It has been more than 20 years since we (at least most of us millennials) all watched the grand finale of FRIENDS. Amazingly, it still remains one of the most beloved and re-watched shows of all time.
One of the many reasons why so many people enjoyed – and still enjoy – watching FRIENDS is that it portrayed real characters – funny, flawed, far from perfect, but entirely human – that we could relate to. Unlike the sociopaths of Seinfeld (fight me), who couldn’t stand other people, the characters in FRIENDS were normal people – like you and me – who tried to live a normal life and enjoyed the company of their family, friends, neighbors, and even casual acquaintances.
It is the social and genial nature of the six characters that gave us so many memorable, heartwarming moments over ten glorious seasons. In this article, I have listed six episodes – which are based on the spirit of the holidays – which you can re-watch with your family and friends while sipping a cup of hot chocolate.
The One with the Holiday Armadillo – S7, E10
This is the perfect episode to kickstart your binge-watching session. It has everything – Phoebe trying to weird out everyone with her mom’s skull, Joey’s extraordinary drumming skills, Rachel being surprisingly brave around a tarantula, Ross trying to teach his son about Hanukkah and failing hilariously, and Chandler being exposed as the world’s worst tipper.
The most heartwarming moment is when Ross tries to teach Ben about Hanukkah and fails, only to be saved by Chandler, who insists that he wants to know about Hanukkah too. Joey appearing as Superman is just the icing o the cake!
Phoebe: The skull belonged to my mom; she used to put it out every Christmas to remind us that even though it’s Christmas, people still die.
The One with Phoebe’s Dad – S2, E9
This is a classic which contains equal parts of laugh-out-loud and heartwarming moments. Monica insists on giving cookies as Christmas tips, despite the fact that her idea is not appreciated by anyone, which prompts Joey to say ‘pigeons learn faster than you’. Ouch!
A broken radiator causes the gang to celebrate Christmas in sweltering heat. Treeger, being the player that he is, tries to kiss Rachel, albeit unsuccessfully. At the end of the party, Joey and Chandler showcase their Christmas presents – wiper blades and a car smell bottle for Rachel, cola drink for Ross, condoms for Monica, and toilet seat covers for Phoebe, which she of course loves.
Chandler: You know I remember my father; dressed up in red suit, big black boots, and patent leather belt, sneaking around downstairs. He didn’t want anybody to see him, but he’d be drunk, so he’d stumble, crash into something and wake everybody up.
Rachel: That doesn’t sound like a very merry Christmas.
Chandler: Who said anything about Christmas?
The One Where Rachel Quits S3, E10
In this episode, Rachel undergoes training to get better at a job she hates, so Chandler convinces her to quit the job. Ross tries to sell cookies on behalf of a little girl, rekindling Monica’s cookie addiction in the process and Joey sells Christmas trees, which Phoebe is totally against.
The most hilarious moments involve Rachel, who keeps demonstrating just how much she sucks at waitressing, and Gunther, who tries to point out her mistakes in the politest manner possible.
The most heartwarming moment comes at the very end, when Monica buys all the dying Christmas trees, much to the delight of Phoebe, and Rachel gets a job at fashion store.
Gunther: Remind me to review with you which pot is decaf and which is regular.
Rachel: Can’t I just look at the handles on them?
Gunther: You would think.
The One with the Girl in Poughkeepsie S4, E10
In this episode, Ross dates two girls – one who lives nearby and another one who lives in Poughkeepsie. Chandler sets up Rachel with his colleagues, Joey works for Monica, and Phoebe writes the perfect Christmas song for her gang.
One of the funniest moments in the episode is when Rachel feels bad about being alone and Chandler hugs her and consoles her, at which point he asks her if she had ever been with a woman, to which a visibly annoyed Rachel retorts ‘what is the matter with you?’
Rachel: Hey, honey, what’s the matter?
Monica: Shows her the chef hat which says ‘Quit Bitch’
Rachel: Fine, I was just trying to be nice, whoa.
The One with Christmas in Tulsa
In this episode, Chandler has to stay at his office in Tulsa for Christmas, as a result of which the rest of the gang are unhappy. When Chandler’s boss hits on him, he rejects her advances and tells her about his favorite Christmas moments with his gang. The episode features a montage of Christmas related moments from the previous episodes.
The best moment of the episode is actually a hilarious moment from a different episode – The Girl from Poughkeepsie – which is shown as part of the montage. Phoebe sings her hilarious Christmas song, in which she not only struggles to hit the right notes, but also fails to find words that rhyme with Rachel and Chandler.
The One with the Monkey – S1, E10
This is, hands down, one of the funniest episodes on FRIENDS. The six friends make a pact to not bring a date to the New Year party, which five of them break, only to end up being dateless again. Also, it features Marcel, the simian who stole our hearts.
Chandler: If you are working late, I can look in on Marcel for you.
Ross: Okay, but make sure it seems like you are there to see him and you are not doing it as a favor to me.
Chandler: Okay, but if he asks me, I’m not going to lie.