Friends is known for many things, among them the "come together" Thanksgiving episodes, which feel like stand-alone odes to the beauty of modern-day Friendsgiving. But, as an avid not-Friends watcher, I don't feel inclined to tell you any more about those episodes — I'm here to talk about The One with Brad Pitt. Specifically, it's season 8, episode 9, "The One with the Rumor." Or, more accurately titled, "The One Where Brad Pitt Comes To Thanksgiving But Doesn't Eat Any Food."
To refresh your memory (although if you're a true Friends fanatic, I'm sure I don't have to), this is the episode where Monica Geller (Courtney Cox) invites an old high school friend, Will Colbert (Pitt) to spend Thanksgiving at her apartment, where she's hosting the rest of the crew. Also at the table are Rachel Green (Jennifer Aniston) who is pregnant with Ross' (David Schwimmer) daughter, Joey (Matt LeBlanc) who makes a dare with himself to eat the entire turkey, and Phoebe (Lisa Kudrow) who pretends to care about sports with Chandler (Matthew Perry) to avoid helping with dinner.
That's the Who's Who of it. Here's the What's What: Will used to be a heavy-set guy, even heavier than Monica in high school (this show's obsession with weight has already been unpacked, so we'll set it aside) and Rachel made his life miserable by making fun of his appearance. He hated her (and still hates her) so much that he co-founded (and still wholly serves) the "I Hate Rachel Green Club." Dinner turns in a dramatic gossip session after high school rumors are dredged up, making Rachel upset and Will smug. He's skinny, hot, and making the meanest girl in school cry — it's a Thanksgiving miracle for him.
But, with all that drama, he doesn't eat a damn thing. Not one morsel of food. Meanwhile, we have to sit through Joey stuffing his face and getting the meat sweats. What a WASTE! Pitt is the King of Eating Food on Screen, and I just can't believe Friends didn't capitalize on this very known and mused over fact. Imagine if, after scooping globs of Monica's yams onto his plate in an act of frustration, he actually starting eating them. Or if he buttered up a roll and took a savage bite out of it. There is so much potential for greatness. Instead, this smoldering look is the best we get.
"Brad Pitt Eating Things" is a thing, by the way. Journalists have tracked it, videos have been made about (see below), and a cookbook was even written about it. There's even a three-year-old Reddit thread dedicated to the oral phenomenon that is Pitt eating and chewing food, in which 212 people have left comments prophesying what's so heavily featured in his films. The prognosis being: his jawline. Much like Richard Madden's in Bodyguard, his jawline has a life of its own, bouncing up and down as Pitt snacks on ice cream cones and fruit and hot dogs (Madden's quivering jaw is reserved for clenched tension).
To make things right, here's Brad Pitt Eating: The Mashup, a.k.a the lost footage from the best episode of Friends.