‘Friends’ series still touching fans’ hearts ten years later



Meg Miller

If you had to guess which Emmy-winning show lasted 236 episodes, 10 years, catapulted its stars to fame and is celebrating its 10-year anniversary of the finale, what show would it be? That’s right, “Friends.” The timeless classic won over the hearts of viewers just as much in 1994 when it controversially premiered as it does today when college students are watching reruns on TBS and Nick at Nite for the first time. Throughout these 236 episodes, there were countless relationships, heartbreaks, marriages (Ross…), careers, scandals and memories made, but the 10 episodes that are deemed most memorable by fans and by the cast members themselves are the hilariously heartwarming episodes that occur each and every Thanksgiving. 

Unfortunately the rumors of a Thanksgiving episode reunion this year are not true, but we are lucky enough to get to relive the 10 Thanksgiving episodes each year through the TBS marathon that makes you question whether it is really worth it to pull yourself away from the TV to go to your cousin’s house for turkey dinner. For those “Friends” virgins out there (shame on you), I’ll give you some advice and a quick synopsis about which ones you should be sure to set the DVR for next Thursday. Season three, season eight and season nine stake claim on the best Friends Thanksgiving episodes out there. 

“The One with the Football” takes third place as Monica and Ross relive their childhood rivalry and compete for the ultimate prize, the Gellar Cup. The gang separates into teams captained by Ross and Monica themselves and hilarity ensues. Among the highlights are Chandler and Joey competing for the attention of a Dutch observer on the sidelines, Rachel and Pheobe partaking in (presumably) their first sporting event ever and getting a deeper look into the competitive nature of Ross and Monica’s relationship. 

Taking second place is “The One with Rachel’s Other Sister,” in which we finally meet Rachel’s other sister, Amy, played by Christina Applegate. Amy’s character exemplifies everything that Rachel turned away from when she moved in with Monica and comically lets us get a glimpse into what Rachel could be like if she didn’t have her friends. 

Highlights include Amy’s constant confusion over Rachel’s daughter, Emma’s, gender and name, a discussion of who would obtain custody of Emma should anything happen to Ross and Rachel (much to Chandler’s dismay) and Monica allowing Chandler to set the table with the “fancy” china previously deemed only usable for the queen. 

Though those episodes are great, by far the best Thanksgiving episode of Friends is “The One with the Rumor.” Since everything about this episode is amazing, it’s really impossible to give you the highlights, but I think saying that Brad Pitt is the guest star could entice anyone to watch. Jennifer Aniston’s then husband, Pitt, played Will, Ross’s high school best friend and, ironically, Rachel’s worst enemy (unbeknownst to her). 

The episode takes place at the beginning of Rachel’s pregnancy with Ross, news of which shocks Will and causes him to reveal that he and Ross were in an “I hate Rachel Greene club” in high school. Throughout the episode we learn more about their high school hatred of Rachel, which prompted them to spread a rumor about her that even spread to Chandler’s high school. 

Will’s newfound attractiveness (he was obese in high school) however does not go unnoticed to all of the characters, causing jealousy in the men, and love in the women, especially Pheobe who requests that he “take off his shirt and tell us” about the rumor that they started. 

Each Thanksgiving episode of Friends is amazing in its own right, but that is to be assumed of a show which thrived for 10 seasons on the air and is still one of the most popular shows on television. Though all of the Thanksgiving episodes do not necessarily have the most uplifting stories (we all remember Chandler and Monica’s worst Thanksgivings), they each share a quality of unity and family that we all search for around Thanksgiving. 

Despite not all being related by blood, through the seasons they become each other’s family and exemplify the warmth and care that everyone is seeking around the holidays. So here’s to a great Thanksgiving filled with family, food and “Friends.”