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Friends Fans Need to Watch All 10 Thanksgiving Episodes in This Order

From Monica's broken wedding china to the Geller Cup to Rachel's Thanksgiving Trifle dessert!

By The Editors of House Beautiful
"Friends" Thanksgiving Episodes - Monica, Chandler, Joey, Rachel, Phoebe, Ross
NBC//Getty Images

While Thanksgiving is traditionally a holiday to celebrate family, friends, and food, it's also a day of great television. Back-to-back football games, the Macy's Thanksgiving Day Parade, the dog show: No matter your interests, there's something on TV for everyone. However, once dinner is over and the festivities have quieted down, you may be looking for something more familiar to watch. Luckily, Friends has 10 iconic Thanksgiving episodes for your viewing pleasure.

From Ross and Rachel's first fight to the laugh-out-loud episode full of the gang's worst Thanksgiving memories, the nostalgia is ideal for that sleepy time between feasting and Black Friday shopping. Even if you're like Chandler and refuse to celebrate the American holiday, watching Friends is never a bad idea. Plus, you can ogle their New York apartments for hours on end.

If you've never seen an episode of the fan-favorite television show, these are actually great episodes to start with. You not only get a humorous introduction to the six main characters, but you also learn about their pasts and their relationship dynamics. Ahead, we're highlighting each and every one of the Friends Thanksgiving episodes from season one all the way to season 10. Happy watching!



Season 2, Episode 8: "The One With the List"

Meal, Table, Conversation, Art,
NBC/Warner Bros.

Plot: If this Friends episode doesn't ring a bell, you may also know it as "The One After Ross and Rachel Kiss." Fans everywhere celebrated after the two finally kissed at Central Perk, but Ross was left with a tough decision and decided to make a list of pros and cons to help him decide whether he should stay with his girlfriend, Julie, or explore a relationship with Rachel. After choosing Rachel and telling her, she sees the list and is understandably livid. Meanwhile, Monica is asked to develop Thanksgiving-themed recipes for Mocklate, a synthetic chocolate substitute that Phoebe thinks is what "evil must take like."

Why: Although this episode is an important one for the overall series, the connection to Thanksgiving is too small. And considering the importance of food for this holiday, it's too upsetting to consider Monica making the embodiment of evil as a dessert.

Best Home Moment: While it's tough to watch Rachel with a broken heart, we can't help but be envious of her wallowing spot—the girls' unbelievable window seat. We'd sit there and mope to U2 too.



Season 9, Episode 8: "The One With Rachel's Other Sister"

Meal, Brunch, Dinner, Lunch, Event, Supper, Restaurant, Rehearsal dinner, Eating, Food,
NBC/Warner Bros.

Plot: Rachel's older sister, Amy (Christina Applegate), crashes Monica's Thanksgiving dinner after her plans fall through and manages to insult everyone in her signature manner. Then she gets upset when Rachel and Ross say they wouldn't leave Emma with her if they both died. Meanwhile, Joey realizes he was supposed to be with the cast of Days of Our Lives at the Macy's Thanksgiving Parade and works with Phoebe to come up with a lie for why he wasn't there (which for some reason, always features raccoons). Chandler encourages Monica to use their wedding china for the big meal, but she goes to extreme lengths to protect the plates only to faint after an unfortunate incident.

Why: The introduction of Amy is a welcome one, but her obsession with what would happen to Emma if Ross and Rachel died overtakes the Thanksgiving theme. It does bring up an important conversation for Monica and Chandler about what kind of parents they'd like to be, though it falls to the wayside when Chandler (spoiler alert) breaks the plates.

Best Home Moment: We bet you know someone who can relate to Monica's stress about using her fancy plates. Hopefully that person's husband isn't a Chandler.



Season 10, Episode 8: "The One With the Late Thanksgiving"

Meal, Supper, Brunch, Dinner, Lunch, Food, Event, Eating, Restaurant, Cuisine,
NBC/Warner Bros.

Plot: Monica and Chandler try to get out of hosting Thanksgiving dinner because they already have enough on their plate (aha!) with their adoption process, but Phoebe manipulates Monica into trying to top last year's feast. However, when the day arrives, the guys decide to go to a hockey game, the gals enter Emma in a pageant, and everyone ends up being 45 minutes late to dinner. Of course, Monica and Chandler are not pleased and try to punish their four late friends.

