Tuesday, August 10, 2010

TOW: all the Thanksgivings

Everyone's sitting around, too stuffed to move after Thanksgiving dinner. Joey needs some pie. Phoebe considers turning on the TV, but is too tired and full to lift the remote. They start talking about the things they're thankful for; Joey goes on a monologue about the fall, a breeze lifting up a woman's skirt, and thongs. Monica urges someone else to contribute to the 'things they're thankful for' conversation. Ross doesn't have anything to be thankful for; saying it's the worst one ever. Chandler tells Ross that there's no way this Thanksgiving for Ross is worse than Chandler's very first horrible Thanksgiving, when his parents told him they were divorcing. No one wants to hear the story, except Joey, so Chandler tells it.
Flashback: Little Chandler's having Thanksgiving dinner with his parents. His mom (Morgan Fairchild) tells him that his dad is leaving for another man--more specifically, the house boy. Who at that moment walks up asking, "More turkey, Mr. Chandler?"

Phoebe asks what happened with Chandler's dad and the house boy; it didn't end well. Ross admits that Chandler's Thanksgiving is the worst, but Phoebe tells them her story beats Chandler's.
Flashback, 1862: Phoebe's a nurse during the Civil War. She's working on a patient when she has her arm blown off.

Ross says Phoebe's doesn't count, because it has to be a Thanksgiving from this life time. Joey's jealous, since he doesn't remember any of his past lives. Phoebe tells him he's brand new, and he feels better. Rachel chimes in, saying she knows Monica's worst Thanksgiving. Monica doesn't want her to tell, but Phoebe says she knows it, too, and it was when Joey got his head stuck in the turkey. Rachel and Ross have never heard the story.
Flashback, 1992: Phoebe comes home, hearing a voice calling 'hello.' She answers, but can't find the source. Joey comes out of the bathroom with the turkey stuffed over his head. He put his head in it to scare Chandler, but now he's stuck. They both know Monica'll freak out, so they try to think of a plan to get him unstuck. Before they can come up with anything, Monica comes home. She does, indeed, freak out. She has to make the turkey for her entire family, and she can't with Joey's head in it. She and Phoebe attempt to pull it off to no avail. Chandler walks in, and screams. At least Joey succeeded at one thing.

Everyone laughs at Joey. Joey tries to remind them of a time when Ross butternut squash wrong, but no one finds it funny. Monica agrees with Phoebe that the story was her worst Thanksgiving. Phoebe realizes it can't be, though, because Rachel wasn't there for that, so it can't be the story Rachel was talking about. Monica doesn't want to tell the story, but Chandler urges her to. Monica assures him he doesn't want to know, but it's told anyway.
Flashback, 1987: It's Thanksgiving at the Geller's!!! Monica's still fat, and Rachel's got a big nose. Anyway, Rachel comes over upset because she and Chip broke up. He was supposed to come over to her house, her parents are away, and they were going to have sex. Ross comes home with his college roommate, Chandler; they're also in a band together. Ross introduces Chandler to everyone, and tells his mom that Chandler hates Thanksgiving, and doesn't eat Thanksgiving food. Monica offers to make Chandler some macaroni and cheese, he agrees with a joke that makes Monica snort Diet Coke out of her nose. She runs off in embarrassment. Ross gazes longingly at Rachel, before going over to talk to her. He asks how things have been with him not around, but Rachel hasn't really noticed. Chandler teases him. Monica's in the kitchen, working on Chandler's dinner, when Rachel comes in to complain about Chip. He left Rachel for a girl who's rumored to be a slut. She's frustrated, says she's done with boys, and will only be dating men from now on. Ross overhears, and attempts to act mature. Monica thinks he's being a dork. After dinner, Monica asks Chandler how he liked the macaroni. He enjoyed it very much, suggesting she could be a chef. Monica thinks that's a great idea! Chandler abruptly walks off. Rachel talks to Chip, and they're back together. Apparently, the girl he left her for wasn't really a slut. Now they have plans to meet at her place. Chandler and Ross wash the dishes, talking about their plans for the evening. Ross wants to ask Rachel to hang out, which Chandler's okay with, but he wants to try out their new fake i.d's, too. Ross is into that, but starts considering what would happen if he and Rachel should stay out all night. Chandler doesn't want that to happen, not because he's uncomfortable being alone at the Geller's, but because he doesn't want to hang out with Ross's fat sister. Monica overhears the fat sister comment, and gets her feelings hurt. She runs out of the kitchen, nearly hitting her parents. Mrs. Geller asks Monica if she wants to finish off what amounts to an entire pumpkin pie. Monica refuses, and runs upstairs.

