‘Everybody Loves Raymond,’ ‘Friends,’ or ‘New Girls’: Which Series Had the Best Thanksgiving Episode

Matt LeBlanc as Joey Tribbiani, Lisa Kudrow as Phoebe Buffay, Courteney Cox as Monica Geller, David Schwimmer as Ross Geller, Matthew Perry as Chandler Bing, Jennifer Aniston as Rachel Green work together in a Thanksgiving episode of 'Friends'

The holiday season is an interesting time for television shows. Writers have one of two options regarding the holidays. They can either ignore them completely, like Sex and the City did, or lean into them like Everybody Loves Raymond, Friends, and New Girl. Everybody Loves Raymond, Friends, and New Girl all have Thanksgiving episodes that consistently rank among the best in TV history. But which show depicted the Thanksgiving holiday better? We’ve done some digging and think we have an answer. 

‘Everybody Loves Raymond’ depicted family issues perfectly in its Thanksgiving episodes 

Everybody Loves Raymond ran for nine seasons and featured eight different Thanksgiving episodes. Season 2 was the only season that didn’t acknowledge the holiday. While some Thanksgiving episodes were better than others, they all followed the same theme. Every Thanksgiving episode depicted family issues. 

Season 1 episode, “Turkey or Fish,” focused on Debra Barone’s desire to start her own tradition and Marie’s pushback. The season 3 holiday episode centered around Marie Barone opting to eat healthier. Season 5’s Thanksgiving episode, “Fighting In-Laws,” delivered an iconic speech and a dropped turkey. 

The writers behind ‘Friends’ set out to own Thanksgiving 

Friends spent the entirety of its 10-season run focusing on the nuances of life, friendship, and romance for 20-somethings in New York City. Each year, the show offered up an episode dedicated to Thanksgiving. Some years, the gang missed out on the opportunity to see their families. In others, their families came to them. Most episodes included some form of cooking mishap, and just about anybody can relate to that. 

No holiday-themed episode is more beloved than the season five episode, “The One With All The Thanksgiving.” The episode is told through flashbacks and includes one of the show’s most iconic moments. If there is one Thanksgiving-themed episode you should watch all day, it’s probably this one. 

‘New Girl’ filled the holiday season with misadventure

New Girl didn’t run as long as Everybody Loves Raymond or Friends, but the sitcom about four friends living inside a loft together still knew how to get the job done. It certainly knew how to depict the mishaps and misadventures of a holiday right. 

The series started strong with its season 1 Thanksgiving episode. It included a romantic blunder, a fire, the death of a neighbor, and Black Friday shopping. The show went in the opposite direction with its next holiday-themed episode. The episode, “Parents,” focused on Jess Day’s attempt to get her parents back together with a full-blown Parent Trap scheme. 

So which show had the best Thanksgiving-themed episodes? 

Each show succeeded in different ways. Everybody Loves Raymond offered a relatable take on family life, while Friends and New Girl were great at offering up commentary on life with a close group of pals. All told, though, Friends has the most iconic episodes dedicated to Thanksgiving. Because of the number, variety, and fan reactions to the episodes, we have to say Friends is probably the overall winner. “The One With All The Thanksgivings” makes most lists as an iconic Thanksgiving episode, and it is rated 9 out of 10 stars on IMDb. 

The cast of ‘Friends’ | Paul Drinkwater/NBCU Photo Bank/NBCUniversal via Getty Images

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Source:: Showbiz Cheat Sheet


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