Friends (season 1)
Friends season 1 DVD cover
|Country of origin||United States|
|No. of episodes||24|
|Original release||September 22, 1994 –|
May 18, 1995
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.
Early reviews of the series were generally positive. In the Los Angeles Daily News, Ray Richmond named the series as "one of the brighter comedies of the new season", and the Los Angeles Times called it "flat-out the best comedy series of the new season". Tom Feran of The Plain Dealer wrote that the series traded "vaguely and less successfully on the hanging-out style of Seinfeld", while Ann Hodges of the Houston Chronicle called it "the new Seinfeld wannabe, but it will never be as funny as Seinfeld." Chicago Sun-Times' Ginny Holbert found Joey and Rachel's characteristics to be underdeveloped, while Richmond commended the cast as a "likeable, youth ensemble" with "good chemistry"; 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". 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. People Magazine said that the "saving grace" is that the characters become more likable as time goes on.
Cast and characters
|Title||Directed by||Written by||Original air date||Prod.|
|1||1||"The Pilot"[a]||James Burrows||David Crane & Marta Kauffman||September 22, 1994||456650||21.5|
|After leaving her fiancé, Barry, at the altar. Rachel moves 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 another 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 coffee shop. Ross, who has had a crush on Rachel since high school, asks if he can ask her out sometime.|
|2||2||"The One with the Sonogram at the End"||James Burrows||David Crane & Marta Kauffman||September 29, 1994||456652||20.2|
|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.|
|3||3||"The One with the Thumb"||James Burrows||Jeffrey Astrof & Mike Sikowitz||October 6, 1994||456651||19.5|
|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.|
|4||4||"The One with George Stephanopoulos"||James Burrows||Alexa Junge||October 13, 1994||456654||19.7|
|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.|
|5||5||"The One with the East German Laundry Detergent"||Pamela Fryman||Jeff Greenstein & Jeff Strauss||October 20, 1994||456653||18.6|
|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 now is now seeing 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.'|
|6||6||"The One with the Butt"||Arlene Sanford||Adam Chase & Ira Ungerleider||October 27, 1994||456655||18.2|
|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.|
|7||7||"The One with the Blackout"||James Burrows||Jeffrey Astrof & Mike Sikowitz||November 3, 1994||456656||23.5|
|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 tied to the Mad About You season 3 episode "Pandora's Box" which depicted the cause of the city-wide blackout.)|
|8||8||"The One Where Nana Dies Twice"||James Burrows||Marta Kauffman & David Crane||November 10, 1994||456657||21.1|
|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.|
|9||9||"The One Where Underdog Gets Away"||James Burrows||Jeff Greenstein & Jeff Strauss||November 17, 1994||456659||23.1|
|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 boycotts 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 grilled cheese sandwiches for everyone.|
|10||10||"The One with the Monkey"||Peter Bonerz||Adam Chase & Ira Ungerleider||December 15, 1994||456661||19.9|
|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 scientist guys 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.|
|11||11||"The One with Mrs. Bing"||James Burrows||Alexa Junge||January 5, 1995||456660||26.6|
|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 Chander. Monica and Phoebe see an attractive guy in 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.|
|12||12||"The One with the Dozen Lasagnas"||Paul Lazarus||Jeffrey Astrof & Mike Sikowitz & Adam Chase & Ira Ungerleider||January 12, 1995||456658||24.0|
|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.|
|13||13||"The One with the Boobies"||Alan Myerson||Alexa Junge||January 19, 1995||456664||25.8|
|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.|
|14||14||"The One with the Candy Hearts"||James Burrows||Bill Lawrence||February 9, 1995||456667||23.8|
|Ross has a Valentine's Day date with a beautiful neighbor, his date first 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.|
|15||15||"The One with the Stoned Guy"||Alan Myerson||Jeff Greenstein & Jeff Strauss||February 16, 1995||456663||24.8|
|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||16||"The One with Two Parts: Part 1"||Michael Lembeck||Marta Kauffman & David Crane||February 23, 1995||456665A||26.1|
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.
|17||17||"The One with Two Parts: Part 2"||Michael Lembeck||Marta Kauffman & David Crane||February 23, 1995||456665B||30.5|
At the hospital, Rachel, who has no health insurance, convinces Monica to trade identities with her so she can use Monica's coverage. The girls meet two cute doctors (George Clooney & 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.
|18||18||"The One with All the Poker"||James Burrows||Jeffrey Astrof & Mike Sikowitz||March 2, 1995||456662||30.4|
|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 seek help from her aunt who is an expert player.|
|19||19||"The One Where the Monkey Gets Away"||Peter Bonerz||Jeffrey Astrof & Mike Sikowitz||March 9, 1995||456668||29.4|
|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.|
|20||20||"The One with the Evil Orthodontist"||Peter Bonerz||Doty Abrams||April 6, 1995||456669||30.0|
|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 Rachel finally confesses to Mindy that she has been sleeping with Barry, Mindy says she and Barry had an affair while Rachel was engaged to 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.|
|21||21||"The One with the Fake Monica"||Gail Mancuso||Adam Chase & Ira Ungerleider||April 27, 1995||456671||28.4|
|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.|
|22||22||"The One with the Ick Factor"||Robby Benson||Alexa Junge||May 4, 1995||456670||29.9|
|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.|
|23||23||"The One with the Birth"||James Burrows||Story by : David Crane & Marta Kauffman |
Teleplay by : Jeff Greenstein & Jeff Strauss
|May 11, 1995||456672||28.7|
|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.|
|24||24||"The One Where Rachel Finds Out"||Kevin S. Bright||Chris Brown||May 18, 1995||456673||31.3|
|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.|
- 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".
- "Friends: Season 1" – via www.rottentomatoes.com.
- 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.
- 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.
- Feran, Tom (September 22, 1994). "New Series Softens Dabney Coleman— A Little", The Plain Dealer, Newhouse Newspapers. Retrieved January 4, 2009.
- Hodges, Ann (September 22, 1994). "NBC sitcoms make Thursday less funny", Houston Chronicle, Hearst Newspapers. Retrieved January 4, 2009.
- Holbert, Ginny (September 22, 1994). "X Marks Spot For Friends On Thursday". (Registration required). Chicago Sun-Times. Retrieved January 4, 2009.
- Bianco, Robert (September 22, 1994). "Six Friends Sittin' Around, Talking", Pittsburgh Post-Gazette.
- Sangster, p. 14
- Chitwood, Adam (December 26, 2019). "'Friends' Seasons Ranked from Worst to Best".
- Sangster & Bailey, p. 11.
- "TV Listings for February 23, 1995". TV Tango. Retrieved August 1, 2016.
- Sangster, Jim; Bailey, David (2000). Friends Like Us: The Unofficial Guide to Friends (Second ed.). London: Virgin Publishing. ISBN 0753504391.