Complete Guide to Hosting FRIENDSGIVING


It’s November, and many families are preparing for not one, but two Thanksgivings.  In recent years the tradition of “Friendsgiving” has become quite popular.  Friends of all ages gather with their favorite potluck dishes to break bread and celebrate another year of friendship.  I’m not sure how or when this tradition came to be, but I seem to trace it back to a very special television show from the 90’s.

In 1994, Ross, Monica, Chandler, Joey, Phoebe and Rachel celebrated Thanksgiving together for the first time.  In a stage in their lives where friends were their family, the 6 friends began a tradition that warmed our hearts and set an example of what true friendship looks like.  And now in 2019, the show Friends, which just celebrated their 25th anniversary, reminded me of a tradition my sister, cousins and I started many years ago.  “F.R.I.E.N.D.S.G.I.V.I.N.G”, a little Friends Thanksgiving marathon and dinner party.  Today I am sharing with you a guide to hosting your own “F.R.I.E.N.D.S.G.I.V.I.N.G” celebration.

The Show:

You’re first step is to secure all the Friends Thanksgiving episodes for viewing. If you have Netflix, (at least until the show is moved next year to HBO Max) you can stream all 9 Thanksgiving episodes right to your television. (Season 2 does not have a Thanksgiving episode) Here are the episodes you will want to watch from each season:

  • Season 1- The One where Underdog Gets Away
  • Season 3- The One with the Football
  • Season 4- The One with Chandler in a box
  • Season 5- The One with all the Thanksgivings
  • Season 6- The One where Ross got high
  • Season 7- The One where Chandler doesn’t like dogs
  • Season 8- The One with the Rumor
  • Season 9- The One with Rachel’s other sister
  • Season 10- The One with the late Thanksgiving

If streaming the episodes isn’t an option, usually the night before Thanksgiving, both Nick at Nite and TBS run a Friends Thanksgiving marathon, so check your local listings.  Or even head to your local movie theater for the marathon!

The Food:

There are so many options here! You can always order The Joey Special: 2 pizzas, or even some Chinese Food which is a classic Friends Favorite! Finish off the meal with some “Nestlé Toulousé” cookies. These are perfect options if you want to keep it simple.

Or you can always go the potluck route making Turkey and all the fixings. This is a great option because there will likely be leftovers to make Ross’s moistmaker sandwiches. Just be sure to make three kinds of potatoes. (Mashed with lumps for Ross, Tots for Joey, and Whipped with peas and onions for Phoebe.)  You can include Rachel’s famous trifle (maybe leave out the beef sautéed with peas and onions though, you don’t want it to “taste like feet”), grilled cheese, and Chandler’s Chanberries.  Don’t forget to serve some mac and cheese, Funyuns, and tomato soup for your pals like Chandler who hate Thanksgiving! Keep an eye on the turkey, you don’t want it to get stuck on anyone’s head!

The Party:

Invite all your Friends-loving friends and relatives and get ready to celebrate! If you want to add an extra element of fun have everyone dress as their favorite Friend and award the best costume with the Geller Cup. You can also set up a little Central Perk coffee station for refueling.  For games and activities, play Chandler’s 50 states game or set up a fun photo booth with props such as the legendary yellow picture frame, the turkey with sunglasses, lobsters, and Phoebe’s guitar!

Your F.R.I.E.N.D.S.G.I.V.I.N.G party can be as elaborate or scaled back as you want.  As long as you’re with your loved ones and having fun, it’s all just a moo point.   So, put on your Thanksgiving pants and have fun celebrating Friendship just like Ross, Monica, Chandler, Phoebe, Joey and Rachel this year. Happy F.R.I.E.N.D.S.G.I.V.I.N.G everyone!


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