tv meme, day 6: favorite episode(s) of your favorite tv show
When it comes to anyone’s favorite show, I’m sure it’d be difficult to pick just one episode as a favorite. And with one like Friends, where there are 10 seasons worth of content to sift through, add the fact that I lived and breathed since I first encountered it, and picking just one episode is too large of a task for me. I have to give recognition to my top 5 (along with a few honorable mentions).
#1 – The One Where Everybody Finds Out (Season 5)
This is my go-to answer when asked this very question. My all-time favorite episode of Friends is hands-down this one. As with most television comedies, the best episodes never come from big named, big location, big event entries, but from the ones where the able cast is allowed to just do their thing together. And this is the best example of that. When Phoebe and Rachel join Joey in knowing about Monica and Chandler’s secret relationship, mind games ensue as Monica can’t turn down the chance to beat Rachel and Phoebe at a game of seduction. Pushing until one party cracks, Phoebe attempts to seduce Chandler until he admits to his hidden affair. It allows for some truly great lines, and the scene in which Chandler and Phoebe awkwardly “date” is priceless. (“Maybe I’ll dance for you.”)
#2 – The One with the Embryos (Season 4)
A truly classic episode that I’m sure is a standard for most, and I’m no different. Pitting roommates versus roommates, Ross designs a Jeopardy-like trivia game based on how well Monica and Rachel know Joey and Chandler and vice versa. As the betting game continues, the stakes get increasingly higher. This is probably Ross at his best, in my opinion, and the episode is loaded with great, quotable lines. (“He’s a – he’s a transponster!” and “Actually, it’s Miss Chanandler Bong.”) On top of all this, it’s also a great educational episode, as we learn about Maurice, Joey’s imaginary space cowboy friend, and we hear about Monica’s nickname in peewee soccer, Big Fat Goalie.
#3 – The One Hundredth (Season 5)
This one might be the love Lisa Kudrow’s most stellar episode. Given the opportunity to be the center of the main storyline and to truly stretch her comic legs, her timing is fantastic and the writing for this episode (and for most of season 5) is Emmy-worthy. Right off the bat, I’m hooked as Phoebe enters the emergency room – “Hi, I’m Phoebe Buffay, and I have babies coming out of me.” – and then there’s the sneaky interchange with Rachel later on – “I want to keep one.” (if you’re a Friends fan, you’ll know what she’s talking about) – and the subsequent awkwardness when Rachel “asks” Frank, Jr. if Phoebe can keep one of the triplets. I choose this episode mostly for Phoebe’s great scenes, of which there are many. Remember the doctor she calls Doogie and then makes cry? “Run, little boy, run!”
#4 – The One with the Football (Season 3)
Like my number-one choice, this is another episode where the core cast of six gets to try out their comic skills on a very simple episode. It’s Thanksgiving, and the uber-competitive Gellers want the gang to partake in the time-honored tradition of the Thanksgiving football game. As the teams switch from schoolyard pick’em to boys vs. girls, it’s all-out war with Monica, the team captain from hell; Rachel, the hopeless, skill-less klutz; and Phoebe, who simply flashes the boys in order to steal the ball away. It’s great fun and creates for some fantastic banter between the now-dating Rachel and Ross. It really instills the cold, hard fact that Friends knows how to put together a great Thanksgiving show.
#5 – The One with All the Wedding Dresses (Season 4)
It’s hard to believe that someone like Jennifer Aniston’s Rachel Green would truly have too much trouble in love, but in this episode, we’re dealt the crazy/hilarious side of Rachel as she tries to one-up Ross’ hastiness in getting engaged to Emily by subsequently proposing to Joshua, with whom she’d had four dates. It’s the birthplace of my favorite Rachel line of the series as she tries to prep Joshua for her insane proposal – “I think we’re not crazy enough… I mean craAAaazy!” And then there’s the amusing bit as Monica usurps Emily’s wedding dress to live out her fantasy and Phoebe joins in on the fun by buying a dress from a store called It’s Not Too Late.
Honorable Mention (in chronological order): The One with All the Poker, The One with Ross’ Girlfriend, The One with the Baby on the Bus, The One After the Superbowl Part 2, The One Where Old Yeller Dies, The One at the Beach, The One with the Apothecary Table, The One with the Nap Partners, The One Where They’re Up All Night, The One with the Rumor, The One Where Rachel Has a Baby Parts 1 & 2, The Last One Parts 1 & 2