The 35 Best Thanksgiving Episodes from Our Favorite TV Shows

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When we think about our favorite holiday specials, it's usually the Christmas ones that come to mind. But what about all of the iconic television Thanksgiving episodes? Remember when How I Met Your Mother's Barney teetered on the brink of sanity that fateful Slapsgiving? Or when Piper and Alex finally made up and shared a dance on Orange Is the New Black?

From The Office to Modern Family, there are an endless number of television shows that deserve recognition for their Thanksgiving-themed episodes where comedy, family conflict and screen-worthy chaos reign supreme. So, whether you’re preparing to host or just looking for something to binge-watch while in a post-turkey coma, these 35 Thanksgiving episodes are a must-add to your holiday queue.

51 Thanksgiving Movies You Can Watch in a Post-Turkey Haze

thanksgiving episodes friends the one with all of the thanksgivings

1. Friends

  • Episode: “The One with All the Thanksgivings”
  • Where to find it: Season 5, Episode 8

It’s Thanksgiving and after Monica's big turkey dinner, Ross complains that his divorce and eviction mean he is having the worst holiday ever. Of course, this prompts the gang to reminisce about their former (not to mention terrible) Thanksgiving experiences. Yes, flashbacks are included.

thanksgiving episodes this is us pilgrim rick

2. This Is Us

  • Episode: “Pilgrim Rick”
  • Where to find it: Season 1, Episode 8

In a flashback, Jack, Rebecca and the three kids make their way to Rebecca's parents' house for their traditional Thanksgiving holiday. When an unforeseen disaster occurs, the family begins a tradition of their own, one that involves a killer hat and convenience store hot dogs. Meanwhile, in present day, the family gathers at Randall's house for the occasion. Guys, this is the episode in which Randall learns the truth about William and Rebecca’s relationship...and it’s not pretty.

thanksgiving episodes golmore girls
The WB Television Network

3. Gilmore Girls

  • Episode: “A Deep-Fried Korean Thanksgiving”
  • Where to find it: Season 3, Episode 9

Lorelai's parents expect the girls for Thanksgiving dinner...and so do Lane, Luke and Sookie. So, how do they handle four enormous dinners? They don’t exactly. But it’s at Emily and Richard's where, to Lorelai's dismay, Rory reveals that she has applied to other schools besides Harvard.

thanksgiving episodes parents new girl
20th Century Fox Home Entertainment

4. New Girl

  • Episode: “Parents”
  • Where to find it: Season 2, Episode 8

When Jess's (divorced) parents, Bob and Joan, show up at the same time for Thanksgiving dinner, Jess takes the opportunity to try and "parent trap" them into a reconciliation. As you can imagine, her plan ultimately backfires.

thanksgiving episodes how i met your mother slapsgiving
20th Century Fox Television

5. How I Met Your Mother

  • Episode: “Slapsgiving”
  • Where to find it: Season 3, Episode 9

As Lily and Marshall host their first Thanksgiving as a married couple, Barney remains on edge in anticipation of the third slap in their "slap bet" (which is supposed to be coming that night). Meanwhile, Ted and Robin sleep together on the night before Thanksgiving. So yeah, that’s awkward.

parenthood thanksgiving episodes happy thanksgiving

6. Parenthood

  • Episode: “Happy Thanksgiving”
  • Where to find it: Season 2, Episode 10

Tensions run high at the Braverman family holiday when Drew feels uncomfortable about his mom bringing Gordon to dinner. Meanwhile, surprising news from (again) Gordon has Adam torn between his job and family.

thanksgiving episodes modern family pumpkin chunkin

7. Modern Family

  • Episode: “Punkin Chunkin”
  • Where to find it: Season 3, Episode 9

When a former neighborhood resident, now rich and successful from a video game idea, returns for a visit, Haley uses it as an opportunity to try and convince her parents that college is not a necessity. Jay feels Manny could use a little dose of constructive criticism, and Cameron is offended when Mitchell questions the authenticity of his colorful childhood stories—specifically his “punkin chunkin” story.

thanksgiving episodes blair waldorf must pie gossip girl
Warner Bros. Television

8. Gossip Girl

  • Episode: “Blair Waldorf Must Pie!”
  • Where to find it: Season 1, Episode 9

When Dan hears that Serena and her family are spending Thanksgiving alone at The Palace, he invites them to spend the holiday with his family, creating an uncomfortable situation for Rufus and Lily (whose children are unaware of their um, weird, romantic history). Meanwhile, Blair's emotions spiral out of control when she learns that her father isn't coming home for the holiday.

