In this article, we rank the best seasons of Friends in chronological order. It is impossible to find a single person in the world that hasn’t heard of Friends. Sure, some might not have watched it, or may not be a fan of it; however, I can guarantee that every person on earth has heard of the hit series.
Since its debut in 1994, the sitcom had a decade long success with an impressive 10 seasons. It became one of the longest-running sitcoms with the greatest number of seasons in history. To produce 10 seasons without one being disappointing, and to be nominated for an astonishing 62 Emmys is incredible, and whether you are a Friends fan or not, you must admit that this is iconic. Here we look at the best seasons of Friends and give each of them a ranking.
In this regular feature, we take a look at the top editions of a particular TV programme. But today, we’re picking the best seasons of Friends and ranking them accordingly. So, which season tops our list? Let’s find out!
Best Seasons Of Friends
10. Season 4
Brutally, this season was a drag. It was safely the least engaging of all 10; yet, despite it being ranked last, I have still watched the episodes more times than I can remember because otherwise, would I be a Friends fan? Cathie. I hated her, what a waste of time she was, and not only that, but she also almost ruined the iconic duo that is Joey and Chandler. The episodes featured in this season weren’t the most entertaining of the show; however, key plotlines such as Phoebe’s pregnancy with the triplets were a significant event of the whole show. I felt this season also saw Rachel and Chandler’s friendship blossom as there were several episodes that featured scenes with the pair- this was a dynamic I didn’t know I needed.
9. Season 1
The pilot season introduced the iconic six and gave us a glimpse of their current situations and their relations to each other. In the first couple of scenes, we discovered Monica and Ross were siblings, and the rest were their mutual friends. The debut setting was at the notable coffee house ‘Central Perk’, to which the audience would gather that this was their spot. Rachel then makes a big arrival, and we learn that her and Monica were high school friends who had grown apart.
By the end of this episode, it appeared that Rachel was soon to be the sixth friend. This season is probably the season I’ve watched the least. This isn’t due to it not being worthy of watching; however, as I watch Friends now as a comfort show, I find comfort in the later seasons when they are much closer to each other, and the episodes are more comedic. This season and the second do have a different comedic quality to the later seasons and I can’t grasp why.
8. Season 2
This season had a similar tone to the pilot. Again, although it possessed a comedic quality, I did find the storylines and scene in general more serious. Perhaps a major factor of this was due to the characters being in their 20s. As the seasons progressed, I found each of them becoming funnier in their own unique way. This could be for several reasons, including the fact the audience had familiarised with the characters, and the older each character got, the less they took themselves seriously. People in their twenties nowadays are usually in some form of limbo where they are in the process of self-discovery and have not yet figured out life. Therefore, as the characters reached their 30s, you saw this character development and a care-free, got everything somewhat figured out mentality.
7. Season 3
As we reach the third season of the sitcom, we have gained a feel of the show and the characters. The first two seasons were very introductory and perhaps the characters had not yet grown on viewers; however, by this season, I feel that the characters themselves have settled in their storylines and we are now familiar with Friends. From my perspective, this was the season where the series started to become more comedic. The characters seemed ‘goofier’, and their lives appeared more dysfunctional and complicated.
Like any other person’s life, as the show mirrored the reality of being a twenty-something in the big city. This is yet another season that I have not watched the most but despite this, it does possess some hilariously witty episodes. Of course, accompanied by the laughter were the tears, as this season has the iconic ‘we were on a break’ situation between Ross and Rachel. These episodes were heart-breaking to watch, which circles back to the fact that this show successfully illustrated that life can sometimes be hard.
6. Season 8
Although the thought of Ross and Rachel, the star-crossed lovers, having a child together is an absolute delight, I can’t help but find the episodes during the pregnancy not the best. Not only this, but Joey and Rachel becoming an item is my most hated storyline of the show. I found it uncomfortable to watch them be together, and although a large part of this was due to Rachel having previously been with Ross, it was also weird because Joey and Rachel were such good friends, so it was strange seeing them transition into a relationship. Luckily, it was more of a fling than a relationship as it only lasted a week as the pair realised that they were too good of friends to become anything romantic.
5. Season 7
Despite this season having one of my most hated characters, this was a hilariously charming one. This season is the build-up to Monica and Chandler’s wedding, with the big day appearing as a two-part season finale. This brings the season an overall wholesome feel; however, I was not a fan of Rachel’s assistant slash boyfriend Tag. He was a rather dull character that did not suit Rachel’s persona; however, Rachel soon realised this herself as she ended things due to the age gap. I suppose this relationship brought her one step closer to reuniting with her lobster.
4. Season 5
While this season is ranked high due to confidently having most of my favourite episodes, the overall season was not the best. Some of the plots, such as Chandler and Monica’s ongoing scenes with Chandler’s boss, was rather mediocre and Ross being on sabbatical was another plot that I was not a fan of. Because of this, a season that could’ve potentially have been the best and funniest season was made a rather generic one.
3. Season 9
This season is certainly a favourite of mine with some of the best episodes appearing. We see Ross and Rachel’s attempt of raising their newborn, shortly after the birth of Emma in the season 8 finale, and the two-part episode of the whole group in Barbados. There are some hidden gems in this season as well, including ‘The one with the Memorial Service’ and ‘The one with the lottery’ – both have me laughing out loud to this day and each time I watch these episodes I am reminded of how much I love these characters and their ridiculous antiques.
2. Season 10
The series finale of the hit series successfully tied all the loose ends of each of the character’s lives; Monica and Chandler got their adopted twins. Phoebe finally got the family she never had as she married Mike. Joey’s agent sadly passed away. A chick and the duck made a comeback. And of course, Ross and Rachel FINALLY got back together. Throughout this season you knew it was building up to the end. And with this, there became closure in each of their lives. Not to mention the happy ending as we the viewers all hoped. This wholesome season has got to be up there as one of the best series finales in sitcom.
The only downside of the tenth season was that I can’t help but feel bad for Joey. I really do wish they had got him to meet someone, but I also think by doing that it would have been to too unrealistic that each of them had suddenly found the person of their dreams, and I think keeping him as a lone wolf for the time being was as authentically Joey as he could’ve been. Who knows, maybe somewhere down the line he had met someone, and perhaps she was the last woman he asked ‘how you doin’.
1. Season 6
In first place is season 6, which is confidently the funniest season of the Friends series. This season is probably the one with the least plot development as nothing majorly life-changing happens. Well, perhaps Phoebe and Rachel’s apartment burning down might somewhat be a lifestyle change. However, the famous six don’t experience any new storylines in their personal lives. In this season, Chandler and Monica are well and truly living together. Apart from that, though, there isn’t a ‘serious’ episode. That’s why this is my favourite season because it truly is as hilarious and comforting as it can be.
Despite a few harsh criticisms from myself of each season, Friends remains to this day, my sanctuary. In a busy, busy world, it is always there for me. And it will forever be mine and many other viewers’ comfort show.
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So, those are our thoughts on the best seasons of Friends! But what do you think? Let us know by leaving a comment below!