F.R.I.E.N.D.S Season 1 Overview-Episode Breakdown
F.R.I.E.N.D.S is an American television sitcom which aired from September 22, 1994 to May 6 2004, lasting ten seasons. The show revolves around six friends in their 20s and 30s who live in Manhattan, New York City. Let’s have a look at the characters.
- Rachel Green
- Monica Geller
- Phoebe Buffay
- Joey Tribbiani
- Chandler Bing
- Ross Geller
1. Rachel Green
Rachel is the spoiled but warm-hearted daughter of a rich vascular surgeon and his wife. She is introduced into the series in the first episode after she leaves her fiancé, Barry, at the altar, and attempts to live independently without financial support from her parents. She flees from her almost-wedding to New York City to find Monica Geller, her friend from high school. Rachel moves into Monica’s apartment and becomes friends with Joey, Chandler and Phoebe.
2. Monica Geller
Monica is the mother hen of the group, who is known for her obsessive-compulsive and competitive nature. She is an intelligent, kind-hearted person who works primarily as a chef at a variety of restaurants throughout the show.
3. Phoebe Buffay
Phoebe is an odd, ditzy albeit sweet-natured masseuse who grew up homeless. She is an aspiring musician who plays the guitar and sings songs with somewhat unusual lyrics at the coffee shop.
4. Joey Tribbiani
Joey is a good-natured but not-so-bright struggling actor and food lover, who becomes mildly famous for his role as Dr. Drake Ramoray on Days of Our Lives. Joey is a womanizer, with many girlfriends throughout the series.
5. Chandler Bing
Chandler is an executive in statistical analysis and data reconfiguration for a large multinational corporation, a job which he despises. Chandler is known for his sarcastic sense of humor. An intelligent man at the end of the day (despite all his goofy quirkiness). Chandler is often depicted as being somewhat of a hapless individual, suffering a lot of bad luck while struggling through life and occasionally struggling with an on-and-off smoking addiction.
Ross is a paleontologist at a museum of prehistory, and later a professor of paleontology at New York University. The most intelligent of the six main characters, but at the same time a clumsy, quirky man, Ross is known for being a know-it-all who prides himself on his rationality, despite his clear hopeless romanticism.
Now that we’ve found out a little bit about the characters, let us have a look at what season 1 is all about.
The season contains a total of 24 episodes. In this season, we are introduced to the six main characters. In the beginning, the gang is hanging out at Central Perk when Ross comes inside, all depressed about his failed marriage because his wife turned out to be a lesbian. Just then, Rachel runs inside. Rachel runs inside with her wedding dress because she left her fiance at the altar on her wedding day since she realises that she doesn’t love him anymore. It establishes early on in the season that Ross has been infatuated with Rachel since the two of them attended high school together.
Several episodes revolve around his attempts to tell her how he feels. Meanwhile, Ross’s estranged lesbian wife Carol is pregnant with his baby. This puts him and Carol’s lesbian life partner, Susan, in an awkward position. When the baby is born at the end of the season, Ross, Carol, and Susan agree to name him Ben: after a name tag on a janitor’s uniform worn by Phoebe.
Throughout the season the other characters are going on multiple dates, many of which go wrong. The recurring character of Janice is introduced as a girlfriend Chandler breaks up with in an early episode but frequently returns throughout the series. At the end of the season Ross leaves for a fossil dig in China, but when Chandler lets it slip about Ross’s continuing feelings for Rachel on her birthday, she is shocked. She rushes off to the airport to tell him about her feelings, only to find out that he has a new girlfriend.
Now that we’ve seen a summary of season one, let’s see what happens in each episode.
Episode 1: Pilot
Rachel leaves Barry at the altar and moves in with Monica. Monica goes on a date with Paul the wine guy, who turns out to be the opposite of sincere. Ross is depressed about his failed marriage. Everyone watches Spanish soaps. Ross reveals his high school crush on Rachel.
Episode 2: The One With The Sonogram At The End
Ross finds out his ex-wife (Carol) is pregnant, and he has to attend the sonogram together with Carol’s lesbian life-partner, Susan. Monica and Ross’s parents come for dinner, which stresses Monica out. Ross and Rachel console each other. Rachel returns the ring to Barry, who is less upset about the break-up than expected.
