The holiday season brings with it a familiar warmth, and for fans of the iconic sitcom Friends, Christmas episodes are an essential part of the festive cheer.
While Thanksgiving may have stolen the spotlight in the past, it’s time to dive into the snowy world of Central Perk and rank the Friends Christmas episodes, each with its own heart and a touch of the absurd.
These episodes can be the perfect companion when you are in the mood to tuck yourself in with hot cocoa and a giant batch of freshly baked goodies. From bringing in the ideal dose of holiday cheer to highlighting the horrors of sacrificing old Christmas trees too shrivelled for desire, these episodes dealt with it all.
Here are the ten Christmas-themes Friends episodes, ranked from worst to best!
Ranking Friends Christmas episodes form worst to best:
10. ‘The one with Ross’ step forward’ (Season 8, Episode 11)
This episode takes the last spot to introduce the ill-fated Joey and Rachel romance. The episode marks the beginning of a story arc that pretty much all Friends fans unequivocally like to despise the most.
9. ‘The one with Christmas in Tulsa’ (Season 9, Episode 10)
While Friends did clip shows episode remarkably well, this one ranks low on the list because Monica spends most of it suspecting that Chandler (played by Matthew Perry, who recently passed away) is cheating on her in Tulsa. Chandler’s decision to finally leave a job that would have its employees work through the holidays rather than be with their loved ones redeems this episode slightly.
8. ‘The one with the monkey’ (Season 1, Episode 10)
While not a traditional Christmas episode, the New Year’s Eve setting and the gang’s no-date pact during the holiday season contribute to the timely atmosphere. Plus, Ross’s pet monkey, Marcel, does little to lift the episode.
7. ‘The one with the inappropriate sister’ (Season 5, Episode 10)
Incestuous plotlines aside, Phoebe’s bell-ringing escapade for the Salvation Army injects some humour into this episode. It may not be the most traditional Christmas storyline, but the gang’s unique holiday experiences make it a memorable instalment.
6. ‘The one with all the candy’ (Season 7, Episode 9)
This is the one where Ross buys Phoebe a bike with a basket with flowers on it, exactly how she always wanted as a child but never had. He even takes it upon himself to teach her how to ride it. Monica becomes the building’s candy lady in a funny gag, but Rachel and Tag’s inappropriate workplace behaviour makes this one land on the sixth spot on the list.
5. ‘The one with the holiday armadillo’ (Season 7, Episode 10)
Blending Christmas and Hanukkah, this episode sees Ross donning an armadillo costume in an attempt to educate his son about different holiday traditions. Chandler’s Santa suit and Joey’s Superman avatar make this a standout festive episode, earning it a spot in the top half.
4. ‘The one with the girl from Poughkeepsie’ (Season 4, Episode 10)
While the main plot may take an unusual turn, Phoebe’s holiday song about the gang, Ross’s dating dilemma, and most importantly, Monica hiring Joey at her restaurant to fire him and set an example provide ample laughs.
3. ‘The one with the routine’ (Season 6, Episode 10)
Despite being more New Year’s Eve than Christmas, the episode earns its spot for Monica, Ross, and Joey’s hilarious attempt at becoming background dancers on a reality TV show. The subplot involving searching for Monica’s hidden gifts means this belongs on this list for sure.
2. ‘The one with Phoebe’s dad’ (Season 2, Episode 9)
Phoebe discovers the truth about her father during a Christmas visit to her grandma. The mix of emotion, humour, and the backdrop of Nat King Cole’s “The Christmas Song” creates a perfect blend that epitomises the spirit of Friends during the holiday season.
The crazy jumping dog and introduction of Phoebe’s broken taxi somehow add to the chaos that was Friends in its earlier seasons.
1. ‘The one where Rachel quits’ (Season 3, Episode 10)
Taking the top spot is the one where the gang does something truly heartwarming for Phoebe and the environment. Balancing job woes with holiday festivities, this episode delivers classic Friends humour and heart.
From Ross selling cookies for a Girl Scout from a clearly abusive home to Phoebe’s concerns about discarded Christmas trees, this Christmas episode on Friends is definitely the best one of them all!