8 Turkey Day-themed TV Episodes Worth Revisiting This Thanksgiving

Thanksgiving is all about family. Ha, just kidding. It's all about stuffing our faces with mashed potatoes and being thankful for four-day weekends. It's also a time for watching TV with our loved ones, which is why I've compiled this highly scientific list of eight Thanksgiving-themed episodes that are worth revisiting with your next of kin this weekend (though of course they're also enjoyable solo), as you eat all the food and wish you'd packed an extra pair of elastic-waist sweatpants.


8. Parenthood - "Happy Thanksgiving"

Parenthood's greatest strength is the way it portrays the American family, and the series' realistic approach to a giant family dinner in "Happy Thanksgiving" is something we can all identify with. It was messy, it was loud, people fought, people laughed, and people played football. That's what being American is all about, right?


7. Friends - "The One With all the Thanksgivings"


Friends loved Thanksgiving, devoting many episodes to the holiday throughout its 10-season run, but my favorite has to be the one where everyone talked about their worst Thanksgiving experiences, and we get to see them all in glorious flashback style.


6. Suburgatory - "Thanksgiving"


What, you guys don't dress up like Pilgrims and Indians for your Thanksgiving dinners? I guess you should probably steer clear of Chatswin, then, because both the Royces' and the Shays' events required costumes. Althought I guess you could always pull a Lisa and show up naked in protest.


5. Sports Night - "Thespis"


I think I'll let Felicity Huffman's character Dana take this one: "I've named this Thanksgiving. I'm calling it 'The Thanksgiving of Mom's Disapproval.' Included on the two-record set are the hit songs 'Why Aren't You Married?' And 'Sports Is No Place for an Educated Woman' and 'Didn't Anyone Ever Tell You How to Cook a Turkey?'"


4. Buffy the Vampire Slayer - "Pangs"


Naturally, Buffy's Thanksgiving episode was about so much more than passing the turkey and the pumpkin pie around the table. A Chumash warrior was brought back to life, Angel lurked, and Spike was tied to a chair. Oh, and Xander got syphilis. What more could you ask for, really?


3. Gilmore Girls - "A Deep-Fried Korean Thanksgiving"


Gilmore Girls only did one Thanksgiving episode during its seven seasons on the air, but since "A Deep-Fried Korean Thanksgiving" did involve four Thanksgiving dinners, I think that more than makes up for the lack of an annual celebration. You had the Kims and their tofurkey, Sookie and the deep-fried turkey, Luke's dinner at the diner, and dinner with Richard and Emily. Whoa.


2. The West Wing - "Shibboleth"


The West Wing did two Thanksgiving-themed episodes over the course of its seven-year run, and both of them were pretty great. But nothing beats C.J. having to figure out which turkey to pardon and which to send off to the slaughter. Plus it had as many helpings of heavy-handed Sorkinese as anyone could ever want.


1.  How I Met Your Mother - "Slapsgiving"

This one doesn't need any further explanation, right?

(Note: This story was originally published on November 27, 2013, but we wanted to bring it back in time for this year's Thanksgiving!)

What are YOUR favorite Thanksgiving-themed TV episodes? 


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Titus has a great Thanksgiving episode!!
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Hope everyone here had a good. blessed Thanksgiving.

If you didn't, there's always next year.
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You all missed.... Life with Louie- The fourth Thursday in november.... :D
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Just teasing my American friends!

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I'll add the Bob's Burgers episode, "Turkey in a Can." They usually have great Thanksgiving episodes, and this one is my favorite.
And of course, WKRP's "Turkey's Away." That's a given.
Also Cheers' "Thanksgiving Orphans." Another classic.
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It's a yam sham.
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My vote for best Turkey-themed episode goes to "Turkey", episode of the show Ultimate Journeys. Take a look at the description:

"Turkey, a land that traverses continents: where East meets West. Over two thousand years of civilisation has left this country with a rich architectural legacy, from the Romans, Byzantines and Ottomans, Turkey’s cities and ancient ruins are a must."
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Friends is definitely the King of Thanksgiving TV.
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Missing the two best here - WKRP, of course. And Mad About You - never liked the show, but loved that episode. Yes, you do. Yes, you do.
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WKRP Season 1 Episode 7 - Turkeys Away - anybody of that generation knows what I'm talking about - "As God is my witness, I though that turkeys could fly" - a classic!

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Ahem, without WKRP in Cincinnati, this list is fatally flawed.
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Southpark season 4 episode 14. Helen Keller: The Musical. Don't worry the pet turkey Gobbles survives because he always keeps his head down ;)
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Is there a chicken version? ;)
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Great list. I also love Mad About You's "Giblets for Murray", cheesy ending and all.
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What a GREAT list - two of those shows i don;t like

as much as i love Friends, The West Wing, Sports Night, HIMYM and Parenthood

none of the aforementioned episodes come close the greatness of Buffy's Pangs - just a complete oddball episode with Xander getting Syphilis, Spike being hilarious, Buffy kicking ass, Giles being HILARIOUS, and the first appearance of Angel post-Spin-Off
A very underrated Buffy episode IMO and proof that season 4 wasn't as bad as people claim
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Other than Riley, the most boring character to ever grace the show, I thought season 4 was really good. For one thing it contains my favourite ever episode in Hush.
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I'm one of the minority that actually liked Riley (And The Initiative as a whole) - it helped that he was hot too
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Last time I rewatched the show, I realized that Riley was actually really likable for the majority of his run. It was just the very end when he became a bummer, when he was letting vampires feed on him and stuff. Actually, the end of their relationship was so real and moving. He could tell that Buffy didn't love him as much as he loved her. So sad. Over the course of the entire show, he was the only real boyfriend Buffy had. Not that she didn't love a couple other characters, but he was the one guy she could just have fun with in the light of day, who got close to her family and friends and actually slept with her without losing/never having a soul. I'm glad they brought him back for one more episode, to show him getting a happy ending.
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Yeah he is an ass in season 5 - i would be one of the first to admit that - but he had a purpose and i do not find him boring at all - especially his 'monologue' to Xander in 'The Replacement' which i LOVE

I just wish his return episode in season 6 was better than it was but i can get past it because Joss wasn't the showrunner for that season
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Huge oversight of The classic WKRP Thanksgiving episode.
Oh, the horror.
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"As God is my witness, I thought turkeys could fly..."
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"The 'copter seems to circling the parking area now. I guess it's looking for a place to land. No! Something just came out of the back of a helicopter. It's a dark object, perhaps a skydiver plummeting to the earth from only two thousand feet in the air... There's a third... No parachutes yet... Those can't be skydivers. I can't tell just yet what they are but... Oh my God! They're turkeys! Oh no! Oh, they're crashing to the earth right in front of our eyes! One just went through the windshield of a parked car! This is terrible! Everyone's running around pushing each other. Oh my goodness! Oh, the humanity! People are running about. The turkeys are hitting the ground like sacks of wet cement! Folks, I don't know how much longer... The crowd is running for their lives. I think I'm going to step inside. I can't stand here and watch this anymore. No, I can't go in there. Children are searching for their mothers and oh, not since the Hindenberg tragedy has there been anything like this."
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Saburgatory - "Feathers or founders?" to which Jenna replies, "You're racist."
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I honestly don't know how I would've reacted if 'Slapsgiving' hadn't made it on the list- my mind would've exploded
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Thank god Suburgatory made the list
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WKRP will always be the best
And coming in at a close second is Mad About You


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Thank you. This site often forgets the classics.
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I gotta say Slapsgiving is kinda legendary! My favorite Friends' Thankgiving was the one with Brad Pitt, obviously!
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Slapsgiving!
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Don't trust the B in Apt 23 had an amazing Thanksgiving episode. (RIP)
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The Dexterone, with Trinity family, and Cody saying that he was grateful for Dexter, was a very special one..
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That was my favourite episode of the Trinity season. So damn good.
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Chuck's Thanksgiving episode from season one. I think it was called Chuck verses the Nemesis... SO funny...
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One phrase:

"As God is my witness...I thought turkeys could fly!"
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The Cheers episode where the gang has Thanksgiving at Carla's house ending in a food fight is my favorite, followed by the WKRP in Cincinnati turkey drop episode. "Oh, the humanity!" "As God is my witness, I thought turkeys could fly."

Honorable mention to the last line of the Just Shoot Me Thanksgiving episode: "Go tofurkey yourself."

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Has to be Buffy for me with regards to TV shows.
For movies though it will always be Home for the Holidays for me!
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Slapsgiving for the win
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I need more DALIA ROYCE... Slapsgiving is an all time classic.
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I never really cared for Dalia until the time she tried to blink and her eye lashes got stuck. I can't think of many TV moments in the last decade that made me laugh harder than that scene.
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I like WKRP...Season 1 Episode 7...Turkeys Away
Carlson drops turkeys out of a helicopter as Les Nesman reports.
It is on Hulu
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Northern Exposure and 3rd Rock From the Sun.
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Dharma and Greg, when Dharma tries to cook a turkey and a lobster.
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Mad about you had an awesome thanksgiving episode that asked the question: can a semi cooked turkey fly
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Double thumbs up for Pangs, as gave rise to one of the best lyrics in Once More With Feeling

I talk.
He breezes.
She doesn't know what please is.
His penis got diseases from a chumash tribe
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Ha, Pangs was hilarious not one of the best Buffy episodes but still very funny.
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Rocko's Modern Life
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God, I miss Gilmore Girls so much. It was such a great show.
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pangs and the gilmore gilrs thanksgiving.
i do miss those shows.
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Prefer Mr bean's turkey on the head skit. After all, some mook in Friends writers circle stole it. Much like Robot Chicken stole from Adam and Joe. Bah Humbug.
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I have no problem heartily endorsing most of these. Because it's a lesser known work, my particular shout-out goes to "Thespis" from "Sports Night". An absolute brilliant episode, hilarious and awesome, weaving together hilarity, emotion, sports and history in a wonderful combination resulting in an incredibly worthwhile 24ish minutes.
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Pangs is an awesome Thanksgiving episode.
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I like south parks thanksgiving episode (I know theres multiple episodes but I like this one)



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Thanksgiving was definitely one of Suburgatory's very best episodes. It was fantastic!
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I love that Gilmore Girls episode! <3
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lauren graham and alyson hannigan are so awesome they appear twice in this list , oh and also that guy from "parenthood","newsroom" and "six feet under " I don't know his name but I bet is pretty awesome too.

and I also really liked the friends episode with brad pitt, the" we hate rachel" club was hilarious

and one last thing
spike: "you made a bear !!!! a bear !!!"
buffy :I didn't mean too"
spike "undo it undo it "
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Peter Krause, and he IS awesome!
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Shibboleth was AWESOME.
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Happy Endings had a pretty funny thanksgiving episode.
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Dexter "Hungry Man" because...remember when Dexter was great? *sniffs* I'm thankful for that.
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I'm thankful for yams.
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Yams are pretty amazing. I like yams. I, too, am thankful for yams.
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I think "The One Where Ross Got High" was definitely my favorite Thanksgiving episode.... ever.

"First there's a layer of lady fingers. Then a layer of jam. Then custard, which I made from scratch. Then raspberries, more lady fingers. Then beef sauteed with peas and onions. More custard, then bananas. Then I just put some whipped cream on top."
"What was the layer right before bananas?"

Another fine moment, albeit from a different Thanksgiving episode:

"Fine judge all you want to, but married a lesbian, left a man at the altar, fell in love with a gay ice dancer, threw a girl's wooden leg in a fire, live in a box!"

Gah, Friends just has the best Thanksgiving episodes. It's almost time to start my yearly marathon.
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