Jen Abidor

I Grew Up In The Real Riverdale And Here's How It Compares To The Show “Riverdale”

Story time: I was a pre-teen Archie Comics superfan.


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I am now a 29-year-old Archie Comics fan (that’s me and my friend Kristin as Betty and Veronica), but these days I’m watching Riverdale instead of reading double digests. But, back in the day, my Archie Andrews fan art made it into one of the comics (I wish I had a picture for evidence!) and I ran a club called the Eichra Scimoc club (yes, that’s Archie Comics backwards, IDK why).

I also happened to grow up in a town called Riverdale in The Bronx, New York. In a classic “chicken and egg” situation, I’m not sure which came first: My family’s move to Riverdale or my obsession with Archie Comics, which — if somehow you missed it — takes place in a town called Riverdale.


Archie Comics

Here are a few points I’d like to make up front:

1. Riverdale from the comics (and TV show) is not necessarily the same neighborhood as Riverdale in the Bronx. In one of the comics, the editors said this about Riverdale’s location: “Riverdale is more of a state of mind than an actual physical location. It could be anywhere that kind people live and just have fun, like Archie and his friends. It could be in the Midwest, or along the Eastern Seaboard, or even a town in Canada, Mexico, or England.”

2. However, on the show in Season One, there’s a reference to Rockland County, which is a real county not too far from New York City.

3. Archie Comics IS based out of Mamaroneck, NY (in Westchester, which is approximately a 30-minute drive from my Riverdale) so it is fair to say that the NAME of Riverdale comes from the Riverdale I grew up in.

Okay, without further ado, here’s how the two Riverdales stack up:


Metro North, CW

1.

They are both definitively small towns.


Samdiesel / Getty Images, CW

According to the 2010 census, the population of Real Riverdale is 48,049. It is honestly impossible to know how big Fake Riverdale is on a given day, but this Vulture article does the lord’s work in trying.

2.

Real Riverdale is broken into North Riverdale and South Riverdale, which is reminiscent of the North and South sides of Riverdale on the show.


New York Times, CW

However, there is no real difference other than one being North and the other being South. No gang wars or elaborate backstories. It’s rather boring, tbh. Bring me FP Jones!!!!

3.

There is a central river in both Fictional Riverdale and Real Riverdale. On the show, it’s Sweetwater River and in Real Riverdale it’s the Hudson River.


Barry Winiker / Getty Images, CW

As far as I know, no fathers who shot their sons and then had the body stashed in the Hudson River, but I could honestly be wrong. Who knows?!

4.

So you know how Cheryl Blossom’s home is called Thornhill? I’m not saying this was intentional, but we DO have a beautiful and vast estate called Wave Hill with public gardens.


Wave Hill, CW

They both have greenhouses, but I think only one of them has a maple syrup drug front.

5.

In Real Riverdale, there is a diner called Riverdale Diner (and a few other diner options as well) but Pop’s Chock’lit Shoppe is merely a beautiful 1950’s wet dream.


Riverdale Diner, CW

I don’t THINK there are any teens running speakeasies that are attached to it, but maybe that’s because I’m not a cool teen.

6.

Real Riverdale doesn’t have a movie theater (seriously, small town!) so I would have honestly killed for something like the Bijou.


Riverdale Cinema, CW

Fun fact: There WAS a movie theater in Real Riverdale called Riverdale Twin Cinema that closed in 1997, and the sign was up for at least a full decade after that.

7.

While the “big” newspaper on the show is the Riverdale Register, our local paper is called the Riverdale Press.


CW, Riverdale Press

Don’t take my word on this, but I am pretty sure the editor of the Riverdale Press doesn’t double as a black-hooded serial killer by night…

8.

And, finally, here’s a quick list of things I’m pretty sure Real Riverdale doesn’t have: Jingle Jangle, Gryphons & Gargoyles, Gargoyle King, EXTREMELY HOT teenagers, EXTREMELY HOT teenagers who are actually 20-somethings, murderous parents, a mobster named Papa Poutine, his son named Small Fry, prison fight clubs, the Red Circle, a farm that’s really a cult, Sisters of Quiet Mercy, and Miss Grundy.

