Friends
Season 1
Friends Season 1 DVD.jpg
Friends season 1 DVD cover
Starring
Country of originUnited States
No. of episodes24
Release
Original networkNBC
Original releaseSeptember 22, 1994 (1994-09-22) –
May 18, 1995 (1995-05-18)
Season chronology
Next →
Season 2
List of episodes

The first season of Friends, an American sitcom created by David Crane and Marta Kauffman, premiered on NBC on September 22, 1994. Friends was produced by Bright/Kauffman/Crane Productions, in association with Warner Bros. Television. The season contains 24 episodes and concluded airing on May 18, 1995.

Reception

Early reviews of the series were generally positive.[1] In the Los Angeles Daily News, Ray Richmond named the series as "one of the brighter comedies of the new season",[2] and the Los Angeles Times called it "flat-out the best comedy series of the new season".[3] Tom Feran of The Plain Dealer wrote that the series traded "vaguely and less successfully on the hanging-out style of Seinfeld",[4] while Ann Hodges of the Houston Chronicle called it "the new Seinfeld wannabe, but it will never be as funny as Seinfeld."[5] Chicago Sun-Times' Ginny Holbert found Joey and Rachel's characteristics to be underdeveloped,[6] while Richmond commended the cast as a "likeable, youth ensemble" with "good chemistry";[2] Robert Bianco of USA Today was complimentary of Schwimmer, calling him "terrific". He also praised the female leads, but was concerned that Perry's role as Chandler was "undefined" and that LeBlanc was "relying too much on the same brain-dead stud routine that was already tired the last two times he tried it".[7] The authors of Friends Like Us: The Unofficial Guide to Friends thought that the cast was "trying just a little too hard", in particular Perry and Schwimmer.[8] People Magazine said that the "saving grace" is that the characters become more likable as time goes on.

Legacy

Collider ranked the season #9 on their ranking of the ten Friends seasons.[9] They wrote that the best episode of the season was "The One Where Rachel Finds Out".

Cast and characters

See also: List of Friends characters

(In particular, Introduced in season 1 or Only in season 1)

