Every Friends Finale: Ranked!
VOICE OVER: Emily Brayton
WRITTEN BY: Jesse Singer
Every season finale of "Friends" was an event. Our countdown includes "The One in Vegas," "The One at the Beach," "The Last One," and more!
Every Friends Finale Ranked
Welcome to MsMojo, and today we’re counting down our picks for Every Friends Finale Ranked.
For this list, we’ll be ranking the 10 times the Central Perk crew left us heading into summer reruns, from the laughs and the tears to the OMG cliffhangers.
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#10: "The One with Barry and Mindy's Wedding"
Rachel made her first appearance in the Pilot after having run out on her wedding, and having her be the maid of honor to her ex-best friend and her ex-fiance puts a nice bow on that part of her life. The episode also features one of the show’s best lip-locks when Ross attempts to help Joey practice his man kissing. However, the most significant happening as season two comes to a close is the end of Monica and Richard. Until she and Chandler realized they were meant to be together, Richard was always going to be the one who got away.
#9: "The One in Barbados"
Season nine ended with a two-part episode as the gang flew off to Barbados to vacation and watch Ross give the keynote speech at a paleontology convention. But mostly to vacation. There’s an expression that says you should “dance with the one that brought you.” But on this trip, by the time all is said and done, almost everyone has found a new “dance” partner. Over the course of their time on the island, Joey and Charlie break up, Charlie kisses Ross, Joey kisses Rachel, and Mike shows up to propose to Phoebe - who had initially arrived with David.
#8: "The One Where Rachel Has a Baby"
The Joey-liking-Rachel storyline was one of the most controversial in the show’s history. And while some people thought it was an interesting way to go, many fans still complain about it. So, with Rachel giving birth to her and Ross’s child, it seemed like the end of the Joey/Rachel experiment. That is, until Joey finds the ring Ross had in his jacket pocket, Rachel mistakenly thinks he’s proposing and says yes. Despite the fact that Ross was heading to her hospital room with flowers at the exact same time, we would still have to wait two more seasons for Ross and Rachel to finally get back together - like we all wanted them to.
#7: "The One with Monica and Chandler's Wedding"
Season seven ended hitting all the markers of a great season finale. Weddings are classic season enders and as the episode title tells us, this one gave us the wedding of Chandler and Monica. Of course, commitment-phobic Chandler had to run off a couple times, but as much as these two were meant to be, there was no way he wasn’t going to be at that altar when the time came. “Friends” often liked to send fans into the summer on a cliffhanger and when we found out Rachel was pregnant, we hung off that cliff for months, wondering who the father was.
#6: "The One at the Beach"
Season three ended with the gang going to Montauk for the weekend to support Phoebe, who is trying to track down her father. She doesn’t find him, but in a major moment for our favorite Buffay, she does end up meeting her birth mother. Also, Chandler spends the episode trying to convince Monica he would be good boyfriend material, which, at the time, fans had no idea was a sign of things to come. However, at the center of this episode is, once again, the continuing saga of Ross and Rachel as Ross is forced to choose between Ms. Green and his now-bald girlfriend Bonnie. But whose room he chose wouldn’t be revealed until the following season. We all knew it was Rachel though. Right?
#5: "The One Where Rachel Finds Out"
Throughout season one, the Ross/Rachel relationship was very one-sided given that he was in love with her but she had no idea how he felt. The “will they or won’t they” chapter of Ross and Rachel’s relationship story didn’t really get going until season two and it all started with the season one finale. One slip of the tongue comment from Chandler sends Rachel to the airport to catch Ross before he leaves for China. She doesn’t get there in time, but thinks about him all week and is there waiting for him as he gets off the plane…. with his new girlfriend.
#4: "The One in Vegas"
Monica’s ex Richard would come back a couple times to test the strength of her relationship with Chandler, but each time the relationship would prevail and get stronger. And while the season five finale seemed to be setting us up for a Monica/Chandler wedding, it ended with the shocking reveal that a very inebriated Ross and Rachel had gone ahead and tied the knot. They say that what happens in Vegas stays in Vegas, but that doesn’t apply if what happens is you get drunk and get married. As Penny, from “The Big Bang Theory” could tell them, those Vegas weddings are totally legal.
#3: "The Last One"
Was it the funniest episode of the show? No, it wasn’t. But that wasn’t what we wanted it to be. Fans wanted to see their Friends one last time and to see them happily heading off into the next stages of their lives. And that’s exactly what we got. Phoebe had already started her new Journey with Mike earlier in the season, but now Monica and Chandler are heading off to the suburbs to raise their twins. And even though Joey and Chandler will be more than a hallway away from each other, the distance can’t break that friendship. And as for Ross and Rachel, well, the writers had one last big moment for us.
#2: "The One with the Proposal"
In one of the few season finales that didn’t feature a Ross and Rachel angle, season six’s ending was all about Chandler and Monica. And again, as in the previous season’s finale, Richard came back into the picture to provide relationship tension... but ultimately make Chandler and Monica stronger on their path to marriage, which would come at the end of the next season. After watching Chandler stand up to Richard and seeing Monica try to propose, no one could deny how much they loved each other. Rachel and Ross were the couple that started it all, but it was episodes like this that is the reason many fans felt like Chandler and Monica were the true meant-to-be couple on the show.
#1: "The One with Ross's Wedding"
"The One with Ross's Wedding,” or as we like to call it, “The One that Had It all.” It had London, plenty of great laughs, a wedding, and the best season finale cliffhanger of the entire 10 year run. Forget “which door did he enter” or “who’s the father.” “He said ‘Rachel’” was so genuinely shocking, the gasps from the studio audience and the looks on everyone’s faces said it all. And while the episode featured the downward turn of Ross’ relationship with his British fiancée, it also initiated the upward trajectory of the great love story that was Monica and Chandler.