Friends is one of those TV shows that will live forever. Of all the possible people in the world, the show managed to cast the 6 perfect actors for the parts. Whether this was a genius move from the creators or sheer luck doesn’t matter – the enduring quality of the show will forever put it up there in the pantheon of greats. But how would I rank the 10 hilarious seasons?
I explain the system I use in this list:
With that settled, it’s time for the rankings…
10 – Season 1
Possibly a controversial one, I don’t really vibe with season 1. It just seems too ’90s to me, almost like they were just mimicking the other sitcoms of the time.
Credit where credit is due, you can definitely see the potential of the show from the first episode – the writing is top notch and you quickly fall in love with all 6 of the leads. A few boring episodes really let the season down, thank goodness the following seasons were much better.
- Best Episode – The One with the Blackout
- Worst Episode – The One with the Sonogram at the End
9 – Season 9
Bet you were expecting this at the bottom weren’t you?
Yes, you can kind of tell the show is running out of steam, but there are still some great moments littered throughout the season. “The One with the Memorial Service” is still hilarious, and Paul Rudd is always a bonus whenever he appears.
On the other hand, there are some dumb plot-lines this season, like Monica thinking Chandler is into shark porn, or the entirety of the finale in Barbados. Still, decent television comedy nonetheless.
- Best Episode – The One with the Memorial Service
- Worst Episode – The One with the Sharks
8 – Season 10
Similarly to season 9, you can tell the show is coming to an end. If you’re going to end a show, you might as well do it in style.
Season 10 sometimes delves into weak plots, but most of the episodes are a return to form for the show. “The One Where Ross is Fine” and “The One With Ross’s Tan” is a one-two punch of David Schwimmer hilarity, and the two-part finale will leave any fan close to tears.
- Best Episode – The Last One
- Worst Episode – The One Where Chandler Gets Caught
7 – Season 7
This season largely revolves around Chandler and Monica’s wedding, and whilst this sometimes slows things down, the show generally supplies the laughs.
It’s hard to describe why “The One with the Holiday Armadillo” is so funny to me, maybe it’s just the randomness of the whole situation that gets to me. Joey walking into the room dressed as superman has to be a top 10 moment for sure.
- Best Episode – The One with the Holiday Armadillo
- Worst Episode – The One With The Vows
6 – Season 8
This was the season that won the show and Jennifer Aniston an Emmy (what took them so long?).
The opening mystery of the owner of the red sweater is intriguing (but admittedly quite obvious), a Brad Pitt cameo is always welcome, and the finale of Rachel giving birth is gripping and emotional. The sub-plot of Joey having a crush on Rachel is a bit weird, so that’s why this season only comes in 6th.
- Best Episode – The One with the Videotape
- Worst Episode – The One with Joey’s Interview
5 – Season 6
There are just so many iconic episodes this season – all of Bruce Willis’s appearances are great, the famous routine between Ross and Monica is fantastic, and Ross taught us all how to be calm and calculating with your Unagi.
The proposal scene between Chandler and Monica is so emotional that I almost put it as the best episode, but I think that accolade has to go to the Thanksgiving episode “The One Where Ross Got High”, purely for that scene where Ross and Monica try to out-snitch each other, with the rest of the gang chipping in as well.
- Best Episode – The One Where Ross Got High
- Worst Episode – The One with Mac and C.H.E.E.S.E.
4 – Season 5
We’ve finally hit the “Amazing” section, and this is where it starts to get really good.
So much happens this season – Ross has to deal with the aftermath of his failed marriage to Emily, Phoebe gives birth to triplets (a performance from Lisa Kudrow that won her an Emmy), and Chandler and Monica have to hide their new relationship – all within the first few episodes!
“The One with all the Thanksgivings” was a strong contender for best episode (even if they stole the turkey-on-the-head bit from Mr. Bean), but I have to give it to “The One Where Everybody Finds Out” (they don’t know that we know they know!).
- Best Episode – The One Where Everybody Finds Out
- Worst Episode – The One with the Inappropriate Sister
3 – Season 2
This was the season that properly got me into the show. The first episode sets the tone for the whole season, with Monica getting the wrong haircut and Chandler going to Joey’s friendly tailor.
To me, this is what season 1 should have been – a raunchy, emotional joyride that showcases the talents of the cast. Most people would probably say “The One with the Prom Video” is the best episode, but it’s hard for me to overlook the shenanigans that take place in “The One with the Two Parties”.
- Best Episode – The One with the Two Parties
- Worst Episode – The One with Russ
2 – Season 3
This season is the definition of iconic. We get an insight into their pasts in “The One with the Flashback”, you get one of the best Thanksgiving episodes with “The One with the Football”, and you get the classic conundrum of whether Ross and Rachel really were on a break (for my money’s worth, I’d say they were).
The best episode has to be “The One Where No One’s Ready”, a bottle episode that could rival Breaking Bad’s “Fly”. Possibly an unpopular opinion, but I don’t really like the whole “The One with the Screamer” episode, just because I hate those kind of “no one believes the protagonist” situations. You can’t win ’em all, Ben Stiller.
- Best Episode – The One Where No One’s Ready
- Worst Episode – The One with the Screamer
1 – Season 4
When you think of Friends, this is probably the era you think of first.
Every episode of this season has an unbelievably iconic moment within it, it would be easier to say “The One with the Cat” is the odd one out. Moments I have to mention include Ross’s musical endeavours, Monica’s lesson to Chandler (seven!), and LONDON BABY!
It seems a bit cliché to say, but “The One with the Embryos” might be the best Friends episode ever. Period. That quiz for the apartment will stand the test of time, there are so many great lines that even Scarface would be happy.
- Best Episode – The One with the Embryos
- Worst Episode – The One with the Cat
And That’s my list. I’m sure we’ll disagree on some of the specifics in this one, so feel free to tell me why I’m wrong. If you have any other ideas for lists, let me know as well. Here are my other 2 lists (so far) for your viewing pleasure: