8 Best Thanksgiving TV Episodes That Will Totally Make Your Turkey Day
Who doesn't love a good television episode with a holiday theme to tie it all together? Thanksgiving is all about spending time with loved ones and being grateful for what you have. There's also that whole stuffing your face thing. And if you want to celebrate the season without getting up from the comfort of your couch (leaving the house can be a lot of work sometimes), then why not indulge in some of the best Thanksgiving TV episodes.
Before you have to fall into a stressful vortex of prepping a complicated meal, making convos about "what you're up to" with a rando relative, or spending three hours just making it look like you're chopping a single carrot so you can avoid helping (you know who you are), get in the holiday spirit by hanging out with those other families. Your TV families. The Thanksgiving episode has been a staple of the programming menu since the small screen was invented and there are dozens of them to choose from. To narrow it down, we're ranking eight of the best Turkey Day TV episodes around. These mostly recent classics are sure to be an entertaining escape from all the holiday hullabaloo to ensue.
8. The Office, "WUPHF.com" (Season 7, Episode 9)
This isn't your typical Thanksgiving episode because nobody sits down to break bread together, but that doesn't mean it isn't chock full of festive fall happenings. Dwight creating a Hay festival to re-live out his childhood memories is the most Dwight thing ever, especially because he crowns himself Hay King. Kevin getting lost in his hay maze is subsequently the most Kevin thing ever.
7. Full House, "The Miracle of Thanksgiving" (Season 1, Episode 9)
Remember when Jesse was just a dude in his early 20s (seriously) with a mullet and a zest for motorcycle stunts? The early days of Full House seem lightyears away from the Fuller House Tanners we've grown to know and love these days, yet the warm and fuzzy feeling remains. This first-season episode was all about coming to terms with their new family dynamic — they burn the turkey, because duh — but it all ended with a warm meal, a hug, and a lesson.
6. How I Met Your Mother, 'Slapsgiving' (Season 3, Episode 9)
We don't condone violence, but this bizarre take on a Thanksgiving tradition just gets us every time. "The Slapsgiving Song" is now the perfect addition to your holiday sing-a-long.
5. This Is Us, "Pilgrim Rick" (Season 1, Episode 8)
This flashback-heavy tearjerker finds House Pearson stranded in a woodsy motel on their Thanksgiving vacay. What ever will they do? Create new and heartwarming traditions, obviously! And, of course, 2016 Randall refers to himself as Thanksgiving Dad.
4. Gossip Girl, 'Blair Waldorf Must Pie!' (Season 1, Episode 9)
More flashbacks! This Season 1 fave shows the GG characters as their present-day selves as opposed to how they acted on the Thanksgiving holiday the previous year. It was a smart narrative device to get to know them a bit better and see how far they've come. Or how far they haven't.
3. Master of None, "Thanksgiving" (Season 2, Episode 8)
Season 2 of Master of None shifted the focus off Dev for this beautiful episode that tells the story of how Denise came to terms with her sexuality and ultimately came out to her conservative mother, played by Angela Bassett. It all plays out over a series of Thanksgivings from the '90s to present day. Writer and actress Lena Waithe picked up the Emmy in 2017 for Outstanding writing in a Comedy Series for her work.
2. Gilmore Girls, 'A Deep Fried Korean Thanksgiving' (Season 3, Episode 9)
Gilmore Girls is basically food porn and seasonal porn all in one fast-talking package, and this Thanksgiving episode is the ultimate showcase. Lorelai and Rory are known for having bottomless pits as stomachs, so they try to fit in four feasts in this gem that has some Jess/Dean drama, Lane's first kiss with Dave (Adam Brody), and the amazingness that is drunk Sookie.
1. Friends, 'The One Where Underdog Gets Away' (Season 1, Episode 9)
Oh, the lasting comfort of the Friends Thanksgiving episode. They're as integral to the holiday as pumpkin pie. There have been so many greats — Brad Pitt's Rachel-hating cameo, Joey in a box, Rachel's trifle fail ("it tastes like a foot"), and Monica's dancing turkey head. But the one that kicked off the tradition will always be close to our heart. We learn why Chandler hates the holiday and we get to see the gang come together in the end like family. "Here's to a lousy Christmas! And a crappy New Year!"