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The Vector

NJIT's Student Newspaper

The Vector

NJIT's Student Newspaper

The Vector

Sitcom Studies: Reviewing Thanksgiving Episodes in ‘Friends’ and ‘How I Met Your Mother’ 


(Photo from NBC/Warner Bros)

This article contains spoilers.  

Thanksgiving conjures the aroma of pumpkin spice tea and the rustling of leaves. Yet it also presents the chance to take aesthetic pictures, wear cute cardigans, and stress about which pie filling to use. Of course, the best part is getting a day off to see your family and friends and enjoy the autumn before it ends.  

 On Thanksgiving Day, my favorite activity is just relaxing and watching Thanksgiving movies and series while eating ice cream. In this article, I’ll cover the Thanksgiving episodes I watched this year!  

My comfort show, “Friends,” has 10 seasons but only nine Thanksgiving episodes because the group didn’t celebrate Thanksgiving in the second season. The characters Rachel Greene, Phoebe Buffay, Monica Geller, Ross Geller, Joey Tribbiani, and Chandler Bing always celebrate the holiday together. 

In season one’s “The One Where the Underdog Gets Away,” the group celebrated Thanksgiving with burnt food and were grateful that Tribbiani didn’t have syphilis. This episode was so fun to watch, as the characters were so clumsy but eventually came together to enjoy a vital holiday.  

In season three’s “The One With the Football,” Tribbiani thought that Peter Pan came from “The Netherlands.” The chaos between the Geller siblings to win a troll doll nailed to a two-by-four was hilarious.  

In the next season, the audience witnesses an epic comeback from Monica Geller, sees Bing living in a box, and learns the phrase “va’ fa Napoli.” 

In season five, “The One With All the Thanksgivings” is my favorite. Bing finally accepts that he loves Monica Geller, and the audience gets to see all the characters’ bad hairstyles. 

In season seven, I was shocked to my core when I learned that Bing doesn’t like dogs and Ross Geller wasn’t aware of the 50 states in the United States.  

The next season contains a young Brad Pitt, an “I Hate Rachel” club, a rumor about Greene being a hermaphrodite cheerleader from Long Island, and Tribbiani’s feat of finishing a whole turkey. 

 In season nine’s Thanksgiving episode, “The One With Rachel’s Other Sister,” we meet Greene’s sister, Amy Greene, and sit through an argument about how many people have to die before Ross Geller and Greene’s baby is the goddaughter of her sister.  

The final season’s “The One With the Late Thanksgiving” is the funniest episode and ends with the happy news that Bing and Monica Geller can now adopt a baby.  

I genuinely love all of these episodes, and picking my favorite is impossible. But watching “Friends” always makes my Thanksgiving happier. 

Now, moving on to “How I Met Your Mother.” The show’s ongoing debate on whether Canadian or American Thanksgiving is better will always make me laugh. This show includes the characters Barney Stinson, Ted Mosby, Robin Scherbatsky, Lily Aldrin, and Marshall Eriksen. 

In season one’s Thanksgiving, Aldrin goes to Minnesota to celebrate the holiday with Eriksen’s family. Meanwhile, Mosby and Scherbatsky discover Stinson is volunteering at a local soup kitchen.  

Next up is my favorite episode: season three’s “Slapsgiving”, in which Stinson gets slapped under the Slap Bet Saga. Every joke builds suspense for the moment when Stinson finally gets slapped. The best part of the episode is when Mosby and Scherbatsky finally become comfortable enough to use personal jokes with each other again. 

In season six’s “Blitzgiving,” Mosby finally decides to make a “turturkeykey,” which is a small turkey shoved inside a larger turkey. The chaos in this episode makes it extremely entertaining.  

These two series portray the fun part of Thanksgiving: being surrounded by your loved ones while eating, laughing, gossiping, and just enjoying life. This Thanksgiving, I forced my friends to watch these episodes with me and make the most of our break, without worrying about the scores we will receive on our exams.  

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Paridhi Bhardwaj, Staff Writer
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