Rachel Green, Ross Geller, Monica Geller, Joey Tribbiani, Chandler Bing and Phoebe Buffay are all friends, living off of one another in the heart of New York City. Over the course of ten years, this average group of buddies goes through massive mayhem, family trouble, past and future romances, fights, laughs, tears and surprises as they learn what it really means to be a friend.
Rachel waits patiently at the airport for Ross, not knowing he is returning with a new girlfriend, Julie. Meanwhile, after giving Joey and Chandler new haircuts, Phoebe is persuaded to cut Monica's hair, but gives her an awful haircut. And Joey learns that his tailor is a very naughty man.
The guys are uncomfortable with Carol's breast milk and Rachel is uncomfortable with Monica's growing friendship with Julie. Meanwhile, Joey competes with a fellow cologne spritzer for the affections of a beautiful colleague.
After Mr. Heckles dies and leaves all his belongings to Monica and Rachel, Chandler discovers eerie similarities between the late eccentric man and his own life. Ross and Phoebe have a dispute over the progression of evolution.
The gang is amazed to learn that Phoebe married a gay Canadian ice dancer to help him get his green card. And Ross seeks relationship advice from Rachel after revealing that he and Julie have yet to consummate their relationship.
When a sexy woman calls the wrong number, Chandler seeks to make the most of the situation. And income issues divide the friends: the well-off Ross, Chandler and Monica versus the not-so-well-off Phoebe, Rachel and Joey. This all changes, however, when Monica is accused of taking kickbacks and fired.
Chandler and Joey baby-sit Ross's son Ben and accidentally lose him while scoping babes on a bus. Phoebe loses her Central Perk singing gig to a professional singer. And Ross has an allergic reaction to Monica's kiwi-lime pie.
A drunken Rachel is persuaded to call Ross and reveals her feelings for him on his answering machine. And when he finds out, he must make the choice between her and Julie. Meanwhile, Monica finds work as Chandler's personal trainer and Phoebe has a hard time trying to get her boyfriend to have sex with her.
Ross must choose between Rachel and Julie and enlists Joey and Chandler's help in making a list of the pros and cons of each. Big mistake. Meanwhile, Monica gets a job making food with a synthetic chocolate substitute called Mockolate.
It's Christmas time and Monica tries tipping with cookies, rather than cash, with mixed results. Phoebe learns that the guy in the picture frames her grandmother keeps around is not her father and tries to track down her real father. And Chandler and Joey wait too late to shop for presents.
Monica gets back together with Fun Bobby, but discovers that when he's not drinking, he's not so fun. Joey wins the role of Dr. Drake Ramoray, a neurosurgeon, on Days of Our Lives. And Rachel, dating a guy named Russ, can't see his uncanny resemblance to Ross.
Ross's ex and her lesbian lover tie the knot, providing Monica with a job: catering the wedding. Phoebe is possessed by the spirit of an eighty-two year old massage client who dies in the middle of a session. Mrs. Adelman cannot depart until she's "seen everything" (needless to say, her spirit departs after the lesbian wedding). And Rachel's mom comes to visit and drops a bombshell: she's getting divorced from Rachel's dad.
Ross goes to visit Marcel while on a trip to California, and finds that the monkey is working in commercials. Joey gets his first fan letter and ends up dating the woman, who turns out to be a stalker who thinks that the happenings on Days of Our Lives are real. Phoebe is asked to sing for the children at the library, but their parents are horrified by her lyrics.
Rachel and Monica compete for the affections of Jean-Claude Van Damme after meeting him on a movie set. Chandler meets a former schoolmate, a makeup artist, who seems to have the hots for him. An excited Joey gets a role as an extra in the movie and Ross and Marcel go on a whirlwind tour of the city.
After getting his big break, with Days of Our Lives, Joey pays Chandler back with $812 and an extremely tacky bracelet. Also, an unemployed Monica is hard up for money. And Monica and Rachel's prom video reveals Monica's former girth, Rachel's former nose and the way Ross has always felt about Rachel. This video brings Rachel to forgive Ross for the list.
Joey buys a big screen TV and two leather recliners with his newfound money. He and Chandler then spend a day refusing to leave the chairs. They even have food delivered to the girls apartment so they don't have to answer the door. Monica has a catering job for a friend of her parents, the attractive Dr. Burke. She ends up kissing him the next day at an un-needed eye exam and though there is a 21-year age difference between them, they begin dating. Ross and Rachel attempt to have their first real date, but Rachel laughs every time they kiss. When they try again the next evening, they are interrupted when Ross is called into the museum. It's too late to go to the restaurant so they have a picnic in the planetarium and end up waking up the next day naked in the display area with a group of Catholic school children looking in.
After having a fight with Chandler, Joey decides to move out. Rachel and Phoebe decide to get tattoos. And on his birthday, Mr. Geller receives the unsettling news that his best friend, Richard, and his daughter, Monica, are dating.
Phoebe is discovered by a record producer who wants to make "Smelly Cat" a video. Ross's new relationship with Rachel makes Monica feel like she's living with her brother again...and she hates it. And Joey considers moving back in with Chandler, but Chandler has a new roommate.
Joey finds out the hard way that it's not wise to boast false things: His soap opera character gets dropped down an elevator shaft. Phoebe helps Chandler bond with his new roommate...much to Chandler's horror. And sexual history dominates the discussion between two couples--Monica and Richard, and Ross and Rachel.
Creeped out by his bizarre new roommate, Chandler demands he move out. Eddie agrees...but doesn't go. Joey has trouble coming to grips with the death of Dr. Drake Ramoray and the accompanying change in his lifestyle. And a new book on employment for women inspires the female friends to have a "goddess meeting."
Phoebe's world view is shattered when she learns how "Old Yeller" really ends. Monica becomes jealous when Richard begins going out with other people, namely Joey and Chandler. And Rachel becomes upset when she learns that Ross has planned their whole life together.
Chandler and Ross run into two bullies at the coffee shop; one of whom steals Chandler's hat. After trying to avoid them, the guys confront the bullies and are ready to fight. When a thief steals their stuff, the bullies join Ross and Chandler in trying to get it back. Monica, down to her last few dollars of savings, plays the stock market based solely on the ticker symbols. After she loses it all she's forced to take a job at a 50s theme restaurant where she'll have to dance and wear "flame retardant boobs." Phoebe makes multiple attempts to go visit her birth father and when she finally does, she finds out he's no longer there. She does meet her half-brother, though.
The gang plans a surprise party for Rachel, but the real surprise is when both of her estranged parents show up for the same party. "Think!" urges Chandler. "What would Jack and Chrissy do?" Why, split it into two parties, of course -- one for each parent. But complications inevitably ensue.
Phoebe catches chicken pox just as her old flame Ryan arrives in town on leave from the Navy. Even though he hasn't yet had chicken pox, he can't stand to be apart and they both spend the rest of the time trying to not scratch. Joey gets a job at Chandler's office but decides to play it as a role. The character he creates, Joseph, has a wife and kids and ultimately blames Chandler for his own screwup. Monica is upset that Richard doesn't have a "thing": an unexplainable quirk. He eventually comes up with one to ease her mind.
Rachel agrees to be maid of honor at her ex-fiancé's wedding, but a fashion faux pas focuses attention away from the bride. To get a role in Warren Beatty's new movie, Joey needs to practice kissing...guys. Monica ponders her future with Richard and Chandler falls for a mystery woman on the Internet...who turns out to be Janice!