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The Student News Site of Northern Illinois University

Northern Star

Poll: Which ‘Friends’ Thanksgiving episode is best?

Cameras point towards the set for the Central Perk cafe from the hit ‘90s show “Friends.” Which “Friends” Thanksgiving episode is the best? (Clément Proust | Pexels)

The iconic ‘90s sitcom “Friends” had one Thanksgiving episode in each of its 10 seasons; but unfortunately, all of them could not be included in this poll. 

Which of these five “Friends” Thanksgiving episodes is the best? 

“The One Where Underdog Gets Away” (SEASON 1, EPISODE 9) 

The friends are experiencing their first Thanksgiving together, and it doesn’t go as planned. Originally, they each intended to spend the holiday with their respective families. 

Ross and Monica’s parents are out of town, so they decide to have Thanksgiving at Monica and Rachel’s apartment. 

Joey planned to spend the holiday with his family, but with a poster that shows him having a sexually transmitted disease hung all over Time Square, his family uninvited him to dinner. 

Phoebe celebrates two Thanksgivings: one in December with her grandmother who uses the lunar calendar, and Monica’s Thanksgiving. 

Chandler, of course, is boycotting everything Thanksgiving, as his childhood memories of the holiday are too traumatizing to indulge in the delicious foods. 

The friends are hanging out in the apartment when Chandler exclaims the Underdog balloon – from the Macy’s Thanksgiving Day Parade – has broken loose. 

They all travel to the roof to get a closer look at the balloon, only to find Rachel forgot the keys; they are locked out of the apartment with food on the stove. 

Each of them are frustrated with how their holiday has turned out, but when Phoebe spots Ugly Naked Guy with Ugly Naked Girl, they are reminded that their friendship is far more important. 

“The One With the Football” (SEASON 3, EPISODE 9) 

This Thanksgiving, the friends decide to play their own football game in the park. Ross and Monica are hesitant to play because when they were kids they were far too competitive, and their parents banned them from playing. After begging from the rest of the gang, Ross and Monica agree to play. 

For teams, Monica picks Phoebe and Joey while Ross picks Chandler and Rachel, who is last to be chosen. 

As they play, Joey and Chandler meet a Dutch woman and begin competing for her attention. The woman eventually chose Chandler, but when he does a victory dance, she changes her mind and picks Joey. 

Monica’s team takes the lead and a last minute switch between Joey and Rachel creates a battle of the sexes. Phoebe pulls up her shirt and flashes the boys to distract them. 

During the last few seconds of the game, Monica throws the ball to Rachel, but Rachel fails to get it to their makeshift goal. Monica and Ross dive for the ball. They both hold on for several hours, even as the rest of the gang has left, and it starts to snow. 

“The One with All the Thanksgivings” (SEASON 5, EPISODE 8) 

This particular Thanksgiving episode is full of flashbacks of the gang’s previous Thanksgivings. In current time, each friend is telling the story of their worst Thanksgiving. 

Ross complains about his divorce, again, and eviction, claiming he had the worst Thanksgiving ever. 

Chandler reminds everyone about the year his parents told him they were getting divorced at the Thanksgiving table.

Phoebe tells a story of her past life during a war where she loses an arm attending to a soldier. Ross disqualifies her story because it wasn’t in her current lifetime. Phoebe then tells the story of when Joey gets his head stuck in a turkey trying to scare Chandler. 

Monica tells the story of when she overheard Chandler calling her fat. After hearing the story, Chandler apologizes to Monica, but Rachel cuts in saying that isn’t Monica’s worst Thanksgiving. 

A story is told about the year Monica wanted to get revenge on Chandler for calling her fat. Monica has lost a lot of weight since the previous Thanksgiving and attempts to seduce Chandler by acting as if everything turns her on. Monica accidentally drops a knife on Chandler’s foot, and he loses a toe. 

Upon hearing this story, Chandler is upset to learn the reason he lost his toe was because he called Monica fat. Monica decides to put a turkey on her head to cheer him up. As he laughs, Chandler admits he loves Monica which he then tries to awkwardly take back. 

“The One Where Ross Got High” (SEASON 6, EPISODE 9)

“The One Where Ross Got High” is a memorable episode where the Gellers go to the apartment for Thanksgiving, Rachel puts beef in the trifle, Phoebe loves Jacques Cousteau, and Joey wants to go. 

Ross and Monica’s parents visit for Thanksgiving, and Monica wants Ross to admit that it was him smoking weed in college, not Chandler. Ross is hesitant to be honest, but Monica forces him to tell the truth and begins spilling more of her brother’s secrets. 

The siblings go back and forth spilling each other’s secrets, and the rest of the gang begins spilling their own thoughts. 

“The One with the Rumor” (SEASON 8, EPISODE 9) 

“The One with the Rumor,” also known as “The One With Brad Pitt,” is full of drama. 

Rachel is pregnant with Ross’ baby, so all poultry repulses her, Chandler hates Thanksgiving food and Phoebe doesn’t eat meat, so Monica decided to not cook a turkey this year. Joey is appalled by the mere suggestion of no turkey for Thanksgiving. Joey claims that if Monica makes a turkey, he will eat the entire thing. 

Monica invites an old friend from high school, Will, to the meal. Will (Brad Pitt) arrives looking as handsome as ever, and Rachel can’t believe that she doesn’t remember him from high school. 

Throughout the dinner, Will acts completely hostile toward Rachel. It is eventually revealed that Will and Ross created the “I Hate Rachel Green Club” in high school and even started a rumor that Rachel was an intersex individual.  

Rachel is shocked by the rumor, and Chandler is shocked to learn the rumor he heard was about Rachel. She claims she never did anything in high school to hurt Ross, but Monica reminds Rachel that she started her own rumor about Ross. 

Rachel told her classmates that Ross had a relationship with their 50-year-old librarian, Mrs. Altman. Ross – shocked – gasps and blurts that the rumor is true. 

This poll has ended.

Which "Friends" Thanksgiving episode is best?


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Results of last week’s poll:
Which Harry Potter Defence against  the Dark Arts Professor was best? 

Remus Lupin – 57%
Severus Snape – 29%
Quirinus Quirrell – 10%
Gilderoy Lockhart –  5%


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