Episodes

See also: List of Friends episodes

No.
overall
No. in
season
TitleDirected byWritten byOriginal air dateProd.
code
U.S. viewers
(millions)
11"Pilot"[a]
"The One Where Monica Gets a Roommate"
"The One Where It All Began"
"The First One"
James BurrowsDavid Crane & Marta KauffmanSeptember 22, 1994 (1994-09-22)47508521.5[11]
After leaving her fiancé, Barry, at the altar, Rachel finds herself in Central Perk Café, soaking wet in her wedding dress, looking for her old friend Monica. Rachel ends up moving into Monica's New York apartment. Chandler and Joey, who live across the hall from Monica, console Ross after his wife Carol, has just left him for a woman. Monica, a chef, falls for "Paul the Wine Guy" only to be crushed that their night of passion was merely a one-night stand. The gang urge Rachel to be more independent by cutting up her father's credit cards. Rachel, who has never worked before, is offered a waitress job at Central Perk. Ross, who has had a crush on Rachel since high school, asks her out.
22"The One with the Sonogram at the End"James BurrowsDavid Crane & Marta KauffmanSeptember 29, 1994 (1994-09-29)45665220.2[11]
Carol tells Ross that she is pregnant with his child. When Ross attends the sonogram appointment, he is stunned to learn that Carol and her partner, Susan, want to give the baby their last names, but not his. When Rachel returns her engagement ring to Barry, she expects him to be heartbroken, but learns he went on their cancelled honeymoon with her maid-of-honor, Mindy. Monica stresses over her and Ross' parents coming for dinner, knowing her mother will fawn over Ross and criticize her.
33"The One with the Thumb"James BurrowsJeffrey Astrof & Mike SikowitzOctober 6, 1994 (1994-10-06)45665119.5[11]
Monica is dismayed that everyone likes her new boyfriend, Alan, more than she does. Chandler starts smoking again. When the gang complains, he diverts the attention onto their own flaws. Phoebe's bank accidentally deposits a large sum into her bank account. When she reports the error, the bank gives her an additional amount. She gives the money to her homeless friend, who buys her a can of soda in return, only to find a severed thumb inside it. Phoebe uses the money the soda company compensated her to pay Chandler to quit smoking.
44"The One with George Stephanopoulos"James BurrowsAlexa JungeOctober 13, 1994 (1994-10-13)45665419.7[11]
Ross, feeling morose on the anniversary of his first time sleeping with Carol, attends a Rangers game with Chandler and Joey. When a hockey puck hits Ross's face, the guys take him to the emergency room. While there, Ross reveals that Carol is the only woman he has ever slept with. Rachel is upset that most of her first paycheck went to the Federal Insurance Contributions Act tax (FICA). When her old friends visit, she is even more depressed about her new life, feeling they are more successful than she. Monica and Phoebe throw a slumber party which fails to cheer up Rachel, until the girls spy on George Stephanopoulos, who they learn is staying in the apartment across the street.
55"The One with the East German Laundry Detergent"Pamela FrymanJeff Greenstein & Jeff StraussOctober 20, 1994 (1994-10-20)45665318.6[11]
Chandler and Phoebe decide to break up with their partners, Janice (Maggie Wheeler) and Tony, respectively, at the same time. Phoebe's break-up goes well, but Chandler has a harder time, requiring Phoebe's help. Ross and Rachel do laundry together, though Rachel has never done it before. While at the laundromat, Ross encourages Rachel to stand up to a pushy woman, earning him a platonic kiss from Rachel. Joey wants to date his ex-girlfriend Angela who is now seeing a man named Bob, so he arranges a double-date with Monica and the couple, telling Monica that Angela and Bob are siblings. Monica, who thinks Joey is setting her up with Bob, gets a rude awakening after seeing the "siblings" behaving 'inappropriately.' Monica then confronts Joey who tell her that he wanted to get Angela back. He says that Bob was into Monica and then get back to dinner and Monica flirting with Bob and Joey flirting with Angela. Later in the episode they excitedly cheer about breaking the couple apart.
66"The One with the Butt"Arlene SanfordAdam Chase & Ira UngerleiderOctober 27, 1994 (1994-10-27)45665518.2[11]
Chandler dates Aurora (Sofia Milos), a beautiful, exotic woman that he soon learns is married and has another boyfriend. Chandler is initially fine having a polyamorous relationship, but is unable to handle yet another lover being added to the mix. Joey's new talent agent, Estelle Leonard, gets him a film role as a stand-in for Al Pacino's butt double. However, he is fired because he "overacts" with it. Rachel cleans the apartment, but triggers Monica's obsessive-compulsive tendencies after moving some furniture around.
77"The One with the Blackout"James BurrowsJeffrey Astrof & Mike SikowitzNovember 3, 1994 (1994-11-03)45665623.5[11]
