Guest Post – Top 10 Thanksgiving TV episodes

Top 10 Funniest Thanksgiving TV Episodes

The holidays are quickly approaching, and that means a lot of the things. But with the bad weather looming and shopping season in full swing, you might opt to spend more time in front of that TV. And with the holidays coming, you can expect plenty of Thanksgiving-themed TV episodes. Some of the funniest episodes in television history are those themed around Thanksgiving. So, we thought we’d round up 10 of our favorites. Dig in.

1.)”Thanksgiving” New Girl (2011)

This show is somewhat of a newcomer to Fox’s lineup of sitcoms. However, with 3 hilariously bumbling roommates and the show’s quirky protagonist (played by Zooey Deschanel), it has found a pretty solid spot in Netflix listings all over. The first Thanksgiving episode depicts Jess concocting a crazy plan to invite a workplace crush to Thanksgiving dinner hosted at the loft. The catch is, these four young roommates aren’t very well-equipped to make such a meal. Obviously, hilarity ensues.

2.)”Thanksgiving” Home Improvement (1997)

Those familiar with Home Improvement usually look forward to klutzy humor and personal injury sustained by the show’s writer and protagonist (played by Tim Allen). In this themed episode, Tim is invited to the Lion’s Silverdome to watch the Thanksgiving game from a luxury box. With a few familiar faces from past episodes and a horribly ominous “grand tour” of the facility, Tim’s antics in this episode reach seriously grandiose proportions.

3.)”The Indians in the Lobby” The West Wing (2001)

While this episode isn’t as funny as the others (in the traditional sense), we’d be remiss if we didn’t include an installment from arguably one of the best shows of all time. And, while this politically driven show tackles a lot of pretty heavy subject matter, episodes like this one pepper the tension with some expertly executed comic relief. The underlying plot of this episode centers on CJ (the press secretary) trying to get some idle, and funny protestors refusing to leave the lobby. As an added laugh, the episode concludes with President Bartlet making an anonymous call to a major turkey supply company.

4.)”The Mom and Pop Store” Seinfeld (1994)

As one of the most delightfully dry comedies of all time, Seinfeld had to make it on our list. This episode depicts several hilarious events leading up to a friend’s Thanksgiving Day Parade party (he has an apartment that looks out over the parade route). Kramer tries to keep a Mom and Pop store in business, George tries to track down John Voight, and Jerry can’t tell if he’s even invited to the party. It’s a real classic episode.

5.)”Thanks, Man” The King of Queens (2003)

While receiving its share of critical acclaim, this sitcom somehow manages to fly under the radar. But one of its Thanksgiving episodes is a real gem when it comes to everyday humor. The gang is sitting down at a Thanksgiving feast with family and friends when a sketchy-looking man knocks on their door looking to use their phone. Some of the guests don’t want him to come in (he might be dangerous after all), while others want to extend the spirit of the holiday and let him join them. The episode ends with a truly hilarious twist.

6.)”Punkin Chunkin” Modern Family (2011)

While there are many episodes in this heart-warming series that are worth calling out, the holiday episodes provide especially delightful antics. This Thanksgiving episode centers around Phil’s attempt at an over-the-top holiday, Manny’s (ugly) centerpiece and Cameron’s lore-worthy story about a past event. There’s something for every type of TV fan in this show.

7.)”A Charlie Brown Thanksgiving” (1973)

We’re all familiar with this cartoon classic, and the Thanksgiving episode definitely deserves a spot on our list. In this TV short, Patty invites herself over for Thanksgiving. And, in a classic turn of “we’re not prepared” events, Charlie, Snoopy and the gang have to suddenly prepare a feast. It’s a great episode, and the music is just fantastic!

8.)”Turkey or Fish” Everybody Loves Raymond (1996)

There are few shows that capture the humor of disgruntled marriage better than Everybody Loves Raymond. And though it can be a bit overplayed, the concept works really well in a family holiday episode. In this installment, Debra wants to start a Thanksgiving tradition by cooking fish as the main course and holding the meal at her house. However, Marie (the quintessential Italian mother) tries to thwart such efforts by showing up with her own turkey to overshadow Debra’s food.

9.)” The One with the Late Thanksgiving” Friends (2003)

Friends is a show that needs no introduction, and they’ve had their fair share of Thanksgiving shenanigans. In this particular episode, Monica is talked into preparing the meal (even though she didn’t want to), and isn’t given much help. To top it off, the gang is late to arrive as they’re busy with their own commitments. It’s a classic case of narrative complexity tying many plotlines into one.

10.)”Slapsgiving” How I Met Your Mother (2007)

We thought we’d round out our list with another somewhat modern Thanksgiving episode that has a funny, non-traditional twist. In this excellent “told from the future” sitcom, we again follow a group of friends living in NYC. This episode focuses on a bet between Barney and Marshall wherein Marshall is allowed to slap Barney three times (at any moment he chooses). He’s down to his last slap and warns Barney that it will be coming on Thanksgiving. It’s not your average sit-down-to-dinner episode.

-Guest post by Courtney Gordner. Courtney is a journalist/blogger with a passion for…everything! Read more from her on her own blog, 

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