8 must-watch Thanksgiving episodes

By Anna Redman

The weather is getting colder, the leaves are changing colour and Pumpkin lattes are back at Starbucks, which can only mean one thing: it’s turkey time again! In addition to being a great excuse to eat way too much, enjoy a day off work, celebrate with friends and family and, of course, be grateful for what you have, Thanksgiving also marks some of the greatest moments in our favourite TV series. So take a look back at some of Hello! Canada’s most beloved holiday-themed episodes, and trust us, these are an essential addition to your long weekend!

“Slapsgiving,” How I Met Your Mother, Season 3, Episode 9

Never ones for celebrating in a traditional way, the HIMYM gang keep the holidays interesting as Marshall counts down the days until Barney’s third slap (he even sets a timer on his computer). Not only is the tension building for Barney, but it’s also building between recently separated Robin and Ted, who still seem to have feelings for each other. Toss in a frazzled Lily, trying desperately to create the perfect Thanksgiving, and you have a hilarious episode and a fabulous, slap-themed musical number to boot.

“A Deep-Fried Korean Thanksgiving,” Gilmore Girls, Season 3, Episode 9

If you think you’ll never eat again after one Thanksgiving dinner, imagine trying to eat four! That’s exactly the trial that the Gilmore girls face when Lorelai and Rory find themselves on multiple guest lists, complete with every type of turkey. Mrs. Kim has tofurkey, Sookie has unintentionally gone deep-fried, Luke’s seems fairly traditional, while Richard and Emily’s is served with a side of hostility. Thankfully, the champion eaters are up for the challenge in the hopes that they can handle all the dishes and the drama as long as they “skip the rolls.”

“The Homecoming,” The O.C., Season 1, Episode 11

Before Ben McKenzie was busy saving the city of Gotham he resided in California as bad boy Ryan Atwood. This early episode of The O.C. gives fans their first true look at Ryan’s dark past and sees a brand new side of geeky Seth Cohen, who is surprised to find himself juggling two women – including Rachel Bilson. With Adam Brody’s comic timing and a true-to-form drama-infused storyline complete with a near-death experience and multiple meltdowns, this sees the Cohens and the Coopers at their finest.

A Charlie Brown Thanksgiving

Second only to A Charlie Brown Christmas, this festive favourite starts with Peppermint Patty, who invites herself over to celebrate the holidays. The Peanuts gang throw together a disappointing impromptu dinner of buttered toast, pretzel sticks, jellybeans and popcorn, since that’s all Charlie knows how to make. After Charlie’s grandmother saves the day and invites the whole group over for a more traditional feast, we discover that Snoopy and Woodstock were keeping their culinary skills a secret as they whip up a delicious-looking turkey and pumpkin pie for themselves, in the privacy of Snoopy’s doghouse.

“The Miracle of Thanksgiving,” Full House, Season 1, Episode 9

Uncle Jesse, Danny and Joey should have followed their instincts. When Thanksgiving Day arrives, the first holiday after the death of Danny’s wife, the three men plan to take the family out to dinner, but instead let D.J. talk them into cooking at home. Despite a jazzy dance number that suggests everything has worked out perfectly, their home-cooked meal ultimately results in a raw turkey (later over-cooked in an attempt to compensate), a dropped pumpkin pie and Stephanie hiding out in her bedroom closet. Of course, all Full House episodes must end in hugs and happiness and this one is no exception – even if the family is left with empty bellies.

“Blair Waldorf Must Pie,” Gossip Girl, Season 1, Episode 9

The Upper East Side is seriously lacking holiday spirit in this Gossip Girl episode. Serena and Blair aren’t speaking, Nate’s family’s strained Thanksgiving culminates in an attempted suicide, and the Van der Woodsen clan share an equally subdued meal with the Humphreys in Brooklyn. But it’s not all doom and gloom! Interspersed with happy flashbacks from the previous year’s holiday, this turkey-themed installment gives oodles of background information, including the first time Dan and Serena met (even if she was too drunk to remember it).

“The One with the Thanksgiving Flashbacks,” Friends, Season 5, Episode 8

Picking the best Friends Thanksgiving episode was a challenge – there are so many to choose from! There’s the one where Rachel’s sister (a.k.a. Christina Applegate) comes to visit, the one where former classmate Will Colbert (a.k.a. Brad Pitt) stops by and the first-ever Friends Thanksgiving episode, which sees the six pals locked on the roof after chasing the flyaway Underdog balloon from the Macy’s Day Parade. But despite all those (and other) comedic gems, it’s the season five bad Thanksgivings flashback episode that takes the pumpkin pie. The best part? Joey getting his head stuck in a turkey, obviously.

“The Mom and Pop Store,” Seinfeld, Season 6, Episode 8

Believing he has bought Jon Voight’s LeBaron convertible, George is desperate to tell everyone he knows about his latest purchase before discovering it was actually owned by the unknown dentist John Voight. While George is solving the mystery of his car’s previous owner, Jerry struggles with his own quandary: has he been invited to Tim Whatley’s Pre-Thanksgiving party? Elaine, who has been invited to the annual event, answers a radio quiz to be part of the Macy’s Day Parade. Needless to say, hilarity ensues.

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