Personal Notes on Friends & All of its Episodes

21 Dec 2016 12:42

This right here should be the craziest post on this blog. Ever. I can't think of anything that could top it.

I am gonna talk about Friends, the 1994 TV show. I know I have already talked a lot about it. On my blog there have been several posts related to the subject:

And this is exactly why I decided to do this massive thing. I want to stop obsessing over this show. My thinking is that writing about every episode, and then editing the notes and reading them all over again will make me so sick that I will never wanna watch the show again. Will it work? Well I doubt it as I wanna re-watch the show again.

Obviously you should watch the show first before proceeding. You don't have to. If you hate the show and just wanna see how crazy I am, go right ahead and read all the notes. If you like the show, I'm not really sure you should read my notes either. The Trivia section on each episode's page at the Friends Wiki is probably more interesting. I could just include every entry they have into my notes but I don't want to. Instead I only included notes that I remembered in particular, or notes that I found interesting.

My notes are more of like thoughts that come up in my head. You could almost say each note is a Tweet I would like to send out. They are things I would like to note to someone who was watching the show with me, if we both were fans.

One thing you will notice is that every episode has varying amounts of notes. Certain special episodes will have a lot of them, and some will have none. Basically, the more notes an episode has, the more I care about the episode, either in a good or bad way. Generally I would like to say that bad episodes will have less notes than the good ones, as I made a lot of notes about what parts I found funny or interesting. I did not make a lot of notes about things that I found boring or mediocre.

Keep in mind that this whole post is over 20000 words. It did not feel practical for me to read through all my notes all over again to see if I made any mistakes. Therefore, there will probably be some mistakes here and there. If you notice one, please tell me. I will probably glance through it here and there and I'll fix them if I spot anything.

Also my mind fluctuates. Therefore it is very possible to will read me having one opinion, and then later on I will have a different opinion about the same thing. The mind fluctuates across 236 episodes. I haven't checked for consistency.

To efficiently navigate this long as post, I here provide a Table of Contents with anchor links, so you can jump around.

I've labeled the episodes by their title, and not by some TV structure like S01E01 or 1x01, because that would be ugly. TO stands for "The One" usually. TOW usually stands for "The One With" or "The One Where". You can probably figure out which it is. If you Google a episode, you can just search for "tow the monkey" for example, and the proper IMDB and Friends Wiki links will show up, and Google will also suggest.

Season 1


TOW Sonogram at the end

TOW The Thumb

TOW George Stephanopolus

TOW East German Laundry Detergent

TOW The Butt

TOW The Blackout

TOW Nana Dies Twice

TOW Underdog Gets Away

TOW The Monkey

TOW Mrs. Bing

TOW The Dozen Lasagnas

TOW The Boobies

TOW The Candy Hearts

TOW The Stoned Guy

TOW Two Parts

TOW All The Poker

TOW The Monkey Gets Away

TOW The Evil Orthodontist

TOW The Fake Monica

TOW The Ick Factor

TOW The Birth

TOW Rachel Finds Out

Overall thoughts on Season 1

This is probably the best Season 1 of any sitcom I've watched, except maybe Two And A Half Men.

No it's not. It's a terrible first season. Everyone is weird and it's never funny, except a couple of zingers.

Compare to Seinfeld where Season 1 is just plain boring, or Season 1 of That 70s Show where the scene transitions are flowers being popped and everyone looks and acts weird. Or The Big Bang Theory where Sheldon has a crush on Penny.

I think Two And A Half Men's Season 1 is slightly better because Jake is awesome when he is a child and neither Charlie or Alan fundamentally changes from how they are in Season 1.

The things that are most weird in Season 1 of Friends is really just the way Phoebe looks, the monkey and how the Friends are overly friendly with each other. Rachel's voice is also a bit weird but that's a nitpick.

I also think the story of the show changes from here on. Season 1 is basically just about establishing grounds and minor short stories, and Ross having a baby. The rest of the show is about Ross & Rachel.

Also, Chandler is the unsung hero of Season 1. He has a punchline almost every other line and it works. Monica is fantastic too.

Season 2

TOW Ross's New Girlfriend

TOW The Breast Milk

TOW Heckles Dies

TOW Phoebe's Husband

TOW Five Steaks And An Eggplant

TOW The Baby On The Bus

TOW Ross Finds Out

TOW The List

TOW Phoebes Dad

TOW Russ

TOW The Lesbian Wedding

TO After The Super Bowl Part 1

TO After The Super Bowl Part 2

TOW The Prom Video

TOW Ross and Rachel... You Know

TOW Joey Moves Out

TOW Eddie Moves In

TOW Dr. Ramoray Dies

TOW Eddie Won't Go

TOW Old Yeller Dies

TOW The Bullies

TOW The Two Parties

TOW The Chicken Pox

TOW Barry And Mindy's Wedding

Overall Thoughts on Season 2

This season is a big step up from Season 1 in terms of the shows flow: it has found its flow. If you watch a later season, let's say 8, and then go watch season 1 you're immediately gonna feel uncomfortable as everything and everyone looks different, and acts different. But if you go from 8 to 2, you will feel pretty home. Everyone looks like they should and behaves like they should.