During a New York City-wide power outage, the gang hangs out at Monica and Rachel's apartment. Ross tries sharing his true feelings with Rachel but a stray cat interrupts their conversation. Rachel and Phoebe search the building for the cat's owner, but when Mr. Heckles from downstairs falsely claims it is his, he spooks it. The cat belongs to their neighbor, Paolo, a hunky, English-challenged Italian who Rachel falls for. Meanwhile, a nervous Chandler is trapped in an ATM vestibule with 'Victoria's Secret' model Jill Goodacre. (This episode was part of "Blackout Thursday", in which NBC tied three shows set in New York City together and airing the same night, beginning with the Mad About You season 3 episode "Pandora's Box" which depicted the cause of the city-wide blackout, followed by this episode, and ending with an episode of the short-lived show Madman of the People. Seinfeld aired the same night but did not participate.)
88"The One Where Nana Dies Twice"James BurrowsMarta Kauffman & David CraneNovember 10, 1994 (1994-11-10)45665721.1[11]
Ross and Monica rush to the hospital when their elderly grandmother is taken ill. After she passes, the family individually go in to say their goodbyes. Ross and Monica are shocked when their "dead" grandmother momentarily revives before dying again. Chandler is astounded when a work friend tries fixing him up with a male colleague, and wants to find out why most of his co-workers and others initially think he is gay. The gang attend Ross and Monica's grandmother's funeral. At the reception, Monica subtly confronts her mother about her constantly critical attitude. Ross, who fell into an open grave and hurt his back, becomes loopy on muscle relaxers. And Joey, Jack Geller and other men at the funeral end up listening to a New York Giants football game with Jack saying at the end "Now I'm depressed" ruining the mood of the funeral.
99"The One Where Underdog Gets Away"James BurrowsJeff Greenstein & Jeff StraussNovember 17, 1994 (1994-11-17)45665923.1[11]
Ross wants equal "belly time" after learning that Susan regularly talks to his unborn baby. Monica plans a quiet Thanksgiving feast at her apartment when her and Ross's parents are away. Plans soon go awry: Phoebe joins them because she celebrates Thanksgiving in December with her grandmother. Joey, who posed for a public health poster, also arrives because his family has banned him, believing he has an STD. Chandler also attends, despite always boycotting Thanksgiving because his parents announced their divorce on that holiday when he was a child. When it is reported that the 'Underdog' balloon has broken free during the parade, everyone rushes to the roof to watch, then get locked out of Monica's apartment. By the time they get back in, the dinner is burned. Rachel, who was about to leave for a skiing trip in Vail with her family, has missed her flight. Monica makes tomato soup and grilled cheese sandwiches, Chandler's usual Thanksgiving feast, for everyone.
1010"The One with the Monkey"Peter BonerzAdam Chase & Ira UngerleiderDecember 15, 1994 (1994-12-15)45666119.9[11]
The gang makes a pact not to bring dates to their New Year's Eve party, but everyone soon breaks it except Ross. While performing at Central Perk, Phoebe confronts some noisy scientists then dates one, David (Hank Azaria), whom she brings to the party. Their relationship goes well until David and his research partner are offered a grant in Minsk, and he must choose to stay with Phoebe or go for career-making research. Monica invites 'Fun' Bobby, who arrives unhappy because his grandfather just died. Joey is uncomfortable around his date Sandy's children, who she brought to the party, though she ends up in the bedroom with David's friend. Rachel's plan to bring Paolo is derailed after he misses his flight from Italy. She arrives home from the airport disheveled and sporting a swollen lip after a fight with a woman over a cab. Chandler snaps and invites Janice, but breaks up with her again after she mistakenly thinks he wants to get back together. Ross arrives with his new pet, a monkey named Marcel, who ignores Ross. In the end, everyone ends up without a date and fulfilling the pact. When Chandler whines he has no-one to kiss at midnight, Joey does the honors.
1111"The One with Mrs. Bing"James BurrowsAlexa JungeJanuary 5, 1995 (1995-01-05)45666026.6[11]
Chandler's flamboyant romance-novelist mother, Nora Bing (Morgan Fairchild), visits. At a restaurant with her and all the friends, Ross upset over Rachel and Paolo, drinks too much. He is comforted by Nora, who offers sage advice though it leads to them kissing. Joey sees them and later says that Ross has to tell Chandler. Monica and Phoebe see an attractive guy on the street; when Monica shouts after him, the guy turns and is hit by a car. While he is hospitalized in a coma, the girls take turns caring for him, then begin competing. When he wakes up, he blows them both off. Ross tells Chandler that he kissed his mother. Chandler is upset, but forgives him, and finally confronts his mother about her behavior and other issues. Rachel tries writing her own romance novel.
1212"The One with the Dozen Lasagnas"Paul LazarusJeffrey Astrof & Mike Sikowitz & Adam Chase & Ira UngerleiderJanuary 12, 1995 (1995-01-12)45665824.0[11]
