Every “Friends” Thanksgiving Episode, Ranked

Could there be a better show to marathon on Thanksgiving than “Friends?”

“Friends” is a classic show to watch on turkey day, since each season had an episode devoted to the holiday. It doesn’t hurt that it’s a crowd-pleasing watch for the whole family, too.


This year, the viewing experience will be especially poignant, since Matthew Perry, who played Chandler, died at age 54 on Oct. 28.

All of his former co-stars paid tribute to him on Instagram, with Jennifer Aniston writing an especially heartfelt remembrance: “I talk to you every day… sometimes I can almost hear you saying ‘could you BE any crazier?’” she wrote. “Rest little brother. You always made my day.”

In classic Joey-and-Chandler fashion, Matt LeBlanc cracked a joke in his tribute, writing, “I guess you’re keeping the 20 bucks you owe me.”

Whether you want to pay tribute to Perry, or you just want to enjoy a “Friends”-filled holiday, here’s a ranking of the ultimate “Friends” Thanksgiving episodes.

Matt LeBlanc, Lisa Kudrow, Jennifer Aniston, David Schwimmer, Matthew Perry and Courteney Cox on “Friends.”

Ross outside the "Friends" apartment with a list.

Ross (David Schwimmer) and his list in “The One With the List.”

10. “The One With the List

This Season 2 episode aired shortly in the series’ timeline after Ross (David Schwimmer) and Rachel (Aniston) had their first kiss. In it, Ross makes a “pros and cons” list about pursuing the relationship — and things go unsurprisingly sideways when she finds it. It’s a fun episode, and gives a reminder that Ross and Rachel’s epic roller coaster of a romance was a cornerstone of the series. But, though there’s a Thanksgiving-themed subplot with Monica (Courteney Cox), this episode feels more “Ross and Rachel”-centric. There are better episodes about the holiday.

 David Schwimmer, Lisa Kudrow, Matt LeBlanc, Courteney Cox, Matthew Perry, Jennifer Aniston, 'The One With The Late Thanksgiving', (

David Schwimmer, Lisa Kudrow, Matt LeBlanc, Courteney Cox, Matthew Perry and Jennifer Aniston in “The One With The Late Thanksgiving.”

9. “The One With the Late Thanksgiving”

In this Season 10 episode, Monica and Chandler try to get out of hosting Thanksgiving, Phoebe manipulates them into hosting it anyway and they get annoyed when the others are all late — leading Monica to lock everyone out. It’s another good episode, but not the most memorable among the Thanksgiving-themed ones, and doesn’t have a colorful guest star.

Courteney Cox, Matthew Perry, Christina Applegate, David Schwimmer, Jennifer Aniston, 'The One With Rachel's Other Sister',
Courteney Cox, Matthew Perry, Christina Applegate, David Schwimmer and Jennifer Aniston in “The One With Rachel’s Other Sister.”

8. “The One With Rachel’s Other Sister”

In this Season 9 episode, Rachel’s sister (Christina Applegate) comes to dinner and offends everyone. Chandler (Perry) wants Monica to use their wedding china for the meal, but Monica refuses. Meanwhile, Joey realizes that he was supposed to be at the Macy’s Thanksgiving Day Parade, and Phoebe (Lisa Kudrow) helps him come up with an outlandish excuse for missing it.

 Elliott Gould, Christina Pickles, David Schwimmer, Matthew Perry, Courteney Cox, 'The One Where Ross Got High."
Elliott Gould, Christina Pickles, David Schwimmer, Matthew Perry and Courteney Cox in “The One Where Ross Got High.”

7. “The One Where Ross Got High”

In this Season 6 episode, Monica is keeping her relationship with Chandler a secret from her parents, who, it turns out, disapprove of him for smoking pot in college, though in fact Ross was the culprit. So, Monica and Chandler try to convince Ross to fess up. Rachel also has a classic cooking disaster — relatable.

Matthew Perry, Courteney Cox Arquette, Matt LeBlanc, Lisa Kudrow, David Schwimmer and Jennifer Aniston and Brad Pitt sitting around a table.
Matthew Perry, Courteney Cox, Matt LeBlanc, Lisa Kudrow, David Schwimmer and Jennifer Aniston and Brad Pitt in “The One With the Rumor.”

6. “The One With the Rumor”

In this Season 8 episode, Aniston’s then-husband, Brad Pitt, appears as a guest star. He plays Will, an old friend of Ross’ who comes to Thanksgiving, and turns out to hold a grudge against Rachel. He’s even created an “I Hate Rachel” club. Joey also puts on Phoebe’s maternity pants. It’s a classic episode, and Pitt is hilarious in it. But, the stunt casting of Pitt does steal the show from the core group (plus, the gag that Will hates Rachel is predicated on Pitt and Aniston being a real-life power couple at the time — without that context, the joke’s not as funny).

Monica and Phoebe smiling holding a dog in "Friends."
Monica and Phoebe with a dog in “The One Where Chandler Doesn’t Like Dogs.”

5. “The One Where Chandler Doesn’t Like Dogs” 

In this Season 7 episode, Rachel takes a date (her assistant, Tag, played by Eddie Cahill) to dinner, Ross and Chandler get into a competition to name all 50 states, and it’s revealed that Phoebe has been hiding a dog in her room, because Chandler has an aversion to the animal. It’s filled with classic shenanigans from the gang.

Matthew Perry, David Schwimmer, Courteney Cox, Matt LeBlanc, Lisa Kudrow, standing outside in a line in 'The One With the Footbal."
Matthew Perry, David Schwimmer, Courteney Cox, Matt LeBlanc and Lisa Kudrow in “The One With the Football.”

4.“The One With the Football”

In this Season 3 episode, the group decides to play football — and they find out why Monica and Ross both previously got banned — their over-aggressive competitiveness. It’s a strong episode and benefits from a change of scenery — it doesn’t take place in any of the main characters’ apartments, or in Central Perk.

Matthew Perry as Chandler Bing, David Schwimmer as Ross Geller talking.
Matthew Perry as Chandler Bing, David Schwimmer as Ross Geller in “The One with Chandler in a Box.”

3.“The One With Chandler in a Box” 

In this Season 4 episode, Joey makes Chandler spend the day in a box (for the transgression of kissing Joey’s girlfriend). Monica has a romance with a doctor, and there’s a lot of drama around Secret Santa, since Ross is offended to realize that Rachel likes to return and exchange gifts — and did so while they were dating. It’s an episode worth watching if you’re a fan of the Joey and Chandler friendship.

2.“The One Where Underdog Gets Away”

In this Season 1 episode, Monica offers to host the first Thanksgiving dinner for the group of pals. A Thanksgiving skeptic, Chandler agrees to come only if he can have his traditional meal of grilled cheese and Funyuns. There’s a subplot with Rachel trying to join her family’s ski trip, and the characters all end up getting stuck on the roof after being locked out (after going up to watch an escaped Macy’s parade balloon). It’s a classic episode filled with funny moments, absurdity and some heartwarming friendship.

Chandler and Ross facing each other.

Chandler and Ross’ flashback looks in “The One With All the Thanksgivings.”

1.“The One With All the Thanksgivings” 

This Season 5 episode ranks No. 1 because it features one of the show’s most famous visuals — Joey getting a turkey stuck on his head. It’s also full of flashbacks to everyone’s past worst Thanksgivings, which means fun bad facial hair (and the famous Monica fat suit). And, along with big laughs (Monica puts a turkey on her head, too, in another fan-favorite scene), it’s got heart — thanks to Chandler, who comes out with a love confession for Monica.




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