Friends (season 1)

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Friends (season 1)
Friends Season 1 DVD.jpg
Friends DVD cover (season 1)
Country of origin United States
No. of episodes 24
Release
Original network NBC
Original release September 22, 1994 (1994-09-22) – May 18, 1995 (1995-05-18)
Season chronology
Next →
Season 2
List of Friends episodes

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.

Reception[edit]

Early reviews of the series were mixed. Tom Feran of The Plain Dealer wrote that the series traded "vaguely and less successfully on the hanging-out style of Seinfeld",[1] while Ann Hodges of the Houston Chronicle called it "the new Seinfeld wannabe, but it will never be as funny as Seinfeld."[2] In the Los Angeles Daily News, Ray Richmond named the series as "one of the brighter comedies of the new season",[3] and the Los Angeles Times called it "flat-out the best comedy series of the new season".[4] Chicago Sun-Times' Ginny Holbert found Joey and Rachel's characteristics to be underdeveloped,[5] while Richmond commended the cast as a "likeable, youth ensemble" with "good chemistry";[3] 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".[6] 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.[7] People Magazine said that the "saving grace" is that the characters become more likable as time goes on.

Cast and characters[edit]

(In particular, Introduced in season 1 or Only in season 1)

Episodes[edit]

No.
overall
No. in
season
TitleDirected byWritten byOriginal air dateProd.
code
US viewers
(millions)
11"The Pilot"[a]James BurrowsDavid Crane & Marta KauffmanSeptember 22, 1994 (1994-09-22)45665021.5[9]
Rachel moves in with Monica, finding newfound independence after leaving her fiancé at the altar. Chandler and Joey console Ross after his divorce from Carol, his lesbian wife. Monica falls for a colleague and is crushed to learn their moment of passion was only a one night stand.
22"The One with the Sonogram at the End"James BurrowsDavid Crane & Marta KauffmanSeptember 29, 1994 (1994-09-29)45665220.2[9]
Carol, Ross' lesbian ex-wife, tells him at work that she is pregnant with his child and, when he attends the sonogram, is stunned to learn that she wants to give the baby her and her lesbian lover's last names. Monica nearly has a breakdown from stressing when her and Ross' parents come for dinner. Ross and Rachel console each other, as she has to return her engagement ring to Barry and finds out that he and her maid of honor Mindy, went on her honeymoon.
33"The One with the Thumb"James BurrowsJeffrey Astrof & Mike SikowitzOctober 6, 1994 (1994-10-06)45665119.5[9]
Monica becomes irritated when everyone likes her new boyfriend Alan, more than she does. Chandler starts smoking again, and when the group complains, he diverts their attention to their own faults. Phoebe gets money put into her bank account that isn't hers, and when she complains, she gets more so she gives it to her homeless friend who buys her a can of soda, only to find a thumb in the can of soda. Phoebe uses the money from the soda company to pay Chandler to quit smoking.
44"The One with George Stephanopoulos"James BurrowsAlexa JungeOctober 13, 1994 (1994-10-13)45665419.7[9]
Ross, upset about it being the anniversary of his first time sleeping with Carol, goes to a Rangers game with Chandler and Joey and gets hit in the face by a puck, and is taken to the hospital. There, Ross reveals that Carol is the only woman he has ever slept with. Rachel gets her first paycheck but is angry that most of her money went to the Federal Insurance Contributions Act tax (FICA)). She also gets a visit from her old friends, which depresses her further about her new life. To cheer her up, Monica and Phoebe have a slumber party which isn't very fun due to Rachel's depressed state, until the girls spy on George Stephanopoulos, whose pizza was delivered to them by mistake, across the street.
55"The One with the East German Laundry Detergent"Pamela FrymanJeff Greenstein & Jeff StraussOctober 20, 1994 (1994-10-20)45665318.6[9]
