One of the reasons that Friends has enjoyed such enduring success is that the characters (and the situations they find themselves in) are so relatable. Whenever you feel like you are failing at life or just generally feeling down on your luck, you can bet that the gang have been there and done it before—which helps us all feel a bit more normal. The theme song says it all really, "I’ll be there for you," and (just like good friends should be) the gang are always there for each other and will always be on hand to bring a little relatable humour into our living rooms. Here are 15 Friends episode titles we can all relate to.
15 The One where Ross Meets Elizabeth’s Dad
Is there any moment scarier than meeting your significant other’s parents? All the other relationship hurdles seem so calm in comparison. Because—whether you like it not—the future of your relationship depends on how this meeting goes. If this initial meeting goes badly, you are doomed to have to endure the horrors of meeting these people at all subsequent family gatherings—that is, if you still feel that you are invited to join the family.
This episode of Friends sees Ross meet the very scary Mr. Stevens, who takes an instant disliking to Ross. The character is played beautifully by Die Hard’s Bruce Willis. Despite his outstanding performance across three episodes of the show, Willis didn’t take home a dime, having lost a bet with Matthew Perry.
14 The One Where They All Turn Thirty
No one likes growing old and 30 seems to have come to be the milestone where people think their young, fun lives have ended. People now seem to be judged on what they have achieved by this age—and if you are still living with your roommates and struggling to hold down a job, this can be rather a troubling time. It's not made any easier when you log onto Facebook and see that fellow 30 year olds are married. Well, that’s one thing the cast of Friends didn’t have to worry about, with this episode airing three years before Facebook was founded. If that doesn’t make you feel old then think about this, Rachel turned 30 in 2001 (meaning that this year she would have been celebrating her 46th birthday!).
13 The One With The Blind Dates
Blind dates—they seem like such a fun idea when you agree to them in a moment of despair after one too many bad dates and martinis. But, then the fateful day arrives and you realize that you are about to meet someone you have never met, know nothing about and worse still, don’t even know what this stranger looks like. Do you really trust your friends to suss out your taste and pick the date of your dreams? If the dates were that good they wouldn’t be passing them on to you…right?
Not only could your friends have misunderstood your taste, but they may even have set you up on a bad date for fun, just like pesky Phoebe and Joey did to Ross and Rachel.
12 The One With The Cooking Class
You know those days when you think you’ll finally be a grown up and cook your friends or family a meal? Then they arrive and you are surrounded in a plume of smoke trying to desperately salvage an edible meal from the pots and pans that surround you (how does Ina Garten make it look so easy?).
But even chefs like Monica get things wrong sometimes. This episode sees her try and boost her ego by attending a cooking class after she receives a bad restaurant review. This isn’t the first time her food has come under criticism. Who can forget the Thanksgiving where all the potatoes were ruined and the gang were forced to have a feast of grilled cheese? Mmm...a feast of cheese…
11 The One With The Cop
Everyone—no matter how vanilla they be—has a story about a run-in with the police. For the rest of you, not so vanilla people, this story normally begins with a night of drinking.
Phoebe Buffay is no stranger to the law, having once lived on the street, allegedly being friends with some of the US’s most wanted and stabbed a cop (though, to be fair, he did stab her first). But, this episode sees her getting on the good side of the law as she begins to date a cop (after she finds Gary’s badge, she also wins his heart). Unfortunately, he isn’t as nice as he looks and, after he recklessly shoots a bird, Phoebe breaks up with him.
10 The One Where No One’s Ready
It doesn’t seem to matter how much planning you do beforehand, getting ready for a night out doesn’t always go as planned. This episode of Friends sees Chandler having his underwear stolen, Phoebe getting accidentally covered in hummus and Monica crashing into a relationship crisis. Now, these were definitely things that the gang wouldn’t have budgeted for time-wise. Despite the many hiccups along the way, all six cast members do make it out of the door on time, with a little less than gentle coaxing from Ross—even if they haven’t all had time to locate their underwear.
It is often women who are blamed for taking too long to get ready but, according to research conducted by Travelodge, men spend approximately 81 minutes a day on personal grooming.
9 The One With The Blackout
No one likes a blackout and even less so when they happen at the most inconvenient times. Not that there is ever an excellent time to find you are without power, but the worst times are in the middle of washing your hair, cooking dinner for your family or watching a film. Thankfully, during this episode of Friends, the gang find themselves in the safe solitude of Monica’s apartment. Well, apart from Chandler, who finds himself trapped with a supermodel (he’s not going to get any sympathy about being left out here).
While this blackout was over in a few hours, some have been known to go on for days. In 2003, a blackout across the US and Canada meant approximately 50 million people were left without power.
