For ten years, Friends filled our screens with laughter as we watched the six beloved central characters navigate love, life and hardships. Now, nearly 25 years since the sitcom debuted, it’s still considered one of the most successful shows in the history of television. During its ten seasons, it provided plenty of jokes – and here, we’ve rounded up some of the best.
40. The pivot joke
Ross: “Pivot! Pivot! Pivot! Pivot! Pivot!”
Chandler: “Shut up! Shut up! Shut up!”
Any Friends fan will likely remember the moment when Ross’ plan to cut costs backfires. The character goes shopping for a sofa and doesn’t want to pay the delivery fee, insisting he can do it himself. But despite his best efforts – with some help from Rachel and Chandler – he can’t get it up the stairs.
39. The joke about Ross’s extreme tan
Ross: “I went to that tanning place your wife suggested.”
Chandler: “Was that place the sun?”
Ross takes Monica’s advice and goes to get a spray tan. But he can’t seem to follow the instructions when it comes to counting and turning around to cover his full body. So he repeatedly gets sprayed on one side only and comes back several shades darker – much to the amusement of his friends.
38. The trifle and shepherd’s pie joke
Joey: “What’s not to like? Custard – good. Jam – good. Meat – good!”
Fans of the show will know that Rachel isn’t exactly a whiz in the kitchen. And when she tries to make a trifle for Thanksgiving, she accidentally combines it with a recipe for a shepherd’s pie. While the other friends don’t have the heart to tell Rachel the truth but also don’t want to eat her creation, Joey actually finds it delicious.
37. The answering machine joke
Chandler: “I got her machine.”
Joey: “Her answering machine?”
Chandler: “No. Interestingly enough, her leaf blower picked up.”
For many, Chandler’s dry sense of humor is one of the best things about Friends. And his cutting response to Joey’s question in this season one episode is a perfect example of that.
36. Chandler’s response to Janice
Janice: “What a small world!”
Chandler: “And yet I never run into Beyoncé!”
Janice appears in just 19 episodes of Friends across its ten seasons. But she certainly makes an impression as one of the most beloved recurring characters. Janice is the ex-girlfriend whom Chandler keeps accidentally bumping into, despite the fact that she always seems to annoy him.
35. Chandler’s hairy joke
Kathy: “You have really great hair.”
Chandler: “Oh thanks, I grow it myself!”
Joey’s girlfriend Kathy is hanging out with Chandler when she decides to give him a haircut – and he then makes this wisecrack. Not long afterward, the pair share a moment and they end up kissing. Of course, Kathy comes between Joey and Chandler, before they realize that they never want to fight over a woman.
34. The moo point
Joey: “It’s a moo point. It’s like a cow’s opinion; it just doesn’t matter.”
Joey comes out with this classic line while trying to give Rachel advice on her love life. While he clearly meant to say “moot point,” she is actually satisfied with his explanation. Rachel says, “Have I been living with him for too long, or did that all just make sense?”
33. The Joey’s apple joke
Joey: “It hurts my Joey’s apple!”
Chandler: “For the last time, it’s not named after each individual man!”
While at Monica’s 30th birthday party, Joey becomes tired of wearing a bow tie because it’s irritating him. And when Chandler demands that he puts it back on, he reveals what he calls his Adam’s apple. The result? A major fan favorite moment.
32. The Bambi joke
Joey: “You didn’t cry when Bambi’s mom died?”
Chandler: “Yes, it was so sad when the guy stopped drawing the deer.”
Chandler’s sarcastic comments occur throughout Friends. And in this season six episode, the group are shocked to discover that he never cries. So they try to make him feel emotional – including by bringing up Bambi. But all it does is give Chandler another excuse to crack a joke.
31. Rachel’s joke about Ross’ divorces
Rachel: “Oh, are you setting Ross up with someone? Does she have a wedding dress?”
One thing that provides plenty of humor in Friends? The fact that Ross has been married and divorced three times – including to Rachel – by season six. So when Monica is matchmaking to find him a date, Rachel can’t resist poking fun at her ex-husband’s romantic history.
