Friends S5:E8 – Turkey for you. Turkey for me. I like to eat turkey with my friend Phoebe.. Hey there, Friendsters. The holiday season is upon us, hm? Glad to be back with you on this fine Thanksgiving Eve Eve Eve. Despite the Double G-extravaganza that we’ll be discussing later, today’s episode aka The One with All the Thanksgivings is one of the funniest episodes to date. It’s got everything. Phoebe at war, Ross and Chandler’s oft-forgotten guest-starring roles on Miami Vice, and who could forget the living testament of awesomeness that is Turkey-Head Monica. There is so much going on in this episode that we’re unquestionably headed towards one of the lengthier breakdowns that we’ve encounter on our journey thus far. For that reason, and also because I know many of us our trying to get all caught up on work before the long holiday weekend, I am officially declaring Thanksgiving Eve Eve Eve as a Mail-In Special holiday. So, after you finish writing those reports and sending those emails, why don’t you go ahead and put on a warm fire in the fireplace, ease on in to a comfy chair, and curl up with our sweet yet savory Recap in the Key of Phoebe. Happy Holidays to you and yours. It’s almost turkey time. I’ll catch up with you in December.
Recap in the Key of Phoebe – This is the one where Chandler claims to be the “King of Bad Thanksgivings” so the gang reminisces about unfortunate Thanksgiving memories from their past including Joey getting a turkey stuck on his head in 1992, Phoebe getting her arm blown off in past lives in both 1882 and 1915, Ross hitting on Rachel in 1987 but then having a new girlfriend named Carol in 1988, Rachel getting a nose job sometime before Thanksgiving 1988, Monica getting upset that Chandler called her fat in 1987 and then (after losing weight) trying to seduce Chandler in order to humiliate him in 1988, and Chandler having part of his pinky toe severed in 1988 when Monica accidentally drops a knife on his foot while trying to seduce him which rivals his worst Thanksgiving memory ever…the one of the housekeeper (his dad’s lover) asking, “More Turkey, Mr. Chandler?”
Gandalf Gaffes – Gather round the table, girls and boys. We have a heaping serving of Double Gs to be thankful for this week courtesy of the GOAT sitcom’s infamous Thanksgiving flashback episode. That’s right, kiddos. We have continuity issues galore that we’ll be slicing up and the handing out like pumpkin pie with whip cream on top. So grab a plate and step right up. Our first tasty dish comes to us courtesy of one of the most infamous pairs of roommates in television history: Chandler Bing and Joey Tribbiani. Move over, Bert and Ernie because we’re flashing back to the time that JT played an epic prank on the Chan Chan Man during Thanksgiving 1992. That’s right, we’re getting a first-hand look at the time Joey put a turkey on his head to scare Chan…hold up. Did I just say Thanksgiving 1992? Funny, I did say that. And the reason this is funny is that we’ve previously established that Joey first moves in with Chandler in 1993. Ironically, this was previously established in another flashback episode, aptly named The One with the Flashback (S3:E6). So, unless Joey started hanging out with Doc Brown and Marty McFly at some point and borrowed their time machine, it is impossible that Joey would’ve been pranking Chandler during Thanksgiving 1992. Nice try, FRIENDS writer’s room. You’re going to need to feed us a lot more turkey to get the necessary tryptophan to catch us sleeping on that blatant of a Double G. Since we all know that Joey wouldn’t use a time machine to go back in time and prank Chandler, he would use it to go back in time to eat the very first ever meatball sub, I’m ruling this a level three infraction. Moving right along into our second scrumptious piece of Gaffe pie, we’re now flashing back to the (count ’em) third iteration of how Rachel and Chandler first met. The time? Thanksgiving 1987. The place? Jack and Judy Geller’s house. According to this lovely flashback, Ross brings his college roommate Chandler home to spend Thanksgiving 1987 with his family. Rachel is over at the Geller’s house hanging out with Monica when Ross and Chandler arrive. During introductions, Rachel and Chandler meet for the first time. This is all well and good except for one teensy tiny problem. It was established from the jump (and when I say jump, I mean the Pilot) that Rachel and Chandler first met at Central Perk after Rachel ran out on her wedding to Barry. As we all know, class, the facts that were established in the pilot are the closest thing to Natural Law that we have in our humble little blog series. Therefore, Rachel meeting Chandler in 1987 is a continuity error that cannot be allowed to stand. As I alluded to earlier, this is not the first time that the FRIENDS writer’s room has tried to pull this fast one on us. In S3:E6, the other infamous flashback episode, they tried to suggest that Rachel and Chandler first met in 1993 at the bar that would eventually become Central Perk (prior to Rachel’s wedding). Do they think we are gulli-bulls? Or even gulli-calves? Why not have Rachel and Chandler meet for the first time in every episode of FRIENDS? Considering that this particular Double G is a repeat offense, it is unequivocally a level three infraction. Moving right along, I hope you kids left room for dessert. I know, I know. We’re already served up two slices of Gaffe pie and you’re probably already full. Tough cookie because we’ve got more more tasty dish to digest. This time we’re flashing back to Thanksgiving 1988 and Ross is telling his family about his new girlfriend, Carol. Funny thing, though. In the pilot (our Natural Law), Ross talks about divorcing Carol after seven years of marriage. The pilot takes place in 1994. You do the math. This would mean that Ross and Carol would’ve gotten married in 1987. Now, I’m no math wizard but how could Carol be Ross’s new girlfriend at Thanksgiving 1988 when they had already married in 1987? Spicing this dish up with more confusion, remember that earlier in this episode during the flashback to Thanksgiving 1987, Ross still had a crush on Rachel. This extra detail makes this final slice a Gaffe-explosion since it would be unlikely that Ross and Carol would meet, start dating and get married between Thanksgiving 1987 and the end of the year. Of course a Gaffe-explosion is going to result in a level three infraction. So there you have it, class. We have officially scraped the plate on our Thanksgiving-flashback-Gandalf-Gaffe-extravaganza. Time for a nap.
