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The One With All The Thanksgivings

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"The One With All The Thanksgivings"
Friends episode
5x08 Monica turkey
Monica puts on a turkey head as an apology to Chandler.
Alternate Names "The One With The Thanksgiving Flashbacks"
Season 5x08
Episode no. 105
Written by Gregory S. Malins
Directed by Kevin S. Bright
Guest stars Morgan Fairchild as Nora Tyler Bing
Elliott Gould as Jack Geller
Douglas Looper as Paramedic
Alec Mapa as The Housekeeper
Christina Pickles as Judy Geller
Joshua Preston as Young Chandler
Michael Winters as The Doctor
Original airdate November 19, 1998
Episode List
← Previous Next →
"The One Where Ross Moves In"
"The One With Ross' Sandwich"

"The One With All The Thanksgivings" (also known as "The One With The Thanksgiving Flashbacks") is the eighth episode of the fifth season of Friends, which aired on November 19, 1998. The plot sees the main characters recalling Thanksgivings from when they were younger.

This episode frequently ranks high in polls to determine the best episode of the series.


Ross's complaint that his divorce and eviction means he his having the worst Thanksgiving ever prompts the others to tell their stories of bad holidays gone by. Chandler reminds everyone of the Thanksgiving where his parents told him they were getting a divorce. Phoebe then tells of a worse one from a past life, though Ross disqualifies her story, limiting the tales to present lives. Rachel says she knows Monica's worst Thanksgiving, but Phoebe interrupts with a story about the Thanksgiving when Joey got a turkey stuck on his head. Joey intended to freak Chandler out with the turkey, so Phoebe, and later Monica, after she comes home, attempt to pull the turkey out. This results in Chandler being scared when he returns. Monica then tells the group what she thinks is her worst thanksgiving. In 1987, Rachel, who has a big nose, comes over, upset about Chip Matthews dumping her for Nancy Branson. Ross brings Chandler home from college for Thanksgiving (with Ross having his Afro and Mustache and Chandler with a "Flock Of Seagulls" Hair Style). Rachel tells Monica, who is overweight, that she is through dating high school boys and wants to date men. Ross overhears this and tells Chandler that he is thinking of asking Rachel out, but Monica hears the latter call her oversized. Disgusted that he actually meant that, Monica stops eating nutritious food.

5x08 Knife

Monica accidentally drops the kitchen knife on Chandler's foot.

Back in the present, Chandler apologies to Monica for insulting her. Rachel reveals that story is not the story she was referring to. The flashbacks continue to 1988; Ross and Chandler (this time dressed like members of Miami Vice) arrive for dinner to find Monica has slimmed down, and Chandler now finds her attractive. Monica tells Rachel that she wants to humiliate Chandler for calling her fat, so Rachel suggests tricking him into taking off his clothes. Monica t
Joey turkey head

Monica's Turkey Head Freaks Joey Out!

ries to seduce Chandler by rubbing various objects, including a knife, against her skin. She accidentally drops the knife and severs his toe. He is rushed to hospital to have it reattached but, in the commotion, Monica unknowingly mixed up the digit with a carrot. In the present, Chandler becomes upset after learning that he had lost his toe because he called Monica fat, and angrily leaves. When Monica comes by his apartment seeking his forgiveness by putting a turkey on her head, he inadvertently tells her he loves her for the first time in their relationship. And the turkey on Monica's head freaks Joey out. A tag scene shows another of Phoebe's past life memories as she serves in a World War I field hospital in 1915.

Cast and CrewEdit

Main CastEdit

Jennifer Aniston - Rachel Green
Courtney Cox - Monica Geller
Lisa Kudrow - Phoebe Buffay
Matt LeBlanc - Joey Tribbiani
Matthew Perry - Chandler Bing
David Schwimmer - Ross Geller

Supporting CastEdit

Morgan Fairchild - Nora Tyler Bing
Elliott Gould - Jack Geller
Douglas Looper - Paramedic
Alec Mapa - The Housekeeper
Christina Pickles - Judy Geller
Joshua Preston - Young Chandler
Michael Winters - The Doctor


Directed By:
Kevin S. Bright

Written By:
Gregory S. Malins


Entertainment Weekly rates the episode "B+", calling the "pre-nose job" Rachel and "Fat Monica" great sight gags and citing Joey's line "It's not so much an underpant as it is a feat of engineering" (in reference to a thong) as the best of the episode. The authors of Friends Like Us: The Unofficial Guide to Friends write "This unusual episode is one of the series' best ever, with the non-stop comedy roller-coaster suddenly throwing a brilliant surprise ending at you".

