Historic TV with a Side of Cranberry Sauce
Some of the most iconic Thanksgiving moments on TV. 🦃
We set out to list the most memorable Thanksgiving TV episodes or moments. But with the invention of television itself nearly 100 years old, there are quite a few to choose from. It has long been a writers room tradition to sit its cast around a table once a year and give thanks that the show isn’t canceled yet.
We’ve listed just a handful of our favorites below so that next year, we can give you a few more.
A Charlie Brown Thanksgiving
Just think about this for a second: A bunch of children, a bird, and a dog preparing Thanksgiving dinner then all sitting around a nicely decorated table. It’s kinda… well… ridiculous. But that’s why we love it! It’s a classic and a must-watch during holiday dinner prep whether you have kids, are a kid, or neither.
Enjoy this delightful classic with other Remarkists this year—we’re hosting a watch party as part of our official holiday slate on Thursday, November 24, 2022 @ 12:30pm ET/9:30am PT.
Beverly Hills, 90210 - The Kindness of Strangers (S03 Ep15)
How would you react if someone in your family invited a homeless stranger to your picture-perfect Thanksgiving dinner? If you’d open your heart to it, Brandon’s got you covered. Or how about getting into a fight with your furloughed dad? Is angst more your Thanksgiving vibe? Dylan’s your man for that. You could also do like Steve and tell your famous actress of a mother while she’s on set that you were just expelled from school. That would be a normal thing to do on Thanksgiving. Because let’s face it, this holiday is perfect for all kinds of family drama, and boy, does this episode have it in the cheesiest of spades! Thanksgiving cheese? 🧀 Of course! Pass it on down the table!
Friends (S01 Ep09 and S05 Ep08)
There are way too many great Friends turkey moments to choose from (9 episodes, in fact), and countless fans have even ranked them over the years. From the Gellar Cup to Chandler’s box to Rachel’s classic Thanksgiving trifle, the Thanksgiving episodes of this show are pretty much all fan faves. We can’t decide which one we like best, so we are bringing you two:
In Season One of Friends, audiences were still getting to know the fab six, and this episode beautifully showcased the personalities we would grow to know and love so well. In “The One Where Underdog Gets Away,” unfortunate circumstances for each of our characters have them spending Thanksgiving with each other rather than their respective families, so Monica is doing her best to provide everyone’s favorite potato dish 🥔. But when Underdog—the Macy’s Thanksgiving Day Parade float, that is—escapes from the parade route, our friends abandon their apartments to go watch the chaos from their roof. A uniquely New York City-themed episode with a relatable concept: spending Thanksgiving, and creating traditions, with your chosen family when you can’t be with your own.
Even if you’ve never seen Friends, you’ve seen one or both of these images: Matt LeBlanc with a turkey on his head or… Courteney Cox with a turkey on her head. 🦃 “The One With All the Thanksgivings” (HBO Max lists it as “The One With the Thanksgiving Flashbacks”) is a beautiful culmination of everything we love about the show: there are flashbacks, there are wild hairdos, there are multiple injuries. Often ranked as the number one Thanksgiving ep, we had to include it.
Gilmore Girls - A Deep-Fried Korean Thanksgiving (S03 Ep09)
Are we crying or laughing? Gilmore Girls has two things in common with Thanksgiving: 🍂 Fall vibes 🍂 and an enormous amount of food. Enter the Thanksgiving episode, where these two qualities are at their peak throughout. The premise: Lorelai and Rory have been invited to four—that’s right, FOUR—Thanksgivings in one day. Our girls are no strangers to endless amounts of food, so really, their only issue is timing each visit to make it to them all. A great ep with the right mix of family drama and townie hilarity, this one is a classic.
This Is Us - Six Thanksgivings (S03 Ep08)
For us, holidays of the past several years haven’t felt complete without spending at least a portion of them with one of our favorite TV families: The Pearsons! There are a few great Thanksgiving episodes to choose from in This is Us, but this one feels extra special as we learn a lot about a particular piece of jewelry we’ve seen on both Jack and Kevin. Popeye’s takeout also saves the day (or dinner, in this case). And yes, you might need the usual box of tissues 🤧 to get through this one.
New Girl - Thanksgiving (S01 Ep06)
Another series with multiple Thanksgiving episodes, this one is often ranked as the best. Just like on Friends, this episode celebrates the fun of a holiday with your urban tribe. The new girl herself, Jess, is determined to cook a perfect meal for the whole gang, including her new crush. But things go awry, of course. Spoiler alert: a turkey does wind up in a clothes dryer 😳.
As we said, there are so many more—classics like WKRP in Cincinnati’s famous turkey drop or Cheers’ historically messy gathering which we’ll be watching at Remarkist this Thanksgiving. We hope you’ll join us!
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