Why is ‘Friends’ Season 4 Episode 21 One of The Most Hated by Fans?

Published 02/03/2024, 11:53 PM EST

via Imago

The NBC sitcom Friends has explored the milieu of fame for a plethora of reasons all stemming from a single root famously known as ‘iconic’. However, its staging as the most relatable show of the 90s came from its phoenix-like rise as the staple comfort show of the millennials. The series, throughout its decade-long timeline, brought a diverse range of inclusions to maintain its spot on the zenith. Among these, some received applause while others slipped the score of popularity, for example, the 21st episode from the fourth season.  

Not only did the episode slip its vouch for popular choice, but it even emerged as one of the most hated episodes by fans for this surprising induction.

Why this Friends episode is the most hated

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Since Friends’ inception, the chaotic popularity that has cocooned around it is almost unbelievable. It is one of the reasons why, even 20 years after its curtain call, the show’s sight hovers in nostalgia like bricks on the face. Many have talked about its historic paychecks, iconic core cast and the love it has received in and over the years. However, what may come as a surprise is that the show has also received its share of hate due to its inclusion of clip shows like The One with the Invitation. 

The episode in question is the 21st one from season 4 and is reportedly the lowest-rated episode on IMDb with just a 6.9 rating in general. The episode is the first of the six clip shows from Friends. To break the math, a clip show is primarily an episode that consists of excerpts from previous episodes from the same or different installments. While Friends’ clip shows never really did well with the audience and have an overall low rating on IMDb, this episode especially seems to have disappointed them. 

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Having said that, let’s then take a look at what the episode was all about to receive the heat.

The One With The Invitation

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It was the time when one love story was blooming while another was inviting facepalms. Ross Geller was getting ready to tie the knot with Emily Waltham while Rachel Green resorted to her traditional savior- denial. It is the time Ross and Emily send out their wedding invitation, but the former is struck with a blow when Emily expresses skepticism over his idea of inviting Rachel. From there onwards, a comprehensive serialization of flashback snippets starts flooding in.

The first one features the pilot instance of Rachel running inside Central Perk in a wedding gown. However, the build-up then takes forward to the memories of how Rachel became Monica’s roommate to the time Ross and Rachel broke up. While these waves of memories helped Ross decide his ultimate preference which was to invite Rachel, it seems like they did not help the audience much and in turn made them all-in-all sour towards the clip shows. 

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Did you know the reason behind the 21st episode from season 4 being the most hated by fans? Let us know in the comments below!

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Anushka Bhattacharya

463 articles

I'm Anushka Bhattacharya, an entertainment journalist at Netflix Junkie. Armed with a degree in literature, I once wielded my words to catalyze change within society through my work with NGOs. However, as I stumbled into the exuberant hole of crime thrillers and documentaries on Netflix, it was love at first sight and pushed me into entertainment journalism.

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