Friends is an American sitcom created by David Crane and Marta Kauffman which follows the lives of six friends living in New York: lovable but clueless Joey Tribbiani, spoilt rich kid Rachel Green, neurotic Monica Geller, nerdy Ross Geller, offbeat Phoebe Buffay and wise-cracking Chandler Bing.
The series aired in the USA on NBC from 22 September, 1994 to 6 May, 2004. There are 236 half-hour episodes in 10 seasons.
Friends originally aired in South Africa on M-Net, ending its run on Wednesday 6 October, 2004. It later aired on e.tv (from 1 October, 1998 to 15 August, 2008), beginning on the first night the channel began broadcasting. It also aired on DStv's M-Net Holiday and Sony Entertainment Television (SONY) channels.
See "Seasons" below for seasonal broadcast dates and times.
Season 10 premiered on SONY on Monday 29 April 2013, at 18h35. New episodes broadcast in a double bill on Mondays, Wednesdays and Fridays at the same time. There are 18 episodes in the tenth and final season.
Friends has been one of the most successful shows ever and follows the lives of six friends living in New York.
There's lovable but clueless Joey Tribbiani, spoilt rich kid Rachel Green, neurotic Monica Geller, nerdy Ross Geller, offbeat Phoebe Buffay and wise-cracking Chandler Bing.
As the plot begins, Rachel has just left her fiancé Barry at the altar and moves in with her childhood best friend, Monica.
They live across the hall from Chandler and Joey and hang out with Monica's brother, Ross – who recently divorced his lesbian wife.
Our friends regularly meet at a coffee shop – Central Perk. Ross has just recently divorced his wife Carol, after she realises that she is a lesbian.
Rachel, Monica's rich spoiled friend moves in with her after Rachel leaves her groom at the altar. Ross discovers his ex-wife is pregnant and she gives birth to a boy, named Ben, who is raised by Carol and her partner, Susan.
Chandler gets involved with Janice, who shows up repeatedly throughout the entire series. Ross reveals he had a crush on Rachel in high school and he still has feelings for her.
Throughout the season, he fails to make his feelings known to her and Chandler and Joey eventually persuade him to move on. Ross leaves for a trip to China.
While away, Chandler reveals to Rachel that Ross is in love with her. Rachel decides that she has feelings for Ross, but when she goes to meet him at the airport, Ross returns with another woman.
Ross returns from China with Julie, an old friend that he met in China. Rachel immediately dislikes Julie, because she has feelings for Ross.
While drunk, she calls and leaves a message on his answering machine, declaring that she is over him. Ross is confused when he hears this message. He kisses Rachel, but is unable to choose between Rachel and Julie.
He makes a list of pros and cons of both women, and decides that he loves Rachel, and breaks up with Julie. Rachel finds the list, however and rejects Ross, but at the end of the season they start dating.
Joey, meanwhile gets a steady job on Days of Our Lives and moves into his own apartment. Chandler gets a new roommate – insane Eddie. Joey's character is killed off and he moves back with Chandler.
Phoebe discovers she has a half-brother called Frank, and Monica starts dating Richard Burke – her father's friend who is 20 years her senior.
Rachel quits her job and gets a new one at Bloomingdales. Ross is convinced that her new co-worker (Mark) wants to date and becomes paranoid and jealous.
Ross and Rachel have relationship issues and on their anniversary, they decide to take a break from each other. Eventually they break up after a long emotional night. The others hear the entire fight.
Ross starts dating Bonnie, and Rachel is jealous. The season ends with Ross having to decide between Rachel and Bonnie.
Meanwhile, Monica works in a 50's diner where she has to wear a blonde wig and fake breasts. She starts dating a customer Pete, who is a millionaire but Monica doesn't know. She avoids kissing him because she is not attracted to him, and eventually kisses him, but still feels the same.
Pete is obsessed with being the Ultimate Fighter, even though he's quite hopeless at it. Monica can't stand seeing him keep hurting himself, so she breaks up with him.
Chandler breaks up with Janice and Joey buys a chick as a pet. Joey and Chandler soon begin to fight over the chick. Chandler decides to take it back but the shop won't take it so he goes to a shelter where he learns that they kill the animals that can't find homes.
He takes the chick back home along with a duck. Joey's acting career continues to go badly.
Phoebe finds out who her real birth mother is.
