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?