Magical moments of giving: Bonnie Stone and Kris Lane give gifts to random people. It has helped Lane cope with the loss of a grandchild.


All but one season of the hit TV show "Friends" featured a Thanksgiving episode.

Airing Thursdays, it was a natural fit for the program that aired on NBC from 1994 to 2004. Most of the episodes include a holiday dinner, often with football and parade references along with Chandler Bing's disdain for Thanksgiving.

Each Thanksgiving episode offers the characters in their truest forms and ideas for throwing a Friendsgiving, a popular way to celebrate the holiday, particularly among millennials.

Rankings have been done before, so there's no use in trying to quantify the difference between an episode that guest-starred Christina Applegate versus one with Brad Pitt. Below are the noteworthy reminders of why you should log in to Netflix this holiday season or dust off those old DVDs. Some channels even present a Friends Thanksgiving episode marathon.

Season 1: The One where Underdog Gets Away 

This sets the tone for Thanksgiving episodes on the show as everyone's plans are derailed and they are left to sit around the table and be thankful for being together. Forever cynical about the holiday, Chandler gives a toast over a meal of grilled cheese and Funyuns about how thankful he is that everyone's Thanksgiving sucked. 

Friendsgiving tip: Maybe you're missing a family gathering because you can't travel or have to work. Maybe your Friendsgiving is a bonus celebration. Regardless, make it about friends and celebrate fellowship, no matter the circumstances.

Season 3: The One with the Football 

One of the rare Thanksgiving episodes that takes place primarily outside Monica's apartment, this one features the gang playing a competitive game of football that stems from Ross and Monica's childhood rivalry and their quest for the Geller Cup. 

Friendsgiving tip: Play some backyard football.

Season 4: The One with Chandler in a Box 

Chandler is sentenced to several hours in a wooden crate as his punishment for kissing Joey's girlfriend. Monica invites her ex-boyfriend's son to dinner. While being criticized for the awkwardness of dating her ex's son, Monica fires back at her friends, making for a comical review of each person's failed relationships.

Friendsgiving tip: Forgive and forget.

Season 5: The One with All the Thanksgivings 

This Thanksgiving special revisits Chandler met Monica's initial meeting, when she was heavier. He made fun of her, and in an attempt to embarrass him the following year, his toe was accidentally cut off. 

While people say a TV program doesn't advance during a flashback episode, this one progresses Chandler and Monica's relationship significantly.

Friendsgiving tip: Spend time reminiscing about memorable Thanksgivings, be them good or bad.

Season 6: The One where Ross Got High 

Chandler finds out Monica's parents don't like him before hosting them for Thanksgiving dinner. In an attempt to figure out why, Ross remembers that he got high in college and blamed Chandler. While telling their parents the truth, Ross and Monica end up viciously spilling long-kept childhood secrets and some current ones as well.

Friendsgiving tip: Double check your recipes. Don't put beef, peas and onions in a trifle like Rachel did.

Season 7: The One where Chandler Doesn't Like Dogs 

Chandler gets everyone to try to list every state in six minutes, which drives Ross crazy after he says he won't eat until he gets all 50. Joey declares himself, "the new champ of Chandler's dumb states game," before telling everyone he listed 56 states. 

Friendsgiving tip: Make it fun with creative games, decorations or themed attire.

Season 8: The One with the Rumor 

Brad Pitt guest stars as Will, a former nerd who lost 150 pounds. Even years later, he still loathes Rachel for being mean to him when they were in high school. Rachel is surprised to find out that Will and Ross co-founded the "I hate Rachel Green Club" and spread a rumor that she "had both male and female reproductive parts." 

Friendsgiving tip: Invite old friends.

Season 9: The One with Rachel's Other Sister 

Rachel's ditzy sister, Amy, portrayed by Christina Applegate, crashes the gang's Thanksgiving, which turns into a heated debate of who would get to care for Ross and Rachel's baby, Emma. 

Friendsgiving tip: It's OK to mix friends and family.

Season 10: The One with the Late Thanksgiving 

Phoebe challenges Monica to outdo her previous Thanksgiving dinner. Chandler and Monica get mad at everyone for showing up late, but their anger melts when they get a call that an expectant mother is considering them for adoption.

Friendsgiving tip: It's about being together, but don't be afraid to celebrate other achievements like engagements, expecting a kid or a new job. But unlike the friends in this one, be on time.

Contact Mark Walters at 771-2032 or follow him on Twitter at @walt_walters.

Read or Share this story: