How do we love a good turkey dinner tension scene? Let us count the ways ...
“The One With All the Thanksgivings” (Season 5, Episode 8)
This show has its own separate list of classic Thanksgiving episode moments, so how do we pick a favorite? While it’s hard to beat Rachel’s infamous savory-sweet trifle, we have to give the edge to Monica’s turkey head – and Chandler’s subsequent “I love you” blurt out. Hearts = melted.
“Blair Waldorf Must Pie!” (Season 1, Episode 9)
And the award for best Thanksgiving flashback scene goes to … party girl Serena Vanderwoodsen. At this point, we always heard about her wild days as a high school sophomore, but nothing drives home the point like getting wasted at a bar when you told your mom you were out getting the pie. We’re thankful Dan was there to save her from getting hit by a taxi, even if she doesn’t remember it.
“Thanksgiving Orphans” (Season 5, Episode 9)
Most big city dwellers know the feeling of being an orphan on Turkey Day, and this episode’s classic food fight scene showed all the characters built-up frustrations coming to a head at the dinner table, just like a real family.
A Charlie Brown Thanksgiving
It’s not a holiday without a Charlie Brown special, and Thanksgiving is, in our humble opinion, the most special of them all. The core drama of the episode comes from a mischievous Snoopy, who invites everyone for dinner and proceeds to serve them toast, popcorn, and jelly beans (then secretly saves the turkey for himself and Woodstock). Is it just us or are we weirdly okay with the original meal?
“Punkin Chunkin” (Season 3, Episode 9)
The Dunphys once again prove their dedication to being the most competitive family on TV. We only wish ours were creative enough to build a pumpkin catapult as a way to get out the holiday aggression.
“The Homecoming” (Season 1, Episode 11)
Fact: There is no better season of television than season 1 of The O.C.. Marissa Cooper’s meltdown in Tijuana! Chugging vodka in the bathroom of a charity fashion show! If only our high school lives were so glamorous. In this episode, we see Seth’s relationship with both Summer and Anna burn (along with the turkey) as he tries to play them both at the same time. (Byeee Anna, Seth and Summer forever).
“A Deep Fried Korean Thanksgiving” (Season 3, Episode 9)
Lorelai and Rory’s strategy of “skipping the rolls” to get through four different Thanksgivings is kind of a bummer, though understandable being that one of those involved a fully deep-fried turkey (much to the aversion of Melissa McCarthy‘s character).
HOW I MET YOUR MOTHER
“Slapsgiving” (Season 3, Episode 9)
It’s the episode that launched a painful tradition, and we are thankful for all the laughs it’s provided over the years.
“The Miracle of Thanksgiving” (Season 1, Episode 9)
Our first Thanksgiving with the Tanner family was, as expected, a rollercoaster of emotions. First holiday they spent without their late mom? Tears. Uncle Joey and Uncle Jesse forgetting to defrost the turkey before cooking it? Classic early ’90s sitcom hilarity.
EVERYBODY LOVES RAYMOND
“No Fat” (Season 3, Episode 10)
We love when a sitcom serves as a historical insight into the trends of the times, and nothing says “1998” like an entirely fat-free Thanksgiving. Steamed veggies?! Turkey-molded tofu?! Cue the laugh track.
“He Is Risen” (Season 3, Episode 8)
Proof that not even mobsters are immune to petty family holiday drama. Our favorite moment? Tony throwing food across the table at Janice’s narcoleptic boyfriend.
“A History Channel Thanksgiving” (Season 15, Episode 13)
As can be expected, everyone’s favorite irreverent cartoon children used Thanksgiving to make an important social commentary on the evolution of the History Channel. In it, we learned that “Professor of Thanksgiving” is our dream job title and that “massive stuffing shortage” are the scariest words in the English language.
“Hungry Man” (Season 4, Episode 9)
Okay, so one serial killer going undercover to another serial killer’s dysfunctional family Thanksgiving meal might not be the heartwarming fodder we are looking for this time of year – but it’s morbidly fascinating television nonetheless.
“Happy Thanksgiving” (Season 2, Episode 10)
There is literally no episode of this show that didn’t make us Notebook-level cry, and the holidays are the perfect time to really just let ’em flow.
“Indian Takers” (Season 4, Episode 3)
The cult comedy’s Netflix season may not have quite lived up to expectations, but this scene where Tobias shoves a live duck in the oven for Thanksgiving dinner shows it still had its moments of brilliance.