Ross and Rachel get back together after Ross breaks up with Bonnie. However, Rachel insists that he cheated on her while Ross insists they were on a break. Unable to agree on whether or not Ross cheated, they break up again.
After Phoebe learns the older Phoebe is her real mother, she tells her twin sister, Ursula, who knew all along. Phoebe agrees to be a surrogate mother for her half-brother Frank and his wife Alice and eventually falls pregnant... with triplets!
Joey begins dating Kathy but Chandler likes her too. Joey and Kathy break up after Kathy kisses Chandler. Joey is angry, but forgives Chandler. Chandler suspects that Kathy is cheating on him, and when he confronts her, she does go ahead and cheat, so they break up.
Monica and Rachel switch apartments with Joey and Chandler after losing a bet. The girls hate their new apartment, so they try to convince Joey and Chandler to switch apartments. Instead, they agree to an all-or-nothing bet.
The guys win, but while they're at the game, the girls switch the apartments back. They appease the guys by offering them an opportunity to watch Monica and Rachel kiss for one minute.
Ross dates a British woman, Emily, and they become engaged. The group travels to London for the wedding, except Phoebe, who is in her last trimester, and Rachel, who doesn't want to see Ross get married. At the wedding rehearsal dinner, Monica becomes depressed.
Chandler comforts her and they end up sleeping together. Rachel realises she still loves Ross and goes to London to tell him. When she gets there, she sees him with Emily and decides it would not be right to ruin the wedding.
The wedding goes ahead, but comes to an abrupt halt when Ross says "I, Ross, take thee, Rachel".
Ross and Emily's wedding goes ahead, but she disappears at the reception. Back in New York she calls Ross and tells him that they can remain married if he will never see Rachel again.
He agrees, but after a while he has dinner with all of his friends, including Rachel. Emily is unable to feel comfortable with Ross and Rachel being friends and she and Ross get a divorce.
Ross moves in with Joey and Chandler since he sold his apartment, but eventually moves into Ugly Naked Guy's apartment.
Phoebe gives birth to triplets: Frank Jr. Jr., Leslie, and Chandler. She tries to keep one after becoming attached to them, but Frank and Alice are unwilling to give up a child.
Chandler and Monica continue an intimate relationship in secret. During the season, each of the friends (except Ross) find out in various different ways.
Finally Chandler admits that he in love with Monica. When Ross sees them kissing he is furious at first, but then accepts it when he realises that they are serious about each other.
Rachel starts a new job at Ralph Lauren. Joey gets the lead in a movie, but travels to Las Vegas to find production has shut down. Everyone goes to Vegas to see him, but find out that he is working as a gladiator for the Caesar's Palace casino.
On the plane ride over, Ross and Rachel play pranks on each other which grow more and more outrageous. She and Ross then get drunk and run to the nearest chapel and get married.
Monica and Chandler are there planning to get married too.
Chandler and Monica decide not to get married, but Rachel and Ross discover that they are now married, and agree to get an annulment. But Ross doesn't get the annulment and when Rachel finds out they are forced to divorce.
Ross gets a new job teaching palaeontology at New York University. He eventually dates Rachel's sister Jill and later of his students.
Chandler and Monica move in together, and Rachel moves in with Phoebe. Joey gets a female roommate, Janine, and they start dating. When Janine reveals she does not like Chandler and Monica, Joey breaks up with her.
Joey gets a job at Central Perk and tries out other acting gigs until he lands a permanent (but short-lived) role as the main star of Mac and Cheese. A fire ruins Phoebe and Rachel's apartment. Rachel moves in with Chandler and Monica, and Phoebe moves in with Joey.
They eventually swap, so Rachel lives with Joey instead. Chandler decides to propose to Monica but hesitates at the very last moment when Monica's ex – Richard – arrives to tell Monica that he is still in love with her.
Monica is torn between wanting Chandler and wanting a more mature relationship than he is seemingly willing to give her and doesn't know what to do.
When Chandler finds out he is angry and distressed and tries to confront Richard who finally sees how in love with her Chandler is and backs down.
Joey informs Monica about Chandlers plan, but Joey later tells Chandler than Monica didn't believe him. In a tearful romantic moment later at their apartment, they get engaged.
Monica and Chandler begin planning their wedding. Rachel gets a promotion in Ralph Lauren and hires an assistant, Tag, whom she begins dating. They later break up when Rachel turns 30.
