There are 9 Friends Thanksgiving episodes, which means there’s approximately three hours of television that you’ve probably seen countless times before, for you to binge-watch on Turkey Day, while ignoring family, friends, obligations, or the shocking whiteness of the show’s version of New York City.
We’re not here today to debate whether Friends is good (that comes next week) but to rank the Thanksgiving episodes in order because that’s what the holidays are all about. Arguing over inconsequential things passionately and loudly.
So without further delay, here’s the definitive ranking of Friends episodes, because making this ranking absolutely always leads to better arguments. Duh.
#9 - Season 7, Episode 8: “The One Where Chandler Doesn’t Like Dogs”
This episode is so forgettable I had to look it up to remind myself what it’s about, although it’s all in the title. Phoebe is hiding a dog for Thanksgiving, which Chandler isn’t happy about. Who hates dogs? Chandler, apparently.
#8 - Season 1, Episode 9: “The One Where the Underdog Gets Away”
This is a bummertown episode where all of the Friends get stranded in the city and ultimately come together to understand the true spirit of Thanksgiving. K. Better than hating on dogs, I guess.
#7 - Season 10, Episode 8: “The One With the Late Thanksgiving”
This one always gets me down, too, because how hard is it to be on time for a dinner someone spent hours preparing for you? Monica was right to lock the door on them. Perhaps she should have done that more frequently. I’m starting to think that while I have fond memories of the Friends Thanksgiving episodes, only a few are actually good?
#6 - Season 4, Episode 8: “The One With Chandler in a Box”
This one gets ranked higher than it should because Michael Vartan guest stars as Richard’s son, and he’s always been kind of foxy, so that’s a chit in this ep’s favor. A knock against? Chandler is in a massive box for kissing Joey’s ex-girlfriend. K.
#5 - Season 9, Episode 8: “The One With Rachel’s Other Sister”
I always enjoy the Rachel-sister episodes because the Greens are horrible people and having more than one of them on the screen at the same time always drives that home. This is also the one where Monica’s wedding china gets broken at the end, which this type of gag usually makes me cringe for the character, but in this case, it’s always funny.
#4 - Season 8, Episode 9: “The One With the Rumor”
Ah, the Brad Pitt episode and the “I Hate Rachel” club. This is a solid episode because it involves making fun of Rachel, and Joey taking it upon himself to eat massive quantities of Turkey.
#3 - Season 5, Episode 8: “The One With All the Thanksgivings”
I will never not love the flashback episodes of Friends—even though they have not aged well at all. Going through this list, I realize I only really actively like the top three episodes and all of the others are only OK, and yet, Friends is well-known for having good Thanksgiving episodes, so that’s a surprise for me (and possibly you.)
#2 - Season 3, Episode 9: “The One With the Football”
This is one of my favorite episodes of all time, because I feel the sibling rivalry of Ross and Monica down to my core. I even remember at the time this episode aired, in 1996, trying to track down Phoebe’s That Girl shirt, so this one will never not hold a special place in my heart, and this list, which leads me to the best Thanksgiving episode of all time…
#1 - Season 6, Episode 9: “The One Where Ross Got High”
This is the one where Rachel messes up the trifle and Joey eats it happily anyway. That alone makes it the best, but Judy’s speech to the group, breaking down everyone’s deficiencies that Thanksgiving, is what really cements its top placement as the best Friends Thanksgiving episode.
Happy Thanksgiving, everyone! I’ll see you here next year when I do this post again, only switching up the order and then pretending this years’ post never happened. Until then!