It’s been 25 years since Friends debuted — and 22 years since “The One Where Ross and Rachel Take a Break” aired — which means we’ve had decades to process what happened between Ross and the copy girl. The ensuing years have dulled any remaining hysteria over whether they were on a break, but there are some plot points from The Greatest Sitcom of Our Time (don’t @ us) that continue to shake us to our core for reasons both positive and negative.
We polled the Entertainment Weekly staff for the most memorable — find out our list below.
The time Rachel got off the plane
Damaged/missing phalange aside, she should have continued with her flight to Paris. Now, before everyone freaks out, this doesn’t mean we don’t think Rachel and Ross should end up together and raise Emma as one big, happy family — just that a job with Louis Vuitton in Paris is a big deal and not something to throw away so quickly. Surely Ross could have tossed out the idea of another one of those sabbaticals he’s so familiar with.
The time Marcel got shipped off to the zoo
As the only Friends pet who could actually interact with humans (sorry Chick and Duck), Marcel is the only one who made it longer than a single-episode arc (justice for Mrs. Whiskerson). Also, zoos have questionable morality.
The time Monica held her breath under the bubble bath
That defied both logic and lung capacity.
The time Rachel wore a tie under her shirt
Did it make sense? No. Did she pull it off in an oddly specific-to-both-the-early-2000s-and-her-personality manner? Absolutely.
The time Monica’s first kiss was actually with Ross
We don’t want to remove “I was the pile of coats!” from the television lexicon but we do want to remove the knowledge that the Gellar siblings ever locked lips. There’s only room for one incest-adjacent relationship on Friends and that spot was claimed by Danny and his Inappropriate Sister. Plus, hasn’t Monica taken enough hits already?
The time Ross wouldn’t hire professional movers for his new couch
If you have enough money to live in a five-room apartment in the West Village, you have enough money to pay for delivery.
The time Amanda never had any professional dance training
We just wanted an excuse to use this GIF:
The time(s) Fat Monica was a thing
Cheap laughs and fatphobia are just two glaring examples of the problematic nature of this bit — read the rest in our essay.
The time they ate dessert trifle with beef sauteéd with peas and onions
The trifle, along with being one of the grosser food gags in television history, was a perfect Friends plot point because it relied on comedy from each character that was perfectly aligned with their essences. Rachel is wildly and hilariously inadequate in the kitchen, Judy Gellar’s honestly will sting you to the core, Ross and Joey are ever-so-slightly pervy, and Monica learns the lesson that relinquishing control can only lead to disaster.
The time Kathy cheated on Chandler
…after cheating with Chandler. Karma, etc., but that wasn’t great.
The time David was sent to Minsk
The brutality of fate! Sure, we eventually learned a lot about Minsk — we never would have known about that statue of Lenin — but we’re still very sad that happened to Phoebe. No one wants to be compared to Yoko.
The time Monica overheard her parents having sex
It’s hard to say what Monica should have done at the time (surely the embarrassment of announcing herself in the bathtub would pale in comparison to the experience of bearing witness to those acts), but the plot definitely breezed past the traumatic aftermath real fast. It would take most people at least a few episodes to come back from that.