Everyone except Ross knows the sex of his unborn baby; he wants to wait until it is born. Rachel breaks up with Paolo after he makes a pass at Phoebe at the massage parlor. Monica makes one dozen lasagnas for her aunt's party, only to discover she wanted them vegetarian. Ross consoles Rachel after her break-up, hoping this is his chance, though Rachel declares she is swearing off all men. Rachel accidentally lets it slip to Ross that he is having a son.
1313"The One with the Boobies"Alan MyersonAlexa JungeJanuary 19, 1995 (1995-01-19)45666425.8[11]
Chandler accidentally sees Rachel topless after her shower, and a chain reaction of nudity ensues when she tries to even the score by seeing him naked. She instead catches Joey naked, who then sees Monica unclothed, who accidentally surprises Joey's father in the shower. Joey has to decide whether or not to hide his father's affair from his mother, though she already knows and wants everything to stay as it is. Everyone dislikes Phoebe's new boyfriend, an irritating psychiatrist named Roger (Fisher Stevens), who makes uncomfortably accurate assessments about the gang.
1414"The One with the Candy Hearts"James BurrowsBill LawrenceFebruary 9, 1995 (1995-02-09)45666723.8[11]
Ross has a Valentine's Day date with a beautiful neighbor, his first date in nine years. Carol and Susan, also out on a romantic date, end up at the same restaurant. When Susan has to leave, Ross then spends all his time talking to Carol. His ignored date leaves without his realizing it. He kisses Carol, resulting in different reactions. Joey's date brings a blind date for Chandler, which turns out to be Janice; they end up sleeping together, then Chandler breaks up with her on Valentine's Day. Phoebe, Monica, and Rachel spend the holiday burning mementos of their past boyfriends, causing a fire and a visit from the fire department.
1515"The One with the Stoned Guy"Alan MyersonJeff Greenstein & Jeff StraussFebruary 16, 1995 (1995-02-16)45666324.8[11]
Monica cooks a gourmet meal for Steve (Jon Lovitz), a restaurateur looking for a new chef. He arrives stoned and wants to eat everything in sight, including taco shells and gummy bears. After working as a data processor for five years, Chandler gets promoted to supervisor, then quits, claiming he only intended for his job to be temporary. When his boss calls and offers more money, Chandler caves and goes back to work. Ross has a date with a beautiful colleague named Celia (Melora Hardin) and gives new meaning to the term "spanking the monkey" when she meets Marcel. Ross turns to Joey for advice when Celia wants him to talk dirty as foreplay.
16
17
16
17
"The One with Two Parts"Michael LembeckMarta Kauffman & David CraneFebruary 23, 1995 (1995-02-23)456665
456666
26.1[11]
30.5[11]
Joey falls for Phoebe's identical twin sister, Ursula, making Phoebe feel neglected. Meanwhile, Chandler finds himself between a rock and a hard place when he has to fire an employee he is attracted to. Ross has doubts about parenthood when he attends Lamaze classes with Carol and Susan. Meanwhile, Monica is unable to fix her TV after Marcel puts it on the "SAP" function to Spanish. After weeks of procrastinating, Rachel finally takes down the Christmas lights on their balcony, only to fall off and sprain her ankle.
At the hospital, Rachel, who has no health insurance, convinces Monica to trade identities with her so she can use Monica's coverage. The women meet two attractive doctors (George Clooney and Noah Wyle) and arrange a date, requiring them to maintain their switched identities. Ursula dumps Joey without actually telling him, so Phoebe pretends to be her so Joey will finally know. Ross doubts his ability to be a father. After Marcel swallows Scrabble tiles and has a trip to the hospital, Ross takes care of him, giving him confidence to be a good father.
  • A repeat of Seinfeld originally aired between both parts of this two-part episode.[12]
1818"The One with All the Poker"James BurrowsJeffrey Astrof & Mike SikowitzMarch 2, 1995 (1995-03-02)45666230.4[11]
Tired of customers referring to her as "Excuse me," Rachel applies for jobs in the fashion industry. She is excited to land an interview at Saks Fifth Avenue as an assistant buyer but does not get the job. Ross's normally docile demeanor disappears when the girls face the boys during a not-so-friendly poker game. Monica later seeks help from her aunt who is an expert player.
1919"The One Where the Monkey Gets Away"Peter BonerzJeffrey Astrof & Mike SikowitzMarch 9, 1995 (1995-03-09)45666829.4[11]
Rachel is depressed after reading that Barry and Mindy are engaged. The gang frantically searches for Marcel, who slipped out of the apartment while Rachel was watching him. Rachel, unaware Marcel is an illegal exotic pet, calls Animal Control, angering Ross. The animal control officer is Rachel and Monica's old high school classmate who has a long-standing grudge against Rachel, who has no memory of her. She refuses to release Marcel until Rachel threatens to report her for accidentally shooting Phoebe with a tranquilizer dart. After, Ross finds the courage to romantically pursue Rachel but Barry, Rachel's ex-fiance, barges in declaring he still loves her.
2020"The One with the Evil Orthodontist"Peter BonerzDoty AbramsApril 6, 1995 (1995-04-06)45666930.0[11]

