10 Iconic 'Friends' Thanksgiving Moments Gallery
10 Iconic 'Friends' Thanksgiving Moments
Whether you watched “Friends” on its first run, just watch reruns, or binge it on Netflix, you know the show is full of memorable moments. From “We were on a break!” to “I got off the plane,” you can probably recite quotes, remember plot lines by heart, and hear Janice’s laugh haunting your dreams.
One of the most popular shows of the late ‘90s and early 2000s has now become a comfort-watching mainstay. It’s chicken soup for the Gen Y, millennial and even Gen Z soul. The show’s holiday episodes are often some of the most unforgettable, funny, and warm — especially its Thanksgiving episodes, which are absolutely iconic.
The Daily Meal watched every single Thanksgiving episode (all 10!) and has selected the most iconic moments from each. From burned dinners to football games to Brad Pitt, the “Friends” gang has had some wild Turkey Days full of competition, delicious-looking food, quippy banter, and some pretty excellent outfits. In fact, re-watching every episode of “Friends” was kind of like enjoying a big Thanksgiving meal. Afterwards we’re left feeling cozy, nostalgic, and a little bit sleepy from taking on so much.
Luckily, this is how we’re going to digest our binge-watching endeavor. We’ll be there for you, to take a trip down TV memory lane and remember it all. Whether you’re stuck in second gear, or a Rachel, a Monica, a Phoebe, a Ross, a Chandler, a Joey, or even a Gunther, you need to check out these 10 iconic “Friends” Thanksgiving moments.
S1 EP 9: “The One Where the Underdog Gets Away”
The most iconic part of the first Thanksgiving episode to ever air on “Friends” is when they get locked out of the kitchen after Monica has slaved away on the first Thanksgiving dinner she has ever cooked. The ever-neurotic and perfection-driven Monica has made three kinds of potatoes to suit the needs of her guests — plus peas and onions for Phoebe — and somehow, they gang gets locked out all because Monica thought Rachel had the keys and Rachel thought Monica did. “Why would I say I had the keys?” Monica demands. “Aside from the fact that you said you had them?” Rachel retorts back. When they finally get back into their apartment, they’re greeted by smoke. The meal is ruined.
S2 EP 8: “The One With the List”
The most iconic Thanksgiving moment in this episode is that there isn’t one. The second season of “Friends” was not about Thanksgiving at all, but rather Ross and Rachel. Fans of the show had such a negative reaction to the characters not celebrating Thanksgiving, that show creators Marta Kauffman and David Crane made a Thanksgiving episode for every subsequent season until the show ended.
S3 EP 9: “The One With the Football”
The most iconic part of this Thanksgiving episode — aside from the Geller cup, the Dutch girl, and arguably the hottest outfit Chandler has ever worn — is Rachel scoring a touchdown. Yes, the boys debate the win but Rachel, who has been largely ignored the whole game for her inability to throw, catch, and run, and who even briefly leaves to get a pretzel, is told to “go long” and by doing so scores the final touchdown of the game. It’s a win for the “Rachels” of the world, and it’s a sartorial win for early 2000s athleisure wear.
S4 EP 8: “The One With Chandler in a Box”
Honestly, the box thing was annoying and dumb. Was Matthew Perry (Chandler) busy filming something else that week or something? The fact that he is off-screen for most of the episode but still referenced is far from iconic. The most iconic part of this Thanksgiving episode however, is that Monica kisses the son of her former boyfriend (and eye doctor!). Everybody thinks it’s weird because she dated Richard, his father — but the two kiss anyway, only for Monica to find that it is maybe more uncomfortable than she previously thought.
S5 EP 8: “The One With All the Thanksgivings”
The cast of “Friends” goes back in time to re-visit high school and college Thanksgiving memories and fashion trends in this one. Rachel has her original nose and Monica performs a swan-like transformation, but Ross and Chandler’s fashions are the most iconic part of this episode. Chandler rocks a Flock of Seagulls hairdo and Ross shows off a mustache before they sport matching Miami Vice sport coats and pants. According to Glamour, show creator Marta Kauffman said this episode has “a special place in her heart.”
