Friends Reunion: 5 most unexpectedly emotional moments

Friends Reunion Special - Photography by Terence Patrick -- Courtesy of HBO Max
Friends Reunion Special - Photography by Terence Patrick -- Courtesy of HBO Max /

So, no one told you the Friends Reunion was going to make you this emo…Or maybe they did. Either way, there were still a lot of places you might find yourself being the victim of a surprise crying fit.

Seeing all six members of the cast of Friends, together in one place for the first time since the series ended in 2004, was bound to cause a pretty big reaction. Nobody’s debating that, but when Jennifer Aniston asked for the tissues pretty early on in the reunion special, some of us were already extremely low on our supplies.

Maybe we should have been prepared for the waterworks after the trailer made us “ugly cry” or even after Courteney Cox shared her own take on how emotional the entire experience was. But honestly, being prepared for this complete and total feels attack was probably never an option.

There were the obvious places to cry—like literally any time we saw anyone from Aniston, to Cox, to David Schwimmer, to Matt LeBlanc, to Lisa Kudrow, to Matthew Perry getting choked up. But what about some of these other moments? Since no one warned us, we’re putting some of the surprises out there for you as a warning.

The Friends reunion made us cry from pretty much moment one

If Joey Tribbiani were to drop a “how you doin'” at us during HBO Max’s reunion special, “emotionally wrecked” would have been an understatement. Friends: The Reunion kicked off with a replay of the closing moments of the series finale, and that was already too much to handle.

Think you’ve watched “The One Where They Say Goodbye” enough times that it won’t still gut you? Think again. For some reason, knowing the cast was reuniting made a glimpse of that final scene even more painful.

It might defy logic, but the tear ducts do not care about logic. Do not watch this “fun” get-together without several orders of bulk tissues and your favorite culinary and/or liquid coping mechanism at the ready.

Friends reunion
Friends Reunion Special – Photography by Terence Patrick /

The arrivals

Speaking of a lack of logic: Seeing some actors, who have appeared on each other’s Instagram accounts on more than one occasion and presented at the Emmys together as recently as 2020, get together shouldn’t make your eyes leak like someone’s chopping onions nearby. But here we are.

Maybe it was seeing all of them on a rebuilt version of the iconic set that created all the impact? But from the moment Schwimmer arrived until the very last of our longtime “friends” showed up, the struggle to hold back the tears was real.

We tried. We failed. We hope you survive.

You’ll cry every time the Friends reunion plays the sitcom’s theme

Could we be any more scarred for life? After hearing the Friends theme song about 50 times a week (at minimum) since the series has been in syndication and/or streaming on various platforms, it should have lost any and all significance to us.

Nope! At the beginning of the reunion, the original opening credits are cut with moments from the special. Commence sobbing.

You’ll hear the song more than once during the Friends reunion, and somehow…the allergy symptoms never stop. This is a strange phenomenon that should be investigated by the authorities. Immediately.

The biggest, most crushing feelings come from the last time you hear it… No spoilers, but it’s a lot.

Friends reunion
Friends Reunion Special – Photography by Terence Patrick /

The table reads of some of our favorite scenes

Remember cracking up when Monica, Chandler, and Joey shared their story about the jellyfish sting? It’s still funny with Cox, Perry, and LeBlanc acting it out in 2021. Hilarious, even!

And yet…the emotions, they hurt.

The same could be said about reliving Ross and Rachel’s bickering immediately prior to their first kiss. But at least that has usually made us cry all 50 billion times we’ve watched it anyway. (Or am I totally alone in this?) Add in the big revelation about Jennifer Aniston and David Schwimmer that was shared here, and even this comes with an extra punch to the guts.

The one where the international fans share the series impact

It’s one thing to grow up loving fictional characters and having them help you through hard times just by being there for you. It’s totally different to see that they affected so many people, from all over the world.

And yeah, we always knew Friends was a global phenomenon. But hearing people from all over the planet quote favorite lines? That just drives the point home and creates a connection we never expected to have.

So, bring on the sobbing mess. Yet again.

Freema Agyeman is grossly underrated. dark. Next

What we’re saying here is that the long-awaited Friends reunion was a lot. Not only did it not disappoint, but we’re also wondering where to send the medical bills for potential dehydration after all that crying.

Which moments from the Friends reunion took you by surprise? Drop us a comment!