Despite feeling incredibly '90s most of the time, it's amazing how Friends has so successfully bridged the gap between generations. Since its initial release on Netflix, and continuing into its run on HBO Max, the show that so many millennials grew up with became a hit with younger viewers once it was made available for binging.
Viewers once accustomed to watching Friends in syndication could always count on some of the series' best holiday episodes to start appearing throughout October and November. Friends' Halloween and Thanksgiving episodes became as much a part of our annual TV schedule as Hocus Pocus or the Macy's Thanksgiving Day Parade. And while we were excited to see them all every year, we naturally looked forward to some more than others.
In the age of instant gratification, we no longer have to wait for the networks to decide which of Friends' Halloween and Thanksgiving episodes we get to watch. So throw on your Spudnik costume, pop some Thanksgiving tater tots in the oven, and get ready to enjoy the fall holidays with TV's oldest Friends.
12. The One With Rachel's Other Sister
While Christina Applegate won an Emmy for her debut appearance as Rachel's sister Amy, the episode itself feels like a rough draft for what could've been a much stronger narrative. The bulk of the episode's conflict centers on Rachel's refusal to consider Amy as a candidate for guardianship over Emma in the event of her death, but Amy initiates this argument with almost no organic motivation whatsoever.
Mirroring this conflict, Chandler and Monica both learn that Ross and Rachel consider them to lack various parental qualities. Chandler isn't enough of a disciplinarian, while Monica doesn't strike them as a fun mom. With Chandler and Monica trying to conceive, this feels like a much stronger storyline, but only Chandler's side of the conflict is ever resolved while Monica spends the entire episode fussing over plates.
Arguably the funniest storyline in this episode revolves around Phoebe teaching Joey how to lie when he needs an excuse for not showing up to the Macy's parade with his Days of Our Lives costars. Much like Amy, however, Joey's forgetfulness feels like a semi-decent joke that gets repeated too many times without much variation.
It's hardly a bad episode, and Applegate's performance is excellent. But as Phoebe would note in the following season's holiday get-together, this Thanksgiving just wasn't their best.