Friends

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For other uses, see Friends (disambiguation).

Template:Infobox television Friends was a long-running American television sitcom centered on the lives of a group of six twenty-somethings (eventually thirty-somethings) consisting of three men and three women living in New York City.

The program was produced by Bright/Kauffman/Crane Productions in association with Warner Bros. Television for NBC in the US, first broadcast on that network and followed by other broadcast networks in numerous countries throughout the world. In the US, its first episode was aired on September 22, 1994, the last on May 6, 2004.

Contents

Overview

Friends is one of the most successful sitcoms in the US. By the end of the series the six main cast members were each paid US$1,000,000 per episode. Advertisements during the series finale, which attracted an audience of over 52 million viewers, cost $2,000,000 for a 30-second spot in the United States and CAD$190,000 in Canada. The last episode was released on DVD 5 days after its broadcast. Template:Spoiler The show focused on the lives of a group of six friends living in a state of arrested development: spoiled Daddy's girl Rachel Green; compulsively clean chef Monica Geller; wise-cracking, perennially unlucky-in-love, underconfident office drone Chandler Bing; oversexed, clueless actor Joey Tribbiani; divorced paleontologist nerd Ross Geller; and scatterbrained hippie, masseuse, and aspiring folk singer-songwriter Phoebe Buffay. As the pilot begins, Rachel has just left her fiancé Barry at the altar and moves in with her childhood best friend, Monica. The pair live across the hall from Chandler and Joey. They hang out with Monica's brother, Ross – who recently divorced his lesbian wife – and Phoebe, the "free spirit" of the bunch and Monica's old roommate. The settings for the show include Monica's apartment, Chandler and Joey's apartment and the coffee shop downstairs, Central Perk.

After cutting herself off from her father's money, Rachel got her first job as a waitress in the coffee shop and later becomes a personal shopper at Bloomingdale's, then a buyer for Ralph Lauren. Monica struggled for the first several seasons for success, and later became head chef at a well-respected restaurant. Chandler eventually switched to a career in advertising by the last few seasons. After on-and-off success as a soap opera actor Joey's career eventually stabilized with a regular part on a soap opera from which he was initially fired earlier in the series' run. Paleontologist Ross eventually becomes a college professor. Phoebe makes out a living as a singer-songwriter and a masseuse.

A constant story line throughout the series was the on-again/off-again romance between Ross and Rachel, and later in the series, the developing relationship between Chandler and Monica.

The show's theme song, "I'll Be There For You" by The Rembrandts, became a major hit after a Tennessee disc jockey looped it into a full length track and played it on the radio. The band's record label required them to write additional material and re-record the track as a full-length song, which peaked on the Billboard Hot 100 chart at #17.

Cast members

File:TV The One After Ross Says Rachel.jpg
Chandler and Monica share a kiss (episode: The One After Ross Says Rachel)

Main characters

Role Actor
Rachel Karen Green Jennifer Aniston
Monica Edith Geller Courteney Cox Arquette
Phoebe Buffay-Hannigan Lisa Kudrow
Joseph Francis Tribbiani Jr. Matt LeBlanc
Chandler Muriel Bing Matthew Perry
Ross Eustace Geller David Schwimmer

Recurring characters

See also: List of significant others of Friends

Relations

Role Relation Actor
Ross and Monica's relations
Jack Geller Ross and Monica's father Elliot Gould
Judy Geller Ross and Monica's mother Christina Pickles
Cassie Geller Ross and Monica's cousin Denise Richards
Ben Geller-Willick-Bunch Ross and Carol's son, Monica's nephew Cole Sprouse
Dylan Sprouse
Emma Geller-Green Ross and Rachel's daughter, Monica's niece
Phoebe's relations
Frank Buffay Sr. Phoebe's father Bob Balaban
Lily Buffay Phoebe's adoptive mother None
Phoebe Abbott Phoebe's biological mother Teri Garr
Frank Buffay Jr. Phoebe's half-brother Giovanni Ribisi
Alice Knight Phoebe's sister-in-law; Frank Jr.'s wife Debra Jo Rupp
Frank Jr. Jr.
Leslie
Chandler
Phoebe's surrogate children
Ursula Buffay Phoebe's identical twin sister Lisa Kudrow
Rachel's relations
Dr. Leonard Green Rachel's father Rob Leibman
Sandra Green Rachel's mother Marlo Thomas
Jill Green Rachel's sister Reese Witherspoon
Amy Green Rachel's sister Christina Applegate
Chandler's relations
Charles Bing Chandler's father Kathleen Turner
Nora Tyler Bing Chandler's mother Morgan Fairchild
Joey's relations
Joseph Tribbiani Sr. Joey's father Robert Costanzo
Gloria Tribbiani Joey's mother Brenda Vaccaro
Dina Tribbiani
Gina Tribbiani
Mary Angela Tribbiani
Mary Therese Tribbiani
Cookie Tribbiani
Veronica Tribbiani
Tina Tribbiani
Joey's sisters Marla Sokoloff
K.J. Steinburg
Holly Gagnier
Mimi Lieber
Alex Meneses
 ?
 ?


Note about Joey's relations: These are only the family members that appear on Friends. Please see Joey for the ones who appear on the spin-off.

