These are what we call the 'YMMV items.' Things that some people find in this work. We call them 'your mileage might vary' because not everyone sees these things in the same way. This starts discussions in the trope lists, a thing we don't want. Please use the discussion page if you'd like to discuss any of these items.
Abandon Shipping: Many, many fans abandoned Ross and Rachel in seasons three and four. They still kept a fanbase, but nowhere near as big as the writers believed.
Actually, according to the DVD commentary, polls were taken and the only competition Ross/Rachel saw was Rachel/Joey.
Angst? What Angst?: Sadly, the show had a bad habit of frequently turning to this trope for some quick laughs. For example, Phoebe's abusive/traumatic childhood was often simply portrayed as a joke to her and the rest of the cast. There were many other instances of abuse, death, etc. on the show where the characters' lack of a sympathetic reaction made them seem very unlikable.
Award Snub: Poor Courtney Cox is the only Friend to not be nominated for an Emmy
Base Breaker: All the main characters except Chandler fall into this.
Crazy Awesome: Phoebe. Case in point, Monica and Phoebe were supposed to plan Rachel's surprise birthday party together. Monica naturally makes all the decisions about the way the party will go, leaving Phoebe with only cups and ice. Phoebe ends up making cups and ice the dominant theme of the party, to the point where Monica's finger food is dismissed over Phoebe's snow cones.
Double Standard: The One With the Girl who Hits Joey, Joey's girlfriend playfully hits him, unintentionally hurting him. Nobody seems to care. If Joey hit her, even playfully, people would be calling him a monster.
Though subverted at the end of the episode, when Rachel realises how painful Joey's girlfriend's punches are.
Dry Docking: People of both sexes did not want Ross and Rachel to be together, so they could have that couple for themselves.
Ear Worm: Sing the first line to "Smelly Cat" to any Friends fan. Listen as they sing the next few lines with the emphases in just the right places.
Even worse, sing the opening theme "I'll Be There For You". Expect claps.
Also, the Freud! song.
Ensemble Darkhorse: Janice, Mike, David, Jack Geller are all well liked recurring characters.
From the main cast, Chandler. Check out any favourite Friend survey and he'll be winning by a landslide.
Family Unfriendly Aesop: "The One With The Cat" where Phoebe thinks a stray cat is her reincarnated mother. After learning the cat belongs to a little girl, Monica, Rachel, Chandler and Joey all wimp out at telling Phoebe, and Ross alone goes through with it. When Phoebe decides to keep the cat because she has to respect her mother's wish to be with her, her friends all wimp out again, and only Ross insists on putting an end to this. For this, Ross gets chewed out for being a bad friend, because he wasn't supportive of Phoebe, like the others were. The problem with that is that Ross was supportive of Phoebe, and only stopped humoring her when he found out about the little girl. The only real difference between Ross and the others was that he was unwilling to let Phoebe keep the cat at the little girl's expense. Apparently, being a good friend means you have to support somebody unconditionally, even when they're totally wrong, when they're being selfish, or when their actions would actually hurt an innocent child.
What makes it worse is that after Ross apologizes, Phoebe does a complete 180-degree turn and returns the cat. What happened to respecting her mother's wishes? The episode gives no explanation for Phoebe's abrupt change of heart, nor does it note that if she had just agreed to do that to begin with, her fight with Ross wouldn't have happened at all.
Fanon - The opening credits with the whole cast dancing in a park fountain with strings of lights everywhere is canon, and actually from a photoshoot Joey was modelling in which needed five other good-looking extras in a pinch.
Fan Preferred Couple: Many fans wanted Phoebe to end up with David the Scientist Guy instead of Mike.
It didn't help that throughout the storyline where Phoebe was torn between the two, David acted like a gentleman towards his rival, while Mike was a complete douche to him in return. Mike comes across even worse when we later find out that he was already in a relationship at the time as well!
Some fans (and even the actors themselves!) would have liked to see Joey and Phoebe get together in the end. Sadly the writers thought it would be too cliche.
Two moments become less funny due to one event later in the series:
In earlier seasons, Chandler makes multiple jokes about not being able to have children.
In season 3, Monica considers getting pregnant from a sperm donor. It's played for laughs and the rest of the cast thinks it's a dumb idea, largely because she's single.
At the end of season 9, when Chandler and Monica are together, they turn out to be incompatible. Chandler has lazy sperm, and Monica's uterus is inhospitable, so the the chances of her getting pregnant are already low. As such, they have to consider surrogacy or a sperm donor.
Chandler's smoking addiction wasn't very funny later on when Matthew Perry went into rehab to control his drinking.
A season 2 episode showed Monica getting Chandler to get in shape reflecting Matthew Perry's later weight problem.
When Joey auditions for the lead of a new detective show, he tells his friends not to get their hopes up, as he isn't sure if he's good enough to carry his own TV show. Turns out he was right.
