Thanksgiving is a time for food, family, turkey, more family, mashed potatoes, football, and did I mention food? The other thing that is wonderful for Thanksgiving time is television watching. Particularly, Thanksgiving episode television watching.
Here are a list of my personal favorite Thanksgiving television episodes, from some favorite TV shows.
Season 8, Episode 9: “The One With the Rumor”
Monica invites Will (Brad Pitt) over for Thanksgiving. THE BURN is strong, but the vindication for Jenn is sweet these days.
Best Line: Oh no. Here come the meat sweats.
Season 3, Episode 9: “The One with the Football”
The gang plays a game of touch football on Thanksgiving, and Monica and Ross have a fight over The Geller Cup.
Best Line: Rachel, go long.
Season 5, Episode 8: “The One With All The Thanksgivings”
The one with all the flashbacks of the worst Thanksgiving, including young Chandler, Ross, Monica, and Rachel. And Chandler’s wayward toe.
Best Line: It’s Joey.
Season 6, Episode 9: “The One Where Ross Got High”
Monica and Chandler live together, but the Geller parents don’t know it yet–because they hate Chandler, because they think he got Ross high back in college. Also, Rachel and the trifle.
Best Line: That’s a lot of information to get in 30 seconds.
- Season 7, Episode 8: “The One Where Chandler Doesn’t Like Dogs”
(Aka, the one with the 50 states quiz)
- Season 1, Episode 9: “The One Where Underdog Gets Away”
(Aka, the one with the Macy’s parade and the Underdog float gets away)
- Season 2, Episode 8: “The One with the List”
(Aka, Ross is an idiot. Also, mockolate.)
- Season 4, Episode 8: “The One with Chandler in a Box”
(Aka, the one after Chandler kissed Cathy and has to stay in the box for 6 hours. Also, Monica and Richard’s son and an eye patch.)
- Season 9, Episode 8: “The One with Rachel’s Other Sister”
(Aka, Rachel’s other sister, Christina Applegate. And “Emma is the product of a bottle of Merlot and a five year old condom.”)
- Season 10, Episode 8: “The One with the Late Thanksgiving”
(Aka, the one with Emma in the beauty pageant and the vein in Monica’s forehead. “Thanksgiving is over. The vein has spoken.”)
Season 1, Episode 6: “Thanksgiving”
Jess has the hots for fellow teacher (Justin Long) and decides to invite him over for an impromptu Thanksgiving dinner. Thawing the turkey is hard. Also, dead neighbor. Also, all the cringing.
Best line: I want to have sex with him big-time. You heard me! Big-time! Okay? I want to take him down to Chinatown and slice him off a piece of this pumpkin pie, okay?
Season 2, Episode 8: “Parents”
The one when Jess’s parents–Jamie Lee Curtis and Rob Reiner–come to visit, and Jess tries to parent trap them into loving each other again.
Best line: A parent trap takes weeks of scheduling, I feel like you’re just throwing this together. This is a makeshift parent trap, it probably won’t work.
- Season 3, Episode 10, “Thanksgiving III”
(Aka, the one where they go camping because Coach accuses Nick of being whipped after dating Jess.)
- Season 4, Episode 9, “Thanksgiving IV”
(Aka, Bangsgiving, when Schmidt makes everyone Secret Santa invite a sexually viable partner for someone else.)
How I Met Your Mother
Season 3, Episode 9 “Slapsgiving”
Marshall and Lily host their first Thanksgiving after getting hitched, and Marshall terrorizes Barney with a ticking slap clock. And hand-turkey garlands.
Best line: See what I got going on here, they’re turkeys but they’re also hands. Because later we’re going to eat turkey, and then I’m going to slap you in your face.
Season 5, Episode 9, “Slapsgiving 2: Revenge of the Slap”
Lilly’s your-dead-to-me look (aka, DARK WILLOW).
Best line: Last year you got left at the altar, you lost your job, you’ve come such a long way since then. I’m so proud of you, Ted. You deserve to slap someone in his face as hard as you can.
Season 6, Episode 10, “Blitzgiving”
Ted hosts his first Thanksgiving and makes a tur-tur-key-key, and decides to leave the bar early the night before Thanksgiving. BUT THEN he becomes “The Blitz”–inherited from Hurley from LOST.
Best line: Awww, man!
- Season 1, Episode 9, “Belly Full of Turkey”
(aka, the one where Lily and Marshall visit the Eriksons in Minnesota, and meanwhile Ted and Robin decide to volunteer at a homeless shelter kitchen)
- Season 7, Episode 11, “The Rebound Girl”
(aka, the one where Ted and Barney try to adopt a kid together, and Lily and Marshall try to move to Long Island)
The West Wing
Season 2, Episode 8: “Shibboleth”
The episode where CJ must choose between two turkeys for the Presidential pardon ceremony (one for life in a cushy zoo, the other for eating).
Season 17, Episode 7: “Black Friday”
A horde of Black Friday shoppers take on the mall. And the war is between PS4 and Xbox One.
Best Line: Winter is coming, Sharon, and I’m a sneaky little bee. Buzz buzz.
Buffy the Vampire Slayer
Season 4, Episode 8: “Pangs”
A contentious and controversial episode of Buffy that examines white guilt and the fact that Thanksgiving isn’t just a happy day for feasting–the vengeful spirit of a Chumash warrior awakens and rages against the people who have massacred his own.
Best Line: Undo it! Undo it!
Orange Is the New Black
Season 1, Episode 9: “Fucksgiving”
Isn’t that how everything feels right now? The episode that Piper spends in the SHU, her very first holiday in prison. Oh, and Alex.
Best Line: Wake up Healy, girls like me, we don’t go f*ck ignorant, pretentious men with lesbian obsessions. We go for hot, tall girls and we f*cking love it. So that leaves you on the outside with your sad, sad little life. So you don’t get me ever! So go f*ck yourself!
Season 3, Episode 9: “A Deep-Fried Korean Thanksgiving”
Four thanksgiving dinners, college app drama. And because the revival is coming, so we had to post something.
So there you have it. Our list of Thanksgiving episodes. Any other favorites we’ve forgotten?
Edited to include:
Season 1, Episode 6: “My First Thanksgiving With Josh!”
Becks gets herself invited to the Chan’s family Thanksgiving, wows the crew with her good parent skills, prepares dinuguan, and ends in calamity. (Per usual.)
Best Line: I’m making pies for people that I hate, which is mixed emotions for me because I like pie.