TL;DR: Fake Riverdale is fun to watch, but Real Riverdale is 100x more chill.

Is This A Real Christmas Movie Or Did I Just Make It Up?

Swipe Right On Santa

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Lauren is fed up with dating, but it stings even more when she’s invited to her best friend’s holiday party and she realizes she’s the only single friend left standing. That night, with a bottle of red wine in hand, she decides to take her chances on a Tinder-like app one last time. She swipes right on a handsome man named Nick, and they end up chatting for hours. Their love at first swipe quickly blossoms into something more, and he’s such a great guy that all of her friends start calling him Saint Nick. But is he too good to be true? After all, Nick harbors a major secret, and all he can do is ho ho hope it won’t unravel this budding romance before it’s even New Year’s Eve.

We Ranked The 50 Best “Friends” Episodes — Here's What Made The Cut

Hey, we’re Jen and Nora! We’re both more than a little Friends-obsessed — we’ve each watched the whole series through at least 10 times, and Jen listens to an episode to fall asleep to every night because she has weird sleeping habits and it’s the only thing that works.


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Oh, and we write about the show here on BuzzFeed a lot. Anyway, we decided to share our ranking of the top 50 episodes of Friends. We considered many factors when picking these episodes, including humor (of course), the “significance” of the episode, and iconic lines and moments.


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We OBVIOUSLY are completely open to debate on this one! Please, leave comments! We want to know your thoughts. Bonus points if they’re not mean comments, because we’re just out here writing about a show that we all love, ya know?

Without further ado, here are our picks:

50.

“The One with Rachel’s Sister” (Season 6, Episode 13)


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Adding a family member to the gang’s antics was always a bright spot on Friends, especially when it was Reese Witherspoon as Jill. Even though Jill and Ross almost became a couple here (ick!), it’s Monica being sick (“I’m finddddd!”) that made this episode worthy of the top 50 best episodes.

49.

“The One With Rachel’s Other Sister” (Season 9, Episode 8)


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Christina Applegate arriving as Rachel’s sister Amy was one of the best guest-starring moments in Friends. Not only was it a Thanksgiving episode, but Amy added an extra level of chaos when she wanted to be Emma’s guardian if Rachel and Ross died. Best quote, “I was thinking about changing her name. I’m just not a big fan of Emily.”

48.

“The One With Rachel’s Going Away Party” (Season 10, Episode 16)


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This was a rare tender episode of Friends, which made it the perfect penultimate episode for the series. From Chandler’s unexpectedly poignant goodbye to Rachel to Ross and Rachel’s gut-wrenching scenes, it definitely hit us in the feels. Plus, Erica (Anna Faris) arrived to FINALLY make Monica and Chandler parents. I’m emotional.

47.

“The One With The Jellyfish” (Season 4, Episode 1)


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This episode taught us a very important life lesson about treating jellyfish stings! Oh, and it brought us Rachel’s 18-page (front-and-back!) letter to Ross about their relationship. “You fell a-sleep?!

46.

“The One With Monica’s Thunder” (Season 7, Episode 1)


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You would think Monica getting engaged to Chandler would be the most important thing in this episode, but in typical Ross and Rachel fashion they just had to upstage this moment too. Honestly, Monica yelling off the balcony that she was engaged was PEAK Monica Geller.

45.

“The One Where Eddie Moves In” (Season 2, Episode 17)


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We had to include this one because it brought us the epic music video for “Smelly Cat” — a Phoebe Buffay classic and arguably one of the most important Friends recurring jokes. Bonus points: It was the first of the Eddie (Adam Goldberg) episodes. We’ll get to this later, but we could write an 18-page letter front-and-back about how damn funny Eddie is.

44.

“The One In Vegas” (Season 5, Episodes 23 and 24)


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While we’re a little bit more obsessed with what happened AFTER Vegas (keep reading!), we still have a soft spot for this two-parter where we learned the truth about Joey’s flop movie, Monica and Chandler almost got married, and Ross and Rachel ACTUALLY GOT MARRIED.

43.