Gandalf Gaffe #22: Our third flashback in today’s episode takes us back to Thanksgiving 1992 and shows Joey trying to scare Chandler by putting a turkey on his head. Good try. S3:E6 (also a flashback episode) establishes that Joey first met and subsequently moved in with Chandler in 1993.
Gandalf Gaffe #23: Our fourth flashback in today’s episode takes us back to Thanksgiving 1987 and shows Chandler and Rachel meeting for the first time at the Geller’s house for Thanksgiving. In the Pilot (S1:E1), it was clearly established, however, that Rachel meets Chandler, Joey, and Phoebe for the first time at Central Perk in 1994 after running out on her wedding to Barry. This is a Double-Double G since Chandler and Rachel’s first meeting each other was also already contradicted in S3:E6.
Gandalf Gaffe #24: Our fifth flashback in today’s episode takes us back to Thanksgiving 1988 and shows Ross telling his family about his new girlfriend, Carol. In the Pilot (S1:E1), Ross and Carol get divorced in 1994 after seven years of marriage. This would mean they would have married in 1987 and almost certainly have been, at the very least, dating by Thanksgiving 1987. Remember in today’s episode, Ross still had a crush on Rachel at Thanksgiving 1987 making this a super-charged Double G.
Chan Man Quip of the Week – [The Setup] Ross and Chandler enter the Geller’s house while visiting for Thanksgiving 1987. After walking inside the house, Ross says, “Hey!” Chandler walks in behind him sporting a Flock of Seagulls haircut. Jack (Ross and Monica’s dad) looks at Chandler’s haircut and says, “Oh my!” Ross proceeds to introduce Chandler to his family, saying, “Uh, everyone, this is Chandler! My roommate and lead singer of our band!” Intrigued by Ross’s roommate and wanting to be individually introduced, Monica prompts him by pleading, “Ross!” Turning to Chandler, Ross informs him, “Oh, this is Monica.” Monica immediately jumps in, “Hi, I’m Ross’s little sister.” Looking her up and down and noticing how overweight Monica is, Chandler says sarcastically, “Okay.” Judy (Ross and Monica’s mom) jumps in, “I’m so glad you could come Chandler, we’ve got plenty of food so I hope you’re hungry.” Ross answers for Chandler by informing his mom, “Oh, mom. Mom. Chandler hates Thanksgiving and doesn’t eat any Thanksgiving food.” Perplexed and a little frustrated, Judy responds, “Oh, well, I’m so glad you brought him here then.” Wanting to make a good impression on Chandler, Monica offers, “Umm, Chandler, if you want I can make you some macaroni and cheese for dinner.” Chandler answers, “Well, as long as the pilgrims didn’t eat it, I’m in.” Monica laughs at Chandler’s joke to the point that Diet Coke comes out of her nose. Embarrassed she says, “Dammit!” and runs out of the room. After Monica leaves Ross points out Rachel to Chandler and then goes over to talk to her. Ross asks Rachel, “So uh, Rach? Does it, does it feel weird around here now? Ya know since I’ve been away at college.” Preoccupied and uninterested, Rachel responds, “Oh! No, not really.” Ross continues, “Well, that’s cool. So did…” Before he can finish, Rachel walks away. Ross sheepishly returns his attention to Chandler. [The Knockout] Ready to twist the knife into Ross’s unrequited love angst, Chandler says, “So that’s Rachel, uh? The one girl you’ve been writing all those songs about? You might want to re-think the lyrics of She Feels Weird Since I’ve Been Gone.”
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