FRIENDS' 25th Anniversary: Ranking the Top 5 Thanksgiving Episodes - Give Me My Remote : Give Me My Remote

FRIENDS’ 25th Anniversary: Ranking the Top 5 Thanksgiving Episodes

September 9, 2019 by  

Friends Thanksgiving Episodes ranked

Credit: NBC

[On Thursday, September 22, 1994, NBC debuted the pilot of FRIENDS. The sitcom, about a group of six 20-something friends, went on to become a pop culture touchstone. In honor of the milestone, we’re doing 25 Days of FRIENDS, looking back at the show in big and small ways.]

A lot of shows go big for Christmas or Halloween. For FRIENDS, though they dabbled in other holidays, the big annual event was Thanksgiving.

Nearly nine years, we ranked the top 5 FRIENDS Thanksgiving episodes. The problem? We were definitely wrong. (At least with some of the picks.) So in honor of the 25th anniversary of the series, we are issuing a new (improved) list…

5. “The One with Chandler in a Box” (season 4; originally #5) – What we said then: “Despite the awkward and the icky, the episode had some genuinely sweet moments, like Rachel showing Ross the box of keepsakes from their relationship…Also, Joey letting Chandler out of the box to go pursue Kathy when he realized how much the two cared for each other. Plus, we can’t forget Monica in an eye patch!”

Now: This. Episode. Is. Messy. It’s crazy Monica was interested in Richard’s son. It’s crazy Joey and Chandler were fighting because of a girl. It’s crazy Ross doubted how much Rachel cared for him. But it all has a loving undertone. (Well, maybe not the Monica and Timothy thing. As great as Michael Vartan is, it’s a pretty thankless role.)

4. “The One With Rachel’s Other Sister” (season 9; originally unlisted) — Now: It’s crazy it took until season 9 to meet Rachel’s other sister, but Christina Applegate’s Amy was an appropriately ridiculous terror. It was great to see Ross and Rachel delicately navigate who would get Emma if they were to die prematurely, and, ultimately, for Chandler to show off his dad-like tendencies when he chastised Rachel and Amy for their fighting. But, honestly, after Monica’s plates were broken, it’s almost a shock she ever allowed another Thanksgiving in her apartment again.

3. “The One with All the Thanksgivings” (season 5; originally #4) – What we said then: “Retelling the story of how Joey stuck his head in a turkey prompted Monica to pull a similar stunt in an attempt to apologize to Chandler. Apparently, a girl with a bird on her head brings something out in Chandler, because he told Monica that he loved her for the first time.”

Now: The Phoebe stuff is still absolutely cringe-worthy (she had such an interesting “real” past, why go to past lives for her bad holiday memories?!), but Joey and Monica with the turkeys on their head is still such a ridiculously fun gag.

2. “The One with the Rumor” (season 8; originally ranked as #3 ) – What we said then: “Pitt had fantastic chemistry with the entire cast, something that made the blow ups even more delicious. Plus, Phoebe continuously fawning over Will and Joey’s determination to keep his promise of finishing the turkey served was icing on the cake.”

Now: Nearly every character geeking out over the arrival of Pitt’s Will just made things fun. It was a good reminder of how deep these relationships ran (more than half of their lives!) and also showcased how much they had grown over the years.

1. “The One Where Ross Got High” (season 6; originally ranked at #1) – What we said then: “It’s legitimately hard to even know where to begin with this episode. It’s one of the greatest in FRIENDS history…It all led to a blow up of revealed secrets and one of my favorite television scenes, ever:

Now: All of that still bodes true. The lightning round of truth bombs still makes me laugh out loud every time. Ross’ “It tastes like feet!” is pretty perfect, too.

Which Thanksgiving was your favorite?


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