What do you get when you combine way too much food, football, and all of your annoying family members in one place? Thanksgiving, that’s what!
To get geared up, I’ve rounded up 7 of my favorite Thanksgiving specials to get you in the Turkey Day spirit below. Whether you love it or hate it, these episodes will give you a little something extra to be thankful for this Thanksgiving:
Friends: “The One With All The Thanksgivings”
Originally aired November 19, 1998 (season 5, episode 8)
It’s a tough call, but I think we can all agree that this is the best one out of Friends’ 10 Thanksgiving episodes (and one of the best Thanksgiving specials out there, period).
The gang gives us a walk down memory lane with flashbacks to everyone’s worst Thanksgivings. Chandler remembers his parents telling him they’re getting a divorce; Monica’s was in 1987, when she overheard Chandler call her fat; and Rachel’s was the following year, when Monica accidentally dropped a knife on Chandler’s toe, causing him to lose part of it. Joey, trying to scare Chandler, recalls the year he got his head stuck in a turkey; Phoebe tells everyone about a Thanksgiving she experienced in her past life; and Ross complains about his current state after being evicted and in the midst of a divorce.
How I Met Your Mother: “Slapsgiving”
Originally aired November 19, 2007 (season 3, episode 9)
“Slapsgiving” is the holy grail of HIMYM Thanksgiving episodes. Marshall terrorizes Barney with the promise of a third slap in the pair’s “slap bet,” which Lily, obsessing over hosting the perfect Thanksgiving, worries will ruin their holiday. Meanwhile, Ted and Robin wonder if they’re still friends after having broken up a few months earlier. The episode ends with a legen-wait for it-dary musical number from the group, “You Just Got Slapped.”
A Charlie Brown Thanksgiving
Originally aired November 20, 1973
After Peppermint Patty invites herself over, Charlie, Linus, Snoopy, and Woodstock attempt to throw a Thanksgiving dinner. No holiday is really complete without a Peanuts special, and this one is no exception.
Gilmore Girls: “A Deep-Fried Korean Thanksgiving”
Originally aired November 26, 2002 (season 3, episode 9)
Rory and Lorelai struggle to fit in four Thanksgivings in one day – a tofurkey-filled event at the Kim’s; an awkward meal at the diner with Luke and Jess; dinner at Sookie’s, who’s upset over Jackson’s attempt to deep-fry their turkey; and a typical dinner at Richard and Emily’s, where Lorelai is shocked to find out Rory applied to Yale.
New Girl: “Parents”
Originally aired November 20, 2012 (season 2, episode 8)
Jess tries to “Parent Trap” her parents into getting back together when they come for Thanksgiving. Throw in a visit from Schmidt’s cousin, Big Schmidt, and, naturally, things go awry.
Buffy the Vampire Slayer: “Pangs”
Originally aired November 23, 1993 (season 4, episode 8)
If you’re looking for a darker take on Thanksgiving, this is the one to watch. Xander accidentally releases a Native American spirit that’s out for revenge, and Buffy and co. work to defeat it. After, the episode ends on a light note when the group sits down for Thanksgiving dinner.
Modern Family: “Three Turkeys”
Originally aired November 19, 2014 (season 6, episode 8)
Claire decides to let Phil handle Thanksgiving dinner, but secretly prepares a backup turkey to use if (more like when) Phil’s doesn’t work out. Meanwhile, Gloria and Jay, desperate to have some time alone, led everyone to believe they’re on vacation, and are forced to hide when the family’s Thanksgiving is suddenly moved to their house.
Gossip Girl: “Blair Waldorf Must Pie!”
Originally aired November 28, 2007 (season 1, episode 9)
In flashbacks to Thanksgiving one year earlier, we see Serena’s party girl past and Blair’s struggle with bulimia. In present day, the Humphreys and the Van der Woodsens share an awkward Thanksgiving dinner, while Blair relapses after discovering that her dad won’t be spending the holiday with her. Most of the drama subsides by the end of the episode, but since it is Gossip Girl, you know it won’t last long.