30. Chandler’s one-liner
Chandler: “I’m not great at the advice. Can I interest you in a sarcastic comment?”
While all the main characters in Friends cracked jokes that had the audience in stitches, Chandler was best-known for his one-liners. And when Rachel started talking to him about her fears for her friendship with Joey, this was his memorable response.
29. The Vanilla Ice joke
Ross: “Chandler entered a Vanilla Ice look-alike contest and won!”
Chandler: “Ross came fourth and cried!”
When Chandler informs Monica about an extremely humiliating moment for Ross at Disneyland, the latter is furious at Chandler for spilling the beans. Before long, the trio begin sharing all kinds of secrets about one another – leading to a hilarious revelation involving Vanilla Ice.
28. Phoebe’s computer joke
Phoebe: “If you want to receive emails about my upcoming shows please give me money so I can buy a computer.”
Phoebe works as a masseuse, but she also sings at Central Perk and on the street. Most memorably, she writes and performs the song “Smelly Cat.” And after one of her singing sessions at the coffee house, she comes up with this creative way to try to earn some tips.
27. Phoebe’s paleontology joke
Phoebe: “Come on Ross, you’re a paleontologist – dig a little deeper.”
When Phoebe is the only friend who’s aware that Chandler is preparing to ask Monica to marry him, she comes up with an interesting way to throw Ross off the scent: telling him that Chandler is mad at him. And after he says he can’t imagine why, she delivers this brilliant retort.
26. Ross’s dinosaur joke
Ross to Rachel: “A hundred million people went to see a movie about what I do. I wonder how many people would go see a movie called Jurassic Parka. No, no, no, a bunch of out-of-control jackets take over an island!”
Although the other friends may make fun of Ross’ work, he takes a lot of pride in it. So he makes this witty Jurassic Park reference to show Rachel that his job shouldn’t be belittled – especially by someone who works in fashion.
25. Monica’s sharp comeback
Rachel: “I’m not someone who goes after a guy five minutes after he’s divorced.”
Monica: “No, you go after them five minutes before they get married.”
As fans know, Rachel showed up at Ross’ wedding to Emily at the last minute – prompting him to say her name instead of his fiancée’s at the altar. So Monica is quick to point that out when Rachel is nervous about making a move on Ross following his divorce.
24. Chandler’s response to “we were on a break”
Ross: “We were on a break!”
Chandler: “Oh, my God! If you say that one more time, I’m going to break up with you!”
One of the most famous lines in Friends is “we were on a break,” referencing the disagreement between Ross and Rachel over whether they were broken up when he had a fling with someone else. It appears several times throughout the series – and Chandler became so sick of hearing it that he delivered the perfect comeback.
23. The hairless cat reaction
Rachel: “Check it out!”
Joey: “What the hell is that?”
Rachel: “It’s… it’s a cat!”
Ross: “Why is it inside out?”
Rachel is excited about her new pet when she buys a Sphynx cat that reminds her of her grandmother’s old kitty. But when she brings it home, her friends are horrified by its hairless appearance. Eventually, Rachel sells Mrs. Whiskerson to the manager of Central Perk, Gunther.
22. Joey’s job title for Ross
Joey: “Occupation? Dinosaurs.”
Ross: “Actually I’m a paleon… dinosaurs is fine.”
When a disagreement between Ross and Joey – over Rachel, no less – lands Ross in the emergency room with a broken thumb, Joey offers to help him fill out the necessary paperwork. But realizing that an explanation and spelling of his actual job title would be too taxing, Ross just lets Joey simplify it in his own way.
21. Phoebe’s perfect response
Joey: “Pheebs, you want to help?”
Phoebe: “Oh, I wish I could, but I don’t want to.”
Right from the start of Friends, Phoebe’s eccentric nature was introduced – and it provided plenty of comic relief. One example of this is in season one, when Joey asks if she wants to help them build furniture at Ross’ apartment. Her funny response gives viewers an insight into her quirky personality.
20. Joey’s TV joke
Sarah: “I’m sorry, I don’t own a TV.”
Joey: “You don’t own a TV? What’s all your furniture pointed at?”