Phoebe's apartment is repaired, but has been converted back into a one bedroom so Rachel continues to live with Joey.
Joey's new show Mac and C.H.E.E.S.E. is cancelled but he is able to return to Days of Our Lives when his character, Dr. Drake Ramoray, gets a new brain from a dropped character named Jessica Lockheart who Joey sleeps with throughout the episode.
The night before his wedding, Chandler gets scared and disappears. While he is gone, Phoebe and Rachel find a positive pregnancy test in Monica's bathroom, and Phoebe assumes Monica is pregnant.
Rachel makes Phoebe promise to not tell anyone what they have found. Phoebe and Ross find Chandler at his office and persuade him to come back, but Chandler overhears Phoebe and Rachel talking about Monica's "pregnancy" and disappears again.
He quickly returns on his own, however, and decides that a baby would not be so bad. Chandler and Monica get married, but when Chandler tells Monica he knows about the baby, she says she is not pregnant, and it was not her pregnancy test that they found.
Meanwhile Phoebe tells Rachel how excited she is about Monica's pregnancy, Rachel slowly agrees looking very emotional. The camera then zooms in on her and she takes a deep breath. "Could Rachel be pregnant?".
Clips of New York's World Trade Centre were removed because of the terrorist attacks.
Rachel confirms she is pregnant but doesn't tell anyone who the father is. Joey finds a sweater that the baby's father left at the apartment. He and Phoebe suspect that it's Tag's sweater, but Ross finds it and claims it as his.
Rachel informs Ross that she is pregnant and they tell everyone that they secretly slept together about a month before Chandler and Monica's wedding.
Joey starts to develop feelings for Rachel. Feeling that Ross is missing out on his fatherly duties, Joey reluctantly suggests that Rachel move in with Ross, and she does so.
Joey later reveals his feelings to Rachel, who politely and emotionally rejects him. Joey is crushed but realises he must on.
After a passionate kiss with Ross, Rachel goes into labour. Ross's mom gives Ross a ring to give to Rachel, even though Ross doesn't want to propose to Rachel.
Rachel remains in labour for about 21 hours and gives birth to their daughter, Emma. Joey finds the engagement ring after it falls out of Ross' coat. He bends down to pick it up.
Rachel, seeing Joey on one knee with an engagement ring, thinks that he is proposing to her, and says "okay".
Rachel finds out that Joey was not proposing to her, but neither was Ross. Ross and Rachel realise that having a child and living together is too complicated and she decides to move back in with Joey and takes Emma with her.
Chandler's job requires him to be in Tulsa, but Monica stays in New York. He eventually quits and starts a new job in advertising. After trying to fall pregnant, they decide to adopt instead.
Phoebe starts dating Mike Hannigan after being set up on a double date by Joey. They move in together, but when he tells Phoebe he does not want to get married, they break up. Rachel begins to develop feelings for Joey.
The group goes to Barbados, where Ross is aspeaker at a paleontology conference. Phoebe takes her new boyfriend David and Joey takes his girlfriend Charlie.
Chandler accidentally gives David some bad advice and David decides to propose to Phoebe. Monica finds out, and calls Mike to tell him to get back together with Phoebe. Mike comes to Barbados and proposes to Phoebe. She turns him down, but agrees to take him back.
Joey and Charlie break up. Joey learns Rachel likes him, but refuses her advances because he feels he would be betraying Ross. However, when Joey sees Charlie and Ross kissing he changes his mind and kisses Rachel.
Joey and Rachel do not date for long as they do not feel comfortable taking their relationship further. Ross and Charlie break up.
Mike and Phoebe get married in a street on a cold, snowy day. Chandler and Monica apply to adopt the baby of a pregnant young woman named Erica and decide to move out of their apartment to a house in the suburbs of New York.
Erica gives birth to twins, a boy and a girl, who are named Jack and Erica. Rachel accepts a job in Paris from Mark (who caused Ross and Rachel problems while they dated previously). The group holds a going-away party for her and she says goodbye to each of them in turn, except Ross.
He is upset about this until Rachel tells him it was too hard to say goodbye to him. They then sleep together. Ross believes that this means they are back together, but then Rachel says it was "the perfect way to say goodbye" and Ross is heartbroken.
