The other day, our local pub quiz had a round on the TV show, Friends. As we raced towards a perfect score of 10/10, it briefly occurred to me that I probably should have got out more during my 20s. But then I figured, Friends was brilliant, so who cares?
Apparently we’re coming up to the 20th anniversary of the first ever episode. This makes me feel very old (you know Ross’s son Ben would be 19 now – whaaat?). But it’s also brought back some great memories of what has to be one of my favourite TV shows of all time.
Even after the series finished in 2004, British TV channel E4 continued to broadcast it several times a day, every day, for another seven years. It was always on at about 7 p.m., when my housemates and I were arriving home from work, so it naturally became our dinner-time viewing (well, unless Batman was on – but that’s another story). After a while, not only had I seen every episode several times, I could quote most of the dialogue, and whatever happened in my life, could usually be heard saying, ‘It’s like that time in Friends, when…’
I started trying to list my favourite Friends moments, but it was taking too long, and I kept remembering new ones. I didn’t want to leave anything good out, so I asked for help on Facebook. Here’s what we came up with between us:
Episode: The One With the Cop
Ross, Rachel and Chandler try to move a sofa, with limited success. No matter how many times I move house, or buy furniture, I don’t think it’ll ever actually be possible for me to move a sofa without shouting ‘Pivot!’
2. Unagi (contributed by Ioana)
Episode: The One With Unagi
‘Ah… salmon skin roll.’ Not a type of eel, but a sense of total awareness. So you’re always ready when someone yells ‘DANGER!’ – or you fancy sushi.
3. Rachel’s cat
Episode: The One With the Ball
Is it a snake? A chicken? A minion of the Antichrist? Or just inside out? One thing we can all agree on – ‘it’s not a cat!’
4. Monica and Ross tell on each other (contributed by Andrea)
Episode: The One Where Ross Got High
Some of my favourite episodes involve Ross and Monica’s family history. This is a great example, which I’d totally forgotten about. Chandler finds out Monica’s parents don’t like him, because Ross told them he smoked pot in college. This leads to a lot of secrets being revealed in a very short time.
Incidentally, this episode also featured another of my favourite moments – Rachel’s ‘traditional English trifle’. What do you get when you make half a trifle and half a shepherds pie? A dessert that tastes like feet, apparently.
5. Miss Chanandler Bong
Episode: The One With The Embryos
Note to self: never bet your apartment on a ‘how well do you know your friends’ quiz, especially if you don’t know what one of them does for a living. Life was so much simpler once Chandler quit his mysterious job as a ‘transponster’ (‘that’s not even a word!!’) and got into advertising instead.
6. When Ross is fine (contributed by Helen)
Episode: The One Where Ross Is Fine
You know when Ross really isn’t fine, because his voice gets all high and squeaky. My favourite bit of this episode is the little flamenco move that goes with the margaritas.
7. The flashbacks
Between fat Monica, Rachel’s old nose, Ross’s keyboard and Chandler’s little toe, the flashbacks were brilliant and gave us all hope that however hopeless we might have been as teenagers, one day we’d end up living in a huge apartment in New York, working in our ideal job and meeting the man of our dreams across the hall. Hmm – still waiting…
8. Joey’s Jewish audition (contributed by Safia)
Episode: The One With Ross and Monica’s Cousin
When Joey’s meant to be Jewish (if you know what I mean), but isn’t, so Monica has to get creative. What could go wrong?
9. Ross’s rage
Episode: The One With Ross’s Sandwich
‘My sandwich? MY SANDWICH?!’ I work in an office with a communal kitchen, and as in every workplace, sometimes people’s food disappears. Next time someone steals my lunch, I’m totally reacting like this. Never has a man having a breakdown been so hilarious.
10. Joey’s foam finger (contributed by Katie)
Episode: The One Where Everyone Is Late
When the gang all try to come up with excuses for being late to Thanksgiving Dinner, to appease Monica, Chandler and ‘the vein’. Joey’s foam finger enrages Ross (‘for the love of God, take it off!’) but my personal highlight in this episode has to be the floating heads.
I know there are loads of great Friends moments I haven’t mentioned – babies, weddings, Phoebe’s music, Chandler’s sarcasm, Joey’s adorable stupidity – so please feel free to add your own, either here, or head over to the Facebook page to join the discussion. And thanks to everyone who contributed to this post 🙂
Also, this ‘which Friends character are you‘ quiz is fun – although I’m not sure it’s very accurate. I got Monica, and I’ve always thought I was more of a Chandler. But I do have certain obsessive tendencies, so maybe there’s something in it…?