As if ‘Friends’ wasn’t memorable enough, its fans remember the show for its Thanksgiving episodes. From Chandler complaining about the one holiday he hates to Joey not eating enough to Rachel making the wrong dessert to Phoebe falling in love with Jacques Cousteau to Ross and Monica’s competitive streak getting the best of them, Thanksgiving was an entertaining time for six friends living in New York City. Here’s a rundown of each memorable Thanksgiving episode throughout ‘Friends’ ten-year run. Happy Thanksgiving!
1. Season 1: The One Where Underdog Gets Away
All Rachel wanted to do was “shoop, shoop, shoop” on the slopes in Vail, but thanks to the Underdog balloon getting away during Macy’s Thanksgiving Day Parade, things got out of hand very quickly, like Joey’s VD “scare.” Not only did the gang (minus Ross, who was busy singing “Hey, hey, we’re, The Monkees!” to his unborn child) get locked out of Monica and Rachel’s apartment, but all the different potato dishes burned. Thankfully, Chandler was there to make his famous grilled cheese sandwiches, where all the friends then toasted to “a lousy Christmas” and “a crappy New Year.”
2. Season 2: The One with the List
This wasn’t your traditional ‘Friends’ Thanksgiving episode, as the episode didn’t focus on the holiday, but rather on the aftermath of Ross and Rachel’s first kiss (aka the best kiss ever). While Monica was busy making concoctions out of “Mockolate,” Ross had the tough decision (it really wasn’t that tough) to stay with Julie or choose Rachel. After making the infamous list, that included Rachel’s “chubby ankles” and that she was “just a waitress,” Ross narrowed it down to Rachel -- you know, the girl he loved for 10 years? As we all know, that list turned out to be the end of Ross and Rachel, before they were even really Ross and Rachel.
3. Season 3: The One with the Football
You can’t have Thanksgiving without a little football, and for these six friends their football game, dubbed “The Geller Cup,” took over their relaxing holiday time thanks to Ross and Monica's competitiveness. In between Ross and Monica’s teams battling it out on the field, Joey and Chandler vied for a Dutch girl, Phoebe flashed the other team and Rachel took a play right out my own playbook by purchasing a soft pretzel and eating it on the sidelines. So, who won the “big” game? We’ll never find out, because I think Monica and Ross are still fighting over the ball and who gets that ugly trophy with a troll attached to the top.
4. Season 4: The One with Chandler in a Box
Note: don’t ever kiss Joey’s girlfriend, because he’ll make you spend Thanksgiving in a box. Yes, that’s exactly what happened to Chandler, who kissed Kathy behind Joey’s back. While Chandler made door knocking jokes in the box, Monica was busy making moves on Richard’s son (played by Michael Vartan) and Rachel spent her day proving to Ross that she did have sentiment. All ended well, as Joey let Chandler out of the box, Chandler got the girl and Monica realized it was sick to date someone she could say to, “That’s not how your dad used to do it.”
5. Season 5: The One with the Thanksgiving Flashbacks
Nothing says Thanksgiving like rehashing your worst Thanksgiving memories. Here’s a rundown for the gang. Ross: his worst memory was that very year, due to his divorce from Emily and his eviction. Phoebe: her terrible memory dated back to her past life. Chandler: as we all know, he hated Thanksgiving since his mom and dad split on the very day (oh, and his dad left his mom for the pool boy). Joey: his bad Thanksgiving memory probably had to be the one where he got the turkey stuck on his head. Rachel: we never found out. Monica: despite Rachel thinking her best friend’s worst Thanksgiving was when Chandler called her fat back in the ‘80s, it turned out to be the one where Monica severed Chandler’s toe. Ouch. It all ended on a good note, thanks to Monica sticking a turkey on her head, and Chandler telling her he loved her.
6. Season 6: The One Where Ross Got High
Despite Ross and Joey wanting to spend their Thanksgiving with dancer Janine, and her drunk friends, they tried to eat quickly at Monica’s. Well, their plans quickly went awry, because Rachel’s dessert had to be perfection. While everyone waited for Rachel to finish her traditional English trifle (yes, she wasn’t supposed to put meat in the trifle), Chandler tried to figure out why Ross and Monica’s parents hated him. Oh, maybe it was because Ross blamed Chandler for his marijuana days? Eventually, Judy and Jack Geller learned that not only was Ross to blame for smoking grass, but that Monica broke the porch swing during Hurricane Gloria, Phoebe loved Jacque Cousteau and Joey wanted to “go!” Judy had it right, “that’s a lot of information to get in 30 seconds.”
7. Season 7: The One Where Chandler Doesn’t Like Dogs
Not only did we learn that Chandler hated dogs, but we also learned that it’s very hard for adults to remember the 50 (or in Joey’s case 56) states in America. Ross, who repeatedly babbled on about his education, vowed he could list all 50 states before dinner. FYI, even making a map on the floor out of paper didn’t help. While geography Ross was busy, Joey explained the meaning of a “moo” point (it’s a cow’s opinion!), Rachel came onto her assistant Tag, Monica and Phoebe hid a dog in the apartment and we all discovered Chandler’s aversion to dogs.
8. Season 8: The One with the Rumor
Typical, Rachel Green! It doesn’t get more memorable than when Brad Pitt (who was then married to Jennifer Aniston) starred as Monica’s former fat high school friend, Will, and the man who loathed Rachel. When you despise someone the logical thing to do is start a rumor, right? Well, that’s exactly what Ross and Will did, aka they told everyone that Rachel had a “teeny weenie.” This definitely didn’t bode well for the former popular girl. Would you join the “I Hate Rachel Green Club”? We also learned Ross was considered a “romancer of the elderly” back in his high school days. Oh, and let’s not forget about Joey’s Thanksgiving pants during this episode!
9. Season 9: The One with Rachel’s Other Sister
You can’t celebrate Thanksgiving without family, and that’s just what Rachel’s sister, Amy (played by Christina Applegate), did when she showed up at her sister’s apartment. It turned out to not be a very happy holiday for Amy, after she learned Monica and Chandler would inherit Emma, if Rachel and Ross died. Amy’s pouting continued, where she called the issue “classic Rachel.” Rachel then responded, “Remember in high school when I died and didn’t give you my baby?” This all led to a catfight (one that Joey wanted to add Jell-O to) and Monica’s worst nightmare -- all of her wedding china broke thanks to Chandler. I guess it wasn’t a very happy Thanksgiving for Chandler either.
10. Season 10: The One with the Late Thanksgiving
Finally, we have the very last ‘Friends’ thanksgiving. From “floating heads” to Chandler’s chanberries to Monica’s vein to Rachel and Phoebe entering Emma in a beauty pageant to Ross getting “mugged” (again) to Joey and Phoebe using fire and a water balloon to win a game of rock-paper-scissors to Monica and Chandler finally being chosen as adoptive parents, this final Thanksgiving was one of the great ones.
Which is your favorite ‘Friends’ Thanksgiving moment?