Our Favorite Thanksgiving Episodes

It’s a slow week here at WWFTP HQ, thanks to the holiday of feasts and family. But does that stop us from watching TV? No, it doesn’t. Becca and I collaborated to bring you a list of our favorite Thanksgiving TV show episodes of all times. If you need to steal away from the family (or football) for a quick break before diving into some turkey and cranberry sauce, here are our suggestions for maximizing your TV-related Thanksgiving enjoyment.


01. Friends {All Thanksgiving Episodes} 1.09 “The One Where Underdog Gets Away,” 3.09 “The One with the Football,” 4.08 “The One with Chandler in a Box,” 5.08 “The One with All the Thanksgivings,” 6.09 “The One Where Ross Got High,” 7.08 “The One Where Chandler Doesn’t Like Dogs,” 8.09 “The One with the Rumor,” 9.08 “The One with Rachel’s Other Sister,” and 10.08 “The One with the Late Thanksgiving.”

My tradition is to watch all of the Friends Thanksgiving episodes during the week leading up to the holiday, and Becca and I both agreed that the episodes are so great that they belong on a list of their own. So instead of listing all of the Thanksgiving episodes separately, we decided to list them all in one slot. Really, it’s just not Thanksgiving if you don’t get a dose of “Got the keys?” “More turkey, Mister Chandler?” “More bandages!” and of course, “My two greatest enemies: Rachel Greene and complex carbohydrates.”

Watch these episodes:

YouTube – 1.09 | 3.09 | 4.08 | 5.08 | 6.09 | 7.08 | 8.09 | 9.08 | 10.08

Amazon – 1.09 | 3.09 | 4.08 | 5.08 | 6.09 | 7.08 | 8.09 | 9.08 | 10.08

02. Chuck {Season 1, Episode 10} “Chuck vs. The Nemesis”


Chuck is having to deal with the revelation that Bryce Larkin is still alive, and that Sarah and Bryce have a history. The Thanksgiving dinner is entertaining, especially with Ellie having become Anna’s number one enemy. The best part of the episode is the Buy More story. Black Friday is a thing of chaos, and I only have one word: “Pineapple.”

Watch this episode: Amazon | Netflix | YouTube

03. WKRP in Cincinnati {Season 1, Episode 6} “Turkeys Away”

“For those of you who just tuned in, the Pinedale Shopping Mall has just been bombed by live turkeys.” Not only is it the iconic episode of the TV series, it’s probably the my favorite Thanksgiving-themed episode of any sitcom ever. There is no greater ending to such a disastrous episode than when Mr. Carlson fixes everyone with a stunned look and says, “As God is my witness… I thought turkeys could fly.” (Sidenote: I need this entire series on BluRay/DVD with the music intact, stat.)

Watch this clip: YouTube (only second half of the episode, low-quality and free, but totally worth it)


04. Buffy the Vampire Slayer {Season 4, Episode 8} “Pangs”

Buffy tries to make Thanksgiving dinner for the Scoobies. Xander gets syphilis. Angel is a background player hiding from Buffy, and everyone else thinks he is evil again. The best part is a newly-chipped Spike, who is tied up in Giles house for the majority of the episode. To see him at the dinner table with the rest of the Scoobies is a delight.

Watch this episode: Amazon | Hulu Plus


05. How I Met Your Mother {Season 3, Episode 9} “Slapsgiving”

Thanks to a slap bet between Barney and Marshall earlier in the season, Marshall now has a Slap Countdown clock running, counting down the minutes and seconds until he slaps Barney across the face. He times it to end on Thanksgiving, which causes chaos among the group of friends as Ted and Robin try to work through their post-breakup friendship, and as a terrified Barney tries to plead for his life. Lily, as Slap Bet Commissioner, finally puts a stop to the whole thing, fearing for the safety of the food, but when Barney gloats, she gives Marshall permission to slap again–and it sends Barney spinning to the floor. Marshall then performs the iconic “You Just Got Slapped” to the general merriment of the group.

Watch this episode: Amazon | Netflix


06. Go On {Season 1, Episode 9} “Dinner Takes All”

One of the first great episodes of the short-lived series. Steven and Ryan both fight over guest star Lauren Graham’s character, Amy. The group has Thanksgiving together, and greatness is achieved. The episode is full of laughs, and as always, Carrie is one of the best parts.

Watch this episode: Amazon | YouTube


07. Gossip Girl {Season 1, Episode 9} “Blair Waldorf Must Pie!”


Gossip Girl was always ripe for Thanksgiving shenanigans, and since Thanksgiving always came at the end of sweeps, it meant wrapping up some major arcs. It was hard to choose between this episode and “Treasure of the Serena Madre” from Season 3, but I think this one takes the… pie. Blair is always neurotic about her traditions and rituals, which means Thanksgiving is always a ticking timebomb for her. Because of the disintegration of her relationship with Nate and her volatile friendship with Serena, Blair suffers a relapse in her bulimia. It’s one of the few times her eating disorder is handled properly by the show, and it showed us a new side to the Serena-Blair friendship that we hadn’t seen in the previous eight episodes, and it’s also the first time Blair shows up at Dan’s loft in Brooklyn, which was a treat for viewers at the time. The heart-to-heart at the end of the episode brought Blair and her mother, Eleanor, closer together for the first time since Blair’s father left them earlier in the year.

Watch this episode: AmazonNetflix | YouTube

08. Happy Endings {Season 3, Episode 4} “More Like Stanksgiving”

This episode shows what the characters were like in the past when Brad and Max were part of The Real World: Sacramento. It is interesting to see what all the characters were like back in the day, and what they looked like. The subplot of Dave being one sixteenth Navajo is rather entertaining.

 Watch this episode: AmazonYouTube

09. Cougar Town {Season 2, Episode 9} “When the Time Comes”

The best part of this episode is Laurie’s constant wardrobe changes. Other bonuses: Andy being optimistic even in the face of adversity (namely, his wife) and Jules/Grayson hosting their first “romantic” Thanksgiving.

Watch this episode: AmazonYouTube


10. Gilmore Girls {Season 3, Episode 9} “A Deep Fried Korean Thanksgiving”

The best thing this show did was make Lorelai and Rory go to four different Thanksgiving dinners. If anyone can handle four ridiculous meals, it’s these two ladies. They’re forced to eat tofurkey at the Kims, then they stop by Sookie’s house, where she’s having a panic attack about Jackson deep-frying a turkey, then they go to Luke’s, where Luke made everyone wait for the Gilmores to show up, and they round out the whole thing at the grandparents house. Watching Sookie, who ends up drunk, is a personal highlight for me.

Watch this episode: Amazon

Did we leave anything out? Let us know in the comments! And Happy Thanksgiving, American friends.


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