Touchy-Feely Lessons From Every Christmas Episode of Friends
While wrapping gifts I decided to go through every Christmas episode of Friends, most of which I haven’t seen in years. But also it’s been unseasonably warm and it just doesn’t feel like the holidays. I needed a spark of cheer from the gang and snowy scenes from the village. Everyone knows about Holiday Armadillo and ‘The Routine’ but do you remember Ross helped a little girl sell cookies or that Joey was a waiter at Monica’s restaurant. Here’s a nice reminder to get you in the holiday spirit.
Season 2, Episode 9 – “The One with Phoebe’s Dad“
In the series’ first Christmas episode our gang is poor but still inexplicably housed in fabulous apartments.Monica decides to make cookies for everyone since she is cash-light for gifts. I for one 100% appreciate baked goods as items to both give and receive. This episode also shows us that family doesn’t have to be those you are related but those whom you love. Phoebe decides not to meet her birth father on Christmas because she already has a family to spend the holiday with her friends. Awwwwwwwww!
Lessons: Cookies = Awesome gifts. Friends = Family.
Season 3, Episode 10 – “The One Where Rachel Quits”
Phoebe is conflicted about Joey’s job selling Xmas trees when she learns the old trees are put in the chipper if no one buys them. Ross tries to right a wrong by helping a little girl sell her holiday scout cookies. The gang comes together to aid both friends. First by decorating the apartment with the old trees and then by purchasing several boxes of cookies to help send the girl to space camp.
Lessons: Being able to turn a negative into a positive is an excellent trait for the holiday season.
Season 4, Episode 10 – “The One with the Girl from Poughkeepsie”
The crowing jewel of the whole episode is Phoebe trying to write a song for the gang as a gift. Ross teaches us the very important NYC lesson, that it’s ok to date purely out of proximity and convenience. He would rather date a girl who’s ‘a little dumb and racist’ because she lives uptown and not in Poughkeepsie like the ‘smart, fun girl.’ We also learn that Chandler is easily swayed into anything by Rangers’ tickets. But honestly who isn’t?!
Lesson: Your friends are well-meaning, even if they screw up.
Season 5, Episode 10 – “The One with the Inappropriate Sister”
Phoebe’s excited that she gets to be the bell ringer in front of Macy’s for charity. She becomes disappointed when she can’t spread cheer but instead has to scold all those who disrespect the bucket.
Lesson: Just because it’s the holidays doesn’t mean you have to take people’s crap…physically and metaphorically.
Season 6, Episode 10 – “The One with the Routine”
Half the gang participates in the filmed portion of a New Year’s Eve show. The other half hunt down hidden gifts in fears that their own presents won’t be up to Xmas standards. Monica and Ross perform their ridiculous dance routine from middle school for the Dick Clark crowd. Although most of the audience makes fun of them, they have a great time reminiscing. And let us not forget that Joey’s beautiful roommate is played by model Elle MacPherson. Still a babe.
Lesson: Who cares what you look like, as long as you’re having fun.
Season 7, Episode 10 – “The One with the Holiday Armadillo”
The episode even casual watchers still recall. Ross decided it’s time to teach his son about Hanukkah but his little one is worried will Santa no longer bring him presents. With three days before Christmas Ross tries to rent a Santa suit…. With nothing remotely Christmasy left he has to improvise. The birth of Holiday Armadillo! He’s Santa’s Southwest Representative who is also half Jewish. Chandler and Joey try to help and come dressed as Santa and Superman. Who knew Superman flew all the Jews out of Egypt to safety?!
Lesson: Procrastination forces creativity.
Season 8, Episode 10 – “The One with The Creepy Holiday Card”
Ross’ relationship of only a few weeks has gone into overdrive when his girlfriend suggests doing a couples card for Christmas. Everything about couple cards is wrong and evil….unless that couple are dressed as Han Solo and Princess Leia. Or they have pets…just anything with pets is always acceptable.
Lesson: Just say No to couple cards.
Season 9, Episode 10 – “The One with Christmas in Tulsa”
Our last Christmas episode with the gang. Chandler’s new job has taken him to Tulsa where he has to spend the holidays. Chandler gets hit on by his hot boss (Selma Blair) after she reads his being their on the holidays as him not loving his wife. Realizing he doesn’t have to be there and he’d rather be with his friends, he quits his job to surprise the gang and be there for Xmas.
Lesson: Even if your family and friends drive you crazy celebrations are always better with them than without them.