It’s not truly Thanksgiving without watching every single Thanksgiving-themed episode of FRIENDS. Now, I will personally rank the nine episodes (because we’re missing a season two special) according to memorability, significance in FRIENDS history, and overall hilarity.

Here are the episodes in order:

  • The One Where Underdog Gets Away, 1×9
  • The One with the Football, 3×9
  • The One with Chandler in a Box, 4×8
  • The One with All the Thanksgivings, 5×8
  • The One Where Ross Got High, 6×9
  • The One Where Chandler Doesn’t Like Dogs, 7×8
  • The One with the Rumor, 8×8
  • The One with Rachel’s Other Sister, 9×8
  • The One with the Late Thanksgiving, 10×8

Here is the INDISPUTABLE, NATIONALLY-RECOGNIZED, OFFICIAL-ish Ranking from Great to Ultimate Supreme Best (according to me):

9. The One Where Underdog Gets Away, 1×9

source: tumblr princessconsuela

What the title is talking about: The Underdog float— from the Macy’s Thanksgiving Day Parade— is accidentally let loose over New York City, cementing this universe as an alternate one because, let’s face it, this would’ve been the headline of 1994. The gang are all 26/27-ish, so of course everyone decides to head to the roof (in November!) to see the giant balloon pup fly away. They get locked out, and the whole feast is burnt.

Christelle thinks too much about it: I mean, if you think about it, they were all “underdogs” at this point in life: Rachel is trying to raise money to book a last minute plane ticket, Chandler is trying to forget his family issues, Joey’s job turns out to be a bust, Ross feels abandoned because his parents neglected to tell him they’ve opted to go on vacay, Phoebe is just floating around, and Monica is stressed over hosting her first Thanksgiving. Aren’t we all underdogs at this age? (PS. I’m currently this age.) This is the first Thanksgiving series, so it’s not the best.. but IT ISN’T BAD. On the contrary, it’s good television and well executed; it’s just sad because it’s so real, and no one really wants to be there.

Most significant moments in FRIENDS canon:

  • We learn that Chandler hates Thanksgiving
  • Monica hosts Thanksgiving for THE FIRST TIME. #precedent
  • It’s hinted that Ross, Monica, Rachel, and Chandler come from rich families.
  • At the end of the episode, the gang realizes they should’ve been each other’s first choice all along (which is probably why each Thanksgiving from then on is so much better.)

Random FRIENDS thing that I love: Monica’s high pitched freak out, and Chandler letting her know that only dogs could hear her.

Best Joey food moment: Joey gets the bigger half of the grilled cheese sandwich… because he wished for the bigger half.

What is Rachel wearing? (Have I reproduced this outfit before?)

A dark sweater and dark pants. Hmmm, how disappointing. Maybe that’s why I unconsciously ranked this episode so low?

Standout line:

“Potatoes are ruined. Potatoes are ruined. Potatoes are ruined.” -Monica

Line that I quote way too much and doesn’t always make sense out-of-context:

“Got the keeeeeys?” -Monica/Rachel

Thanksgiving MVP: 100% Monica. Poor Mon.

8. The One Where Chandler Doesn’t Like Dogs, 7×8

source: tumblr princessconsuela


What the title is talking about:
Chandler reveals that he hates dogs after he finds out that Phoebe has been secretly dog-sitting for a friend in their guest room. That’s… kind of it. But it’s very cute that Joey knew this deep dark secret before anyone else. “They are needy, they are jumpy, and you can’t tell what they are thinking and that scares me a little bit!”

Christelle thinks too much about it: The One With Chandler’s Dumb States Game, because that’s the best plot line of the episode. In all of the chaos of the previous years, things were pretty toned down this year in the apartment. The comedy of this episode is based a lot on us knowing and understanding these characters: Ross’ inability to name all 50 states and his subsequent refusal to eat any Thanksgiving food until he names every state is pure FRIENDS gold. Also, the way all of the Friends cover for each other in order to cover for the dog is very sweet.

Most significant moments in FRIENDS canon:Chandler’s Dumb States Game

  • Joey know 56 states.
  • “Moo Point”
  • Chandler is scared of dogs. especially puppies.
  • Ross thinks ice cream is too cold.
  • Rachel hits on Tag and they start going out. It’s pretty damn inappropriate. But still, Tag is so priddy.

Random FRIENDS thing that I love: Phoebe’s dog voice.

Best Joey food moment: “Okay, I’m in my sweatpants. Bring on the food!”

