Hello fellow nerds and nerdettes. It’s that time of year again where we sit around a big table among family and friends and chow down on some turkey or in some homes eggplant. In some cases we want three different mashed potatoes or an English trifle with some beef and peas. We want to go watch a wandering Underdog. We want to break the rules and go play football even though our moms say no. Though sometimes we just wanna go.
The truth is every Thanksgiving I attempt to watch all the Friends Thanksgiving episodes. It’s not Thanksgiving without Ross, Rachel, Monica, Chandler, Joey or Phoebe. As I plan to take my trip down memory lane with the iconic television series, I wondered how I would rank these episodes and found myself remembering many details and barely remembering entire episodes without refreshing my memory.
10. “The One with the List” (Season 2)
I never remember that this episode is the Thanksgiving episode until I watch it again. That’s why this one has to come in last on my list even though it’s such a pivotal episode in the story arc of Ross and Rachel. After all, he debates on whether he should be with Julie or Rachel and Joey and Chandler think it will be brilliant idea to create a pros and con list to help aid him in ths matter. I cannot remember if Phoebe has an arc in this one, but I also cannot imagine she isn’t in the episode but maybe because we are so used to seeing these characters together. We also should not forget Monica’s experiment with Mocholate which just seems like a cruel joke and would make me beyond angry if someone tried serving me anything that came close to it on Thanksgiving. It’s just not right.
9. “The One Where Chandler Doesn’t Like Dogs” (Season 7)
Maybe this episode isn’t my cup of tea because I cannot imagine anyone in the world hating dogs. That just seems wrong and reminds me of the meme of the Grinch and Max where it mentions that something must be wrong with someone if they don’t like dogs. I cannot disagree, but it hurts to know that the character who doesn’t like dogs is Chandler. After all, he’s my favorite overall. There’s nothing too particular poignant within the episode, but hilarious to watch Phoebe continue to sneak the dog around Monica’s apartment and keep him hidden from Chandler. The only other highlight of the episode is seeing how stubborn Ross can be because he cannot remember all 50 states from memory which is unacceptable in his eyes. I also do not remember much a plot line for Rachel in this one though I’m determined there must be one. Regardless that’s never a good sign for what should have been a memorable episode.
8. “The One with Chandler in a Box” (Season 4)
This is one of the weirder episodes and right after Chandler revealed to Joey that he kissed Cathy. If this episode could not be anymore awkward if it tried. We are introduced to Richard’s son because of Monica’s eye and because of his good looks she insists on inviting to Thanksgiving. When the two kiss she thankfully realizes how wrong it is to even considering dating Richard’s son. The strangest part? They share the same name! I still cannot help how awkward their relationship would could have been later down the road. In many ways we are also taught about the importance of friendship and the lengths that friends will go to for one another. However this does not change that this is clearly the strangest Thanksgiving episode out of the duration of the show, but strangely enough not the worst.
7. “The One with Rachel’s Other Sister” (Season 9)
You know what makes for a great Thanksgiving conversation? Death of course! However seeing Rachel’s sister Amy (Christina Applegate) once more is quite the treat. Plus it adds to the episode to include someone outside of our core cast in one of the Thanksgiving episodes again. However, Amy was not pleased to learn that should something happen to Ross and Rachel that baby Emma would go to Chandler and Monica. I honestly could not imagine Emma going to anyone else. However now that I think about it I could see Phoebe and Mike as the best second choice if something were to happen to Monica and Chandler. They are a much better choice than Ross’s parents, Jack and Judy Geller, because I cannot help but think that they might have passed on too by the time something happens to Ross and Rachel! For now though I’m done thinking of the deaths of some of my favorite characters ad nauseum.
6. “The One with the Late Thanksgiving” (Season 10)
Have you ever just had the hostess position thrust upon you? On this particular Thanksgiving Monica decides she doesn’t want to cook an entire meal once again. The idea of her not wanting to play hostess is one that makes me tilt my head. After all, she revamped Chandler and Joey’s apartment just so she could be hostess in the smaller apartment instead of the one that became the central apartment. I always felt like they should have asked if Monica was feeling okay in this episode, but despite the fact they don’t and beg her to cook for them they all make other plans! I can understand why Monica was angry in this episode. If I didn’t want to cook and I felt forced into doing so I would be mad too. To know that my friends put other plans before the ones with me would have also hurt my feelings and I wouldn’t have wanted to let them in either. However watching them apologize via the cracked doorway makes up for the hurt.
