TV Guide to Friends Thanksgiving

Thanksgiving is the perfect time of the year to give thanks for Friends- the classic American sitcom that every person both young and old has grown to absolutely adore. What better way to give thanks for your family, love, and friendships than to take a journey with Ross Geller, Rachel Green, Monica Geller, Joey Tribbiani, Chandler Bing, and Phoebe Buffay as they too give thanks for their family, love, and friendships over the course of their 10 years spent warming the hearts of people all across the country. Here is a guide to all the Friends Thanksgiving episodes so that you and your friends can have your very own Friendsgiving and cozy up to the fireplace this holiday season while laughing the night away.  


The One Where Underdog Gets Away” (Season 1, Episode 9)

            Monica and Ross’s parents go away to Puerto Rico, so they must celebrate Thanksgiving on their own for the very first time. Monica, being the phenomenal chef she is, offers to cook Thanksgiving dinner and host a Friendsgiving at her house. Everyone is in attendance despite Chandler’s boycott of the pilgrim holidays in years past and Phoebe’s tradition to celebrate the holiday with her grandmother in December. Meanwhile, Joey has unintentionally become the face of a venereal disease when he becomes the new face of a New York City free clinic campaign through his modeling gig. His family is so ashamed in him that they do not want him to be at their Thanksgiving dinner table. Rachel is the last one to arrive to the get together and wasn’t even planning on attending until she missed her flight to Vail, Colorado. And of course, it wouldn’t be a Friendsgiving if something didn’t go quite as planned: the gang gets locked out of Monica’s apartment after checking out the Underdog balloon during the Macy’s Thanksgiving Day Parade.  


“The One with the List” (Season 2, Episode 8)

            After Ross and Rachel’s infamous rainy kiss at the coffee house Central Perk, Ross realizes he must choose between his childhood crush and his current girlfriend Julie. Bitter over the fact that Ross has the luxury of picking from two women that love him, he encourages Ross to make a pro/con list for both using his new computer. Chandler’s idea completely backfires in Ross’s face when Rachel walks in on Ross rereading the list and contemplating his decision. In  a spit fire of anger, she storms out of the room and locks Ross out of her apartment. He desperately tries to get her attention by climbing up the fire escape *cues rain again* and reads out the list of pros in the hopes of saving his chance with Rachel. This Friendsgiving ends on a cliff hanger as Rachel and Ross are starring out the windows of their apartments, and the dramatic rain is cued once again to really drive that dagger into our hearts.


“The One with the Football” (Season 3, Episode 9)

            On this Friendsgiving, Chandler, Joey, Rachel,  and Phoebe propose the idea to start an annual Thanksgiving football tradition. It is later revealed that the Gellar siblings would take part in the same tradition while growing up, only it was a brutal brawl between the overly competitive siblings. In fact, at Geller Bowl 6, Monica even broke Ross’ nose. Nearly twelve years later, the siblings are once again out for blood and participate in a two-hand touch between team Monica, Joey, and Phoebe and team Ross, Chandler, and Rachel. While Joey and Chandler get distracted by a beautiful Dutch lady in the park, Monica and Ross decide to make it pettier in pure Gellar fashion-making the game now women vs. men. The women almost had the lead when Rachel scored a touchdown in the end zone, but Chandler points out how far she was of the end zone. In the final lay, both Monica and Ross jump on the ball and refuse to budge. There would have been no Friendsgiving if these two eventually hadn’t given up the ball hours later and called it a tie.


“The One with Chandler in a Box” (Season 4, Episode 8)

            After Chandler kissed Kathy, Joey sentences him to five years of the silent treatment. But of course, we couldn’t have a silent Friendsgiving for one of America’s iconic TV best friends. Luckily, Ross convinces Joey to talk out his issues with Chandler until he sees his former best friend with Kathy in the moment he hopes to make amends. At that point, Joey decides there is no possible way for them to salvage their bromance and he even decides at one point he is going to move out of their apartment. Meanwhile, Monica as always is preparing Thanksgiving dinner and gets injured by some flying ice to the eye. Since she doesn’t want to make an appointment with the optometrist aka her ex-boyfriend/dad’s best friend Dr. Richard Burke, Phoebe instead calls the office and finds out Richard is out of town. Monica agrees to meet with the on-call doctor who just so happens to be Richard’s son Tim and proceeds to flirt with him mid eye exam. After her male suitor adorns her with a beautiful eye patch, she feels compelled to invite him over for Thanksgiving dinner. As if that wasn’t awkward enough, the two share a really awkward kiss on the balcony that reminded Monica of Richard and Time of his mother…YIKES. On the Brightside, your favorite bromancers Joey and Chandler are back together after Joey lets Chandler out of the entertainment unit box he accidently locked himself in and encourages him to chase after Kathy.


“The One with All the Thanksgivings” (Season 5, Episode 8)

            Friendsgiving occurs a little differently this year as the gang reminisces on the holiday with a series of Thanksgiving flashbacks. Ross ruminates on his current dual divorce dilemma; Phoebe revisits her past life in the Revolutionary War; Chandler is haunted by his parent’s divorce, but more importantly his father’s coming out story about the Pool Boy. But of all the ghosts of Thanksgiving’s past, nothing is as scarring as Monica’s Thanksgiving of 1987 when she first met Chandler. In this flashback, Ross tells Chandler about his hopes of asking Rachel out. Chandler, only thinking about himself, responds “I just don’t want to be stuck here all night with your fat sister”, which Monica overhears in the other room. The following year, Chandler shows up to the Gellar’s for Thanksgiving and is completely awestruck by Monica’s new sleek appearance after losing all of her excess weight. Monica decides to seek revenge against Chandler, and flights with him by rubbing a macaroni box on her cheek and a knife on her stomach. While she had hoped that Rachel’s suggestion to act like everything around her turns her on and ultimately Chandler would strip naked to be publically humiliated, she accidently drops the knife on Chandler’s shoe- which cuts off part of his toe. Once Monica’s plan for revenge is foiled and Chandler is now without part of his toe, she tries to cheer him up by putting a turkey decked out with fez and giant sunglasses on her head. Chandler now takes advantage of Monica in the situation and makes her dance around for him. It is in this moment that Chandler reveals to Monica for the first time that he loves her. How romantic.


