Though Christmas is the season for movies, Thanksgiving has a hold on TV specials (and dog shows). If you’re trying to avoid talking to your extended family this weekend, a beloved TV special can be the perfect distraction from the inevitable conversation with Aunt Beth about how handsome Bradley Cooper looked in A Star is Born. So put on your Thanksgiving pants and enjoy our countdown of the best Turkey Day weekend specials of all time.
Seinfeld: ‘The Mom and Pop Store’ (S6E8)
In this classic episode, Elaine wins a spot for her boss, Mr. Pitts, to hold Woody the Woodpecker in the Macy’s Thanksgiving Day Parade. Meanwhile, Jerry wonders why he wasn’t invited to Tim Whatley’s annual Thanksgiving Eve party. In classic Seinfeld form, George and Kramer have completely unrelated story lines including George buying Jon Voight’s alleged used car and Kramer helping out a small business by donating all of Jerry’s shoes. Of course, their story lines converge in the end and round out a solid Thanksgiving special.
How I Met Your Mother: How I Met Your Mother: ‘Slapsgiving’ (S3E9)
The beginning of a series-long saga, this episode introduces the slap-bet heard around the world. When Marshall renames the holiday in honor of the last slap of his “slap-bet” with Barney, Lily becomes Slap-Bet Commissioner as the couple hosts their first ever Thanksgiving dinner, which, according to Future Ted, has become a time-honored family tradition. Besides this, there is continuing tension between Robin and Ted after their break-up, which leads to sex, fighting, and a bummed-out Ted when he accidentally makes one of their favorite inside-jokes.
It’s Always Sunny in Philadelphia: ‘The Gang Squashes Their Beefs’ (S9E10)
Thanksgiving usually connotes feelings of friends, family and togetherness. However in true It’s Always Sunny fashion, in this episode the gang gathers all of their enemies for a day of resolution. With hilarious former favorite enemies like the McPoyles, Rickety Cricket and Gail the Snail, the gang soon devolves into eyeball-related antics. This episode follows the standard dark humor the show is famous for and ends in a glorious, supposedly non-deadly house fire. Happy Thanksgiving!
Friends: ‘The One With All The Thanksgivings’ (S5E8)
Though Friends touts a whole host of Thanksgiving specials, this flashback of the worst Thanksgivings of all time gives us some of the show’s best bits, including Fat Monica, pre-nose job Rachel and Flock of Seagulls haircut Chandler. Besides the common theme of getting a turkey stuck on your head, this provides us with the origin story for Chandler’s missing toe, Monica’s revenge-fueled weight loss and plenty more wholesome Thanksgiving memories.
A Charlie Brown Thanksgiving
The ultimate Thanksgiving special: the classic A Charlie Brown Thanksgiving. Charlie Brown attempts to host a Thanksgiving meal after Peppermint Patty invites herself and co. over, he produces a less-than-ideal dinner. From its soundtrack to showing us what this holiday is really about, this iconic special unsurprisingly tops our list for ideal pre-dinner, post-nap viewing.