5. “The One With All The Thanksgivings” (Season 5)
It’s horrible yet amazing to discover how and why Chandler lost his little toe on the holiday he loathes. The best moments of the episode include multiple people putting their heads inside of a turkey. The shining moment features Monica with a turkey on her head to get Chandler to laugh and hearing him tell her that he loves her. This moment is only amplified by the fact when Joey enters their apartment is beyond frightened and goes running back toward the staircase. I also enjoy going back in time with Rachel’s old nose and Miami Vice outfits that seemed to be the perfection addition to any holiday gathering oddly comforting to watch. Add into the episode the randomness of Phoebe’s past lives on the holiday and the episode enters into the top five Thanksgiving episodes of the series.
4. “The One Where Underdog Gets Away” (Season 1)
Everyone plans on spending Thanksgiving with their families. Well, everyone does besides Chandler who continues to boycott the holiday due to Thanksgiving the moment where his parents decided to share that they were divorcing and Chandler realizing that the pool boy and his father were an item. That’s enough to ruin anyone’s Thanksgiving in all fairness. As the episode progresses though Monica realizes that her parents will not be in town and everyone else seemingly has plans. As the plans fall apart, partly because they are locked out of the apartment, we realize that Joey and Chandler need a much better system and way to find keys. We also learn that sometimes our family around this time of year are the family that we’ve made along the way and not so much the ones we are related to biologically.
3. “The One with the Football” (Season 3)
When you’re in your twenties and still not allowed to play football on Thanksgiving because you’re too competitive over the Geller Cup an interesting thing happens. You decide not to listen to your mother any longer and become aware that the Geller Cup was not thrown out like you once believed. As the teams are formed and a random woman enters the picture to vie for Chandler and Joey’s attention, a hilarious episode ensues. We realize quickly just how competitive the Gellers really are when it comes to winning their beloved trophy. Their desired prize is essentially a troll doll on top of a two by four makes this even funnier. Between Phoebe flashing the boys to aid in a touchdown and no one believing in Rachel who essentially earns the winning point, a point argued over to the point that the brother and sister pairing won’t let go of the ball to go have dinner, the episode is one of the highlights of the series Thanksgiving episodes.
2. “The One with the Rumor” (Season 8)
There are so many shining moments in this particular episode that it remains my second favorite. It narrowly only beats out the above episode for me though. What puts this particular episode over the top is knowing at the time that Brad Pitt and Jennifer Aniston were still together. I cannot think of anything more hilarious than seeing Pitt’s character arrive at Monica’s with pure hatred in his heart for a woman that he has not seen since high school. When we add into Pheoebe hitting on him and the rumor that he and Ross made up about Rachel this is a must see episode. After all, the hermaphrodite rumor inspired a girl to stuff her pants with a tootsie roll to be more like Rachel. This episode also reminds us that it’s okay to pass the yams even if we have made it a goal of ours to remain dieting.
1. “The One Where Ross Got High” (Season 6)
This particular Thanksgiving episode has a lot to offer and includes one of my favorite scenes within the entire series making it number one on my list. This is the first Thanksgiving Monica and Chandler are celebrating as a couple living together and reveals that they do not know that the two are living together. This is of course a good thing in Ross’s mind because of a lie he told them back in college. As all these things are revealed over the course of the episode, we also know that Joey has plans and that Rachel should not have put beef in the trifle. What makes the reveal of all the secrets even better is that Judy Gellar goes down the list of items seemingly impossible to process in thirty seconds yet alone thirty minutes to address them.
Is watching all the Friends episodes a tradition for you as well? Which episode is your favorite? Would you have eaten Rachel’s trifle too? Do your plans tomorrow include hiding a dog from a relative? Regardless of your answers, don’t forget to take our quiz and figure out which episode specifically you should watch instead of attempting to binge them all! But most of all…
Michelle Patterson prides herself on her random pop culture knowledge. She finds great joy in all things horror related and tries to enjoy movies on a weekly basis. If she’s not at the theater, she can be found at a convention or a concert. To connect with her more, check out her Instagram page, Twitter Page, Facebook Page, or her website.