Why: There's a lot to love about this episode—Emma dressed up in Louisa May Emory's cowgirl outfit, Joey using his weird staring trick, Chandler and Monica FINALLY getting a baby—but the jokes fall just a smidge flat. Nonetheless, it's the last Friends Thanksgiving episode!

Best Home Moment: We love the ingenuity of Monica keeping her friends out of the apartment by using the chain on the door, mostly because it lets Joey slip his head in and try to stare down the Bings.


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Season 7, Episode 8: "The One Where Chandler Doesn't Like Dogs"

Event, Conversation,
NBC/Warner Bros.

Plot: Rachel invites her hot assistant, Tag, to Thanksgiving dinner and contemplates making a move after she hears he broke up with his girlfriend. Chandler challenges the group to name all 50 states in six minutes, and Ross tortures himself when he can't name them all. The gang finds out that Phoebe's been hiding a dog in her room at Monica and Chandler's, which forces Chandler to admit he hates dogs.

Why: The "state" game would definitely be a hit for families during holiday gatherings, and we love that Ross is so sure he can nail it and then so disappointed in himself when he just can't seem to figure out which ones he's missing. Also, this episode features one of the greatest Friends jokes ever:

JOEY: If he [Tag, Rachel's assistant] doesn't like you, then this is all just a moo point.

RACHEL: Huh. A moo point?

JOEY: Yeah, it's like a cow's opinion, you know, it just doesn't matter. It's "moo."

RACHEL: Have I been living with him for too long, or did that all just make sense?

Best Home Moment: When Monica goes over to Ross's apartment to pick up the pies she's been baking there, she wonders aloud to Chandler, "Ross's apartment is nice, why don't we ever hang out here?" And she's right! We can't stop thinking about how Ross could never afford a place with a living room like that.



Season 1, Episode 9: "The One Where Underdog Gets Away"

Restaurant, Meal, Room, Brunch,
NBC/Warner Bros.

Plot: When Monica and Ross's parents go out of town for the holiday, Monica offers to host her first Thanksgiving dinner for the gang. Chandler reveals he hates Thanksgiving but agrees to come if his traditional meal of grilled cheese and Funyuns is served. But Rachel doesn't plan on sticking around and instead tries to earn enough money to join her family's skiing trip. In the end, everyone pitches in to help Rachel buy her ticket. Meanwhile, Joey finds himself in an unfortunate incident and can't go home because his entire family thinks he has VD. On the big day, the six New Yorkers run to the roof to watch an escaped Macy's parade balloon pass by but get locked out of the apartment—causing Rachel to miss her flight and dinner to be ruined. But at least they have each other—and Chandler's grilled cheese sandwiches.

Why: Watching the six friends realize they'd rather spend Thanksgiving together than with their respective families sets the stage for many wonderful Thanksgivings to come. It feels real—as is the fact that they arrive at this realization by yelling at each other.

Best Home Moment: When the girls get locked out of their apartment after everyone goes to the roof to watch Underdog float away, the guys come to the rescue—kind of. They just have to work their way through a drawer of a zillion keys, which honestly is something we all can relate to.



Season 3, Episode 9: "The One With the Football"

Sports, Fun, Stretching, Team sport,
NBC/Warner Bros.

Plot: It's Thanksgiving, and instead of just watching football the gang decides to play against each other despite Monica and Ross being banned from the game after fighting over the Geller Cup when they were younger. During the game, Joey and Chandler manage to find time to compete for the affections of a Dutch girl. Eventually, the teams switch to girls versus boys, with Monica and Ross getting more and more aggressive in their quest for the Geller Cup—which turns out to be a Troll doll nailed to a block of wood.

Why: It's refreshing to see the gang actually go outside and do something rather than just sit on a couch. Plus, the Geller sibling rivalry never gets old; it just gets more relatable.

Best Home Moment: Since most of this episode takes place outside the apartment, there wasn't much to choose from, so we're going with the classic kitchen timer they use as the football game's clock.


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Season 4, Episode 8: "The One With Chandler in a Box"

NBC/Warner Bros.

Plot: To punish Chandler for kissing his girlfriend, Joey sentences him to spend Thanksgiving in a box. Monica hurts her eye and falls for the on-call eye doctor—who happens to be her ex-boyfriend's son. While Monica and Rachel are out, everyone else draws for Secret Santa, and no one wants Rachel because she returns every gift she gets. This upsets Ross when he realizes she exchanged the gifts he gave her while they were dating.

