The Best Thanksgiving-Themed Episodes featured image

The Best Thanksgiving-Themed Episodes

It’s that time of year again: Thanksgiving. While this year will undoubtedly be different, it’s nice to look back at some Thanksgiving episodes. Here are some of my favorites.

Everybody Loves Raymond, ‘Turkey or Fish’

Ray (played by Ray Romano) and Debra (played by Patricia Heaton)

Recently, I started watching Everybody Loves Raymond on Peacock and their first Thanksgiving episode is still my favorite. In it, Debra wants to start a new Thanksgiving tradition by having dinner at their house. However, Marie’s not too happy about it because it was supposed to be their year to host. But she lets it go and Debra decides she’s going to make a nice fish dinner instead of a turkey and Ray isn’t very happy about it.

How I Met Your Mother, ‘Slapsgiving 2: Revenge of the Slap’

(from left) Mickey (played by Chris Elliott), Robin (played by Cobie Smulders), Ted (played by Josh Radnor), and Barney (played by Neil Patrick Harris)

How I Met Your Mother is a true classic and the Slap Bet is one of the many reasons why. After Marshall slapped Barney the first time, he created a countdown, which all goes down on Thanksgiving. But after Ted and Robin save his organic turkey, Marshall bequeaths it to them. Plus, he has other plans in the works as he invites Lily’s estranged father to dinner.

Master of None, ‘Thanksgiving’

Catherine (played by Angela Bassett) and Denise (played by Lena Waithe) sitting across from each other at a diner

Master of None is a very underrated show, in general. But their Thanksgiving episode is so heartwarming. Dev goes to Denise’s family’s house every Thanksgiving and it really centers around Denise’s coming-out. It’s a beautiful episode and Angela Bassett and Kym Whitley guest star as Denise’s mom and aunt.

Bewitched, ‘Samantha’s Thanksgiving to Remember’

(from left) Aunt Clara (played by Marion Lorne) and Samantha (played by Elizabeth Montgomery) wearing pilgrim outfits

Bewitched isn’t usually a show many people think of considering it’s about 32 years before my time. But considering I was named after Samantha Stephens, I watched as many episodes as I could find. For their Thanksgiving episode, the Stephens’ family, plus Mrs. Kravetz, travel back to 1620 via Sam’s Aunt Clara. There, Darrin goes on trial after being accused of being a warlock.

Friends, ‘The One With All the Thanksgivings’

Chandler (played by Matthew Perry) looking at Monica (played by Courtney Cox), who's wearing a raw turkey over her head with a hat and large sunglasses on the turkey.

If this picture isn’t familiar, it should be because this episode of Friends is iconic. The gang looks back on their past Thanksgivings, specifically when Chandler met Monica and Rachel for the first time. Chandler called her fat so Monica tries to get him back, but fails miserably. Then, Monica puts on a turkey on her head to make him feel better. As hilarious as it was, it all led to Chandler saying he loved her for the first time.

Gilmore Girls, ‘A Deep Fried Korean Thanksgiving’

(from left) Rory (played by Alexis Bledel), Lorelai (played by Lauren Graham) and Sookie (played by Melissa McCarthy) all sitting on a bench in Sookie's backyard with a deep fryer in view.

In this episode from Gilmore Girls, Lorelai and Rory go to four different Thanksgiving gatherings. Four. They start at Lane’s untraditional Korean Thanksgiving and eventually get to the Gilmores. All had different food and left them full by the end of it.

Will & Grace, ‘Homo for the Holidays’

(from left) Will (played by Eric McCormack), Karen (played by Megan Mullally), Grace (played by Debra Messing), Jack (played by Sean Hayes), and Judith (played by Veronica Cartwright)

I only just watched this recently but this episode of Will & Grace was incredibly heartwarming. Jack, who’s always been very open about his sexuality, reveals he’s never come out to his mom. So, the rest of the gang help him when his mom joins them for Thanksgiving.

New Girl, ‘Parents’

(from left) Schmidt (played by Max Greenfield), Cece (played by Hannah Simone) watching Joan (played by Jamie Lee Curtis) and Jess (played by Zooey Deschanel) dance together

For New Girl‘s Thanksgiving episode, Jess’s parents and Schmidt’s dad show up. Schmidt spends the whole day competing with his dad, who also goes by Schmidt. Meanwhile, Jess tries to Parent-Trap her mom and dad but it doesn’t work out the way she wanted it to. Plus, Jamie Lee Curtis guest stars as Jess’s mom.

Parenthood, ‘Happy Thanksgiving’

The Braverman family sitting at the table for Thanksgiving

Parenthood is all about family so it only made sense to include them in this list. In this episode, the family has Thanksgiving dinner together (obviously) and Sarah brings her boyfriend, Gordon. Who also happens to be her and Adam’s boss. To make matters worse, Gordon’s selling the company, which means they’ll both be out of jobs.

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