‘The One After Joey and Rachel Kiss’, ‘The One With Princess Consuela’.
You can watch all the episodes above and more (if you have time) over on Binge. Then stick around because the 17-year break ends when the Friends reunion hits Binge this Thursday.