Friends was one of the few shows in the 90s/early 00s that was unafraid to show its love for gay fans.
With a lot of LGBTI people choosing to tuck into their turkey with friends this year, take a moment to remember the show that made you realise that doing that was a great way to spend the holiday.
After all, for 10 years, Thanksgiving on television was Friends.
Some of the best episodes in the show’s history were based around the holiday, forcing the six to come together and realise what they are thankful for – and that normally meant each other. And they also included some of its best LGBTI moments (and admittedly, one of its worst).
Every single year they served up some craziness, competition, love and dysfunction to celebrate the holiday.
Disagree with our rankings? Leave a comment below and tell us what you think.
10) The One With The Rumor
Shock boot? Otherwise known as The One With Brad Pitt, this is probably one of the most famous episodes due to Jennifer Aniston’s ex-husband’s appearance.
Pitt plays an ex-fat kid that hated Rachel, who then reveals he, Ross and an exchange student from Thailand spread a rumor in high school that she was the ‘hermaphrodite cheerleader from Long Island’. The latter part of this takes up a big part of the episode.
It’s a (mostly) funny episode, and Pitt fits in quite well. However, intersex groups were furious with the episode, calling it offensive. So with 2014 thinking, it doesn’t exactly age well.
Best Quote: Chandler: ‘I’m sorry. When you were in high school you made out with a 50-year-old woman?’ Ross: ‘She didn’t look 50!’ Chandler: ‘Did she look sixteen?’
9) The One Where Chandler Doesn’t Like Dogs
Some of the best Friends moments happen when the writers have fun with the characters’ back stories, the quiz being the most famous example.
In the season 7 Thanksgiving episode, they tried to do this again: Chandler doesn’t like dogs, not even puppies, oh and Ross hates ice cream. Not exactly Mrs Chanandler Bong.
There are some brilliant moments in this episode: Ross trying to figure out all 50 US states, Phoebe’s cough bark, Rachel and Tag. But Friends knew how to do great Thanksgiving episodes, and there are far better episodes to come.
Best Quote: Rachel: ‘A moo point?’ Joey: ‘Yeah, it’s like a cow’s opinion, you know, it just doesn’t matter. It’s “moo”.’
8) The One With The Late Thanksgiving
Season 10 had its weak moments, but this one proved Friends could still be funny in its final season. Everyone pressures Monica and Chandler to host Thanksgiving, and then they all show up late.
It starts slow but picks up pace when they all finally get back to the apartment and the door is locked. With floating heads, the foam hand and cranberry sauce about to be ruined, it’s a great scene.
Best Quote: Phoebe: ‘It’s locked.’ Ross: ‘Oh, sure, now they lock it, but when they’re having sex on the couch it’s like, “Come on in, my butt is surprisingly hairy!”‘
7) The One With Chandler In A Box
Joey is angry at Chandler after a girl has come between them. To think about what he’s done, Chandler’s left to sit out Thanksgiving in a box.
To make it a little bit more odd, Monica invites her ex-boyfriend’s son (‘it’s like inviting a Greek tragedy over for dinner’).
What you think of this episode matters hugely on what you think of the long-running storylines in the fourth season. If you love it, great, but it stops it from becoming a standalone classic.
Best Quote: Monica: ‘Fine! Judge all you want to but, [points to Ross] married a lesbian, [points to Rachel] left a man at the altar, [points to Phoebe] fell in love with a gay ice dancer, [points to Joey] threw a girl’s wooden leg in a fire, [points to the box Chandler’s in] lives in a box!’
6) The One With The List
In the second season Thanksgiving episode, Ross makes a list of the pros and cons to decide between Rachel and Julie. It’s one of the most important episodes in the Ross/Rachel saga.
There’s some great moments, such as Jennifer Aniston and David Schwimmer working their butts off in this episode (‘just a waitress?’).
The beginning where it points out the ‘differences’ between men and women after a date is also hilarious. (but would Monica really get that…excited about her brother getting with someone?).
Also, we are introduced to Mockolate (‘Oh, sweet Lord! This is what evil must taste like!’).
Best Quote: Chandler: ‘Oh this must be so hard. “Oh no, two women love me. They’re both gorgeous and sexy. My wallet’s too small for my fifties AND MY DIAMOND SHOES ARE TOO TIGHT”.’
5) The One Where Underdog Gets Away
The first and one of the best. Monica and Ross’ parents tell them they’ll have to do Thanksgiving on their own, and steadily the other four’s plans go awry. Rachel can’t afford a ticket to go skiing, Joey’s family thinks he has VD, Chandler hates the holiday anyway and Phoebe says she observes the holiday in December as her Grandma’s boyfriend is Lunar.
With the six all together somewhat reluctantly, they then get locked out of Monica’s apartment.
It set the tone for what would be a Thanksgiving tradition.
Best Quote: Chandler: ‘I guess what I’m trying to say is that I’m very thankful that all of your Thanksgivings sucked’. All: ‘That’s so sweet’. Ross: ‘And hey, here’s to a lousy Christmas.’ Rachel: ‘And a crappy New Year!’