5 best (and 3 worst) moments from the Friends reunion special

Friends: The Reunion. Image courtesy HBO Max
Friends: The Reunion. Image courtesy HBO Max /
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Friends reunion
Friends Reunion Special – Photography by Terence Patrick /

The Friends reunion is finally here, and we’re ranking some of the best (and worst) moments from the special.

Today the Friends reunion finally dropped on HBO Max, and fans around the world are flocking to the streaming service to check out the highly-anticipated special. After multiple delays due to COVID, it started to seem like the reunion would never happen, but we’re so glad it finally did, and it was just as heartwarming and fun as Friends fans could want!

Best: The cast arrives on the set

The Friends reunion wastes zero time reuniting the main cast as each member arrives one by one to the rebuilt set, a replica of the sets they spent a decade filming on in front of a live audience. The bulk of the one-hour and 45 minute long special features the cast meandering through the old sets to reminisce and remember fond memories of their time spent together.

They’re in Monica and Rachel’s apartment most of the time, but Matt LeBlanc and Matthew Perry do make time to sit down in their old recliners. They even talk about the episode where Joey and Chandler refused to move from their seats. It’s sweet to see each actor arrive and hug their castmates as many of them are immediately moved to tears at the reconciliation.

Best: The trivia game

If you’re a Friends fan, you might have done better at the Friends reunion trivia game than the cast, although they didn’t do too badly themselves! It was girls vs. guys as David Schwimmer offered them a series of questions from multiple categories, ranging from Matt having to guess Joey’s hand twin (played by Thomas Lennon) to the girls trying to recall who’s voice belonged to who. Apart from the cast, a few memorable guest stars popped up like Lennon, Larry Hankin, and of course, Tom Selleck!

Worst: That “Smelly Cat” rendition

Look, I think we all love “Smelly Cat,” but the version on the show just felt like a little bit too much. It starts with Lisa Kudrow snapping instantly into her Phoebe persona and singing the song on the guitar, which was all we needed, but then Lady Gaga shows up…and a choir? [UPDATE: I’ve been told the choir is a callback to the episode where Phoebe gets a record deal, totally forgot about that so I can justify its existence. I still don’t think we needed Lady Gaga here though, the choir could have worked without her.]

It felt unnecessary. Even Lisa-as-Phoebe jokes that the song is still “better when it’s just her,” and honestly, we agree! No offense to Lady Gaga, but we didn’t need all the extra stuff for this bit.