Chandler and Phoebe decide to break up with Janice (Maggie Wheeler) and Tony at the same time, and Phoebe's goes well, but Chandler has a harder time requiring Phoebe's help. Ross arranges to do laundry with Monica and Rachel but Monica cancels, leaving just the two of them. Rachel reveals she's never done laundry before but Ross helps her stand up to a woman, and Ross gets his first kiss with Rachel. Joey wants to go out with his ex-girlfriend (Angela) who now has a boyfriend (Bob), so he arranges for Monica and him to double-date with them by leading Monica to believe that Angela and Bob are siblings and therefore Angela's actual boyfriend is Monica's date. This creates much confusion when Monica sees Angela and her "brother" being 'inappropriate,' but it eventually works out for Joey.
66"The One with the Butt"Arlene SanfordAdam Chase & Ira UngerleiderOctober 27, 1994 (1994-10-27)45665518.2[9]
Everyone attends Joey's new musical where Chandler meets a beautiful and exotic Italian woman, Aurora (Sofia Milos), and asks her out. He finds out she is married and already has another boyfriend and is thrilled at the prospect of having "all the fun and none of the responsibility" in this polyamorous relationship. However, when she picks up another, he learns that it's not all it's cracked up to be and can't take it. Joey gets picked up at the musical by the 'Estelle Leonard Talent Agency,' which finally gets him a film role as a stand-in for Al Pacino's butt double. However, he loses the job because he overacts. Rachel cleans the apartment by herself for the first time, but she triggers Monica's obsessive tendencies when she moves furniture around.
77"The One with the Blackout"James BurrowsJeffrey Astrof & Mike SikowitzNovember 3, 1994 (1994-11-03)45665623.5[9]
During a New York City-wide power outage, while the gang is hanging at Monica and Rachel's apartment, Ross tries to share his loving feelings with Rachel but is attacked by a cat. Rachel and Phoebe begin searching for the cat's owner, but when Mr. Heckles tries to claim the cat, he spooks it. The cat turns out to belong to Paolo, a dark, attractive Italian hunk who lives in the building and doesn't speak much English and (in a La Boheme moment) Rachel falls for him immediately. Meanwhile, Chandler is trapped in an ATM vestibule with 'Victoria's Secret' model Jill Goodacre, and he desperately tries to impress her. (This episode was tied to the Mad About You season 3 episode "Pandora's Box" which depicted the cause of the city-wide blackout.)
88"The One Where Nana Dies Twice"James BurrowsMarta Kauffman & David CraneNovember 10, 1994 (1994-11-10)45665721.1[9]
Ross and Monica go to the bedside of their passed grandmother, who momentarily returns to life. Meanwhile, one of Chandler's colleagues tries to fix him up on a date with a man and Chandler finds out that a lot of people think he's gay when they first meet him, and he tries to find out why. The gang goes to Ross and Monica's Nana's funeral, where Monica confronts her mother about her critical attitude. Ross falls into an open grave and hurts his back, resulting in him getting a bit loopy on muscle relaxers.
99"The One Where Underdog Gets Away"James BurrowsJeff Greenstein & Jeff StraussNovember 17, 1994 (1994-11-17)45665923.1[9]
Ross finds out Susan talks to the unborn baby and decides he must too. Monica plans a lovely, quiet Thanksgiving feast for the gang in her apartment because Ross and Monica's parents are away, but her plans go awry. Phoebe joins them because she celebrates Thanksgiving with her grandmother in December. Joey poses for a health poster but later finds out he's become the V.D. poster boy, and so his family thinks he has V.D. and he joins them too. Chandler plans to boycott Thanksgiving because his parents announced their divorce on Thanksgiving when he was younger. The 'Underdog' balloon breaks free during the parade, and everyone goes to the roof to watch and get locked out of Monica's apartment meaning the dinner gets burned. Rachel had planned to go skiing in Vail with her family, but misses her flight home and joins them too. Everyone ends up eating Chandler's cheese sandwiches for dinner.
1010"The One with the Monkey"Peter BonerzAdam Chase & Ira UngerleiderDecember 15, 1994 (1994-12-15)45666119.9[10]
