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The Most Important Episodes Of 'Friends'

List RulesVote up the episodes that mattered the most to the series overall.

A sitcom about a group of 20-somethings who hang around and get on with their lives in funny and interesting ways might seem like standard TV fare now, but it all started with Friends. Many would argue the NBC program was one of the greatest '90s shows or even one of the best sitcoms ever. The series dominated the airwaves, and lives on in syndication and on streaming services. Friends influenced many other sitcoms after it went off the air in 2004.

Whether you're a fan of Joey, Monica, Ross, Rachel, Chandler, Phoebe, or all of them equally, odds are a few of the best episodes that feature various members of the gang stand out more than most. There are plenty of hilarious episodes, and even some poignant ones, but also episodes that were so important to the development of the characters, they stand apart from the rest of the series.  

Vote up the episodes you think rise to the top.

  • Photo: NBC

    Long after Ross messes things up with Rachel, the group is trying to move ahead, but along comes a prom video from Rachel and Monica's time in high school. When Rachel's date appears to bail on her, Ross rushes in for the rescue. At the last moment, Rachel's date arrives as Ross makes his way to ask her to prom, leaving her ignorant of his chivalrous act.

    When Rachel later realizes what he had done that night, she forgives him for his previous behavior and immediately begins to kiss him, leading the two to finally date each other.

    This is the final push Rachel needs to date Ross, and because their relationship plays a huge role throughout the entire series, it's an incredibly important point in their history with each other.

    Was this an important episode?
  • Photo: NBC

    When it becomes apparent Ugly Naked Guy is moving out of his apartment, Ross decides to do whatever he can to get the apartment. While he's there with Rachel and Phoebe, the two women see Monica and Chandler getting it on by the window in Monica's apartment across the way.

    From there, they hatch a plan to compel Chandler and Monica to admit their relationship to the rest of the group, which results in some racy activity. Ross is left in the dark until the end of the episode, when he sees his sister and best friend back in front of the window from across the street, which results in everyone finally finding out about their relationship.

    Was this an important episode?
  • Photo: NBC

    This two-part episode and season finale centers on Chandler's decision to propose to Monica. To make it a surprise, he begins to plant the seed that he has no interest in marriage. His plan backfires, however, when Richard shows up and proposes before Chandler has the chance to do so.

    In a rush to fix everything, Chandler is bamboozled when Monica surprises him by proposing in a beautifully candlelit apartment, leaving both of them in tears as the couple finally agree to marry.

    Was this an important episode?
  • Photo: NBC

    The final two-part episode in the series, aptly titled "The Last One," sums up several plots from throughout the season and the series as a whole. The woman delivering the child Monica and Chandler are adopting has twins. Joey ends up destroying the foosball table to save a new chick and duck. Phoebe helps Ross get to the airport to confront Rachel before she can leave for Paris to start a new job.

    After Ross finally confesses his love for Rachel, she boards the plane, leaving him distraught. But when he gets home to listen to the message she left on the plane, she admits she loves him as well. She disembarks, and they finally get back together.

    The episode closes with the group leaving Monica's apartment for the last time, still friends but now off to lead different and more separate lives.

    Was this an important episode?