Friends Iconic Thanksgiving Episodes, Ranked

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As a huge fan of television, I’ve noticed that sitcoms love Thanksgiving. So many shows I love like, How I Met Your Mother and New Girl, go all out when it comes to Thanksgiving episodes. However, if there’s one show that is known for their iconic Thanksgiving specials, it’s Friends. In the ten seasons that Friends was on the air, there was only one season that didn't have a definitive Thanksgiving episode. While they’re all worth the watch, this is my personal ranking of the shows’ Thanksgiving-themed episodes over the years from worst to best.

9. “The One Where The Underdog Gets Away” (Season 1) The first of the iconic Thanksgiving episodes. This episode is the first time the characters all spend the holiday together and it basically happens by accident. They all have other plans at the beginning of the episode but end up spending Thanksgiving together in Monica and Rachel’s apartment. It introduces many storylines that carry throughout the entire series including Chandler's hilarious hatred of all things Thanksgiving and Monica’s need for every little detail to be perfect. While this isn’t one of my favorites, it’s a perfect combination of funny and heartfelt; just like Friends itself.

8. “The One With Rachel’s Other Sister” (Season 9) Thanksgiving episodes often play with the very real life situation of sibling rivalry and this episode is no exception. This time the fighting is between Rachel and her sister, Jill. Jill is angry that she isn't Ross and Rachel's first choice for godmother of their daughter. Mind you, she doesn't know the baby’s name for most of the episode. While this episode has some hilarious moments, I couldn't help but feel like we’ve seen it before which is why it’s so low on my list.

7. “The One Where Chandler Doesn’t Like Dogs” (Season 7) This episode had me laughing so many times and features some super iconic Friends lines. The group learns about Chandler's hatred of dogs which Joey hilariously warns him against revealing. There is also an ongoing game running through the entire episode; Ross is challenged to name all 50 states. Sounds easy, but it really isn’t at all. I love the way that this episode deals with more lighthearted conflict and feels like a real-life Friendsgiving.

6. “The One With The Football” (Season 3) This episode centers around the huge conflict between the Geller siblings that started in childhood and was never truly resolved. The whole gang plays a game of football with Ross and Monica leading the opposing teams. While it’s a game between them all, it’s obvious the real competition is between brother and sister. This episode just solidifies the stubbornness of the Gellers which is a hilarious trope this show brings up time and time again. I love the way that this episode ties in two major Thanksgiving themes, football and sibling rivalry.

5. “The One With Chandler In A Box” (Season 4) I truly love this episode because it’s filled with the Chandler and Joey content that any fan of Friends can’t help but love. Chandler quite literally spends the entire holiday of Thanksgiving inside a box to prove how sorry he is to his best friend. This episode also shows the friends trying to figure out what to get each other for Christmas and features Monica’s need to control every little detail.

4. “The One With The Late Thanksgiving” (Season 10)

There's something about knowing this episode is the last which makes it one of the best for me. In terms of storyline, it’s definitely not one of my favorites, but the laughs and heartfelt ending make up for it. Monica and Chandler decide they can’t host Thanksgiving this year, ultimately they were talked into it. But, even though they all made Chandler and Monica host the holiday; none showed up. Even though they all have different reasons for being late, that doesn't matter to Chandler and Monica when they decide not to let them in. However, the episode ends with Chandler and Monica finding out they’re going to be parents, making them forget why they were mad in the first place and celebrate with the people they love.

3. “The One With The Rumor” (Season 8) This is one of the show’s most well-known episodes.  Brad Pitt guest stars as the handsome Will who hates Rachel more than anything but she has no idea. It reveals hilarious secrets from our favorite character’s time in high school and has all the hilarity and heart that comes from all the best episodes of Friends. I’ve probably seen this one the most and it’s definitely one of my favorites.

2. “The One Where Ross Got High” (Season 6)

This episode is not only one of my favorite Thanksgiving episodes, but my favorite of the whole series. It has so many hilarious storylines going on at once and ends with an all-out Ross versus Monica war to see who’s been the biggest disappointment to their parents, which could never end well. I truly think this episode is one of the funniest that Friends ever made.

1.“The One With All The Thanksgivings” (Season 5)

This episode is by far the best Thanksgiving special. It features scenes from all of their worst Thanksgivings; including the one where Joey puts his head inside a turkey (Ah, classic). It’s not only full of hilarious flashbacks but some iconic sentimental moments as well. Chandler tells Monica he loves her for the first time while her head is inside a turkey. If that’s not enough reason to watch then I don’t know what is.

Friends Thanksgiving episodes are some of the best around because of the hilarious antics combined with the heartfelt moments. Rewatching all of these episodes has really got me in the mood for the holiday so I highly recommend you do the same and figure out which episode is your personal favorite!