Episode 3: The One With The Thumb
Ross discovers the fate of his childhood pet, Chichi. Chandler starts smoking again and when the group complains, he diverts their attention to their own faults. Phoebe gets money she doesn’t want, she complains and gets more. She then gives it away and gets a can of soda in return… which contains a thumb. The beverage company gives her $7000. Monica’s new boyfriend (Alan) is a hit with her friends, but Monica’s not too sure.
Episode 4: The One With George Stephanopoulos
Ross, upset about it being the anniversary of his first time with Carol, goes to a hockey game with Chandler and Joey and gets hit with a puck in the face. They end up at the hospital, where Ross reveals that Carol is the only woman he’s even been intimate with. Rachel gets a visit from her old friends, which depresses her about her life. The women have a slumber party, which isn’t very fun until they spy on George Stephanopoulos.
Episode 5: The One With The East-German Laundry Detergent
Chandler and Phoebe decide to break up with Janice and Tony on the same night. Phoebes’ goes really well but Chandler has a harder time. Ross arranges to do laundry with Rachel and Monica. Monica cancels, leaving just the two of them. Rachel reveals she’s never done laundry before… and accidentally dyes all her white clothes pink. Joey wants his ex-girlfriend (Angela) to break up with her boyfriend (Bob), so he arranges for Monica and him to double date with them but he tells Monica that Angela and Bob are siblings. Janice buys Chandler Bullwinkle socks. Rachel is so happy about her laundry experience that she kisses Ross.
Episode 6: The One With The Butt
Everyone attends Joey’s new musical, Freud! While there, Chandler meets a beautiful and exotic woman, Aurora, and begins dating her. Joey gets picked up by the Estelle Leonard Talent Agency, which gets him a job as Al Pacino’s butt double. However, he loses the job by overacting. Rachel cleans the apartment by herself for the first time. However, she moves the green ottoman, which starts Monica OCD. Chandler finds out Aurora is married and already has another boyfriend. When she picks up another, Chandler isn’t sure he can take it.
Episode 7: The One With The Blackout
New York City is blacked out. Chandler is trapped in an ATM vestibule with Jill Goodacre. The rest of the gang hangs out at Monica and Rachel’s apartment. While trying to share his feelings with Rachel, Ross is attacked by a cat. While searching for the cat’s owner, Rachel and Phoebe meet “the Weird Man”, known in later episodes as Mr. Heckles. He tries to claim the cat, but it obviously isn’t his. The cat turns out to belong to Paolo, an Italian hunk who lives in the building and doesn’t speak much English.
Episode 8: The One Where Nana Dies Twice
Chandler finds out a lot of people think he’s gay when they first meet him and he tries to find out why. Paolo gives Rachel calls and shoes from Rome. Ross and Monica’s grandmother dies… twice. At the funeral, Joey watches a football game on a portable TV and Ross falls into an open grave and hurts his back, then gets a bit loopy on muscle relaxers. Monica tries to deal with her mother’s criticisms.
Episode 9: The One Where Underdog Gets Away
Joey poses for a health poster, but later finds out he’s become the V.D. poster boy. Ross finds out Susan is reading to the unborn baby and decides he must, too. Ross and Monica plan their own Thanksgiving dinner because their parents are away. Phoebe joins them and Joey joins in because his family thinks he has V.D. Monica has to make three kinds of potatoes. Chandler plans to boycott Thanksgiving because his parents announced their divorce on that day. Rachel has plans to go to Vale to be with her family. The Underdog balloon breaks free during the parade; everyone goes to the roof to watch but they get locked out of Monica’s apartment; The dinner is burned and Rachel misses her flight. Everyone ends up eating Chandler’s cheese sandwiches and Funyuns for dinner.
Episode 10: The One With The Monkey
Ross gets a monkey named Marcel. Everyone makes a pact not to bring dates to their New Years Eve Party. While performing at Central Perk, Phoebe confronts some noisy boys and ends up dating one of them: David, the Scientist Guy. Their relationship develops well until he gets offered a grant to go to Minsk, and doesn’t know what to do. Everyone breaks the no-date pact except Ross. Phoebe brings David, Joey brings Sandy, someone he met while working as an elf in a department store, Rachel plans to bring Paolo, who’s flying in earlier than expected. Chandler snaps and asks Janice, Monica invites Fun Bobby and Ross just brings Marcel. However, no one ends up with their date (or monkey) at midnight.