Other

Role Description Actor
Gunther works at Central Perk James Michael Tyler
Janice dated Chandler on many occasions, have a knack saying "Oh. My. God." with nasal voice Maggie Wheeler
Mr. Treeger superintendent in the apartment building where Monica, Chandler, Joey and Rachel live Michael G. Hagerty
Estelle Leonard Joey's agent June Gable
Carol Willick Ross's lesbian ex-wife Jane Sibbett (Anita Barone in episode 2)
Susan Bunch Carol's partner Jessica Hecht
Ugly Naked Guy lives across street uncredited
Mr. Heckles complaining man who lives below Monica's apartment Larry Hankin
Dr. Richard Burke Monica's boyfriend and old friend to the Geller family (who used to live in the same neighbourhood as Monica, Ross and Rachel when they were growing up). Season 2,3 and 6. Tom Selleck
The Chick and The Duck Chandler and Joey's pets, who in Season 10, we find out died. However, a new chick and duck come along to live with Joey a chick, a rooster and a duck
Emily Waltham british girlfriend, second wife and second ex-wife of Ross in Season 4 and 5 Helen Baxendale
Mike Hannigan marries Phoebe in Season 10 Paul Rudd

Guest stars

The show has had many well-known celebrities as guest stars, including Bruce Willis, Julia Roberts, Jean Claude Van Damme, Brad Pitt, Ben Stiller, Sean Penn, Ian Thorpe (as an extra), Elle MacPherson, and Charlie Sheen.

Some of these guest stars real life names were actually mentioned at some point in the series. Some of the names mentioned were Elle MacPherson, Winona Ryder, Brad Pitt, Alec Baldwin and Susan Sarandon. Also, some guest stars such as Jean Claude Van Damme, Isabella Rosellini and Charlton Heston starred as themselves. In addition, some of the movies associated with them were also mentioned like Bruce Willis' Die Hard (and Die Hard 2).

See: List of guest stars on Friends

Pre-broadcast audience research

After the finale was broadcast, The Smoking Gun made available the May 27, 1994 "Program Test Report" summarizing the audience reaction to a version of what became the pilot episode. Overall reactions to the pilot were "not very favorable"; most viewers felt the show was "not very entertaining, clever, or original". The report recommended:

  • Broadening the show to include some older characters
  • Adding more humor
  • Changing the pilot so that the audience could become more involved emotionally with the show's characters
  • Toning down the sexual situations, at least at the beginning of the series
  • Having Chandler talk about his dreams on a recurring basis
  • Incorporating Phoebe more into the stories
  • Make the coffee shop less "funky"

Running gags

Friends had many running gags throughout the span of the show. Some of the most famous include:

  • The One With [episode name]: Almost every episode name starts with these three words. In reference to the fact that most sitcoms don't display the title of their episodes, so fans must discuss the main plot points with each other when referring to specific episodes.
  • Fat Monica: Monica, now slim and attractive, was obese as a child. She and the other characters would often refer to her "fat past" and several flashbacks throughout the series allowed us to see just how she looked then. She is also known to have "fat clown feet" as mentioned by Rachel. There is confusion as to at what point she became overweight as a child, as several episodes put her at developing her weight as early as kindergarten, while one episode shows a home movie of her clearly after that point, as being still thin
  • Gay Chandler: Chandler was often painted with the possibility of being gay, despite his determination to prove himself as the heterosexual he actually was. Various characters on the show had assumed that he was gay when they first met him, and describe him as having a certain gay "quality." In addition, Chandler's father was a transvestite, which may have been the cause of some of Chandler's feminine behavioral traits (as well as the middle name Muriel), and one of Chandler's first phrases on Friends was "I wish I was a lesbian. Wait, did I say that out loud?!"..
  • Ugly Naked Guy: An obese, nude hermit who engaged in odd habits in the "privacy" of his apartment across the street from Monica's. One of the gang would often notice something going on in his apartment and cry out "eww, eww, Ugly Naked Guy is..." and would describe the usually strange act to the others, who would then crowd around the window to a chorus of "ewwwww". During a flashback in one episode that was set a year before the pilot, Phoebe and Ross have a conversation that goes, Phoebe: "Aww, that is so unfortunate." Ross: "What?" Phoebe: "cute naked guy is really starting to put on weight." Ugly Naked Guy decides to sublet his apartment in Season 5, and Ross rents it to live across the street from his sister.
  • Joey & Chandler as a couple: One of the more frequent recurring jokes of the early episodes paralleled the interactions of Joey and Chandler to the interactions of a married couple. The gag was usually used to enhance the aforementioned "Gay Chandler" joke, as Chandler would often assume the "wife" role, but was often funny on its own. This gag even appears in the first episode of the spinoff, Joey.
  • Gunther likes Rachel: When Gunther appeared in an episode it usually involved his anything-but-secret crush on Rachel, who however remains oblivious to his feelings throughout most of the show's run. In one episode she even believes that he is homosexual when she thanks him by saying, "One day you'll make a man very happy." That he virtually obsesses about Rachel is evident in the episode where Chandler breaks up with Janice so she can give her marriage another try. When Gunther sees Chandler with Janice's gold-coloured shoe in his hand, he observes, "Rachel has those in burgundy". This is also seen when he buys all the stuff Rachel came into contact with in Ross' apartment.
  • Phoebe's previous way of life: It is often mentioned that Phoebe once lived on the street, and her strange former friends often come up. Various random facts from her childhood are revealed throughout the show, such as that she "stabbed a cop", had a pimp spit in her mouth, has lived in Prague, and even mugged Ross when they were 14. In addition to those, Phoebe is known for holding grudges (for a long time) against people who have "betrayed" her. Notable examples of this are her feud with her sister, her ex-singing partner leaving her to write jingles for an advertising firm and her birthmother not looking for her
  • Ross' tendency to marry: Ross marries a total of three times throughout the course of the show, all of which end in divorce. Many gags from the sixth season on, run along the line that Ross will likely marry any girl he hooks up with and is equally as likely to break up with her after marriage.
File:Phoebe Buffay 1.jpg
Lisa Kudrow as Phoebe Buffay in Friends. In this picture she is playing a guitar in a New York coffee shop named Central Perk.
  • Phoebe's music: Phoebe was often a musician at Central Perk and was known for her rather unusual, original songs. Some include: "Jingle Bitch Screwed Me Over", "Ode to a pubic hair", "Sometimes Men Love Women, Sometimes Men Love Men...", "The Barnyard Song" in which she graphically describes farm animals being turned into meat products to a group of elementary schoolers, and her most famous, "Smelly Cat."
  • Oh...My...God!: Janice's catchphrase; used as her introductory line in her later guest appearances.
  • We were on a break!: A highlight of the third season was Rachel and Ross, a couple at the time, having a major fight and subsequently deciding to go on a break in their relationship. Around this point, the depressed Ross sleeps with another woman; his resulting guilt and Rachel's resulting resentment resonated for many seasons to come.
  • Regina Phalange: Phoebe's alter ego, which she regularly makes references to (similar to Art Vandelay on Seinfeld). In the last episode she stops Rachel's plane by telling her the plane has something wrong with its left phalange. She is sometimes "Doctor Regina Phalange."
  • Mr. Heckles: A slighty off-kilter man who lived below Monica and Rachel's apartment and continually complained about the noise. Usually claims he could have something you know he doesn't. For eg, "I could have a cat", or "I could play the oboe". Died during the second season. In his will, he leaves all his possessions to the "noisy girls in the apartment above mine".
  • Chandler's speech: Chandler has a strange way of speaking, in which he emphasizes the wrong word in his sentences. One exaggerated example, where Ross was mocking Chandler's speech pattern: "The hills are alive with the sound (pause) OF music". His particular brand of sarcasm is also often based on the phrase "Could this [object] (pause) BE any more [description]."
  • Ross's Speech: Ross also speaks oddly, leaving long pauses in sentences. When speaking to Russ (an uncannily similar character), he exclaims "It takes that guy...like, hello, what, like, a, uh, year to get a out a sentence", to which Chandler replies "Annoying, isn't it?" and Ross says "heh, uh, (pause) *weeze* yeah."
  • How You Doin'?: This is Joey's pick-up line. It was first seen in "The One with Rachel's Crush," and Joey continues using it for the rest of the series, sometimes on Phoebe, Rachel, Monica, and even humorously on Chandler.
  • Phoebe's dead mother: Phoebe often references her mother's suicide to various situations on the show, usually as an excuse. For example, when Ross questions her on why she's never tried taffy, "Well, my mother was too busy planning her suicide to provide saltwater treats."
  • Monica's obsessive-compulsive behavior: While there is no medical diagnosis to point out she has such, Monica has continuously exhibited various traits of an obsessive-compulsive personality disorder, including obsession with cleanliness, refusal to relinquish control over anything, excessive categorization and organization, intense competitiveness, and the need to get people to like her. Her competitiveness could be observed when playing tennis with Chandler's boss and his wife, where Chandler suggests that they should let them win, to which she replies "I'm sorry, I don't understand what you just said." In another instance, Rachel, who is moving out of the apartment, offers Monica a chance to pack her belongings for her, presenting the offer as a goodbye present, which Monica gladly accepts. In addition, the show has innumerable references to Monica cleaning her apartment, or any other location she's in.
  • Ross and Chandler's college days: Ross and Chandler used to be roommates in college, and throughout the series, their college days have been mentioned numerous times. For example, Chandler claims the basis of his and Ross' relationship was "unfortunate hair."
  • The Magna Doodle: The Fisher-Price Magna Doodle next to Joey and Chandler's front door first appeared in season 3, episode 18: The One With the Hypnosis Tape. In following episodes it was the source of many hidden gags, as it almost always had something humorously written or drawn on it. Joey still has the Magna Doodle at his new L.A. apartment on Joey, next to his front door.
  • Chandler's smoking: In early seasons, Chandler is a fairly heavy smoker, and still smokes occasionally (but secretly) in later seasons, stealing cigarette butts from ashtrays, hiding packets of cigarettes in the toilet cistern, and at one point, when told he smells of "Perfume and cigarettes" replies "Well, the perfume's not mine, be thankful for that!".
  • Mom loved Ross more than Monica: Monica is constantly criticized by her mother, while Ross is the golden child. Ross's room was maintained "as a shrine" until the house was sold, while Monica's room was quickly converted to a gym. Rachel was once told by Judy Geller that she was like the daughter she's never had. Another time Monica's mother actually told Ross that she would be "childless" if he died. To a lesser extent, Jack Geller also showed this favoritism. In one episode, when Ross went to pick up some of his childhood possessions before the family home was sold, he noticed that the boxes containing Monica's possessions had been used to protect Jack's Porsche from flooding, and were thus ruined. Feeling guilty, Jack gave Monica the Porsche as recompense.
  • Alternative way of "giving the finger": When they were kids, Ross and Monica came up with an alternative way to give each other the middle finger when their parents were around. Both hands, formed into fists, would clash together sideways in front of the person two times quickly. Ross is first seen using this on Rachel, and when Rachel asks what is was, Monica explains. Later in the same episode, we find out that they also have another alternative to cursing that includes grabbing the neck with your elbows sticking out and waving your elbows towards the other person, although it is never explained what it is an alternative to.
  • Chandler's job: From the very beginning of the show the professions of each of the characters are quite clear, except for Chandler's (Data Reconfiguration and Statistical Analysis). This turns into a recurring joke, culminating on the episode The One With The Embryos (season 4) with the girls (Monica and Rachel) losing the apartment to the boys (Chandler and Joey) on the question "What is Chandler Bing’s job?", to which Rachel answers: transpondster.