In season 8, Brad Pitt appeared as one of Ross's old high school friends, who hated Rachel to the point that he was president of an Anti-Rachel club in high school. At the time, it was a funny Casting Gag due to the fact that Brad Pitt was married to Jennifer Aniston in real life. The joke became a lot less funny after Aniston and Pitt's very, very public divorce.
Heartwarming In Hindsight: In 'The One With the Girl who Hits Joey' Chandler goes overboard and proposes at Monica at the end, even though he isn't ready. They're in the same location & positions they are when the real proposal happens.
In 'The One Where Heckles Dies' Chandler freaks out that his committment phobia will prevent him from finding the one, and he'll be left alone when the others settle down. Flash forward to later seasons, and he has found the one, (she was living across the hall the whole time), and he and Monica are the first to get married (and stay married) and start a family.
'The One With All the Flashbacks' when pre-series Chandler comforts Monica over not having a boyfriend and tells her she'll find someone. Of course, she does find someone: Him.
Chandler and Monica's conversation at Ross's wedding in the Season 4 finale. Monica confides her fears that she's "Never going to get married" and Chandler responds with: "Who wouldn't want you?". That night they sleep together for the first time and three seasons later, the finale is all about their wedding.
Season 5 ends with Ross and Rachel getting married while drunk in Vegas. Ross promises he'll get it annulled, but he doesn't want to have his third marriage fail as well, so he ends up lying to Rachel about it. Rachel finds out three episodes later that they're still married, and she furiously asks Ross, "When were you going to tell me? After the birth of our first secret child?". Two seasons later she gets pregnant with Ross's child, and Ross is the last one to find out.
When Carol and Susan get married, someone asks who is the most likely to get married last and everyone looks at Chandler. He actually marries Monica a few seasons later, while other main characters are still single.
In "The One With All The Resolutions", Ross says "no divorces in '99!/Just the one divorce in '99!". He ends up Divorcing Rachel less than a year later in "The One with Joey's Porsche" (Which aired on October 21st, 1999) making his 'resolution' hilarious indeed.
Joey asked Rachel "How you doin'? You all right?"? in the season 2 premiere. Who would have thought that the first half of that would be his catchphrase?
Invoked in universe during the One with the Thanksgiving Flashbacks when Ross brags about Carol playing "for both teams."
The episode where Rachel was freaked out that Ross has been planning their future, down to the name of their kids. The first he came up with was Emily.
Also from that episode its revealed Monica and Chandler had crushes on each other the first and second time they met respectively. Both crushes faded, but years later they've now fallen in love and are dating
Emily's actress Helen Baxendale got fame in the UK for starring in Cold Feet. What's her character's name? Rachel.
Season 1: Chandler offers Monica a Fallback Marriage Pact if they're both single when they're forty. Turns out he cashes in on that deal a lotsooner...
In Season 3 Chandler spends an episode fruitlessly convincing Monica she should date him. She refuses for numerous reasons. (He's not 'mature' enough, puts on weird voices, is 'Chandler' and would always be the guy who peed on her). They go on to not only date, but fall in love, start a relationship, move in together, get engaged, get married and raise a family together.
Chandler: "There's a nuclear holocaust, I'm the last man on Earth. Would you go out with me?"
In season 9 (aired 2002-2003), Joey considers investment options, and Monica tells him real estate is the ideal choice.
Season 6 has one episode that shows how different the cast would be if they did something in their lives that changed them forever. In this alternate continuity, Chandler is the one who is unemployed and has to borrow money from Joey instead of it being the other way around. Season 9 has an episode where the same exact scenario is played out, except Chandler swallows his pride to ask Joey for the money.
In Season 4 Monica gives Chandler a crash course in 'pleasing women'....cue Season 5 and her new boyfriend is the "best she's ever had".
In Richard's first appearnece, Pheobe simply says "James Bond!" because he was wearing a tuxedo. Tom Selleck later appeared as a retired spymaster in Killers, alongside Asthon Kutcher.
Monica marries the guy who peed on her. Chandler marries the woman who cut off his toe.
Ho Yay: There have been more marriage/romance/infidelity metaphors surrounding Chandler and Joey's relationship as roommates than is possible to count.
The Ho Yay between Joey and Chandler even continue into the What Could Have Been episode in season 6, where Joey hires Chandler (now a struggling comedy writer) to be his assistant. And then there's this line:
Also occasionally between Ross and Joey, especially in The One With the Nap Partners. Ross also gave Joey a passionate kiss when he needed to audition for a role that involved having to kiss another man. Joey remarked that Rachel was a lucky woman.
Phoebe was shown to have Les Yay tendencies in "The One with Ross And Monica's Cousin" where she ends up starring longingly at Cassie and she even thinks "Ask her out! She's not your cousin!"
Chandler once kissed Ross while drunk.
Rachel and Monica have had break-up moments, the most hilarious one being when Monica was spending time with Ross's new girlfriend Julie and Rachel confronted her about it. The conversation sounded like two lovers having a quarrel over cheating.
