The moment we’ve all been waiting for has finally arrived, and the Friends reunion is officially available to watch on HBO Max.
A full year after it was originally supposed to debut, we can now watch Jennifer Aniston, Courteney Cox, Lisa Kudrow, Matt LeBlanc, Matthew Perry and David Schwimmer reconnect on the actual set of the show as they recreate scenes, reminisce about the old days and play a few silly games along the way.
If anything, there was too much stuff included in the special. There were a few bits that could have been saved as extra content or spaced out a bit more throughout the hour and 40 minutes, but we’ve got little else to complain about. We laughed, we cried and we just sort of grinned as we watched the cast slip right back into their old characters and relationships.
It was absolutely worth the year and a half we spent waiting for this thing, and now we can watch it any time we want for the rest our lives/the life of HBO Max.
So without further ado, here are the best parts of Friends: The Reunion.
The Cast Arriving on Set
We could genuinely have watched two full hours of the six main cast members greeting each other and sharing memories as they wandered around the recreated set. We didn’t even really need all the gimmicks or the James Corden interview and would have been totally happy to just watch old friends reconnect on their own, ribbing each other for writing their lines on the kitchen table and revisiting their iconic easy chairs. If there’s extra footage of that, we’re gonna need it please!
Schwimmer got back into Ross mode as quizmaster, featuring both actual questions from the famous quiz episode (The One with the Embryos) and new questions designed for the reunion. LeBlanc immediately knew which hands belonged to the person who actually played his hand twin, Thomas Lennon, and both Mr. Heckles (Larry Hankin) and Richard (Tom Selleck) appeared after the cast had to identify their voices. Even Ross’ ill-advised barbershop quartet returned to serenade Rachel once again.
But the biggest thing we learned was that nobody, not even Perry, ever knew what Chandler’s actual job was.
The Fashion Show
We just simply didn’t have “Justin Bieber dressed in Ross’ Spudnick costume” on any Bingo card we could have imagined, and Cara Delevigne really rocked that Holiday Armadillo.
Jen and David’s Big Confession
Never in a million years did we expect this special to include Jennifer Aniston and David Schwimmer admitting that they were both in love with each other during the first season. Unfortunately, they claim nothing ever actually happened because the timing was never right, and their first kiss was the one they shared on screen.
The best part of the whole exchange was when LeBlanc yelled “Bulls–t!” after they claimed they “never crossed that boundary,” but he said he was just kidding.
David Schwimmer Hated Marcel
As it turns out, Ross did not actually like his monkey very much. As Schwimmer explained, the monkey (whose real name was Katie) had to eat live grub, and it would get all over her little monkey hands right before she would climb onto Ross’ shoulder and hang onto his hair. Schwimmer did not like that.
The One With Joey’s Injury
During “The One Where No One’s Ready,” there’s a part where Joey jumps into the chair that he and Chandler are fighting over. On the fourth take of the jump, LeBlanc dislocated his shoulder, and while his sling was written into later episodes, they had to wait to film the rest of that bottle episode until after LeBlanc’s arm was healed.
The cast all sat down to rewatch the take where the injury happened, and Aniston panicked the entire time.
Schwimmer’s story of choosing to return to television for the Friends pilot was interrupted (and never continued) when Kudrow started screaming about a bug. She squealed and squealed until it was gone, then squealed over a piece of fuzz, and we never did hear more about Schwimmer’s career decisions. “The important thing is…that we dealt with it well,” Perry quipped.
The One Where Everybody Finds Out
While the whole cast pretty easily became their characters when necessary, it was Phoebe who seemed to appear most effortlessly when Kudrow took on the scene where Phoebe saw Chandler and Monica doing it against the window. She matched her original panicked performance perfectly!
All of the random video cameos were great (hello, BTS!), but it was Game of Thrones star Kit Harington whose appearance felt the most random (aside from Bieber in the fashion show). He claims he must be part of the Geller family because he’s anal, neurotic and he wears overly tight trousers. He also just really loves watching Ross, Chandler and Rachel attempting to get that couch up the stairs.
Lady Gaga Singing “Smelly Cat”
Lady Gaga, dressed in her best Phoebe cosplay, suddenly appeared to help Kudrow perform her classic tune about the very smelly cat. It was adorable, but Kudrow also wasn’t wrong when she whispered that the song is better with just Phoebe.
Friends has some truly legendary bloopers, so it was delightful to watch the cast laugh together as they watched a few of them back. We do, however, have to point out that they did not address the most legendary blooper of all time, which involved Phoebe singing along with Ross’ bagpipes. We can forgive them, but what an oversight!
Matt LeBlanc’s Nose
LeBlanc revealed that on the night before his final audition for the series, he went drinking with a friend as a sort of method acting exercise, because that’s what friends do. He ended up smashing his face into a toilet, and showed up to his audition with a bloody mess of a nose. He told the truth to the producers and got the part anyway, but we don’t recommend any other aspiring actors attempting the same!
Friends: The Reunion is now streaming on HBO Max.