‘Friends’ hits big screen for 25th anniversary

September 18, 2019

AP/Tina Fineberg

November 29, 2020 | (Jason Fraley)

Grab a cup at Central Perk and head to the cinema!

Fathom Events is celebrating the 25th anniversary of NBC’s “Friends” with the big-screen event “Friends 25th: The One With The Anniversary,” bringing 12 episodes to 1,000 movie theaters nationwide on Sept. 23, Sept. 28 and Oct. 2.

Each night will feature four fan-favorite episodes that have been remastered in 4K from the original 35 mm camera negative. If you arrive early, you can also catch exclusive interviews and never-before-seen content.

Here’s a breakdown of which episodes you will see on each night:

Sept. 23

“The One Where Monica Gets a Roommate” (Season 1)

The pilot episode finds Monica getting ready for a date with Paul “The Wine Guy,” as Joey, Chandler and Phoebe rib her at Central Perk. When brother Ross arrives, we learn that his ex-wife has become a lesbian and moved out with her new partner. Suddenly, Monica’s high-school best friend (and Ross’ teenage crush) Rachel arrives in a wedding dress, crying that her fiancé left her at the altar. Monica takes her in as a roommate, setting up everything to come.


“The One with the Blackout” (Season 1)

This hilarious episode finds Monica, Ross, Rachel, Joey and Phoebe stuck in Monica’s apartment during a blackout, while Chandler is memorably trapped in an ATM vestibule with Victoria’s Secret model Jill Goodacre. In parallel action, we hilariously cut between Chandler’s awkward attempts to offer her chewing gum and his excited phone call to his friends trying to explain his predicament through covert mumbles. They, of course, can’t understand his code, so he yells, “Put Joey on the phone!” Joey gets it immediately. Classic.


“The One With The Birth” (Season 1)

This pivotal episode is set in a hospital where Ross’ ex-wife Carol gives birth to their baby, Ben, named after the janitor. Monica is insecure that she may never have a child, Chandler makes a pact to marry her if they’re both single at 40, Rachel hits on the obstetrician, and Joey stumbles into being the birth coach for a single mother. It all builds to Ross arguing with Carol’s life-partner Susan, until Phoebe says that she didn’t have parents growing up and that they should be lucky that Ben will have three parents. Touching and funny.


“The One Where Rachel Finds Out” (Season 1)

In this Season 1 finale, the friends throw a barbecue birthday party for Rachel, as Ross discovers he is being sent on a last-minute paleontology trip to China. Chandler gifts her Travel Scrabble, Joey gifts her a Dr. Seuss book (while abstaining from sex during an NYU fertility study) and Ross gifts her a thoughtful pin she pointed out months ago. When Chandler tells Rachel that Ross is in love with her, Rachel decides to give Ross a chance, rushing to the airport to greet him on his return flight, only to find him dating another woman from China. This was signature soap-opera “Friends” in the Ross and Rachel romance saga.


Sept. 28

“The One With the Prom Video” (Season 2)

This unforgettable episode flashes back to their high school years, as the gang watches a Geller home video. Despite Ross’ objections, the friends laugh hysterically at the senior prom antics where Monica is overweight and Rachel is stood up by her date Chip Matthews. This causes Mrs. Geller to convince Ross to sport his dad’s tuxedo and take Rachel to the prom, but by the time he is ready, Chip has arrived and steals Rachel away. The video cuts with Ross looking dejected, but upon seeing the footage, Rachel gives Ross a passionate kiss, forgiving him for making a pro-con list about her in a previous episode. 


“The One Where No One’s Ready” (Season 3)

My personal favorite episode is set entirely in Monica and Rachel’s apartment as the gang is running late to a party. Ross checks his watch as a string of disasters delay the group. Phoebe gets hummus on her dress, Monica plays “breezy” phone tag with Richard (Tom Selleck) and Rachel casually “catches up on her correspondence” during a spat with Ross, who offers to “drink the fat” to prove his love. Best of all, Chandler accuses Joey of stealing his favorite chair, leading to a tit-for-tat where Joey steals the cushions, Chandler hides Joey’s underwear and Joey bursts in the door wearing all of Chandler’s clothes. “Hi, I’m Chandler. Could I be wearing any more clothes?” It’s the series’ tightest, funniest episode.


