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5 Things We Learned from “Friends” Thanksgivings

Some of my favorite episodes of "Friends" are based around the holidays. One of which was the Thanksgiving episode—whenever the group would all come together to celebrate Thanksgiving, it always resulted in chaos. Take a look at some of the important advice to take away as we eagerly anticipate Thanksgiving break.

1. If you don’t like the food someone has made, the best solution is to go ‘enjoy’ it in a different room so they can’t see you throwing it away. 

- From "The One Where Ross Got High" Season 6, Episode 9

After Monica reluctantly trusts her to make the desert for Thanksgiving, Rachel’s attempt to make a traditional English trifle goes horribly array. Two pages stuck together in a recipe book mean she ends up serving half a trifle and half a shepherd’s pie. The friends make various attempts to hide their true feelings about the dessert to make Rachel feel better, ranging from “eating” in another room, to eating on the balcony and pretending to enjoy it in front of her.  Maybe the best thing to do in this situation isn’t leaving plates of dessert in the bathroom to avoid eating it. Instead, just be honest with the person… but I’ll leave this one up to you to decide.

Best Quote: "What’s with everyone today? It’s Thanksgiving not truth day!" – Rachel



2. Try to avoid bringing up past grudges during family and friend reunions during the holidays.

From "The One with the Rumor" Season 8, Episode 9

When Brad Pitt and Jennifer Aniston were still dating, he guest stars in this hilarious episode where it is discovered that in high school, his character and Ross had an “I hate Rachel Green” Club. Ross (having already married, divorced and got Rachel pregnant by this point) had clearly hoped this would never come up again. However, when Monica invites Brad Pitt’s character over for Thanksgiving dinner, it comes out that he still holds to his long-term hatred of Rachel—just because she was popular in high school. This reminds us that while the holidays give us a chance to return home and reunite with friends and family, holding grudges will just lead to a lot of awkwardness for everyone involved.

Best Quote: "My two greatest enemies: Rachel Green and complex carbohydrates!" – Will aka Brad Pitt

3. How you spend the holidays, and who you spend them with, is often more important than the meal itself.

From "The One with the Late Thanksgiving" Season 10, Episode 8

I know this one is hard to believe. I love food more than anyone. (And really, isn’t that the only point of Thanksgiving?) In this episode, the friends all end up late to dinner for various reasons, resulting in Monica locking them out of the apartment. In an attempt to break open the door, Joey ends up falling straight into the table of food, ruining the meal Monica has spent all day preparing. However, when she receives a phone call letting her know they are about to get an adoptive baby, she quickly forgives everyone, reminding us that the support of friends and family is more important than what you eat and is furthermore the true essence of Thanksgiving.

Best Quote: "This Thanksgiving kicks last Thanksgiving's a**!" – Monica


4. Dating your ex-boyfriend’s son/father/brother/any kind of relative is NEVER a good idea.

From "The One with Chandler in a Box" Season 4, Episode 8

In this episode, Monica, manages to get ice in her eye whilst preparing the Thanksgiving meal, but refuses to go to the optometrist as her ex-boyfriend Richard is her eye doctor. When Phoebe discovers that he isn’t working that day, she convinces Monica to go, only to find out that his replacement is Richard’s cute son, who she proceeds to invite to dinner, and later make out with. The awkwardness of the situation puts an end to it pretty quickly, and proves that in most circumstances it’s better to avoid those kind of inter-family relationships, unless you’re prepared for a lot of awkwardness during family gatherings!

Best Quotes: "Fine! Judge all you want but, married a lesbian, left a man at the altar, fell in love with a gay ice dance, threw a girl’s wooden leg in a fire, live in a box!"

5. Holiday plans don’t always end up how you expected, and that’s okay.

From "The One where the Underdog Gets Away" – Season 1, Episode 9

Missed plane rides, being uninvited to their parents Puerto Rican getaway, and fake STI’s all lead to the Friends having to miss out on spending the holidays with their families. On top of that, they end up getting locked out the apartment, and the food is ruined by the time they get back in, resulting in a Thanksgiving meal of grilled cheese. However, they manage to find the humour in the situation, and it marks the start of their long tradition of spending the holiday together

Best Quote: "I guess what I’m trying to say is: I’m glad all your Thanksgiving’s sucked. And here’s to a lousy Christmas and a crappy new year!" 

Lucy is a third year political science major studying abroad at Cal Poly from London, England. In her free time she goes biking and running with the Cal Poly Triathlon Team, and enjoys out with friends, travelling and marathoning The Good Wife and New Girl on Netflix (Jess Day is her spririt animal). 
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