Culture of Pop

26 Days of Thanksgiving Episodes: The One with the Thanksgiving Flashbacks (Friends)

We’re counting down the days to Thanksgiving by looking at a variety of Thanksgiving-themed TV episodes. Thanksgiving episodes are all different, but they have lots of tropes in common. Today we’re looking at the Friends episode “The One with All the Thanksgivings.”

Basic Info

Directed by: Kevin Bright

Written by: Greg Malins

Episode Number: Season 5, Episode 8

Where to Watch It: Netflix

Found Family

By this point, the group is pretty much taking their bond for granted. It is a show about being friends. But, the flashbacks allow us to see the early stages of the relationship, before they were so bonded that they’re like a family. The flashback involving Chandler’s family life and why he hates Thanksgiving also gives us an idea of why celebrating Thanksgiving with his friends, rather than his relatives, is so important to him.

This episode also has the major relationship step of Chandler saying he loves Monica for the first time. After he lets the words “you are so great, I love you” slip out, she asks him to repeat it. He isn’t ready to say it again and tells her, “I said ‘you’re so great’ and then I just…I just stopped talking.”


In the opening of the episode, everyone is full after Monica’s delicious Thanksgiving dinner.

In one of the flashbacks, she makes Chandler macaroni and cheese. He casually says, “You should be a chef” and she takes it to heart.

The big set piece of the episode involves Joey getting his head stuck in a turkey. Later, Monica puts a turkey on her own head.


Surprisingly, there’s no football in this one.


At one point, Chandler says, “Reliving past pain and getting depressed is what Thanksgiving is all about. For me anyway. And of course the Indians.” He also mentions his hatred of Thanksgiving food and says he won’t eat anything that the pilgrims ate.

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