Every season of ‘Friends’ ranked

Every season of ‘Friends’ ranked

What is there to say about 'Friends' that hasn't been said already? Well it has some haters out there, but without a doubt its many, many fans will be there for it every time.

Running from 1994 to 2004, 'Friends' continues to gather followers to this day. The sitcom gave us iconic TV moments from a comedic and quotable perspective. The loves and lives of Ross, Rachel, Phoebe, Monica, Joey and Chandler have touched the lives of many, and tickled their funny bone.

A lot can happen over ten years and such was the case with these characters. They faced trials and tribulations, endured ridiculous scenarios, and grew from romantically fraught 20s to a happy ending in their 30s. Each season brought much humour and heart.

With that in mind, here's every one of ten seasons of 'Friends' ranked.


10 Season 10

The final season of ten was far from its best. We hate to admit it, but it was undoubtedly its weakest. First you've the fact that it's much shorter than the others at 18 (including the two-parter finale) episodes long. Plus there were a number of story lines people just didn't like, most notably the Rachel and Joey romance. Still, Ross had some very strong episodes, including the one where he's "fine" and gets a spray tan. And there were happy endings for all as Phoebe gets married, Monica and Chandler adopt twins, and Ross and Rachel finally get together (though Joey was left a bit out to pasture...). There was an excellent cameo from Danny DeVito in "The One Where the Stripper Cries" while other episode highlights included "The One with the Cake" and "The One Where Rachel's Sister Babysits".


9 Season 9

The penultimate season of 'Friends' largely focusses on Rachel getting accustomed to motherhood, the highlight of which sees her and baby daddy Ross delight Emma with their rendition of "Baby Got Back". It was also the season that introduced us to Mike, played by the wonderful, ageless Paul Rudd. Some great cameos are provided by the likes of Jeff Goldblum, Freddie Prinze Jr. and Christina Applegate; but fans will readily admit, season nine is just not as great as its predecessors. You had one of the most obscure and unrealistic (which is saying something) story lines of the series ever in 'The One With the Sharks" and Ross' jealousy over Rachel dating again is well-worn, dull territory. "The One with Christmas in Tulsa" proved a very boring clip show, and "The One in Barbados" was a predictable finale.


8 Season 7

Much of season seven was oriented around the build-up to Chandler and Monica's wedding, which also provided its finale. Joey gets back on 'Days of Our Lives' (enter a fabulous cameo from Susan Sarandon; and Matt LeBlanc would also get to share the screen with Gary Oldman this season). She dates Tag, turns 30 (as do all the 'Friends', in one of this season's best episodes) and breaks up with him. And that's about all the drama that happens.

There are some great episodes including  "The One with the Nap Partners", "The One Where They're Up All Night", "The One Where Rosita Dies", "The One with the Cheap Wedding Dress", and the festive "The One with the Holiday Armadillo". But this season is also marked by episodes that either just didn't work or have aged horrendously. We refer here to "The One with Ross and Monica's Cousin" (just bleugh), "The One with Rachel's Big Kiss" featuring Winona Ryder, and "The One with Chandler's Dad".


7 Season 8

Season eight saw the 'Friends' mature further as they entered some pretty grown up territories. Rachel is expecting Ross' baby, Emma's birth providing the season finale; Chandler and Monica get accustomed to married life; and Joey falls in love for the first time (and it's with Rachel, awks). Hilarity ensues in the build-up to Rachel telling Ross he's her baby's father, with "The One With the Videotape" following the revelation. But the season highlight has to be Brad Pitt's cameo in "The One with the Rumor". Some of the episodes are kind of duds like "The One with the Stain",  "The One with Monica's Boots" and "The One with Ross's Step Forward". Far superior are "The One in Massapequa" (featuring a very funny Alec Baldwin), "The One with the Halloween Party" (featuring Sean Penn) and "The One with the Baby Shower" (introducing the world to the game BAMBOOZLED).


