The Best of Thanksgiving TV


June Hill, Executive Editor

It’s officially the holiday season, and that means television at its finest. For this month’s J List, I have compiled nine binge-worthy Thanksgiving-themed TV episodes that embody this hungry holiday. From Charlie Brown’s feast of toast and jellybeans, to the hilarity of Slapsgiving ll, these episodes are comical, endearing and ultimately reminiscent of the kindness and togetherness that Thanksgiving stands for.
Many genres of T.V. entertainment from sitcom to drama see Thanksgiving as the perfect tradition to base an episode off of. Because after all, this is the time of year to reflect and give thanks for what we have. P.S Yes I did notice the girly theme: (New GIRL Gossip GIRL Gilmore GIRLS) but I’m sure these episodes will appeal to all genders.


Monica and Ross’s parents come to the loft for thanksgiving, and they seem to hate Chandler who spends most of the night trying to appease them. Rachel is in charge of making Thanksgiving dessert, a
traditional English trifle, which she of course manages to mess up. This episode features Joey’s memorable line “custard good, jam good, meat gooood.” Also I would just like to remind everyone that Friends will be gone from Netflix after the new year so pack it in!

Brooklyn 99

For some reason I had never seen Brooklyn 99 until this school year, and I haven’t seen them all yet, but
I think season one’s Thanksgiving is going to be hard to beat. Amy hosts dinner at her apartment, planning to officially ask Holt to be her mentor. Unfortunately for her, Holt leaves dinner early to solve a case, taking Jake (who despises Thanksgiving) with him. The episode spirals, Boyle Bingo, Amy’s lack of cooking skills and a hunger-stricken Terry make it thoroughly enjoyable.

Macy’s Thanksgiving Day Parade

The creme dela creme of Thanksgiving traditions in my family is the Macy’s Thanksgiving Day Parade. Every year we pull the one tiny tv in my grandparents’ house out into the living room so everyone can enjoy the parade while we cook, play board games, and spend time together. The extravagant floats, sometimes terrible lip syncing, laughing at the freezing people on screen, yep it’s a holiday.

Gilmore Girls

Rory and Loreali, wanting to make an appearance at all their friend’s tables, decide to eat four Thanksgivings. They prepare for their food marathon by running errands around quaint Stars Hollow, and stretching out their stomachs by eating (duh). There is an argument between Loreali and her parents at Thanksgiving #4, and one later on; more drama between Jess (Rory’s current boyfriend); and Dean (her first). This episode is the perfect mix of lighthearted Thanksgiving togetherness and lovable Gilmore wit.

Gossip Girl

As always, this episode of Gossip Girl is packed full of cutthroat drama. Serena and Blair plan on having Thanksgiving together per upper East Side tradition, but end up having a fight and Serena leaves. The
episode is full of flashbacks to the previous year’s thanksgiving, adding a layer of lighthearted nostalgia. This episode ends peacefully enough, unmistakably reminding it’s viewers of the importance of family and thankfulness, especially during the holiday season.

How I Met Your Mother

What about Slapsgiving one you ask? Meh. It’s fine, I guess. I don’t watch How I Met Your Mother as religiously as I watch Gilmore Girls, but this is an especially fun episode. Basically, Marshall bequeaths one of his five “slap bet” slaps to Teddy and Robin, who spend much of the episode fighting over who gets to slap Barney. Lily’s estranged father, who is “dead to her,” shows up for dinner and Lily is NOT happy. But he is not empty-handed; he comes carrying Diseases!


Ruby loves Thanksgiving, and is in a great mood until Earl’s sister shows up. The kids try to find out
why Ruby hates her so much. Dre and Rainbow go on an awkward babymoon the day before Thanksgiv-
ing. It all wraps up with Dre talking about forgiveness, thankfulness, being there for each other, having fun together, and reconnecting. A very sweet episode.

A Charlie Brown Thanksgiving

Peppermint Patty invites herself over, and Charlie Brown, Linus, Snoopy and Woodstock cook a Thanksgiving dinner of jelly beans, toast, popcorn and pretzels for all of their friends. This episode was a staple of my childhood, and I definitely watched it at least once a year. Also, I still really want to eat that iconic Thanksgiving dinner.

New Girl

Jess wants to cook the first Thanksgiving in the loft. Realizing she is a terrible chef, Schmidt takes over in the kitchen trying many strange and questionable ways to get their frozen turkey thawed. Paul, Jess’s friend from work, comes over, carrying his violin for some reason, and has a hard time fitting in with Jess’s roommates, especially Nick. The group ends up moving to the neighbors’ apartment to eat because of a turkey-related emergency, as well as a horrific surprise.