From happy families to dysfunctional kin and everything in between, TV has no shortage of great Thanksgiving-themed episodes worth being thankful for. Here, TheWrap has rounded up 40 of the best for you to watch while digesting a turkey feast or avoiding your family.
"Master of None" - "Thanksgiving" Dev celebrates Thanksgiving with Denise's family across several years, giving viewers a glimpse into her mother's (Angela Bassett's) slow journey toward accepting her daughter's sexuality.
"Friends" - "The One With All the Thanksgivings" The Friends gather in Monica's apartment to reminisce about their worst Thanksgiving memories, including the time Monica accidentally cutting off Chandler's toe and Joey getting his head stuck in a turkey.
"Friends" - "The One With the Football" Ross and Monica's sibling rivalry comes out in full force when the Gellers go head-to-head in a touch football game that quickly grows heated.
"It's Always Sunny in Philadelphia" - "The Gang Squashes Their Beefs" The "Always Sunny" gang attempts to make amends by meeting up with their many enemies to bury the hatchet so they can finally have an ideal Thanksgiving.
"How I Met Your Mother" - "Slapsgiving" Marshall continues one of the show's longest running gags and delivers Barney's third slap, while Ted and Robin struggle to remain friends after their breakup.
"Fresh off the Boat" - "Huangsgiving" Jessica gets a 5 a.m. call from her mother informing her that she will be hosting Thanksgiving, but she bites off more than she can chew, and nothing is ready on time.
"Gilmore Girls" - "A Deep-Fried Korean Thanksgiving" Lorelai and Rory's boundless appetite is put to the test when they find themselves quadruple booked for Thanksgiving dinner. Their strategy? Skip the rolls.
"Bewitched" - "Samantha's Thanksgiving to Remember" Samantha uses her magic to transport herself and her family back through time, but when her husband gets caught using a modern day match, he finds himself on trial for witchcraft.
"The Brady Bunch" - "The Un-underground Movie" Greg enlists Alice and his family to star in a movie about the first Thanksgiving for school, but their constant complaining and advice leads to trouble.
"A Charlie Brown Thanksgiving" Charlie Brown and Sally are planning to go to their grandparents' house for Thanksgiving, but Peppermint Patty tricks him into having her, Franklin and Marcie over for dinner instead.
"The Simpsons" - "Bart vs. Thanksgiving" Bart runs away from home after destroying Lisa's Thanksgiving centerpiece and learns to appreciate his family when he finds himself spending the holiday at a homeless shelter.
"Buffy the Vampire Slayer" - "Pangs" All college freshman Buffy Summers wanted was to cook a Thanksgiving dinner for her friends, and instead she ended up battling a Native American spirit who curses Xander as retribution for the diseases brought over by Europeans.
"Orange Is the New Black" - "F---sgiving" Piper lands herself in solitary confinement with sexual dance moves over Thanksgiving, while Larry makes plans to share his story about an "atypical" long-distance relationship in an NPR interview.
"Boy Meets World" - "Turkey Day" After Cory and Shawn win a Thanksgiving dinner in their school's food drive, their families decide to spend the holiday together at Shawn's family's trailer park home.
"South Park" - "Black Friday" The second installment in "South Park's" three-part "Game of Thrones" parody, "Black Friday" follows the characters as they plan to take on a Black Friday sale at the mall.
"Gossip Girl" - "Blair Waldorf Must Pie" Like a few other shows on this list, "Gossip Girl" had several Thanksgiving episodes over its full run. But the best was this Season 1 episode that featured a big blow up between Serena and Blair, flashbacks to happier times for the BFFs, and a reconciliation between the two when Blair needs Serena's help to confront her struggle with bulimia.
"Everybody Loves Raymond" - "No Fat" Realizing that she and Frank need to eat healthier, Marie makes some changes to the menu for Thanksgiving dinner.
"Bob's Burgers" - "An Indecent Thanksgiving Proposal" Mr. Fischoeder hires Bob as his cook for Thanksgiving dinner, and the rest of the Belchers to pose as his own family in attempts to impress his date.
