In the eighth exceptional season, Friends continues to play at the top of its game with these 24 "outstanding" episodes.
After everyone finds out Monica is not pregnant, much of the wedding reception is spent figuring out who is. Phoebe pretends it's her, to cover for Rachel, but Monica realizes the truth. Chandler surprises Monica by announcing he's been taking dancing lessons; but his wedding shoes are so slippery, he can't dance. Joey changes out of his film costume, but all he can find is a tennis outfit. Mrs. Bing's date is a Broadway producer, and Joey goes way too far trying to impress him. Ross changes the seating arrangements to be nearer a pretty woman (Mona), but ends up at the kids table instead. Each attempt to dance with Mona is foiled by dance requests by the female children. To impress Mona with his sweetness, he lets them stand on his feet while dancing. Rachel takes another pregnancy test to be sure; it's positive, but first Phoebe tells her it's negative, so she has a chance to realize how she really feels. Joey has freakishly tiny feet.
The day after the wedding, everyone checks out of the hotel. Ross, always wanting to get his money's worth, won't check out until the last minute. Thanks to Joey, there are unexpected food and porn charges on several bills. Chandler forgot to make sure the disposable cameras were gathered after the reception, so he and Ross attend another wedding at the same location, to fake the photos (including one of Chandler kissing a different brunette bride). Monica can't wait for Chandler's return, so she opens all the wedding gifts without him. Joey, thinking that Phoebe is pregnant, proposes marriage and she accepts. Later, when he learns it's Rachel, he proposes to her. She doesn't accept. Joey remembers Rachel had someone spend the night a month earlier, who left behind a red sweater. Phoebe thinks it belongs to Tag, Rachel's old boyfriend; but he's not missing a red sweater. Later, Ross sees the sweater on the table. He picks it up and announces he's been looking for it for a month.
Chandler and Monica go on their honeymoon. Everywhere they go, another honeymooning couple beats them to the last of the free newlywed upgrades. Rachel prepares to tell Ross that he's the father of his child. Joey and Phoebe realize neither of them have keys to Chandler and Monica's apartment. Phoebe needs her guitar and Joey wants food, so they call the superintendent saying there's a gas leak. Mr. Treeger has the door broken down. Rachel tells Ross, and he and Joey learn that condoms are not 100% effective. Rachels gets a sonogram but can't tell where the baby is.
Monica and Chandler return from their honeymoon, having made friends with another couple on the flight home. Afterwards they discover that the phone number the couple gave them is wrong, and they begin to wonder if they didn't make a good impression. The gang ask Ross and Rachel how they got together the night she became pregnant. Rachel tells the story; when she says that Ross was the one to make the first move, an argument ensues. Ross announces that he can prove his side of the story, because he has the whole thing on video tape. Later, Ross (without Rachel) explains to Monica, Phoebe, Chandler and Joey what happened that night. In the form of flashbacks, we learn that Ross had been going through a sexual "dry spell" and Joey gave him help in the form of a seductive story to tell his date (Kristen), about back-packing in western Europe. It didn't go very well, so later Ross was practicing the story in front of a video camera. Rachel came in, and Ross forgot to turn off the camera. He and Rachel began talking about their relationship. One thing led to antoher, and they ended up having sex on tape. Ross shows the first few minutes of the tape and settles the argument.
Phoebe starts dating Monica's new assistant chef (Tim). But when he doesn't work out either as a chef or a boyfriend, they fight over who's going to dump him first. Chandler (whose middle name turns out to be Muriel) blocks the promotion of Bob, who is under a 5-year mistaken notion that Chandler's name is Toby. Joey introduces Rachel to his Days of Our Lives co-star (Kash), and they go out on a date. This bothers Ross, who is concerned with whom his unborn child is spending time. Her date doesn't go well because Kash doesn't react well to news that she is pregnant. Ross helps her understand how great it will be to have a baby, and invites her to have a cup of coffee. She declines, so he goes to the coffee shop on his own. Rachel, realizing how great Ross is, changes her mind, but she reaches the coffee shop only in time to see Ross hook up with Mona (from Monica's wedding).
Chandler and Monica plan a Halloween party. Phoebe bumps into Ursula and learns she's getting married. She invites Ursula and her finance (Eric) to the party, where she learns Ursula's been lying to him, about everything. Monica choses Catwoman for her costume and a big pink bunny for Chandler's. Phoebe is Supergirl; Joey is Chandler; Ross is Spudnik (or is he doody?). Rachel is Rachel. Chandler and Ross arm wrestle to see who's toughest. It's a draw, but Chandler lets Ross win so he can impress Mona, his date. Rachel gives away all the candy to trick-or-treaters, then money, then insults.
