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    These Are The 10 Best And 10 Worst Episodes Of "Friends"

    "The One with the Videotape" is criminally underrated.

    Hello all!!! So I love Friends to a worrying degree.

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    Perhaps you too love Friends, perhaps you hate it (how???), but either way, there's no debating the show is a goddamn cultural phenomenon.

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    As I've seen all 236 episodes many a time, I decided to rank my top 10 and my bottom 10. So here we go!

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    (I've decided talking about Friends is what "friend zone" means.)

    Let's start with the worst...

    The 10th Worst: "The One Where Eddie Won't Go" (Season 2, Episode 19)

    Chandler and Eddie, his roommate, argue at the door to Chandler and Joey's apartment
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    I enjoy this episode, apart from its questionable "crazy person" storyline. Chandler's roommate, Eddie, is deemed "crazy," and then his mental health is used to manipulate him into leaving Chandler alone. I love you, Friends, but this story is offensive, harmful and, frankly, lazy writing. Mental illness isn't a punchline.

    Worst Line: "Ding dong, the psycho's gone."

    The 9th Worst: "The One with Ross and Monica's Cousin" (Season 7, Episode 19)

    Ross tells his angry cousin, "I haven't had sex in a very long time"
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    This one is in the bottom solely because SHE IS ROSS'S COUSIN! Also, Ross just pounces on her and where is the consent, Ross? But the other storylines are great, with Rachel and Phoebe throwing an impromptu bridal shower for Monica, and, triumphantly, Joey and Monica fashioning a fake...way for Joey to be Catholic in a nude scene.

    Worst Line: "She's your cousin, she's your cousin. If she knew what was going on inside your head, she'd think you were sick... Or would she?"

    The 8th Worst: "The One with the Sharks" (Season 9, Episode 4)

    Chandler and Monica sit in front of their TV, watching a shark video
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    This episode jumps the shark (thank you). The A plot hinges on Monica incorrectly (and unfathomably) thinking Chandler, ahem, gets his rocks off to sharks, and the B plot, essentially, is Ross causing havoc for Phoebe and Mike's nascent relationship. It works alright, but it's a lot of overblown drama. The C story of Joey being convinced he's already slept with the woman he's seeing, only to have slept with her roommate, is the one real winner here.

    Worst Line: "But you promised to love him no matter what." "'What' means like if he gets a disease or kills someone, not if he gets his jollies to Jaws."

    The 7th Worst: "The One with Russ" (Season 2, Episode 10)

    Ross and Russ (both played by David Schwimmer) face each other on the Central Perk couch while Rachel looks on
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    It's not bad, but I really don't like this episode. It's in the Ross and Rachel in-between time – after they've kissed, before they're together – and I can only see this episode as the show going back to a well of tension they've already dried. Also, and crucially, the B plot is Joey being quid-pro-quo sexual harassed for a role and it's not given anywhere near the weight it deserves.

    Worst Line: "Yeah, you're gonna have to sleep with her."

    The 6th Worst: "The One with the Male Nanny" (Season 9, Episode 6)

    Sandy, the male nanny, plays the recorder for Emma while Rachel and Ross look on
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    Ross's discomfort with Emma having a male nanny (played warmly by Freddie Prinze Jr.) is almost rectified by the episode's climax, which acknowledges the toxic masculinity of Ross's stance and brings Ross to tears. But the episode still falls into my bottom 10 because of the storyline's existence. The plot involving Monica calling someone who isn't Chandler "the funniest guy [she has] ever met," works well enough and not much more than that, but the Phoebe-Mike-David story gives the episode some heart.

    Worst Line: "Are you gay?"

    The 5th Worst: "The One with the Creepy Holiday Card," or "The One with Ross's Step Forward" (Season 8, Episode 11)

    Ross tells his girlfriend Mona, "Well, to sum up: we're having fun, you look young"
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    I've always avoiding rewatching this episode but have never been able to identify why until I rewatched it for this post: men being bad at relationships is not funny. The main plot is Ross freaking out over his relationship with Mona and the C plot is basically Chandler going to a strip club with his boss. However, I do love the storyline of Rachel being super horny, and the climactic tension between Rachel and Joey is the episode's best moment.

    Worst Line: "I'm trying to tell you...I made you a mixtape." "What?" "I love you!"

    The 4th Worst: "The One That Could Have Been" (Season 6, Episodes 15 and 16)

    Alternate-universe "Fat Monica" and Rachel, married to Barry, sit on the Central Perk couch
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    The stories in this two-parter are mostly fine (Monica's weight equalling virginity notwithstanding but WOW), but this episode isn't for me. An alternate timeline doesn't fit with the style of Friends, and because the entire episode takes place in the alternate timeline, there are no stakes. Also, there's a lot of Fat Monica and who needs that?

    Worst Line: "You didn't sit on my Kit Kats, did you?!"

    The 3rd Worst: "The One With the Joke" (Season 6, Episode 12)

    Chandler and Ross, both angry on Monica and Chandler's couch, tell each other, "it's my joke"
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    This is a fine episode that I cannot stand. Ross and Chandler fighting over who came up with a sexist monkey-doctor joke (that, incorrectly, we never hear) isn't compelling for me. I simply don't care. The other big storyline, of Rachel, Monica and Phoebe fighting because Phoebe said she would date Rachel over Monica, gains some substance as it goes, as does Joey's story of working at Central Perk, but neither are particularly memorable.

    Worst Line: "I'm Doctor Monkey!" "I'm not arguing with that."

    The 2nd Worst: "The One with Christmas in Tulsa" (Season 9, Episode 10)

    Wendy, played by Selma Blair, purposefully stands far too close to an uncomfortable Chandler
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    There are only a few clip show episodes of Friends, but this one is the worst. The plot includes the possibility that Chandler is going to have an affair with his employee, Wendy, played by Selma Blair, which, like, come on. We all know Friends isn't going to have Chandler cheat on Monica, so this episode's tension isn't tangible. The ending, however, with Chandler leaving Tulsa for good, is earned and overdue.

    Worst Line: "Wendy's a fat girl name."

    The Worst: "The One With Chandler's Dad" (Season 7, Episode 22)

    Chandler's dad, played by Kathleen Turner, looks at Chandler
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    This episode is fundamentally anti-trans; it's not anti-trans in a "throwaway joke someone might be able to put aside in the back of their mind" way, it's anti-trans in its bones. Though Monica is supportive, Chandler, at the end of the day, dislikes his dad because his dad is transgender. Chandler and his dad, played by Kathleen Turner, a cis woman, reconnect at the end, but the mockery of being transgender is undeniable and impossible to swallow. This episode also has a storyline of Joey wearing women's underwear because that's funny.

    Worst Line: "Nobody's going to be staring at the bride when the father of the groom is wearing a backless dress."

    And now for the best!

    The 10th Best: "The One with the Two Parties" (Season 2, Episode 22)

    Ross is lunging and holding onto Chandler and Joey's doorknob while Rachel's dad, Chandler and Joey look at him
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    "The One with the Two Parties" is a fun premise filled with witty and heartfelt scenes. The episode revolves around balancing two birthday parties for Rachel, each housing a different mid-divorce parent. The hijinks that ensue, my personal favorite being Joey kissing Rachel's mom, are top tier Friends, and the Rachel/Chandler divorced parents conversation is surprising and sweet.

    Best Line: "You work and you work and you work at a marriage, but all he cares about is his stupid boat." "You work and you work and you work on a boat..."

    The 9th Best: "The One with Monica's Thunder" (Season 7, Episode 1)

    Monica stands in her apartment doorway, saying to Ross and Rachel, "I'm sorry, apparently I've opened the door to the past"
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    This episode is full of fights, escalations, fights, and Joey trying to look 19. Every character's arc is both funny and emotional, and the show knows exactly when to bring back each one: just as you forget about it. That makes this script a masterclass in intertwining plots. Plus, this episode takes place in real time and I love that with every part of my being.

    Best Line: "Sup with the wack Playstation sup."

    The 8th Best: "The One with the Prom Video" (Season 2, Episode 14)

    College Ross, in a tux and holding a bouquet, is crestfallen
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    This is the episode most likely to make me cry happy tears and be totally okay with it. College Ross stepping in to be Rachel's prom date, only to have her real date show up, is Ross at his best, at his most unimpeachably good. The Fat Monica jokes here aren't exactly winning, but the final kiss, just preceded by a literal gasp from an audience member, is the love portion of Friends at its peak.

    Best Line: "See? He's her lobster."