“The One With All The Kissing” (Season 5, Episode 2)


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Throwback to the early Chandler and Monica “secret relationship” days! This was when Chandler accidentally kissed Monica goodbye and ended up having to kiss Rachel and Phoebe in order to hide it. While that kicked off the episode, it was also notable because Phoebe wanted to create some memories after missing the group’s trip to London.

42.

“The One After ‘I Do'” (Season 8, Episode 1)


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Following Chandler and Monica’s wedding, Phoebe and Monica learned that Rachel was actually the one who was pregnant. The most memorable moment? When Phoebe told Rachel her pregnancy test was negative just to see if Rachel actually wanted to have a baby. Risky, but it paid off.

41.

“The One Where The Stripper Cries” (Season 10, Episode 11)


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If this episode only had Danny DeVito as a stripper, it would have been on this list. If this episode only had pre-Grey’s Anatomy Ellen Pompeo and a Chandler/Ross ’80s flashback, it would have been on this list. But, this episode ALSO had Joey on Pyramid, and while some might be annoyed by how dumb Joey got by the end of the series (more on that later, too!), how can you NOT laugh at, “Paper…Snow…A GHOST!”

40.

“The One Where Heckles Dies” (Season 2, Episode 3)


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Truthfully, we always forget how few episodes Mr. Heckles was in because he made a lasting impact. When Mr. Heckles died and made the gang clean up his apartment, Chandler also had an existential crises when he realized how similar he was to Heckles. Also, Phoebe and Ross argued over evolution.

39.

“The One on the Last Night” (Season 6, Episode 6)


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This episode fundamentally changed the Friends structure we knew and loved — Monica and Rachel stopped being roommates! THE END OF AN ERA. This episode also gave us the line, “And I have to live with a boy!” which was so damn relatable.

38.

“The One Where Ross and Rachel…You Know” (Season 2, Episode 15)


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An episode with some important milestones for the gang. Ross and Rachel had sex for the first time in the museum, Monica reconnected with Richard and started dating him, and of course, Chandler and Joey got their La-Z-Boy chairs. Honestly, a solid episode all around.

37.

“The One With Phoebe’s Uterus” (Season 4, Episode 11)


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Frank and Alice got married (weird!) and then asked Phoebe to carry their babies (weirder!). There was a weird subplot where Joey worked at the museum with Ross, but what REALLY made the episode was when Monica taught Chandler about erogenous zones — ironically taught Chandler how to be good at sex!

36.

“The One Where Joey Speaks French” (Season 10, Episode 13)


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Listen, this may be the hottest take on here, but we will DIE ON THIS HILL. Joey trying to learn French makes us laugh every damn time. Stupid? Sure! Unrealistic? Yup! Further proof that the writers just turned Joey into a complete bumbling idiot by the end? Yesiree! But. It. Was. So. Funny. The End.

35.

“The One With The Proposal” (Season 6, Episodes 24 and 25)


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Honestly, two of the biggest episodes of Friends! Chandler decided to propose to Monica, but Richard came back into Monica’s life and realized he was still in love with her. Of course, it all worked out in the end and we were left with the iconic Chandler and Monica candle proposal.

34.

“The One With The Lottery” (Season 9, Episode 18)


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When the gang decided to go in and buy lottery tickets together, of course some crazy stuff ensued. The best part of this episode though? Phoebe dropping the tickets off the balcony after being scared by a pigeon and then calling pretending to apologize as the pigeon.

33.

“The One With All The Wedding Dresses” (Season 4, Episode 20)


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It’s so fun to see Monica, Rachel, and Phoebe all just chillin’ in wedding dresses. Plus, the comedic timing of Rachel trying to convince Jo-shuuuu-a (aka Tate Donovan aka Jimmy Cooper from The O.C.) she was not really moving too fast, only for him to walk in on her wearing a WEDDING DRESS. So good. Oh, and we learned that Chandler said “wah-pah!” instead of “whipped.”

32.

