Last year I shared my favorite Thanksgiving TV episodes with you, starting with Friends and the very special Thanksgiving episodes aired every year during its 10-year run. [You can watch them all on the WB’s site. And still, I’m not sure why the WB still has a site.]
But our six favorite friends aren’t the only ones to celebrate Thanksgiving on television. Here are some of my favorites, including some I mentioned last year and a few new ones. I hope you’ll share yours, too!
How I Met Your Mother: Slap Bet – A few years ago, Barney lost a slap bet to Marshall over Robin’s big secret. Hilarious and the start of a running gag that’s lasted all the way to last year’s legendary episode, Slapsgiving.
Ed: Something Old, Something New – In the first season of one of my all-time favorite shows evah, Ed deals with his first Thanksgiving after divorce. Mike bets him ($10, of course) that he can’t get the grocery store manager to tell him where the lettuce is in under a minute. The catch? He must pronounce it “let-oose.” I don’t know why, but this particular $10 bet cracks me up every time. Just like it cracks me up every time Mark and I use this alternate pronunciation. Which might be more often than you’d think.
Gilmore Girls: A Deep-Fried Korean Thanksgiving – You know I love my Gilmores. Apparently, I’m not alone. This episode made several of the top 10 lists I found online, many from TV professionals. That’s right. The critics and I agree – it’s a holiday miracle! In this season three ep, our beloved girls tried to eat four Thanksgiving dinners in one day. And then there was a little issue of Jess and Rory sitting in a tree, K-I-S-S-I-N-G. (No, they were not actually in a tree.)
Planes, Trains & Automobiles – As I mentioned last year, my go-to Thanksgiving movie is Home for the Holidays with Holly Hunter. A classic and a must-watch for me. However, I was reminded of this hilarious movie – and its infamous pillow/not a pillow scene – yesterday and couldn’t help but include it today!
Will & Grace: Lows in the Mid-80s – Last year, I mentioned Movable Feast as a classic Will & Grace holiday episode, and while I still love that episode (along with the one where the whole gang spends Thanksgiving with Vince’s family), I remembered that the flashback episodes that show Will and Grace’s traumatic almost-hookup took place on Thanksgiving, too. I’m not sure which part was funnier – the sad 80s fashion, Will asking Jack for advice, Sara Rue as Grace’s annoying sister or Grace’s mom singing. Oh, forget it. It was ALL funny to me!
That 70s Show: Thanksgiving – “While ordinary people look forward to enjoy Thanksgiving and later Christmas, the Formans suffer, even in anticipation …” I love this episode, especially the part where the Formans realize that nobody remembered to pick up grandma. (You have to click over to watch this one; it wouldn’t let me embed the video for you.)
Cougar Town: Here Comes My Girl – Okay, so nobody’s going to call this a classic. But it is the first episode of Cougar Town I remember watching, and it now cracks me up on a regular basis. If you’ve avoided Cougar Town because of its hideous name (I don’t blame you. It IS hideous.), give it a try and just SEE if you don’t laugh out loud. You could try with last year’s Thanksgiving episode, or you could just watch last week’s and go from there. It’s pretty easy to catch on without needing to catch up. That’s kind of the beauty of it.
Parenthood: Happy Thanksgiving – And on the completely other side of the TV Thanksgiving episode spectrum (did you even know there WAS such a thing?!), we have Parenthood. This show is so hard to watch, but it’s SO good. The Thanksgiving episode was no different, moving me to tears and making me laugh all while showing off the great writing and acting I enjoy – hard as it may be – each week. (Or, to be honest, every week that I remember to watch it. Because as good as I think this show is, it hasn’t quite made it into the weekly rotation.) You can watch the full episode of the Bravermans’ Thanksgiving on Hulu, or just check out this clip of dinner. My favorite part, though, was when the kids cleaned up the kitchen and danced together. THAT is what made me cry.
For more top TV Thanksgiving lists, check these out:
- Television Without Pity
- TV Squad
- MTV Blog
- Blast Magazine (part one and part two)
- The Classic TV Database
What are your favorite Thanksgiving movies or TV episodes?