Top 10 Thanksgiving TV Episodes

Thanksgiving dinner is a special time not just for real Americans; it's also quite a boon to fake Americans. For just about as long as television shows have existed, there has been the very special Thanksgiving episode. Here are some of the most-memorable ones that you probably watched while eating a TV dinner a day or two before Thanksgiving.

Related To:

Buffy the Vampire Slayer — Pangs

When Buffy wasn't busy participating in her namesake activity, she liked to partake in Thanksgiving festivities with her friends and some of her enemies. Hey, if the pilgrims and the Native Americans could have that dinner, so could Season 4 Buffy and Spike.

Watch a clip.

A Charlie Brown Thanksgiving

Halloween and Christmas get the most respect when it comes to Charlie Brown specials, but Thanksgiving is no slouch. Peppermint Patty invites herself over, as usual, and poignant hilarity ensues. It ends with the gang en route to Charlie's grandmother's condominium. It's odd that there are condos in the Charlie Brown universe, isn't it?

Watch a clip.

Cheers — Thanksgiving Orphans

This episode features both a classic food fight and the first and only visual appearance of Norm's elusive wife, Vera. Of course, her head is completely covered in mashed potatoes and pie. Thanksgiving: nearly ending long-running gags since 1986.

Watch a clip.

Everybody Loves Raymond  No Fat

Raymond and the family try to cut down on cholesterol by swapping out the real turkey with a tofu turkey. In other news, tofu turkeys are not particularly satisfying. They learn this the hard way. Don't let the vegans in your life tell you otherwise!

Watch a clip.


Perhaps no sitcom appreciates Thanksgiving more than Friends, which featured a themed episode in each and every season. That's 10 half-hours of good ol' turkey-based mayhem. Season 5's edition has Joey getting his head stuck in a turkey, if you are into that sort of thing (and you are).

Watch a clip.

Gilmore Girls — A Deep-Fried Korean Thanksgiving

The titular Gilmore gals get to know their neighbors and try to deep-fry a turkey in this Season 3 classic. They get so into it, they end up frying mashed potatoes, butter, pickles, salt, a napkin and the front lawn.

Watch a clip.

Happy Days — The First Thanksgiving

Have you ever wanted to watch the entire Happy Days cast re-enact the first Thanksgiving while dressed in period garb? Of course you have! It's just too bad none of the pilgrims brought a shark to jump over.

Watch a clip.

The Simpsons — Bart vs. Thanksgiving

It is widely accepted that the early seasons of The Simpsons are the best seasons of The Simpsons. As such, the show's very first Thanksgiving episode is the best one they ever did, with Bart running away from home and learning about life on the streets. Don't worry. It ends well, with the family around the dinner table.

Watch a clip.

South Park — Helen Keller! The Musical

This is a surprisingly wholesome episode of television that deals mostly with the strong bonds of food and family. Just kidding. It's actually about an offensive Helen Keller musical, in which the cast befriend, and eventually kill, a turkey or two. At least it features turkeys in some capacity.

Watch a clip.

Seinfeld — The Mom and Pop Store

Long before he brewed up blue meth or dropped the parental hammer down on Malcolm, Bryan Cranston neglected to invite Jerry to a Thanksgiving party in this Jon Voight-approved episode from Season 6.

Watch a clip.

Next Up