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Top 10 Thanksgiving Episodes

Top 10 Thanksgiving Episodes

We could watch these Thanksgiving favorites on repeat, year-round.

Elizabeth Hoyt

October 29, 2014

We laugh, we cry, we know them inside and out. The characters become family and, sometimes, we feel like know them better than we know ourselves.

Yep, nothing compares to your T.V. favorites. Here’s our list, in no particular order, of our favorite Turkey Day-centered television.

1. “Friends”: “Friends” packed in more than a mouthful during its classic Thanksgiving Day episodes. “The One with All the Thanksgivings” & “The One with the Rumor” gave us moments we’ll surely never forget.

We’re sure you have your favorites including the Geller cup; fat-to-thin Monica; Chandler loses a toe; Rachel makes that disgusting trifle; Chandler in a box; Joey and Monica both put turkeys on their heads (in different situations, of course); Brad Pitt guest-stars as President of the “I hate Rachel Green” club and reveals he and Ross were in cahoots and spread a nasty rumor about her; Joey eats a whole turkey and Phoebe is 19th century medic.

Let’s not forget the touching moments, too, like when Chandler tells Monica he loves her and, in a later episode, the couple finally gets the news that they are able to adopt a baby.

Jam-packed with an array of emotions, humor being the most prominent, these episodes leave viewers with a whole lot to be thankful for.

2. “How I Met Your Mother”: There’s talk that “How I Met Your Mother” is competing with “Friends” as the modern day Thanksgiving episodes sitcom classic. We won’t pick favorites between the two, but you surely can.

Episodes “Slapsgiving: Part I” and “Slapsgiving: Part II” entertain to the max as Marshall torments Barney with the threat of the last slap from their “slap bet”; the awkwardness that ensues between Ted and Robin’s awkward breakup; unwanted family moments; weird board games; Lily’s determinedness to have a perfect Thanksgiving; Barney volunteers in a soup kitchen and the ultimate Thanksgiving treat of Robin’s music video, “Let’s Go to the Mall.”

All this wit grouped into two mere episodes is more than one can bear. Well, almost.

3. “A Charlie Brown Thanksgiving”: Who doesn’t love any story involving good old Charlie Brown? “A Charlie Brown Thanksgiving” is no exception in our book.

Charlie and the gang need to come together and throw a fancy feast together oh-so-quickly when Peppermint Patty invites herself over.

The instant classic will undoubtedly give you the warm and fuzzies. If not, you’ll at least get a kick out of the impressions you and other Thanksgiving guests will undoubtedly take on, in imitating the adult characters’ “wah wah” conversations.

4. “Seinfeld”: Many other shows put the mockery aside to pay tribute to the Thanksgiving holiday, loading us up with a sappy dose of what show did I just watch? Not Seinfeld.

We’d, of course, expect awkwardness at its finest, with a dollop of cynicism to serve up viewing perfection.

“The Mom & Pop Store” episode contains classic situations like Jerry obsessively trying to figure out if his invited to an annual Pre-Thanksgiving party; Kramer tries to save a shoe-repair shop; George buys the infamous convertible he thinks was once owned by Jon Voight, the actor; and Elaine wins a radio contest, letting Mr. Pitt be in the Macy’s Day Parade. The highlight, of course, is when Jerry accidentally deflates one of the Macy’s Parade floats.

5. “South Park”: Politically correct? Never. But, isn’t that what we love most about this amazingly insubordinate genre?

“Starvin’ Marvin” classically illustrates this through a starving Ethiopian child, one of the best Bravehart parodies you’ll ever see, genetically-modified turkeys that aim to kill and, who could forget, Sally Struthers.

You may say it’s wrong, but the saving grace that makes us feel human again is that the boys do learn life lessons. Justified.

6. “Everybody Loves Raymond”: Debra takes a stand (shocking, we know) and makes tofurkey (tofu turkey) because it’s healthier, with Marie’s support.

The family is up in arms with the healthier spread and Ray secretly orders a real turkey with trimmings to boot, which is recipe for disaster with Debra.

Everyone gives into the “real” meal in the end, opting for deliciousness over health. We can’t say we blame them.

7. “Will & Grace”: “Will & Grace” gave us plenty to be thankful for, but “Homo for the Holidays” was a treasure we may never forget.

The episode revolves around Jack revealing that he still hasn’t come out to his mother—and the crew being forced to awkwardly attempt to keep the secret as a result. More family secrets are revealed as the holiday progresses and hilarity ensures, per usual.

8. “New Girl”: Dubbed the potential “Friends” of the millennials, “New Girl” offers a lovable episode entitled “Thanksgiving,” where Jess takes an Amelia Bedelia-esque approach to the meal when she tries to thaw a turkey in the dryer; Schmidt exposes his anal retentive side to Cece in the kitchen, who may or may not like that side of him; the gang learns their elderly neighbor has died in a rather interesting way and Paul, a male version of Jess, is introduced (played by Justin Long).

9. “The Simpsons”: Bart takes on Thanksgiving in the self-explanatory title, “Bart vs. Thanksgiving,” but things turn around once he gives up and apologizes to Lisa, his sister, for ruining Thanksgiving and the family actually is able to enjoy a meal together. How touching.

10. “Dexter”: Not all Thanksgivings are made of cranberry sauce and pie, which we find out during the “Hungry Man” episode, when Dexter decides to spend Thanksgiving with the Trinity killer’s family.

Dexter gets more than he bargained for when Trinity’s antics ruining the meal, ending with Dexter attacking Trinity, forcing him to the ground in a choke-hold to protect the family.

They didn’t seem very thankful for the guest defending them. How awkward that “thanks for coming, let’s do it again soon” must have been.

Do you have any Thanksgiving episode favorites we forgot? If so, we’d love to hear them!

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