Spending Thanksgiving With "Friends"...
Because of my TV obsession, when I think “Thanksgiving,” I don’t think about my family gathered around the table.
I think about “Friends”…
This year my wish was finally going to be granted with the release of a “Friends” Thanksgiving DVD (Yes, I know I have all of the season sets, but it’s just not the same.). But apparently, the previous single DVD releases were a bust, so Warner Brothers changed their plans.
Since these episodes are so much a part of my holiday, I thought I would take a minute to stroll down memory lane and rank them from my least favorite to my favorite. Note there are only nine because there was no Thanksgiving episode in season two…
9) “The One with the Late Thanksgiving” (Season 10)
Joey, Phoebe, Rachel and Ross all have other things to do, so they show up late for dinner. Since the beauty of these episodes is all the friends together, this one was a bit disappointing—especially for the last one.
8) “The One Where Chandler Hates Dogs” (Season 7)
When Phoebe sneaks a dog into Monica and Chandler’s apartment, Chandler is forced to admit that he hates dogs. And Ross becomes obsessed with Chandler’s “Name the States” game, while Rachel makes her move on Tag—thanks to Joey. Again, the friends are split up for much of the episode and the dog thing just really doesn’t work for me.
7) “The One Where Underdog Gets Away” (Season 1)
Due to a variety of circumstances, Monica ends up cooking dinner for everyone. However, they all have different potato requests (except for Chandler who hates Thanksgiving), driving Monica crazy. But dinner is ruined when they’re all locked out of Monica’s apartment after going to see the Underdog balloon that got away from the parade. This was the first episode where I really got a sense this show was going to be something special.
6) “The One With the Football” (Season 3)
When the other friends decide to play touch football, Ross and Monica try to put aside their competitive ways and join in. But things turn ugly when Joey and Chandler fight over a girl and Monica challenges Ross for the “Geller Cup” (which is a troll doll attached to a piece of wood). This one has some classic moments, including Rachel’s big play that doesn’t quite end the way you think it would.
5) The One With Rachel’s Other Sister” (Season 9)
Christina Applegate won an Emmy for her portrayal of Rachel’s sister, Amy, who causes trouble for everyone when she gets the crazy idea that she should raise Emma if Ross and Rachel died. The mix of sweetness and humor (mostly at Chandler’s expense) are a perfect combination.
4) “The One With All the Thanksgivings” (Season 5)
It’s a trip down memory lane as we see the first time Monica and Rachel met Chandler. It was a slight rewrite of history, but seeing Courteney Cox in the fat suit and Jennifer Aniston in that nose is always fun. Plus, Monica’s attempt to “seduce” Chandler is a classic and I always laugh when they bang his severed toe against the ER door.
3) “The One With Chandler in a Box” (Season 4)
After Chandler kisses Joey’s girlfriend, Kathy, Joey punishes him by putting him in a box. Plus, Monica invites Richard’s son (Michael Vartan) to dinner as her date. I really like this one for its sentimentality and the relationship between Joey and Chandler.
2) “The One With the Rumor” (Season 8)
Monica invites Will (Brad Pitt), an old friend from high school, to dinner. The problem is that he hates Rachel, who discovers Will and Ross formed an “I Hate Rachel” club in high school and started an ugly rumor about her. Not every major guest star the show had worked out (like Bruce Willis), but this one did. However, I admit it’s a little hard to watch now.
1) “The One Where Ross Got High” (Season 6)
Chandler tries to impress Monica’s parents so she can tell them they live together; but instead, he discovers that they don’t like him because they think he got high in their house. But when Monica outs Ross as the real culprit, a flurry of secrets come out. Plus, Rachel screws up the Thanksgiving dessert. This is one of my favorite episodes of all-time, as those 30 seconds of secret flying are one of the funniest sequences ever.
TBS is scheduled to do a mini-marathon on Thanksgiving Day with “The One Where Ross Got High” (8 p.m.), “The One Where Chandler Hates Dogs” (8:30 p.m.), and “The One With All the Thanksgivings” (9 p.m.).
However you spend your Thanksgiving, I wish you and yours a happy one. I’ll be taking the rest of the week off; but I’ll be back on Monday…