Blogmas Day 23: A lot of hanging out with my F.R.I.E.N.D.S

Hello, lovely people! Today was rather uneventful, so instead we're going to talk about Christmas-themed TV. It seems fitting that since I haven't hung out with my friends while I've been home, I've been doing a lot of hanging out with my F.R.I.E.N.D.S. As in Rachel, Ross, Monica, Chandler, Joey, and Phoebe. Today I watched every holiday episode the series has to offer so I can objectively and masterfully rank them. Inspired by this Buzzfeed article. 

1) Season 7: The One With the Holiday Armadillo

The main plot: Ross gets to spend the holidays with his son, Ben, and decides it's the perfect time to teach him all about Chanukah. Unfortunately, Ben insists upon Santa making a visit, but when Ross goes to pick up a costume, the only thing he's able to rent is an armadillo getup. Ross then makes up the fictitious "Holiday Armadillo," who visits on Santa's behalf to teach Ben about the history behind Chanukah. All is going relatively well...until Chandler barges in wearing a coworker's borrowed Santa costume, and confuses the ordeal even further.

Why it's #1: This episode is iconic, even among people who don't watch Friends. Ross and Chandler's banter is at its best, and the episode overall has a jolly, festive feel to it. Plus, baby Cole Sprouse as Ben is always a fun blast from the past.

Best line(s) from this episode: "What are you doing" -Chandler

2) Season 6: The One With the Routine

The main plot: Joey's roommate (for a brief time) Jeanine is hired to be a "party person" for a taping that will be used in Dick Clark's New Years Rockin' Eve. Upon telling the gang this, the Gellers lose their shit from nerdy excitement. Jeanine invites Monica and Ross to tag along, as well as Joey (is it a date? No one knows!) and they behave exactly as you'd think they might.

Why it's #2: The main plot is pretty hilarious, and the dance routine itself still makes me bust out laughing. But it ultimately doesn't trump season seven's Christmas episode because it doesn't have as much of a festive feel. But it still manages to get major points for the hilarious choreography and the thought of David Schwimmer and Courteney Cox having to spend God knows how long getting the dance steps down pat.

Best line(s) from this episode:
"Why are you laughing?" -Chandler
"Well...I used to date [Ross], but you're still goin' out with [Monica]!" -Rachel

3) Season Two: The One With Phoebe's Dad

The main plot: Phoebe spent her entire life prior to this episode believing her father was a stock model for picture frames, because after he left her mother before she and her twin sister were born, that's what she was told. She finds out the truth in this episode, and sets out to meet him. She ends up being too nervous, but makes great strides, taking Chandler and Joey along for the ride. Meanwhile, Rachel and Monica's radiator breaks, causing their Christmas party to be a "tropical theme," aka causing everyone to hang out in their undergarments and fighting over ice cubes.

Why it's #3: This episode is touching! It embodies the Christmas spirit and involves all six main characters. Plus, the early episodes are always so much more nostalgic, reflecting back on their old haircuts and wardrobe choices.

Best line(s) from this episode: "Ho-Ho-Ho-ly crap it's hot in here!" -Chandler

4) Season 8: The One With the Creepy Holiday Card

The main plot: Ross's then-girlfriend, Mona, suggests sending out a couple's Christmas card, which causes Ross to completely freak out. Instead of being honest about his reservations, he forges full-speed ahead and accidentally becomes way more devoted than he planned. He even gives Mona his only apartment key in a moment of panic.

Why it's #4: Ross being, forever funny. When Ross gets flustered and nervous, I always die laughing. For this reason, this episode is up there. But it's not super high on the list, because I don't particularly care about Mona, and again the episode itself isn't super holly jolly.

Best line(s) from this episode: "I am now a homeless person in a very serious relationship!" -Ross

5) Season Three: The One Where Rachel Quits

The main plot: Other than the obvious, given the episode's title: Ross accidentally breaks a little girl's (played by a young Mae Whitman) leg while she's selling cookies, a la Girl Scouts, but of course they come up with some other name because of copyright reasons I'm sure. He tries to make it up to her by selling cookies on her behalf so she might win a trip to space camp. Meanwhile, Joey gets a job selling Christmas trees, which infuriates Phoebe, because she thinks the whole process is inhumane and barbaric. Joey convinces Phoebe that the trees are just being given a chance to live up to their potential, which appeases Pheebes, only until she finds out that the old trees that don't sell are put through the wood-chipper.

Why it's #5: The episode ends with the other five friends filling Monica's apartment with the old, neglected Christmas trees, which warms both mine and Phoebe's hearts. But other than this tiny sub-plot, this episode isn't really holiday themed, which is a bummer if you're in the Christmas spirit.

Best line(s) from this episode:
(in regards to the Christmas trees) "How do you sleep at night?" -Phoebe
"Well...I'm pretty tired from luggin' the trees around..." -Joey

6) Season Nine: The One With Christmas in Tulsa

The main plot: Chandler has to spend Christmas and New Year's in Tulsa, during the brief period of season nine when he commutes back and forth between Oklahoma and New York. A co-worker hits on him and tries to get him to cheat on Monica with her, but Chandler (obviously) remains loyal, coming home Christmas Eve after quitting his job.

Why it's #6: Most of this episode is just flashback, and while it's meant to be nostalgic and sweet, I find flashback episodes to just be lazy on the part of the writing team. Still, Chandler is very sweet and uncharacteristically strong in this one, which wins this episode a few points.

Best line(s) from this episode:
"It's so unfair, you don't even like your job!" -Monica
"So? Who does?" -Chandler
"I can't wait to get back to work," -Rachel
"I love my job!" -Joey and Phoebe

7) Season Five: The One With the Inappropriate Sister

The main plot: Rachel finally scores a date with Danny, her crush that moves into the building. But when she finally gets some alone time with him, she meets his sister and finds that the two of them are a little too close to be considered normal and familial. Meanwhile, Phoebe gets a job as a bellringer outside of Macy's, collecting money for charity. The job is tougher than she thinks it's going to be, causing her to be a bit...aggressive to say the least.

Why it's #7: The inappropriate sister bit is funny, but just doesn't at all seem like the plot of a holiday episode. Phoebe's antics score this episode a few points, but not enough to completely salvage it.

Best line(s) from this episode: "Quarter...dime...lint? Not interested in that." -Phoebe

8) Season Four: The One With the Girl from Poughkeepsie

The main plot: Ross meets a girl on the train who he really hits it off with, but he can't decide if the commute is worth it. Meanwhile, Monica is still getting flack at her job, so she enlists Joey as an actor who she fires to assert her dominance.

Why it's #8: This episode isn't bad by any means, but the part about the girl from Poughkeepsie (y'know, the part this episode is named after) just isn't super interesting to me. Plus, the only thing that makes this episode at all holiday-esque is Phoebe's original song that she writes for the rest of the Friends.

Best line(s) from this episode:
"Monica, Monica, have a happy Chanukah,
Saw Santa Claus, he said hello to Ross,
And please tell Joey Christmas will be snowy!
And Rachel and Chandler, fdjsklghsdjgkhdskjghandler!" -Phoebe
(please stop what you're doing and watch the full song here)

And that's about it! I'm wondering if you all would've ordered these episodes differently, or if you agree with my picks. I'll see you tomorrow, for our second to last (how?!) Blogmas post!


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