Loose Ends

In the 9th season, Joey's sister is pregnant. Unfortunately, this story never goes on. This however was continued in Joey

Trivia

  • The character of Ursula (Phoebe's twin sister) first appeared in the sitcom Mad About You as a not-so-quick-witted waitress. Lisa Kudrow played Ursula on both Mad About You and Friends. Phoebe was not originally supposed to have a twin, but the show's creators added the fact to explain why Kudrow was appearing on two different shows, at one point on the same night. Ursula would go on to make several appearances on Friends, played simultaneously by Kudrow. Producers used split-screen photography and doubles, most of the time Lisa Kudrow's sister was used to create the illusion the two both appeared in a scene at the same time. Later, Helen Hunt appeared on an episode of Friends and her character mistakenly thought Phoebe was Ursula.
  • This, combined with a crossover between Mad About You and Seinfeld, reveals that Friends takes place in the same fictional version of New York as Seinfeld.
  • James Michael Tyler's character (Gunther) came into the series by accident. He can be seen as an extra throughout the first season, and when given a line in the second, the directors were adequately impressed that they created him a full-time part: Gunther. Additionally, it's been reported that Tyler got the job because he was the only extra who knew how to operate the espresso machine, having been working at an actual coffee shop at the time. In addition to playing Gunther, Tyler remained an actual coffee shop employee for the first four seasons of the show.
  • Central Perk, the coffee shop on the show, is based on Chomondley's (pronounced Chumley's), a coffee shop/lounge in Usen Castle at Brandeis University, the alma mater of the show's creators.
  • Katie, who played Marcel, Ross' pet White-headed Capuchin monkey, would become even more famous as the Los Angeles Angels of Anaheim's Rally Monkey. An outtake from season 1 shows Jennifer Aniston becoming exasperated at the monkey's antics and addressing it as Katie rather than by the character's name, Marcel.
  • Although the show was filmed in California, it took place in the West Village in Manhattan, New York City. The exterior shot of the Friends' apartment building is actually located at Grove and Bedford streets in the Village.
  • The picture frame around the peep hole in Monica and Rachel's apartment originally was a framed mirror, but a crew member accidentally broke it. The producers liked the look and decided not to replace the mirror.
  • 55 people were paid to come to the studio and watch the first four episodes of "The Six of Us"; the title was thereafter changed to "Friends"
  • Not all episodes were filmed in front of a studio audience. Most episodes were filmed with a laugh track, like the episode of Ursula and Phoebe together.
  • Alternate titles were "Six Of One", "Across The Hall", "Insomnia Cafe" and "Friends Like Us".
  • Ross and Chandler are presumably the oldest, with Joey after them and the girls after Joey. There is however some confusion on this issue, with different bits of information from different episodes complicating the matter severely. Rachel would seem to be the youngest, since in "The One Where They All Turn Thirty" in season 7, she celebrates her 30th birthday while the others share reminiscences of theirs, indicating that the rest of them have all turned 30 already. In real life, Lisa Kudrow is the oldest cast member, followed by Courtney Cox, who is actually two years older than David Schwimmer, who played her older brother, and five years older than Matthew Perry, while Matt LeBlanc is a year younger than Schwimer but a year older than Perry, with Jennifer Aniston being the youngest of the three girls, having been born in 1969, the same year as Matthew Perry. Cox and Kudrow were actually both over 30 when the show began, and both were clearly over 40 by the time the show finished its run.
  • Jennifer Aniston did her own nudity in "The One In Vegas, Part 1".
  • In the first six episodes of Season 1, Chandler and Joey's apartment number was 4, and Monica and Rachel's was 5. Shortly after production began, it was decided that the apartment building where much of the show takes place was too big to have upper apartments with numbers as low as 4 and 5, so the numbers were changed to 19 and 20, respectively.

Further trivia can be found in the series' IMDb entry.

Cultural legacy

File:Friendspurses.jpg
Friends handbags, on sale at a mall in Florida.

Friends has, in some areas, made a notable contribution to language, fashion, and (to a lesser extent) women's attitudes. The use of “so” to mean “very” or “really” was not invented by any Friends writer, but it is quite arguable that the extensive use of the phrase in the series encouraged its use in everyday life. [1] Also commonly said by the characters, particularly Monica, was the loud “I know!” The series has also been noted for its impact on everyday-fashion and hair-styles. Jennifer Aniston, in particular, had her hair-style copied by many women. Along with this, Joey Tribbiani's catchphrase, “How you doin'?” has become a popular part of American slang, often used as a pick-up line or when greeting friends. The show also inspired the cultural meme of the laminated list.


Spinoff

Main article: Joey (sitcom)

Joey premiered September 9, 2004 on NBC. It centers around the Friends character Joey Tribbiani, still played by LeBlanc, who moved to Los Angeles to advance his career as an actor. Past Friends cast members are expected to have cameo appearances on the show from time to time, though as of December 2005, none have, and none have been asked. It has been hinted at that Matthew Perry will be the first to, however.

The spinoff debuted to strong ratings, but its numbers have sunk since then, and there is speculation that it will not be renewed after its second season, ending in spring 2006.

Season synopsis

Template:Spoiler

Season one

We are introduced to Phoebe, Monica, Chandler, Joey and Ross, shortly after Ross's wife Carol has realized she is a lesbian and divorced him. At this point, Monica, Phoebe and Ross all live alone, while Chandler and Joey live together. Monica's old school friend Rachel enters Central Perk wearing a wedding dress, having just run away from her wedding to Barry Farber and needing somewhere to go. She moves in with Monica, gets a job as a waitress at Central Perk, and struggles to work for a living, having previously lived a rich life.

Ross finds his ex-wife Carol is pregnant with his child. In the penultimate episode of the season, she gives birth to a boy, named Ben, who is subsequently raised by Carol and her lover, Susan.

In the pilot, Ross reveals he had a crush on Rachel in high school, and we see (unbeknownst to Rachel) that he still has feelings for her. Throughout the season, he fails to make his feelings known to her, and eventually Chandler and Joey persuade him to move on. In the last episode, on Rachel's birthday, Ross leaves for a paleontological trip to China - while he is gone, Chandler accidentally reveals to Rachel that Ross is in love with her. Rachel eventually decides she would like to start a romantic relationship with Ross, and goes to meet him at the airport when he returns from China, unaware that he is getting off the plane with another woman.