“The One Where Ross Got High” (Season 6, Episode 9)

            When Mr. and Mrs. Gellar decide to join their kids for Friendsgiving for the first (and only) time, Monica reveals to Chandler that his parents were never really fans of him after Ross and Chandler got high in his room while home for from college and Ross blamed it on his pothead friend Chandler. While Ross came clean to Chandler and Monica about his little white lie, he now must come clean to his parents this holiday season. As he is avoiding the elephant in the room, Ross quickly tries to make a run for it and head on over to Joey’s wannabe girlfriend Janine’s party with her hot dancer friends. Despite Joey’s attempt to help his friend dodge a bullet by convincing everyone to pretend to like Rachel’s English red meat trifle, he is stopped in his tracks by his sister Monica who once again decides to play dirty by revealing her brother’s deepest and darkest secrets. Before you know it, stealing Playboys turns into drunkenly marrying Rachel in Vegas and divorcing her days later. By the end of this epic Thanksgiving dinner table conversation, Mr. and Mrs. Gellar realize that Chandler is the wonderful human being instead of their son Ross.


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

            During Phoebe’s time dog sitting Clunkers for her friend while they are away during Thanksgiving, it is revealed that Chandler is not actually extremely allergic to dogs as he claims. Rather, he has a strong hatred for dogs including puppies (how on Earth could ANYONE feel this way) because they are needy, jumpy, and he is frightened by how he can never tell what they are thinking.  All the while, Rachel’s boy toy assistant Tag joins the gang for Friendsgiving after Rachel sees a beacon of light from her window of opportunity that is Tag’s recent breakup with his girlfriend. Because her friends do not know the truth about Rachel’s feelings, she tries to play coy about it. However, during an embrace on the balcony that Joey catches out of the corner of his eye he calls out, “He likes you back!”. This ultimately forces Rachel to later come clean about her feelings for Tag who in turn kisses her. Ohlala!


“The One with the Rumor” (Season 8, Episode 8)


            The surprise guest of honor at this year’s Friendsgiving is Will Colbert- a formerly obese classmate of Ross, Monica, and Rachel who had since lost 150s pounds. In real life, he is most commonly known as the Hollywood hottie that is Brad Pitt (Rachel Green’s real-life husband at the time). After scoring an invitation from Monica to the Thanksgiving dinner of the year, Will gets the party started by dropping the truth bomb that has been hidden in the class of 1987’s secret vault- he and Ross had an “I Hate Rachel Green Club”. Just when you think it can’t get any worse, they also reveal that they started a rumor that Rachel was a hermaphrodite and “still has a hint of a penis” according to Will. Rachel is enraged by these comments and doesn’t understand how Ross could go that far to humiliate her when she never did anything to hurt Ross in high school. However, Rachel was too quick to point her finger at Ross as Monica reveals another deep dark secret hidden in this very vault- Rachel was the one that told everyone Ross made out with their high school librarian, Mrs. Altman. But before Thanksgiving Day turns into the brawl of “The One with the Football”, Rachel and Ross decide to put the past in the past and throw away the key to that awful vault of high school secrets.



“The One with Rachel’s Other Sister” (Season 9, Episode 8)

            After Rachel’s older sister Amy’s married boyfriend cancels their Thanksgiving plans, Rachel reluctantly invites her to join them at Monica’s.  Despite how charming Amy aka Christina Applegate is in real life, her character is, well there is no other way to say this- a big B-I-T-C-H. Somehow, she manages to insult everyone at this year’s Friendsgiving, including her very own sister. To add fuel to the fire, Amy expresses how hurt her feelings are that she is not the godmother of her sister’s daughter Emma (remember “the product of a bottle of Merlot and a five-year-old condom” according to Monica) even though she can’t even get her five-letter name consistently right. While these sisters are cat fighting it out a la Green style (hair pulling, hissy fit hand fighting, and choking each other’s necks), newlyweds Monica and Chandler warn everyone about using their expensive wedding china at dinner other than Joey who was given a regular plate because well he’s Joey and he is notorious for being the messiest eater known to television.


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

            For the first time in Friendsgiving history, Monica does not want to host Thanksgiving dinner because she is exhausted from always being the host, but more importantly her heart-wrenching stress of adopting a baby with Chandler. However, when Phoebe challenges Monica to completely outdo herself by competing with last year’s five-star meal, she cannot resist  her uber competitive Monica Gellar innate nature. As if Phoebe was pushing her luck with getting Monica to host for the tenth and final Friendsgiving *cue the tears*, she also somehow convinces Rachel to register Emma in a beauty pageant- and to everyone’s surprise, they come home as the winners with a $1,000 check. But when Monica runs into Phoebe in Rachel in the hallway discussing excuses for showing up late to Monica’s, her and Chandler refuse to let them in. Although things may begin to look like they are headed downhill for this year’s Thanksgiving dinner, Chandler and Monica find out that there is a birth mother interested in having them adopt her baby- making it the first and only time ever on any Friendsgiving that something that doesn’t turn out quite as planned turns out to be the biggest blessing for the eager parents. Now really, cue the tears.