A Definitive Ranking Of All The 'Friends' Thanksgiving Episodes

6 min read

We might not have the holiday but damn we enjoyed the eps.

It's officially Thanksgiving season in America so you know what that means:

A bunch of memes we only half get, a craving for turkey and some holiday-themed TV watchin'.

And no one does the latter better than Friends.

In fact, the whole holiday ramp up got us to thinking, what's the best Friends Thanksgiving episode?

After much consideration, debate (and turkey breaks), we're proud to announce the 100 per cent definitive ranking of Best Thanksgiving Episodes of Friends:

#10 The One with the Late Thanksgiving, season 10

Quick Recap: Monica and Chandler don’t want to host Thanksgiving, Rachel and Phoebe enter Emma in a baby beauty pageant and Ross and Joey go to a hockey game making them all super late to dinner. 

This one reeks of ‘the beginning of the end’. No one likes change and the whole episode teeters on the edge of ‘too real’.

That being said, the 'floating heads' bit was pretty darn classic:

#9 The One with Rachel’s Other Sister, season 9

Quick Recap: Rachel’s sister Amy (Christina Applegate) invites herself to Thanksgiving, and the gang chat about who would get custody of baby Emma if Rachel and Ross die.

There isn't too much to save this one from bottom-of-the-list status but Amy's confusion over Phoebe's name - "Why does she keep making that noise?" - is hands down the saving grace of the ep (with the fight as to who 'gets' Joey a close second).

Make no mistake, TOW Rachel's Other Sister is only just above #10, but it has some good moments.

#8 The One Where Chandler Doesn’t Like Dogs, season 7

Quick Recap: Chandler admits he doesn’t like dogs and Rachel brings her assistant Tag over for Thanksgiving.

This one's low on the list because of the obvious: not liking dogs. We simply can’t look past it. Don’t @ us.

In fact, it's fair to argue that the only good bit is Chandler’s clap back to Tag: “Okay youuu are new” and Ross's final answer in the fifty states game: "Delaware".

#7 The One with All the Thanksgivings, season 5

Quick Recap: Joey gets a turkey stuck on his head, we flashback to Monica and Chandler’s first meeting (where Chandler loses a toe) and see Rachel pre nose-job.

Honestly, there are so many great points about this episode, most of which come purely from the energy of the cast (plus Chandler's wicker shoes and flock of seagulls hair) plus the many wearings of a raw turkey on heads.

That being said, TOW All the Thanksgivings gets negative points for being a clip episode (not as bad as a flashback episode, but still has problems) and the whole 'putting Monica in a fat suit' thing (we’ve all learned better).

#6 The One with the List, season 2

Quick Recap: Ross breaks up with Julie, Monica experiments with ‘Mocklete’ - a chocolate substitute - and Ross makes a pro/con list about Rachel on the worlds’ oldest computer.

TOW the List rings in at number six largely for Chandler’s ad hoc short story - the one he recites in an attempt to cover for Ross' stupidity at putting his BS in writing.

TL;DR It's #classicsitcom at its finest:

“It was summer. And it was hot. Rachel was there. A lonely grey couch. ‘Oh look!’ cried Ned. And then the kingdom was his forever. The End.”

The episode also has a great balance of heart and humour. In fact, the flip-flop from “It’s always been you Rach” to “Just a waitress?!” gets us every time.

P.S. “She’s not ‘Rachum'?”

#5 The One Where Underdog Gets Away, Season 1

Quick Recap: Joey accidentally stars in a VD campaign – ‘What Mario isn’t telling you’ - the house nearly burns down and Monica makes four different types of potato.

This is one of the series first high-energy/bottle episode wins. Almost every line is quoteable tbh but we'll leave you with the below:

“Got the KeYYYs?”

“Potatoes are ruined, potatoes are ruined, potatoes are ruined”

#4 The One with the Football, season 3

Quick Recap: The whole gang play a classic game of football in the park. Joey and Chandler fight over a Dutch woman. 

We could say a lot of great things about this episode, but three simple words accomplish a lot: The Geller Cup - aka “a troll doll nailed to a two-by-four”.

Once again, Thanksgiving brings out the classic sibling rivarly we all know and love with the high-energy of the ep bringing it into spot #3.

Phoebe also has a mad cute braid crown:

#3 The One with the Rumor, season 8

Quick Recap: Joey tries to eat a whole turkey because he’s “a Tribbiani” and we meet Will who co-founded the ‘I Hate Rachel Green’ club with Ross.

This classic goes by many names with, 'That Brad Pitt episode’ and ‘The One where the laugh track went into overdrive for one celebrity entrance’ both high in Google search results. 

Long story short, this episode went bananas for breaking the fourth wall: Jennifer Aniston was married to Brad Pitt at the time so it was hiiillarrrious to see their characters hating on each other. Still kinda is.

A mountain of points go to Phoebe’s reaction to Will and “Come on Will, take off your shirt and tell us”.

Real talk, TOW the Rumor is funny AF, but loses serious points for being homophobic and transphobic (yikes).

#2 The One Where Ross Got High, season 6

Quick Recap: Rachel makes half a Shepherd’s pie and half an English trifle, Phoebe has a crush on Jack Geller and Jacques Cousteau, Ross comes clean about smoking pot in college.

This one was very nearly number one. The only reason it got smooshed to number two is that it’s kind of a sequel – the lightning-fast thing has made a few rounds.

That being said, this ep scores a lot of its points for effortlessly recreating the classic, 'siblings dobbing each other in' thing which, sadly, we've all lost ourselves to over things that are totally not at all the last Cornetto #xmas2015gotreal

There's a lot to cover, but the video below should easily clear up any anger you might have for this episodes' spot on list:

#1 The One with Chandler in a Box, season 4

Quick Recap: Joey and Chandler fight after Chandler hooks up with Joey’s ex and Monica gets in with Richard’s son.

Side-stepping the angst that is Chandler’s – temporary – break up with Kathy, The One with Chandler in a Box is hands down, the actual best Friends Thanksgiving episode.

Why? ‘Cause the episode is one of the first to feature (and totally NAIL) those quick-fire, bottle episode-esque scenes that rocketed the series to success.

And also... watching Chandler rattle off jokes from a giant box is quietly one of the more funny things the series has ever done (and it didn't do a whole lot quietly). 

At the end of the day though, this line takes the episode home to first place:

“Fine, judge all you want to but married a lesbian, left a guy at the altar, married a gay ice dancer, threw a girl’s wooden leg in a fire, lives in a box!”

Image: Getty / NBC

Written By Ally Parker

"I can’t ask people to call me that; it just seems really pretentious.”

"He doesn't need an invitation."

"She has clearly aimed all her frustrations only at the people of colour."