Why You Wish You Had Thanksgiving With "Friends"
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Why You Wish You Had Thanksgiving With "Friends"

A countdown of the 10 best episodes to watch during Thanksgiving.

Why You Wish You Had Thanksgiving With "Friends"

The annual "Friends" Thanksgiving episode was a timed treasure for 10 wonderful years. Yes, a few of those were before I was born, but I appreciate them nonetheless. I also appreciate how the TV stations allow these episodes to re-air during the Thanksgiving holiday every year. This is a countdown of the 10 Thanksgiving episodes that will have you grabbing your leftover stuffing and forcing your family around the TV to watch with the excitement level of a child on Christmas.

10. “The One With the List” (Season 2)

Highlights: This is the climactic episode when Ross must choose between Rachel and Julie, and Chandler has the brilliant idea of making a pros/cons list (that always ends well...) Rachel, of course sees the list, and well...hell hath no fury. Meanwhile, Monica experiments with "Mocklate," a synthetic chocolate substitute, and makes Phoebe and Rachel try the disgusting recipe. Not the most Thanksgiving-esque of all episodes, but it is very dramatic, and entertaining per usual.

Favorite Quote: “This must be so hard. Two women love me. They’re both too gorgeous and sexy. My wallet’s too small for my $50s and my diamond shoes are too tight!” – Chandler

9. “The One Where Chandler Doesn’t Like Dogs” (Season 7)

Highlights: Phoebe is watching a friend’s dog for Thanksgiving, and Chandler pretends to be allergic because he’s terrified of dogs. Long story short, they try to trick Chandler and sneak the dog back into the apartment. Meanwhile, Chandler has a change of heart and goes to look for the dog to bring it back. When he comes back upset because he thinks he lost the dog, they show him that she is there, with Phoebe adding, “It’s a Thanksgiving miracle!” During all of this, Ross is frustrated with this “dumb states game” and bets he can finish it before dinner or he won’t eat. He doesn’t get to eat. Rachel invites Tag to join them for Thanksgiving and subjects him to all of this chaos, but it ends up working out well for her. It’s a funny episode, but not terribly Thanksgiving-y.

Favorite Quote: “This is all a moo point... It’s like a cow’s opinion. You know, it doesn’t matter. It’s moo.” – Joey

8. “The One with Rachel’s Other Sister” (Season 9)

Highlights: Rachel’s older sister stops by, and Rachel invites her to join them at Monica’s for Thanksgiving. Her sister insults pretty much everyone, gets mad at Rachel for not making her Emma’s godmother. She keeps calling her by the wrong name (Emily), and then gets into a cat fight with Rachel (ultimately breaking Monica’s good china.) It’s not an episode that’s really featured around Thanksgiving, but it’s still entertaining.

Favorite Quote: It's a tie between “Aw, isn’t that sweet? Rachel, she has your original nose.” – Amy and “Yeah, like Ross and Rachel are so responsible. Emma is the product of a bottle of merlot and a 5-year-old condom.” – Monica

7. “The One Where Underdog Gets Away” (Season 1)

Highlights: How can we forget this memorable episode? It was the first of many in this glorious tradition. Monica preparing everyone their own special dish for Thanksgiving. Rachel trying to catch her plane to see her family. Chandler boycotting “Pilgrim Holidays” because it reminds him of his parents’ divorce. Ross trying to compete with his ex-wife’s new girlfriend. Joey fighting a rumor that he has an STD and, of course, Phoebe celebrating the lunar holidays. All goes smoothly, until “Underdog” from the Macy’s day parade gets away leading to the gang running up to the roof to see the commotion. This was the episode of the “Got the Keys?” vs. “Got the Keys.” debacle.

Favorite Quote: “I’m very thankful that all of your Thanksgivings sucked.” – Chandler

6. “The One with the Late Thanksgiving” (Season 10)

Highlights: Monica doesn’t want to host Thanksgiving because she is stressed out about the adoption process. Phoebe talks her into it by appealing to Monica’s competitive nature and makes it a competition between her Thanksgiving last year and this year. Monica works all day on it, but then everyone is late due to various other activities: Ross and Joey went to a Rangers game, and Phoebe and Rachel enter Emma into a baby beauty pageant. When they finally show up, Joey gets his head stuck in the door, and ends up breaking the door and landing on the meal. Monica doesn’t even care however, because she just got off the phone with the adoption agency and they said we're getting a baby! It’s not the best Thanksgiving episode, but it is a good episode as a whole! (Because all "Friends" episodes are good.)

