The one where we reminisce about Friends

In honour of the hit show's 25th anniversary, students share their favourite episodes

There's no denying that Friends has ongoing cultural importance.
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Whether you’ve watched every episode of Friends multiple times or just know when to clap during the theme song, there’s no question as to the show’s ongoing cultural importance. Thanks to Netflix streaming all ten seasons, the comedy has become a cross-generational hit that’s touched the lives of millions, inspiring laughter and (at times) tears in audiences across the world. 

In honour of its 25th anniversary, The Journal asked Queen’s students to share their favourite Friends episode and explain why it left an impression on them. We hope this article will inspire you to gather your own friends, nestle into your own version of the Central Perk couch, and revisit the episodes that mean the most to you.

Submissions were lightly edited for grammar and clarity.

Season 3, episode 9: “The One with the Football”

“I think every Friends episode is entertaining in its own right, but ‘The One with the Football’ has always been a personal favorite.

While the Friends series has many Thanksgiving episodes (10, to be exact), I’ve always felt that ‘The One with the Football’ portrays the essence of Thanksgiving better than any other. The premise is that, in the true spirit of the holiday, the friends decide to play a game of football outside, which quickly escalates into a fierce competition for the ‘Geller Cup.’

While Rachel and Phoebe struggle to grasp the rules of the game, Joey and Chandler pine over a woman in the park, and Monica and Ross relentlessly ridicule each other on the field.

Not only is it a humorous episode, but watching it always makes me nostalgic for home. As an American going to Queen’s, it’s unrealistic for me to go home for American Thanksgiving in November. But watching ‘The One with the Football’ always manages to give me some comfort, reminding me of what Thanksgiving is truly about—celebrating your friends and family, however far away they may be.”

Chloe Sarrazin, ArtSci ’21

Season 6, episode 17: “The One with Unagi”

“My favourite Friends episode is ‘The One with Unagi.’ If you haven’t seen it, you likely hate Ross along with the rest of the world. If you have seen it, hopefully you’re on the Ross-loving bandwagon with me.

The premise of the episode is that Rachel and Phoebe enroll in self-defense classes. Ross teaches them the Japanese concept of (what he thinks is) Unagi: a state of ‘total awareness’ which would allow the women to sense any danger around them, then prepare to defend themselves. In reality, unagi is actually freshwater eel and a popular ingredient in sushi—making his mix-up even more amusing.

While Phoebe and Rachel laugh at Ross’ suggestions, he tries to scare them, proving to them that they are not Unagi. This turns the episode into a battle in which Phoebe and Rachel compete with Ross over who’s better at self-defense.

Many people find Ross annoying, whiny, and pretentious. These are all the traits I love in Ross, and this episode demonstrates them perfectly.”

Sam Fink, ConEd ’20

Season 10, episode 11: “The One Where the Stripper Cries”

“Joey on a gameshow? Danny DeVito stripping? Ross and Chandler’s memories of a college party being corrupted by new information? What else could make for a better Friends episode?

I’m biased because Joey has always been my favourite character, but seeing him compete on a game show that he has absolutely no business competing on cracks me up every time. His answers that have nothing to do with the easy clues given to him are hilarious.

Then, there’s Danny DeVito’s stripper character spicing up Phoebe’s tasteful bachelorette party and doing a terrible job at it. This leads to the party guests having to comfort him because he feels unattractive and old. This storyline was something I didn’t see coming, but I enjoyed seeing his confidence rise again.

The college party mishap that Ross and Chandler learn about is also very funny. Turns out, Chandler kissed Rachel, and Ross kissed Monica (his sister) thinking it was Rachel. Odd and quite concerning, but a laugh-out-loud moment.

These three events combined are why this is my favourite episode of Friends. It was a lot to pack into one episode, but it makes me want to watch it over and over again.”

Meghan Warwick, ArtSci ’20

Season 10, episode 18: “The Last One Part 2”

“Maybe I’m a sucker for happy endings, but I love ‘The Last One Part 2.’

I wasn’t happy with how the show ended—a lot of strings were left untied (for example, who does Joey end up with romantically?). But after a whole summer spent watching the show, following these people, and falling in love with each character for different reasons, it was just so bittersweet.

I’m a hopeless romantic and I can’t help but get choked up when Rachel says to Ross, ‘I got off the plane.’ I bawl like a baby. The ups and downs of Ross’ and Rachel’s relationship caused me so much stress over the series that I’m always so relieved to see them embrace, accepting the fact that they are indeed each other’s lobster.”

Emily Elliott, ArtSci ’20

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