One of the most popular television shows of all time, “Friends” revolves around six friends in their 20s and 30s who live in Manhattan, New York City. This is a show about love and sex and careers and a time in life when everything is possible… about the search for commitment and security… and the fear of commitment and security. Most of all, it’s about friendship – for when you’re young and single in the city, your friends are your family.
Christmas marks the annual airing of a special episode of the Friends television series. Some of the most memorable moments and memorable lines from Friends can be found in the Christmas episodes. To get in the Christmas spirit, I recommend watching all of the Christmas Friends episodes in chronological order.
There could be a plethora of lists detailing the best episodes. But how would you rank them? It’s right here if you’re trying to figure out how to watch the Friends Christmas episodes in order. Everything you need to know about Friends’ Christmas episodes is right here. With an HBO Max membership, you’ll have access to every episode. They can be rented or purchased from the Prime Video library.
Every Christmas Friends Episodes in Order to Watch
1. The One with the Monkey (Season 1, Episode 10)
In the first Christmas episode of the NBC sitcom Friends, aired in the show’s first season. The gang makes a pact not to bring dates to their New Year’s Eve party, but everyone soon breaks it except Ross. While performing at Central Perk, Phoebe confronts some noisy scientists then dates one, David (Hank Azaria), whom she brings to the party. Their relationship goes well until David and his research partner are offered a grant in Minsk, and he must choose to stay with Phoebe or go for career-making research. Monica invites ‘Fun’ Bobby, who arrives unhappy because his grandfather just died. Joey is uncomfortable around his date Sandy’s children, who she brought to the party, though she ends up in the bedroom with David’s friend. Rachel’s plan to bring Paolo is derailed after he misses his flight from Italy. She arrives home from the airport disheveled and sporting a swollen lip after a fight with a woman over a cab. Chandler snaps and invites Janice, but breaks up with her again after she mistakenly thinks he wants to get back together. Ross arrives with his new pet, a monkey named Marcel, who ignores Ross. In the end, everyone ends up without a date and fulfilling the pact. When Chandler whines he has no-one to kiss at midnight, Joey does the honors.
2. The One With Phoebe’s Dad (Season 2, Episode 9)
In this second second Christmas episode of the NBC sitcom Friends, produced and aired as the ninth episode of the show’s second season. Monica, strapped for cash looks for tips from people using home-baked cookies, receiving mixed reactions. Phoebe discovers that the framed picture of her father that her grandmother (Audra Lindley) keeps in her apartment is actually the photo model. She tries locating her real father, then decides she is unready to meet him. Chandler and Joey delay Christmas shopping and end up scrounging gifts from a gas station. To win back Rachel, Ross asks her to make a list about him, and then feels offended when she calls him obsessive, among other things.
3. The One Where Rachel Quits (Season 3, Episode 10)
In the Christmas Episode of Season 3, Gunther tells Rachel that she has to undergo retraining despite having worked at the coffee shop for two and a half years, she becomes fed up and ultimately quits upon heeding Chandler’s and Joey’s advice on taking the fear from being unemployed in order to pursue her passion in fashion. Both men then lend out a helping hand in her job search – Chandler helps her in preparing her resumḗs, while Joey gets her a job lead at Fortunata Fashions (FF) with the help of his father. She eventually gets hired at FF, but her happiness is short-lived when she finds out the job still requires her to do waitressing. Phoebe helps Joey with selling Christmas trees, but becomes disconcerted after learning that the old and unused trees get thrown into a chipper. Monica and Joey then decide to buy all those trees in order to appease Phoebe. Ross accidentally breaks a little girl’s leg, and then attempts to make it up to her by helping her sell Brown Bird cookies to people (including Monica who gets addicted to “Mint Treasures” cookies all over again) in order to help her win a trip to Space Camp. When he does not win the trip in the end, he decides to give the girl an unprecedented private Space Camp experience with the help of Chandler and Joey.
4. The One With the Girl From Poughkeepsie (Season 4, Episode 10)
In the fourth Christmas episode of Friends, aired as the tenth episode, Chandler’s attempt to set Rachel up with someone from work gets out of hand when his colleagues start competing with one another, believing she only wants a fling. He then scares everyone off by saying Rachel wants a serious relationship. Monica’s new staff at Alessandro’s resent her for replacing their family member as the head chef, and constantly bully her at work. Upon heeding Chandler’s advice, Monica hires Joey just so she can fake fire him in order to show her staff who is boss. When Joey gets lucrative tips from working at the restaurant, he refuses to give Monica a reason to fire him. However, when Joey truly sees the degree of cruelty and abuse Monica is being forced to endure, which almost makes her resign, he sticks to his part and Monica fires him in front of everyone. This is enough for Monica to acquire control over her colleagues who realize they could get fired too. Ross is torn between a pretty but overly-serious girl who lives nearby and a fun one who lives upstate, which requires him to commute long hours to meet. Phoebe writes a holiday song for her friends but has trouble rhyming their names with holiday-themed things.
