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All 10 Seasons of Friends: RANKED

VO: Rebecca Brayton WRITTEN BY: Mark Sammut
All friendships experience a couple of ups and downs. For this list, we’re looking at the popular sitcom's entire run, and ranking its ten seasons. "Friends" never truly stopped delivering great episodes, but a couple of years were far more consistent than others. Join MsMojo as we provide the definitive ranking of all 10 seasons of Friends.
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All 10 Seasons of Friends: RANKED



All friendships experience a couple of ups and downs. Welcome to MsMojo and today we’ll be counting down our picks for the Top 10 Friends Seasons.
For this list, we’re looking at the popular sitcom's entire run, and ranking its ten seasons. "Friends" never truly stopped delivering great episodes, but a couple of years were far more consistent than others.

#10: Season 9

With the exception of a couple stand out episodes – generally revolving around guest stars like Christina Applegate or Jeff Goldblum – season nine marks the moment when the writing staff seems to completely run out of ideas on how to maintain interest in Rachel and Ross' on-and-off again relationship, leading to arguably the series' biggest misstep: Rachel falling in love with . . . Joey. Paul Rudd is fantastic as Phoebe's boyfriend and the story arc of Chandler and Monica's inability to have a baby packs quite an emotional punch, but season nine is undeniably a low point for "Friends."


#9: Season 1

Everything has a beginning, and "Friends" went through fewer growing pains than most other sitcoms. Nevertheless, season one still ranks among the series’ weakest. David Crane and Marta Kauffman - the creators of the show - instantly establish Ross' infatuation with Rachel, but season one's choppy, episodic nature means the vast majority of individual episodes are rather formulaic, with the characters heading out on various one-off dates. While instantly delivering confident performances, the cast and writers have yet to fully develop certain characteristics which would come to define the beloved New Yorkers. Even after ten seasons though, "The One with the Blackout" remains one of "Friends'" funniest episodes.

#8: Season 7

Coming out of nowhere to suddenly surpass Ross and Rachel as the sitcom's main couple, Chandler and Monica are easily the show's best pairing. Season seven's central plot revolves entirely around the couple planning their wedding, and the humor only improves as the big finale approaches. Overall, the stand-alone episodes do lack the consistency of some other seasons, while Monica's obsessive personality does get slightly grating, due to Courteney Cox's character taking center stage for pretty much the entire year. For those who absolutely adore Monica and Chandler's relationship though, season seven is a must-watch.

#7: Season 10

With this final season, the shortest of the lot, "Friends" recovers well after the uneven ninth, and presents fans with the perfect send-off. Attracting over 50 million viewers, the series finale ties up many loose threads, and draws the curtain just as the cast embark on a new chapter in their lives. Permeated with an almost melancholic air, "Friends" thankfully resists the urge to go with an overly sentimental tone for its last stretch of episodes; season ten holds many genuinely hilarious classic moments. By this point, the six main performers were more famous than almost any other TV actors, so the final season also cut down on the guest stars.

#6: Season 8

Known as the one with Brad Pitt's cameo, "Friends'" eighth-year garnered the sitcom's only Emmy for "Outstanding Comedy Series." The main arc revolves around Rachel's pregnancy, a storyline that inspires Jennifer Aniston's best work in the show's entire run and earned her that Emmy for her efforts. The season loses points for starting the whole Joey-loves-Rachel thing, but this plot thread is, at least, somewhat bearable during this run of episodes. And let’s be frank, "The One with the Videotape" is nothing short of flawless.

#5: Season 6


Aiming, and often succeeding, in blending laughs and tears, "Friends" was still going strong after half a decade on the air. Building from the previous season, Chandler and Monica's romance continues to take center stage, but the couple complements each other so well, their relationship never overstays its welcome. Hilarious and emotionally resonant, the episodes leading up to their epic proposal encapsulate the sitcom's defining traits and boast an incredible climax. Joey's run on a cheesy TV show could be funnier, but Bruce Willis' cameo more than makes up for it.

#4: Season 5

Triplets, Greece, and Monica stuffing her head into a turkey . . . "Friends" repeatedly strikes comedy gold during its fifth year. Following up on two massive cliffhangers – Ross accidentally saying Rachel instead of Emily at the altar and Monica and Chandler sleeping together – season 5 primarily deals with the aftermath of these two storylines; luckily, both prove to be excellent springboards for comedy. In an unexpected twist, "Friends" resists the temptation to throw Rachel and Ross back together, suggesting the characters might have actually grown as people. For the sitcom's 100th episode, Phoebe gives birth to triplets, and the season ends with a trip to Vegas.

#3: Season 4

With the exception of the last few episodes dealing with Ross and Emily's engagement, season four shines the brightest when not preoccupied with weaving a lengthy story arc. Surely among the sitcom's finest half-hours, "The One with the Embryos" sees Chandler and Joey attempting to win Monica and Rachel's apartment in a bet, while Phoebe begins her journey as a surrogate mother; and the amazing thing is that the remaining episodes are nearly just as memorable. Even if the season-long arcs are not among the sitcom's very best, "Friends" still delivers the goods!

#2: Season 2

Even if critics were yet to be convinced, "Friends" debut season was a bonafide hit, and outperformed "Frasier," "Ellen," and "Roseanne." A year later, "Friends" was a cultural phenomenon and this coincided with a dramatic jump in quality. Focusing on Rachel and Ross' will-they-won't-they dynamic, the creators take viewers for a ride by seemingly setting up the pair's relationship, . . . just for everything to come crashing down, due to Ross idiotically listing Rachel's worst qualities. Season two's line-up of guest stars is also insane! Alongside Tom Selleck joining as a recurring cast member; Julia Roberts, Charlie Sheen, and Jean-Claude Van Damme all show up for one-off episodes.

#1: Season 3

Striking the perfect balance between the episodic nature which defined the sitcom's earliest incarnations and the later years' serialized format, season three offers the best of both worlds. By this point, not only have the performers grown accustomed to the characters, but the chemistry between the cast is sublime. This is especially evident in hilarious and quotable episodes such as "The One Where No One's Ready" and "The One with the Morning After,” among so many others. Season three pushed NBC's sitcom into new territory and guaranteed "Friends" would go down as one of TV's greatest comedies.

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