What to Watch This Thanksgiving

by Claudia Fennell '24
A&E Co-Editor


Arts & Entertainment


The Best Thanksgiving TV Episodes of All Time

With Thanksgiving just around the corner, many of us will make the long venture back home to stay with our families for the long weekend. While spending quality time with family can be fun, there will inevitably be lulls in each of our breaks. To fill uncomfortable silence with extended family, here are some fantastic episodes from iconic television shows beloved by many. Thanksgiving brings forth feelings of togetherness, love, and family—feelings these shows beautifully and comedically exemplify. 

  1. Gilmore Girls,“A Deep-Fried Korean Thanksgiving” (Season 3, Episode 9): Available on Netflix

With the backdrop of picturesque Stars Hollow, Connecticut, the mother-daughter duo Lorelai and Rory Gilmore are the best of friends. Lorelai runs a local inn and Rory spends almost all of her time studying and reading. This Thanksgiving, the girls are expected to appear at four different Thanksgiving dinners. Lorelai’s parents, their friend Luke, their friend Suki, and Rory’s friend Lane are each hosting their own Thanksgiving celebration and expect Lorelai and Rory to be in attendance. With a packed schedule, the girls attempt to make appearances at each of the events, lighting up the room in every place they go.

  1. New Girl,“Parents” (Season 2, Episode 8): Available on Netflix

The comedy hit New Girl follows the life of Jessica Day, a teacher who broke up with her boyfriend and moved into an apartment with three single guys she met on the internet. The four of them end up spending all of their time together and become best friends. In this holiday episode, Jess attempts to get her divorced parents back together over Thanksgiving dinner at her apartment. Despite her best efforts, her plan ultimately fails, but it still makes for a lighthearted and fun episode.

  1. Friends, “The One with All the Thanksgivings” (Season 5, Episode 8): Available on Netflix

The classic sitcom from the 90s, Friends, portrays the life of six friends in their twenties living in Manhattan, New York City. One of the friends, Monica, hosts Thanksgiving in her apartment, where her brother, Ross, complains about how he is having the worst Thanksgiving of his life. Subsequently, the friends recall the most horrific Thanksgivings that they have each suffered through, and amusing flashbacks are shared.

  1. Modern Family, “Three Turkeys” (Season 6, Episode 8): Available on Hulu

Modern Family tells the story of Jay, wife to Gloria and stepfather to her son Manny, and father to Mitchell and Claire, who each have their own families. The comedy series offers a sincere depiction of family dynamics, while always ending each episode on a happy note. This Thanksgiving, Claire prepares a secret Turkey (Turkey #2) after predicting her husband will fail at his task of preparing the family turkey (Turkey #1). After turmoil ensues, a third turkey gets thrown into the mix and fingers are pointed.

  1. Bob’s Burgers, “Turkey’s in a Can” (Season 4, Episode 5): Available on Hulu

Bob’s Burgers follows the life of Bob Belcher, the owner of Bob’s Burgers, which he runs with his wife Linda and their three children, Louise, Tina, and Gene. Bob has decided to take the preparation of the Thanksgiving turkey very seriously this year and starts the brine three days before the holiday. Somehow, the turkey ends up in the toilet. Over the next three days, Bob buys several turkeys that all meet deplorable ends. In an attempt to solve the crime of who is ruining each turkey, Louise tries her best to be a detective. Filled with a family-made Thanksgiving song, this funny episode is quick and a perfect option for the family.

All of these episodes are family-friendly and are available on either Netflix or Hulu.