"Brooklyn Nine-Nine" - "Thanksgiving" The show's very first Thanksgiving episode was its best, featuring Captain Holt and Jake leaving dinner at Amy's early to go solve a crime and creating elaborate backstories for their fake identities: Bob Barley and Gerald Gimes. The cooking at Amy's goes wrong and the whole squad, including Jake and Holt, end up getting at the precinct.
“Big Mouth” - “Thanksgiving” Andrew and Missy bring drama to the Thanksgiving dinner table, with Missy attempting to show her cousins just how cool she is by smoking a little – OK, a lot – of weed, Andrew protesting his father’s focus on the bird and not the “thanks” part of the holiday, and Jessi questioning her sexuality.
“Bob's Burgers” – “Now We're Not Cooking With Gas” It’s a Thanksgiving dream come true for Bob, who finally gets thee best turkey in town – one that is freshly-killed, raised in perfect conditions and feed popcorn every now and then as a treat. And then he wakes up from that dream when the gas goes out in his neighborhood and he is forced to cook it on a tiny fire in a filthy alley.
“Cheers” – “Thanksgiving Orphans” Rarely does the gang step outside the bar where everybody knows their name, but this episode breaks that norm. When everybody’s plans for Turkey Day backfire, they all congregate at Carla’s house for a potluck dinner with Norm in charge of the turkey, which wasn’t the best idea. The highlights of the episode – Diane in traditional pilgrim attire, a food fight (of course) and an appearance by Norm’s never-seen wife, Vera.
“Friends” – “The One With the Rumor” Jennifer Aniston’s then-husband Brad Pitt made an uncredited guest appearance on the episode as a formerly chubby school friend of Ross and Monica’s who has turned into, well, he turned into Brad Pitt. He makes it perfectly clear that he has despised her since they were teens and, in fact, he and Ross co-founded the “I Hate Rachel Green” club and started a rumor that she was a hermaphrodite.
“Full House” - “The Miracle of Thanksgiving” It’s the first Thanksgiving without Pam and the entire family is taking it hard. Danny wants to make it extra special for the girls so he asks his mother to fly into town. But when bad weather leaves her stranded at the airport, Danny, Jesse and Joey step up to the plate to whip up a traditional Thanksgiving dinner. The turkey was raw – and so were emotions.
“Glee” – “Thanksgiving” While New Directions graduates reunite at Thanksgiving to help coach the current glee club, Kurt and Rachel host a last-minute New York City party and invite his boss at Vogue, played by Sarah Jessica Parker. Among the huge group of friends she brings along with her is recent “Dancing With the Stars” finalist, drag performer, Shangela.
“Grey’s Anatomy” - “Thanks for the Memories”
Izzie tries to get into the spirit of Thanksgiving by preparing the perfect meal but doesn’t even know where to begin. Burke lends a helping hand while Cristina, Meredith and Alex hide out at the hospital rather than showing Izzie any sign of support. George, meanwhile, takes a shot at an O'Malley Thanksgiving tradition -- by shooting a turkey.
“Insecure” – “Lowkey Thankful”
The scraps of what is left of Issa and Lawrence’s relationship is put under the microscope through a look at their respective Thanksgiving plans. Lawrence attempts to play Mr. Fix-It with Condola’s gathering, where it becomes abundantly clear that he isn’t over Issa just yet. Meanwhile, Issa remembers dreadful Thanksgiving pasts with Ahmal. In the true spirit of “be grateful for what you have,” Issa and Lawrence reunite in the end.
“The Mindy Project” - “Thanksgiving”
Mindy goes to her BFF Gwen’s for Thanksgiving, only to awkwardly discover Dennis is also on the guest list. The celebration very quickly takes a nose dive with the whole encounter exploding into a huge fight among friends and Mindy jumping on Dennis.
“Modern Family” – “Three Turkeys”
Putting Phil and Luke in charge of prepping the turkey wasn’t the brightest idea and Claire knows it, so she has a secret backup turkey ready just in case. Rather than join the family, Jay and Gloria decide on a cozy Thanksgiving together after their vacation gets canceled. But, of course, nothing goes smoothly for anyone’s plans.
