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The One Where We Rank All the F.R.I.E.N.D.S Thanksgiving Episodes

November 22, 2018

F.R.I.E.N.D.S staked their claim early in the TV Thanksgiving space, kicking off in season one and steadily producing a yearly holiday episode (except season two, where The List overshadowed turkey day prep). Below is our definitive ranking, counting down from Underdog to Beef Trifle, marked with our very scientific one to five turkey rating scale. 

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9. The One Where Underdog Gets Away (Season 1, Episode 9)

Rating🦃 1 Turkey

The friends are faced with the prospect of hosting their first adult Thanksgiving when the elder Gellers abscond to Puerto Rico for the holiday. This ep establishes the origin story of Chandler's parents divorce, and his subsequent recurring disdain for Turkey Day, and rich-girl Rachel ends up with gang when she misses her flight to Vail to shoop-shoop on the slopes. Plus: Joey's face is on a V.D. poster! (That means STD for our millennials who never saw daylight in the '90s). Overall a pretty blah episode compared to the hi-jinks of the later years. 

 

 

8. The One with Chandler in a Box (Season 4, Episode 8)

Rating🦃 1 Turkey

 Chandler tries to atone for kissing Joey's girlfriend Kathy (who was so meh, it's hard to fathom why 2 men fighting over her) by spending Thanksgiving in a box. The romantic web is further tangled when a kitchen accident leaves Monica with an eye patch and a creepy flirtation with Richard's son (Michael Vartan, of Alias fame), also an optometrist. Outside of the box comedy and teaching us how to swear in Italian, this is an overall forgettable holiday. 

 

 

7. The One Where Chandler Doesn’t Like Dogs (Season 7, Episode 8)

Rating🦃🦃 2 Turkeys

 This episode kicks off with Chandler's game to name all 50 states, a fun and annoying way to prove how uneducated you and all your family members are, and know-it-all Ross refuses to eat Thanksgiving dinner until he's figured it out. Also, Phoebe is hiding a dog in the apartment for no reason, and Chandler has to reveal to the gang that he doesn't like them. By the end of the episode, Rachel progresses from low-key sexually harassing, to full-on hooking up with her sexy younger assistant, Tag. Crucial Joey quote: "This is all a moo point... It's like a cow's opinion. It just doesn't matter. It's moo."

 

 

6. The One with the Late Thanksgiving (Season 10, Episode 8)

Rating🦃🦃 2 Turkeys

 Late Thanksgiving, or Last Thanksgiving? The end's not near, it's here! For the final Thanksgiving episode, Monica and Chandler want to tap out of hosting, until the gang convinces them otherwise. But when Rachel and Phoebe get tied up at a baby beauty pageant with Emma, and Joey and Ross bail for a Rangers game, the Geller-Bings aren't having it. For the love of Chan-berries!

 

 

5. The One with Rachel’s Other Sister (Season 9, Episode 8)

Rating🦃🦃🦃 3 Turkeys

Rachel's clueless, self-absorbed sister Amy (Christina Applegate) drops by unexpectedly for Thanksgiving. Applegate is bratty perfection, and the group gets into an argument over who would hypothetically take care of Emma if Ross and Rachel died. The claws come out for the Green sisters, endangering Monica's wedding china and giving "crazy plate lady" a coronary. A nice reminder that you're not the only one with a crazy, dysfunctional family. 

 

 

4. The One with the Football (Season 3, Episode 9)

Rating🦃🦃🦃 3 Turkeys

The gang gets sucked into Monica and Ross's sibling rivalry when they re-stage the "Geller Bowl" with Ross, Chandler, and Rachel teaming up against Monica, Joey, and Pheebs. Some all-time insults on display here, from "cheater, cheater, compulsive eater" and "42-21, like the turkey, Ross is done." Meanwhile, Joey & Chandler compete for the affections of a Dutch hottie, and Rachel is all of us pretending to care about sports -- she goes "really long"; for a pretzel from a street vendor. 

 

 

3. The One with All the Thanksgivings (Season 5, Episode 8)

Rating🦃🦃🦃🦃 4 Turkeys

 Everyone reminisces on holidays past, including Chandler's daddy issues ("More turkey, Mister Chand-a-ler?"); Joey getting his head stuck in a turkey; and the return of Fat Monica in a delightful '80s flashback sequence. After Chandler insults Monica as Ross's "fat sister," she is compelled to lose the weight, and attempts to revenge seduce him the next year as payback. Look out for Chandler's Flock of Seagulls hair, Miami Vice-inspired duds, Rachel's original nose, and eventually, back in the present, Monica's head up the turkey's ass. 

 

 

2. The One with the Rumor (Season 8, Episode 9)

Rating🦃🦃🦃🦃 4 Turkeys

 Will & Grace may have perfected the overwrought celebrity cameo, but Friends pretty much invented it, dating back to the pseudo-crossover episode with Noah Wylie and George Clooney playing ER doctors back in season one. Here, the formula reaches its peak with Aniston's then-husband, Brad Pitt, guest starring as an old classmate from high school who slimmed down and got hot in the intervening years. And in a fun, cheeky twist, this guy hates Rachel. Ross is at his screechy best trying to negotiate breaking the news to his old "I Hate Rachel Club" pal that the object of their disdain is pregnant with his child. Also, the coining of the phrase "meat sweats" and Joey in Phoebe's maternity pants!

 

 

1. The One Where Ross Got High (Season 6, Episode 9)

Rating🦃🦃🦃🦃🦃 5 Turkeys

Guess who's coming to dinner? Jack and Judy Geller, who don't know Monica and Chandler have moved in together. Chandler tries to win them over, until finding out their dislike stems from an incident in college where Ross got caught getting high, and blamed it on his roommate. Meanwhile, Joey and Ross try to rush through the evening so they can hang out with hot Janine and her dancer friends, compelling them to keep quiet when they realize Rachel, in charge of dessert for the first time, has inadvertently combined her English trifle recipe with a Shepherd's pie. Ultimately, all the truth comes out in a 30 second round robin of accusations and confessions to the adults in the room. Despite learning Jack has some Trumpian tendencies, nothing beats "I wasn't supposed to put beef in the trifle!" 

All 10 seasons of Friends are now streaming on Netflix. 

 

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