Binge Watching

The 10 Best Thanksgiving Scenes in TV and Movies

Heart-warming to hilarious—gather round the YouTube and relive your favorite moments.

By Katharine Shilcutt November 27, 2013

Put on your comfiest Thanksgiving pants and pull up your laptop; it's time to prep for your own Thanksgiving meal by watching some of the best Thanksiving dinner scenes from TV and movies. If you have nothing else to discuss at a dinner table heavy with discussions of politics and religion, you can always bring up the amazing Turkey Day scene in WKRP in Cincinnati, after all—something we can all agree on.

10. Little Fockers

There is absolutely no excuse for the Fockers franchise, which is why it's so gratifying to watch Ben Stiller nearly sever a finger trying to carve a turkey in an attempt to impress—as usual—his terrible, hateful inlaws, whose perpetual unpleasantess is equalled only by Stiller's embarrassing, continuous toadying.

9. Everybody Loves Raymond

Speaking of terrible families, Debra does her darndest here to compete for the title of "worst person related to Raymond Barone by blood or marriage" by forcing tofurkey on them at Thanksgiving. Unless all parties present at the table have mutually agreed to tofurkey in advance, this is one of the biggest no-nos you can commit—it's grounds for immediate and irrevocable disownment. In retrospect, however, the macabre ghouls that make up the family on Everybody Loves Raymond never deserved good turkey anyway.

8. Scent of a Woman

In a movie chock-full of scene-chewing by Al Pacino, the Thanksgiving dinner scene in Scent of a Woman is a pinnacle—especially as it ends with an annoyingly squeaky-voiced Bradley Whitford in a Pacino headlock.

7. All in the Family

It's a testament to the timelessness of All in the Family (and perhaps a sad meditation on America's lack of progress in certain social areas) that the conversation between Archie Bunker and his daughter and son-in-law could easily play out at any Thanksgiving table today.

6. Pieces of April

"Once there was this one day when everyone seemed to know they needed each other," explains Katie Holmes in the underlooked and underappreciated Pieces of April, as she attempts to explain the tradition of Thanksgiving to a confused Chinese family. It's both a darkly humorous look at the origins of the holiday and an admission that even the prickliest person probably wants to belong at someone's table at Thanksgiving.

5. Friends

Thanksgiving pants, Joey with a turkey stuck on his head, Rachel making a combination English trifle/Shepherd's pie on accident—Friends was the New Girl of its day, and thus always had the best Thanksgiving episodes of any show on TV at the time. BuzzFeed has power-ranked the best Friends Thanksgiving episodes, even listing out what was served for dinner each year. We've just embedded some of our favorite moments below.

4. A Charlie Brown Thanksgiving

Leave aside the absurdity of a bunch of elementary school kids eating Thanksgiving dinner made by a dog in a random, vacant field and you've got an incredibly moving holiday special—although would you expect anything less from Charlie Brown?—that's a stark contemplation on the power of tradition and how quickly it can be rendered meaningless. It's a lot to take in for a children's special; we've embedded the entire episode below.

3. The Bob Newhart Show

Unfortunately, this classic clip isn't available online, but you can watch this great short interview with Bob Newhart himself in which he explains how Bill Daily's mooch neighbor—Howard Borden—ended up drunkenly ordering "moo goo goo goo" for Thanksgiving on The Bob Newhart Show.

2. Home for the Holidays

If you have a dysfunctional family, there's no more cathartic holiday viewing indulgence than Home for the Holidays, wryly (yet tenderly) directed by Jodie Foster and starring a floppy-haired Robert Downey Jr. at his manic puppy dog finest. The Thansksgiving dinner scene below is one of the major turning points in the movie, but funny enough to be enjoyed out of context.

1. WKRP in Cincinnati

"As God as my witness, I thought turkeys could fly." They don't make shows like WKRP in Cincinnati anymore.



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