Wednesday, November 27, 2013

I Wasn't Supposed to Put Beef in the Trifle! A Friends Thanksgiving Countdown

Happy Turkey Day, Everyone!

Do like Monica and make your Thanksgiving extra memorable this year...

Thanksgiving is my favorite holiday for so many reasons:

The food, the food, the food, and of course THE FOOD.

Need I say more?

But there's more to the last Thursday in November than just stuffing your face. What about the entertainment? Sure, there's always the parade, football, and that one crazy relative who might light something on fire, but nothing says it's Thanksgiving like a marathon of the show that did it best: Friends. 

What Halloween episodes were to Roseanne, Thanksgiving episodes were to Friends, and every year the gang from NYC brought the laughs, the flashbacks, and the holiday spirit like nothing else on TV. So grab a pumpkin beer (with a cinnamon-sugar rim if you know what's good for you) and sneak an early piece of pie - it's time for The One With All The Friends-giving Episodes! 

Season 1: The One Where Underdog Gets Away

When the Underdog balloon becomes untethered during the parade, the six friends run up to the roof to see it, but accidentally get locked out of the apartment as the turkey dinner is cooking. By the time everyone gets back inside, the food is ruined, but luckily a Thanksgiving-hating Chandler saves the day with grilled cheeses for everyone.

This first Friends-giving is an instant classic that set the tone for the rest of the series: 
3 out of 4 Turkeys

Season 2: The One With The List

Sorry, but without a real Thanksgiving story line, even Monica's many Mockolate recipes can't get me to count this one as a true Friends-giving. Not a bad episode by any means (Phoebe's love-triangle song is a classic), but on this list, I can only give it: 1 out of 4 Turkeys

Season 3: The One With The Football

The friends play a football game that grows increasingly more competitive in what is most likely the best episode of the season, and one of my favorites of the entire series. We get Ross vs. Monica, Chandler vs. Joey, and eventually, the game turns into a boys vs. girls battle 'til the turkey timer buzzes. Everyone's pride (and, of course, the Gellar Cup) is at stake, but just like in the real world, almost everyone makes up once the turkey hits the table. As a child, this episode taught me to approach sports like Rachel: if your friends won't let you play, just go realllly long and get a hot pretzel. 

This one has to be on your marathon list: 4 out of 4 Turkeys

Season 4: The One With Chandler In A Box

After kissing Joey's girlfriend, Chandler spends Thanksgiving in a box to prove his friendship. When Monica gets ice in her eye, she meets a hot ophthalmologist who happens to be her ex-boyfriend's...son. The gang chooses their Secret Santas (which is also my family's tradition!) and Ross and Rachel fight over why she always exchanges his gifts. There's a lot going on in this one, but it's all Thanksgiving perfection: 3 out of 4 Turkeys

Season 5: The One With All The Thanksgivings

Everyone competes for who has the worst Thanksgiving story, and we get some of the most memorable flashbacks a series has ever done (How I Met Your Mother and New Girl obviously owe A LOT to Friends, but this episode in particular pioneered the art of the flashback that is so commonly used in sitcoms today). Between two hilarious 80's Long Island Thanksgivings, Joey's head-in-a-turkey incident, and Phoebe's past lives, this is another series-best.

This one's a late-night Thanksgiving tradition for me - I gotta give it: 4 out of 4 turkeys

Season 6: The One Where Ross Gets High

To me, this is the absolute best of the bunch: Chandler and Monica are living together but have to pretend they aren't even dating since Monica's parents don't like him (yet no one seems to know exactly why). Meanwhile, Joey and Ross are trying to rush through Thanksgiving dinner so they can go drink with some hot dancers, but Rachel's attempt at dessert (a custard trifle with...beef, peas, and onions?) keeps them later than they thought. Phoebe has an inappropriate dream about Mr. Gellar, and before the end of the night, secrets about everyone have been revealed.

As Rachel would say, cooking is easy! If the recipe says boil two cups of salt, just boil two cups of salt! If you're only going to watch one, make sure it's this one: 4 out of 4 turkeys

Season 7: The One Where Chandler Doesn't Like Dogs

Phoebe brings a dog into the apartment but Chandler's fear of them causes some problems. The gang plays a game where they have to name all 50 states without looking at a map, and Ross takes it a little too seriously. Rachel's assistant, Tag, also joins everyone for dinner after a bad breakup and a little romance starts up between the two. Not one of my personal favorites, but Clunkers the adorable dog does wins it some points: 2 out of 4 turkeys

Season 8: The One With The Rumor

Brad Pitt joins everyone for Thanksgiving as Monica's newly transformed friend, Will, who used to be a nerd in high school and really hates Rachel for making his life hell. She doesn't remember him, but learns that he and Ross to created the "I Hate Rachel Club" in which they started a rumor about her being a hermaphrodite. When Monica decides not to make a turkey since no one except Joey wants one, he challenges himself to eat the entire 19 pound bird by himself (I'm with Joey: "Thanksgiving with no turkey is like Friday with no two pizzas!"). Phoebe and Chandler pretend to love football so they don't have to help Monica in the kitchen, and we get another fun Turkey Day with the crew.

This Massapequa high school reunion gets: 3 out of 4 (19lb) turkeys

Season 9: The One With Rachel's Other Sister

Christina Applegate guest stars in this one as Rachel's spoiled, self-centered sister, Amy. The fighting around the table this year centers on who will be Emma's guardian if something were to happen to Ross or Rachel, and both Chandler and Amy are offended that they're not on the list. There's cat fighting, broken china, and of course plenty of Thanksgiving fun. This one gets: 2 out of 4 turkeys

Season 10: The One With The Late Thanksgiving 

Monica and Chandler don't want the stress of cooking Thanksgiving dinner, but the rest of the group begs them to host by convincing Monica to compete with herself for the best meal ever (Monica reminds me of my mom in this one: "This dinner is going to be so great! In your face, last year me!"). But during the day, Ross and Joey sneak off to a Rangers game and Phoebe and Rachel take Emma to a baby beauty pageant so everyone gets to the apartment way too late. Monica and Chandler lock everyone out in protest, and Joey gets his head stuck in the door trying to get in.

After dinner ends up on the floor, all is forgiven when Monica and Chandler learn they're finally getting to adopt a baby! A fitting way to end the marathon: 3 out of 4 turkeys

OK! You've got the comprehensive list, now call up your best buds, and before or after your Thanksgiving-eve fun, kick the holidays off right and tune in to Nick at Nite tonight, Wednesday November 27th starting at 10, for a Thanksgiving marathon!

I hope all of your Thanksgivings are full of food, fun, family, and of course friends who'll always be there for you toooo! See you next week!


  1. I watch them all too!

    1. That's awesome! Are you psyched that all of the seasons are on Netflix now? I saw your blog too - it's great!