Everyone makes a pact not to bring dates to their New Year's Eve party, but everyone breaks the no-date pact except Ross. While performing at Central Perk, Phoebe confronts some noisy scientist guys and ends up dating one of them, David (Hank Azaria), whom she brings to the party. Their relationship develops well until he gets offered a grant to go to Minsk and has to choose whether to stay with her or go for career making research. Monica invites 'Fun' Bobby, but he just lost his grandfather and cries all evening. Joey's date is a single mom, Sandy, whom he met whilst working as an elf in a department store and brings her children to the party, but ends up with David's friend. Rachel plans to bring Paolo who was supposed to fly in earlier than expected, but he misses his flight and Rachel gets into a fight at the airport. Chandler snaps and asks Janice to be his date, but he breaks up with her again. Ross arrives at the party bringing his new companion, a monkey named Marcel, who seems to take no interest in Ross at all. In the end, everyone ends up without a date and fulfilling the pact anyway. When Chandler complains he has no-one to kiss at midnight; Joey does the honors.
1111"The One with Mrs. Bing"James BurrowsAlexa JungeJanuary 5, 1995 (1995-01-05)45666026.6[10]
Chandler's flamboyant romance-novelist mother (Morgan Fairchild) comes to New York for a visit, and Joey catches Ross making the mistake of kissing her in a restaurant, after getting himself drunk when he sees Rachel bring Paolo. Monica and Phoebe see a guy they like in the street; when Monica shouts after him, the guy turns and is hit by a car. They fight for him while he is in a coma.
1212"The One with the Dozen Lasagnas"Paul LazarusJeffrey Astrof & Mike Sikowitz & Adam Chase & Ira UngerleiderJanuary 12, 1995 (1995-01-12)45665824.0[10]
Everyone knows the sex of Ross' baby except for Ross, who does not want to find out until it's born. Rachel's relationship with Paolo hits a snag when he makes a pass at Phoebe. Monica makes a dozen lasagnas for her aunt, only to discover that her aunt does not eat meat.
1313"The One with the Boobies"Alan MyersonAlexa JungeJanuary 19, 1995 (1995-01-19)45666425.8[10]
After Chandler accidentally sees Rachel wandering around topless after her shower, a chain reaction of nudity ensues when she tries to even the score by seeing him naked. She sees Joey naked, who then sees Monica naked, who then sees Joey's father naked. Joey finds himself playing parent when he has to decide whether to hide his father's affair from his mom. And no one can stand Phoebe's new boyfriend, an irritating psychologist named Roger (Fisher Stevens).
1414"The One with the Candy Hearts"James BurrowsBill LawrenceFebruary 9, 1995 (1995-02-09)45666723.8[10]
Ross' first date in nine years is on Valentine's Day with a beautiful neighbor. Carol and Susan, also out on a romantic date, end up at the same restaurant where Ross ends up kissing Carol. Joey sets Chandler up on a blind date with Janice, and they end up sleeping together. Chandler ends up breaking up with Janice on Valentine's Day. And Phoebe, Monica, and Rachel end up spending the holiday burning mementos of their past boyfriends which ends up causing a huge fire.
1515"The One with the Stoned Guy"Alan MyersonJeff Greenstein & Jeff StraussFebruary 16, 1995 (1995-02-16)45666324.8[10]
Monica cooks a gourmet meal for a restaurateur named Steve (Jon Lovitz), who is looking for a new chef. Unfortunately, he's stoned and would just as well eat taco shells as her haute cuisine. After working as a data processing permanent temp for five years, Chandler gets promoted to data processing supervisor, then quits. He takes his job back when he is offered more money. Ross has a date with a beautiful colleague named Celia (Melora Hardin) and gives new meaning to the term "spanking the monkey," when he brings her back to his place to meet Marcel. Celia is willing to have sex with him, but only if he talks dirty to her which he cannot do so, he asks Joey for help.
1616"The One with Two Parts: Part 1"Michael LembeckMarta Kauffman & David CraneFebruary 23, 1995 (1995-02-23)456665A26.1[10]

