Friends: 25 Greatest Episodes

24. The Pilot (S1E1)

Friends The Pilot

The Episode

Aka The One Where It All Began or The One Where Monica Gets A Roommate, this is the very first episode of the series. Rachel arrives in Central Perk after leaving Barry at the alter, meets the rest of the gang, moves in with Monica, and joins the real world.

Why It's Great

First episodes can be very tricky to get right, but The Pilot gets you immediately invested in these characters and their friendship.

While a lot of shows can change drastically after their first episode, and indeed Friends would shift and evolve, many of the core elements are here from the very beginning: the friendship between Rachel and Monica; the hint at romance between the former and Ross (who share an Oreo); Monica's date with Paul the Wine Guy, one of the show's most memorable failed romantic endeavours; and the gang coming together in the apartment - "PUSH HER DOWN THE STAIRS!"

TV Editor
TV Editor

NCTJ-qualified journalist. Most definitely not a racing driver. Drink too much tea; eat too much peanut butter; watch too much TV. Sadly only the latter paying off so far. A mix of wise-old man in a young man's body with a child-like wonder about him and a great otherworldly sensibility.