S6 EP 9: “The One Where Ross Got High”
If you’ve seen any “Friends” Thanksgiving episode, you’ve probably seen this one. It might just be the most iconic. Yes, it’s called “The One Where Ross Got High” but really, it’s about Rachel and her trifle. Rachel is not a good cook, but this Thanksgiving, Monica has entrusted her with making the dessert. Rachel is delighted with what she’s made. “First there’s a layer of lady fingers. Then a layer of jam. The custard, which I made from scratch,” she brags. “Then raspberries, more lady fingers, then beef sautéed with peas and onions, more custard, and then bananas, and then I just put some whipped cream on top!”
If you stopped reading because you were bored, she made a sweet dessert with beef, peas, and onions. The pages of her cookbook stuck together and she made half a trifle and half a shepherd’s pie. Hilarity ensues (it is actually funny, trust us). Plus, Matt LeBlanc actually has a pretty disgusting anecdote about filming the scene.
S7 EP 8: “The One Where Chandler Doesn’t Like Dogs”
This episode is not that iconic — in fact it’s kind of boring. The part we are obsessed with, however, is the states game the gang plays where they have to write down all 50 U.S. states in six minutes. They can’t do it without forgetting at least one. This episode has inspired us many times to try to write down all 50 states in one go. If you don’t have a song memorized to help you do it, it’s kind of difficult!
S8 EP 9: “The One With the Rumor”
This is the episode with Brad Pitt. (He was married to Jennifer Aniston, aka Rachel, at the time.) Pitt plays a kid from their high school who was friends with Ross and Monica. Though he’s now an absolute hunk, he was fat and unpopular in high school — and he hates Rachel with a burning passion because he says she made his life a “living hell.” But who cares. We can’t get over his face. He is so handsome. There is a side plot with Joey attempting to eat an entire 19-pound turkey, and a rumor about Rachel, but who can remember the details — it’s peak Brad Pitt on TV!
S9 EP 8: “The One With Rachel’s Other Sister”
This Thanksgiving episode is about how Rachel’s evil sister Amy comes to derail the gang’s Turkey Day by being an incredibly rude, spoiled, and needy person. But the most iconic moment of Thanksgiving season 9 is the chain of command through which Chandler could possibly get Rachel and Ross’s baby. First, the baby would be given to Chandler and Monica. But should Monica die, the baby wouldn’t stay with Chandler — it would go to Monica’s parents. Chandler doesn’t understand why he can’t have the baby in that situation. “I managed to survive what it is killed the three of you!” he exclaims.
For the record, we also don’t get it. Of the friends, Chandler seems to have the most money and stability job- and apartment-wise (excluding the season he quits his job to pursue his dreams). The baby should go to him. If we’ve learned anything from Monica, Jack and Judy Geller are terrible parents!
S10 EP 8: “The One With Late Thanksgiving”
This is the last Thanksgiving episode of “Friends” ever. If you’re a sentimental person, you would say the most iconic moment is when Monica announces that the adoption agency has found a baby for her and Chandler. If you love to laugh, you know that it’s when Joey gets his head stuck. The gang is late for Thanksgiving dinner, and Monica and Chandler won’t let them in. Rachel has a spare key, but Monica has put the chain on the door. They can all squeeze their heads through the slot, but Joey can’t seem to get his head back out. They try greasing the sides of his face with turkey grease (which he licks off) but nothing works until his friends pull him so hard that the door breaks and he flies into the table of Thanksgiving food, knocking it all to the ground. Iconic, Joey. Absolutely iconic.Wow, we already miss “Friends.” Until we re-watch all the episodes, we’ll just have to satiate ourselves by imagining how Joey and Chandler would rank these Thanksgiving sides.
More from The Daily Meal: