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Twenty (!) years ago today, we were introduced to the antics, quirks, and lovable personalities of Monica, Chandler, Rachel, Ross, Phoebe, and Joey during the very first episode of Friends. We hung out weekly with the New Yorkers in their apartments and favorite local haunt, Central Perk, as they experienced romantic and career upheavals, rent struggles, and huge life events.
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The approachable take on that transition period between post-graduate life and not-quite adulthood left us with tangible memories that still make us smile. Get nostalgic with us as we conjure some of our favorite moments from the long-syndicated, quintessential ’90s show.
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1. The Beginning
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It all started with a skittish bride seeking comfort. Rachel Green reentered Manhattanite Monica Geller’s life as an old friend cum new roommate, starting a decade-long “will-they, won’t-they” relationship with Monica’s brother, paleontologist Ross Geller. Rachel’s hair would go on to become a trendsetter between 1994 and 2004, with women worldwide following its every cut.
2. Central Perk Happenings
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Essentially a seventh main character, Central Perk was the backdrop for many famous Friends moments. It was here we heard Phoebe Buffay warbling her best hits, “Smelly Cat” and “Shower Song.” Rachel became a waitress at the cafe, and most of the gang went on both excruciating and exciting dates here.
3. The Apartment Switch
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A guys-versus-girls bet and ensuing trivia game ends with the gang switching apartments in episode “The One with the Embryos.”
4. The One with the Prom Video
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After viewing a video full of ’80s prom prep, Rachel realizes that Ross is her mate, or as Phoebe proclaims, her “lobster.”
5. Thanksgiving Episodes
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Each one has its highlights (football madness, Brad Pitt’s guest appearance), but perhaps the most memorable Thanksgiving episode entails Chandler admitting his love for Monica in season 5.
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6. The One Where Everybody Finds Out
Although they perform all sorts of antics to hide their budding romance, Monica and Chandler still get caught by most of the gang. Ross is the last one to be informed, as he spies on his sister and best friend canoodling through the window of the infamous Ugly Naked Guy.
7. Ross says, “Rachel”
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Rachel plans to stop Ross’s wedding to another woman, but realizes she can’t get in the way of his happiness. As it turns out, Ross can’t get Rachel off the brain, and it’s her name he says during the vows portion of the wedding.
8. The End
Phoebe facilitates Ross and Rachel’s final lobster-love reunion, Monica and Chandler adopt twins and move to the suburbs, and Joey gets to keep his fowl friends.
With 10 seasons from which to choose, there are endless Friends moments that made us laugh, cry, and sigh with happiness. Of course, we couldn’t recap every single one, but we’d love to hear which episode or scene still stands out in your memory. Sound off in the comments!
1990s, nostalgia, TV
Pivot. Pivot!! PIVOT!!!!!
One of my all time favorite shows .. <3
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