Even though a good chunk of millennials were adolescents when Friends debuted in 1994, it’s a show that holds a special place in millennial hearts and minds. As someone who grew up within Manhattan’s sphere of influence, I don’t think I’m alone in saying that I fantasized that’s what Twentysomething life would be like.
As I rewatched the series as an actual Twentysomething, I realized that it’s packed with all types of advice for life. Here are ten episodes (one from each season) containing dating advice which millennials can relate to.
Season 1, Episode 7: The One With the Blackout
In this episode, Ross finally commits to telling Rachel how he feels about her. Unfortunately, thanks to a chance circumstance, Rachel meets and hooks up with an attractive foreigner named Paolo.
The advice? Don’t wait to express your feelings, or you might end up having to watch the person you have feelings for be with someone else.
Season 2, Episode 7: The One Where Ross Finds Out
This is the episode in which Rachel gets drunk and leaves a voicemail on Ross’ answering machine, confessing she still loves him. Ross eventually hears the message—and then faces the choice between getting back together with his ex or moving on with his new girlfriend, Julie.
The advice? There are exes, and then there is your Ross/Rachel ex. The ex who will always have a small space in your heart, whether you like it or not. If you just got out of that type of relationship, take a break from dating. There’s a good chance that your rebound relationship will burst into flames.
Season 3, Episode 12: The One With All the Jealousy
In this episode, Ross gets jealous because he believes one of Rachel’s new coworkers is flirting with her. He assumes something romantic may be going on between them.
The advice? The reality of today’s young professional is long hours. We typically spend more time with our work family than our real family. There are bound to be attractive people amongst your significant other’s coworkers. If you don’t trust your S/O with a particular colleague, this thinking may be a sign you are insecure in your relationship.
Season 4, Episode 7: The One Where Chandler Crosses the Line
Joey is dating a girl who Chandler falls in love with. He tries to deny it by avoiding her, but he eventually ends up kissing her.
The advice? The moment a girl or guy starts dating your best friend, your brain should consider that person a relative. Even if you’re highly attracted to said person, is it really worth a friendship?
Season 5, Episode 5: The One With the Kips
In this episode, Ross’ new wife Emily tells him she is willing to give their marriage a second shot, but with a catch: he can never talk to Rachel again.
The advice? This is a no-brainer if we’re talking about ditching a regular ex. It’s a different story when your ex is in your inner circle of friends. I think having to choose between your friends and your significant other is always a recipe for unhappiness.
Season 6, Episode 2: The One Where Ross Hugs Rachel
This episode is a doozy. There are two plots going on. One plot involves the fact that Ross has to tell Rachel they’re still married after their wild night in Vegas. The other revolves around Chandler moving in with Monica, and Rachel mistakenly assumes she will be living with them.
The advice? Well, there really is no advice on the Vegas situation. The moving scenario, on the other hand, is an inevitable thing if you live with roommates long enough. If I found myself in this situation, I’d be proactive and let my roommates know I’m looking for a place, and that I am amazingly happy for both of them.
Season 7, Episode 23: The One With Chandler and Monica’s Wedding
This iconic episode is the first of the two-part season seven finale. In this episode, Chandler freaks out in true Chandler fashion regarding marital commitment.
The advice? For millennials getting ready to tie the knot, why not have a talk about these types of feelings? It’s only natural that you both have them, and when you talk about them openly, they dissipate. Otherwise, they fester and can kill your relationship.
Season 8, Episode 16: The One Where Joey Tells Rachel
In this episode, Joey’s growing romantic feelings for Rachel are finally brought out into the open.
The advice? I’ve never been comfortable with this plot line. Probably because I am 100% against friend-hopping. My advice here is the same as I gave relating to The One Where Chandler Crosses The Line: is it really worth jeopardizing a friendship when there are millions of other fish in the sea?
Season 9, Episode 21: The One With the Fertility Test
Ross realizes he has a crush on Charlie, who happens to be Joey’s girlfriend.
The advice? Ross eventually dates Charlie after Joey realizes that Charlie has much more in common with Ross. This type of neat resolution rarely happens in the real world. Just avoid these types of situations.
Season 10, Episode 16: The One With the Going Away Party
I was going to write about the final episode, but it is still too much of an emotional roller coaster. In this penultimate episode, Rachel says goodbye to each of the friends at her going away party — except Ross. Ross is obviously upset, and he goes to tell Rachel how he feels.
The advice? If you have a significant other whom you’ve been on-and-off again with for a significant amount of time, there will come a point when you’re either all-in or all-out. Millennial couples have to deal with similar realities, such as job relocation opportunities, on a daily basis. It’s these moments that test our love for our significant others and ultimately show us whether or not we are meant for marriage.
What are your favorite relationship-based “Friends” episodes? Are they not on the list? Let’s discuss them in the comments below or on Twitter! (@BPucino)