No other television series was, or has been, as consistently funny in its Thanksgiving episodes as Friends. It didn’t start out that way. The first season’s episode was good, but nothing spectacular. And did you know that the second season of friends did not have a Thanksgiving episode. Ross and Rachel were too busy getting together and breaking up. However, beginning with season 3 of friends, we were treated to hilarious holiday episodes almost every Thanksgiving.
My favorite Friends Thanksgiving Episodes are:
1. The One with the Rumor – Season 8
Probably one of the most popular Friends episodes overall, as it guest starred Brad Pitt, while he was married to Jennifer Aniston. He played an overweight, unpopular, high school friend of Ross and Monica, who is now very good-looking. Monica invites him to Thanksgiving dinner and it turns out that he hates Rachel because she was such a snob in high school. As the night goes on, many secrets about rumors they all told about each other in high school, come out.
2. The One with the Thanksgiving Flashbacks – Season 5
This episode about the friends remembering their worst Thanksgivings was made extra special because it took place during the time when Monica and Chandler were keeping their relationship a secret (my favorite episodes). That gave this extremely funny episode some heart to it also. And not only was the big story involving Ross, Chandler, Rachel and Monica great, but the short little stories of Phoebe and Joey were hysterical.
3. The One with the Football – Season 3
This episode was the first of the great Thanksgiving episodes. Ross and Monica want to play football in the park to compete for the Geller Cup, even though their parents forbade them from ever doing so again. The six friends play a very bizarre game of football.
4. The One where Ross Got High – Season 6
What I loved about this episode was that even though it featured multiple plots, the cast was still together for the entire episode. The main plot, and also the funniest, is when Chandler tries to win over Monica’s parents so that Monica can admit to her parents that they are a couple and living together. Ross tells Chandler that in college he told his parents that his pot was Chandlers. Ross now tells his parents the truth. We also have Rachel making a dessert Trifle and accidentally combining a recipe with meat and vegetables with it. And Ross and Joey want to leave to go to a party with models. It all ends up with Monica and Ross’s mom Judy Geller having her funniest moments ever.
5. The One with Rachel’s Other Sister – Season 9
Amy (Christina Applegate), Rachel’s extremely shallow and selfish sister, joins the friends for Thanksgiving. However, when everyone is together, Amy asks Rachel who will take care of Emma if both Rachel and Ross die. That becomes the topic of the night, with Monica worrying about her new China thrown in for extra laughs.
The Other Seasons
Season 4 – The One with Chandler in a Box – This would have been next on my list of favorites. Very good episode, but not as funny as most.
Season 1 – The One where Underdog Gets Away – The first Thanksgiving they all spend together. The Geller parents were away. Joey’s parents didn’t want him to come home because he had done a VD ad. Rachel missed her flight to a ski resort. This was the only time they needed excuses to have Thanksgiving without their families. Average episode. Standard sitcom fare.
Season 10 – The One with the Late Thanksgiving – Everyone is late to Monica’s Thanksgiving. I would have hoped the last Friends Thanksgiving episode ever would go out with a bang. It went out with barely a whimper.
Season 7 – The One where Chandler doesn’t like Dogs – The worst of all the Thanksgiving episodes. I barely even remember it.
Season 2 – No Thanksgiving Episode
Many of these episodes with be shown in syndication during the next few weeks. However, Beginning in January, if you have Netflix, you can watch any episode of friends whenever you want. You can choose to watch your favorite episodes, Halloween episodes or watch every episode chronologically. And you will see full episodes. Syndicated episodes cut minutes off shows to add time for commercials.
I am a part of the Netflix StreamTeam, and they are currently paying for my monthly streaming. However, I used Netflix for years before that and I highly recommend it. Netflix streaming costs only $8.99 per month and you have access to thousands of TV shows and movies for both adults and kids. When I am no longer part of the #StreamTeam, I will definitely go back to paying for Netflix again.