The Definitive Ranking of Every Friends Thanksgiving Episode

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Friends, “The One With The Football,” Screencap via Warner Bros.

1.  The One With The Football

After watching the Thanksgiving Day football game, the friends decide to play a game of their own in Central Park. Ross and Monica worry that the game will bring out the worst in them, as their parents banned them from playing football years ago, when their competitive edges got too vicious. As the game gets more and more intense, it becomes clear that they really haven’t changed. Meanwhile, Rachel is upset that she’s not as good at football as everyone else, and Joey and Chandler try to impress a girl.

Sneakily Feminist Quote:

Monica: Phoebe, I thought you said you know what you’re doing!

Phoebe: I thought you meant in life!

Political Correction: The general understanding that football is for guys and not for girls. At the beginning of the episode, all the men are all sitting around the TV watching the game, while all the women are in the kitchen cooking Thanksgiving dinner. Later, when Ross and Monica become team captains, the order in which they choose their teams is as follows: Joey, Chandler, Phoebe, and Rachel. Rachel is portrayed as totally incompetent and Phoebe flashes her breasts to cause a diversion – ostensibly because she can’t win based on skill alone. The determination of skill and interest in football by gender is obviously super problematic.

Best Moment: Margha choosing no one over Chandler and Joey. Chandler and Joey fight over a random Dutch girl watching their game until Ross bluntly asks her who she likes better. Margha, taken aback, answers Chandler. But then Chandler starts celebrating his “victory” by dancing, taunting Joey, and generally being immature. So Margha says, “I am now thinking I would change my answer to, no one.” YAS, Margha. Who hasn’t watched an episode of Friends and thought, “How does anyone want to date these people?” Margha is all of us.

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Ranking: 1/10. I had to give this classic episode the top spot. Each of the friends is fully embodying their most idiosyncratic characteristics. Having the plot so tightly focused around one event – the game – makes everything about the personal relationships and interactions involved. And that’s the best part of Friends. And of friends!