Friends was a comedy show at its core, but part of the reason fans stuck with the Central Perk crew for so long is that there were also some very emotional moments sprinkled in between all the laughs. From gut-wrenching breakup scenes to heartwarming gestures by the characters, there was a lot of love contained in Friends' 10 seasons. Here's a look back at the moments that made us cry harder than the ending to Old Yeller.
Season 1, Episode 10 - "The One with the Monkey"
Phoebe and David (Hank Azaria) were not together very long before he got the call to take his research out to Russia, but considering how attached she grew to the guy, it was pretty devastating to see her first real relationship end so unceremoniously.
Season 1, Episode 17 - "The One with Two Parts: Part 2"
Phoebe (Lisa Kudrow) warned Joey (Matt LeBlanc) that her twin sister would not treat him well in the end, but even when she was proven right, and her sister basically ghosted the guy, she decided not to play "I told you so" and instead dressed up in the sweater he gave her for Christmas to stage the breakup herself. When the split was sealed with a sweet kiss, and Joey realized what just happened, he was completely moved by her gesture, and so were we.
Season 1, Episode 21 - "The One with the Fake Monica"
That monkey might've been a pain, but it was still a major bummer when Ross had to let him go and the animal seemed completely unbothered. It was a good heartswell moment when the little guy came back into the picture as a big-time movie star, but even that came with some disappointment when he couldn't come to Ross' fancy dinner. Poor Ross.
Season 1, Episode 24 - "The One Where Rachel Finds Out"
It was quite a letdown for those fans who were hoping Rachel (Jennifer Aniston) and Ross (David Schwimmer) would finally get together after a whole season of teasin' once Chandler spilled the beans about his secretly harbored affection for her. After she found out, she realized she returned that favor and rushed to the airport to declare herself. But Ross unearthed more than just old fossils during his China dig; he also struck up a relationship with Julie (Lauren Tom) during the trip, and that shot of Rachel waiting with the flowers as he waltzed down the breezeway with his new girlfriend was nothing short of gutting.
Season 2, Episode 7 - "The One Where Ross Finds Out"
It didn't take long for Rachel to let it slip to Ross that she'd developed feelings for him, too, and while most of the resulting scenes were hilarious -- hi and bye, Michael! -- emotions couldn't help but swell when the two finally ended their intense arguments and shared a kiss, with the dimmed and emptied cafe coated in rain as the backdrop.
Season 2, Episode 11 - "The One with the Lesbian Wedding"
Ross had some pretty cringeworthy things to say about his ex-wife's relationship with Susan (Jessica Hecht) that probably wouldn't make it into a modern script, but we have to give him major props for putting aside all that animosity to share a sweet little dance with her at their wedding. It was time.
Season 2, Episode 14 - "The One with the Prom Video"
Phoebe was right that Ross was Rachel's lobster, but it took a long time for either of them to really figure that out. Thanks to some family footage of Rachel and Monica getting ready for their prom, Rachel finally got to see just how much Ross cared about her all along, and fans at home got a prime opportunity to cry all over themselves at the sight of a tux-clad Ross being bypassed by Rachel and her late-arrival date.
Season 2, Episode 16 - "The One Where Joey Moves Out"
Seeing Chandler and Joey fight was never easy, but when Joey actually decided to pack his stuff and go, well, it was rough. Between the obvious jealousy he had for his insane replacement Eddie (Adam Goldberg) and that shot of him looking through the fake rain of his little fountain, things were pretty sad in Chanoeyworld.
Season 2, Episode 24 - "The One with Barry and Mindy's Wedding"
Although she ultimately ended up with the right guy, it was still pretty wrecking to watch Monica (Courteney Cox) and Richard (Tom Selleck) realize that their relationship couldn't continue any longer as they shared a dance at Barry and Mindy's wedding. They obviously loved each other and had already managed to shake off so many other obstacles, but she still wanted children and was willing to let him go for the sake of that future. Sob.
Season 3, Episode 10 - "The One Where Rachel Quits"
Granted, it was definitely Ross' clumsiness that caused little Sarah (Mae Whitman) to fall down the stairs and break her leg, but he did go to extreme lengths to make it up to her. Not only did he knock on doors as an honorary Brown Bird to sell her cookies, but he ponied up his own cash, and when even that wasn't enough, he took the time to stage his own little space camp for young Sarah to have some fun in. He was a really good guy sometimes, ya'll.
Season 3, Episode 16 - "The One the Morning After"
Whether you agree that they were on a break or not, the hurt that Rachel went through upon finding out Ross slept with Chloe from the copy shop was almost unbearable to watch. And when he outright begged her to stay with him, declaring that he could not imagine his life without her in it, it was downright shredding.