What is Rachel wearing? (Have I reproduced this outfit before?)
Black sweater and black leather pencil skirt. (Not yet! This outfit is straight fire.)

Standout line:

“A Moo Point. It’s like a cow’s opinion: it doesn’t matter. It’s moo.” -Joey

Line that I quote way too much and doesn’t always make sense out-of-context:

“Ohmygod did you hear that she said ‘Monica!’” -Monica

Thanksgiving MVP: Joey. Moo Point is the best thing ever.

7. The One with Rachel’s Other Sister, 9×8

source: tumblr princessconsuela

What the title is talking about: Rachel’s terrible, terrible sister, — not Reese Witherspoon– causes a lot of drama when she crashes Thanksgiving dinner. She honestly, truly, believes that she should be named the guardian for baby Emma if Ross and Rachel die. She also constantly calls the baby “Emmett” or “Emily”. The result is a lot of broken plates.

Christelle thinks too much about it: This is the best Ross and Rachel have ever been together, and they’re not even together. The contrast between Rachel and her still-spoiled sister really highlights how much Rachel has grown… I’m so proud of her. And how loveable is Chandler for stepping up and defending Monica’s china (even though they’re not the pretty pink flower ones he picked out!)

Most significant moments in FRIENDS canon:This is the first Thanksgiving where Chandler and Monica are married.

  • Emma’s first Thanksgiving
  • Monica and Chandler would become the legal guardians of Emma if Ross and Rachel died
  • Joey was invited to the Macy’s Thanksgiving Parade for Days of Our Lives
  • Monica’s fancy wedding china plates

Random FRIENDS thing(s) that I love: Chandler considers himself the guardian of Joey.

Best Joey food moment: Joey gets the not-as-fancy plate because he “wins” the “special plate”.

What is Rachel wearing? (Have I reproduced this outfit before?)Brown turtleneck and tan slacks and pointy brown leather shoes. It’s that mom life, yo. But she’s rocking it. (I’m not there yet.)

Standout line: 

“Just to be clear: comedy with the plates will not be well-received.” –Monica before she pinches Ross

Line that I quote way too much and doesn’t always make sense out-of-context:

“Forget the bubble wrap, there isn’t time!” -Monica

Thanksgiving MVP: Daddy Chandler Bing

6. The One with the Late Thanksgiving, 10×8

source: tumblr princessconsuela

What the title is talking about: Monica and Chandler decide to skip hosting Thanksgiving because of stress from the adoption process. Everyone gets upset at this, myself included, so Monica gives in and vows to make it the best Thanksgiving ever in order to, you know, top herself from last year. Because competition against herself is her favorite. And everyone shows up late, so Monica and Chandler lock them out.


Christelle thinks too much about it:
 I just realised that this is the last Thanksgiving in the apartment EVER because they move to the suburbs in the finale! I’m upset again.  There’s an element of meta-narration where they make a big deal out of Thanksgiving: you can practically hear the writers arguing and complaining about doing a “Thanksgiving episode” and ultimately trying to top every previous Thanksgiving.

Most significant moments in FRIENDS canon:

  • The floating heads
  • Chandler watches Dr. Phil for relationship advice
  • Joey play Rock-Paper-Scissors with “fire” because it “beats everything”
  • Monica’s angry vein
  • Monica and Chandler get news that they were chosen to get a baby (from Anna Faris)

Random FRIENDS thing that I love: Ross, Phoebe, and Rachel putting things in Joey’s pants when he is stuck in the door

Best Joey food moment: Joey getting turkey greased to lubricate his head.

What is Rachel wearing? (Have I reproduced this outfit before?)

Short-sleeved black and white contrast collar. (I’m all about this lewk.)

Standout line:

“Get ready to taste my very special cranberries. Or should I say.. chan-berries?” -Chandler

Line that I quote way too much and doesn’t always make sense out-of-context:

“In your face, last-year me!” -Monica

Thanksgiving MVP: The Bings. Chandler for being so proud of his cranberries and skipping the Rangers game to support his hard-working wife. Monica for always being the best host.

5. The One with Chandler in a Box, 4×8

source: tumblr princessconsuela

What the title is talking about: Chandler repents for his transgressions against Joey by spending the time in a box. The reasons for the box are three-fold: Joey spent hours locked in the cabinet thinking about how he disappointed Chandler and Chandler must reap the same emotional and physical pain.

