Warner Bros. Television

Why New Year's (Not Thanksgiving) Is The Most Hilarious Friends Holiday

One word for you: Janice

Thanksgiving takes the turkey when it comes to the favorite episode of Friends fans because, let's face it, it's hard to top the Gellar Cup fiasco, Monica and Joey shoving their head up a turkey's ass, and Brad Pitt coming into declare his allegiance to the "I Hate Rachel Club."

But Friends was about more than just Needless Turkey Murder Day. See, they don't know that we know that the producers of the show were reaching deep for some of the other big occasions of the year -- consider the girls' boyfriend bonfire for Valentine's Day or Ross' Holiday Armadillo concoction for Chrismakkuh and the Pink Bunny-Spudnik/Doody Halloween showdown that had everyone laughing for all the wrong reasons.

New Year's Eve has also been a staple occasion of the Friends foiled festivities and, in fact, it might just be the most important holiday of the whole show because they got so many things right about ball-drop bashes. Here are all the reasons Friends' New Year's episodes are as underrated as Matt LeBlanc's comedic timing -- check 'em out, then be sure to watch the beloved sitcom on MTV every night from 6-8pm beginning on (you guessed it!) New Year's Day:

  • They nailed the pressure cooker that is the midnight kiss.

    Anyone who's ever been at a NYE party solo knows exactly how awkward it is when the whole room starts swapping spit and you've got nothin', and all three NYE-themed Friends episodes paid special attention to the matter of who'd be locking lips with who (*insert Joey coming in with the clutch "whom" here*).

    In Season 1, Chandler ended up getting a smack from Joey himself after a fit of his "desperate scramble to find anything with lips," and in Season 5, he got to plant one on his then-secret sex buddy Monica, but only after Joey went full-on Tasmanian Devil around the party to make it so. Then, in Season 6, it was Joey's turn to suffer the wrath of midnight expectations as he held out hope that his dancer roomie Jeanine would finally return his interest (spoiler: she did, because Joey).

  • There was also the matter of regretful invitees.

    We've all been there: The infectious holiday spirit of togetherness causes you to reach out to that one guy/girl who's long been lounging on the drunk-dial-only list, and bam! There they are, ruining your good time and reminding you of how you do NOT want to be spending the next year.

    For Monica, it was Fun Bobby who was bumming everybody out -- although, to be fair, it wasn't exactly his fault that his grandpa died, but he still didn't have to show up and bring all that sad spice to the party. And for Chandler, it was his foghorn (hey, if Ross/Rachel can be lobsters, Janice can be Chanandler Bong's foghorn). Even though they made a no-date pact -- more on that later -- he caved to the pressure and brought along his worst-breakup-ever-ex Janice. Oh my GOD.

  • Let's not forget all the ridiculous resolutions.

    As if the pressure to get kissed at midnight, like you're some goddamn Cinderella redux, isn't enough, there's also the tradition of trying to find something to change about yourself the next year. 'Cause, NEWSFLASH, you have some improving to do every year.

    For the Friends gang, this meant either (1) picking out things they could do to actually improve their lives instead of themselves, a la Joey learning to play guitar or Monica increasing her photography game or (2) waxing philosophic about how different life will be because of one meaningless calendar number shift. Ross "Just the One Divorce in '99" Gellar was the prime example of that, vowing to "make [himself] happy this year" and try something new every day to enrich his life. Somehow that began with a dive into leather pants land, which yielded untold embarrassment as he bussed it home from a first date with no pants, covered in paste (which was still not the weirdest thing those commuters probably saw that day, to be fair). Moral of the story: Maybe NYE resolutions should GTFO already -- the Friends would obviously agree.

  • On the bright side, it's totally legit to be a dork on NYE.

    Whereas on Halloween there's this pressure to be creative or sexy or pop-culturally punny, New Year's costume trimmings are generally pretty ridiculous by nature (see also: those glittery hats and the obligatory paper year glasses), so getting toasty with all your best pals means one last foray into ridiculousness before the New Year comes to sweep you up into supposed better person status.

    The Gellers were certainly the prime example of that with their, um, "routine" at the B-roll taping extravaganza for Dick Clark's Rockin' New Year's Eve. Could those two BE any more cartoonish? They get a pass for it, of course, because they're Ross and Monica, but also because it's New Year's and anything goes on the celebratory antics front.

  • In the end, it's just a day.

    As our Friends learned the hard way, despite all the noisemakers and fireworks and attendant optimism about major life shifts over that key calendar turn, New Year's is still just another day in the life. Most resolutions get broken, awkward encounters get swept by the wayside, and even the background randos who somehow made it out to your particular shindig (but for real tho, who WERE those people standing around at Monica's?) are suddenly MIA again. So if you do somehow get your lip busted on a rainy curbside while hailing a cab or end up smooching your purely sympathetic bestie or find yourself shelling out a $50 spot for breaking your unrealistic resolution on day one, it's all good. There's always next year.