Top 10 Central Perk Moments on Friends

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Top 10 Central Perk Moments on Friends

VOICE OVER: Emily - WatchMojo WRITTEN BY: Savannah Sher
It's probably TV's most iconic café and that's mainly because of these Central Perk moments from Friends. For this list, we'll be looking at the best scenes from the sitcom that took place in the coffee house. Our countdown includes Ross meeting Isabella Rossellini, everyone singing “Smelly Cat,” Joey doesn't share food, and more!
Transcript
It’s probably TV’s most iconic cafe, and it was home to lots of memorable scenes. Welcome to MsMojo, and today we’ll be counting down our picks for the Top 10 Central Perk Moments from Friends.

For this list, we’ll be looking at the best scenes from the sitcom that took place in the coffee house.

#10: Mike Playing Air Piano
“The One with the Pediatrician”


When Joey was supposed to set Phoebe up with someone, he totally dropped the ball, and ended up lying to save face. He finds a random guy at Central Perk named Mike and plays it off like he knows him. When Mike finally reveals the truth to Phoebe, she asks him if everything he’s told her is a lie. He says that he does in fact play the piano, and she challenges him to prove it. After a bit of reluctance, he does an enthusiastic air piano performance that impresses Phoebe, and it let the audience know that this guy had to stick around.

#9: Chandler's Glasses
“The One with Phoebe's Cookies”


The rest of the gang’s dismissal of Chandler is a great running gag on the show, and it's never more apparent than in this scene. Chandler shows up with new glasses and asks his friends what they think of them. But the thing is, they all thought he wore glasses all along. When he presses, Monica is forced to lie and claim that of course she never thought he wore glasses. But in an aside that her buddies (and the audience) can see, she’s just as surprised as the rest of them. Did you know that this storyline was written in because actor Matthew Perry actually needed glasses?

#8: Ross Meeting Isabella Rossellini
“The One with Frank Jr.”


In this season three episode, the group talks about which five celebrities they would add to their “list” of exceptional people that they’re allowed to sleep with without their partners being upset. Ross takes the task very seriously, and after much thought eliminates Isabella Rossellini from his list with the logic that she’s too international so his odds of meeting her are slimmer. He finalizes (and laminates!) his list to make it official, right before the real Isabella Rossellini shows up at Central Perk. When he tries to explain the situation to her, she is understandably not impressed and delivers a scorching burn.

#7: Everyone Singing “Smelly Cat”
“The One Where Eddie Moves In”


Phoebe’s song “Smelly Cat” was introduced in the show’s second season, and featured prominently in several episodes. In “The One Where Eddie Moves In”, a producer decides to make a video of the song, but Phoebe is understandably offended when they swap out her voice in favor of another singer’s. At the end of the episode though, Phoebe takes up her usual spot in Central Perk to give a rendition of her hit tune, and tries to have all of her friends join in to sing along. Well, except Ross because there are no lyrics left.

#6: Joey Doesn't Share Food!
“The One with the Birth Mother”


Not all sitcoms manage to maintain their humor into their final seasons, but “Friends”, for the most part, pulled it off. This season ten moment for example, has become one of the show’s most iconic. When Joey goes out with one of Phoebe’s friends, he doesn’t want to see her again after she tries to eat food off his plate. He explains quite clearly that he “doesn’t share food,” which to be honest is totally relatable. Phoebe makes him try again with a plan in place, but he’s just not having it. You do you, Joey: don’t let anyone try to change you!

#5: Unagi
“The One with Unagi”


Ross has a penchant for taking himself too seriously, and it’s on display in this moment when he tries to mansplain the concept of “Unagi” to Phoebe and Rachel. They are feeling good after going to a self defense class, but he tells them that they’re not really prepared for an attack unless they practice Unagi. The girls poke fun at him and talk about how much this talk of Unagi is making them crave sushi, and Ross proceeds to spend the rest of the episode teaching them a lesson.

#4: “You're My Lobster.”
“The One with the Prom Video”


In the middle of season two, Rachel is still (understandably) angry with Ross because of the list he made comparing her to Julie. In this episode, he tries to lay claim over her and drives off a guy she’s talking to at Central Perk, explaining his actions by saying that she’s his “lobster”. Phoebe had explained to him earlier that she thought he and Rachel were meant to be, like aging lobsters who’ve previously mated and continue to hold claws in their tanks. Rachel, of course, has no idea what he’s talking about and dismisses the whole thing, but his intention is still sweet.

#3: Phoebe's Wedding
“The One with Phoebe's Wedding”


How could anyone forget the momentous occasion that took place at Central Perk when the initial plan went awry? We probably never thought we’d see Phoebe get married on the show, but in the final season it was slated to happen. A huge blizzard prevents the band and photographer from getting there, but instead of cancelling, Rachel has the idea that they should get married right there because the snow has finally stopped. Technically Phoebe and Mike said their “I do’s” just outside Central Perk, but we’re counting it anyway.

#2: Ross & Rachel’s Kiss
“The One Where Ross Finds Out”


The show’s first season saw Ross pining for Rachel while she was oblivious to him, but when he went away to China for work, she finally realized that her feelings matched his. When he returned however, it was with a woman and he had to tell her that it was too late. The two get into a fight at Central Perk. It seems like it’s the end for them and Ross storms out. Moments later though, he returns and the two share a passionate kiss in the doorway of the cafe as it rains outside. This is perhaps the biggest moment of their relationship, and of course it happened at the coffee shop!

Before we unveil our top pick, here are a few honorable mentions.

Mike & Phoebe’s Name Changes
“The One with Princess Consuela”

Phoebe's Exhibitionist Boyfriend
“The One Where Monica and Richard Are Just Friends”

Chandler's Impression of a Whip
“The One with All the Wedding Dresses”

“I Thought You Were Chandler?”
“The One with Chandler in a Box”

Joey Learns About Quotation Marks
“The One Where Emma Cries”

#1: Rachel Shows Up in Her Wedding Dress
“The Pilot”


How could we not pick this moment for our number one choice? Because of course, the very first scene of “Friends” takes place in Central Perk and it’s where the action of the show kicks off. The group is sitting around discussing someone Monica is seeing and Ross arrives seeming dejected because of his breakup with Carol. Shortly after, Rachel shows up in her wedding dress having run out on her own nuptials. If Rachel hadn’t decided to go see Monica when she wanted out of her marriage, everything would be different - and our “Friends” lives would have been forever changed.
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