The first half is great. We're waiting for the inevitable: R & R getting together. We think they do in TOW Ross Finds Out, but then in the next episode Ross screws up and we don't know if it will happen (the will-they-won't-they addiction). And then finally it happens in TOW The Prom Video and we're all happy and very satisfied. But now our will-they-won't-they addiction isn't getting anything and we just find the show second plain boring and very mediocre (except TOW The Two Parties). As you can tell from my lack of notes, the episodes aren't very noteworthy - they're just very mediocre, they aren't good or bad.

One nice thing about Season 2 is that it's the only season that doesn't end with a cliffhanger.

Season 3

TOW The Princess Leia Fantasy

TOW No One's Ready

TOW The Jam

TOW The Metaphorical Tunnel

TOW Frank Jr.

TOW The Flashback

TOW The Race Car Bed

TOW The Giant Poking Device

TOW The Football

TOW Rachel Quits

TOW Chandler Can't Remember Which Sister

TOW All The Jealousy

TOW Monica And Richard Are Just Friends

TOW Phoebe's Ex-Partner

TOW Ross And Rachel Take A Break

TOW The Morning After

TOW The Ski Trip

TOW The Hypnosis Tape

TOW The Tiny T-Shirt

TOW The Dollhouse

TOW A Chick And A Duck

TOW The Screamer

TOW Ross' Thing

TOW The Ultimate Fighting Champion

TO At The Beach

Overall thoughts on Season 3

Season 3 feels like it's just two episodes (the two where they break up), but there are quite a few episodes actually.

The episodes leading up to the break up are mostly just annoying to watch because of all the jealousy.

After the break up the show is kinda nice because it kind of restarts. It focuses more on comedy instead, which is what I like about sitcoms: the comedy and braindead-ness.

But at the same time, those episodes aren't really that memorable and the Pete and Monica storyline is just a waste of everyone's time.

Overall, far from my favorite season.

However, now the show is gonna really start rolling. First time I watched it, I just had the show up on my second monitor while playing Diablo 3 on my main. But somewhere around here I decided to do nothing else but watch this show for a week, 16 hours per day, while lying in bed and being super focused on it.

Season 4

TOW The Jellyfish

TOW The Cat

TOW The Cuffs

TOW The Ballroom Dancing

TOW Joeys New Girlfriend

TOW The Dirty Girl

TOW Chandler Crosses The Line

TOW Chandler In A Box

TOW They're Going To Party

TOW The Girl From Poughkeepsie

TOW Phoebe's Uterus

TOW The Embryos

TOW Rachel's Crush

TOW Joey's Dirty Day

TOW All The Rugby

TOW The Fake Party

TOW The Free Porn

TOW Rachel's New Dress

TOW All The Haste

TOW All The Wedding Dresses

TOW The Invitations

TOW The Worst Best Man Ever

TOW Ross' Wedding

Overall Thoughts on Season 4

Season 4 is great overall. It's probably one of the best seasons. It has a lot of memorable moments and episodes.

The goal of it is for Ross and Rachel to move on, although both fails miserably. It also sets up the next couple of seasons main storyline: Chandler and Monica.

It's also the season that ends with the craziest cliffhanger. The cliffhangers are very stupid in this show, as they are all cleared up within 30 seconds of the next season starting, but I would die if I would have to have waited 3 months for the next episode.

Season 5

TO After Ross Says Rachel

TOW All The Kissing

The One Hundredth (TOW Phoebe Gives Birth)

TOW Phoebe Hates PBS

TOW The Kips

TOW The Yeti

TOW Ross Moves In

TOW The Thanksgiving Flashbacks

TOW Ross' Sandwich

TOW The Inappropriate Sister

TOW All The Resolutions

TOW Chandlers Work Laugh

TOW Joey's Bag

TOW Everybody Finds Out

TOW The Girl Who Hits Joey

TOW The Cop

TOW Rachel's Inadvertent Kiss

TOW Rachel Smokes

TOW Ross Can't Flirt

TOW The Ride Along

TOW The Ball

TOW Joey's Big Break

The One In Vegas

Overall Thoughts on Season 5

Easily the best season. Pretty much every episode is fantastic and very funny and has little to no drama.

Unfortunately, this is when the show starts going downhill. Everything is gonna get over exaggerated 100x and Joey is gonna get 100x dumber.

Or maybe not and Season 5 is just so damn good (the peak of the axis) and nothing can match it. I think this is more likely.