Season two

Ross is unaware that Rachel now has feelings for him, and has started a relationship with a paleontologist named Julie whom he knew at grad school and has met again while in China. Rachel is very unhappy about this and makes attempts to sabotage the relationship, eg: when Ross wants to consummate his relationship with Julie, Rachel tells him women find nothing sexier than a man who doesn't want to have sex.

Rachel later goes on a date with another man, where she gets very drunk and leaves a message on Ross's answer machine saying she is over him. Next morning, Ross comes to Monica and Rachel's apartment and plays back the message with their phone. Rachel is forced to admit that she likes Ross, causing Ross to get very confused over his own feelings. He later comes to Rachel at Central Perk and angrily tells her she shouldn't have told him, and he is now over her, but after leaving, he comes back and they kiss passionately. Ross is unable to choose between Rachel and Julie - in the process of making a list of pros and cons for both women, he decides he really loves Rachel, and breaks up with Julie. Unfortunately, Rachel discovers the list of pros and cons he made, becomes angry with Ross and rejects him.

However, later in the season, the group watches a video of Monica and Rachel getting ready for their high school prom. In the video, it looks like Rachel's date isn't going to show, so Ross's parents persuade him to take her instead. But just as Ross is about to, Rachel's date arrives and they leave together. Rachel is touched by this, and decides to start dating Ross after all.

Joey gets a high profile acting job as Dr Drake Ramoray on the soap Days Of Our Lives, and earns enough money to move into his own apartment. Left on his own, Chandler gets a new roommate called Eddie, who turns out to be insane. When Joey states in an interview that he writes his own lines on Days Of Our Lives, the show's writers are offended and kill off his character. With no income for his lavish spending, Joey moves back into Chandler's apartment. Chandler had been struggling to get Eddie to move out due to his mental problems; Eddie continuously forgot that Chandler had asked him to leave. Chandler and Joey solve the problem by moving out Eddie's things, changing the locks, and pretending they don't know Eddie when he comes to the door - Eddie assumes he has the wrong apartment and leaves.

Phoebe finds she has a half brother called Frank, from her father's side.

For a period, Monica goes out with Richard Burke, a friend of her parents' who is significantly older than her. They become very close, but break up in the last episode when Richard tells her he doesn't want to have children with her, having already had them with his ex-wife.

Season three

Rachel quits her job at Central Perk and tries to get one in the fashion industry. She meets a man named Mark who gets her a job in Bloomingdale's, but Ross becomes convinced Mark has ulterior motives, and becomes increasingly jealous. Tension between Ross and Rachel culminates on their anniversary, when Rachel is too busy at work to go to dinner with Ross. Instead, Ross brings some food to her work, but gets in the way and she orders him to leave. Back home, the two have an argument which ends in Rachel suggesting they take a break.

Afterward, Ross goes for a drink with Chandler and Joey. Both he and Rachel independently decide to resolve their differences, but when Ross calls Rachel, Mark is there to check if Rachel is all right. Having heard him over the phone, Ross assumes the worst and hangs up. Feeling depressed, he ends up sleeping with a woman named Chloe. He tries to resume his relationship with Rachel without telling her, but she finds out, and after a prolonged argument, they break up.

However, towards the end of the season, Rachel becomes upset when Ross starts dating a woman named Bonnie. In the final episode, the group goes on a beach trip, so Phoebe can meet up with a woman (also named Phoebe) who has information about her family. While at the beach, Bonnie unexpectedly turns up. Rachel is unhappy and persuades Bonnie to shave her head so Ross will be less attracted to her. Ross and Rachel argue about this and start to feel like they still love each other. The episode ends with Ross standing between Rachel and Bonnie's bedrooms, picking one, and going in.

Season four

The season begins with Ross entering one room and finding both Rachel and Bonnie. Ross decides to get back together with Rachel, and breaks up with Bonnie. Rachel writes Ross a letter of her feelings about them getting back together. It turns out to be a request that Ross take full responsibility for everything that went wrong last time, which he finds he cannot do, and they quickly break up again.

While still at the beach, Phoebe learns the older Phoebe is actually her real mother. Phoebe tells Ursula, who makes it sound like she knew all along. Ursula produces their mother's "suicide note" (which she really wrote herself) which says "Dear Phoebe and Ursula, I love you both very much. P.S. Your birth mother lives in Montauk."

Phoebe agrees to be a surrogate mother for her half brother Frank and his infertile wife Alice. Frank and Alice's embryos, conceived by in vitro fertilization, are implanted in Phoebe's uterus and she becomes pregnant with triplets.

Chandler meets a girl named Kathy who originally dates Joey. The latter two, who are classmates in acting class break-up after Kathy kissed Chandler while Joey was outside the apartment. This made Joey angry and as punishment, Chandler was made to stay in a box for several hours to show him [Joey] how much he wants him to be his [Chandler's] friend again. Joey eventually forgives him and Chandler starts going out with Kathy. The relationship however does not last long as Chandler suspects that Kathy is sleeping with a fellow cast member after watching one of her plays. This actually happens after their first fight and they break up.

Chandler & Joey and Monica & Rachel compete in a quiz about each other, put together by Ross, to decide which of them knows more about the other two. The two teams make a bet – if Monica and Rachel win, Chandler and Joey will give up their pets chick and duck, but if Chandler and Joey win, they get Monica and Rachel's apartment. In the end, Chandler and Joey win, and swap apartments with Monica and Rachel. They live like this for a few episodes, then Monica and Rachel try to trade New York Knicks tickets to the boys in exchange for their apartment. Chandler doesn't think it's a fair trade, and they draw cards, with the winner getting the apartment and the tickets. Chandler and Joey win again, but when they get back after the Knicks game, they find the girls have moved all the guys' things back into their original apartment, and moved back into theirs. The boys agree to let living arrangements return to normal when, in exchange, Monica and Rachel kiss each other for one minute in front of them.