Chandler feels horribly guilty about calling her fat, apologizing profusely. Monica accepts the apology, but Rachel says it wasn't the story she was talking about. Monica tells everyone it's time to get ready for Christmas. Phoebe butts in with a cute Christmas story, but everyone wants to hear about Monica's worst Thanksgiving
Flashback, 1988: Rachel (with a new nose) is in the kitchen helping Mrs. Geller. The doorbell rings; it's Ross and Chandler. Mrs. Geller calls Monica downstairs. Monica comes and is all hot and skinny. Chandler's astonished, unable to stop talking about how great she looks. Ross scolds him. Mrs. Geller rushes through the talk about Monica's weight loss, only interested in hearing about Ross's new girlfriend. Ross tells everyone about Carol. Monica goes into the kitchen to help out, and Chandler checks her out as she walks by. Rachel follows Monica, eager to talk about her triumph over Chandler. The only problem is, Monica doesn't feel like she's done enough; she really wants to humiliate Chandler--in a way that involves him being naked, and people laughing. Rachel decides that Monica needs to seduce Chandler, get him to take his clothes off, then kick him out of the house, naked. Monica likes the idea, but doesn't know how to go about the seduction. Rachel tells her to pretend like everything she sees and touches turns her on. Chandler comes in to ask her to make macaroni. Monica agrees, and starts doing the thing where everything turns her on. The only issue is that Rachel used a dishtowel, and Monica grabs the box of pasta, some carrots, and a knife. Of course, she drops the pasta box, and ends up throwing the knife, which lands in Chandler's foot. He's rushed to the hospital, where he learns he cut off the tip of his toe. Monica thinks she brought it with her, but it turns out to be a piece of carrot.

Chandler's furious that this is why he lost his toe. He can't bring himself to speak to Monica, and leaves. When he's gone, Ross admits to making up the 'Sir Limps-A-Lot' nickname. Monica follows Chandler out, hoping there's something she can do to make him feel better. He just wants to be left alone.
He's at home, being bitter, when someone knocks at the door. It's Monica, with a turkey on her head. He doesn't think it's funny. She adds a Fez, but Chandler's still not impressed. She adds some big, yellow, sunglasses, but he's not laughing. Finally, she does a dance, making him crack up. He tells her he loves her, then tries to take it back. Joey walks through the door, freaking out when he sees Monica.
Flashback, 1915: Phoebe's a French nurse during WWI. She has her arm blown off.

  • This is, without a doubt, one of the best episodes of the series. Flashbacks always worked wonders for this show.
  • So, no wonder Chandler hates Thanksgiving. You'd think that responsible seeming adults would find a better way to tell him.
I totally get how this could traumatize Chandler for life, though. I still remember when my parents told me, and they were really good about it.
  • Oh, nurse Phoebe.
That bonnet is friggin' epic.
  • Those arms are so freaking fake. I guess Friends didn't have a big budget for special effects, but still. She never moves that arm. Also, there's a ridiculously long delay between the explosion and the arm flying off.
  • I didn't realize you could show blood spurting to that extent on primetime, network TV.
  • Why doesn't Ross know about Joey getting the turkey stuck on his head? He'd have been around then, only married to Carol.
  • It's pretty awesome that 1992 Joey is wearing one of those horrid vests.
  • This wig is awful.
  • I think Ross saying "squatternut bosh" is funny.
  • Chandler's got Flock of Seagulls hair!!
"And I raaaan, I ran so far awaaaaay...."
My Dad and Ross look exactly alike in this decade.
  • He's so mean about Monica's weight. Especially the part where she sits down on the couch and he bounces. And the fat sister comment was just cruel.
  • None of the characters seem to notice that Monica became a chef because Chandler told her she should.
  • Chandler and Ross seem to think they're on Miami Vice.
  • I think I sorta hate Mrs. Geller. Monica's weight loss is a huge (pun a little intended) accomplishment, and she's basically like "Whatever. Ross, let's talk about how awesome you are."
  • This matters very little to anything, but I'm talking about it because it bothers me. I used to be Fat Monica, only Fat Monica probably weighed more than I did. This is only important because it took me two years to get down to my target weight, but it only takes Monica a year. And she looks perfect, no stretch marks, no extra skin--just amazing. This is only possible if 1) she developed an eating disorder, or 2) she did nothing but workout for a year, like if she were on The Biggest Loser. I know it's a TV show, and not the epitome of reality, but I find it irritating.

  • Why, why WHY, couldn't Monica just grab the dishtowel Rachel used?
The carrot fingers make her like some sort of veggie Freddy Krueger.
  • See, this is a lesson for you all: wear wicker shoes, lose a toe.
  • Monica's turkey dance.
  • This episode is also called The One with the Thanksgiving Flashbacks.
  • In, like, the first ever Thanksgiving episode, they have this whole conversation about putting Joey's head in a turkey. Funny, no one mentions that it happened before.

The Magna Doodle Says:
It's a drawing of winged heart, with the number 327 written inside. The word 'bye' is underneath.
No idea.

Oh. My. God.

"I think you killed us." -Rachel, to Monica, after Thanksgiving dinner.

"Which reminds me, I'm also thankful for thongs." -Joey, after telling the story about the woman's skirt blowing up in the wind.