Debra McGuire was nominated for an Emmy Award for Outstanding Costume Design for a Series, while the mixers were nominated for an Emmy for Outstanding Sound Mixing for a Comedy Series or a Special. The popularity of this episode saw it included on one of the first region 1 "best of" DVD releases.



  • No. 3 in "UK's 6 Favorite Friends Episodes Countdown"
  • In this episode we see that Chandler's toe was severed. This was a play on the fact that Matthew Perry is missing part of his right middle finger.
  • In the flashback where Joey gets the turkey stuck on his head, Joey complains that it smells bad and Phoebe replies "Of course, you have your head up a dead animal's ass." In "The One Where Chandler Gets Caught" this flashback is reused, but this time Phoebe's reply is "Of course, you have your head up a dead turkey's ass." Apparently they used another take when selecting the scene.
  • Matthew Perry actually grew a goatee for the scene when Joey scared him with the turkey. In the uncut DVD episodes, Phoebe uses the 'ass' line.
  • Douglas Looper, who played the paramedic, reappears as various extras throughout the show, including "The One Where Chandler Can't Cry" as the vampire in Ursula's porno movie and the husband of the wheelchair-bound woman who has very mild contractions in "The One Where Rachel Has A Baby, Part 1".


  • When Monica drops the knife that severs Chandler's toe, the camera angle changes to look up and someone's shadow moves across the ceiling.
  • In the opening scene when Phoebe is trying to turn on the TV, the TV remote is laying on the table at an angle. When the shot changes it is laying straight, and then it is at an angle again.
  • When Monica accidentally throws the knife in the air, you can see as it is flying through the air it has no tip on it, but when we see it heading for Chandler's toe, it has a point.
  • At the end of the episode where Monica is dancing with the turkey on her head, she places the fez on the top of the turkey and the glasses over the turkey's arms. When the camera angle changes, the fez jumps to a pinned-on position tilted back and the glasses are under the arms.
  • When Chandler is in the hospital, the doctor's gloves keep disappearing and reappearing.
  • Monica clearly hates the three-dimensional portrait of Gladys in The One With Ross' Grant; however, the portrait of Gladys can be seen in Monica's apartment. Also, Monica also asks who's Gladys in the Season 10 episode, when having it hung at her place somewhat implies that she should have known who she is.It could also be true that she did not know that the portrait was called 'Gladys'. 

Continuity ErrorsEdit

The dates of the flashbacks in this episode create many continuity errors that correspond to the rest of the series.

  • The flashback in 1992 shows that Joey was already in the group; however, the Season 3 flashback episode "The One With The Flashback" takes place in 1996 and flashes back three years to 1993, and shows how Joey first met the group.
  • Also, the flashback where Joey gets the turkey stuck on his head, you can see the white-and-black tiled bathroom floor. The floor should be all white since Joey didn't put in the new tiling until "The One With Frank Jr."
  • The Thanksgiving 1988 flashback sees Ross talking about his new girlfriend Carol, whom he later marries. However in The Pilot, which took place in 1994, Ross and Carol divorce after a seven year marriage, which would mean they would have married in 1987.
  • As well as many later episodes showing flashbacks of Ross and Chandler in their college days, this episode implies that Chandler has known Rachel since college. Previous episodes, however, show contradictory evidence: not only do Rachel and Chandler seem to not have known each other before they meet in The Pilot, in "The One With The Flashback" Chandler and Rachel behave like two utterly unknown people to one another when they meet in the pub that later became Central Perk. Apparently this continuity error remained unnoticed, since The One Where The Stripper Cries even shows Chandler and Rachel making out in Ross and Chandler's college days. However, since they only met a couple of brief times several years ago, it's possible that they simply forgot about each other.
  • In this episode we see Chandler as a child finding out his parents are getting a divorce. On his plate is some turkey and vegetables and all the other thanksgiving food, but in The One Where Underdog Gets Away we learned that Chandler was eating dessert and had a bite of pumpkin pie in his mouth when his parents told him they were getting divorced.

Episode NavigationEdit

1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 11 12 13 14 15 16 17 18 19 20 21 22 23 24
Preceded by
"The One Where Ross Moves In"
"The One With All The Thanksgivings Followed by
"The One With Ross' Sandwich"

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