5. The One With the Inappropriate Sister (Season 5, Episode 10)
In fifth Christmas episode of the NBC sitcom Friends, Rachel has second thoughts about getting involved with Danny when she observes his uncomfortably close relationship with his sister. Following his suspension from the museum, to fill his empty days, Ross takes charge of Joey’s career by getting him to write a play for himself. Joey and Chandler invent a game called “Fireball”. Phoebe gets a job as a Christmas charity donations collector and typical of Phoebe, goes to extremes.
6. The One With the Routine (Season 6, Episode 10)
Also known as “The One with the Rockin’ New Year”, the sixth Christmas episode of the NBC sitcom Friends, shows Joey’s feelings for Janine are growing stronger. Janine is appearing in the pre-recorded Dick Clark’s New Year’s Rockin’ Eve, and invites Joey, Ross, and Monica to participate in the dancing. Joey sees it as the perfect opportunity to kiss Janine at “pretend” New Year’s midnight. When Ross and Monica can’t get enough camera-time, they decide to revive a middle-school dance routine. With Monica thus preoccupied, Rachel, Phoebe and Chandler try to grab a peek at the Christmas presents she got for them.
7. The One With All the Candy (Season 7, Episode 9)
In the ninth best Friends Christmas episode, Phoebe’s “blunders and Ross’s patient lessons set the stage for many nervous laughs and heartwarming holiday cheer”
When Phoebe tells the gang she was too poor to have a bike as a child, Ross gives her one as a present. The problem is, Phoebe has never learned how to ride a bike. Rachel writes a very intimate work evaluation of Tag as a joke, but instead of reading it, he dutifully hands it in to Human Resources. Meanwhile, Monica decides to make candy and leave it outside her door as a way of getting to know the neighbors.
8. The One With the Holiday Armadillo (Season 7, Episode 10)
In the third best Christmas TV episode of all time, Ross wants to introduce his half-Jewish son to Hanukkah, but the latter loves Christmas, so Ross decides to dress up as the “Holiday Armadillo” in order to get Ben excited about the festivities of Hanukkah. Phoebe’s and Rachel’s apartment has been repaired, but Phoebe fears that Rachel prefers living at Joey’s. In order to get Rachel to live with her again, Phoebe presents Joey with various gifts: a spider that scares Joey more than Rachel and a drum kit that annoys Monica.
9. The One With Monica’s Boots (Season 8, Episode 10)
In the ninth Christmas episode of the NBC sitcom Friends, Chandler can’t believe that Monica spent a small fortune on a single pair of dress boots. Phoebe learns that Ross’s son Ben and Sting’s son Jack attend the same school and angles to meet the celebrity and get concert tickets. Joey’s sister Dina expresses an interest in fashion to get Joey to introduce her to Rachel, but it turns out that it wasn’t about fashion at all. What she really needed was the advice of an older woman who is also single and pregnant.
10. The One With Ross’s Step Forward (Season 8, Episode 11)
The One With Ross’ Step Forward (aka “The One With the Creepy Holiday Card”) is the tenth Christmas episode of the NBC sitcom Friends, produced and aired as the eleventh episode of the show’s eighth season. Ross is uncomfortable when Mona wants to send out joint Christmas cards and wants to have “the talk”. Chandler tries to get out of spending time with his boss. Rachel’s pregnancy hormones leave her “erotically charged”, or as Phoebe calls it, the “Evander Holyfield” phase.
11. The One With Christmas in Tulsa (Season 9, Episode 10)
In the eleventh and final Christmas episode of the NBC sitcom Friends, Chandler, stuck in Tulsa on Christmas Eve, notices the low morale in the meeting he is in and sends all his colleagues back to their homes. However, a female co-worker Wendy (Selma Blair) stays back with him after angering the insurance workers. While talking to Monica, he notices that she is becoming paranoid of Wendy and thinks that he is cheating on her. After convincing her that there is nothing going on between him and Wendy, Chandler ends the call, only for Wendy to make a pass at him. Having had enough, he quits his job and makes it home to Monica and his friends in time for Christmas. This story serves as a framing device for the fifth of Friends’ six clip shows.
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