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We’re officially in Thanksgiving season, which means it’s high time to start binging some classic holiday episodes from your favorite TV series. If you’re anything like me, that makes you think of every Friends Thanksgiving episode, ever.
Because having to pick a favorite turkey stuffing is already hard enough, we’re taking one less decision off of your plate (see what I did there? We love a holiday meal pun,) and helping you decide on the best Friends Thanksgiving episode to watch this year. Fair warning: it’s not like any of these episodes is a bad choice! So, without further ado, here’s our list of every Friends Thanksgiving episode ranked in descending order of least favorite to favorite this year.
10. “The One With the List” (Season 2, 1995)
Hear me out here, folks. This isn’t a Thanksgiving episode, per se, but it’s the closest thing we’ve got to one during the only season of Friends not to include an official holiday special. That’s not to say it wasn’t a significant episode: “The One With the List” features Ross’s infamous decision-making skills (or lack thereof), after making a pros and cons list between Rachel and his former flame, Julie. (Which doesn’t go well for him—Rachel finds the list and is, expectedly, upset.) In Thanksgiving-adjacent territory, we see Monica desperately trying to sell Mockolate, a synthetic chocolate with yucky red packaging.
9. “The One Where Chandler Doesn’t Like Dogs” (Season 7, 2000)
This episode solely focuses on Chandler’s fear of dogs, all because Phoebe is secretly harboring a dog in her room for some friends who are out of town. What does that really have to do with Thanksgiving? Instead of the festive spirit, this episode is bogged down by Chandler’s supposed dog allergy, which actually turns out to be an irrational, lifelong fear of Phoebe’s four-legged friend. At least Rachel’s pretty-boy assistant, Tag, shows up to the gang’s Thanksgiving dinner—resulting in a kiss between the two by the episode’s end.
8. “The One With Rachel’s Other Sister” (Season 9, 2002)
This almost took the cake for the “least best” Friends Thanksgiving episode, but we had to give it a bump because it’s (unfortunately) so real and relatable. Everyone can sympathize with holiday family and friend tensions, and by Season 9, Friends had to take this angle for themselves. Baby Emma has arrived, Joey forgets he’s supposed to be in the Macy’s Thanksgiving Day Parade, Chandler breaks Monica’s precious china, and Rachel’s hostile sister, Amy, invites herself to Thanksgiving dinner. It’s all the festive drama we hope to avoid in real life, only with this episode, we can’t quite seem to escape from it.
7. “The One Where the Underdog Gets Away” (Season 1, 1994)
Now, this is where we get Friendsgiving from. Not literally—I’m sure Friendsgiving has been a thing for ages—but this episode of Friends stands out in memory as one of television’s first depictions of a Thanksgiving spent with friends, in a city far from your own family. Ross and Monica’s parents are out of town, Rachel can’t afford a flight home, and Joey’s family thinks he has an STD, so together, they make a Thanksgiving dinner out of shared loneliness. It’s also the gang’s very first Thanksgiving together, so while we’re a little nostalgic for it, this takes a cozy spot at No. 7 for working out some of the kinks between each member of the Friends crew.
6. “The One With the Late Thanksgiving” (Season 10, 2003)
Like much of the drama with “The One Where the Underdog Gets Away,” the last-ever Friends Thanksgiving episode has Monica at an all-time level of stress, prepping for Thanksgiving dinner. Only this time, instead of everyone getting locked out of her apartment, Joey gets his head stuck in the door, and everyone ends up showing up hours late. But why is this one any better than the first season’s edition? Well, Monica and Chandler get a very important call by the episode’s end that genuinely makes up for everything.
5. “The One With The Rumor” (Season 8, 2001)
Otherwise known as “The One With Brad Pitt,” this episode is all kinds of kooky Friendsgiving goodness. We have Brad Pitt as Will, one of Ross’s old friends from high school who—turns out—used to be pretty ugly, but had a serious glow up. He also reveals that he and Ross were the source of a terrible rumor about Rachel during high school, one that puts this episode at a middle-of-the-road No. 5 for its now outdated humor.
4. “The One Where Ross Got High” (Season 6, 1999)
Oh, there’s no better time than the holidays to reveal that the goody-goody of the family has actually done some bad things. In this episode of Friends, Ross does exactly that. Always a good friend to Chandler, Ross finally owns up to the fact that he was the one who smoked weed in college, not Chandler (who the Geller parents have harbored a serious hatred for, since!) Oh, and Phoebe develops a crush on Ross’s dad because he saved her in a dream. There’s… that.
3. “The One With the Football” (Season 3, 1996)
If you have a sibling, chances are this episode ranks high for you, too. Sibling rivalry is at an all-time high in this Thanksgiving edition of Friends, and the episode also happens to combine the holiday with its truly American sports counterpart: Football, baby. In a rare vision of the Friends gang outside of their Greenwich Village apartment, we get to see everyone battling it out on a playground field in a fiery, ridiculous game of what’s honestly some very uncoordinated tackling.
2. “The One With Chandler in a Box” (Season 4, 1997)
If this episode’s title isn’t enough of an indication of its insanity, then just picture Monica wearing an eye-patch and roasting every member of the Friends group: “Married a lesbian; left a man at the altar; fell in love with a gay ice dancer; threw a girl’s wooden leg in a fire; LIVE IN A BOX!” Brownie points if you know exactly who did what, and watch if you don’t.
1. “The One With All the Thanksgivings” (Season 5, 1998)
Ah, the Friends flashback episode. This ranks high on all Friends lists—not just for Thanksgiving—and it’s because it’s absolutely packed with nostalgic gems. After stuffing themselves from chef Monica’s holiday meal, everyone begins to reminiscence on their worst Thanksgivings: There’s Chandler’s father announcing their divorce at the dinner table; “Fat Monica” trying to hit on teenaged Chandler; Chandler getting his toe cut off; not to mention, Monica and Joey get turkeys stuck on their heads. You know, the usual.