“The One Where Rachel Has a Baby” (Season 8, Episode 23 and 24)


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A lot happened in this milestone two-parter! After a miserable labor, Rachel had her baby. Monica and Chandler decided to have a baby. JANICE SHOWED UP. And, Ross and Rachel had yet another near-miss in their relationship with the whole Joey proposal thing that could have been cleared up in one minute, but OKAY.

31.

“The One Where Rachel Finds Out” (Season 1, Episode 24)


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A perfect ending for Season 1, Rachel learned that Ross had feelings for her after Chandler let it slip. Of course, this began the saga of Ross and Rachel missing each other at airports when Rachel excitedly decided to profess her love for Ross, only to see him return with Julie.

30.

“The One With The Morning After” (Season 3, Episode 16)


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So, this certainly isn’t an enjoyable episode at all. But, it’s on the list because of its significance in the show. After all, it’s the episode that gave us, “We were on a break!” — for better or for worse. Ross and Rachel had a brutally emotional fight while the rest of the gang eavesdropped because they’re stuck in Rachel’s room. Intense? Yep. But the first time you saw it was the first time you heard, “We were on a break” and that makes it iconic.

29.

“The One With The East German Laundry Detergent” (Season 1, Episode 5)


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The first real Ross and Rachel episode. When Rachel doesn’t know how to do her laundry, Ross offered to spend the evening showing her how. Also, who doesn’t love the classic, “I turned all my laundry pink” plot line. Plus, this episode featured Maggie Wheeler’s first appearance as Janice!

28.

“The One With The Princess Leia Fantasy” (Season 3, Episode 1)


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While the episode may be named after Ross’s fantasy about Princess Leia, one of the better storylines in this episode was the dynamic between Joey, Chandler, and Janice. (“Joey and Janice’s day 👏 of 👏 fun 👏!”)

27.

“The Pilot” or “The One Where Monica Gets A Roommate” (Season 1, Episode 1)


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The episode that started it all! Rachel stumbling into Central Perk in a wedding dress was just the start of this show, but still a huge moment. Also, how could we not appreciate Paul the Wine Guy?!

26.

“The One With The Rumor” (Season 8, Episode 9)


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Sigh, 2001. A time when Jennifer Aniston and Brad Pitt were still married, and Brad appeared in this Thanksgiving episode as the co-founder of an “I Hate Rachel” club with Ross.

25.

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


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We’ll never forget where we were and who we were with when we first watched this episode live. It was a perfect send-off to the show. From Phoebe’s musical moments to the arrival of Chandler and Monica’s twins (aww!!!) to Ross and Rachel’s dramatic ending — “Did she get off the plane???” It was just what we needed. Plus, the final moments where they all leave their keys to Monica and Chandler’s apartment and the group gets coffee one last time. We sobbed.

24.

“The One With Ross’s Wedding” (Season 4, Episode 23 and 24)


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“I Ross take thee Rachel.” And that’s all we need to say about that.

23.

“The One After Vegas” (Season 6, Episode 1)


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We’ll never forget Ross and Rachel drunkenly stumbling out of a Vegas wedding chapel, but what ensued afterwards was even funnier. Ross and Rachel realizing that they got married was hysterical, but also the fact that Ross doesn’t want to add another divorce to his list was PEAK Ross.

22.

“The One With Phoebe’s Cookies” (Season 7, Episode 3)


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One of our personal favorites, this episode was a classic Phoebe episode at its finest. Monica tried to recreate Phoebe’s grandmothers cookie recipe from the great “Nestle Toulouse.” Lisa Kudrow’s comedic timing in this episode was next level.

21.

“The One With Ross’s Tan” (Season 10, Episode 3)


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We’re about to hit you with some triple Ross — you’ve been warned! First up, this friggin’ hilarious episode where Ross continually messed up the basic instructions for getting a spray tan and learned that some people count “Mississippi-less-ly.” Oh, and in non-Ross news, Jennifer Coolidge played Monica and Phoebe’s annoying ex-friend Ah-man-dah, and made a perfect arse of herself. And finally, this marked the end of Joey and Rachel as a couple. THANK GOD.

20.