Season 6

TO After Vegas

TOW Ross Hugs Rachel

TOW Ross' Denial

TOW Joey Loses His Insurance

TOW Joey's Porsche

TO On The Last Night

TOW Phoebe Runs

TOW Ross' Teeth

TOW Ross Got High

TOW The Routine

TOW The Apothecary Table

TOW The Joke

TOW Rachel's Sister

TOW Chandler Can't Cry

TO That Could've Been

TOW Unagi

TOW Ross Dates A Student

TOW Joey's Fridge

TOW Mac and Cheese

TOW Ross meets Elizabeth's dad

TOW Paul's The Man

TOW The Ring

TOW The Proposal

Overall Thoughts on Season 6

Okay maybe this is the last good season, maybe it's now the show starts going down the hill. Honestly there's something really weird about this rewatch. I enjoy the show a lot more than I previously ever did.

This was very close to being the last season as the actors wanted more money and negotiations took a very long time. I honestly kinda wish it would've been the last season (although I would want it to end differently, obviously)

Season 7 - Lets spend 24 episodes planning a wedding

TOW Monica's Thunder

TOW Rachel's Book

TOW Phoebe's Cookies

TOW Rachel's Assistant

TOW The Engagement Picture

TOW The Nap Partners

TOW Ross' Library Book

TOW Chandler Doesn't Like Dogs

TOW All The Candy

TOW The Holiday Armadillo

TOW All The Cheesecakes

TOW They're Up All Night

TOW Rosita Dies

TOW They All Turn Thirty

TOW Joey's New Brain

TOW The Truth About London

TOW The Cheap Wedding Dress

TOW Joey's Award

TOW Ross and Monica's Cousin

TOW Rachel's Big Kiss

TOW The Vows

TOW Chandler's Dad

TOW Chandler and Monica's wedding

Overall Thoughts on Season 7

This season sucks. Plain and simple. And you can tell from my lack of notes. I would like to note "overall this episode is really mediocre" on every episode, but that would get repeating.

It might honestly be possible to skip the entire season. Jumping from the last episode of Season 6 (where they get engaged), to first episode of Season 8 (where they've just gotten married) is not that absurd.

There are two fun episodes: Rachel's book & Ross and Monica's cousin. The rest are just like no fun at all. It's like the show turns into 100% romance and just plans Chandler and Monica's wedding. It's just not that, there are also a bunch of other bad things about this season:

Good that it's over though. Not that good though because you know the show is gonna keep on getting worse as we're getting closer and closer to the end and the writers have to come up with stupid and even more ridiculous plot lines to keep R & R separated, which is the endgame of the show. Season 8, at least most of it, is a little upswing though.

Season 8 - Rachel's season

TO After I Do

TOW The Red Sweater

TOW Rachel Tells Ross

TOW The Videotape

TOW Rachel's Date

TOW The Halloween Party

TOW The Stain

TOW The Stripper

TOW The Rumor

TOW Monica's Boots

TOW Ross Step Forward

TOW Joey Dates Rachel

TOW Chandler Takes A Bath

TOW The Secret Closet

TOW The Birthing Video

TOW Joey Tells Rachel

TOW The Tea Leaves

TO In Massapequa

TOW Joey's Interview

TOW The Baby Shower

TOW The Cooking Class

TOW Rachel is Late

TOW Rachel Has A Baby

Overall thoughts on Season 8

I'm glad Rachel's season is over. I wanna focus on some other characters.

The season is better, entertainment wise, than 7, by quite a bit, but it's still far from as good as the earlier seasons.

It's just too dramatic overall. Not much sitcom material.

But the thing about these last couple of seasons (this and the two next ones), is that they fuck everything up so much you wanna rush through them as fast as possible to get closure. And thusly it's very addictive.

Season 9

TOW No One Proposes

TOW Emma Cries

TOW The Pediatrician

TOW The Sharks

TOW Phoebe's Birthday Dinner

TOW The Male Nanny

TOW Ross' Inappropriate Song

TOW Rachel's Other Sister

TOW Rachel's Phone Number

TOW Christmas In Tulsa

TOW Rachel Goes Back To Work

TOW Phoebe's Rats

TOW Monica Sings

TOW The Blind Dates

TOW The Mugging

TOW The Boob Job

TOW The Blind Dates

TOW The Memorial Service

TOW The Lottery

TOW Rachel's Dream

TOW The Soap Opera Party

TOW The Fertility Test

TOW The Donor

TO In Barbados

Overall Thoughts on Season 9

This is a really memorable season. For some reason I remember a lot of it. And they're good memories too. Almost every episode I go "oh yeah I remember that episode, that's a good one."

It's just some of the story parts, mainly involving Joey and Rachel, that gets messed up. Remember when Joey was just a funny guy who liked sleeping with women and didn't care about emotions? I miss him. As for Rachel it's just... well the writers have been keeping her and Ross apart (as a couple) for 6 seasons now, they really have to stretch the boundaries of normal life to make it work. So hey, let's make her have a crush on Joey, a guy she has always turned down.

