4 Essential ‘Friends’ Episodes To Watch Before the Reunion Special

Fans of Friends can rest easy, HBO Max will launch with a reunion special that brings Chandler Bing, Ross Geller, Rachel Green, Monica Geller, Pheobe Buffay and Joey Tribianni back together. Rumors about the special have swirled for months, but HBO Max executives have waffled back and forth about whether or not it was actually going to happen. Jennifer Aniston seemingly confirmed that the show has the green light. Before you take a deep dive into the reunion, you might want to get reacquainted with the gang by rewatching these four essential episodes.

Season 1, Episode 1: “The One Where Monica Gets a Roommate”

While a lot of shows take some time to find their groove, the cast of Friends had chemistry from the very first episode. During the inaugural episode of the series, Rachel finds herself stumbling into Central Perk after leaving her fiancée, Barry, at the altar. Monica agrees to take her in, and suddenly the friend group is complete.

The episode is a much-watch for several reasons, but every Friends fan should go back to where it all began if for no other reason but to remember just how clueless Rachel once was. It’s also the scene of Chandler’s very first quippy response, and it features an angsty Ross. What could be better than that?

Season 2, Episode 14: “The One With the Prom Video”

Friends writers expertly managed Ross and Rachel’s relationship during the first and second season of the series. Season 1 came to an end with Rachel finding out that Ross had been in love with her for the better part of a decade. Season 2 introduced Ross’s girlfriend Julie, and just when fans thought the pair were going to finally get together, Ross does something dumb.

“The One With the Prom Video” finally puts an end to Ross and Rachel’s will-they-won’t-they storyline, at least for the time being. The episode also is the first glimpse of fat Monica and ends with a scaring experience.

Season 5, Episode 14: “The One Where Everyone Finds Out”

Skip ahead several seasons, and Monica and Chandler are figuring out their relationship, but they don’t want anyone else to know. That ship sails pretty quickly when Joey figures out that the pair are hooking up. Eventually, he can’t handle covering for them anymore and throughout the fifth season, everyone finally finds out.

What makes this particular episode so good is Pheobe’s decision to mess with Chandler by coming onto him. The game of chicken is hilarious but ends in the emotional moment that Chandler admits he’s in love with Monica. Who wouldn’t love that? Ross finding out by spying Monica and Chandler having sex in front of the bay window is a nice touch, too. The episode finally pushes Monica and Chandler’s relationship out of the shadows and makes it real.

Season 10, Episode 17 and 18: “The Last One”

Series finales are often despised by the public who have fallen in love with the characters they’ve watched for several years. There is a right way and a wrong way to do a series finale, it seems, and Friends writers seemed to have gotten it right. At the very least, most fans were happy with the ending.

Not only does “The Last One” close out several seasons-long storylines, but the final scene, in which the crew all drops the keys to the apartment on the counter, definitely pulls at the heartstrings. In the end, fans are not left hanging about what happened to each friend. They all had their future path set out, and most agree that was the right choice.