All 10 Seasons Of Friends, Ranked

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The pop-culture staple of the 1990s, NBC’s award-winning sitcom Friends, is one of those shows that will always be fondly remembered, rewatched, referenced, and quoted. It has been over twenty-five years since the show started. yet audiences are still talking about it and would be even without the reunion special and all its amazing moments.

RELATED: The 10 Sweetest Friendship Scenes On Friends Fans Watch Over & Over

There is something about the characters, their stories, and the show’s fine balance of humor and emotional weight that keeps fans coming back to it and talking about it, with everyone having their own opinions on Friends’ best season.

Updated on July 24th, 2021 by Rhys McGinley: With a fanbase as adoring as Friends’ and popularity for the show being so infectiously widespread, it is no surprise that there are still debates over the correct order of the Friends seasons ranked. There are some constants, season 9 usually finds its way near the bottom for its lackluster storytelling, then the likes of seasons 3 and 4 usually find themselves near the top, showing Friends in a rhythm and at its best. There are many arguments to be had over the rankings, though, with it being difficult to pinpoint exactly what the best season of Friends is, as well as the worst.

10 Season 9 (2002 – 2003)

Friends Season 9

● No. of episodes: 24

The penultimate season did have its good moments. Episodes like “The One with Ross’s Inappropriate Song” where he raps “Baby Got Back” to his baby daughter, and “The One with Rachel’s Other Sister,” where Christina Applegate guest-stars as Amy and causes mayhem during Monica’s Thanksgiving dinner, were hilarious.

However, some episodes, plotlines, and jokes did not land, indicating that perhaps the show had run its course. The biggest offense to many fans is the idea of Rachel’s feelings for Joey, which many fans cannot get over.

Plotlines like Joey not remembering if he already slept with the woman he was dating and the whole ordeal with Ross, Rachel, Joey, and Charlie are not fondly remembered.

9 Season 1 (1994 – 1995)

Friends Season 1

● No. of episodes: 24

Next off is season one. Coincidentally, it is Lisa Kudrow’s favorite season because it was the first one. However, since it was the first one, the show had not yet found its feet, it was stumbling around trying to find a voice.

Season one makes audiences laugh every time, though. Certain episodes stand out, like “The One With The Blackout” where Chandler gets stuck in an ATM vestibule during a blackout, and the season finale where Rachel finds out that Ross is in love with her.

On the other hand, season one had some serious issues regarding characters, specifically Joey, Phoebe, and Rachel, who were a bit too stereotypical at times to actually be relatable. There is also the strange Marcel plotline, with Ross owning a monkey being the subject of jokes in the later seasons. David Schwimmer even surprisingly revealed in the reunion he hated working with the adorable monkey.

8 Season 7 (2000 – 2001)

Friends Season 7

● No. of episodes: 24

Season seven is a mixed bag. Season seven was just average by Friends standards, far from being outright bad or even having a legitimately bad episode or two.

It had its moments. Who could ever forget Ross in an Armadillo costume or Chandler’s charming smile? The two-part season finale was certainly the highlight of the season, with lots of excitement, hilarious and emotional moments before and during Monica and Chandler’s wedding ceremony.

However, season seven also had some of the show’s least memorable episodes like “The One with All the Candy” and “The One with Ross and Monica’s Cousin,” which was, in a word, weird.

7 Season 2 (1995 – 1996)

Friends Season 2

● No. of episodes: 24

Season two finally gave the audience what they wanted – Ross and Rachel, and then some. However, some of the best and worst moments of the season revolve around the aforementioned couple.

There was a lot that worked; the first episode was pure Jennifer Aniston comedic gold, and her line “Isn’t that just kick-you-in-the-crotch spit-on-your-neck fantastic?” is nothing short of iconic. The strongest episode of the bunch has to be “The One with the Prom Video,” which is Friends at its best. Plus, it kicked off the flashback tradition that yielded some priceless moments in future seasons.

RELATED: 10 Life Lessons We Learned From Rachel Green In Friends

That being said, “The One with the List” stands out as one of season two’s weakest and most frustrating points. Then there is the episode with Rachel’s new boyfriend, aka Ross’s more annoying doppelganger Russ, which was not great.

6 Season 10 (2003 – 2004)

Friends Season 10

● No. of episodes: 18

The series finale was pretty much everything fans could have wanted it to be. It provided laughter, tears, and even today, the mental image of six keys laid out on the kitchen counter brings tears to our eyes.

Other episodes that stand out include “The One Where Ross is Fine,” “The One with Ross’ Tan,” and basically every moment where Ross goes absolutely bonkers. Fans also rejoiced at more Paul Rudd, aka Mike, and “The One with Princess Consuela” is hands down the best Phoebe/Mike episode.

