No show in the history of television can compete with Friends when it comes to Thanksgiving episodes. The show featured one for each one of its 10 seasons and turned the holiday into a Friends annual event in the process. While not every episode is chock full of amazing turkey day moments — I'm looking at you Season 2's "The One With List" — there are more than enough unforgettable Thanksgiving Friends moments to go around. From Chandler doing time in a box to a late series visit from Brad Pitt, the Friends gang never had an uneventful Thanksgiving.
With 10 episodes worth of material to choose from, picking the absolute best moments is no easy task. Monica took her hosting duties seriously, so I'm going to blame her for the event filled feasts, football games, and parade mishaps that defined the series' Thanksgiving outings. Don't get me wrong, I'm thankful for the bounty of holiday episode goodness on display. Thanksgiving just wouldn't be Thanksgiving without Monica, Chandler, Ross, Rachel, Phoebe, and Joey. Picking the best 14 moments is the hard part, but sacrifices must be made in the name of list assemblage, and, by my calculations, those below are the very best Thanksgiving moments Friends has to offer.
1. Chandler Tells Monica He Loves Her, Season 5
Chandler and Monica's relationship was still new when Monica revealed the chain of events that lead to her cutting off part of Chandler's toe in a memory of Thanksgiving past. In order to make it up to him, neat freak Monica puts her head in a turkey to say she's sorry. She gets more than forgiveness when Chandler blurts out he loves her in a moment that is way more romantic than anything involving someone having their head in a turkey has any right to be.
2. Chandler Stays In The Box While Kathy Breaks Up With Him, Season 4
Even when his heart is getting crushed, Chandler remains silent in his box out of respect to his friendship with Joey. The moment is unexpectedly moving and a testament to the fact that while girlfriends came and went, Joey and Chandler were forever.
3. Joey Eats Rachel's Trifle, Season 6
By all accounts, Rachel's trifle/shepherd's pie mashup was a disaster, but not according to Joey. His proclamation: "custard, good, jam, good, meat, good!" should be the rallying cry of food lovers everywhere.
4. Rachel Finds Out There Was An "I Hate Rachel Green" Club, Season 8
Brad Pitt's hilarious guest spot as Rachel, Ross, and Monica's formerly overweight high school classmate Will culminates in Rachel finding out there was an "I Hate Rachel Green" club. The best part is, hands down, when Will reveals there were only two members and Ross was one of them. That's just what everyone wants to hear about the father of their child, right?
5. Joey Puts On Maternity Pants To Eat A Whole Turkey, Season 8
Precious few things have ever made me laugh harder than Joey heroically walking into Monica and Chandler's apartment wearing Phoebe's old maternity pants so he could polish off an entire turkey.
6. Monica & Ross Refuse To Let Go Of The Football, Season 3
Long after the rest of the gang lost interest in their touch football game, Ross and Monica still held onto the football proving sibling rivalries never truly die — they just lay dormant until national holidays.
7. The Gang's First Grownup Thanksgiving, Season 1
I love the final scene of the first Thanksgiving episode where all the friends sit down and eat their first Thanksgiving dinner together. The fact that the dinner consists of wine, grilled cheese sandwiches, and Funyuns makes it all the more special.
8. Rachel & Amy Break All Off Monica's Wedding China, Season 9
Rachel and her sister Amy were basically the worst dinner guests ever. However, they get massive bonus points for bringing out Monica's neurotic side as she desperately tried to protect her precious wedding china from the destructive duo.
9. Monica & Chandler Find Out They're Getting A Baby, Season 10
It is impossible not to get weepy when Monica and Chandler get the news there is a birth mother willing to let them adopt her baby. It was definitely a Thanksgiving miracle for the whole gang.
10. The Geller Cup Reveal, Season 3
The prized Geller Cup was the creepiest thing ever, but yet it turned both Monica and Ross into certified Gollums.
11. Monica Kisses Richard's Son, Season 4
The most awkward kiss scene ever occurs between Monica and the adorable, but also sadly Richard's son, Timothy. "It wouldn't be Thanksgiving without a little emotional scarring, right?" Timothy jokes after Monica admits he kisses like his dad and Timothy confesses Monica reminds him of his mother.
12. Ross Can't Remember All 50 States, Season 7
Only Ross would get absorbed in a Thanksgiving challenge to name all 50 states. His increasing frustration over his inability to figure out which state he is forgetting is easily the highlight of the episode.
13. Joey Gets His Head Stuck In Monica's Turkey, Season 5
Joey's flashback to the Thanksgiving when he got his head stuck in Monica's turkey is so quintessentially Joey, I can't help but love it.
14. Ross's Thanksgiving Sandwich Is Stolen, Season 5
OK, Ross' special Thanksgiving sandwich, The Moist Maker, wasn't stolen in a Thanksgiving episode. Instead there was an entire episode devoted to Ross' quest to find the perpetrator and it was amazing. But it was a Thanksgiving sandwich.
See, I told you Thanksgiving just wouldn't be Thanksgiving without your favorite Friends.