Rachel and Barry secretly see each other, even though he is now engaged to Mindy, who asks Rachel to be her maid of honor. When Mindy says she and Barry had an affair while Rachel was engaged to Barry, Rachel finally confesses to Mindy that she has been sleeping with Barry; the two women confront him, though Mindy still wants to marry Barry. Meanwhile, Chandler goes nuts when a woman he likes does not return his phone calls, later realizing there was a mix-up. The friends become annoyed after discovering someone across the street is spying on them.

  • First appearance of the "Rachel" haircut.
2121"The One with the Fake Monica"Gail MancusoAdam Chase & Ira UngerleiderApril 27, 1995 (1995-04-27)45667128.4[11]
When Monica's credit card is stolen, she, along with Phoebe and Rachel, decide to catch the thief. Monica instead befriends the lively woman. Joey enlists his friends' help to come up with less Italian-sounding stage name. Marcel has reached sexual maturity, Ross decides he needs to be with other monkeys and tries to get him into the "Harvard of zoos" with the San Diego Zoo accepting Marcel. Joey, Chandler, Phoebe, Rachel, and Ross bid Marcel an emotional goodbye.
2222"The One with the Ick Factor"Robby BensonAlexa JungeMay 4, 1995 (1995-05-04)45667029.9[11]
After losing his virginity to Monica, young Ethan reveals that he is not a college student as she believed, but is a high school senior. Rachel has erotic dreams about Joey and Chandler, making Ross jealous. Phoebe temps as Chandler's secretary and discovers that no one at work likes him anymore now that he is the boss.
2323"The One with the Birth"James BurrowsStory by : David Crane & Marta Kauffman
Teleplay by : Jeff Greenstein & Jeff Strauss
May 11, 1995 (1995-05-11)45667228.7[11]

Carol is in the hospital about to give birth, prompting Monica to think about having a baby. While Carol is in labor, Ross and Susan bicker over who gets to assist her more and about what to name the baby. Phoebe drags them into a small room to settle their differences but they get locked in. Rachel flirts with an OB/GYN who suffers burnout from seeing female anatomy every day. Joey assists a single expectant mother (played by Leah Remini) in labor. Ross and Susan settle their differences and propose naming the new baby boy, Ben, derived from a janitor's uniform. Carol likes the name.

This was originally conceived as the season finale until James Burrows objected saying that he "didn't want the show to be about a baby".
2424"The One Where Rachel Finds Out"Kevin S. BrightChris BrownMay 18, 1995 (1995-05-18)45667331.3[11]
The museum sends Ross to China to procure a dinosaur bone, just before Rachel's birthday celebration. Chandler advises Ross to get over Rachel and find someone else. Before leaving, Ross asks Chandler to give Rachel his present at the party. Joey's new girlfriend, Melanie (Corinne Bohrer) wants to sleep with him, but Joey's participation in a fertility study requires temporary celibacy. During Rachel's birthday party, Chandler accidentally lets slip that Ross is in love with her, and a big decision presents itself.

Notes

  1. ^ Alternative titles given to the pilot episode are "The One Where Monica Gets a Roommate", "The One Where It All Began" and "The First One".[10]

References

  1. ^ "Friends: Season 1" – via www.rottentomatoes.com.
  2. ^ a b Richmond, Ray (September 22, 1994). "Season Premiere of Friends Leaves Room to Grow", (Registration required). Los Angeles Daily News, Los Angeles Newspaper Group. Retrieved January 4, 2009.
  3. ^ Rosenberg, Howard (September 22, 1994). "NBC's Strongest Evening of the Week Has Its Weak Spot", (Registration required). Los Angeles Times, Tribune Company. Retrieved January 4, 2009.
  4. ^ Feran, Tom (September 22, 1994). "New Series Softens Dabney Coleman— A Little", The Plain Dealer, Newhouse Newspapers. Retrieved January 4, 2009.
  5. ^ Hodges, Ann (September 22, 1994). "NBC sitcoms make Thursday less funny", Houston Chronicle, Hearst Newspapers. Retrieved January 4, 2009.
  6. ^ Holbert, Ginny (September 22, 1994). "X Marks Spot For Friends On Thursday". (Registration required). Chicago Sun-Times. Retrieved January 4, 2009.
  7. ^ Bianco, Robert (September 22, 1994). "Six Friends Sittin' Around, Talking", Pittsburgh Post-Gazette.
  8. ^ Sangster, p. 14
  9. ^ Chitwood, Adam (December 26, 2019). "'Friends' Seasons Ranked from Worst to Best".
  10. ^ Sangster & Bailey, p. 11.
  11. ^ a b c d e f g h i j k l m n o p q r s t u v w x "Friends Nielsen Ratings Archive - Season One". Newmusicandmore.tripod.com. Retrieved July 22, 2020.
  12. ^ "TV Listings for February 23, 1995". TV Tango. Retrieved August 1, 2016.

Sources