Christelle thinks too much about it: Ross is dick. Chandler is apologizing for being a dick. Monica is trying to get some d– nevermind. This is a weird, messy Thanksgiving, but the jokes are really, really, really good. So good that this episode land firmly in the middle of my ranking. This could’ve been a crappy Thanksgiving, but at least they didn’t burn the turkey!

Most significant moments in FRIENDS canon:

  • Chandler prefers the parade to the football game
  • Monica kissed Richard’s son. It’s so so gross. But, he’s also Michael Vartan, so I get it.

Random FRIENDS thing that I love: Monica’s shiver when she feels grossed out and Joey/Rachel “Va fa Napoli!”

Best Joey food moment: Poor Joey is so upset that he hardly eats (on camera).

What is Rachel wearing? (Have I reproduced this outfit before?)

Black sweater and a mini skirt. Tights and black knee-high boots. (This is my winter default.)

Standout line:

“Judge all you want but:  married a lesbian, lefta a man at the alter, fell in love with a gay ice dancer, threw a girl’s wooden leg in the fire, lives in a box!” -Monica

 Line that I quote way too much and doesn’t always make sense out-of-context:

“He’s so cute that I’m thinking about jamming this pen in my eye.” -Rachel

Thanksgiving MVP: Joey “Cinnamon Roll” Tribbianni for having the grace to forgive Chandler.

4. The One with the Rumor, 8×8

source: tumblr centralperksource

What the title is talking about: Apparently, Brad Pitt and Ross were in an “I Hate Rachel Green” Club in high school, and they started a rumor that Rachel had both male and female genitalia. Even Chandler knew about “the hermaphrodite cheerleader from Long Island”.


Christelle thinks too much about it:
 Holy crap you guys, Ross made out with a sexual predator.

Most significant moments in FRIENDS canon:

  • Ross made out with his old librarian (but did not have sex with her).
  • Phoebe had a “French Club” that met behind a dumpster when she was homeless
Random FRIENDS thing that I love: Phoebe and Chandler bonding over pretending to watch football. “It’s only, like, my favorite bay!”

Best Joey food moment: Joey cleans up half of the giant turkey, leaves, returns wearing maternity pants, and finishes it all. And wants a “real slice” of pie for dessert.

What is Rachel wearing? (Have I reproduced this outfit before?)
Ivory lace peasant top. (Oh, 100%)


Standout line:

“Dear Rachel, you’re such a great person. Sorry about your teeny-weeny.” -Rachel reading her yearbook

Line that I quote way too much and doesn’t always make sense out-of-context:

“Here come the meat sweats.” -Joey

Thanksgiving MVP: Phoebe. She saw the opportunity to hug Brad Pitt and SHE SEIZED IT.

3. The One with the Football, 3×9

source: tumble princessconsuela

What the title is talking about: The gang decides to play a “friendly game of touch football” while waiting for the turkey. Ross and Monica reveal that they aren’t allowed to play football because they were too competitive as kids, and their parents banned them from the sport. The Geller siblings give in, and the game quickly turns brutal. GELLER V GELLER brutal.

That’s the most brutal of brutal.

Christelle thinks too much about it:: I think this is my most-watched Friends episode: I learned how to bunny up to pick Captains, how not to trash talk, and how to be ruthless when it comes to boys vs girls games. It’s strange to see Joey and Chandler go after the same woman, especially because in the next year Chandler will end up stealing Joey’s girlfriend and spending Thanksgiving in a box (see rank number 5). It’s also the only Thanksgiving that Ross and Rachel are actually a couple, and he ends up trading her to the other team in order to win (“I cannot believe you’re trading me!). Yikes. But the football montage is brilliant, their sweats are fab, and the boys slow-mo high-fiving as the girls huddle in the final moments of the game is one of my favorite Ross-Joey-Chandler moments ever.

Most significant moments in FRIENDS canon:

  • The Gellar Cup
  • Monica is a beast in all aspects of life.
  • Marshmallows need to go in concentric circles. “Every year.”
  • The ICONIC Boys vs. Girls football game
  • I think this is the first time we hear Phoebe breathlessly utter, “oh my god!”
  • Evidence of Joey’s character decline: he doesn’t think the Netherlands are a real country.

Random FRIENDS thing that I love: Every. Freaking. Huddle.

Best Joey food moment: Joey’s dad wisdom at the end of the episode.

What is Rachel wearing? (Have I reproduced this outfit before?)

Backwards baseball cap and pigtails, sweats, and layered shirts. (Yes. Whenever I planned to play football.)