"I mean, it's not so much an underpant as it is a feat of engineering." -Joey, musing over the thong.

"Huh, I don't know what to pick. Am I more thankful for my divorce or my eviction? Hmmm." -Ross, talking about what he's thankful for.

"I am the king of bad Thanksgivings. You can't just swoop in here with your bad marriage and take that away from me." -Chandler, to Ross, about which one's had the worst Thanksgiving.

"It's a tradition, like the parade. If the parade decided it was gay, moved out, and abandoned its entire family." -Chandler, on how his story is part of Thanksgiving tradition.

"More turkey, Mr. Chandler?" -the House Boy, during Chandler's worst Thanksgiving.

"Well, of course it smells really bad. You have your head up a dead animal's ass!" -Phoebe, to Joey, about why the turkey smells.

"That--that turkey has to feed twenty people at my parent's house and they're not going to eat it off your head!" -Monica, to Joey, after she finds him with the turkey on his head.

"Alright, you pull. I'm gonna spread the legs as wide as I can." -Monica, to Phoebe, when they try to get the turkey off Joey's head.

"Oh, come on, Monica. Reliving past pain and getting depressed is what Thanksgiving is all about. Y'know for me anyway. And, of course, the Indians." -Chandler, wanting to hear Monica's worst Thanksgiving story.

"Well, as long as the pilgrims didn't eat it, I'm in." -Chandler, to Monica, when she offers to make him mac' and cheese.

"I think his begging days are over, now that he's going out with Nancy Branson." -Monica, to Rachel, after Chip leaves her for another girl.

"Umm, I'm sorry, Judy, I couldn't find that bowl that you and Jack were looking for."
"Call them mom and dad, you loser!"
"Monica!" -Ross and Monica, when he's trying to seem more mature to Rachel.

"So, I'm thinking about asking Rachel out tonight. Y'know maybe play her that song we wrote last week."
"Emotional Knapsack?"
"Right on." -Ross and Chandler, being awesome.

"I just don't want to be stuck here all night with your fat sister." -Chandler, to Ross.

"Well, Judy, you did it! She's finally full!" -Mr. Geller, when Monica refuses the pies.

"I was an idiot back then. I rushed the stage at a Wham concert, for crying out loud!" -Chandler, apologizing to Monica for calling her fat.

"I can't believe you let George Michael slap you." -Ross, to Chandler, about the Wham concert.

"Monica! Come down! Everyone's here! Ross, Rachel, and the boy who hates Thanksgiving!" -Mrs. Geller.

"And uh, she's--she's on the lacrosse team and the golf team. Can you believe it? She plays for both teams!" -Ross, telling everyone about Carol.

"I didn't work this hard and--and--and lose all this weight so that I can give my flower to someone like him!"
"Okay, first of all, if you keep calling it that, no one's gonna ever take it." -Monica and Rachel, planning how to humiliate Chandler.

"Monica, I was wondering if you can make me some of that righteous mac and cheese, like last year." -Chandler.

"There's a toe in my kitchen!" -Mrs. Geller.

"That's why for an entire year people called me, Sir Limps-A-Lot?!" -Chandler, after learning why his toe was accidentally cut off.

"Oh, oh, I'm a duck! I go 'quack, quack'! I'm happy all the time!" -Chandler, being bitter.

"Nothing! I said 'you're so great' and then I just--I just stopped talking!" -Chandler, trying to ignore that he said he loved Monica.


  1. i dont know who that little kid is who plays a young chandler, but i totally buy it. he's even got matthew perry's expressions down pat.
    monica's drastic weight loss kind of blows my mind too. i really want to know how she did it. espcially since she (obviously) kept her waifish figure.
    and yes, her wig is pretty rediculous in the 1992 flashback.
    also, i love it when chandler tries to make us forget something he just did ("i said you're so great & then i just stopped talking"). hahaha its great.

  2. I just got Ross' "She plays for both teams" comment. :-)

  3. I'm glad I'm not the only one who was disturbed by how thin Monica got in one year, but it it OK to be jealous of a fictional character for that?

  4. @merrie, oh my god it's totally okay to be jealous of a fictional character (i've envied carrie bradshaw for a very long time now). like i said, i want to know what parasite she ate/eating disorder she adopted because that is not normal.
    but then this show is great about suspending reality ;)

  5. RMb- That kid does do a good job! I love the face he makes when the houseboy asks if he wants more turkey. I'm glad everyone seems to agree about the weight loss issue. I felt sorta silly bringing it up, but it bothered me soooo much. As for keeping the weight off, it's not so hard when you lose weight by changing your habits. It becomes hard when you crash diet for a few months, without really making changes.I'm definitely thinking Monica went the crash dieting route, though.

    Anonymous- Hahaha, I didn't get it at first, either. Obviously, neither did Ross.

    Merrie- I agree with RMb, you can totally be jealous of fictional characters! I was definitely jealous over her weight loss; the same with Rachel's clothes. She's got some great clothes (so does Carrie Bradshaw, for that matter).