A is for… Apple – the Big one, where the show was set.
B is for… Brad. Before Brangelina, there was Brannifer (Braniston…?) and the episode starring Jen’s then husband, Brad. He played Will, a formerly overweight high-school “friend” who, we discovered, co-founded the I Hate Rachel Green Club with Ross. “Look at her standing there with those yams. My two greatest enemies, Ross. Rachel Green and complex carbohydrates…”
C is for… Central Perk, the only coffee house in town.
D is for… Dr Drake Remore. Joey’s greatest ever role, the brilliant surgeon on daytime soap Days of Our Lives, master of the “smell-the-fart” school of acting.
E is for… Emily, or is it Rachel? Yes, that’s not a mistake Ross will make again.
F is for… Fussball. Joey and Chandler’s table football game took up a large chunk of their free time and was responsible for much male bonding. They were finally forced to destroy it in order to free their pet duckling, which had become trapped inside – but not before saying personal goodbyes to each of the plastic players. “Good game. Good game.”
G is for… guest star. Among the many famous faces keen to grab a piece of the action down the years have been Robin Williams, Billy Crystal, Brad Pitt, Danny DeVito, Julia Roberts, George Clooney, Ben Stiller, Freddie Prinze Jr and our very own Sarah Ferguson.
H is for… How you doin’? Joey’s failsafe chat-up line, always to be pronounced with a stress on the “you”, in finest Italian-American style.
I is for… I’ll Be There for You. The theme tune, performed by The Rembrandts.
J is for… Jellyfish. And there’s only one way to treat a jellyfish sting… enough said.
K is for… Kiss – that kiss…
L is for… London, baby! The obligatory, but misguided, two-part holiday episode featured a wedding, a big slip-up and appearances from Richard Branson and Sarah Ferguson.
M is for… Marcel. Everyone loves a monkey, right? Well, Ross certainly did. The little fella became his best friend after his (Ross’s) first divorce but eventually the primate’s overactive libido saw him consigned to San Diego Zoo… oh, and then he became a film star.
N is for… No foreskin. When aspiring actor Joey found himself up for a role that required him to be nude and “uncut”, it called for desperate measures. Enter Monica, who fashioned a range of fake foreskins from materials ranging from fur to luncheon meat. The silly putty prototype won out – but promptly fell off when Joey dropped his trousers at the audition.
O is for… “Oh. My. God.” The words that cause Chandler’s testicles to retract into his body when uttered by a certain special lady. Yes, it’s Janice!
P is for… Pop song. Remember when Smelly Cat got commercial?
Q is for… Quiz. It started with an innocent question – “Who knows more about the others, the girls or the boys?” – and ended up with the boys winning the girls’ apartment. Ross’s trivia quiz featured such questions as…
How many categories of towels does Monica have? (11)
To whom is the TV Guide delivered to Joey and Chandler’s apartment addressed? (Miss Chanandler Bong)
Name Joey’s childhood imaginary friend (Maurice, a “space cowboy”)
R is for… Regina Phalange. Phoebe’s mysterious alter ego…
S is for… Sandwich – My sandwich!
T is for… Turkey. The one Joey gets stuck on his head at Thanksgiving. And the one he eats all to himself, leading to a serious case of the “meat sweats”.
U is for… Ugly Naked Guy, the anonymous naturist from the building opposite. Always unclothed, he was variously glimpsed (by the Friends but, thankfully, rarely by the viewers) using a Thighmaster, playing the cello and dancing with Ugly Naked Girl.
V is for… Viva las Vegas. You know, the place where Monica and Chandler intended to get married – but were put off by the fact that Ross and Rachel actually (and drunkenly) got married before them. Factoid: the whole episode was shot in a studio in LA – not in Sin City.
W is for… White teeth. Ross overdoes it with a teeth bleaching product and spends the whole of a first date murmuring from behind his hand. When he finally gets the girl home and turns off the lights, his ultraviolet smile nearly gives her a heart attack.
X is for… X-rated. It’s one of the few episodes of Friends that you might not have seen – that’s because TV execs have often shied away from pre-watershed screenings of the rather racy theme of season four’s The One with the Free Porn.
Y is for… Yemen. The place where Chandler tells Janice he’s moving when he’s trying to get away from her. 35, Yemen Road, Yemen.