Episode 11: The One With Mrs. Bing
Monica and Phoebe distract an attractive guy who then gets hit by a car and ends up in a coma.They both take care of him in the hospital but begin getting very competitive and possessive over him. Chandler’s mom is on Jay Leno and then pays Chandler a visit. Paolo returns from Rome. Mrs. Bing takes everyone out to dinner and ends up kissing Ross. Mrs. Bing gives Rachel advice on writing romance novels. Ross tells Chandler about the kiss and convinces him to confront his mother about his feelings.
Episode 12: The One With the Dozen Lasagnas
Everyone hums the theme from The Odd Couple. Monica is stuck with a dozen lasagnas because she didn’t know they were supposed to be vegetarian. Paolo and Rachel prepare for their first weekend away together. Just then Paolo makes a pass at Phoebe, which ends his relationship with Rachel. Phoebe makes the best oatmeal-raisin cookies in the world. Joey and Chandler have to get a new table, but can’t agree on which one so they end up with a foosball table. Monica rules the foosball field. Carol finds out the gender of the baby, but Ross doesn’t want to know even though everyone else knows.
Episode 13: The One with the Boobies
Chandler accidentally walks in on Rachel after a shower and sees her breasts, leading to a series of shower peepings. Phoebe’s new psychiatrist boyfriend, Roger, depresses and angers everyone. Joey finds out his dad has been having an affair with Ronni for six years. He insists his dad either break it off or confess, but it turns out his mom already knew and didn’t want it to stop.
Episode 14: The One with the Candy Hearts
Ross goes on a date with Kristen, a woman from his apartment building. Carol and Susan show up at the same restaurant. That’s when Susan gets paged and leaves. Ross pays so much attention to Carol that he doesn’t even notice his date has left. Joey can’t go out with his date, Lorraine unless he brings a friend for her friend. Chandler agrees to go, but the date turns out to be Janice. Somehow they end up together again. Janice buys Chandler candy hearts for Valentine’s Day but he breaks up with her again. Phoebe, Monica, and Rachel have a cleansing ritual to rid themselves of bad luck with men, which turns into a small fire and firemen come to the rescue.
Episode 15:The One with the Stoned Guy
Chandler gets offered a promotion at work but turns it down because he doesn’t like his career but his boss, however, keeps offering more money until Chandler accepts. He spends the day showing off his new office to Phoebe and his night working late. A client of Phoebe’s needs a new head-chef, so Monica auditions for him. Unfortunately, he’s stoned and the evening is a disaster. Ross goes out with Celia, a woman from the museum, who wants him to talk dirty and it’s a skill he hasn’t quite mastered… at first.
Episode 16:The One with the Two Parts, Part 1
Chandler and Joey meet Ursula, Phoebe’s twin sister. Joey begins dating Ursula, but that bothers Phoebe, who doesn’t get along with her sister very well. Ross attends Lamaze class with Carol and Susan. Carol isn’t sure she can go through with the delivery and Ross realizes he’s really going to be a father. Chandler can’t bear to fire an employee he’s attracted to, so he starts to date her and tells everyone else she’s mentally unbalanced, so it isn’t safe to fire her.
She begins to notice people treating her oddly, so Chandler has to come clean. Ross has trouble controlling his monkey, Marcel, who switches Monica’s TV into Spanish mode and no one can figure out how to switch it back. Jamie and Fran (from Mad About You) make an appearance in Central Perk. Rachel finally gets around to taking down the Christmas lights, but falls off the balcony in the process, and ends up hanging upside down outside Mr. Heckles’ window.
Episode 17: The One with the Two Parts, Part 2
Monica takes Rachel to the hospital and finds out that Rachel has no insurance. So she and Monica switch identities, a tricky situation that is made worse when two cute doctors ask them on dates. Monica and Rachel start arguing and end up listing all their worst qualities in front of their dates. Ross worries about whether he can be a good father and he seeks comfort from his friends and advice from his father.
Joey continues to date Ursula, which interferes with his friendship with Phoebe. He misses her birthday. However, when Ursula stands Joey up and won’t return his calls, Phoebe talks to her and finds out she isn’t even planning to tell Joey it’s over. So Phoebe pretends to be Ursula so she can let him down nicely. Marcel chokes on scrabble tiles and has to be rushed to the hospital and that’s when Ross realizes he can cope with the responsibilities of parenthood.
