It's almost turkey day and you know what that means — food, family, and reruns of Friends (not in that order). Falling into this kind of rerun hole may be a new tradition all on its own and totally worth it. And while you might not know how the day will shakedown, Monica, Rachel, Phoebe, Ross, Chandler, and Joey will make any holiday tension disappear, guaranteed. Seriously, they bring people together. With that said, there are a total of 10 Friends Thanksgiving episodes everyone needs to watch. Because this is living, people.
Full disclosure: I don't believe in ranking episodes of Friends. It feels blasphemous. They all represent different versions of happiness. It's like choosing your favorite child or pet. Whether it's the episode with Joey claiming something is a "moo point," like a "cow's opinion," or the one where Rachel made her (now) infamous English trifle with layers of custard, jam, meat, custard, peas, bananas, and whipped cream (because the recipe pages were stuck together), Friends has a timeless quality few other shows have ever been able to achieve.
There's a reason the show is still one of the most quoted sitcoms of all time and no, I'm not sorry. Actually, Rolling Stone ranked Friends as number 26 of 100 best shows of all time, while Ranker claimed it to be the "Greatest Sitcom of All Time." No matter where you put them, it's undeniable — the holiday episodes are an excellent start to the season so here's all 10 Friends Thanksgiving episodes, in order of air date. Go ahead and try to choose a favorite; I dare you.
"The One Where the Underdog Gets Away”
The first Thanksgiving of the series may not have the exact bang as, say, final seasons (in terms of pure comedy), but it's the first time the gang spends a major holiday together. A highlight of this one is when an unassuming Joey modeled for an NYC free clinic and became an unknowing poster boy for venereal disease. Happens all the time, am I right?
“The One With the List”
So maybe Thanksgiving runs in the background of this one, with Monica making "Mocklate" as opposed to turkey, but it came at *such* an important time. Ross and Rachel were on the verge of becoming a real thing (finally), but then Ross made a "pros and cons" list to help him decide whether he should "choose" Rachel or Julie. I have so many feelings about what happened in this one, I'm not sure I'm over it.*
*Definitely not over it
“The One with the Football”
Season 3 brought a Thanksgiving classic tradition: football. Considering the previous season didn't focus on the holiday itself, this one is an ode to Ross and Monica's sibling rivalry as they attempt to win the highly coveted Gellar Bowl (a troll doll nailed to a 2x4).
“The One with Chandler in the Box”
What's Thanksgiving without someone trapped in a box? It all began with Chandler kissing Kathy. Joey moves out and, as Chandler tries to make amends, he locks himself inside a box to prove the point he's thinking about how he let his best friend down.
“The One with the Thanksgiving Flashbacks”
Season 5 brought it with a series of hilarious flashbacks with Ross and Chandler in '80s style Miami Vice clothing and hair, Joey had a turkey stuck on his head, Monica accidentally chopped off Chandler's toe (ouch), and Phoebe lost her arm during World War I (what?). Yeah, it's a lot to unpack but worth it.
“The One Where Ross Got High”
In case it's been eating at you, this episode reveals The Gellers never liked Chandler because of that time in college when Ross got high, they walked in, and he blamed it on Chandler. Oh, what a time for confessions (and this one has a ton of them). This is one not to miss.
“The One Where Chandler Doesn’t Like Dogs”
Phoebe and her big, animal-loving heart watches Clunkers but Chandler claims he's allergic. He's not; he just hates dogs.
“The One With The Rumor”
This episode will be known, forevermore, as "the one Brad Pitt did a cameo as Ross's old high school friend who created the 'I Hate Rachel Green Club'." Enough said.
“The One With Rachel’s Other Sister”
Rachel's sister Amy is classic (and garnered Christina Applegate an Emmy, FYI) as she insults everyone on this Season 9 holiday show. I mean, there's even a physical fight between the sisters which is the dysfunctional epitome of some Thanksgiving get-togethers. Somehow, Friends makes it funny which isn't always the case IRL.
“The One With the Late Thanksgiving”
Season 10 is bittersweet as the series neared its end. There was a whole lot going on in this one but it is redeemed in the end by Monica and Chandler hearing they get to adopt a baby. It doesn't get any better than that.