Since it's officially the season of giving, it's time to discuss what truly (in my eyes) is the only television gift that keeps on giving — Friends, of course. Clearly, we've all received gifts from Friends (Rachel's hair, Phoebe's musical talents, the line "we were on a break" to name a few), but what about the friends in Friends? As in, what has the Friends gang gifted to each other over the course of the series? Presents-wise, I mean.
Feel free to skip Candy Cane Lane, and take a walk with me instead down Friends memory lane, where we explore all the ways in which Rachel, Ross, Monica, Chandler, Phoebe, and Joey have gifted something special, or received something special, during their time together. (And by special, I mean hilarious, mostly.) Although it would be easy to discuss only gifts given in holiday/Christmas episodes, we will not limit ourselves here. This isn't about limits.
Today, this isn't even about Friends and its glorious ability to craft an impeccable episode, no. Because that's a given. This is about Friends and the gang's glorious ability to gift things. To each other. What's that? You agree? Perfect. Now let's move on. Here are 12 of the best gifts the Friends gang has ever given to each other.
1. Ross to Rachel: A Pin
In Season 1, Episode 24, "The One Where Rachel Finds Out," Ross gifts Rachel an expensive, vintage brooch — like the one her grandmother used to have — as a birthday gift. This moment is the declaration of Ross's love for Rachel, and arguably begins the "Ross and Rachel" epic love saga.
2. Joey & Chandler to Everyone: Things From The Gas Station
My favorite Christmas episode from the entire series. In Season 2, Episode 10, "The One With Phoebe's Dad," Joey and Chandler give the gang last minute Christmas presents they bought at a gas station (because they procrastinated, and nothing else was open obviously). And, while I understood their procrastination at a deep, fundamental level, I also marveled at their resourcefulness. The gifts are as follows: Rachel gets wiper blades and new car smell spray, Phoebe gets toilet seat covers, Ross gets two cans of soda, and Monica... gets condoms. It's all so good.
3. Joey to Chandler And Chandler To Joey: A Gold "Best Buds" Bracelet
During Season 2, Episode 14, "The One With The Prom Video," a newly employed Joey gifts Chandler a a gold bracelet that reads "Best buds." After Chandler accidentally loses the bracelet, he can't risk hurting Joey's feeling so he buys another one. Then, Chandler finds the bracelet, and has to gift the other one to Joey. So the two, much to Chandler's chagrin, become "bracelet buddies" (THAT'S WHAT THEY'LL CALL US!).
4. Ross To Joey: A White Porcelain Dog
Pat the dog! Joey first bought him when he moved into his new apartment, but, after he gets fired from Days of Our Lives in Season 2, Episode 19 "The One Where Eddie Won't Go," Joey is forced to sell everything back. Ross, feeling bad for Joey, buys the white porcelain dog as a souvenir of sorts for him to keep. And Pat the dog lives on, forever and ever and ever.
5. Everyone To Phoebe: All The Dead Christmas Trees
When Phoebe gets upset about the unloved trees at the Christmas tree lot in Season 3, Episode 10, "The One Where Rachel Quits," the friends buy all the rejected ones and give them to Phoebe.
6. Joey To Chandler: A Baby Chick
The episode "The One With A Chick And A Duck" in Season 3 marks an iconic moment for the series. After watching the news cover a story on baby chicks as gifts, Joey decides to adopt one for Chandler. Chandler attempts to return the chick, but ends up coming back with both the chick and a new duck.
7. Phoebe To Everyone: A Christmas Song
In "The One With The Girl From Poughkeepsie," Season 4, Episode 10, Phoebe gifts everyone an original holiday song, featuring all of their names. It's a classic, right up there with "Smelly Cat."
8. Chandler (But Made By Janice) To Monica: A Mixed Tape, and Monica (But Made by Phoebe) To Chandler: A Sock Bunny
Monica and Chandler agree to make each other homemade presents for Valentine's day in Season 6, Episode 17, "The One With Unagi," but both forgot to do so. In a reverse "Gift of the Magi"-like story, Chandler grabs mix tape in his closet (which happens to be one that Janice gifted him as a birthday present) and gives it to Monica, while Monica gives Chandler a sock-bunny made by Phoebe.
9. Ross To Phoebe: A Bike
In Season 7, Episode 9, "The One With All The Candy," Ross finds out that Phoebe never owned a bike, so he buys her a pink one and teaches her how to ride it. Ross, everybody. The best friend ever. Seriously, if this were a gift-giving contest, he'd win.
10. Phoebe To Joey: A Tarantula & A Drumset
Worried that Rachel won't want to move back in with Phoebe as the two had planned in the holiday episode of Season 7, Phoebe tries to make Rachel's living conditions at Joey less than ideal by gifting him a drum set and a tarantula.
11. Everyone To Rachel: A Giant Gorilla Stuffed Animal
When Emma won't stop crying in Season 9, Episode 2, "The One Where Emma Cries," the gang gifts Rachel a giant, gorilla stuffed animal that pretty much takes over the whole apartment. (OK, so technically the gift is for Emma.)
12. Phoebe To Rachel & Monica: Gladys & Glynnis
In "The One With Ross's Grant" in Season 10, Mike movies in with Phoebe, and Phoebe has to get rid of some things from her apparent. One of them being Gladys — a very creepy, painting that looks like a half-bald mannequin. Monica agrees to take the painting, but eventually tries to force it on Rachel, until Phoebe presents the two with Glynnis, an even more terrifying work of art. Eventually, Rachel ends up with Gladys, and Monica has to keep Glynnis.
Here's some advice: Whatever you end up doing for Christmas, make sure to at least give yourself the gift of a few Friends episodes.
Images: Warner Bros. Television