The Best Thanksgiving TV Episodes to Watch On Repeat

Best Thanksgiving TV Episodes

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As the leaves fall and the scent of pumpkin spice fills the air, there’s one tradition that TV fans eagerly anticipate—the beloved Thanksgiving TV episode. These small-screen gems capture the essence of the holiday, blending humor, emotion, and a dash of chaos that mirrors our own family gatherings. So, grab a cozy blanket, settle into your favorite spot on the couch, and get ready to indulge in the best Thanksgiving TV episodes that deserve a permanent spot in your annual tradition.

1. ‘Friends’ – “The One With All the Thanksgivings” (Streaming on Max)

For many, Thanksgiving and Friends go hand in hand, and this episode is a classic that stands the test of time. From Monica’s turkey dance to Joey’s head stuck in a raw turkey, every moment is a laugh-out-loud memory. It’s the Geller Cup-worthy winner that brings the perfect blend of humor and heart to your Thanksgiving watchlist.

2. ‘Will & Grace’ – “Homo for the Holidays” (Streaming on Hulu)

In the world of Will & Grace, Thanksgiving takes on a whirlwind of emotions. When Will and Grace invite Jack’s mother to dinner, secrets unfold, and the comedic brilliance of the cast shines. Eric McCormack, Debra Messing, and Megan Mullally deliver a half-hour of pure entertainment that captures the essence of family, love, and acceptance.

3. ‘The West Wing’ – “Shibboleth” (Streaming on Max)

Shibboleth from The West Wing elevates the Thanksgiving episode to a political and emotional masterpiece. President Bartlett juggles a delicate situation with Chinese refugees while the White House staff weaves through their own Thanksgiving dramas. It’s a brilliant dance between comedy and pathos that showcases the series’ unique charm.

4. ‘Gilmore Girls’ – “A Deep-Fried Korean Thanksgiving” (Streaming on Netflix)

In the charming town of Stars Hollow, the Gilmores take on the challenge of attending four Thanksgiving dinners. This episode of Gilmore Girls not only serves up hilarity, courtesy of Melissa McCarthy’s Sookie, but also unveils emotional truths. Lorelai’s discovery of Rory applying to colleges adds a layer of depth to this festive feast.

5. ‘Master of None’ – “Thanksgiving” (Streaming on Netflix)

Lena Waithe’s historic Emmy-winning episode, Thanksgiving, from Master of None transcends the sitcom format. The episode unfolds over decades, exploring Denise’s journey of self-discovery, identity, and acceptance. Angela Bassett’s phenomenal portrayal of Denise’s mom adds a nuanced touch to this moving and unforgettable Thanksgiving tale.

6. ‘Gossip Girl’ – “Blair Waldorf Must Pie!” (Streaming on Roku)

Step back into the drama-filled Upper East Side with Gossip Girl’s Blair Waldorf Must Pie! This Thanksgiving episode serves up a delicious blend of romantic feuds, dinner invites, and shocking family secrets. It’s a reminder that, no matter how wild your family gatherings get, they probably can’t compete with the scandalous world of Blair Waldorf.

7. ‘Hey Arnold!’ – “Arnold’s Thanksgiving” (Streaming on Paramount+)

Even a late-’90s Nickelodeon cartoon knows how to tug at your heartstrings during the holidays. In Arnold’s Thanksgiving, the titular character and Helga both run away from quirky family traditions, only to discover the true meaning behind them. It’s a sweet and eye-opening episode that resonates, no matter your age.

8. ‘Cheers’ – “Thanksgiving Orphans” (Streaming on Paramount+)

Sometimes, family isn’t just about blood relations; it’s about the makeshift families we create. In Thanksgiving Orphans from Cheers, the bar patrons and workers come together for a memorable Thanksgiving dinner. The episode culminates in a hilarious food fight, reminding us that even unconventional families have their special moments.

9. ‘Orange Is the New Black’ – “Fucksgiving” (Streaming on Netflix)

While Thanksgiving episodes often lean towards comedy, Orange Is the New Black takes a dramatic turn with Fucksgiving. Piper’s harrowing experience in the SHU, combined with intense character interactions, delivers a gripping narrative against the backdrop of the holiday. It’s a stark reminder of the extreme circumstances these characters face.

10. ‘Seinfeld’ – “The Mom and Pop Store” (Streaming on Hulu)

Seinfeld takes on Thanksgiving with the intricately plotted The Mom and Pop Store. Stolen sneakers, cowboy boots, Jon Voight’s car, and a Macy’s Thanksgiving Day Parade mishap all collide in a calamity of pure delight. It’s Seinfeld at its best—overly complicated, ludicrous, and quintessentially Thanksgiving.

Ending Notes

In conclusion, these Thanksgiving TV episodes aren’t just entertainment; they’re a journey through the laughter, tears, and chaos that make the holiday season truly special. Whether you’re a fan of classic sitcoms or dramas that tug at your heartstrings, these episodes deserve a permanent spot in your annual Thanksgiving tradition. So, as you gather with loved ones, or even if you’re celebrating solo, let these episodes be your companions, bringing joy, reflection, and a hearty dose of Thanksgiving spirit to your screen year after year.


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