That being said, season ten did have the worst first episode of all seasons in the form of “The One After Joey And Rachel Kiss,” not making fans feel any more confident about the show’s future after a lackluster season 9.

5 Season 6 (1999 – 2000)

Friends Season 6

● No. of episodes: 25

Season six had all kinds of great moments, both comedic and emotional. With contenders like “The One Where Ross Got High,” “The One with the Routine,” “The One with Unagi,” “The One That Could Have Been.”, and of course, the two-part finale with Chandler’s proposal.

It is impossible to pick out a favorite episode for fans, with so many delivering, which is a great showcase of how good season 6 actually is.

On top of the great episodes, all six friends had some outstanding moments. Phoebe in the Pottery Barn episode (which is basically a course in product placement), Rachel and her unforgettable beef trifle, Joey with his “identical” twin, everything about Chandler and Monica’s relationship and the proposal, and last but not least, Ross attempting to deal with his third divorce.

4 Season 3 (1996 – 1997)

Friends Season 3

● No. of episodes: 25

In season three, Friends really hit its stride. It’s the season that managed to break our hearts and has perfect comedic beats at the same time in “The One with the Morning After,” one of the show’s saddest yet most excellent episodes, adding serious emotional depth to the season.

It’s the season that taught audiences that cushions are the essence of the chair and never to hide a person’s underwear as one can never know what they will deem a suitable reciprocation.

RELATED: Each Main Character’s Happiest (& Saddest) Scene In Friends

In season three, fans are also shown a giant poking device for poking a possibly dead naked guy from the balcony. It’s the season that introduced the Geller Cup, the Chick, and the Duck, and, last but not least, “We were on a break!” – the line that would go on to become a staple of Ross and Rachel’s relationship and the show itself.

3 Season 8 (2001 – 2002)

Friends Season 8

● No. of episodes: 24

Other than the misguided plotline that included Joey developing feelings for Rachel, season eight was perfect. It’s worth noting that this is the only time that Friends won the Emmy for Best Comedy Series.

The red sweater storyline that revealed the identity of the father of Rachel’s baby was brilliant. David Schwimmer shines again with Ross’s over-the-top reaction to the news. Then there’s the meticulously plotted episode “The One with the Videotape” that manages to tie all the seemingly unrelated plotlines together in a tight knot.

Another highlight is “The One with the Baby Shower,” one of those deceptively titled episodes, fans got to see the best, but sadly fake, gameshow in the history of television. There is then a fantastic Halloween episode as well as a rumor and Brad Pitt-filled Thanksgiving for fans to adore.

2 Season 4 (1997 – 1998)

Friends Season 4

● No. of episodes: 24

Season four had at least one of the show’s best episodes, “The One with the Embryos.” Despite what the title might suggest, Phoebe getting impregnated isn’t quite the main event here, as great a moment as it is. The real action takes place in Monica and Rachel’s apartment, which they end up losing in a quiz to Joey and Chandler.

There are plenty of other season four gems, like “The One with the Jellyfish,” “The One with the Girl from Poughkeepsie,” “The One with Chandler in a Box,” and “The One With All The Haste,” all of which are filled with hilarity.

The two-part finale with Ross’s wedding is two brilliant episodes that see the culmination of the story of Emily and Ross’ fast-tracked romance and Rachel’s pent-up feelings for Ross. It also gave fans one of the most iconic sitcom wedding moments in history when Ross shockingly said Rachel’s name. It would be hard to argue against this being the best Friends season.

1 Season 5 (1998 – 1999)

Friends Season 5

● No. of episodes: 24

Out of all ten seasons, the fifth season has the most episodes that are generally considered the best Friends episodes. Ross’s fits of rage and downward spiral over his second failed marriage provided a lot of comedic fodder, as did Monica and Chandler’s secret relationship, which proved the couple to be such a powerhouse romance.

“The One with All the Thanksgivings” is widely considered one of the very top episodes in a group of really fantastic Thanksgiving episodes. On top of that seasonal entry, there is “The One in Vegas: Part 2,” one of the show’s best season finales.

“The One Where Everybody Finds Out” is arguably the show’s greatest non-finale episode. It is full of brilliance, comedy, and sweet moments, with Chandler and Phoebe at their absolute best as Chandler and Monica confess their love for one another. Storywise, characterwise, comedy-wise, and in every other possible aspect, season 5 is the very best season of Friends.

NEXT: Each Main Character’s Funniest Scene On Friends

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