Standout line:

“Okay, first of all, I don’t play with cheaters, and second of all, you know I had swollen glands!” -Ross

Line that I quote way too much and doesn’t always make sense out-of-context:

“Mini-wave in celebration to me!” -Chandler

Thanksgiving MVP: Phoebe. She learned the game in the span of a huddle, and she was awesome.

2. The One with All the Thanksgivings, 5×8

source: tumblr princessconsuela

What the title is talking about: Everyone reminisces about their worst Thanksgivings as they food coma. It’s a flashback show!

Christelle thinks too much about it: No one knows that Monica and Chandler are together at this point, so Chandler being upset and Monica trying to apologize goes waaaaaay deeper than a Thanksgiving argument. How do all of the other friends not notice? Also, CHANDLER IS THE REASON MONICA LOST WEIGHT AND BECAME A CHEF? The affection and history between these characters are so tangible: every little detail—from Joey’s leather jacket to Jack and Judy asking Ross about his “new girlfriend” Carol—brings this characters to life even more.

Most significant moments in FRIENDS canon:

  • Chandler and Monica first met on Thanksgiving day.
  • Turkey heads turkey heads turkey heads
  • Chandler said “I love you” first!
  • Chandler is missing the tip of his toe

Random FRIENDS thing that I love: Ross and Chandler were practically married during college.

Best Joey food moment: Obviously, Joey’s head stuck inside a turkey. To scare Chandler.

What is Rachel wearing? (Have I reproduced this outfit before?)

Rachel in shoulder pads. (No, that’s okay.)

Standout line:

“She’s on the lacrosse team and the golf team. Can you believe it? She plays for both teams!” -Ross

Line that I quote way too much and doesn’t always make sense out-of-context:

“Oooooooh I loooove macaroni and cheese. I love the way this box feels against my cheek.” -Monica

Thanksgiving MVP: Monica. Good for you for getting fit, girl. And sticking your head in that turkey.

And my favorite Thanksgiving episode of Friends is…

1. The One Where Ross Got High, 6×9

source: tumblr

What the title is talking about: Ross blamed Chandler for the pot smell in his dorm room during college, and the Gellers have disliked Chandler ever since. This is problematic because Monica hasn’t told them that she is living with Chandler now.

Christelle thinks too much about it: This is an example of how to masterfully connect all of the stories together. Each character plotline is juggled perfectly and paid off in freaking spades when all of the characters start exclaiming things. Phoebe is attracted to Ross and Mocia’s dad, Rachel really, really, really messed up the trifle, Joey wants to introduce the hot dancer girls to the New World (just like on the first Thanksgiving), and Chandler is trying his best and failing miserably.

Oh, any time Ross and Monica revert back into being bratty, childish siblings… well, that’s Thanksgiving. And their brother-sister relationship is one of the gems of the entire series.

Most significant moments in FRIENDS canon:

  • Rachel’s traditional English trifle. “Oh, remember that Thanksgiving where Rachel screwed up the trifle?”
  • The first Thanksgiving where Monica and Chandler are living together
  • The dirtiest Friends joke: “The pages are stuck together!”
  • Chandler pays for Joey’s acting classes

Random FRIENDS thing that I love: “You only got whipped cream! You gotta get one with all the layers! Oh, you dropped a pea!”.


Best Joey food moment:
My sweet, sweet Joey ate all of Rachel’s trifle. “Jam? Good. Custard? Good. Meat? Gooooooood.”

What is Rachel wearing? (Has Christelle reproduced this outfit before?)

Red sweater and a festive apron. (I need to go apron-shopping.)

Standout line:

“It tastes like feet.” -Ross

““It’s Thanksgiving, not Truth Day!” -Ross again

Line that I quote way too much and doesn’t always make sense out-of-context:

“I love Jacque Cousteau!” -Phoebe

“I’m going to eat it on the balcony. So I can enjoy the view WHILST I enjoy my dessert.” -ChandlerThanksgiving MVP: Judy Geller. That really was a lot of information to get in thirty seconds.

  1. TOW Ross Got High
  2. TOW all the Thanksgivings
  3. TOW all the Football
  4. TOW the Rumor (Brad Pitt)
  5. TOW Chandler in a Box
  6. TOW the Late Thanksgiving
  7. TOW the Other Sister
  8. TOW Chandler Doesn’t Like Dogs
  9. TOW Underdog Gets Away

Happy Thanksgiving, everyone!

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