Ross and Chandler are definitely this. Especially Chandler in the first few seasons where all women seem to treat him like he's repulsive when actually he's quite cute and very funny. It gets better when the writing focuses on how he's socially awkward rather than unattractive.
On a more notable level, Fat!Monica.
Hollywood Pudgy: Chandler. In one episode, several members of the group comment that he has put on weight. Phoebe even mockingly pretends that she can't put her arms around him to give him a hug. A particularly glaring example of this trope, as not only does Chandler look exactly the same as he always does, until the rest of the group point it out, he is completely unaware of having put on any weight.
Laminated list, also known as freebie list. explanation
A list of your top 5 people, usually famous celebrities with whom you can have sex if you have a chance to score, regardless whether you are in a relationship or not, and your significant other must comply. It was first mentioned by Chandler when he dated Janice, and Ross spent the entire episode trying to figure out the very best selection of ladies possible, and when he was finished, he had his list printed and laminated.
Most Annoying Sound / Most Wonderful Sound: Janice's laugh somehow manages to be both at the same time. It's ridiculously grating, yet so silly and over the top you can't help but look forward to hearing it.
The childbirth video, especially for Chandler and Monica.
There was a Running Gag of Monica saying intimate things to Chandler without realizing Ross's presence.
Monica: Take off those pants, Bing! *notices a Squicked-out Ross* Didn't notice you there, Gellar!
Strawman Has a Point: When Monica's parents tell her they spent her wedding fund, Chandler confesses he has some money saved up and tells Monica how much. She's immediately excited and makes plans to spend it on the wedding, but Chandler refuses to devote all of his savings to what he sees as a one-time party. While we're not told exactly how much money is being discussed, Monica says it's enough to pay for her dream wedding. Considering how she can be it's likely that it's a lot of cash Chandler has, and odds are also that a lot of the stuff she has planned are things she doesn't need. To both of their credit though, Chandler eventually relents but Monica agrees with him.
In the final season when Monica and Chandler move out of New York and start a family you finally learn why he was so reluctant to use that money.
In "The One With The Cat", Phoebe encounters a cat and suddenly gets the vibe that it's reincarnated from the spirit of her dead mother. Fair enough...except the cat has an owner (an eight year old girl to be exact) and Phoebe refuses to give it back. She doesn't mean it a jokey way either, she seems serious about it. When Ross calls her out on it, Phoebe basically accuses him of being intolerant of her beliefs and he is eventually pressured into apologising to the cat. Behind Phoebe's back, the others actually agree with Ross, but they don't support him when he actually confronts Phoebe. While Ross could've been a tad calmer about the whole thing, even contemplating the idea of stealing someone else's pet was definitely low of Phoebe.
Courteney Cox and Matthew Perry also reportedly couldn't hold back the tears when filming the scene where Monica proposes.
Seeing Phoebe say goodbye to the triplets and just end up quietly rocking them while the camera panned out.
If you've watched every episode of this show, you WILL cry at the very end. The destruction of the foosball table to rescue the ducklings. THE TABLE!
The empty apartment.
Unfortunate Implications: Monica, who makes a big deal throughout the series that a wedding is a super important to the bride, becomes depressed following her wedding.
Unfortunate, but not unrealistic. A lot of women experience that once all the planning, excitement and anticipation are over with and it's time to go back to normal life—and tackle those huge bills that are left over.
Plus an earlier episode has her telling Chandler that a marriage is more important to her than a fancy wedding, so while she may initially be sad its over its obvious she's not super depressed.
Rachael mentions she's always depressed after her birthday.
Ross is also this sometimes. He does some pretty horrible things throughout the series (kind-of cheating on Rachel, remaining married to her without even telling her, etc.). Yet, from the way these plots are played out, it seems the writers expect us to sympathize with him.
Even more with Rachel (forcing Ross to take all the blame for their break up, mainipulating Bonnie into shaving her head screwing with their divorce, sleeping with him because she's jealous of Monica, trying to ruin his wedding etc.) You're left thinking they do deserve each other, because no one else should have to put up with them.
Values Dissonance: Being a sitcom from the mid-90's, you can expect a lot of derogatory gay jokes. Especially during the first three seasons (often directed at Chandler).
What an Idiot: As minor as it was, you do have to wonder how Ross' old boss could possibly mistake his sandwich for his own (it had a note on it too!). And then throw it away.
Joey may be the dumb one of the group, but the rest of them have their dumb moments too. Such as Monica and Chandler trying to keep their relationship a secret at first. And how terrible they were at it.
The Woobie: Given Phoebe's past and her wide-eyed look on the world, you know you just wanna give her a hug. The fact that she's played by Lisa Kudrow helps, too.
Ross and Joey also have their moments.
And Fat Monica. Hell, regular Monica, when her mom tears her down about her looks, career, relationships or anything else that comes to mind.
Also Chandler, with his insecurities and screwed up childhood.