Favorite Quote: "This Thanksgiving kicks last Thanksgiving’s ass!” – Monica

5. “The One with Chandler in a Box” (Season 4)

Highlights: Joey and Chandler are fighting over the Kathy issue. Joey decides Chandler should lock himself in a box to think about how he let Joey down. So, he does. Meanwhile, Monica gets ice in her eye while cooking Thanksgiving dinner and refuses to go to the eye doctor because it's Richard, and no one needs to walk down that memory lane. So she calls on the doctor on call, and it turns out to be Richard’s son, Tim. Monica and her eyepatch invite Tim to join the gang for dinner during which the rest of them give her a hard time for flirting with Richard’s young son. Her response is so amazing it gets “Favorite Quote” status.

Favorite Quote: “Fine. Judge all you want to, but…

[points at Ross] married a lesbian,

[points to Rachel] left a man at the altar,

[points to Phoebe] fell in love with a gay ice dancer,

[points at Joey] threw a girl’s wooden leg in a fire, and

[points to Chandler] live in a box!” —Monica

4. “The One with the Football” (Season 3)

Highlights: The Crew decides to have a Thanksgiving football game and, because Monica and Ross are the way that they are, the game becomes extremely competitive. Meanwhile, Chandler and Joey fight over a Dutch woman they meet in the park. This episode is hilarious and touches on the silly Thanksgiving traditions and competitions that bring out the worst in people. Ya gotta love the holidays.

Favorite Quote: Tie between “Cheater! Cheater! Compulsive Eater!”-- Ross, and “There must be a special place in heaven for people that hung out with you two in high school.” – Joey

3. “The One where Ross Got High” (Season 6)

Highlights: The Gellar parents come for Thanksgiving and Chandler is nervous about it. Mr. and Mrs. Gellar make a reference to Chandler being a pothead and Ross must come clean about having blamed Chandler for when his parents smelled pot in his room. This turns into a waterfall of truths as Monica and Ross reveal things they have been hiding from each other over the years. Meanwhile, Rachel botches the Thanksgiving meal after messing up the recipe for "traditional English trifle."

Favorite Quote: Tie between “I mean, what’s not to like? Custard, good. Jam, good. Meat, good.” – Joey, and “Yeah, well hurricane Gloria didn’t break the porch swing, Monica did!” – Ross

2. “The One with the Rumor” (Season 8)

Highlights: This is the one everyone knows as the one with Brad Pitt. He makes a guest appearance at the Thanksgiving table as a formerly obese classmate of Ross, Monica, and Rachel’s. He confesses he and Ross had an “I hate Rachel Green” club in high school which he pairs nicely with the iconic hair flip impersonating “high school Rachel.” The whole event is hilarious, and it’s awesome to watch then-husband and wife Brad and Jennifer playing high school enemies. It is then revealed that Ross and Will started a rumor about Rachel that she was a hermaphrodite in high school. She was not amused, and then it gets worse when even Chandler’s school heard about it: “You were the hermaphrodite cheerleader from long island?” It’s a great episode. A Thanksgiving Classic. (Plus Brad is not hard on the eyes, as Phoebe points out.)

Favorite Quote: “Yeah Will, just take off your shirt, and tell us!” – Phoebe

1. “The One with All the Thanksgivings” (Season 5)

Highlights: This is by far my favorite Thanksgiving episode. Everyone is sitting around indulging their food comas and discussing their worst Thanksgivings ever. The best memories include Joey getting his head stuck in a turkey while trying to scare Chandler, Chandler’s awkward encounter with his father’s lover when he asked him if he wanted more turkey, and Monica’s worst Thanksgiving which brings up two very different Thanksgivings of Monica’s past. The first being the one when Chandler called her fat. (Yikes!) The other being a few years later, when she accidentally slices off part of his toe in a failed attempt to get back at him for calling her fat. Chandler gets angry because he realizes he lost his toe as a result of a revenge plot gone wrong. In order to make amends, Monica puts the turkey on her head and does a ridiculous dance to make Chandler laugh. It’s a great episode.

Favorite Quote: “Well Judy, you did it. She’s finally full.” – Jack Gellar

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This article has not been reviewed by Odyssey HQ and solely reflects the ideas and opinions of the creator.
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