Joey falls for Phoebe's twin sister, Ursula, making Phoebe feel neglected. Meanwhile, Chandler finds himself between a rock and a hard place, when he is told to fire an employee he is attracted to. Ross has doubts about parenthood when he attends Lamaze classes with Carol and Susan. Meanwhile, Monica tries to fix her TV after Marcel puts the TV on "SAP" function to Spanish, which she cannot turn off. After weeks of procrastinating, Rachel finally takes down the Christmas lights on their balcony, only to fall off the balcony and sprain her ankle.

1717"The One with Two Parts: Part 2"Michael LembeckMarta Kauffman & David CraneFebruary 23, 1995 (1995-02-23)456665B30.5[10]

At the hospital, Rachel, who has no health insurance, convinces Monica into trading identities with her so she can use Monica's coverage. The girls end up trying to date two cute doctors (George Clooney & Noah Wyle). Ursula dumps Joey but plans not to tell him, so Phoebe disguises herself as her twin sister to dump Joey and make sure he does not get hurt. Ross doubts that he will ever feel like a father. Marcel swallows Scrabble tiles, and Ross takes care of him making him feel like he would be a good father after that.

  • A repeat of Seinfeld originally aired between both parts of this two-part episode.[11]
1818"The One with All the Poker"James BurrowsJeffrey Astrof & Mike SikowitzMarch 2, 1995 (1995-03-02)45666230.4[10]
Tired of being referred to by customers as "Excuse me," Rachel interviews for a job as an assistant buyer at Saks Fifth Avenue. She also sees another side of the usually docile Ross when the girls face the boys during a not-so-friendly game of poker after some help from Monica's aunt.
1919"The One Where the Monkey Gets Away"Peter BonerzJeffrey Astrof & Mike SikowitzMarch 9, 1995 (1995-03-09)45666829.4[12]
The gang searches frantically for Marcel, who slipped out of the apartment while Rachel was babysitting him. Rachel, who does not know that Marcel is an illegal pet, ends up calling Animal Safety. This annoys Ross. The woman who comes to take away Marcel turns out to be an old classmate of Rachel & Monica. After Marcel is found and safe, Ross finally gets up the courage to try to woo Rachel. But just when it looks like the two might actually spend a romantic evening alone together, Barry, Rachel's ex-fiance, barges into the apartment declaring his love for her.
2020"The One with the Evil Orthodontist"Peter BonerzDoty AbramsApril 6, 1995 (1995-04-06)45666930.0[12]
Rachel and Barry start dating again, which is slightly awkward because he's now engaged to Mindy, who wants Rachel to be her maid of honor. But when Rachel finds out that Mindy and Barry had an affair while she was engaged to Barry, the two women decide to call Barry out on it. Meanwhile, Chandler goes nuts when a woman he likes won't return his phone calls. The friends become annoyed after they discover someone is spying on them from the building across the street.
2121"The One with the Fake Monica"Gail MancusoAdam Chase & Ira UngerleiderApril 27, 1995 (1995-04-27)45667128.4[12]
When Monica's credit card is stolen, she, along with Phoebe and Rachel, decide to catch the thief, but Monica begins a friendship with her. Joey enlists his friends to help him come up with a less ethnic-sounding stage name. And when Ross finds out that Marcel has reached sexual maturity and needs to be with other monkeys, he tries to get him accepted into the "Harvard of zoos". Joey and Chandler convey to Ross that San Diego zoo has accepted Marcel. Joey, Chandler, Phoebe, Rachel and Ross bid Marcel an emotional goodbye.
2222"The One with the Ick Factor"Robby BensonAlexa JungeMay 4, 1995 (1995-05-04)45667029.9[12]
After losing his virginity to her, Monica's boyfriend Ethan reveals that he's a high school senior, not a college senior. Rachel has erotic dreams about Joey and Chandler, making Ross both disgusted and envious. And when Phoebe temps as Chandler's secretary, she finds out that no one at work likes him anymore.
2323"The One with the Birth"James BurrowsStory by : David Crane & Marta Kauffman
Teleplay by : Jeff Greenstein & Jeff Strauss
May 11, 1995 (1995-05-11)45667228.7[12]
Carol goes into labor, prompting Monica to begin thinking about having a baby of her own. Carol is about to give birth to the baby. As Ross and Susan cannot stop bickering over who gets to help Carol more, Phoebe drags both of them into a small room to settle their differences – but all three end up getting locked in. Rachel flirts with an OB/GYN who has a love-hate relationship with women's private parts due to seeing them every day at work. Joey ends up assisting birth for a single mother (played by Leah Remini). The newborn baby is named Ben, derived from the janitor's shirt in the small room in which Ross, Susan, and Phoebe were locked in.
2424"The One Where Rachel Finds Out"Kevin S. BrightChris BrownMay 18, 1995 (1995-05-18)45667331.3[12]
Ross has to go to China for a fossil dig before Rachel's birthday. Chandler tells Ross to find another girl and get over Rachel. Ross tells Chandler to give Rachel his present, and then leaves. Joey's new girlfriend, Melanie (Corinne Bohrer) wants to go to bed with him, but Joey's participation in a fertility study is preventing this. During Rachel's birthday party, Chandler accidentally lets it slip that Ross is in love with her, and a big decision presents itself.