Anyway, season 9 is great. Now we're gonna enter season 10, and just wrap everything up. The actors want $1 million each per episode, so we gotta be fast and do it in 18 episodes.

Season 10 - Wrap it up

TO After Joey And Rachel Kiss

TOW Ross Is Fine

TOW Ross' Tan

TOW The Cake

TOW Rachel's Sister Babysits

TOW Ross' Grant

TOW The Home Study

TOW The Late Thanksgiving

TOW The Birth Mother

TOW Chandler Gets Caught

TOW The Stripper Cries

TOW Phoebe's Wedding

TOW Joey Speaks French

TOW Princess Consuela

TOW Estelle Dies

Wow that is a very different story.

TOW Rachel's Going Away Party

The Last One

Overall thoughts on Season 10

It feels rushed. Apart from the first couple of episodes, all of them have a big major thing happening that just seals the deal for some big aspect of each character. It's a bit overwhelming. Why couldn't they spread it out a bit more? Surely they'd know Season 10 would be the last one for a while.

The humor also gets dumber. Joey's stupidness is ridiculous. Ross' tan. Joey speaking French. They're just bad entertainment. I'm not saying the whole show is a gold mine of humor, but think about the free porn episode for example. That is a lot funnier than Joey speaking French.

Oh and don't get me started on the stripper Cries episode. That is just abysmal.

Monica and chandlers plot I don't really have any complaints about. They couldn't naturally get children, so they adopted. They are surprised by having twins. Monica is gonna make a great mother and Chandler is gonna work on it. Great.

Ross and Rachel end up together, and they have a child already. Great. (And if you believe what Joey says in his spin off show, Joey, they also got married.)

But the real disappointing stories are Phoebe and Joey.

Phoebe gets married to a guy we met a season ago, and that's kind of cheap and rushed. She should've had a much less traditional ending. But I can't really think of any examples of such endings, so I guess I can't really blame the writers.

And Joey has his agent die. Seriously, what the hell? All the other Friends get a good ending and Joey doesn't get one. He should've gotten a major part in a movie or something that would've make him rich. I guess that is why they made the spin off show, he really deserved it. (I have not seen Joey yet, and I don't intend to. I've heard nothing but bad things about it, and I don't wanna ruin him for me.)

Overall Thoughts on the Show

This is the part I've been dreading the most to write. Seriously.

I like to compare the show to smoking cigarettes. There's nothing good about it on paper. You're ashamed that you like it so much. And once you get into it, you are hooked. You're an addict. You can't stop.

And I do believe this. There is nothing good about the show on paper. And even when I watch it I sometimes wonder why the hell I'm watching this. I shouldn't like it.

But I do, which you should be able to clearly tell since I obsess over it so damn much.

I want to say Seinfeld is my favorite TV show, I really do. But we have to look at this objectively:

So I have to say, objectively, Friends is my favorite TV Show of all time. As much as I would prefer to say Seinfeld is, I can't. There's not enough evidence.


These are notes that I wanted to make, but I couldn't figure out a natural place to put them.

The Intro

yellow dot

Notice how the yellow dot isn't entirely filled out to the left.

The Outro

Technical Info About This Post

I wrote most, if not all, notes down in Apple Notes using my iPhone 7. There were a few episodes I watched on my iPad, and so I wrote down the notes using the iPad then. Once or twice I also watched an episode on my computer and then I wrote down the note using the iCloud web interface.

I watched both the Blu-ray and DVD versions, sourced from my own physical collection. You can read here about how I rip my physical disks: How I Rip My DVDs & Blu-rays

Up until Season 4, Episode 20 I only watched the Blu-ray versions but then I started watching both versions, roughly 50-50. If I saw that the DVD version was significantly longer I watched that version, and if they were about the same I watched the Blu-ray version.

I watched the episodes usually on my TV, using a Raspberry Pi 2 running OpenPHT. I think in Season 4 I used the new Plex Pass exclusive Kodi add on, but then I went back to PHT.

I took screenshots using the Plex app on my iPhone. Since Plex syncs playback time, I just paused the episode on my TV, then opened the Plex app on my phone and resumed playback and there I was, at the place I wanted to take the screenshot. Then I just added the screenshot into the note. (Because of this, the screenshots won't be full 1080p (apart from a couple of them that I took on my computer), as the iPhone 7 has a 1334x750 screen)

Because I knew it would be fun, I made a stats page for my blog. In the footer below, you can find a link to view the stats for this post. Or if you are reading this in a RSS reader, you can click here: Stats For This Post

(I went through the longest essay I wrote for school, which was 7300 words. Not even close to the 22000 words this thing has.)

Version History