Chandler hires a maid (Brenda), but Monica isn't sure she wants anyone else cleaning the apartment. She becomes convinced that the maid is stealing clothes - her stained jeans and her bra. Eric breaks up with Ursula and starts seeing Phoebe. The relationship starts a little weird, because Eric (upset from the break-up) gets angry when he sees Ursula... or her twin. It crosses the line when Ursula comes by and he has sex with her, thinking it's Phoebe. Rachel looks for a new apartment so she can have her own place once the baby comes. Ross helps Rachel stake a claim to an apartment in his building, occupied by a woman (who only speaks Dutch) on the verge of death. But Rachel decides not to move.
Rachel tells her dad she's pregnant and Ross is the father. Mr. Green reacts harshly when he finds out Rachel isn't getting married, so she tells him Ross refused to marry her. Phoebe lets slip that Monica had a bachelorette party, upsetting Chandler and Joey, who hadn't been allowed a bachelor party. To make up for it, Monica hires Chandler a stripper, who turns out to be a prostitute. Rachel's dad accosts Ross while he's on his date with Mona, almost causing Ross to lose her.
Monica announces there will be no turkey for Thanksgiving because not enough people eat it; Joey convinces her to make it anyway, and he'll finish it off. Monica also invites an old friend from high school (Will), not knowing he hates Rachel for how she treated him. Will reveals that in high school, he and Ross formed the "I hate Rachel Green Club," and spread a rumor that she was a hermaphrodite. Rachel is quite upset until she's reminded that she spread the news that Ross made out with the 50-year old librarian. Joey does eventually finish the turkey, then has some pie.
Monica spends a fortune on a pair of boots; She decides to keep them, over Chandler's objections. But the longer she wears them, the more pain she's in. Joey's sister Dina wants to talk to Rachel -- supposedly about the fashion industry -- but it turns out she's pregnant and actually wants advice on how to handle being a single mom. Phoebe finds out that Ben goes to the same private school as Sting's son. She poses as Susan and tries to use Ben to get tickets to Sting's concert.
Rachel's pregnancy has her hormones running wild, and she tries to find some action. Ross and Mona get photos back from their date at Rockefeller Center, and Mona wants to send one out together as a holiday card. Ross agrees but is actually freaked out, and he's forced to consider where the relationship is going. In an effort to prove he's ready for the next step, he gives Mona a key to his apartment. Later he has second thoughts and gets the lock changed. Because Monica doesn't like Chandler's recently divorced Boss, Chandler tries to cancel a dinner date with him. His boss gets suspicious, so Chandler says he's cancelling because he and Monica broke up. But it back-fires when his boss insists on taking him out to some strip clubs. When Rachel explains her sexual frustrations to Joey, it occurs to them that they could get together for the night. But that would just be too weird.
Phoebe's wedding gift for Chandler and Monica finally arrives: A video arcade game machine, Ms. Pac Man. Chandler plays all day, fills the top scores, and spells dirty words with the initials. Then they have to try to clear them off, because Ben's coming over to play. Rachel misses dating, so Joey offers to take her out and show her a good time. They have a great date, and at the end of the night Joey realizes he's starting to fall for her. Ross begins teaching a graduate seminar, which starts 10 minutes after his regular classes, but is clear across town. Rachel watches Cujo and gets scared, so Joey keeps her company.
Joey tries unsuccessfully to believe that he's not feeling anything special for Rachel. He tries to discuss his dilemna with Chandler and Monica, but he can't discuss it intelligently because he's worried about giving himself away. They figure it out anyway... only they think he likes Phoebe, rather than Rachel. Monica introduces Chandler to the art of relaxing baths. Ross and Rachel discuss possible names for the baby; later, after a visit to the doctor, they learn that the baby is a girl. Phoebe tells Joey that his affection for Rachel are just a passing crush; it sounds good, but it doesn't change the way he feels.
Phoebe is upset after catching Monica for using a different masseuse. Monica finally agrees to let Phoebe massage her, and really enjoys it. But Monica's pleasure sounds are too much like sex noises, which makes Phoebe uncomfortable. Joey dreams of being with Rachel, and continues to struggle with his feelings for her. Rachel's baby starts kicking for the first time. Ross is upset about missing pregnancy stuff, so he tells Rachel to page anytime anything happens. This interrupts Ross's dates with Mona, and even makes him completely forget about her now and then. Chandler discovers Monica has a secret closet which is always locked. When he finally gets it open, he discovers a terrible, messy pile of junk. Because Ross is missing too much of his child's pregnancy, Joey suggests that Rachel move in with Ross.