Ratings[edit]

No. in
series
No. in
season
Episode Air date Time slot (EST) Rating/Share (18–49) Viewers (m) Weekly
Rank
Ref.
1 1 "The Pilot" September 22, 1994 (1994-09-22) Thursdays
8:30 p.m.
14.7/23 21.5 15 [13]
2 2 "The One with the Sonogram at the End" September 29, 1994 (1994-09-29) 14.0/22 20.2 19
3 3 "The One with the Thumb" October 6, 1994 (1994-10-06) 13.6/22 19.5 18
4 4 "The One with George Stephanopoulos" October 13, 1994 (1994-10-13) 13.7/22 19.7 19
5 5 "The One with the East German Laundry Detergent" October 20, 1994 (1994-10-20) 12.9/20 18.6 22
6 6 "The One with the Butt" October 27, 1994 (1994-10-27) 12.4/20 18.2 26
7 7 "The One with the Blackout" November 3, 1994 (1994-11-03) 16.1/24 23.5 12
8 8 "The One with Where Nana Dies Twice" November 10, 1994 (1994-11-10) 14.2/22 21.1 17
9 9 "The One with Where Underdog Gets Away" November 17, 1994 (1994-11-17) 15.7/24 23.1 17
10 10 "The One with the Monkey" December 15, 1994 (1994-12-15) 13.6/22 19.9 18
11 11 "The One with Mrs. Bing" January 5, 1995 (1995-01-05) 17.6/27 26.6 5
12 12 "The One with the Dozen Lasagnas" January 12, 1995 (1995-01-12) 16.1/25 24.0 10
13 13 "The One with the Boobies" January 19, 1995 (1995-01-19) 17.3/26 25.8 6
14 14 "The One with the Candy Hearts" February 9, 1995 (1995-02-09) 15.9/24 23.8 10
15 15 "The One with the Stoned Guy" February 16, 1995 (1995-02-16) 16.9/25 24.8 8
16 16 "The One with Two Parts: Part 1" February 23, 1995 (1995-02-23) 17.5/27 26.1 9
17 17 "The One with Two Parts: Part 2" Thursdays
9:30 p.m.
20.8/31 30.5 8
18 18 "The One with All the Poker" March 2, 1995 (1995-03-02) 20.4/31 30.4 4
19 19 "The One with Where the Monkey Gets Away" March 9, 1995 (1995-03-09) 20.0/31 29.4 3
20 20 "The One with the Evil Orthodontist" April 6, 1995 (1995-04-06) 20.5/32 30.0 3
21 21 "The One with Fake Monica" April 27, 1995 (1995-04-27) 19.2/29 28.4 2
22 22 "The One with the Ick Factor" May 4, 1995 (1995-05-04) 20.7/31 29.9 3
23 23 "The One with the Birth" May 11, 1995 (1995-05-11) 19.7/30 28.7 2
24 24 "The One Where Rachel Finds Out" May 18, 1995 (1995-05-18) 21.3/32 31.3 2