Joey loves to bring up the fact that he appeared in the soap opera Days of Our Lives at every possible opportunity. So he does just that when he meets a paleontologist while at a conference in Barbados with Ross. But when she admits that she doesn’t have a television, his shock is clear.
19. The taxes joke
Rachel: “Isn’t this exciting! I earned this! I wiped tables for it, I steamed milk for it, and it was totally… not worth it. Who’s FICA? Why’s he getting all my money?”
At the start of Friends, Rachel was an overindulged daddy’s girl. But she eventually learned the value of a dollar and the importance of a work ethic. Upon being given her first paycheck for working at Central Perk, however, she’s shocked to discover how much cash actually ends up in her pocket.
18. The pigs in Ross joke
Monica: “If you don’t help me cook, I’m going to take a bunch of those hot dogs and make a new appetizer called pigs in Ross.”
When Ross’ ex-wife Carol is marrying her partner Susan, Monica agrees to cater the wedding. But after she falls behind her schedule, Monica enlists her friends to help. Although Ross is moaning about the nuptials, his sister makes it clear that she means business – and that it’s time for him to get stuck in.
17. Chandler’s marriage joke
Chandler: “Ross, just for my own peace of mind, you’re not married to any more of us are you?”
Put off by the thought of a third marriage ending in divorce after he’d drunkenly tied the knot with Rachel in Las Vegas, Ross claims that he’ll get an annulment but then fails to keep his word. Of course, his deception backfires, and Rachel is furious when she finds out the truth. But Chandler nonetheless can’t resist using the situation as fodder for one of his jokes.
16. The Donald Duck joke
Chandler: “You know what’s weird? Donald Duck never wore pants. But whenever he’s getting out of the shower, he always puts a towel around his waist. I mean, what is that about?”
The jokes in Friends weren’t always about what the characters were going through in that particular episode. Sometimes, they were seemingly random – and Chandler’s Donald Duck comment was a classic instance of that.
15. The joke about Ross’ teeth
Ross: “Hey, Rachel, did you notice…”
Rachel: “Your teeth? Yeah, I saw them from outside.”
In yet another instance of Ross making a bad decision ahead of a date, he whitens his teeth – only to go to an extreme, leaving them looking alarmingly conspicuous. Although Ross hopes the situation isn’t as bad as Monica seems to find it, Rachel makes it clear that there’s no way he can hide this mistake.
14. The Divorce Force joke
Ross: “If you’re going to call me names, I would prefer Ross, the Divorce Force. It’s just cooler.”
Even Ross himself eventually recognizes that the fact he’s been divorced three times is unusual. And he also finally accepts that his friends are going to make fun of him for it. So when Phoebe calls him “Divorce-O,” he admits he’d prefer a nickname he’s come up with himself.
13. The rehearsal dinner joke
Chandler: “I’m so glad we’re having this rehearsal dinner, you know. I so rarely get to practice my meals before I eat.”
Chandler’s awkward nature comes out in full force right before Phoebe gets married to Mike in the final season of Friends. Always one for making jokes at the wrong time, this is how he greets the bride and groom at their rehearsal dinner.
12. The joke about Chandler’s name
Chandler: “I can handle this. Handle is my middle name. Actually, handle is the middle of my first name.”
Once again, Chandler cracks a joke at the wrong time, and his pals aren’t impressed. On this occasion, the group attempts to go on a ski trip following Ross and Rachel’s acrimonious break-up. And tensions between the couple are not helped when everything starts to go wrong, prompting Chandler to try – and fail – to lighten the mood.
11. The “pla” joke
Monica: “Do you have a plan?”
Phoebe: “I don’t even have a pla.”
Phoebe delivered one of her best-loved lines during the fourth episode of Friends. In it, she’s having a slumber party with Monica and Rachel that’s supposed to be fun. But when Rachel starts comparing her own life to those of some of her other pals, they all become miserable.
10. Chandler’s advertising ideas
Chandler: “Cheese. It’s milk that you chew.”
“Crackers. Because your cheese needs a buddy.”
“A grape. Because who can get a watermelon in your mouth?”