8 The One With The Dozen Lasagnas
So you’ve moved out of your parents’ house, you’re getting your life together and then you realize you can barely make yourself a bowl of cereal. The answer? Ready meals. Most student kitchens are full of convenience foods and, due to the amount of alcohol consumed during many people’s college years, some interesting food can be bought on the spur of the moment. But what’s wrong with buying a month’s supply of lasagna (especially if you had coupons)? These could be just what you need one day when you are drowning in a sea of assignments.
Of course, Monica would never stoop to the lows of buying ready-made lasagnas; hers were all beautifully handmade. Yet, she still had problems shifting them, which is suspicious given that Joey was around.
7 The One With The Evil Orthodontist
Why are all Orthodontists so evil? It isn’t just Barry; they all seem to be out to get us. Normal dentists are bad enough—with their scary drills and injections—but they’re nothing compared to the evil teeth straighteners. It’s tough enough when you find out that, on top of being a dorky kid, you are going to need braces—which basically means you are going to be picked on for the rest of your school life. So the last thing you need on top of this is to be put through torture and, worse still, they then charge you for this experience.
Rachel should have known better than to get involved with an orthodontist. Surely, she must have known he was going to turn out evil.
6 The One With The Flashback
Ahh, the flashback. These normally happen after you’ve had a great night out, wake up feeling refreshed and then suddenly remember the regrettable things you did the night before.
Rather than reminiscing about mistakes they’ve made in their pasts, 'The One with the Flashback" reflects on what might have been if the gang had made different decisions in their lives. This episode explores differing pairings, with Rachel and Chandler, Monica and Chandler and even Ross and Phoebe almost hooking up. This was the first time we saw a hint of the Monica and Chandler romance, something the producers used to test the waters before coupling them up for real. After great feedback about their chemistry, the producers started to plot out their romance.
5 The One Where Rachel Quits
We’ve all had those days where we wake up and can’t face another day of our soul-destroying job. So, on the way to work, we plan out how to tell the boss that they can take their job and… Then, the fear creeps in and just like Chandler, we crumble under the pressure and stay in our dead-end job (not because we want to, but because bills don’t pay themselves and even bad jobs aren’t easy to hold down).
However, when she left her job at Central Perk, Rachel showed us that sometimes bravery does pay off. She landed a job at Fortunata Fashions and realized her dream of working in fashion (until she realized that she would also be making coffee there, too).
4 The One With Rachel’s Crush
Crushes—we’ve all had them and, more often than not, they can be very inappropriate. The problem with crushes is that you tend to develop them for people you work with, go to high school with, walk past every day etc., meaning that you have to face embarrassing situations on a day-to-day basis. Then, even if you do manage to win them over, you are likely to have to endure the horrors of the workplace romance and subsequent hell of having to face your ex every morning.
Rachel developed a crush on one of her customers and threw professionalism out of the window. While this sort of bravery can sometimes pay off, it is worth adding that pursuing someone who is mid-divorce is not the best move.
3 The One With The Worst Best Man Ever
Possibly the biggest test any male friendship will have to undergo is the role of best man. Being handed this title may feel like a dream role until you realize the responsibility it brings, with duties that include making a speech, providing emotional support and planning the bachelor party.
Unfortunately, despite his partying skills usually being on point, when Joey is tasked with being Ross’s best man, he is an utter failure when it comes to planning the bachelor party. It all kicked off well—the beer was flowing, the awesome t-shirts were being handed out and the stripper doing what she does best. Then, Ross’s wedding ring disappears under Joey’s watch. Thankfully nothing can break their bond and, following the discovery of the ring, the guys all make up.
2 The One With All The Resolutions
It’s the same every year—after a holiday season full of feasting, we all strive to do better in the new year. This can range from eating more vegetables, to doing charity work or ticking something off your bucket list. While we all start off the year with good intentions, things often go wrong very quickly, with Time Magazine saying that the resolution to lose weight and get fit is the most commonly broken resolution of all.
The friends mix things up with a fresh batch of resolutions from taking more photographs to learning to play guitar to gossiping less. Ross causes great hilarity when he embarks on a year of embracing new things, resulting in a dating disaster in his new leather pants.
1 The One Where Ross Can’t Flirt
Winning a date is no mean feat. While flirting might seem easy when you practice talking in front of the mirror, it is a whole other world of horrors when you try and actually deploy your techniques in real life. Suddenly, you feel like an awkward teenager all over again, as you stand there not knowing what to say and fearing the judgement.
Ross makes us all wonder how he was ever married three times when he suddenly loses his ability to flirt. This episode sees him try and fail to flirt with the pizza delivery lady, with his conversation on gas not hitting the right note. Thankfully, Rachel comes to the rescue and passes on his number. If only we all had a friend like her...