Ross meets a British woman named Emily and starts dating her. When it is time for Emily to go back to England, she and Ross don't want to leave each other and they decide to get married. In the last episode, the group travels to London for the wedding - except Phoebe, who is too pregnant, and Rachel, who doesn't want to see Ross get married. At the wedding rehearsal dinner, Monica becomes depressed because she's not married, and a drunken man thinks she's Ross' mother. Chandler comforts her and they end up sleeping together.

Rachel realizes she still loves Ross and decides to go to London and tell him. When she gets there, she sees him with Emily and decides it wouldn't be right to mess things up for him. The wedding goes ahead, but comes to an abrupt halt when Ross says "I take thee, Rachel" instead of "I take thee, Emily".

Season five

Ross and Emily's wedding continues after Ross' faux pas and they are married, but at the reception, Emily argues angrily with Ross and disappears. After everyone has returned to New York, Rachel tells Ross she still loves him and then starts laughing at the ridiculousness of the situation, since he is now married. They both decide to forget it. Emily eventually calls Ross from England and tells him that she will only give the marriage a chance if he promises he will never see Rachel again. Ross agrees, but Emily continues to make unreasonable demands to keep him away from Rachel, such as moving to another apartment. Eventually, he decides the marriage won't work if Emily doesn't trust him and they divorce.

Ross has already subletted his old apartment at this point and can't get it back since the leasee is Emily's cousin, so he lives with Chandler and Joey for a period until he gets a new apartment for himself. He later loses his job at a museum when he gets angry at his boss for eating his Thanksgiving leftovers sandwich.

In the 100th episode (third of the season), Phoebe gives birth to triplets - a boy named Frank Jr. Jr., and two girls named Leslie and Chandler (they had originally thought it would be two boys and a girl, and Phoebe was going to name one boy after Chandler). Phoebe tries to keep one after becoming attached to them, but finds out that Frank and Alice are unwilling to give up a child.

After sleeping together in London, Chandler and Monica feel attracted to each other and continue an intimate relationship in secret. Joey finds out about it, but keeps it a secret for them. Rachel then finds out, but after she tells Monica and Monica denies it, Rachel pretends to be oblivious. Phoebe is the next to find out. However, rather than keeping it a secret or pretending to be oblivious, she plays mind games with Chandler by pretending she is attracted to him. When Chandler and Monica realize she knows about them, Chandler pretends he is attracted to Phoebe, but eventually confesses he is in love with Monica. Ross finds out shortly afterwards, and Chandler and Monica's relationship becomes public.

Rachel gets a new job at Ralph Lauren.

Towards the end of the season, Joey gets the lead in a movie, but travels to Las Vegas to find production has shut down due to lack of money. In the last episode, Chandler, Monica and Phoebe travel to Las Vegas to see him (he has stayed there waiting for production to restart, but has been lying to them, telling them he is filming for the movie), with Ross and Rachel following them later. They find Joey working as a Roman guard in the Caesar's Palace hotel lobby. On the plane there, Ross draws on Rachel's face with a felt tip pen - Rachel can't get it off and doesn't want to leave her hotel room, so Ross stays with her. They both get very drunk and Rachel draws on his face in return.

Chandler and Monica decide to get married in a Las Vegas chapel, but just before they do, they encounter Ross and Rachel, still drunk, who have just wed at the same chapel.

Season six

In the opening credits of the first episode of this season, every name is followed by the word "Arquette", in reference to Courtney Cox' marriage to David Arquette (and subsequent name change to "Courtney Cox Arquette").

After finding out that they are now married, Ross and Rachel agree to get an annulment, but Ross doesn't want to have been divorced three times and lies to Rachel, telling her he has had the marriage annulled when he actually hasn't. Rachel eventually learns the truth and forces Ross to go ahead with the annulment, but they are unable to get one as Rachel has added humiliating misinformation about Ross on the form, and they are forced to file for divorce.

Ross gets a new job teaching paleontology at New York University (NYU).

Despite his divorce record, Ross dates two people: Jill Green, Rachel's sister and Elizabeth Stevens, a student in one of his NYU classes. Jill comes into the city to goes to Rachel to help her look for a job after her father takes away her credit card and in her job hunt, there seems to be a spark with Ross when one of the items she bought at a store isn't confiscated by Rachel. Neither one was planning to ask the other out but when Rachel accidentally says it's OK, Jill asks Ross out and he agrees. But Rachel's true feelings about her sister and ex-boyfriend started to be known to both and she forces Ross to stop seeing Jill. Meanwhile, with Elizabeth, Ross discovers that she is the one who rated him a "hottie" in her evaluation form. They start dating despite a university policy that makes it illegal for a teacher to date a student and threats from Ross' colleagues and Elizabeth's father that Ross will be fired for violating that policy. Ross tries to impress Elizabeth's father, Paul but is usually unsuccessful. They break up after Ross figures that there is no future between them.

Chandler and Monica decide it's too soon for them to get married, and decide to move in together instead. Chandler moves into Monica's apartment, Rachel moves in with Phoebe, and Joey is left on his own.

After Chandler moves out, Joey gets a sexy female roommate named Janine. After a few weeks of carefully avoiding the subject, the two start dating, but the relationship doesn't last long when Janine tells Joey she doesn't like Monica and Chandler. Joey's attempts to make them get along only make the situation worse and Janine moves out.

Another interesting aspect of season 6 is Joey's money and career crisis. First Joey, not getting an acting job in a long time loses his insurance. He gets it back by getting a part in a movie which he acted as a dying father. Joey finds it very difficult to keep up with the bills living on his own and as a result of Janine moving out, Joey's telephone and cable service has been cutoff and desperate for money, Joey gets a job at Central Perk. He later tries other ways to get money like participate in a study for identical twins but isn't successful as he and his partner, Tony, aren't identical twins. Also, Joey gets a job as the lead actor on a new TV Series named 'Mac and C.H.E.E.S.E.', which revolves around a detective and his robot sidekick. Joey promptly quits his job at Central Perk.