“The One Where Ross Is Fine” (Season 10, Episode 2)


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Watching Ross completely lose his shit as he insisted he was FINE with Rachel and Joey hooking up was honestly one of the more relatable things he did on the show. I cannot help but crack up when he said, “I’M MAKING FAJITAS!” or when he gave his speech about love — “Ahh, love. L-O-V-E, love.”

19.

“The One With Ross’s Teeth” (Season 6, Episode 8)


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Ross may get on our nerves sometimes, but this episode was one of the funniest in the series. Ross went to get his teeth whitened and let’s just say he could light up a pitch-black room afterwards.

18.

“The One With All the Thanksgivings” (Season 5, Episode 8)


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One of the more iconic Friends Thanksgiving episodes, it perfectly relived the gangs’ worst memories from the holiday. From Monica chopping off part of Chandler’s toe to Joey getting his head stuck in a turkey, there were so many stand-out moments. But, Monica doing a dance with a turkey on her head, which led Chandler to accidentally saying “I love you” (technically for the first time, but more on that later) was so priceless.

17.

“The One With Russ” (Season 2, Episode 10)


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Joey landed the role of Dr. Drake Ramoray, which was huge on its own. Plus, Rachel started dating Russ — a guy whose resemblance to Ross was so uncanny because he was literally played by David Schwimmer (or Snaro, if you pay attention to details). It was nice that Ross’s ex, Julie, ended up with Russ, because she was done dirty and deserved SO MUCH BETTER.

16.

“The One With All The Cheesecakes” (Season 7, Episode 11)


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Another one of our personal favorites, this episode had such a great Chandler and Rachel dynamic when the duo can’t give up the stolen cheesecakes. The image of Chandler and Rachel on the floor eating cheesecake and Joey arriving with a fork is ICONIC.

15.

“The One With The Holiday Armadillo” (Season 7, Episode 10)


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Ross tried to teach Ben (young Cole Sprouse) about Hannukah, but can only do so with the aid of an Armadillo costume. Somehow it’s just friggin’ funny and it works. Plus, who doesn’t love Joey busting in as Superman to help out.

14.

“The One With The Routine” (Season 6, Episode 10)


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This was the ultimate Geller sibling scene, when Ross and Monica desperately tried to get on TV during Dick Clark’s New Year’s Rockin’ Eve and ended up performing their middle school dance routine (which earned them an honorable mention in the brother/sister dance category!). The routine itself was really what earns this one a spot on this list, TBH.

13.

“The One With Monica And Chandler’s Wedding” (Season 7, Episode 23 and 24)


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In just two episodes, Chandler got cold feet before his wedding, someone was pregnant, and Joey had to deal with his spitting co-star. Chandler and Monica were adorable and we’re so happy they got their happy ending!

12.

“The One Where Ross Finds Out” (Season 2, Episode 7)


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After one full season of pining and missed connections Ross and Rachel’s feelings for each other were finally BOTH out in the open. “You’re over me? When were you…under me?” This was the episode we waited for for so long — the one where they have their first kiss — and it was so worth the wait.

11.

“The One With All The Poker” (Season 1, Episode 18)


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The first of Friends’ iconic “bottle episodes,” this episode perfectly solidified the group dynamic. Also knowing that the cast actually played poker IRL and it inspired the episode is an added bonus!

10.

“The One With Chandler In A Box” (Season 4, Episode 8)


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Let’s kick off the top ten with THREE Thanksgiving episodes in a row. First up, “Chandler in a Box.” As punishment for “crossing the line” with Joey’s girlfriend Kathy, Joey forced Chandler to repent by staying in a box for six hours. LOL. Let’s forget about how Monica was creepily into Richard’s son and remember this iconic quote about it instead: “Fine, judge all you want to, but [to Ross] married a lesbian, [to Rachel] left a man at the altar, [to Phoebe] fell in love with a gay ice dancer, [to Joey] threw a girl’s wooden leg in the fire, [to Chandler] live in a box!”

9.

“The One With The Football” (Season 3, Episode 9)


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A classic Thanksgiving episode that featured not only a Geller sibling rivalry, but a rivalry between the guys and the girls in the gang. Honestly, the gang outside playing football is hysterical. Between the girls trying to tackle Chandler to the ground and then when you see what the Geller cup looks like, this episode was iconic.

