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The One Where Each Friends Thanksgiving Episode is Ranked

It’s already November, and Thanksgiving is almost here! Because of social distancing, the holidays might look a bit different this year. You might not be able to see all of your friends or family, but you can spend time with the cast of Friends

pumpkin pie on table, fall meal
Photo by Element5 Digital from Stocksnap

The Thanksgiving episodes of Friends are iconic with one per season, except season two. However, some of the episodes are more memorable than other ones. Here is a ranking of each Friends Thanksgiving episode from least to most iconic.


9. Season 7, Episode 8, “The One Where Chandler Doesn’t Like Dogs”

This episode was just not as funny as the other ones. We see Ross try to name all 50 US states before he eats, and we learn about Chandler’s fear of dogs. Rachel also tries to create a romantic relationship between her and her assistant Tag by inviting him to Thanksgiving dinner. It could have been funnier, and it just didn’t fit in with all of the other episodes.


8. Season 10, Episode 8, “The One with the Late Thanksgiving”

This episode was all over the place. Literally. Rachel and Phoebe go to a toddler’s beauty pageant for Emma, and Ross and Joey go to a New York Rangers hockey game. All the while Monica cooks an entire Thanksgiving meal which everyone is late to. When the four try to get into Monica and Chandler’s apartment, Joey gets his head stuck in the chain-bolted door, and is sent flying into the food when the door is finally opened. This episode is saved when Monica and Chandler learn they were accepted to adopt a woman’s baby. This warm moment in the episode is why this episode isn’t the least iconic Thanksgiving episode.


7. Season 1, Episode 9, “The One Where Underdog Gets Away”

This was the first-ever Thanksgiving episode to air on Friends that started the tradition of airing one each season. It probably even inspired other close friends to have “Friendsgivings” when they couldn’t be with their parents or relatives. However, this episode wasn’t as funny as the other themed episodes. The only reason this episode isn’t ranked lower is because it was the first-ever Thanksgiving episode of Friends, and because everyone thinking Joey had an STD and shunning him was the funniest moment of the episode.


6. Season 9, Episode 8, “The One with Rachel’s Other Sister”

Christina Applegate makes an iconic appearance in this episode as Rachel’s sister Amy. She criticizes Phoebe and Joey, and sparks the fight of the century when she brings up who would take Emma if Ross and Rachel died. The group decided that Emma would go to Monica and Chandler, but if Monica died it would go to Monica and Ross’s parents, upsetting both Amy and Chandler. Both believe that neither Ross or Rachel trusts them. Also, Monica becomes annoyed with everyone wanting to use her china plates for dinner, comparing eating off them to blowing your nose in her wedding dress.


5. Season 4, Episode 8, “The One with Chandler in a Box”

When Monica hurts her eye, she goes to her ex-boyfriend’s son for an eye appointment. What happens next is a whole new level of awkward. Monica decides to bring him to Thanksgiving dinner to the surprise of her friends, who are confused that she would want to date the son of an ex-boyfriend. All of this is happening while Monica is wearing an eye patch. Could I be anymore amused?


4. Season 3, Episode 9, “The One with the Football”

In this episode, we learn of the infamous Geller Cup and on display is one of the funniest moments of Ross and Monica’s sibling rivalry, with the six friends competing in the Geller Bowl. Ross’ name-calling and Chandler’s dancing are some of the highlights of this episode. We also have more of a glimpse at Monica’s competitive side, which is always funny.


3. Season 6, Episode 9, “The One Where Ross Got High”

Rachel mixes up an English trifle recipe with a recipe for shepherd’s pie. The outcome? It tastes like feet, according to Ross. To Joey? He likes it enough, to eat the ones the others discarded. Meanwhile, Monica is nervous that her parents won’t like Chandler, which makes Chandler want to impress them even more. Unbeknownst to them, Monica’s parents already hate Chandler because of a lie Ross told them about Chandler smoking weed, when in reality he was the one smoking weed and just too scared of his parents finding out. Also, Phoebe has a crush on Monica and Ross’s father. Are we surprised? No, because nothing Phoebe does surprises us anymore.


2. Season 5, Episode 8, “The One with All the Thanksgivings”

Every one of the flashback episodes is iconic. In this season, the writers decided to show each of the character’s worst Thanksgiving memories through flashbacks. Phoebe was a Civil War nurse in a past life, Joey got a turkey stuck on his head, and Monica was called fat by Chandler. However, Chandler wins with the worst Thanksgiving memory, when Rachel reminds them of how Monica accidentally cut off Chandler’s toe when she wanted to get back at him for calling her fat. Chandler storms out, but Monica makes it up to him by putting a turkey on her head and making him laugh. Chandler is so amused he tells Monica that he loves her for the first time, which is another reason why this is ranked the second most iconic Thanksgiving episode.


1. Season 8, Episode 9, “The One with the Rumor”

There are two words that emphasize why this episode is the most iconic Thanksgiving episode of Friends-Brad Pitt. In this episode, we see a comedic side of Brad Pitt when he plays Will, an old friend of Ross, who has had a serious glow-up since high school. His character hates Rachel, who is played by Jennifer Aniston, who at the time was married to Brad Pitt. The irony mixed in with the revelation that Ross and Will spread a malicious rumor about Rachel in high school is why this episode is not only hilarious but an infamous pop culture moment from the early 2000s.


There you have it. All nine of the Friends Thanksgiving episodes have been ranked from least to most iconic. Even if you disagree on how some of these episodes have been ranked just remember, I’ll be there for you still. Have a happy and safe Thanksgiving!

Maryann Ress

DePaul '24

Maryann Ress is a sophomore at DePaul University. She is currently obtaining a BA in English. Maryann is part of the Her Campus team as a contributor and social media director. She has loved reading and writing ever since she was little. If she's not studying or working, you can find her watching old movies.
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