Awards and nominations[edit]

Association Category Recipient Results
8th Annual American Comedy Awards Funniest Television Series N/A Nominated
Funniest Supporting Female Performer in a Television Series Courteney Cox Nominated
48th Annual Directors Guild Awards Outstanding Directorial Achievement in Comedy Series

for episode "The One with the Birth"

James Burrows Nominated
6th Annual GLAAD Media Awards Outstanding Television Comedy Series (tied with "Roseanne") N/A Won
21st Annual People's Choice Awards Favorite New Television Series (tied with "Ellen") N/A Won
Favorite Performer in a New Television Program Courteney Cox Won
47th Annual Primetime Emmy Awards Outstanding Comedy Series N/A Nominated
Outstanding Directing for a Comedy Series
for episode "The One with the Blackout"
James Burrows Nominated
Outstanding Writing for a Comedy Series
for episode "The One Where Underdog Gets Away"
Jeff Greenstein
Jeff Strauss
Nominated
Outstanding Supporting Actor in a Comedy Series
for episode "The One with the Sonogram at the End" +
"The One with the Black Out"
David Schwimmer Nominated
Outstanding Supporting Actress in a Comedy Series
for episode "The One with the Monkey" + "The One with Two Parts (Part 1)"
Lisa Kudrow Nominated
Outstanding Guest Actress in a Comedy Series
for episode "The One Where Nana Dies Twice"
Christina Pickles Nominated
Outstanding Art Direction for a Multi-Camera Series
for episode "The One Where Rachel Finds Out"
John Shaffner
Greg J. Grande
Nominated
Outstanding Multi-Camera Picture Editing for a Series
for episode "The One with Two Parts (Part 1 & 2)"
Andy Zall Nominated
Outstanding Main Title Theme Music Michael Skloff
Allee Willis
Nominated
11th Annual Television Critics Association Awards Outstanding Achievement in Comedy N/A Nominated
11th Annual Viewers for Quality Television Awards Best Quality Comedy Series N/A Nominated
Best Supporting Actor in a Quality Comedy Series David Schwimmer Nominated
47th Annual Writers Guild Awards Episodic Comedy
for episode "The One Where Underdog Gets Away"
Jeff Greenstein
Jeff Strauss
Nominated

Notes[edit]

  1. ^ 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".[8]

References[edit]

  1. ^ Feran, Tom (September 22, 1994). "New Series Softens Dabney Coleman—A Little", The Plain Dealer, Newhouse Newspapers. Retrieved January 4, 2009.
  2. ^ Hodges, Ann (September 22, 1994). "NBC sitcoms make Thursday less funny", Houston Chronicle, Hearst Newspapers. Retrieved January 4, 2009.
  3. ^ a b 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.
  4. ^ 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.
  5. ^ Holbert, Ginny (September 22, 1994). "X Marks Spot For Friends On Thursday". (Registration required). Chicago Sun-Times. Retrieved January 4, 2009.
  6. ^ Bianco, Robert (September 22, 1994). "Six Friends Sittin' Around, Talking", Pittsburgh Post-Gazette.
  7. ^ Sangster, p. 14
  8. ^ Sangster & Bailey, p. 11.
  9. ^ a b c d e f g h i "Nielsen Ratings" (PDF). USA Today. Gannett Company. Retrieved October 15, 2013.
  10. ^ a b c d e f g h i "Nielsen Ratings" (PDF). USA Today. Gannett Company. Retrieved October 15, 2013.
  11. ^ "TV Listings for February 23, 1995". TV Tango. Retrieved August 1, 2016.
  12. ^ a b c d e f "Nielsen Ratings" (PDF). USA Today. Gannett Company. Retrieved October 15, 2013.
  13. ^ "Nielsen Ratings". http://newmusicandmore.tripod.com/. Retrieved November 1, 2016. External link in |website= (help)
  • Sangster, Jim; Bailey, David (2000). Friends Like Us: The Unofficial Guide to Friends (Second ed.). London: Virgin Publishing. ISBN 0753504391.

External links[edit]