“The One With All The Thanksgivings” (Season 5, Episode 8)
Plot: This year our Friends spend the holiday flashing back to Thanksgivings past. Chandler remembers his father’s coming out story and his parents eventual divorce, Phoebe has a few violent past life regressions, and Monica recalls her early interactions with Chandler. Everyone gets some new information on previous events. This is one of the series best episodes.
Joey: “I don’t have any past life memories.”
Phoebe: “Of course you don’t sweetie, you’re brand new!”
Fate of the Turkey: There were several turkeys over several time periods. The turkey in the present was presumably eaten before the episode began and one of the past turkeys was offered to young Chandler by his father’s heavily accented lover (who is also the family’s “house boy”).
NYC Inaccuracy: The gang doesn’t interact with the city that much this year so I’ll take this opportunity to point out the absurd sizes of their apartments.
Best Friend: Monica, for deciding to be a chef because Chandler told her to, losing all that weight and wearing that awful red velvet dress to scorn Chandler, slicing off Chandler’s little toe, and then putting the turkey on her head before Chandler professes his love for her. Sure, she did all those things for a man but if that isn’t some empowering revenge I don’t know what is. Also, she was very sexy with the carrots, box of mac and cheese, and knife.
Random Observation: Chandler loses his toe in this episode. This is a nod to the fact that Matthew Perry is missing part of his middle finger on his right hand. I wonder what the nubbin means…
Drink Pairing: Champagne, to honor Phoebe’s past life as an armless French nurse.
“The One Where Ross Got High” (Season 6, Episode 9)
Plot: Joey and Ross try to leave the family Thanksgiving dinner to get across the hall and party with Janine and her sexy dancer friends. Rachel tries to make a dessert to disastrous and hilarious results. Ross reveals why the Geller parents don’t like Chandler.
Judy: “Phoebe, I’m sorry but I think the Jacques Cousteau is dead.”
Fate of the Turkey: Consumed during the speculation on Jack Geller’s sex appeal.
NYC Inaccuracy: Long Island parents would never visit their children in Manhattan on Thanksgiving unless they had very specific reservations. There’s no space to cook (in a normal, non-TV, apartment) and it’s not worth the parade traffic to get farther from their friends and family. And no, before you ask, they didn’t spend the day at the parade. They would never go to without young children.
Best Friend: Joey takes the cake, I mean trifle, this round. He also gets all the overheating hot drunk girls.
Random Observation: Rachel spent hours making that trifle and yet doesn’t try a piece herself? That’s strange. Then again she’s incredibly thin. Apparently Rachel has heretofore unknown incredible self-control. This isn’t really a fact.
Drink Pairing: Irish coffee. It’s the perfect drink for a holiday with your parents; keeps you perky, gets you drunk, looks like a non-alcoholic beverage. Win, win, win.