About Christmas TV History

Friday, March 23, 2012

Friends: Holiday Armadillo (2000)

I took a little Spring Break but now I'm back.  One of the things I like about Christmas on TV is that it airs year round.  Though yuletide story lines may take place during December, the holiday spirit is around throughout the entire year in re-runs.  If you don't already know, I post the best of the daily Christmas TV listings on Twitter (@TistheSeasonTV) and on Facebook in the fan page for my encyclopedia book, Tis the Season TV.  Follow me there if you'd like to receive those daily updates.

Friends ran ten seasons, from 1994-2004
Friends hasn't been off the air since its debut in 1994, currently running on Nick@Nite.  The comedy series about a group of six friends living in New York City offered several holiday episodes.  Last July, I hosted guest blogger Amy who wrote about the 1999 New Year's episode "The One With the Routine."  Click here to see that again.  Perhaps my favorite holiday episode of Friends is "The One With the Holiday Armadillo" from 2000.

Phoebe's skull doubles as a candy dispenser
The episode includes several story lines.  One story thread concerns itself with Chandler trying to learn how and when to tip Maitre D's in order to get the best seating in restaurants.  Another story line is about Phoebe encouraging Rachel to join her as her roommate now that the apartment re-model is completed.

Phoebe gives Joey a drum set to encourage Rachel to leave Joey and join her in their old apartment as roommates.

But the main plot is about Ross wanting to include Hanukkah in his son Ben's holiday celebrations. 

Ross tries to share Hanukkah with his son Ben

Ross is excited to teach his young son Ben about the traditions of their Jewish heritage, unfortunately Ben doesn't want to hear it.  Ross considers dressing as Santa Claus in order to lend credibility to his attempts to talk to Ben about the holidays.  However, Ross can't find a Santa costume at the rental store so close to Christmas time. 

THAT tail is ridiculous!

Ross takes the only costume available, dressing as the Holiday Armadillo to help convince Ben that Hanukkah is as fun as Christmas. Ross almost has Ben's full attention until Chandler unexpectedly enters dressed as Santa Claus...

Monica sure likes Chandler in the suit
...and Joey arrives dressed as Superman leaving Ben too distracted to listen to his father’s message.

It's a bird, it's a plane...it's Joey!
However, with Santa Claus and Superman's acceptance, Ben finally opens up to listening to his father's explanation of the meaning behind the traditions of Hanukkah.

Together the friends as family light the menorah
We've all seen this episode, right?  Do you recognize the song that briefly plays as the friends light the menorah?  It's "Tradition" from the musical Fiddler on the Roof.

If you'd like to see it again, this episode is located on disc 26 of the DVD box set Friends: The Complete Series.  It is also the Season 7, episode 10 (disc 2) of the earlier DVD release.

Do you celebrate more than one holiday tradition in December?  Do you have another Hanukkah episode that you look forward to watching each year?


  1. LOVE this episode! Love all the jokes and even the earnestness of Ross.

    A favorite line is at the very end, by Phoebe: Okay, I understand why Superman is here, but why is there a porcupine at the Easter Bunny's funeral?

    1. I love them eating twizzlers out of Phoebe's skull.