10 Thanksgiving-centered TV episodes to get you in the holiday mood
It’s that time of year: the time where it’s cold out and you want nothing more than to snuggle under some covers and forget about the rest of the world, or at least take a quick respite before it’s time to start shopping for Thanksgiving dinner and/or holiday gifts. Not feeling the holiday spirit? Below are ten perfect episodes that will have you craving turkey, or at least a chance to share with loved ones all the things you are thankful for.
How I Met Your Mother: “Slapsgiving”
Watching “Slapsgiving” one can’t help but smile: this episode features Barney’s third slap, which is one of the show’s most hilarious running gags. Plus, Marshall sings the song “You Just Got Slapped,” which is one of the greatest Thanksgiving songs ever created.
Friends: “The One With All The Thanksgivings”
It’s no secret that we love Friends. As Hello Giggles writer Elizabeth Entenman explains: “If creating Thanksgiving episodes was a competition, Friends would absolutely crush it and win all of the awards. Like clockwork, there’s one Thanksgiving episode for every season—which are probably marathoning on TBS right now. But this episode is the winner, because it’s a flashback episode, and we love flashback episodes. Every friend gets their own story line to tell via flashback. Some are sweet, some are sad and some are downright bizarre (looking at you, Phoebe) but all are so perfectly Friends, and we love it.”
Gilmore Girls—”A Deep Fried Korean Thanksgiving”
Who wouldn’t want to spend Thanksgiving with the myriad of kooky characters in Stars Hollow? “A Deep Fried Korean Thanksgiving” features our girls doing what they do best (other than talking and being generally brilliant): eating! (Eating four full Thanksgiving meals, that is.) Of course, they handle it like the championship eaters they are.
In the first season of Felicity, Felicity (Keri Russell) must deal with a common right of passage for college freshmen: staying at school during the Thanksgiving holidays. Of course, our girl Felicity learns that, more often than not, friends are our real family.
The West Wing—”The Indians In The Lobby”
This episode is a perfect example of creator Aaron Sorkin at his best: it mixes humor (President Bartlet calls the Butterball hotline!) along with some heartbreaking political commentary about the state of the Native Americans.
Like Felicity and How I Met Your Mother, this show illustrates how friends can be the real family. In “Thanksgiving,” Jess is nervous about a potential paramour (Justin Long) she’s invited to the loft’s first Thanksgiving. Of course, her friends are there to support her.
Suburgatory is one of the most underrated shows out there, and we can’t recommend it enough. The bizarre and witty take on upper-class suburbanites reminds many of us of Scrubs, and actress Jane Levy (who plays teenage protagonist Tessa) proves that even amongst the many comedy heavyweights on the show, she can hold her own.
Bob’s Burgers—”An Indecent Thanksgiving Proposal”
Who doesn’t want to be a Belcher? Bob’s Burgers celebrates kookiness in a way few other shows can. As Rowan Kaiser writes for The AV Club, “But there’s a side to Bob’s Burgers—its embrace of its characters’ weirdness even when that’s bad—that makes it stand out.” In “An Indecent Thanksgiving Proposal,” Bob’s love of the holiday is tested when landlord Mr. Fischoeder (played with aplomb by Kevin Kline) pays the Belchers to pretend to be his family so he can impress a long lost love.
Happy Endings—”More Like Stanksgiving”
Happy Endings is another show cancelled too soon. This Thanksgiving-themed episode sees the core group of friends reviewing how they first met when watching an episode of Real World they appeared in ten years previously. Of course, hijinks ensue.
Buffy the Vampire Slayer—”Pangs”
We love Buffy the Vampire Slayer, which made being a kickass female cool way before Marvel and DC comics grew in popularity. This episode features some of our favorite pairings: Anya and Xander, and bad-guy-turned-good Spike with the rest of the gang. While this episode received mixed reviews, creator Joss Whedon declared it one of his all-time favorites.