Episode 18: The One with All the Poker
Rachel, tired of being a waitress, sends out resumes. She gets an interview with Saks Fifth Avenue. Ross pines for Rachel. The girls decide they want in on the guys’ poker games. Reluctantly, the guys accept. The girls don’t do so well, but they want a rematch. Monica’s competitive side comes out. Monica enlists the help of her Aunt Iris to give them some poker tips, the girls still don’t do so well. Then at the third game, the girls are going down again. Rachel gets some bad news about the job for which she’s been interviewing, and gets aggressive at cards. She taunts Ross into a high stakes hand… and he lets her win because he wants to see her happy.
Episode 19: The One Where the Monkey Gets Away
Rachel finds out Barry is engaged to Mindy, her former bridesmaid. She begins to show interest in dating again, so Ross decides to ask her out. However, before he gets the chance, she loses Marcel while monkey-sitting, which temporarily drives a wedge between them. Rachel, not knowing Marcel is an illegal exotic animal, calls Animal Control. And the animal-catcher turns out to be Luisa, who went to high-school with Monica and Rachel. Luisa’s memories of high school aren’t favorable toward Rachel, so she decides not to cut them any breaks.
While looking for Marcel, Joey and Chandler meet some hot girls (Samantha and Tia) with a broken radiator. Luisa tries to shoot Marcel with a tranquilizer but hits Phoebe instead. A delivery of bananas leads everyone to Mr. Heckles apartment and he claims the monkey as his own until Luisa shows up. Rachel pleads with Luisa to let Ross keep Marcel, but it’s only the threat of reporting her for shooting Phoebe that convinces her. Ross and Rachel finally sit down for some wine, but before Ross can ask Rachel out, Barry barges in, saying he’s still in love with her.
Episode 20: The One with the Evil Orthodontist
The gang argues the virtues of Mr. Peanut and Mr. Salty. Someone is peeping into the apartment building with a telescope and Joey discovers it’s a woman, and that she’s very complimentary. Chandler has a good first date with Daniel and then obsesses about trying to call her again without seeming too needy. Rachel ends up sleeping with Barry instead of telling him to get lost but after she and Mindy (Barry’s fiance’) get together and talk, Rachel decides Barry is evil. Joey has a one-track mind after Rachel mentions that her best friend, Mindy, taught her to kiss. Ross does a crossword puzzle.
Episode 21: The One with Fake Monica
Monica’s credit card is stolen and after seeing the credit card statement, she decides the thief lives her life better than she does. She meets ‘Fake Monica’ at a dance class which was charged to her card, and surprisingly they become friends. As Mononna, she and Fake Monica have a great time until Fake Monica is arrested. Ross’ monkey, Marcel, reaches sexual maturity and starts humping everything in sight and so, Ross has to find a zoo in which to put his pet. Joey tries to choose a stage name.
Episode 22: The One with the Ick Factor
Rachel has sex dreams, first about Chandler, then Chandler and Joey, and finally about Ross. Phoebe looks for supplemental income, and works part time as Chandler’s secretary. This leads to Chandler’s discovery that the people at the office don’t like him anymore and they even mimic his unique way of talking. Monica dates Ethan, a younger man who turns out to be even younger than she thought and she breaks up with him because it’s just too icky. Ross gets a beeper so Carol can page him when she goes into labor. After several false alarms, he gets beeped for the real thing, and everyone heads to the hospital.
Episode 23: The One with the Birth
Everyone arrives at the hospital for Carol’s delivery. Ross and Susan fight. Rachel flirts with the doctor for a while. Phoebe sings and makes a lot of sense. Joey helps a single mother (Lydia) give birth. Monica yearns for a baby of her own and Chandler tries to comfort her, but isn’t totally successful. The baby is named Ben, after Phoebe.
Episode 24: The One Where Rachel Finds Out
Joey participates in a fertility study, but things get hard when he has to avoid intimacy with Melanie, his new fruit-basket-making girlfriend. The gang has a barbecue, but Ross only shows up long enough to drop off Rachel’s birthday present and announce he’s going to China to get a bone for the museum. Later, while Rachel opens her presents, Chandler lets slip that Ross is in love with her. She goes to the airport to catch him before he leaves, but just misses him. While he’s gone, she debates what to do. Finally, she decides to go for it and goes to the airport for his return. Unknown to her, however, Ross has become involved with another woman during his week in China.
So this is the summary of Season 1.
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