“The One The Morning After” (Season 3)

In one of the most quoted episodes in “Friends” history, this episode opens with Ross waking up the next morning after sleeping with Chloe. He regrets the night before because he really wants to get back together with Rachel. Ross seeks his friends’ advice as to whether he should confess what happened to Rachel, but Joey and Chandler urge him not to. When Rachel ultimately discovers what happened, they explode into an argument in her apartment, with Ross memorably shouting, “We were on a break!” The other friends hilariously listen through the walls from Monica’s bedroom as Joey quips he needs to use the bathroom.


“The One With The Embryos” (Season 4)

This episode may be titled after Phoebe going to the hospital to have embryos implanted into her uterus, but it also contains my favorite “Friends” scene — the quiz show. It begins with Joey and Chandler arguing with Monica and Rachel over who knows their friends better. As a result, an adorably goofy Ross designs a game show with one stipulation: if the men lose, they give up their beloved pet chick and duck; if the women lose, they switch apartments with the men. This leads to timeless revelations, that Rachel’s favorite movie is actually “Weekend at Bernie’s” and Chandler’s mailing address is “Miss Chanadaler Bong.”


Oct. 2

“The One With Chandler In A Box” (Season 4)

On Thanksgiving, Joey comes up with a creative punishment for Chandler, who is remorseful for kissing Joey’s girlfriend. His idea is to lock Chandler inside a box with only a tiny hole for him to breathe. He is instructed not to talk, but the wisecracking Chandler can’t help himself, leading to a number of hilarious zingers. Meanwhile, Ross’ feelings are hurt when he learns that Rachel exchanges every gift she receives, only for Rachel to reveal a box of sentimental keepsakes, proving that she keeps the important stuff. All the while, Monica falls for Richard’s son, who is also an eye doctor, creating a bizarre love triangle.


“The One With Ross’s Wedding: Part 2” (Season 4)

This Season 4 finale was one of the episodes that you remember exactly where you were when you were watching it. The gang flies to London for Ross and Emily’s wedding, only to learn that the wedding venue is being demolished. Monica saves the day by sprucing up the joint with decor, only to sleep with Chandler in a harbinger of things to come. Meanwhile, Rachel stays home with a pregnant Phoebe, who tries to make her forget about Ross. It backfires, as Rachel flies to London to tell Ross she loves him. Upon her arrival, she can’t bring herself to ruin his wedding and decides to watch from the back. To her surprise, Ross utters the infamous gaffe, “I Ross, take thee Rachel.” Cliffhanger.


“The One Where Everyone Finds Out” (Season 5)

The crown jewel of Season 5 remains this gem where all of the friends find out about Monica and Chandler’s romance. Phoebe figures it out after seeing them through Ugly Naked Guy’s window. Joey is thrilled that someone else knows, but Rachel and Phoebe decide to have fun with it, pretending that Phoebe is flirting with Chandler (“They don’t know that we know they know!”). Monica and Chandler play along with the charade until Chandler proclaims, “I’m in love with Monica!” They agree to keep it a secret from Ross, who finds out anyway at the end of the episode by seeing them through the window: “Get off my sister!”


“The One Where Ross Got High” (Season 6)

The final episode being screened is this Season 6 favorite where Ross explains why his parents, Jack and Judy, don’t like Chandler. The story goes that Ross experimented with pot in college, but blamed the smell on Chandler. Monica wants him to come clean, eventually revealing the truth, but sparking a slew of other embarrassing revelations. All the while, Rachel flubs a dessert due to a glued-together cookbook, Joey tries to dodge Thanksgiving with his replacement roommate Janine, and Phoebe crushes on Jack after having a sex dream. Thankfully, her crush evolves into another man … Jacques Cousteau.


Find more details on the “Friends” screenings on the Fathom Events website.

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