Chandler Bing is the self-proclaimed king of bad Thanksgivings.
It was right after a perfect dinner when his parents clued him in on their impending divorce, ruining the third Thursday of November for the rest of his life. Chandler, 9 years old at the time, decided it would be best to keep a “safe distance from the merriment.”
“Reliving past pain and getting all depressed is what Thanksgiving’s all about,” Chandler said in “The One with all the Thanksgivings” (Season 5).
If you, for whatever reason, deeply identify with Chandler, then this anti-Thanksgiving guide to surviving the holiday is for you.
Follow these steps, and you might just make it through without ending up in a turkey coma of merriment.
First off, keep all appendages away from sharp objects
Chandler has been complaining about Thanksgiving since the very first season of “Friends.” If you look to the early seasons for an explanation, you’ll think it has everything to do with his parents’ divorce. Really, it has a lot to do with Monica and a missing toe. Thanks to a flashback in the fifth season, we find out she cut off the tip of his toe while trying to seduce (and deceive) him in 1998.
In turn, Chandler’s top rule of surviving Thanksgiving is to keep all appendages far, far away from knives, the kitchen and people named Monica.
Skip the traditional feast
“As long as the pilgrims didn’t eat it, then I’m in.” — Chandler, 1998.
Stick with Chandler’s traditional holiday feast of tomato soup, grilled cheese and a family-sized bag of Funyuns. You won’t waste much time cooking, and the cleanup is minimal.
Pretend to be interested in sports
If you can’t get out of throwing a big Thanksgiving celebration, here’s a foolproof way to get out of helping: Recline on the couch, throw your feet up and turn on the football game, whether you know what’s going on or not. In the words of Chandler himself, every once in awhile just yell and scream stuff at the TV to make people think you’re simply too interested in the game to do the dishes.
Watch the Thanksgiving parade … to catch potential mishaps
Chandler may “boycott all Pilgrim holidays,” but that doesn’t include the Macy’s Thanksgiving Day Parade. Just make sure you’re watching it from a roof, balcony or TV … never from the street. You never know what exciting thing might happen — a balloon just might escape like Underdog did in the first season.
Avoid going outside at all costs
Leave your apartment on Thanksgiving and run the risk of bumping into someone trying to spread holiday cheer while you’re so miserable? Are you crazy?
Watch Netflix and skip the whole thing
If “Baywatch” was on Netflix, keeping indoors on Thanksgiving wouldn’t be hard for Chandler. If you’re really against the holiday that much, boycott it altogether and stay on the couch watching the ‘90s reruns.
Steer clear of your friends’ families
Spending the holiday with someone else’s family is a great alternative to your own, right? Wrong. You never know what kind of messed up things your friends may have blamed you for in the past. If their family feud comes to a head on the holiday, you don’t want to be in the middle of it. Take Chandler’s sixth season Thanksgiving — when we learn Ross made up a story about Chandler getting high years ago to get himself out of trouble — as a learning experience.
Most importantly, surround yourself with friends
Friendsgiving isn’t as horrible as the real turkey-obsessed holiday is, especially if your BFFs are Monica, Ross, Joey, Rachel and Phoebe. Even if they’re not, good friends will accept you for the tradition-despising person you are.
“It wouldn’t be Thanksgiving without Chandler bumming us out.” — Joey
“It’s a tradition, like the parade, if the parade decided it was gay, moved out and abandoned its entire family.” — Chandler