Did the ‘Friends’ Cast Really Eat While Filming Their Thanksgiving Episodes?

Thanksgiving was very important to the characters of Friends. They would eat together, but not all of the meals were good. Did the cast really eat while filming? The answer is yes, but for Matt LeBlanc, it didn’t always work out as planned.

‘Friends’ has multiple Thanksgiving episodes

Matt LeBlanc as Joey Tribbiani, Courteney Cox as Monica Geller-Bing, Lisa Kudrow as Phoebe Buffay, Matthew Perry as Chandler Bing, Jennifer Aniston as Rachel Green, David Schwimmer as Ross Geller on 'Friends'
Matt LeBlanc as Joey Tribbiani, Courteney Cox as Monica Geller-Bing, Lisa Kudrow as Phoebe Buffay, Matthew Perry as Chandler Bing, Jennifer Aniston as Rachel Green, David Schwimmer as Ross Geller on ‘Friends’ | Danny Feld/NBCU Photo Bank

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The sitcom focused on the friendship between Rachel (Jennifer Aniston), Monica (Courtney Cox), Phoebe (Lisa Kudrow), Joey (LeBlanc), Chandler (Matthew Perry), and Ross (David Schwimmer). The characters became a family so they celebrated the holidays together.

There are 10 Thanksgiving episodes. There were some big guest stars who also appeared in the episodes like Brad Pitt, who played Ross and Monica’s friend from school. Christina Applegate also joined the characters by playing Rachel’s sister.

Of course, the holiday hardly ever went as planned. LeBlanc revealed how filming one of the dining scenes backfired on him.

Some actors ate during the scenes, but it didn’t always go as planned

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The characters would often eat together, but the actors didn’t always enjoy it. LeBlanc talked about the filming of “The One Where Ross Got High.”

That episode showed Rachel trying to make dessert for Thanksgiving. She accidentally made something that was one part English truffle and another part shepherd’s pie because pages of her cookbook were stuck together. They tried the terrible dessert anyway.

“What we were actually eating was not that. Story-wise it was whipped cream and some bananas or something,” LeBlanc revealed on The Graham Norton Show. He went on to say Ross doesn’t like it but he doesn’t want to hurt Rachel’s feelings so he eats the whole thing.

“[Schwimmer] starts to eat it all and he can’t finish it and he starts laughing. So we cut. As we’re cutting, he kind of spits it back on his plate, and I’m sitting right next to him and I’m looking the other way,” LeBlanc said. He then decided to take some food off of Schwimmer’s plate and ate the food in the next take.

“No one says anything,” LeBlanc said. He didn’t find out what really happened until he watched the blooper reel later.

Rachel’s mistake was inspired by a debate

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The story came from a debate in the writer’s room. Writer Greg Malins explained this to Entertainment Weekly.

“We were like, ‘Doesn’t a trifle have meat in it?’ We’re like, ‘No, it’s got pudding in it.’ You have to understand back then there’s no internet, and there weren’t a lot of cooking shows on TV,” he said.

He then explained how they came up with the disgusting meal. “It seemed to me peas was the funniest thing to put in the dessert trifle and then you throw a little beef in there,” Malins said.

The actors did improvise in the scene. Schwimmer said the dessert taste like feet, which wasn’t scripted. The trifle definitely sounds disgusting and it sounds like filming the scene also was gross for LeBlanc.