A look back at every ‘Friends’ Thanksgiving episode in honor of Matthew Perry

It’s still hard to believe that Matthew Perry, one of the six stars of “Friends,” died a few weeks ago.

If you’re like me, you’ve probably been watching old episodes of “Friends” to honor the late actor and the incredible work he did on the show. Since the Thanksgiving episodes of “Friends” are top tier episodes of holiday-themed television, why not watch every Thanksgiving episode of the show after you’ve filled up on turkey?

You can always watch “Friends” reruns on various cable TV networks, but if you have Max (formally HBO Max), you can watch every episode of the show, including the special Thanksgiving episodes. You can see all nine of the themed episodes below.


‘The One Where Underdog Gets Away’ (Season 1, Episode 9)

Did this episode invent the idea of a Friendsgiving? I would argue yes, because Monica and Ross don’t go home for the holiday because their parents are going on vacation, so the gang decides to do Thanksgiving together.

It’s all very cute when they all get locked out of the apartment when they head to the roof of the building, and dinner is ruined. Chandler makes everyone cheese sandwiches, and it’s all very cute and reminds us that having friends is so important. Thanks for the sandwiches, Chandler!

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‘The One With the Football’ (Season 3, Episode 9)

Since we didn’t get a Thanksgiving episode for season 2, we’re going to skip right to season 3, where the friends decide to play a rousing game of touch football on Thanksgiving. It’s a good episode, and introduces the long-running gag of Monica’s extreme competitiveness. There is truly nothing better than ultra-competitive Monica.

‘The One With Chandler in a Box” (Season 4, Episode 8)

The most memorable moment from this episode is that for basically the entire episode, Chandler is stuck in a box, thanks to Joey. Chandler kissed Joey’s girlfriend, so as punishment, he is trapped in a box for the entire Thanksgiving dinner. It’s just so funny to hear Chandler deliver joke after joke from inside a box, and only someone like Matthew Perry could provide so many jokes while not even being seen on screen.

‘The One With the Thanksgiving Flashbacks’ (Season 5, Episode 8)

When you think of a “Friends” Thanksgiving episode, it’s this one. It’s mostly because we get images of Joey and Monica with a raw turkey attached to their heads, but it’s also because “Friends” loved a flashback episode, and this is basically what this episode is. We learn why Chandler hates Thanksgivings, how Monica accidentally cut off Chandler’s toe when they were younger and so much more. It’s a classic, and should be watched on every Thanksgiving day.

‘The One Where Ross Got High’ (Season 6, Episode 9)

Sure, we find out that Ross was the one that got stoned in college, and not Chandler, but this episode is really about Rachel making a trifle, but accidentally combines the dessert with a Shepherd’s Pie, because the pages of the cookbook got stuck together. It’s such a Rachel thing to happen, that you can’t help but laugh at Jennifer Aniston’s performance. Plus, Chandler’s excitement over Ross being outed as the secret college stoner is just so good. Now Ross’ parents don’t hate Chandler anymore!

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‘The One Where Chandler Doesn’t Like Dogs’ (Season 7, Episode 8)

Out of all the Thanksgiving episodes, this is probably my least favorite, although it is a Chandler-specific one. However, Chandler is pretty grumpy in this episode, and that’s mostly due to the fact that Phoebe brings over a dog, and Chandler doesn’t like it. It is pretty funny, though, when Ross won’t eat Thanksgiving food until he correctly remembers all 50 states. Such a Ross thing to do.

‘The One With the Rumor’ (Season 8, Episode 9)

This one might as well have been called “The One Where Brad Pitt Guest Stars,” because that is what exactly happens in this episode. Pitt, who was married to Aniston at the time, stars as a dorky friend of Monica’s from high school who got really hot after graduation. It turns out he was the one who came up with a problematic and nasty rumor about Rachel, which Ross apparently helped spread.

Ross and Rachel fight, but the episode is saved by Joey, who challenges himself to eat an entire turkey on his own. Never change, Joey. Never change.

‘The One With Rachel’s Other Sister’ (Season 9, Episode 8)

Christina Applegate guest stars as one of Rachel’s sisters, and all hell breaks loose at Thanksgiving. This is a funny episode, but it also has a lot of fighting in it, which isn’t so fun to watch. Applegate’s character is upset because she wasn’t picked to take care of Emma if Ross and Rachel both die. That, of course, goes to Monica and Chandler. But then Chandler gets upset, because if Monica dies before him, then Ross’ parents will get Emma, and not Chandler. It’s a lot of talk about death on such a silly and funny show.

‘The One With the Late Thanksgiving’ (Season 10, Episode 8)

As this was the last Thanksgiving episode we’d get on “Friends,” the writers knew they had to pull at our heartstrings, and that they did. Monica and Chandler decide to host their friends, but everyone is late for various reasons. Chandler and Monica are obviously annoyed, but all of that changes when the group finds out that the couple will get to become adoptive parents. It’s such a tear jerker, especially for the show’s last season.


Do you have a favorite “Friends” Thanksgiving episode? Will you be watching them all on Thanksgiving? Let us know in the comments below!