What to Watch This Thanksgiving
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.
- 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.
- 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.
- 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.
- 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.
- 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.
Rory Gilmore’s Guidebooks
Three of the most iconic books that Rory Gilmore reads in Gilmore Girls
With fall just beginning, there is no better time for your annual Gilmore Girls rewatch. Rory, Lorelai, and all the residents of Stars Hollow provide the perfect backdrop for all things fall. Gilmore Girls isn’t complete without one of the most popular bookworms, Rory Gilmore. Throughout the seven seasons, Rory is seen reading or mentioning reading over 500 books. From classics like 1984 by George Orwell and Anna Karenina by Leo Tolstoy to some more eclectic choices for a teenage girl, like The Art of War by Sun Tzu and George W. Bushism: The Slate Book of the Accidental Wit and Wisdom of our 43rd President by Jacob Weisberg, there is no question that Rory is a true bookworm who will read just about anything. It’s daunting to decide where to start on a list of 500 books, so here are some of the most iconic books mentioned throughout the seven seasons.
Anna Karenina by Leo Tolstoy
One cannot start a Rory Gilmore reading list without mentioning her favorite novel, Anna Karenina by Leo Tolstoy. Rory lends her first boyfriend, Dean, her favorite novel in hopes of discussing the novel with him, but the language flies over his head, as he says that the book was too long and depressing. Luckily, he agrees to re-read it for Rory’s sake. Anna Karenina is the tragic story of Countess Anna Karenina. She is a socialite and married woman, and the reader follows her doomed love affair with the wealthy Count Vronsky. The novel is widely regarded as a pinnacle of realist fiction, and one of the greatest novels of all time.
Madame Bovary by Gustave Flaubert
Madame Bovary is one of the first books mentioned in the entire series. Rory’s first love interest, Dean, mentions to Rory that he notices her reading underneath the same tree every day after school. He goes on to say that she was so immersed in the story that she didn’t even notice one of her classmates getting hit in the face. Madame Bovary is the first novel of Gustave Flaubert and follows a classic plot line of a married woman becoming bored of provincial life. What makes this story stand out is the language used throughout it, showing that written words are sometimes inadequate while trying to convey deep human emotion.
The Fountainhead by Ayn Rand
In the second season, Rory finally meets her love interest, Jeff, who is an equal academic match to herself. While discussing their shared love of literature, Rory mentions that she attempted to read the book when she was 10, but ultimately failed. However, she tried again when she was 15 and loved it. Jess is shocked that Rory would enjoy a book concerning right-wing libertarians and “political nuts.” Rory clarifies that she enjoys it as a piece of literature, saying, “Yeah, but nobody could write a forty-page monologue the way that she could.” In The Fountainhead, the reader follows a ruggedly individualistic architect named Howard Roark. Howard battles against conventional standards and refuses to compromise his ideals. The novel reflects her iconic, yet famously well-known views that the individual is more valuable than the collective—Definitely an interesting read for a 15-year-old.