In the finale, Ross realises he still loves Rachel and, after she leaves for Paris, goes after her, driven by Phoebe on a ride with many obstacles before he can get to Rachel.
Ross catches Rachel at the airport and tells her he is in love with her, begging her not to go; however, she is overwhelmed by this new information on top of everything else and leaves. Ross was sure she would stay, and is crushed.
When he gets back to his apartment, he finds a message from Rachel on his answering machine, telling him she does still love him and is trying to get off the plane, but is not allowed to leave.
Ross listens intently as Rachel tries to explain to the flight attendant that she needs to get off the plane but the message ends before he can tell whether or not she got off.
Ross frantically runs to the answering machine, pressing buttons and screaming "Did she get off the plane?" Suddenly a voice from behind Ross says "I got off the plane," and he turns to see Rachel at the door of his apartment.
They kiss, and assure each other that this is finally the real thing and they want to be together.
The series ends with Chandler and Monica moving out of their apartment with their new twins, Mike and Phoebe deciding to have kids, and Ross and Rachel becoming a family with Emma.
As they look around their apartment one last time, Chandler and Monica realise they need to leave their key on the desk. One by one, each friend follows with his or her own key to the apartment.
Rachel then suggests that they all go for one last cup of coffee before Monica and Chandler move and Chandler responds with the last words of the show: "Sure, where?"
Note: seasonal broadcast dates and times for M-Net and e.tv are incomplete.
Season 1 (24 episodes)
Channel: e.tv | Premiere: 1 Oct 1998 | Finale: 11 Mar 1999 | Thursdays, 19h00
Channel: SONY | Premiere: 2 Nov 2011 | Finale: 26 Dec 2011 | Mon/Wed/Fri, 19h35
Season 2 (24 episodes)
Channel: SONY | Premiere: 24 Feb 2012 | Finale: 18 Apr 2012 | Mon/Wed/Fri, 19h30
Season 3 (25 episodes)
Channel: SONY | Premiere: 20 Apr 2012 | Finale: 15 Jun 2012 | Mon/Wed/Fri, 19h35
Season 4 (24 episodes)
Channel: SONY | Premiere: 18 Jun 2012 | Finale: 10 Aug 2012 | Mon/Wed/Fri, 19h35
Season 5 (24 episodes)
Channel: e.tv | Premiere: 23 Dec 2005 | Finale: 2 Jun 2006 | Fridays, 19h30
Channel: SONY | Premiere: 12 Oct 2012 | Finale: 5 Dec 2012 | Mon/Wed/Fri, 18h45
Season 6 (25 episodes)
Channel: e.tv | Premiere: 9 Jun 2006 | Finale: 24 Nov 2006 | Fridays, 19h30
Channel: SONY | Premiere: 7 Dec 2012 | Finale: 1 Feb 2013 | Mon/Wed/Fri, 18h40
Season 7 (24 episodes)
Channel: e.tv | Premiere: 1 Dec 2006 | Finale: 11 May 2007 | Fridays, 19h30
Channel: SONY | Premiere: 4 Feb 2013 | Finale: 1 Mar 2013 | Mon/Wed/Fri, 18h40
Season 8 (24 episodes)
Channel: M-Net | Premiere: 10 Jul 2002 | Finale: 18 Dec 2002 | Wednesdays, 19h30
Channel: e.tv | Premiere: 18 May 2007 | Finale: 26 Oct 2007 | Fridays, 19h30
Channel: SONY | Premiere: 4 Mar 2013 | Finale: 29 Mar 2013 | Mon/Wed/Fri, 18h35
Season 9 (24 episodes)
Channel: M-Net | Premiere: 4 Jun 2003 | Finale: 5 Nov 2003 | Wednesdays, 19h30
Channel: e.tv | Premiere: 2 Nov 2007 | Finale: 11 Apr 2008 | Fridays, 19h30
Channel: SONY | Premiere: 1 Apr 2013 | Finale: 26 Apr 2013 | Mon/Wed/Fri, 18h35
Season 10 (18 episodes)
Channel: M-Net | Premiere: 16 Jun 2004 | Finale: 6 Oct 2004 | Wednesdays, 19h30
Channel: e.tv | Premiere: 18 Apr 2008 | Finale: 15 Aug 2008 | Fridays, 19h30
Channel: SONY | Premiere: 29 Apr 2013 | Finale: 17 May 2013 | Mon/Wed/Fri, 18h35