Thanksgiving is usually filled with family, laughter, parades, football and sumptuous meals, the highlight of which is always the juicy turkey and cranberry sauce. As we go around the table, mentioning the things we are thankful for, we feel closer to our friends and families despite the differences we may have had in the past.
Holiday-themed episodes are usually a fan favourite in shows. While most people fixate on Christmas and New Year’s Eve, there is a massive fan-following for Thanksgiving dinner sequences as well.
These scenes are often chaotic and uncomfortable as one may see family drama ensue. At times they are uproariously funny with family conflict, altercations, humour and comedy finding a common ground.
From Friends to Modern Family, there are uncountable TV shows who have milked Thanksgiving episodes by the dozen to produce wonderful content. Whether you are an anti-thanksgiving person like Chandler Bing or an absolute busybody like Monica, there are certain Thanksgiving episodes that will help you recover from your post-turkey coma.
Here are 5 best Thanksgiving episodes in shows available on Netflix:
5 best Thanksgiving episodes in shows available on Netflix
5. Gilmore Girls
Titled ‘A Deep-Fried Korean Thanksgiving’, this is a part of the third season. As we all may know, deep frying a turkey is quite a harrowing task and may quickly go south if not done properly. The episode, too, contained moments that saw unbridled tension at the dinner table when Lorelai finds out about Rory applying to various other colleges besides Harvard, upsetting her. The episode also saw Lane having her first kiss with Dave and the Kirks, both cat and human, having some bonding time.
With a David Bowie riff complementing the episode, it has plenty of pop-cultural references, something that is quite typical of the show. The episode sees four Thanksgiving dinners being fit into one episode making it an epic disaster.
Available: All regions
4. The Office
Aaron Shure received a nomination at the Writers Guild of America Awards for his work on the ninth episode of the seventh season titled ‘WUPHF.com’ which saw the spirit of Thanksgiving overwhelm Dwight. Determined to recreate the fun and madness that encapsulated his childhood memories about Hay Place before Thanksgiving, Dwight recreates the same in the parking lot of Dunder Mifflin and is obsessed with winning the title of Hay King. This takes a toll on his relationship with Angela who meets her future husband at the event.
The episode ended on a hilarious note with a classic prank from Jim that will make your sides ache with laughter. Michael also compares his employees to cards which remains one of the most epic moments of the show.
3. Modern Family
Modern Family has certain fun Thanksgiving sequences. ‘Three Turkeys’ is the eighth episode in the sixth season that sees epic chaos unfold when neither the turkey is prepared well by Phil and Like nor is Jay and Gloria’s Thanksgiving dinner plan post their cancelled vacation in place and their alone time gets disrupted. It was a ghastly example of how family dinners can often be tiresome, loud and chaotic.
Another interesting episode would most definitely be the ninth episode of the third season, ‘Punkin Chunkin’, where Haley uses the turn of a successful neighbourhood resident as an example to support her exemption from college at the dinner table with her parents. Phil thinks of all the could-have-beens and the dinner turns into a critical intervention where the family finds themselves divided and soon resort to a game of ‘Punkin Chunkin’ to support their competitive high.
In an episode of disasters in the sixth season, titled ‘The Mom & Pop Store’, George gets scammed into buying a more expensive convertible that allegedly belonged to Jon Voight and Jerry Seinfeld loses all his sneakers when he listens to Kramer and supports a mom and pop store. The old couple becomes bankrupt and runs off with Seinfeld’s shoes, leaving him with nothing but a pair of cowboy boots.
Based on the real-life incident of the writers, especially the scene that sees George buying the fake car that originally belonged to Jon Voight, the episode was an absolute riot. The same car was used to shoot the sequence and the storyline was hilarious. Also, a Jon Voight-bite a day, helps keep Kramer at bay!
Available: All regions
Friends have had a lot of Thanksgiving episodes over the years where the six of them have assembled at Monica and Rachel’s apartment to enjoy a sumptuous feast. From playing the annual NFL match to win the Geller Cup to Chandler being put in a box to repent over his sin for kissing Joey’s girlfriend to Brad Pitt making an appearance on the show to talk about the nasty rumour he started with Ross about Rachel’s genitalia back in high school, the gang has been up to a lot of crazy antics every Thanksgiving.
However, the most memorable episode would be the one in season five, titled ‘The One With All the Thanksgivings’ which revealed a lot of secrets from their past. From hilarious moments that saw Joey’s head getting stuck inside a dead turkey to not-so-hilarious moments including Chandler’s toe getting sliced off by the stray knife, the episode ended on a sweet note when Chandler finally expressed his love for Monica in an intimate setting. So much for Thanksgiving romance!