“The phone. Bringing you closer to people… who have phones.”
When Chandler opts for career change, he decides to go into advertising – but has to start as an unpaid intern. Nevertheless, he feels that the move is right for him and comes up with some slogans for everyday items that will be well-remembered by fans.
9. The Friend Zone joke
Joey: “Because you waited too long to make your move, and now you’re in the Friend Zone.”
Ross: “I’m not in the Zone.”
Joey: “No, Ross. You’re mayor of the zone.”
After Rachel, Ross and Joey get stuck in a blackout at the apartment, Joey tries to give Ross some tough love and urges his pal to make a move on Rachel before it’s too late. Interestingly, thanks to Joey, the term “Friend Zone” is still in use today.
8. The Halloween joke
Joey: “Halloween is so stupid. Dressing up, pretending to be someone you’re not.”
Chandler: “You’re an actor.”
When the friends are celebrating Halloween, Joey says that he won’t dress up for the costume party Chandler and Monica are hosting because he hates acting like he’s someone else. So it doesn’t take long for quick-witted Chandler to point out that that’s what Joey does for a living.
7. The Central Perk joke
Rachel: “Just come by at lunch so my boss doesn’t see you, ’cos Kim will freak out, and she already doesn’t like me very much.”
Chandler: “That’s weird, I don’t think my boss likes me, either.”
Monica: “I don’t think mine likes me, either.”
Ross: “Maybe it’s a universal thing?”
Joey: “Or maybe… it’s because you’re hanging around here at 11:30 a.m. on a Wednesday.”
Friends wasn’t afraid to make light of the fact that the characters seemed to spend a lot more time at the coffee house than they did at their places of work.
6. The fort joke
Joey: “Come on, Chandler. Ross is our friend, and he needs us right now. So why don’t you be a grownup and come watch some TV in the fort?”
When Ross is evicted from his home and needs somewhere to stay, he seeks refuge at Chandler and Joey’s place and quickly gets on their nerves. However, they still manage to have some fun together – especially when Joey builds a fort for them to enjoy.
5. The joke about Joey’s roommate
Monica: “Joey, did you even interview this woman before you asked her to move in?”
Joey: “Of course I did.”
Monica: “What exactly did you ask her?”
Joey: “When can you move in?”
Elle Macpherson guest starred in season six of Friends as Joey’s roommate, and it doesn’t take long for a romance to spark between them. She doesn’t get along with Chandler and Monica, however, and eventually forces Joey to make a choice. Unsurprisingly, he picks his pals.
4. The Miss Congeniality joke
Chandler: “She’s turning on the TV. It’s Miss Congeniality!”
Monica: “Babe, if you know it through a wall, you know it too well.”
While in Barbados, Rachel and Joey share a kiss. And Chandler, Monica and Phoebe, who are in the hotel room next door, start listening in on their friends. It turns out that Chandler is a big fan of Miss Congeniality, and he later makes Monica watch the movie with him.
3. The joke about Joey’s love life
Joey: “It’s never taken me a week to get over a relationship.”
Monica: “It’s never taken you more than a shower to get over a relationship.”
Joey does fall in love during Friends and even tells Rachel that he has feelings for her. But for the most part, he’s known for dating a lot of women – and few of them seriously. That’s why Monica takes a jab at him when they’re discussing Ross and Rachel’s split.
2. The joke about Monica’s weight
Joey: “Some girl ate Monica!”
Monica: “Shut up. The camera adds ten pounds!”
Chandler: “So how many cameras are actually on you?”
Years before Friends began, Monica was a lot larger. And Courteney Cox can be seen wearing a fat suit in some flashback scenes to demonstrate this. So when the characters watch an old home movie of Monica, it doesn’t take long for Joey and Chandler to joke about her former size.
1. The war joke
Monica: “I think I’d be great in a war. I’d, like, get all the medals.”
Chandler: “Before or after you’re executed by your own troops?”
Although she’s still a lovable character, Monica’s authoritative nature and strict attention to detail sometimes rub people the wrong way. She’s extremely competitive and always wants to win – and Chandler makes it clear that not everybody takes kindly to that.