I'll admit it. I've been binging Friends lately and some of my favorite episodes are the holiday-themed ones. Every season has a wonderful Thanksgiving episode and nearly every season has a hilarious Christmas episode. Since Thanksgiving has already passed and Christmas and other end-of-year holidays are on the horizon, it's time to rank every single Christmas-themed episode. Let's count 'em down.
8. 'The One With Christmas In Tulsa' - Season 9
Despite being the last #Christmas episode of the show, the Season 9 episode doesn't have a whole lot to offer. It's mostly just clips from all of the other Christmas episodes (which might have been better if I hadn't seen the other Christmas episodes so recently) and the temporary plot line where Chandler was living in both Tulsa and New York came to an end. The best part of the episode is in the final moments when Chandler surprises the gang by coming home for Christmas and quitting his job. Overall, even the worst of the Christmas episodes is still enjoyable — after all, we are talking about Friends.
7. 'The One With The Girl From Poughkeepsie' - Season 4
After Rachel and Ross were on a break, Ross did not have much luck with the ladies. Prior to meeting his second wife, Emily, Ross was seeing a girl who lived in Poughkeepsie. For those of you not too familiar with New York geography, that's a two hour train ride away from where Ross lived. In this Christmas episode from season four, Ross is trying to decide if he should continue seeing her or find somebody who lives closer; fortunately for him he falls asleep on the train and ends up in Canada and doesn't really have to make that decision anymore (since the girl dumped him for never showing up). It's a rather fun episode, but overall there's not much memorable about it. The best part? Phoebe trying to write a Christmas song that includes all of her friends' names.
6. 'The One With The Inappropriate Sister' - Season 5
Phoebe is collecting money for the poor, but nothing is going as planned. Ross, Chandler, and Joey are all living together, and Ross is trying to help Joey write a screenplay. Rachel is dating a guy named Danny, but after seeing his inappropriate relationship with his sister (which is super creepy), she breaks things off with him. Personally, I love this episode! It has several funny moments but #Friends has so many wonderful holiday episodes that unfortunately the Season 5 episode doesn't score much higher on this list. It's definitely a fun watch if you're ever looking for a good laugh, though.
5. 'The One Where Rachel Quits' - Season 3
Joey and Chandler convince Rachel to quit her job at Central Perk because she hates serving coffee (even though that's exactly what she does for her boss at her next job). However, despite its title being about Rachel quitting her job, the episode actually focuses on something else entirely: Ross accidentally breaks the leg of a little girl selling cookies, so he decides to sell the cookies for her. Unfortunately, he doesn't make enough to send her to space camp, so he, Joey, and Chandler set up a space camp for her! It's a sweet episode with lots of touching moments, but in true Friends fashion it also delivers on the laughs.
4. 'The One With Ross' Step Forward' - Season 8
Ross met a woman named Mona at Chandler and Monica's wedding, and despite having several reasons to dump him (giving her a key to his apartment and then changing the locks, finding out that Rachel is having his baby, etc.) she sticks it out until the holiday time. Unfortunately for Ross, she wants to send out holiday cards together, which in case you didn't know, is a huge step forward. There are a few other side plots going on in this episode that add to the humor, but the way Ross reacts throughout the episode to his ever deteriorating relationship with Mona makes this episode one of the funniest Christmas episodes of the show.
3. 'The One With The Routine' - Season 6
Breaking into the top three, this #holiday episode from Season 6 is great. There are two distinct plots going on in this episode - both of which are hilarious. Ross, Monica, and Joey are all filming Dick Clark's Rockin' New Year's Eve, and while Joey is trying to impress a model he met and Monica and Ross are having some serious brother-sister bonding time. Monica and Ross have always dreamed of dancing on the televised holiday special, but they aren't getting filmed as much as they'd like so they break out "The Routine" from their childhood, and it's magical! Back in the apartment, Phoebe and Rachel convince Chandler to help them find their gifts from Monica so that they know what kind of gift to buy in return. The best moment comes when they find the "presents," but with a note from Monica knowing they'd look there.
2. 'The One With Phoebe's Dad' - Season 2
The very first Christmas episode of the entire series takes the number two spot not for its hilarity, but for its rare ability to tug at our heartstrings. Phoebe is in search of her real father and after all of these years she finally gets an address from her grandfather. Chandler and Joey tag along to help her through the emotional reunion; however, when they get to the house Phoebe decides she's not ready to meet him. But it's also okay, because she realizes that all the family she'll ever need is right there with her. It's a wonderful episode that really lays on the feelings, but you'll get plenty of laughs as well (mostly from Monica's Christmas party where they can't control the temperature). One of the most memorable parts of this episode comes at the very end and it has all to do with the gifts Joey and Chandler get for the gang.
1. 'The One With The Holiday Armadillo' - Season 7
If you ask any Friends fan to name their top 10 episodes, I guarantee that "The One With The Holiday Armadillo" is in there somewhere. Not only is it the funniest of the holiday episodes, but it's one of the best episodes of the entire series. Ross wants to teach his son Ben about his Jewish heritage, but upon realizing there's no "Jewish Santa," he decides to dress as a Holiday Armadillo. Things get awkward, however, when Chandler shows up in a #Santa suit. Not wanting to be left out of the fun of dressing up, Joey comes dressed as Superman and tells the story of how he flew all of the Jews out of Egypt. This episode is so funny, but also has some cute heartfelt moments between Ross and his son, as well as between Ross and Chandler.
The holiday season is in full swing, and if you're having trouble getting into the holiday spirit, maybe you should rewatch some of these wonderful Friends episodes. Each and every episode above is thoroughly enjoyable and will put you in a better mood through the power of laughter. Friends is my favorite #sitcom of all time and these episodes are part of the reason why.