EW Staff
January 08, 2004 AT 05:00 AM EST

Our guide to top ”Friends” eps from season 5

PLOT With Joey’s videocam in tow, the gang kicks off the show’s 100th episode with a trip to Beth Israel Medical Center, where Phoebe gives birth to her brother’s triplets. BEST LINE ”I’m, um, Phoebe Buffay and I have babies coming out of me.” (Phoebe, upon being admitted to the hospital) CRITIQUE Although it was a nice touch to offset the ”very special episode” vibe with Monica and Chandler’s first fight, the whole shebang is almost completely torpedoed by a ludicrous subplot involving an Arthur Fonzarelli-obsessed obstetrician. Luckily, Phoebe (who, in the Fonz plot’s defense, does get to use the word ”dilated-amundo”) ends the ep on a high note with her sweet interaction with the newborn trio (”Little high-fives”). B

PLOT It’s flashback time again, as the gang recalls their worst Thanksgivings. HISTORIC MOMENTS Turns out Fat Monica was motivated to lose all the weight after she overheard Chandler (whom she was crushing on) tell Ross: ”I don’t want to be stuck here all night with your fat sister.” Back in real time, Chandler says ”I love you” to Monica (she’s wearing humongous sunglasses and a turkey carcass on her head at the time, but that’s neither here nor there). BEST LINE ”It’s not so much an underpant as it is a feat of engineering.” (Joey, singing the praises of the thong) NEW ‘DO Chandler, Ross CRITIQUE In addition to all the great sight gags (who could resist shots of Rachel pre-nose job, and Chandler in a goatee), the ep is chockful of juicy info: In addition to the Fat Monica revelation, we learn that Ross’ college girlfriend (and future lesbian ex-wife Carol) was on both the lacrosse and golf teams (says Ross, ”Can you believe it, she plays for both teams!”); and that Chandler is missing the top of one of his toes thanks to an errant knife wielded by a trying-to-be-seductive (but hugely failing) Monica. B+

PLOT Chandler resolves not to make fun of the rest of the gang for a whole week; Joey plans to learn guitar; Ross vows to do something he’s never done before every day of the New Year; Rachel swears off gossiping; Monica promises to snap more photos of the sextet; Phoebe wants to fly a jet. HISTORIC MOMENT Rachel finds out about the intra-Friend romance when she overhears M&C planning a dirty rendezvous. CRITIQUE Who knew Chandler’s forced restraint could be just as funny as his barb-zinging? Phoebe’s attempt to teach Joey how to strum also amuses. But, by far, the apex of this episode comes via Ross’ hilarious from-bad-to-worse interaction with lotion, baby powder, and a pair of tight leather pants. B+

PLOT The title pretty much says it all: Monica and Chandler’s relationship becomes public knowledge. HISTORIC MOMENTS We say so long to Ugly Naked Guy, who’s spotted packing up his apartment, spurring homeless Ross to make a bid for his space. Plus, we finally get to see the back of his head and naked torso. CRITIQUE Although the group discovery (which, ironically, is made from the vantage point of Ugly Naked Guy’s apartment) would have been riveting enough, the ensuing rondelet of one-upmanship (”They don’t know that we know they know we know”) between Monica and Chandler and Rachel and Phoebe (who screws with Chandler’s brain by trying to seduce him) is pure genius. A-

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