6 Season 5

Emily leaves Ross and Rachel admits her feelings for him. However, this season (for once) isn't so much about Ross and Rachel. Instead, the focus is on Monica and Chandler, who having slept together in London, begin seeing each other in secret; that is until "The One Where Everybody Finds Out". Their relationship was undoubtedly the best thing about season six, though there were other pleasures to be had, including a finale trip to Vegas and a drunk accidental wedding. It's a strong season for the male characters with "The One Where Ross Moves In", "The One with Ross's Sandwich", "The One with Joey's Bag" and "The One with Chandler's Work Laugh" all proving great craic. But the best episodes are ensemble works "The One with All the Thanksgivings", "The One with the Triplets", and "The One with All the Resolutions".


5 Season 4

As mentioned already, the gang went through a lot of relationships in their early years and season four was no different. Ross and Rachel made a go briefly at the start of the season but "IT WAS SIXTEEN PAGES" and "WE WERE ON A BREAK". They respectively end up dating Emily and Joshua, with the former going all the way up with aisle with the British rose, though we all know how that worked out... Joey and Chandler, meanwhile, both dated actress Kathy. Other major events included Monica getting the head chef position at Allesandro's; Phoebe becoming a surrogate mother for her brother and his wife's baby; and Monica and Rachel temporarily switching apartments with Joey and Chandler. In other words, season four was chock-full with laughs, drama and series high points.


4 Season 3

The third season of 'Friends' kicked off with one for 'Star Wars' fans in "The One with the Princess Leia Fantasy". It's followed by one of the strongest episodes of the series overall - "The One Where No One's Ready". There's a lot of relationship upheaval as Monica dates, and breaks up with, Richard and Pete; Joey falls for his acting partner Kate, but they don't work out; and Chandler and Janice date for a time, but also break up. And of course there's the mother of all break ups between Ross and Rachel, one of TV's most iconic relationships at the time. Still, there were laughs to be had too, in such episodes as "The One with the Football", "The One with All the Jealousy", and "The One with Ross's Thing". The finale ("The One at the Beach") proved an epic cliffhanger.


3 Season 1

Of course 'Friends' couldn't have become the hit it was without season one. And what a debut it was. Monica was the unlucky one in love; Rachel was the spoiled runaway bride learning to work and earn a living; Ross was hopelessly besotted but unrequited in his feelings for Rachel; Phoebe was a hippie kook; Joey was a flirt; and Chandler was just Chandler. Audiences felt for their struggles and loved seeing their growth, warming quickly to the six friends. "The Pilot" was a strong kick off while episodes three to seven ("The One with the Thumb", "The One with George Stephanopoulos", "The One with the East German Laundry Detergent", "The One with the Butt", "The One with the Blackout") were all hilarious. We probably could've done without Marcel the monkey though, to be honest.


2 Season 6

Thanks to Ross it takes a while, and after some crazy conundrums, he and Rachel divorce. The season ends with the tear-jerking proposal between Chandler and Monica, one of the greatest proposals on TV ever. The sixth season was punctuated by some great story lines such as Joey finding a Porsche, Ross getting his teeth whitened, the "mysteries" of "Unagi", and Phoebe's ridiculous run. It was a strong season too for siblings Monica and Ross too between "meet the parents" episode "The One Where Ross Got High" (one of Jack and Judy's best episodes) and "The One With the Routine". "The One That Could Have Been" could very well be the best two parter of the series; and let's not forget when Ross dates a student and meets her dad, Bruce Willis. Oh and Resse Witherspoon shows up as Rachel's sister. So yeah, tonnes to enjoy.


1 Season 2

Season two is mostly defined by the "Will-They-Won't-They" nature of Ross and Rachel's  relationship across such episodes as "The One Where Ross Finds Out", "The One with the List" and "The One with the Prom Video". Fortunately those crazy kids finally worked things out, making for one of TV's great romantic unions. Another major story line followed the bromance between Joey and Chandler become fraught as the former moved out while Eddie (a great performance from Adam Goldberg there) moves in. But they of course worked it all out too, though it meant Joey got fired from his big gig of 'Days of Our Lives'. Strong episodes also included the surprisingly emotional "The One Where Heckles Dies" and the very funny "The One with the Two Parties". The season was also jam packed with epic cameos from the likes of Charlie Sheen, Jean-Claude Van Damme, and Julia Roberts.


All ten seasons of 'Friends' are available to watch on Netflix in Ireland and the UK, or on HBO Max in the US.

What do you think of our 'Friends' ranked selection? Do you agree with the number one spot? Let us know in the Facebook comments.