Thanksgiving is a time to spend with your family watching football and stuffing your face with turkey, stuffing, and pumpkin pie. It could also be a time that you watch classic television shows focused on the holiday. One of the series that depicted Thanksgiving the greatest is the NBC sitcom Friends, which ran for ten glorious seasons from 1994-2004. Each year, the series would air a Thanksgiving episode with the entire gang feasting on anything from Funyuns to trifle accidentally made with beef. Sometimes, the gang would have a special guest, like in Season 8, when Brad Pitt guest starred as Ross’ friend from high school (as photographed above), or in Season 9, when Christina Applegate popped up as Rachel’s sister Amy. Here is the list of all ten of Friends‘ Thanksgiving episodes, ranked from worst to best. Where did your favorite wind up? Continue reading to find out.
10. “The One with the List” from Season 2
As far as Friends Thanksgiving episodes are concerned, this Season 2 outing barely even mentions the holiday. Ross just kissed Rachel in the episode prior, so now he decides to make a list to decide if he should stay with Julie or dump her for his longtime crush. The only time Thanksgiving comes up is when Monica is hired by a company named Mockolate, a chocolate substitute. They are looking at becoming the official candy of Thanksgiving.
Chandler: “This must be so hard . ‘Oh no, two women love me. They’re both gorgeous and sexy. My wallet’s too small for my fifties and my diamond shoes are too tight.'”
9. “The One Where Chandler Doesn’t Like Dogs” from Season 7
This Friends Thanksgiving episode actually involves a dinner with the gang, but lacks the excitement found in many of the series’ other holiday episodes. Phoebe is staying at Monica and Chandler’s and is watching a pal’s dog. Chandler claims to be allergic to dogs, but was only saying that because he doesn’t like them. Plus, Joey lets it slip that Rachel has a crush on Tag and the two share a kiss.
Joey: “It’s like a cow’s opinion. It just doesn’t matter. It’s moo.”
8. “The One with the Late Thanksgiving” from Season 10
Monica and Chandler announce that they are not hosting Thanksgiving this year. The rest of the gang is very upset and urges them to cook dinner like every year. Monica agrees and is angered when no one shows up. Phoebe and Rachel sign Emma up for a baby beauty pageant and Ross and Joey go to a Rangers hockey game which is why they are all late. Monica locks everyone out of the apartment. Eventually, everyone gets in and they all share a group hug when Monica and Chandler find out a birth mother has selected them to be parents. I guess the adoption agency does not take Thanksgiving off?
Rachel: (About Monica and Chandler) You know what? I don’t want to be with them either. But it’s Thanksgiving and we should not want to be together together.
7. “The One with Chandler in a Box” from Season 4
This Friends episode does not rank very high on the list because I can’t stand Kathy. She almost breaks up the friendship between Joey and Chandler when she kisses Mr. Bing while still with Joey. Then she goes and cheats on Chandler! In order to get Joey’s forgiveness Chandler must spend Thanksgiving in a box and think about what he has done. Monica also has a brief and disgusting encounter with Richard’s son Tim after injuring her eye.
Monica: Fine. Judge all you want to, but [to Ross] married a lesbian, [to Rachel] left a man at the altar, [to Phoebe] fell in love with a gay ice dancer, [to Joey] threw a girl’s wooden leg in a fire, and [to Chandler] live in a box!”
6. “The One with The Rumor” from Season 8
Friends is great when the show only focuses on the core six. However, this Thanksgiving Brad Pitt shows up as Ross’ friend Will from high school. We find out that the two spread a rumor that Rachel had been born a hermaphrodite. Though it seems unlikely Rachel would not have known about this rumor by now it is still a pretty humorous storyline and a decent Thanksgiving episode.
Phoebe: Will, just take your shirt off and tell us.
5. “The One Where Underdog Gets Away” from Season 1
Friends was still a brand new series when this episode debut in November 1994. Monica has decided to host Thanksgiving since her parents are on vacation. Phoebe and Chandler are going to join as well. Joey was going to go home until an ad comes out with him as the model for VD. The gang is locked out of the apartment after they go to watch the Underdog float from the roof. Rachel misses her flight and joins the gang for a feast of grilled cheese and funyuns.
Ross: Wow, you guys sure have a lot of books about being a lesbian.
Susan: Well, you know you have to take a course. Otherwise, they don’t let you do it.
4. “The One with Rachel’s Other Sister” from Season 9
Friends’ fans met Rachel’s sister Jill in Season 6. Three years later we are greeted with the presence of Amy, Rachel’s other sister. She has come to see Rachel after she has broken up with her much older boyfriend. She is invited over to Monica’s for dinner where she offends the entire gang. Amy is even upset that she is not Emma’s godmother. The two sisters get into a fight and end up breaking Monica’s wedding china. Applegate won an Emmy for her appearance on this episode.
Monica: Oh my God. I’ve lost the will to scold.
3. “The One Where Ross Got High” from Season 6
The reason this Friends episode ranks so high on the list is the storyline with Rachel making the trifle. The gang knows that she has made the dessert incorrectly and are forced to eat it so they do not make her upset. We also find out that Jack and Judy don’t like Chandler because Ross accused him of getting high at their house so he would not get in trouble. All of this commotion leads to this hilarious exchange which is also the best quote(s) of the episode:
Monica: Yeah, and Dad, Chandler didn’t melt your records. Ross did. And Dad, you remember that mailman you got fired? He didn’t steal your playboys, Ross did.
Ross: Yeah, well, Hurricane Gloria didn’t break the porch swing, Monica did.
Monica: Ross hasn’t worked at the museum in a year!
Ross: Monica and Chandler are living together.
Monica: Ross married Rachel in Vegas and got divorced… again!
Phoebe: I love Jacques Cousteau!
Rachel: I wasn’t supposed to put peas in a trifle.
Joey: I wanna go!
Judy: That’s a lot of information to get in thirty seconds. All right, Joey, if you wanna leave, just leave. Rachel, no, you weren’t supposed to put beef in the trifle. It did not taste good. Phoebe, I’m sorry, but I think Jacques Cousteau is dead. Monica, why you felt you had to hide the fact that you had an important relationship is beyond me.
2. “The One with All the Thanksgivings” from Season 5
This Thanksgiving episode of Friends features flashbacks of the holiday in the 1980’s when Monica first meets Chandler and even a few flashbacks of Phoebe in her past lives. We find out that Chandler called Monica fat, so in order to get back at him she loses a bunch of weight and surprises him the following Thanksgiving. She takes it one step further and tries to flirt with him while making macaroni and cheese. This results in Chandler losing his pinky toe. In present time, Monica apologizes for what she did and Chandler exclaims his love for her.
Judy: Oh, Monica, would you finish off these pies? There’s no more room in the refrigerator.
Monica: No thank you!
Jack: Well Judy, you did it. She’s finally full!
1. “The One with the Football” from Season 3
Here it is! The greatest Friends Thanksgiving episode takes place during Season 3. While most of the episodes are featured in Monica’s apartment, a majority of this outing is shown in a nearby park where the gang decides to play a quick game of football before their dinner is ready. Monica and Ross serve as team captains and the two end up vying for the Geller cup, which Ross thought was no longer around. Towards the end of the game, the teams switch and it is now guys against the girls. There is no winner ever declared as Ross and Monica will not let go of the football to end the plat. The real winners are the viewers that were treated to one of the greatest episodes of Friends.
Rachel: I almost caught that one.
Chandler: Great, now it’s seven to almost seven.
Which of Friends‘ Thanksgiving-themed episodes is your favorite? Let us know in the comments section below.
[Photo via NBC]