Every Friends Thanksgiving Episode Ranked


Thanksgiving is upon us, and there is no better way to celebrate the holiday than a Friends Thanksgiving episode marathon. After re-watching every Thanksgiving episode, I’ve ranked the best and worst episodes. This is a reminder that this ranking is based on my own opinion. For those who have not watched the series yet, be warned that there are many spoilers in this article!

The One With the List (season 2, episode 8)


  • This episode was an easy last place pick for me. For starters, it is never formally addressed that it's Thanksgiving. There is no Thanksgiving dinner being made, no parade, no football and the gang is never in the apartment for a formal gathering. The only way you would even know it's November in the episode is because Monica is trying to create Thanksgiving "Mockolate" desserts to make some money. Secondly, this episode is by far the most depressing. After Ross finally chooses Rachel over Julie, Rachel finds out Ross made a list comparing her to Julie. Rachel becomes upset that her biggest insecurities are noticed and acknowledged as “cons” by someone she loves. The rest of the episode is just Ross apologizing to Rachel and Rachel refusing to speak to him. Doesn't that put you in the Thanksgiving spirit???

The One Where Chandler Doesn’t Like Dogs (season 7, episode 8)

  • While at Thanksgiving, Phoebe reveals she has been watching her friend’s dog. After trying to pretend he is allergic to dogs, Chandler reveals he doesn’t like dogs. Also, Rachel tells her assistant Tag that she likes him, and they start seeing each other. That is basically it. It is a bit too uneventful for a Thanksgiving themed episode. 

The One With Rachel’s Other Sister (season 9, episode 8)

  • What would Thanksgiving be like without a few family squabbles. In this episode, we are introduced to Rachel’s sister, Amy. Amy makes an unexpected visit and joins the gang for Thanksgiving dinner. Somehow the group got into a big argument over who would raise Emma if something were to happen to Ross and Rachel. (Hint: it’s not Amy). Let's just say, words were said, sisters were shoved and expensive fancy plates were broken. Overall, I found Amy to be funny at times, but her poor behavior and guest manners were extremely annoying and overpowered the other plot lines. The episode was alright, but compared to the next 7 Thanksgiving episodes, it just can’t compete with some of the series’ better Thanksgiving episodes.

The One Where Underdog Gets Away (season 1, episode 9)

  • The first Thanksgiving episode may not have been the finest, but it’s still a gem. Monica hosts her first Thanksgiving dinner and tries to make something to please everyone (aka three kinds of potatoes and grilled cheeses). Joey is uninvited from his family’s Thanksgiving because they think he has Venereal Disease because he was in a health ad about VD. This plot line is made even better, when the camera shows his poster all over NYC, while the song “Don’t Stand So Close To Me” by The Police plays. After the gang goes up to the roof to spot the Underdog Balloon that gets loose from the parade, they lock themselves out of the apartment, causing Monica to burn the entire dinner and Rachel to miss her flight to Vail. My favorite part is at the end of the episode, the group enjoys their Thanksgiving Chandler’s way, with grilled cheese and Funyuns. While it may not have been the most traditional Thanksgiving, I liked that the gang made the most of the situation and just worked with what they had.

The One Where Ross Got High (season 6, episode 9)

  • Monica reveals to Chandler that her parents don’t like him. Ross reveals that he told his parents that Chandler smoked weed because one time in college, Ross got busted smoking weed and blamed it on Chandler to avoid getting in trouble. In typical sibling fashion, Monica rats out Ross to their parents, and secrets about the two siblings start spilling out. It seems the Gellar parents realize how nuts their kids are so much so that they truly appreciate Chandler for “putting up with their kids”. Rachel tries her hand at cooking dessert for the gang but completely butchers it, combining a sweet English trifle with Shepherds pie. *yuck* The most hilarious part is that everyone eats it or pretends to eat it, despite Ross saying it "tastes like feet",  just so Joey and Ross can leave Thanksgiving early and Rachel wouldn't feel embarrassed.

The One With Chandler in a Box (season 4, episode 8)

  • Monica hurts her eye, while preparing Thanksgiving dinner. When she goes to the eye doctor, she discovers that the on call doctor, Tim, is her ex-boyfriend’s attractive son, and she asks him to join the gang for dinner. After they eat, Monica and Tim kiss, but find it too weird that Monica has kissed her ex-boyfriend’s son, which is really weird. As Phoebe puts it, “Now you can say ‘that's not how your father does it’”. *shiver*  After Chandler kisses Joey’s girlfriend and then starts dating her, Joey refuses to talk to Chandler. Joey makes a deal with Chandler that if he sits quietly in a box and “do some thinking” about his actions, then Joey will forgive him. Every time Chandler tried to talk in the box, Joey would shut him down with lines like "you kissed my girlfriend" or " don't do the crime, if you can't do the time". My favorite part of the episode is how great the script is, and there are so many iconic lines.

The One With the Rumor (season 8, episode 9)

  • When Monica invites an old classmate, Will Colbert (Brad Pitt), over for Thanksgiving, everyone soon discovers his blatant hatred for Rachel. Will even rats out Ross and tells the group that the two of them had an “I hate Rachel Green” club and started some rumors about Rachel in high school. In return, Rachel reveals she spread a rumor about Ross kissing the school’s librarian. Brad Pitt guest starring is reason enough to put this episode in the top 5 Thanksgiving episodes. The episode also proves that Ross and Rachel can put the past behind them in order to raise a baby together.

The One With All the Thanksgivings (season 5, episode 8)

  • The gang spends their fifth Thanksgiving together, reminiscing on their worst Thanksgivings. Phoebe’s worst Thanksgiving was when in her past life, as a Civil war nurse, she lost both of her arms. The worst for Ross was the current Thanksgiving because he was divorcing his second wife and getting evicted. Joey’s worst Thanksgiving was when he got a Turkey stuck on his head. Monica’s worst Thanksgiving was when she accidentally severed Chandler’s toe from his foot. Needless to say, these flashbacks are extremely funny, and the episode reminds me of memories, good or bad, that we share around Thanksgiving with our friends and family.

The One With the Late Thanksgiving (season 10, episode 8)

  • This episode is by far the funniest of all ten episodes. When Phoebe, Rachel, Ross and Joey all show up late to Thanksgiving dinner, Monica and Chandler lock them out of their apartment. The rest of the gang continue to beg and apologize, so they can eat the delicious dinner. Joey’s tactic of “using his eyes” to get what he wants is the best part of the entire episode. The gang eventually breaks down the door, freeing Joey, but sending him crashing into the Thanksgiving dinner. Does that stop Joey from eating the food off of his body? No, no it does not. However, that Thanksgiving turns into the best one for the group because Monica and Chandler find out they are adopting a baby. What makes this episode great is how even though the gang was arguing over dinner and the food being destroyed by Joey, none of it mattered after hearing the good news. All was forgiven, as it should be on Thanksgiving Day.

The One With the Football (season 3, episode 9)

  • This episode ranked the best because it's got heart, humor and football. The gang decides to play a friendly game of football in the park, until Monica and Ross turn the game into their own personal, childhood vendettas. The pair get extremely competitive, so that one of them can win the “Gellar Cup” (aka a troll doll on a block of wood). Phoebe plays football for the first time and plays the game with her own finesse, and Rachel nearly scores her first touchdown. In my opinion, football and spending quality time with your family and friends are two important elements of Thanksgiving, which is why I find this episode to be the best Thanksgiving episode.

Now that you know the best Friends Thanksgiving episodes, you're Thanksgiving is bound to be great, so enjoy the holiday!