‘Friends’ Series Premiere Throwback Recap: The Five Best Jokes — and Two Lamest Ones

Before the dawn of Gilmore Girls Luke (Scott Patterson) and Lorelai (Lauren Graham), there was the granddaddy of off-on TV couples: Ross (David Schwimmer) and Rachel (Jennifer Aniston). The year was 1994, the show was Friends, and they were each other’s lobsters. 

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Because ’90s nostalgia is the greatest thing ever, and no couples have come close to being as goalworthy as #Rosschel (hashtag clearly a work in progress), we’re revisiting the hit NBC sitcom’s September 1994 series premiere as the ultimate #TBT. Check out the best jokes from the first Friends episode — along with a couple that didn’t exactly stand the test of time. 

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Also, feel free to change into a white turtleneck and black vest while reading this because apparently that’s all anyone wore back then.

1. Chandler’s Self-Deprecating Humor Wins at Life

The scene: The gang is chilling at Central Perk, livin’ that hilarious ’90s life (suspenders alert!), when Monica announces that she’s going out on a hot nondate.

Monica (Courteney Cox): “Everybody relax — this is just two people going out to dinner and not having sex!”

Chandler (Matthew Perry): “Sounds like a date to me!”

LOL level: 5

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2. Ross Nerds Out

The scene: Ross tries to make Rachel feel better about her canceled honeymoon in Aruba, and instead ends up unleashing his inner dino nerd.

Ross: “Aruba? This time of year? Talk about your … big lizards.”

LOL level: 4 (Classic Ross.)

3. Phoebe Gets Her Hippie On

The scene: Monica’s bummed when her date with Paul the Wine Guy goes south, so Phoebe (Lisa Kudrow) tries to help in the only way she knew how. Bless her heart.

Monica: “Is it me? Is it like I have some sort of beacon that only dogs and men with severe emotional problems can hear.”

Phoebe: “All right, come here, give me your feet.”

LOL level: 3

Jennifer Aniston as Rachel Green, David Schwimmer as Ross Geller, Courteney Cox as Monica Geller, Matt LeBlanc as Joey Tribbiani, Lisa Kudrow as Phoebe Buffay and Matthew Perry as Chandler Bing (from left)

4. Monica Real-Talks

The scene: The Friends help Rachel cut up her credit cards and become a full-fledged adult. Everyone’s hair is massively fluffy.

Monica: “Welcome to the real world. It sucks. You’re gonna love it!”

LOL level: 2

5. Phoebe Real-Talks Even Harder

The scene: The Friends help Ross put together some new, extremely ’90s furniture following his breakup with Carol.

Joey: “Pheebs, you wanna help?”

Phoebe: “Oh, I wish I could, but I don’t want to.”

LOL level: 1

6. Chandler Body Shames, Twitter Goes In (Oh, Wait, Twitter Hasn’t Been Invented)

The scene: The Friends watch a soap opera featuring a plus-size woman with high-waisted skinny jeans.

Chandler: “Ohhh, she should not be wearing those pants.”

LOL level: 0 (Could this be any more uncool of him?)

7. Ross Gently Mocks Lesbians

The scene: Ross is mourning the breakup of his marriage after Carol left him for another woman.

Ross: “This was Carol’s favorite beer. She always drank it out of the can. I should have known.”

LOL level: -1 (Jokes stereotyping marginalized groups of people = not that funny in 2016.)

Tell Us: Do you think Friends holds up in 2016?

Friends airs on Must-See TV Thursdays, in the past (sob!) — and on basically every channel in reruns.

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