Rachel likes living with Ross, except for all the documentaries on the Discovery Channel. Joey's yearning for Rachel worsens. Phoebe brings over a friend's dog to cheer Joey up. Soon even the dog is bummed out. Mona gives Ross salt-water taffy, and Ross reveals his knowledge of boring taffy trivia. Valentine's Day is ruined for Chandler after he watches a child-birth video (which he mistook for porn). Monica doesn't understand why he's so bothered by it, until she watches it as well. Then Rachel (for whom the video was intended) gets a bit freaked out, too. Ross prepares just the right way to tell Mona that Rachel has moved in with him. But Mona comes over to his apartment early and finds out ahead of schedule. Then she dumps him. Ross, sensing Joey's mood, gets him to talk about his "girl trouble." Joey reveals (to Ross) his feelings for Rachel.
Ross comes to grips with the knowledge that Joey is falling in love with Rachel. Phoebe meets a guy who she thinks is "Monica's other half," and she introduces them, much to Chandler's dismay. They get along great, and they both really like cheese. Joey takes Rachel out to dinner and tells her he's falling in love with her; Rachel can't return his feelings.
Joey and Rachel live the with awkward aftermath of the announcement of his feelings. To give them something to talk about, Rachel invents a story that her boss wants to buy her baby. This backfires when Joey visits the office and confronts him. Phoebe reads the group's tea leaves to tell their fortunes. Her own leaves tell her she's about to meet the man of her dreams. She does meet someone (Jim), but her turns out to be a creep. But then she meets another guy (Parker) who seems more promising. Ross realizes he's left his favorite shirt at Mona's apartment. He tries to retrieve it when she's not there, but gets caught. Monica discovers that Chandler doesn't put the CDs back in the right cases, so a project to organization them is undertaken.
Ross and Monica's parents have their 35th anniversary party in Massapequa. Phoebe brings Parker, who turns out to be annoyingly positive about everything. Monica tries in vain to give a toast that will hit everyone emotionally and make them cry. Mr. and Mrs. Geller have told all their friends that Ross and Rachel are married, so they have to make up stories about their engagement and wedding. Ross' story about how he proposed to Rachel touches her.
Joey's interview with Soap Opera Digest is punctuated with flashbacks of Joey's previous acting experiences, spare time, activities, eating habits, sexuality, romances, and his friends, who hover nearby to make sure he doesn't say anything stupid.
Joey, preparing to audition for a new game show, gets help rehearsing from Ross and Chandler. The complex rules are confusing at first, but after a while the guys really take a liking to it. Monica and Phoebe throw Rachel a baby shower, but forget to invite her mother until the last minute. Mrs. Green offers to live with Rachel and Ross for a couple months, to help with the baby. Rachel becomes convinced that it is necessary, but Ross doesn't share her feelings. When Joey finally goes for his audition, he learns that the game show has been simplied to a basic question and answer format.
Monica's restaurant gets a bad review by someone who teaches at a local school. After she and Joey confront the critic, they participate in a beginning cooking class so she can feel better about herself. The teacher (Sarah) is quickly impressed by her talents. Ross and Rachel buy baby furniture, and the saleswoman (Katie) asks Ross out. Rachel is terribly jealous and wants Ross to be with her at all times to help her out (which he is happy to do). Phoebe helps Chandler prepare for a job interview, so he can control his tendancy to make jokes about everything. He almost makes it.
Joey's war movie (Over There) comes out, and he plans to take the gang to the premier. Later he find he can only take one, so he choses Chandler, who falls asleep during the screening. Rachel's due date comes but the baby doesn't. She becomes horribly irritable, and desperate to try anything to induce labor... including sex with Ross. Monica and Phoebe bet on when the baby will come; Monica always loses.
Ross rushes Rachel to the hospital using his specially tested route, but they still end up being the last ones there. They gets put in a semi-private room, and see couple after couple come and go, while Rachel's own labor progresses very slowly. Monica and Chandler decide to have a baby, and want to start trying right away -- at the hospital. Ross' mother stops by with her mother's engagement ring and a suggestion that Ross propose to Rachel. Ross refuses the idea but takes the ring to satisfy Mrs. Geller. Phoebe meets a nice guy (Cliff) at the hospital and sends Joey in (posing as Dr. Drake Ramoray) to find out more about him. The rotation of Ross and Rachel's roommates are disgustingly friendly; horribly rude; having unbelievably mild contractions; giving birth upon arrival; and... Janice.
Janice's annoying laugh is surpassed only by the noises she makes during labor. Luckily for Janice's new husband (Sid), he's mostly deaf. Monica and Chandler, preparing again to attempt conception, stop when they hear Janice next door. Phoebe gets to know Cliff better; when he finds out she had Joey pretend to be a doctor to pump him for information, he's upset... but he gets over it. Rachel finally delivers the baby, breech. The names they had in mind don't sound right to Rachel anymore, so Monica lets her use a name she had planned for her own daughter: Emma. Phoebe is very persuasive in convincing Ross to propose to Rachel; but before he can get back to the room, Joey stumbles upon Ross' grandmother's ring and shows it to Rachel. She mistakes it for a proposal, and accepts.