Now this is more like it!
Friends Season 1 was slightly better than I remembered it, but Season 2 felt like a warm bath. This is the kind of familiar, uproarious TV that I’m used to, and all of the characters and plots feel much more aligned with how I perceive the show. Let’s rank the episodes in this season!
Before we begin, you can check out some of my related blog posts below:
23 – The One with Five Steaks and an Eggplant
Forcing the group of friends apart based off of their monetary situation is cruel. Also, as it turns out, not very funny.
22 – The One with the Bullies
I hate these kinds of stereotypical bully stories, and “The One with the Bullies” does nothing to win me over.
21 – The One with the Chicken Pox
Charlie Sheen is a fun early cameo, but otherwise there’s not much going on.
20 – The One with Phoebe’s Dad
The Phoebe storyline is a total dud, but the hot apartment B-plot almost makes up for it.
19 – The One with the List
Having Ross make a list that gets on Rachel’s nerves was a really cheap way to keep the two apart. I know the writers were just toying with us until the later episodes, but that makes this even worse in hindsight.
18 – The One Where Eddie Moves In
I really like the whole “Joey moving out” arc in the middle of Season 2, and “The One Where Eddie Moves In” keeps things going nicely. It’s not great just yet, but it’s a start.
17 – The One Where Old Yeller Dies
A weird premise to base an episode off of, but Lisa Kudrow’s acting makes it work.
16 – The One with Russ
The Russ plot is really stupid, but I kinda dig it.
15 – The One with the Breast Milk
A bit of a step down from the season opener, but “The One with the Breast Milk” still has its moments.
It’s the Joey vs. cologne cowboy B-plot that I always come back to.
14 – The One with Phoebe’s Husband
Another Phoebe storyline that falls short of the mark, but in general the episode is okay.
13 – The One Where Joey Moves Out
The start of the mid-season Chandler / Joey arc, and it’s handled really well. You can tell the best is yet to come.
12 – The One Where Heckles Dies
It’s a shame a character as great as Heckles had to go so early on in the show’s run, but it was worth it to see Chandler freak out about his own life.
11 – The One Where Dr. Drake Ramoray Dies
This is where Eddie starts to become one of my favourite side characters in the show – that guy is such a creepy oddball!
Also, Joey getting killed off for bragging that he writes his own lines on Days of Our Lives is a funny way to end that arc.
10 – The One with the Baby on the Bus
With the budget a little higher and the cast a little more comfortable in the roles, we started to see some more high-budget gags in Season 2.
Chandler and Joey losing Ben on the bus is so funny, and the B-plot with Phoebe and the professional singer is good too.
9 – The One with the Lesbian Wedding
We had a lot of weddings in Friends’ early seasons, and Carol and Susan’s ceremony is just as heart-warming as the others.
Monica freaking out over catering is great, and Chandler failing to flirt with lesbians is the kind of awkward humour I dig.
8 – The One with Barry and Mindy’s Wedding
I used to think “The One with Barry and Mindy’s Wedding” was a complete dud of a finale, but in hindsight it’s one of the best small-scale episodes.
Ross and Rachel making a meal of things is great, but it was Monica and Richard coming to terms with the reality of their age gap that stole the show.
7 – The One Where Ross and Rachel … You Know
There are three strong plots within this one – Monica meets Richard, Joey and Chandler get glued to their armchairs, and Ross and Rachel go on their first date.
Rachel laughing over and over again during the kissing got a little repetitive, but the final scene in the planetarium made it worth it.
6 – The One Where Ross Finds Out
The Ross / Rachel plotlines were at their best during the early seasons, and there’s a good argument to be made that it peaked here.
“The One Where Ross Finds Out” fully leans into the romantic drama, and the scene at the end where they finally kiss is an iconic TV moment.
5 – The One Where Eddie Won’t Go
A criminally underrated episode, “The One Where Eddie Won’t Go” is absolutely ridiculous from start to finish.
Eddie is a really great side character, and his insane (borderline psychopathic) actions work so well against Chandler’s over-the-top reactions. Once Joey returns and normality resumes, the episode has cemented itself as one of the greats.
4 – The One with the Prom Video
The Ross / Rachel romance was looking a little rocky after “The One with the List”, but then “The One with the Prom Video” proved that they’re each other’s lobster.
The titular video is so much fun, and Chandler’s rebuttal of “how many cameras are actually on you?” is easily one of his best jokes.
3 – The One After the Superbowl: Parts 1 & 2
This two-parter aired after the Superbowl, and as such it pulled in a huge number of viewers. The creators knew this, so they went all out.
It’s filled to the brim with insane plotlines and star-studded cameos, and the scene where Chandler gets his clothes stolen is one of my favourites from the season.
2 – The One with the Two Parties
When I think of the term “sitcom shenanigans”, it’s episodes like “The One with the Two Parties” that come to mind.
It’s a great premise executed flawlessly, and the gang’s attempts at separating the Green parents lead to some great physical acting by the cast. This one needs more love.
1 – The One with Ross’s New Girlfriend
Season 1 is a bit tame on the whole, and it never quite reaches the heights that I expect from this show. That all changes in the Season 2 opener, “The One with Ross’s New Girlfriend”.
You can tell the writers pumped all of their good jokes into this episode – Joey’s tailor, Chandler’s Q-tip line, Ross and Rachel’s feud and Monica’s hair are all fantastic moments that come together to create the best episode of the season straight off the bat.
Season Rating: B+
We’re not quite there just yet, but you can tell the golden age of Friends is right around the corner.
Let’s look at the stats for the season:
- 6A (26%)
- 10B (43%)
- 7C (30%)
More A’s than Season 1, but just as many C’s – as I said, we’re not in the golden era just yet. And now for the stats as a whole:
- 9A (20%)
- 23B (50%)
- 14C (30%)
Pretty good – 70% of episodes so far have been a good time. The show can only get better from here!
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