“New Girl” – “Thanksgiving”
Jessica’s fellow middle school teacher, Peter, (played by Justin Long) joins the roommates for turkey day. His general nerdiness pushes Nick’s buttons and sets off some serious sexual tension between Nick and Jess that lasts for several seasons. Dinner doesn’t go much better. In a desperate move to quickly thaw the frozen turkey, they pop it into the clothes dryer.
“The Office” - “WUPHF.com”
As Thanksgiving Day approaches, Dwight wants to recreate a childhood memory of his uncle’s hay maze in the Dunder Mifflin parking lot and finally be crowned Hay King. But, in the process, he loses Angela to her future husband, Senator Robert Lipton.
“One Tree Hill” - “Between Raising Hell and Amazing Grace”
Brooke ruins an attempt at her first Thanksgiving dinner, so Julian takes her and his mother to the Scotts, where Clay is still living. Mouth shows up with Skills, who bought a live turkey for the gathering but neither of them wants to kill it. And a newly released from jail Victoria also comes knocking.
“Schitt's Creek” – “Turkey Shoot”
David’s inability to kill a bug in his hotel room prompts a mocking Stevie to invite him to Roland’s annual turkey shoot. To prove that he’s not the wuss she thinks he is, David accepts. Meanwhile, Jocelyn invites a stressed-out Moira on a girls' day out at the salon but her anxiety only grows twofold.
“Seinfeld” – “The Mom & Pop Store”
No turkeys, stuffing or food fights in this Thanksgiving episode, but there is the next best thing: the Macy’s Thanksgiving Day Parade. Elaine wins her boss a spot holding the Woody Woodpecker giant balloon in the parade. Meanwhile, Jerry feels slighted because everyone but him is invited to Dr. Tim's (Bryan Cranston) Thanksgiving Eve party, where his dental needs are requested of all the guests. And, oh yeah, George buys Jon Voight’s car.
“The Sopranos” - “He Is Risen”
With tension between Tony and Ralph having risen to an all-time high, Tony pushes Carmela to lie to Rosalie and back out of hosting them for Thanksgiving. Janice’s boyfriend of the moment, a Christian songwriter, joins them for dinner, only for the family to learn that he has narcolepsy when he keeps falling asleep at the table. Hilarious family banter ensues.
“Succession” – “I Went to Market”
No bonding over a good meal and giving thanks for your blessings for the Roy family. Instead, Kendall plots a vote of no confidence against his father, which drags Logan’s brother into the storm. And then there’s also Tom and Shiv in a mid-prenup battle and Conor causing a stir when he brings along his latest girlfriend, who happens to be a former prostitute.
“Superstore” – “Black Friday”
Not a Thanksgiving Day episode but rather a Black Friday one, in which the Cloud 9 employees are confronted with a mob of overzealous shoppers busting down the glass doors, looking for a bargain, an act that Garrett compares to “The Purge.” While the employees are dealing with shattered glass, bruises, blood and food poisoning, Amy has a pregnancy scare and Glenn gets a little dopey on anti-anxiety pills.
“This Is Us” – “Pilgrim Rick”
In a flashback, Jack, Rebecca and the kids get stranded while on the way to Rebecca’s mom’s house for Thanksgiving and unwittingly begin a tradition of convenience store hot dogs as their memorable holiday meal, a ritual which they continue to keep alive.
“Will and Grace” - "Homo for the Holidays"
All “Will and Grace” Thanksgiving episodes are memorable, but this one stands out because it centers on Jack trying to come out to his mother, and Jack and Grace pretending they were once a couple to keep the lie alive. Hilarious, but also very touching.
“The Simpsons” – “Bart vs. Thanksgiving”
After accidentally destroying a centerpiece Lisa made for the Thanksgiving table and refusing to apologize, Bart runs away from home. While away, he tries to steal a pie cooling a window sill, gets chased be guard dogs and uses Homer’s ID to sell blood. After passing out, he ends up at a soup kitchen, where he is mistaken as a homeless child and is interview by a TV reporter. In the end, he reunites with his family and apologizes.