    The 7th Best: "The One Where No One's Ready" (Season 3, Episode 2)

    Ross stands between a fighting Chandler and Joey, the latter of whom is wearing all of Chandler's clothes
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    It's polarizing, but I love this episode. I had it on my vertical purple iPod Nano in 2010 and I watched it constantly. "The One Where No One's Ready" is very much "Friends doing Seinfeld," which I read somewhere once and has really stayed with me because of how succinct a description of this episode it is, but I'm a sucker for a real-time, (basically) bottle episode, so it's right up my street.

    Best Line: "Glass of fat?"

    The 6th Best: "The One Hundredth" (Season 5, Episode 3)

    Phoebe lays in her hospital bed, holding the three newborn triplets
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    This is the most devastating episode of the show. Lisa Kudrow's monologue to the babies is so tastefully heartbreaking I don't want to think about it right now because I, for sure, will sob. The fun, fluffy Chandler and Monica storyline and the predictable Joey kidney stones storyline don't mean a thing next to Phoebe's monumental love and loss.

    Best Line: "Okay, I'll settle for being your favorite aunt."

    The 5th Best: "The One with the Videotape" (Season 8, Episode 4)

    Rachel and Ross sit on Joey and Chandler's couch and she says to him, "Ross, did I ever tell you about the time that I went backpacking through Western Europe?"
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    God, I love this underrated episode. Ross and Rachel argue over who came onto whom, until they all watch it unfold on Ross's videotape (spoiler alert: it's hilariously Rachel, with Joey's come-on story). The reveal of Ken Adams is maybe my single favorite Friends moment of all time. I think about Matt LeBlanc's perfect ~I'm Ken Adams!~ facial expression way too often.

    Best Line: "Do you have a minute? I'd like to talk to you about something I'm really uncomfortable talking about." "Sure. How about, uh, you showering with your mom?" "I actually had a topic in mind."

    The 4th Best: "The One with the Blackout" (Season 1, Episode 7)

    Chandler and Jill Goodacre sit on the ATM vestibule floor, playing with the ATM pens
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    This is Friends's first home run. Throughout the entire 10 seasons, there is no storyline as sweet, specific, and stupid (in the absolute best way) as Chandler being trapped in an ATM vestibule with Jill Goodacre. It, to use an apt but highly overrated phrase, is iconic. This episode also introduces Paolo and features some all-time great Phoebe lyrics.

    Best Line: "Gum would be perfection."

    The 3rd Best: "The One After Ross Says Rachel" (Season 5, Episode 1)

    Chandler and Monica, tired and frustrated, sit on a hotel bed while Ross sleeps between them
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    Like "The One with the Videotape," this episode is overlooked and that needs to stop. The intertwining of Ross trying to find Emily and Monica and Chandler trying to find a place to have sex is one of Friends's greatest achievements. And this is a season premiere, which would normally dim an episode's joke shimmer, but in this case, the required exposition flourishes.

    Best Line: "Wow, in 45 minutes you could find her twice."

    The 2nd Best: "The One with the Embryos" (Season 4, Episode 12)

    Joey, Chandler, Rachel and Monica sit on the apartment couch, all looking up
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    Ah, the classic Whichever Pair Knows The Other Best Gets Monica's Apartment episode. The Phoebe storyline is great, too, with the gem of a scene where she speaks to the embryos in their little dish. This episode makes me feel all warm and fuzzy inside, and that's because it's smack dab in the middle of Friends's sweet spot: personal, heartfelt, and full of love for its characters.

    Best Line: "Rachel claims this is her favorite movie." "Dangerous Liaisons." "Correct. Her actual favorite movie is?" "Weekend at Bernie's."

    The Best: "The One Where Everybody Finds Out" (Season 5, Episode 14)

    Rachel, screaming "Oh my God" and Phoebe, screaming "Chandler and Monica", look through Ugly Naked Guy's window
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    This episode has everything: each character's involvement, perfect physical and verbal comedy, the elusive Phoebe and Chandler storyline. It's the climax of half a season of Monica and Chandler buildup, and it nails every beat. There's a reason this episode was nominated for Outstanding Directing for a Comedy Series, Outstanding Writing for a Comedy Series and Outstanding Supporting Actress in a Comedy Series (Lisa Kudrow) at the 1999 Emmys.

    Best Line: "Joey, come here, come here! Phoebe just found out about Monica and Chandler." "You mean how they're friends and nothing more?"

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