Why: Chandler's betrayal of Joey provides some of the show's funniest and touching moments, especially when Joey gives Chandler permission to pursue his ex-girlfriend as his Secret Santa gift. Monica's attempt to date Richard's son allows the gang to make a lot of great jokes at her expense, and Ross and Rachel tug at our heartstrings fighting about exchanging gifts.

Best Home Moment: Joey, still furious at Chandler, says he's going to return all the fancy new furniture that Chandler bought out of guilt. Thankfully, he doesn't go through with it and that butter-yellow couch will make us jealous for seasons to come.



Season 8, Episode 9: "The One With the Rumor"

Event, Meal, Brunch, Food, Supper, Taste, Conversation, Cuisine,
NBC/Warner Bros.

Plot: Monica invites an old friend of Ross's, Will (Brad Pitt), to Thanksgiving, not realizing that he hates Rachel. Joe is upset that Monica doesn't want to cook a whole turkey because no one is in the mood for it and says he can eat the entire thing by himself. While everyone, especially Phoebe, comments on how hot Will is, Will can't hide his hatred for Rachel. It comes out that in high school he and Ross created an "I Hate Rachel" club and started a rumor that she had both male and female reproductive parts. It's also revealed that Rachel told the whole school that Ross made out with the librarian.

Why: I mean, BRAD PITT. If you need more reason than that, this builds on the history a lot of these characters share by bringing up antics from high school. Plus, it's just so fun to watch Pitt torture his then wife for having a "teenie weenie." Finally, Joey wears Phoebe's maternity pants and declares them his Thanksgiving pants.

Best Home Moment: Though they've been there for several seasons at this point, this episode gives a shining moment to the sconces on Monica's kitchen wall. At one point when Will (Pitt) sees Rachel, he grasps the sconces with rage and says, "My two greatest enemies, Ross: Rachel Green and complex carbohydrates."



Season 6, Episode 9: "The One Where Ross Got High"

Meal, Brunch, Event, Eating, Restaurant, Supper, Lunch, Food, Conversation, Dinner,
NBC/Warner Bros.

Plot: Monica hasn't told her parents that she's dating Chandler, let alone that they're living together, because apparently they don't like him. (We learn amid his pursuit to win over the Gellers that they think Chandler smoked pot in his room back in college—because Ross told them so.) While Monica and Chandler try to persuade Ross to tell their parents the truth, Ross is also plotting with Joey to try to rush through dinner so they can hang out with the hot roommate, Janine. Through it all, Rachel is busy in the kitchen: She has been put in charge of dessert and inevitably messes it up, causing everyone to pretend to like her half English Trifle, half Shepherd's Pie creation.

Why: Rachel's attempt to make a trifle steals the show. In fact, our colleagues at Delish even attempted to re-create it. Plus, Ross's exasperation at his double quandary—keeping his parents from finding out that he smoked pot and not hurting Rachel's feelings—is comedic gold. "It's Thanksgiving, not TRUTH day."

Best Home Moment: While we don't actually see this moment, our favorite home-related mention is when Ross and Monica are fighting by telling long-held secrets to their parents, one after another. Ross mentions that "Hurricane Gloria didn't break the porch swing, Monica did." Perhaps if they'd had one of these porch swings, it would've survived.


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Season 5, Episode 8: "The One With All the Thanksgivings"

Nose, Eyewear, Human, Glasses, Headgear, Animation, Vision care, Sunglasses,
NBC/Warner Bros.

Plot: A round of everyone saying what they're thankful for turns into tales of everyone's worst Thanksgiving. Through flashbacks, we see the day Chandler's parents told him they were getting divorced, Joey getting a turkey stuck on his head, Chandler calling Monica fat, and Monica accidentally cutting off Chandler's toe. To express how sorry she is, Monica puts a turkey on her head, and Chandler lets it slip that he loves her.

Why: The flashbacks in this episode bring us so many things—Phoebe remembering past lives, Joey putting his head up a dead animal, Chandler commenting about Monica's weight, and finally Monica going too far to get revenge when Chandler ends up in the ER. Plus, all of these lead to Chandler telling Monica he loves her. This episode, like gum, is perfection.

Best Home Moment: We usually see the gang gathered around Monica's kitchen table, but this year they make us all kinds of jealous by getting cozy with dessert around the coffee table. I mean, the chair Rachel is sitting in looks PERFECT for a post-turkey nap.


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