Does ‘Friends’ Have a Christmas Episode?

NBC’s hit series, Friends is one of the most popular shows of all time — and, it’s also one of the most festive. With a Thanksgiving episode every season, many fans like to kick off the holidays with Monica, Rachel, Ross, Chandler, Joey, and Phoebe. But, does Friends have a Christmas episode? Up ahead, we take a closer look at the series’ holiday offerings with a Friends Christmas episode guide.

It wouldn’t be the holiday season without a ‘Friends’ Christmas episode. | NBC via Netflix


‘Friends’ Christmas episode guide

The holidays are a big deal on Friends — just ask Monica Geller, who brings her friends together to feast on Thanksgiving every season. And, it just wouldn’t be right if the characters didn’t celebrate Christmas together every season. With that in mind, we’ve broken down every Friends Christmas episode with our guide, below.

Season 1: ‘The One With The Monkey’

Believe it or not, Friends wasn’t always about the Christmas spirit. The series’ first Christmas episode was more about New Year’s Eve than Christmas, as the group worried through the holiday season about who they would ring in the new year with. That said, overall, it brought into light what it is like to be single around the holidays and for that, fans are grateful. As the end of the year approaches, the friends all discover that they really only need each other.

Season 2: ‘The One With Phoebe’s Dad’

One thing Friends Christmas episodes do really well is tackling real-life holiday scenarios while staying true to its humor and light-hearted appeal. In season 2, the series got real with Phoebe’s (non-existing) relationship with her dad, as she discovered her grandmother lied about who he really was. Meanwhile, Rachel and Ross have a hard time getting into the holiday spirit after their fight about the infamous pros and cons list and Joey and Chandler gift everyone items from a gas station pit stop they went on while accompanying Phoebe on her mission to find her dad.

Season 3: ‘The One Where Rachel Quits’

Changing careers can be scary — especially around the holidays. But, in the season 3 Friends Christmas episode, Rachel Green does just that. While Rachel quits her job as a waitress at the coffee shop, Joey picks up some shifts at a Christmas tree stand. Phoebe’s tree-hugging ways go full force in this episode, as she gets upset after learning about what happens to unwanted Christmas trees (spoiler alert: they go in the chipper). Joey makes it up to her by bringing every sad, ugly, and unwanted Christmas tree to the apartment for a cheerful surprise.

Season 4: ‘The One With The Girl From Poughkeepsie’

Not all Friends Christmas episodes have strong Christmas spirit. Case in point: The One With The Girl From Poughkeepsie wasn’t very Christmas-y. However, in the grand scheme of things, this episode is very important — after all, it’s the episode Phoebe sang her legendary Christmas song.

Season 5: ‘The One With The Inappropriate Sister’

This Friends Christmas episode also falls off the Christmas spirit bandwagon. Most of the episode follows Rachel and her new boyfriend, Danny who has a strange relationship with his sister. While Rachel is busy examining their closeness, Phoebe decides to give back to the community and volunteers as a bell-ringer for the Salvation Army. Things get a little hostile and the Christmas spirit in the episode, understandably, plummets.

Season 6: ‘The One With The Routine’

Much like with season 1, the season 6 Friends Christmas episode focuses most of its plotline on New Year’s Eve. However, there is a touch of Christmas in there, too. This is the episode where Rachel and Phoebe try and manipulate Chandler into looking for their Christmas presents from Monica. While he does put up a good fight, he ultimately loses and finds a note from Monica saying: “Chandler, I knew they’d break you.”

Season 7: ‘The One With The Holiday Armadillo’

Season 7’s Christmas episode is arguably the best Friends Christmas episode of all time. It’s the one where Ross tries to teach his son, Ben about Hannukah and dresses up as the “Holiday Armadillo,” aka Santa’s half-Jewish friend. Chandler steals his thunder by showing up in a Santa Claus costume. They end up working together to teach Ben about the two holidays and Joey shows up in a Superman costume because, well, it’s Joey.

Season 8: ‘The One With Ross’s Step Forward’

As Ross and his new girlfriend, Mona’s relationship grows stronger and stronger, Ross is faced with a difficult situation. Mona wants to send holiday cards out as a couple, but Ross doesn’t feel quite ready for that kind of commitment. But, thanks to his poor communication skills, he ends up taking an even bigger leap and gifting Mona a key to his apartment.

Season 9: ‘The One With Christmas In Tulsa’

The last Friends Christmas episode in the series is, ironically, one of the most depressing. Chandler is working in Tulsa for work and can’t make it home for Christmas. So, instead, he Grinches out on everyone in the office. That said, in his frustration, he realizes that no job is worth being away from the ones you love on Christmas, so he up and quits and flies home to New York City just in time for the holidays.

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