Discover more from rmrk*st | Remarkist Mag
The One With The Traditions: Your Guide to Thanksgiving With Friends
Look no further than the TV show that showed us how to celebrate with chosen family!
For a decade, Friends gave us memorable laughs 😂 and heartwarming moments ❤️ every Thursday on NBC’s Must See TV lineup. The cornucopia of Thanksgiving 🦃 episodes became an integral part of the show’s charm. The episodes showcased all the mishaps and touching moments that can take place during the holidays as you grow independently from your immediate family. They also also gave the fans many traditions and quotable lines to keep coming back to year after year. It is never a complete Thanksgiving without a viewing of all nine episodes. Yes, nine. (Season 2’s episode “The One With The List” 📝 is often debated as to whether it is really a Thanksgiving episode since Thanksgiving isn’t the main backdrop, and only appears in the B storyline.)
We won’t get into traditions here that are as fake as mockolate 🚫🍫, so let’s find out how we can bring our Friends-giving to life each year by celebrating the traditions that Monica, Ross, Chandler, Joey, Rachel and Phoebe have taught us throughout the years. After all, the holidays are better with friends.
What To Wear To Dinner
Joey Tribbiani might not have been the sharpest of the bunch but he definitely taught us that Thanksgiving pants are a must in our wardrobes. Don’t even think about wearing jeans 👖 while you attempt to eat the entire turkey in one sitting along with all the delicious sides. Jeans have no give. Elastic is the way to go. If you don’t have access to Phoebe’s maternity pants, you can always get a pair of these Friends-themed sweatpants.
Setting The Table
Are you choosing to use your fancy china 🍽 for dinner, or are those reserved for only if the queen 👸 comes to visit? What if something got broken? Maybe you prefer mismatched dishes, just like the dining room chairs. You can also skip the dishes and choose to use these Friends-themed paper plates and cups because who wants a pile of dirty plates. Either way, these salt and pepper shakers 🧂 are on theme and will fit in with the fancy china or every day ware. You don’t have to wear the turkey on your head for this holiday but instead it can help season your food.
The One With All The Food
The menu is the most important part of the day. Lucky for us, the official Friends cookbook can help to fill the menu beyond the 19 pound turkey that hopefully you won’t have to eat entirely by yourself. Food traditions are some of the best kinds. Grab your apron and let’s get cooking!
Three Different Kinds of Potatoes
Monica feels the need to please all her friends during their first Thanksgiving together to make everyone feel more at home. Which do you prefer: mashed potatoes with lumps, whipped potatoes with peas and onions, or tater tots 🥔
Individual Sweet Potato Pumpkins
This side dish never actually made it to air, and was only mentioned in Season 7, but Monica’s had to have looked as good as this food blogger’s. As Rachel says, you can’t have enough of Monica’s cooking. Complex carbohydrates in a cute little pumpkin are pleasing to the eye and the stomach.
Cranberries or “Chan-berries”
It’s an easy dish to make and not many people care about it but it’s still an integral part of the menu. You can follow this recipe from Bon Appetit. Just don’t wash the cranberries with dish soap though.
Rachel’s English Trifle
“Look, Mon, I’m melting butter!” 🧈 says Rachel. Monica tells Rachel she can make dessert in Season 6 but this friend probably doesn’t belong in the kitchen. Her trifle is…unique. First, there is a layer of ladyfingers, then a layer of jam, then a custard made from scratch followed by raspberries and more ladyfingers. Sauté up some beef 🐄 with peas and onions, layered with a little more custard, some sliced bananas 🍌 and finish it off with whipped cream. Okay - it’s advised to NOT make Rachel’s English trifle exactly but here is a recipe that recreates it using “fake beef” so it doesn’t taste like feet.🦶 This recipe is a must for any die hard Friends fan!
Ross’s “Moist Maker” Leftover Sandwich
Leftovers are an important part of Thanksgiving, and Ross’s sandwich 🥪 is a must try. According to him, it’s the only good thing in Ross’s life that year. Don’t write a limerick on the bag though and stick it in the office fridge. Your coworker is bound to take it and eat it, and then proceed to throw away the rest of it because it was too large to finish. 🗑
Other side dishes to consider for the meal are brussel sprouts (make sure they aren’t stinky), yams, or some chocolate cream pies. But if you just feel like having a grilled cheese sandwich, tomato soup 🥫, and some Funyuns like Chandler, do that. The only decision you’ll have is light cheese or dark cheese. 🧀
Entertainment All Day
You’ve got your comfy clothes on and you are waiting for the food to be ready - what to do? Other than watching episodes of Friends 📺 of course. The Macy’s Thanksgiving Day Parade is an obvious choice. Let’s hope there aren’t any flyaway giant balloons. 🎈 Maybe you catch the current football game because Green Bay just happens to be your favorite Bay. Also, anything to avoid helping in the kitchen, and Anderson may just score again. (Side note: There is a player named Anderson on Green Bay but he plays defense so we’ll have to hope for a pick-6. 👀 )
When watching football doesn’t suffice, a friendly game of touch football 🏈 is a good way to work up an appetite. Create your own Geller Cup and play each year for bragging rights. 🏆 It may just be a Troll doll nailed to a 2x4 to some, but to you and your friends, it’s a precious sought-after trophy.
Sports may not be your thing, so you can always exercise your brain with Chandler’s (Dumb) States Game 🌎 - Can you name all 50 states in 6 minutes? ⏱
Most people miss at least one. Or in some cases, fourteen. Remember that just because they have a sports team doesn’t mean it’s a state.
When all else fails, sitting around telling your traumatic Thanksgiving stories of the past is always a good idea. What else are the holidays for? 🗣
Choose The Guest List Wisely
Most of the Thanksgiving episodes are centered on just our favorite 6 friends together in their enormous New York City apartment, but every once in a while there is a guest star or two. In several Thanksgiving episodes, Christina Applegate (Amy Green), Brad Pitt (Will, Ross’s High School Friend), Elliot Gould (Jack Geller), and Christina Pickles (Judy Geller) all held their own with the gang.
They felt like regulars on the Thanksgiving episodes when they appeared. Take a page out of the show’s script, and invite those that naturally fit with your established cast of characters.
The show taught us that Thanksgiving is not just about the food. By embracing the quirky traditions from Friends, we honor its legacy that it has stamped on pop culture, while infusing the humor and camaraderie into our own holiday gatherings that made the Friends Thanksgiving episodes so special.
Subscribe for fandom content that we are loving and celebrating at Remarkist every day! You can use our app to schedule watch parties around tv shows & movies, and in the meantime, find us on Instagram, tumblr, and Spotify! And don’t forget to follow our Friends Utterly Unofficial Instagram fan account!
Subscribe for more fandom content delivered straight to your inbox!