Entertainment

11 'Friends' Episodes That Forced Us to Face the Realness of Adulthood

Big news (that's bad for productivity) hit the Web Wednesday when Netflix announced that the beloved, iconic sitcom Friends would become available on the streaming site come January. Friends is one of the most memorable sitcoms of all time for a few key reasons, but chief among them isn't something the show had from the beginning, but something it gained through time and exposure. It was the adult equivalent of coming-of-age shows like Boy Meets World and movies like Boyhood. Over the course of 10 years, audiences watched these characters grow up, and in massive numbers. When you clock that many hours and that many milestones with a cast it's bound to stick.

As we celebrate the show's looming Netflix debut, let us take the time to remember some of the episodes that made the show's 10-year run all the more poignant.

Images: NBC

"The Pilot"/"The One With the Sonogram At the End"

This show’s pilot is all about setting Rachel Green on her path to grown-up, independent life. The one-two punch of the episode that immediately follows it is Ross finding out he’s going to be a father. They’ve got a long way to go from there, though.

"The One With the Birth"

The first Friends baby arrives, and prompts Monica to start her long path of contemplating her own parenting future.

"The One the Morning After"

The infamous “break” came before this, but this episode was the site of the first huge Friends breakup, and the kind of heartbreak that’s a milestone for twentysomethings everywhere.

Another common moment in adulthood: Ending relationships with people you really love when your visions of the future are irreconcilable. That’s on display when Monica and Richard break up in “The One Where Rachel Finds Out.”

"The One Where Everybody Finds Out"

Monica and Chandler telling each other they love each other in front of their friends for the first time marked the solidification of what would be this show’s longest-lasting, most mature romantic relationship.

"The One With the Proposal," Parts 1 & 2

All the friends have been committed to each other for life from the get-go, but it was still a pretty thrilling journey to watch Monica and Chandler prepare to commit to each other specifically. That mutual proposal’s still worthy of waterworks.

"The One Where They All Turn Thirty"

This show started when all the gang were still naive twentysomethings. Then their show got super popular, and we all aged a decade together. Watching them struggle through that aging process doesn’t (I’m so sorry) get old — in fact, it just gets more real with every passing year.

"The One With Monica And Chandler's Wedding," Parts 1 & 2

Monica and Chandler tying the knot (and freaking out about tying the knot) is of importance here, but so is the other big revelation: Rachel’s unplanned pregnancy.

"The One Where Chandler Takes a Bath"

This is a relatively chill episode in comparison to all the break-ups and pregnancies, but Chandler taking a bath is a great example of his growing comfort with his “masculine” and “feminine” sides. Also, Ross and Rachel find out they’re having a girl.

"The One Where Rachel Has A Baby," Parts 1 & 2

Babies! Accidental engagement! Attempted conceptions! This is one of the most drama-filled of the Friends two-parters, and all about these people trying to establish themselves in the next stages of their adult lives.

"The One with Phoebe's Wedding"

Phoebe got married! To Paul Rudd!

"The Last One," Parts 1 & 2

Even more babies! Everybody moving away! Declarations of love! After ten years, it felt more like a steady march than a leap to see the friends officially entering the next stages of their lives.

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