10 Best Moments From the ‘Friends’ Reunion Special

It was better than anything we could have ever asked for.

The Friends reunion special is finally here and could we BE any more excited?! After 10 seasons, 236 episodes, and lots of laughs and jokes (and tears), Jennifer Aniston, Courteney Cox, Lisa Kudrow, Matthew Perry, David Schwimmer, and Matt LeBlanc are all back in the same room together. 

(Consider this to be your fair warning that plenty of spoilers are ahead!)

Hosted by James Corden, the six main cast members along with a few guests (Janice was in the building, don’t you worry) reunited on the iconic Central Perk couch to candidly talk about their time on the ’90s sitcom, which is the first time a special like this has ever happened in the show’s history. The 105-minute special was packed with flashbacks, fan questions, reenactments, never-before-scene footage, and tidbits we had no idea about. For example, Janice’s laugh was a gimmick Maggie Wheeler created because she couldn’t keep a straight face in any of her scenes with Perry.

Below, we highlighted our top 10 best moments from the Friends reunion special, which you can now stream on HBO Max.

The whole cast being back on Stage 24.

Seventeen years! That’s how long it’s been since the Season 10 finale of Friends aired and probably how long it’s been since most of the cast members last saw the set they called home for a decade. Watching each of the six main cast members walk through Stage 24’s door was emotional to say the least. Not just because this reunion was *finally* happening, but because as much as Friends meant so much to viewers, it meant that much and more to Aniston, Perry, Cox, Schwimmer, LeBlanc, and Kudrow. It felt like the first day of school and we were watching our kids reunite with their classmates they haven’t seen all summer. 

Matt LeBlanc spilling the tea on Courtney Cox.

LeBlanc wasn’t holding anything back during the reunion and we loved every second of it! Honestly, consider this our official petition for there to be a Friends special spinoff where superfans quiz LeBlanc on all 10 seasons because he didn’t forget one single thing. He even threw in behind-the-scenes tidbits we didn’t know, like the fact Cox hid her lines all over the apartment, including in the sink! “So much of my dialogue was in these apples,” she laughed while pointing to the kitchen table in Monica’s apartment. 

Learning the show was loosely inspired by the lives of Bright Kauffman Crane Productions.

Part of the special included sitting down with the three creative brains behind the show, who acted as co-creators, writers, directors, and executive producers. They are Kevin Bright, Marta Kauffman, and David Crane, whose names you may remember from the opening credits as “Bright Kauffman Crane productions.” 

The goal of Friends was to create a “true ensemble” with no lead cast members, they explained, adding that the show was loosely inspired by their own lives as they were friends, living in New York City also in their 20s. Kauffman recalled drawing from relatives and acquaintances for inspiration and storylines. She also revealed that Chandler was named after a friend of hers.

The one where Rachel and Monica win back their apartment.

One of the most iconic episodes is when Rachel and Monica wage a bet against Chandler and Joey. If the boys win, they get the apartment; if the girls win, the boys get rid of the rooster. The trivia game has gone on to become a game night staple and it wouldn’t be a reunion if the cast didn’t play it. 

This time around, Kudrow got to play, we got to see Friends artifacts like the Rachel’s letter to Ross, and we even got a surprise guest appearance from Mr. Heckles and Richard (Tom Selleck)!

The table read throughs. 

From Kudrow’s “My eyes, my eyes!” to Schwimmer’s high-pitched squeal and his first kiss scene with Aniston at the coffee shop, hearing those lines made it feel like we were on set right there with them.

Spoiler alert: No one liked filming with the monkey but Jen.

Apparently, no one was fond of Marcel the capuchin monkey except Aniston, to which Schwimmer retorted, “Because you didn’t have to touch it!!” While a huge animal lover, having a monkey eat “live grubs on your shoulder” wasn’t his favorite part of filming. Schwimmer is making some fair points.

Lisa Kudrow’s live performance of Smelly Cat with Lady Gaga.

The sitcom wouldn’t have been the same if Phoebe didn’t randomly break out her guitar and burst into song. What we weren’t expecting from the reunion was a Central Perk live performance of Kudrow as Phoebe singing “Smelly Cat,” let alone, a freaking DUET with Lady Gaga, who was styled in a head-to-toe Phoebe ensemble all the way from the hair to the rings. (Which she totally rocked, might we add.)

David Schwimmer and Jennifer Aniston’s offscreen crush reveal.

Everyone remembers Ross and Rachel’s first kiss. Without a doubt it goes down as one of the steamiest, most passionate first kisses in television history. It was obvious that the chemistry between Schwimmer and Aniston was there and it’s what made their characters’ love story so believable.  Well, as it turns out, Scwimmer and Aniston had been dying to take each other out on a real-life date, but the timing was never right and their much anticipated real-life first kiss happened to be their onscreen first kiss. They lived vicariously through their characters! We had no idea!!

The blooper reel.

Who doesn’t love a good blooper reel? The cast of Friends sure do. Watching their live reactions to bloopers and deleted scenes is just as entertaining as watching the show itself.

Finally settling the biggest, most controversial debate in TV history.

“Were Ross and Rachel really on a break?” Corden asked the million dollar question to each of the cast members, resulting in a unanimous “yes” from the group. Finally! 

Emily Weaver
Emily is a NYC-based freelance entertainment and lifestyle writer — though, she’ll never pass up the opportunity to talk about women’s health and sports (she thrives during the Olympics). Read more
Filed Under