Later in the season, a fire wrecks Phoebe and Rachel's apartment. It is assumed that Phoebe's candles started the fire, so while Rachel moves in with Chandler and Monica, Phoebe moves into the less savory conditions of Joey's apartment. However, when the firemen find the fire was actually started by Rachel leaving a hair straightener switched on in the bathroom, Phoebe and Rachel swap. Rachel finds living with Joey quite enjoyable, while Phoebe is annoyed by Monica's constant attention and obsession with cleanliness.

Towards the end of the season, Chandler plans to propose to Monica. In the final episode, he fails to propose at a restaurant when Richard, Monica's ex-boyfriend, appears. Later, Richard meets Monica at her workplace and tells her he still loves her. She considers going back to Richard when Chandler pretends he isn't interested in marriage (so she'll be surprised when he proposes) but Joey explains the situation to her. She decides to surprise him with a proposal and he says yes.

Season seven

The season mainly focuses on Monica and Chandler's wedding plans from the selection of the maid of honour to the wardrobe to the seating arrangement. It was almost thrown in jeopardy when Monica's parents spent all the money from the Monica Wedding fund to acquire a beach house. Chandler agreed to give some money.

Rachel gets a promotion in Ralph Lauren and one of its perks includes hiring a new assistant. She hires Tag Jones (as opposed to an experienced applicant), who she has a crush on from the moment she meets him. They got together on Thanksgiving but broke up during her birthday.

Phoebe and Rachel's apartment is restored after the fire. Phoebe moves back in on her own, while Rachel continues living with Joey.

'Mac and C.H.E.E.S.E.' is a ratings failure and is quickly cancelled, but luckily for Joey he is offered his job back on Days Of Our Lives.

In the final episode, it is time for Chandler and Monica's wedding, but the night before, Chandler gets cold feet and disappears. While he is gone, Phoebe finds a positive pregnancy test in Monica's bathroom, and assumes Monica is pregnant. Phoebe and Ross find Chandler at his office and persuade him to come back, but Chandler overhears Phoebe and Rachel talking about Monica's "pregnancy" and disappears again. He quickly returns on his own, however, deciding that a baby wouldn't be so bad. Chandler and Monica get married, but when Chandler tells Monica he knows about the baby, she says she isn't pregnant, and it wasn't her pregnancy test that Phoebe found. As the episode ends, it is hinted that it is actually Rachel who is pregnant.

Season eight

It is confirmed that Rachel is pregnant, and in the second episode, the group finds out that Ross is the father (we learn they secretly slept together before Chandler and Monica's wedding). Her pregnancy becomes the central focal point of the eighth season.

Ross met Mona at the wedding and went out with her for a few months but they broke up because of complications arising from his impending fatherhood with Rachel's child.

As Rachel and Joey continue living together, Joey starts to develop feelings for her. Feeling that Ross is missing out on his fatherly duties, Joey reluctantly suggests that Rachel move in with Ross, and she does so. Joey later reveals his feelings to Rachel, who politely rejects him.

In the last episode, Rachel goes into labor, and while she's in the hospital Ross's mother approaches him with a ring to give to Rachel. Ross demures, saying it's far too complicated, but keeps the ring in his coat pocket. After Rachel gives birth to their daughter, Emma, Joey goes in to see how Rachel is doing and accidentally knocks over Ross's coat. The engagement ring falls out, and Joey bends down to pick it up. Rachel, seeing Joey on one knee with an engagement ring, thinks that he's proposing to her, and says that she'll marry him.

Also in the last episode, Monica and Chandler decide to try for a baby of their own.

Season nine

Ross, Rachel, and Emma continue living together until they have a argument about their current relationship. Feeling it may not be right that she is living with Ross, and they have a baby together, but they are not in a relationship, Rachel decides to move back in with Joey, taking Emma with her.

Chandler's job starts requiring him to spend the better part of the week in Tulsa. He puts up with this for a while, but when he finds himself working in Tulsa over Christmas, and a female associate (played by Selma Blair) comes on to him, he quits his job, and later gets one in advertising.

Chandler and Monica try to conceive a baby of their own, but fail to do so. They go to a fertility clinic and find they are both infertile, so decide to adopt a baby.

Phoebe starts dating a man named Mike Hanigan. They become close and decide to move in together, but when Phoebe asks about the future of their relationship, Mike tells her that since he has already been through a failed marriage, he doesn't want to get married again. Phoebe does want to get married, so they break up.

Towards the end of the season, Rachel begins to develop feelings for Joey.

In the final episode, the group goes to Barbados, where Ross is giving a paleontological talk. Phoebe takes her boyfriend David (whom she first met in the first season and got back together with in the previous episode) and Joey takes his girlfriend Charlie (another professor of paleontology whom Ross had welcomed to the city). Monica learns David is planning to top Mike by proposing to Phoebe, and calls Mike to tell him to get back together with Phoebe. Mike originally doesn't want to intervene, but later comes to Barbados and tells Phoebe he loves her and wants to marry her. Phoebe rejects Mike's proposal, but still resumes her relationship with him, letting David down gently.

Joey and Charlie break up when they decide they have too little in common, and Joey subsequently learns Rachel has feelings for him. He originally decides not to act on it. Meanwhile, Charlie feels she still likes Ross, and they kiss. Joey sees them doing so, changes his mind about Rachel, and goes to her room and kisses her.

Season ten

Joey and Rachel's intimate relationship only lasts for the first three episodes of the season, at which point they find that since their relationship has been platonic for so long, they are too uncomfortable getting physical with each other, and decide to be just friends again.

Ross and Charlie on the other hand went through a relationship that started in Barbados and it went well until she decides to get back together with an ex-boyfriend who administers a grant review Ross hopes to get.

As the season goes on, Mike proposes to Phoebe again, and they get married in a later episode. In the final episode, Phoebe and Mike decide to try for a baby.

