Celebrate Matt LeBlanc’s Birthday With His Best Episodes Of Friends

Today is Matt LeBlanc’s birthday, so let’s take a minute to acknowledge this talented actor. LeBlanc was born in Newton, Massachusetts and after his high school graduation, he worked as a model in Florida before moving to New York to pursue his acting career through drama classes and, eventually, as an established actor. Though LeBlanc had several small parts at the beginning of his career and has recently gone on to play substantial parts in Man With a Plan and Episodes, most of us would agree that LeBlanc is most famous for filling the role of actor Joey Tribbiani on the renowned TV show Friends, which ran for a decade from 1995 to 2005 and briefly inspired a spinoff about LeBlanc’s character called Joey.

If you’re a Friends fanatic like I am, get out your remote and turn on that TV, because what better way is there to celebrate Matt LeBlanc’s birthday than to watch some of his best work? All episodes of Friends are available on Netflix and here are the ones you should watch this evening.

“The One With the Butt” (Season 1, Episode 6)

Joey performs in a musical and even though it isn’t too great, he gets the contact information of a talent agent. (Gotta love Estelle!) Chandler tries out dating a woman who has three other boyfriends, but quickly decides that polyamorous relationships aren’t for him. Monica gets bent out of shape when Rachel moves some things around in the apartment and the other friends believe that she is overreacting. However, the highlight of this episode is how the Joey plotline progresses: his agent is able to get him a role as Al Pacino’s butt double in a shower scene, and then manages to ruin his “big break” by acting incorrectly.

“The One Where No One’s Ready” (Season 3, Episode 2)

As all of the friends are getting ready to go out, several distractions prevent them from leaving right away, including an intense fight between Joey and Chandler about stolen underwear. To make a point, Joey decides that he is going to put on every item of clothing that Chandler owns. This pains Ross, who just wants to get out the door and is stressed out that his friends are taking so long to get ready, but it’s hilarious for viewers. The episode is interesting from a cinematographic standpoint because unlike a typical episode of Friends, it occurs in real time.

“The One with Joey’s Bag” (Season 5, Episode 13)

In this episode, Phoebe finally gets to meet her father and Monica is disappointed in Chandler for lying to her instead of admitting that Monica does not give good massages. But where does Joey fit into all of this? Since he wants to look good for an audition, Rachel takes him shopping to help him pick something out and convinces him to get a unisex bag. After figuring out what “unisex” means and that Rachel isn’t trying to sleep with him, Joey grows to love the bag but does not get the acting role because he refuses to take it off.


“The One Where Everybody Finds Out” (Season 5, Episode 14)

This is my absolute favorite episode of Friends of all time. I’m usually super indecisive when it comes to choosing a favorite episode of any show that I enjoy, but this one is a real winner and I found myself laughing out loud the first time I saw it. After weeks of Monica and Chandler keeping up their secret relationship and swearing Joey to secrecy, and Joey also keeping to himself that Rachel knows about the couple, Phoebe discovers the secret. Joey pleads with all of his friends for there to be no more secrets, but to no avail; Rachel and Phoebe decide to prank Monica and Chandler, who in turn mess with Rachel and Phoebe once they figure this out. Meanwhile, Joey is a bundle of anxiety because he is the only middleman between the two groups and he just wants the madness to end.

“The One in Vegas: Part 1 and 2” (Season 5, Episodes 23 and 24)

This is a two-part season finale that is centered around the group’s trip to Las Vegas in order to visit Joey, who has supposedly been working on a film there. Unfortunately, there is no longer a film and Joey has been working at a casino in order to make ends meet out west. Joey becomes ecstatic when he meets his “hand twin,” or someone with hands that are seemingly identical to his own. Phoebe gambles and has a “lurker” who won’t leave her alone. Monica and Chandler come very close to getting married, only to find Ross leaving the chapel with Rachel–who is now his third wife. Exciting stuff.

“The One with Joey’s Porsche” (Season 6, Episode 5)

In the messy aftermath of their drunken Vegas wedding, Rachel discovers that Ross never got an annulment for the two of them and becomes furious. Phoebe, Monica, and Chandler help take care of Phoebe’s nieces and nephew, but Chandler has to go to the emergency room after swallowing part of a plastic toy, so Phoebe ends up alone with the triplets while Monica drives him. The real star of this episode is Joey, though, who finds the keys to a Porsche parked outside of Central Perk and pretends that it is in order to impress bystanders.


“The One with Joey’s Interview” (Season 8, Episode 19)

I normally don’t enjoy the “flashback” episodes as much as the regular ones, but this one is the exception. Joey needs to prepare for an interview with Soap Opera Digest because he has messed up interviews in the past and does not want to make the same mistakes this time around. This episode features Joey-centric highlights from the first eight seasons of the show and is the perfect one to watch if you want to celebrate Matt LeBlanc.

“The One With Ross’ Grant” (Season 10, Episode 6)

In this episode, Charlie leaves Ross for Hobart after they all meet up to discuss a grant that Ross is eligible for, and Rachel and Monica fighting over who “gets to keep” Phoebe’s atrocious piece of art named Gladys since Phoebe is moving and does not have space for it. The Chandler and Joey plotline, though, is just as worthy of your undivided attention. Joey wants to audition for a part in an advertisement being made by Chandler’s company and asks Chandler to pass along an audition tape to a manager. Chandler does not do so and the truth comes out once Joey reveals what was actually on the tape: a Japanese commercial for “Ichiban: lipstick for men” starring Joey with very blue lips.

“The One Where the Stripper Cries” (Season 10, Episode 11)

The main storyline in this episode revolves around Phoebe’s bachelorette party and how Monica and Rachel struggle to find an available stripper on such short notice once they realize that Phoebe wants there to be one. Ross and Chandler go to a high school reunion and realize that they haven’t kept all of their promises to each other over the years. In the meantime, Joey stars on a game show called “Pyramid” and fails spectacularly even though the clues are not difficult.


“The One Where Joey Speaks French” (Season 10, Episode 13)

While Rachel tries to sleep with Ross in a moment of vulnerability and Monica and Chandler try to figure out who the father of their soon-to-be-adopted baby is, Joey enlists Phoebe’s help in order to learn French for an upcoming audition. No matter how many times he practices his pronunciation, Joey cannot speak any French at all; only gibberish comes out. During the audition, Phoebe shows up and tells the casting director (in French) that Joey is her mentally disabled younger brother so that they will take pity on him and not be cruel about his failure. (He does not get the part, in case you were wondering.)

Happy Birthday, Matt LeBlanc!

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