We’ve finally made it – the tenth and final season of Friends … and it was actually better than I remembered!
I’ll rank all of the episodes, and I’ll even give a series stats breakdown as an added bonus.
Before we begin, you can check out some of my related blog posts below:
17 – The One Where Chandler Gets Caught
I somehow forgot that “The One Where Chandler Gets Caught” was a clip show episode – needless to say, when I re-watched it my disappointment was immeasurable and my day was ruined.
Granted, it’s on the better side of clip show episodes (especially since they have nine seasons of show to pull from), and the Chandler / Monica house buying plotline sets up the endgame.
16 – The One Where Joey Speaks French
There’s a term in TV called “Flanderisation”, where a character gets distilled to their defining characteristic as the show goes on. In Joey’s case, he becomes the stupidest human being you’ve ever seen.
His French conversations are utterly brain-dead, and I have a hard time believing this to be a real person. Rachel’s dad also has a heart attack, and Monica and Chandler give Erika a New York tour.
15 – The One After Joey and Rachel Kiss
A weak follow-up to the weakest season finale, the only bit of “The One After Joey And Rachel Kiss” that made me laugh was Ross saying goodbye to the wall.
It’s just really awkward and cliché, and Monica’s shell hair is such a nothing plotline.
14 – The One with Princess Consuela
Rachel interviews for a new job next to her current boss, Joey / Chandler / Monica visit their new house, and Phoebe changes her name. Very average.
13 – The One with the Home Study
Phoebe and Mike donate money to charity only to immediately ask for it back, and Rachel is scared of swings for some reason.
The best scene is definitely when Joey confronts the social worker, managing to turn the situation around on her.
12 – The One Where Rachel’s Sister Babysits
Christina Applegate makes her grand return, but the episode itself isn’t exactly a corker.
Joey writes a letter of recommendation using a thesaurus, and Mike proposes to Phoebe after a few failed attempts.
11 – The One Where Estelle Dies
The scenes of Phoebe impersonating Estelle and Ross trying to win Rachel’s old job back are fun, but it’s the glorious return of Janice that stands out above the rest.
10 – The One with the Birth Mother
Joey doesn’t share food!
I always thought Joey’s outbursts in “The One with the Birth Mother” were just as bad as him speaking French, but in fairness it’s a relatively normal pet peeve to have. Also, Ross wears a pink shirt.
9 – The One with Rachel’s Going Away Party
A great set-up to the finale, what “The One with Rachel’s Going Away Party” lacks in jokes it makes up for with drama and heart.
There’s a fun sub-plot revolving around a mysterious pair of handcuffs, and Erika’s water breaks.
8 – The One with the Cake
“The One with the Cake” was a surprisingly good bottle episode, and every character gets a moment or two to shine.
Joey forgets a present and has to steal Phoebe’s idea, everyone needs to leave for one reason or another, and the birthday cake they eventually receive is best described as “questionable”.
7 – The One with Ross’ Grant
Greg Kinnear gives a great guest performance that really tests Ross to his limits, and I love both the grant scene and one where he steals Charlie away.
Phoebe also tries to offload a horrific painting to either Monica or Rachel, and Joey starred in a Japanese lipstick commercial.
6 – The One with Phoebe’s Wedding
The final of the many Friends weddings, but as a result it feels worse / more rushed than the others.
It’s still a blast, though, and I especially loved the snowy setting and Monica’s crazed wedding planning.
5 – The One with the Late Thanksgiving
Joey and Ross go to a sports game, Phoebe and Rachel go to a baby beauty pageant, and all four of them end up being very late to Chandler and Monica’s Thanksgiving meal.
What follows is a brilliant twenty minutes of great dialogue and slapstick comedy, which culminates in an emotional call-back from the adoption agency.
4 – The One Where Ross Is Fine
“The One Where Ross Is Fine” may as well have been called “The One with the David Schwimmer masterclass” – he carries the episode on his back, and he should have won all the awards for this performance.
Chandler and Monica also have a fun plotline where they talk to a family who adopted (and Chandler ends up revealing that to the kid’s face), but the Phoebe / Frank Jr. plotline where he brings the triplets is such a snooze-fest in comparison and stops the episode from being top three.
3 – The One Where the Stripper Cries
Three strong plotlines in this one – Phoebe gets a stripper, Joey goes on a gameshow, and Chandler / Ross realise they both broke a college pact.
The best parts of the episode are definitely Danny DeVito, who can do no wrong, and the ending where it’s revealed that Ross kissed Monica instead of Rachel in college.
2 – The One with Ross’s Tan
More so than any episode in Season 9, “The One with Ross’s Tan” immediately felt like the show returning to its golden roots.
David Schwimmer once again perfects the art of comedy, Chandler is more sarcastic than usual, and Jennifer Coolidge makes a fun cameo. If it wasn’t for the Joey / Rachel date being a little odd, this could have been a perfect episode.
1 – The Last One
I’ve re-watched Friends about four times in my life, any every time I’m devastated when “The Last One” reaches the credits.
It ties everyone’s plot threads together, including Chandler and Monica’s adoption as well as Rachel and Ross’s romance, and there’s plenty of great gags along the way (like Joey and Chandler breaking the foosball table to save the birds) to keep the energy up. One of the best, most impactful endings to a sitcom ever.
Season Rating: B-
Against all odds, Season 10 managed to surprise me with its relative consistency and its great episodes.
Let’s look at the stats for the season:
- 2A (12%)
- 10B (59%)
- 4C (24%)
- 1D (6%)
And now we can look at the stats for the series as a whole:
- 36A (16%)
- 129B (57%)
- 55C (24%)
- 6D (3% clip show)
- 226 Episodes (including two-parters)
A pretty good showing on the whole – 73% of episodes were at least “good”, with roughly one in five going down as one of my favourite comedy episodes.
So there we have it – all ten seasons of Friends ranked, dissected and analysed! Thanks to all that stuck around for the ride. Here are some of my latest blog posts, if you’re itching for more content:
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