Chandler and Monica apply to adopt the baby of a pregnant woman named Erica and also decide to move out of their apartment into a house in the suburbs. In the final episode, Erica gives birth to twins, a boy and a girl, who are named Jack (after Monica's dad) and Erica (after Erica).

Rachel goes for an interview for Gucci, but her Ralph Lauren boss is at the same restaurant where the interview takes place, and fires her and in addition, she does not get the Gucci job. While moving out her things, she runs into Mark (from the third season) who gets her a new job – in Paris. The other friends hold a going-away party for Rachel and she says goodbye to each of them in turn, except Ross. He is upset about this until Rachel tells him it was too hard to say goodbye to him. They then sleep together.

In the final episode, Ross realizes he still loves Rachel, and after she leaves for the airport to go to Paris, he goes after her to tell her. When he catches up with her and lets her know, she originally rejects him. Ross gets back to his apartment and finds a message from Rachel on his answering machine, telling him she does still love him and is trying to get off the plane. As the message ends, she arrives at Ross' apartment, and they kiss.

The final episode ends with Chandler and Monica moving out of their apartment, and everyone going for one last coffee at Central Perk.

Rumours

There have been many rumours circulating amongst the press that as the six friends haven't had as many sucesses since Friends, there has been negotiations about bringing back Friends for a film, charting what they did next. Such as what happened to Phoebe and Mike now they are married, and Rachel and Ross as they got back together at the end of series 10. No-one is really sure whether any of these rumours are true, or whether the press made them up.

Ratings

The 66-minute series finale was named by Entertainment Tonight as the biggest US TV moment of the year 2004, and was the second highest rated show in 2004 beaten only by the Super Bowl. However, it did not surpass the ratings received by season finales for M*A*S*H (106m), Cheers (80.4m) or Seinfeld (76.3m), nor was it the most watched episode of Friends—that accolade remains with the season two episode The One After the Superbowl, which aired on January 28, 1996 and drew 52.9m viewers. During the 2001–2002 season, Friends was the highest rated show in America according to the Nielsen Ratings.

Ratings by country for the finale:

DVD Releases

Region 1

Best of releases

DVD Name Release Date
Best of Friends Season 1 April 1, 2003
Best of Friends Season 2 April 1 2003
Best of Friends Season 3 July 15 2003
Best of Friends Season 4 November 4 2003
Best of Friends Volume 1 December 19, 2000
Best of Friends Volume 2 December 19 2000
Best of Friends Volume 3 November 20, 2001
Best of Friends Volume 4 November 20 2001
Best of Friends Volumes 1 & 2 December 19 2000
Best of Friends Volumes 3 & 4 November 20 2001
Best of Friends Volumes 1-4 November 20 2001

Individual episode releases

DVD Name Release Date
Series Finale - Exclusive Limited Edition May 11, 2004

Season releases

DVD Name Release Date
The Complete 1st Season April 30, 2002
The Complete 2nd Season September 3 2002
The Complete 3rd Season April 1 2003
The Complete 4th Season July 15 2003
The Complete 5th Season November 4 2003
The Complete 6th Season January 27 2004
The Complete 7th Season April 6 2004
The Complete 8th Season November 9 2004
The Complete 9th Season March 8, 2005
The Complete 10th Season November 15 2005
The Complete First 4 Seasons July 15 2003
The Complete Seasons 1-5 November 4 2003
The Complete Seasons 1-6 January 27 2004
The One With All Ten Seasons November 15 2005

Region 2

Season releases

DVD Name Release Date
The Complete 1st Season (New Edition) 25 October 2004
The Complete 2nd Season (New Edition) 25 October 2004
The Complete 3rd Season (New Edition) 25 October 2004
The Complete 4th Season (New Edition) 25 October 2004
The Complete 5th Season (New Edition) 25 October 2004
The Complete 6th Season (New Edition) 25 October 2004
The Complete 7th Season (New Edition) 25 October 2004
The Complete 8th Season (New Edition) 25 October 2004
The Complete 9th Season (New Edition) 25 October 2004
The Complete 10th Season (New Edition) 25 October 2004
The Complete Series 1-10 31 October 2005

Region 3

Season releases

DVD Name Release Date
Season 1 Volume 1 November 23, 2000
Season 1 Volume 2 December 16, 2000
Season 2 Volume 1 January 26, 2001
Season 2 Volume 2 September 28, 2001
Season 3 Volume 1 September 7, 2001
Season 3 Volume 2 October 5, 2001
Season 4 Volume 1 November 2, 2002
Season 4 Volume 2 November 23, 2002
Season 5 Volume 1 February 8, 2002
Season 5 Volume 2 March 8, 2002
Season 6 Volume 1 June 7, 2002
Season 6 Volume 2 July 5, 2002
Season 7 Volume 1 February 7, 2003
Season 7 Volume 2 March 7, 2003
Season 8 Volume 1 February 6, 2004
Season 8 Volume 2 March 5, 2004
Season 9 Volume 1 February 4, 2005
Season 9 Volume 2 March 4, 2005

Friends in other countries

Broadcasters

First-run

Reruns/syndication

Note: In the United States, Friends is syndicated on local affiliates or independent stations, not throughout any one broadcast network (such as WB, FOX or ABC).

Caveats

In the UK, seasons 7 to 10 were first aired on the (then) pay-tv channel E4, except for the season 10 finale which was broadcast on its sister FTA channel Channel 4 first, then aired an hour later on E4. This was the first time Channel 4 had broadcast an episode of Friends before the pay-tv channels since 1996.

Trivia Game

A new PS2 and XBOX game called "Friends: The One with All the Trivia" was released simultaneously with the Season 10 box set. It includes the voices of characters Janice, Gunther and Jack & Judy Geller as hosts.

See also

External links

Wikiquote has a collection of quotations by or about:

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