Where to watch Friends online with TBS, while we wait for HBO Max

watch friends online
(Image credit: NBC)

Today, we get a mammoth way to watch Friends online. Yes, while the gang left Netflix at the start of the year (and they've been pivoting in limbo while we wait for HBO Max to launch in May), every single episode of Friends will start streaming in mere minutes, so they'll finally be there for you again.

Friends Channel and air times

You can watch Friends online, from start to finish, with a TBS marathon that goes from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. every day. It starts on Monday, April 20.
Extra episodes will be presented on the TBS app and TBS.com

Since we're all looking for more things to stream right now, it's only right that TBS — a channel that's inside of WarnerMedia which is launching HBO Max — is going to give us a chance to binge all of friends.

Yes, somehow, Friends is all the rave again with the kids. Originally a cornerstone of NBC's Must See TV Thursday night lineup, succeeding Seinfeld as the network's top show, Friends found a second life on Netflix.

The new marathon begins on Monday, April 20, (and concludes on Monday, May 18), Friends will fill the hours of 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. on TBS. As TBS said in an email to the press, "This month-long marathon will start with the first episode and go all the way through to the 236th episode."

And before that starts, there will be a limited-commercial interruption presentation of five episodes of Friends, starting Saturday at 10 a.m., also on TBS. Similarly, the TBS app and TBS.com will present 5 episodes per week, organized by a theme. These episodes will be locked behind a paywall where you'll log in with your pay TV subscription credentials. 

This is all the second or maybe third act of the 1990's hit show, which is even having a reunion special on HBO Max once the cast can all get back together in the same room. Here's everything you need to watch Friends online:

How to watch Friends from anywhere in the world 

If you're traveling right now, and Sling and/or TBS aren't available where you are, you're not out of luck. Using a VPN, you can virtually set your location to one that supports the streaming service you need to watch Friends online. 

We've tested many different services, and our pick for the best VPN overall is ExpressVPN. We like the mix of performance and customer support you get from ExpressVPN, and the cost is low if you sign up for annual service.


ExpressVPN: Express VPN can access more than 3,000 servers spread out across 160 locations in 94 countries. Expect reliable performance and responsive customer support should you run into trouble. There's a 30-day money-back guarantee if you're not satisfied.

How to watch Friends online with TBS' huge marathon

If you don’t want to pay for each season, going with live television streaming and a cloud DVR could be a great solution for how to watch Friends online.

For instance, Sling TV, one of the best streaming services, includes a cloud-based DVR. It's probably the most affordable way to watch Friends live online, with its first month discounted down to $20. 

Sling TV

Starting at $20 for the first month, and $30 thereafter, the Sling Orange package in Sling TV package includes TBS, making it the most affordable way to watch Friends online.

Of course, if you want a service with a higher cloud DVR capacity, Hulu with Live TV and YouTube TV both make compelling offers. The former packs great original shows while the latter has an unlimited DVR capacity (but they delete recordings after 9 months, so they don't last forever-ever)

How to watch Friends online: buy individual episodes and seasons 

Unfortunately, there are no easy ways to stream the entirety of Friends online with a simple monthly subscription. But there are ways to buy the episodes or seasons you'd like to binge.

On services such as Google Play to Sony’s PlayStation Store, you can find Friends shows and episodes. In some cases, you can pay for the episodes, and in others, you’re paying for the entire seasons. Either way, it’ll be somewhat expensive.

Here’s a rundown of how to find Friends shows and episodes — and what they cost.

That might be a heavy haul. Friends spanned ten seasons and 236 episodes. If you buy all ten seasons, you’re looking at a total cost of about $200. If you opt for the episode route, you’re looking at a total cost of nearly $472.

That’s a big difference than the $10 a month you were paying for Netflix to access Friends and countless other series and movies.

How to watch Friends online on HBO Max 

While figuring out how to watch Friends online is a bit tricky right now, a big solution is coming in May: HBO Max

That streaming service, from WarnerMedia, promises to house HBO content, but also a wide variety of films and series from Warner Bros., TNT, TBS, and countless others. The service will also be home to a slew of original series. It’ll cost $14.99 per month when it launches in May.

WarnerMedia has announced plans to exclusively stream Friends starting at HBO Max’s launch. If you can stomach paying for yet another streaming service, HBO Max will give you a far more cost-efficient way to watch the series. 

Henry T. Casey
Managing Editor (Entertainment, Streaming)

Henry is a managing editor at Tom’s Guide covering streaming media, laptops and all things Apple, reviewing devices and services for the past seven years. Prior to joining Tom's Guide, he reviewed software and hardware for TechRadar Pro, and interviewed artists for Patek Philippe International Magazine. He's also covered the wild world of professional wrestling for Cageside Seats, interviewing athletes and other industry veterans.