Season 5, Episode 3 - "The One Hundredth"
She was amazingly nonchalant about the whole concept of carrying her brother's triplets, but when Phoebe finally met her little nieces and nephew, the reality of letting them go set in and she bawled right alongside them and us at home.
Season 6, Episode 22 - "The One with the Proposal: Part 2"
Despite all the talk about pig sex and Richard's hail mary to win Monica back, Chandler (Matthew Perry)'s proposal to Monica was still incredibly touching. After a day spent trying to undo all of his diversion attempts gone wrong, Chandler finally returned to Apartment 20 to find that Joey came through by filling Monica in on what her beau was really up to, and she lit the place with candles to set the mood for a surprise. The tears, they were a-flowin'.
Season 7, Episode 14 - "The One Where They All Turn Thirty"
Joey and Phoebe always had a soft spot for each other -- and probably should've just gotten together at some point, to round out all the couplings -- so when she was heartbroken to find out that she was a year older than she thought and that her sister had lost track of their mother's suicide note, giving her the "perfect kiss" she'd been hoping to have before 31 was a wonderful gesture.
Season 7, Episode 22 - "The One with Chandler's Father"
There were some icky transphobic lines thrown around when it came to the subject of Chandler's father Charles Bing aka Helena Handbasket (Kathleen Turner), but when the Bings-to-be headed to Vegas and managed to rekindle that long-broken relationship in front of the whole cafe, it was a pretty beautiful little moment.
Season 8, Episode 16 - "The One Where Joey Tells Rachel"
Later on in the show, when Joey and Rachel would both be interested in each other at the same time and try to make something happen between them, it was [in very Joey voice] yech. But before she ever took a shine to him, Joey's feelings were completely one-sided, which made his genuine heartbreak over being rebuffed by Rachel pretty emotional to behold.
Season 8, Episode 22 - "The One Where Rachel Has a Baby: Part 2"
Somehow, both of Ross' kids came into the world with both an accidental gender reveal conundrum and no names picked out for them. In Ben's case, the moniker ultimately came from a janitor's outfit Ross, Susan and Phoebe found, but with Emma, there was a more personal story behind the selection. As Rachel warred between Isabella and Delilah, she got Monica to reveal what name she'd had preselected for her eventual daughter. When, gasp, it turned out to be the perfect fit for Baby Girl Geller-Green, Aunt Mon decided to give it to her because "she's obviously an Emma." Gulp.
Season 9, Episode 16 - "The One with the Boob Job"
Considering they were smack dab in the middle of moving in together at the time, it was a pretty shocking development indeed when Phoebe and Mike (Paul Rudd) decided to call it quits on account of his refusal to ever marry again. Watching him walk away and leave all of their potential behind for sheer stubbornness was an emotional wallop.
Season 9, Episode 21 - "The One with the Fertility Test"
Monica and Chandler both experienced their fair share of let-downs over the years -- family issues, employment struggles, and what have you -- but none were quite as heavy as the moment they found out that they couldn't get pregnant together. That was so, so sad to witness.
Season 10, Episode 9 - "The One with the Birth Mother"
The happy tears started flowing, though, after Chandler made his big plea to Erica (Anna Faris) to let them adopt her child -- telling her Monica "is a mother without a baby" -- and won her over on both Bings' behalf. Miss Chanandler Bong for the win.
Season 10, Episode 12 - "The One with Phoebe's Wedding"
Who cares if the ice sculpture melted on the steam grates? Phoebe's wedding to Mike was still a picture-perfect winter wonderland. And those vows just RUINED us.
Season 10, Episode 16 - "The One with Rachel's Going Away Party"
On the eve of her move to Paris, Rachel took everyone else aside one by one and said her goodbyes, but when it was Ross' turn, she took off instead of talking to him. To say he was upset would be an understatement, but when he finally confronted her, she broke down and admitted that the reason she didn't say goodbye to him is that she simply couldn't imagine finding the right words, and we were positively leveled by the emotion of that moment.
Season 10, Episode 17 - "The Last One"
After an entire episode spent trying to chase Rachel down and beg her not to go, Ross finally returned home, defeated, after declaring himself and watching her still board that flight anyway. But when he checked his messages, he got to hear her slowly become panicked as she realized that she did love him too and wanted to get off the plane. Once the message clicked to end before he could find out what became of her effort, she showed up at the door and said, "I got off the plane." There and then, the two decided to put all of those petty disputes aside and go for it -- really go for it this time -- and make love last. We were crying. You were crying. Everyone was crying.
Season 10, Episode 17 - "The Last One"
Last but not least, the moment when all six of the friends gathered one last time in a then-emptied Apartment 20 and handed over their keys was shattering. After 10 years of memories made in this place, the home felt like a character in and of itself, so seeing them walk away from it once and for all was pure anguish and still renders us a puddle every single time we re-binge the show.