8.

“The One Where Ross Got High” (Season 6, Episode 9)


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Our favorite Friends Thanksgiving episode! Not only was this episode perfectly contained in the apartment, but everyone’s comedic timing was amazing. If you want to know why this was a phenomenal episode just watch when the gang admits everything from Ross getting high to Rachel realizing she wasn’t supposed to put beef in the trifle.

7.

“The One Where Eddie Won’t Go” (Season 2, Episode 19)


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In terms of episodes that make us laugh the hardest, this one ranks pretty damn high. Adam Goldberg’s comedic timing as Chandler’s OUTRAGEOUS roommate Eddie who will not move out no matter what Chandler says or does is so golden. “IT IS SMACK DAB IN THE MIDDLE OF THE BLUE” and “That guy is…standing in the window holding a human head!” are honestly two of the funniest lines in Friends history. Bonus points for the ladies reading Be Your Own Windkeeper, which led to the line, “How do you expect me to grow if you won’t let me blow?” Classic.

6.

“The One With Unagi” (Season 6, Episode 17)


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Not only did this episode feature the iconic moments where Phoebe, Rachel, and Ross are basically proving who is better at self-defense, but you’ve got Chandler and Monica giving each other homemade Valentine’s Day gifts. Two iconic lines came out of this episode: “Aaah, salmon skin roll” and “I love the way you look every night, Chandler.”

5.

“The One With The Blackout” (Season 1, Episode 7)


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The first great Friends episode in our opinion, this episode centered on the gang trapped in the apartment during a blackout, while Chandler was trapped in an ATM vestibule with Jill Goodacre. You’ve got Phoebe’s iconic fridge song and Ross being attacked by a cat, so overall, it’s just an iconic episode.

4.

“The One With The Prom Video” (Season 2, Episode 14)


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After nearly two seasons of will they/won’t they tension between Ross and Rachel, they FINALLY got together. What started as a comedic flashback to Monica and Rachel’s prom night became a truly tender episode — we see that Ross prepared to take Rachel to her prom, only to be completely shattered when her real date shows up. Fortunately, the emotional moment was what led Rachel to finally giving Ross a chance, and it gave us the iconic Phoebe line: “He’s her lobster.”

3.

“The One Where No One’s Ready” (Season 3, Episode 2)


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This episode proved that you don’t need an elaborate plot line or sets to be funny. The most iconic “bottle episode,” it simply centered on the gang trying to get ready for Ross’s event. You’ve got Chandler and Joey fighting over a chair (“Could I BE wearing any more clothes???”), Monica obsessing over a voicemail from Richard, and Rachel not being able to pick out an outfit. Plus, Ross almost drank the fat, so we learned how much he really cared about Rachel.

2.

“The One With The Embryos” (Season 4, Episode 12)


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This episode may be named after Phoebe trying to get pregnant with Frank and Alice’s baby, but it will forever be remembered for the Jeopardy-like trivia game that Ross moderated. It was Rachel and Monica vs. Joey and Chandler and the stakes were high — ahem, THE APARTMENT. We learned lots of little tidbits about the gang (like, Monica’s towel-sorting system, Joey’s imaginary friend Maurice the Space Cowboy, and MS. CHANANDLER BONG). Ultimately, Monica and Rachel’s ignorance about Chandler’s job (“He’s a transponster!” “That’s not even a WORD!”) lost them their apartment and Joey and Chandler rode into the apartment on the white horse, giving us one of the greatest episodes of TV of all time.

1.

“The One Where Everybody Finds Out” (Season 5, Episode 14)


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If someone has never seen Friends before, this is the episode to show them. The comedic timing from the entire cast was incredible and never fails to make us laugh hysterically. Phoebe seducing Chandler in an attempt to reveal that he’s dating Monica is hands down one of the greatest sequences on TV. Not only do we get the iconic line, “They don’t know that we know they know we know,” but we also get Chandler and Monica’s first *official* “I love you”. Oh, and, Ross’s reaction to seeing Chandler and Monica in the window and screaming? So damn priceless.