seinfeld thanksgiving episodes

9. Seinfeld

  • Episode: “The Mom & Pop Store”
  • Where to find it: Season 6, Episode 8

George is set to buy a 1989 Volvo sedan, but instead, the car salesman talks him into buying a 1989 LeBaron convertible he says was previously owned by Jon Voight (spoiler alert: it wasn’t). Elaine wins her boss (Ian Abercrombie) a chance to walk in the Macy's Thanksgiving Day Parade and Kramer decides to help out a small mom-and-pop shoe repair shop by sending business their way. As part of his project, he cleans out Jerry's closet and sends all of his sneakers to them for repair. Unfortunately, Kramer's suggestions for the shop send the old couple into bankruptcy...oops.

thanksgiving episodes orange is the new black

10. Orange Is the New Black

  • Episode: “F---sgiving”
  • Where to find it: Season 1, Episode 9

Piper is in high spirits when she makes peace with Alex and awaits a visit from Larry on Thanksgiving. However, we see Healy's true colors when he throws Piper in solitary confinement for dancing with Alex. The experience of solitary forces Piper to take a serious look at her life and come to several conclusions about the future. Pretty intense.

thanksgiving episodes the one with the football friends

11. Friends (Again)

  • Episode: “The One with the Football”
  • Where to find it: Season 3, Episode 9

After watching professional football on TV, an old sibling rivalry between a very competitive Monica and Ross resurfaces. Of course, Thanksgiving dinner is postponed when the gang decides to play a friendly game of "touch" football.

boy meets world thanksgiving episodes

12. Boy Meets World

  • Episode: “Turkey Day”
  • Where to find it: Season 4, Episode 10

After Cory and Shawn win a turkey and stuffing for donating the most food cans, they decide to split it by having their families celebrate Thanksgiving together. But things get somewhat weird when both Amy and Alan, and Chet and Virna Hunter are uncomfortable with the idea of mingling with another class.

thanks for the memories greys anatomy thanksgiving episodes

13. Grey’s Anatomy

  • Episode: “Thanks for the Memories”
  • Where to find it: Season 2, Episode 9

None of the doctors (well, interns and residents) can resist skipping work, as Izzie tries to embrace the season by making a perfect Thanksgiving dinner. And while she doesn’t quite know how, Burke saves the day and helps her, while Cristina, Meredith and Alex hide at work. Oh yeah, and George has to embrace his own O'Malley tradition by shooting a turkey. Ouch.

thanksgiving episodes modern family three turkeys

14. Modern Family (Again)

  • Episode: “Three Turkeys”
  • Where to find it: Season 6, Episode 8

Phil and Luke are in charge of prepping the turkey for the main dish—clearly the family’s first mistake. Claire (who is ready for disaster) supplies a secret backup turkey while Jay and Gloria decide to serve up a cozy Thanksgiving of their own after their vacation away gets canceled. Of course, none of these go according to plan and, as usual, chaos ensues.

thanksgiving episodes everybody loves raymond no fat

15. Everybody Loves Raymond

  • Episode: “No Fat”
  • Where to find it: Season 3, Episode 10

After a visit to the senior health fair, Marie decides she and her husband Frank are going to start eating healthy. When Deborah agrees, the two women start scheming a “no fat” Thanksgiving. In utter shock, Raymond, Frank and Robert watch in horror as their usual turkey, stuffing and mashed potatoes quickly turn to vegetables and tofu turkey.

thanksgiving episodes the office

16. The Office

  • Episode: “”
  • Where to find it: Season 7, Episode 9

In an attempt to recreate Hay Place (a fond childhood memory) before Thanksgiving, Dwight puts together his own version in the parking lot of Dunder Mifflin. While obsessing over his childhood dream of becoming Hay King (and making a pretty hefty profit off of families), he loses his relationship with Angela, who meets her future husband, Senator Robert Lipton, at the event.

the mindy project thanksgiving episodes
NBC / Getty Images

17. The Mindy Project

  • Episode: “Thanksgiving”
  • Where to find it: Season 1, Episode 6

What could be worse then running into an ex at a holiday? That’s what happens when Mindy agrees to attend her friend’s get-together in Connecticut. While there, she awkwardly runs into Dennis, her blind date from the pilot, and things quickly spiral downhill. So much so that a fight even ensues...

fresh off the boat thanksgiving episodes
Ron Tom/ Getty Images

18. Fresh Off the Boat

  • Episode: “Huangsgiving”
  • Where to find it: Season 2, Episode 8

In this family there’s one special Thanksgiving tradition: A 5:00 a.m. phone call from mom deciding which sister will host this year’s holiday. (We’re not kidding.) Now, it’s Jessica’s turn—and you can definitely say the pressure is on.

thanksgiving episodes full house

19. Full House

  • Episode: “The Miracle of Thanksgiving”
  • Where to find it: Season 1, Episode 9

It's the family's first Thanksgiving without Pam, and Danny is determined to make the day extra special for the girls. But when Danny's mother, Claire gets stranded in Washington due to bad weather on Thanksgiving morning, Danny, Jesse and Joey must step up and save the holiday. Did we mention John Stamos cooks a turkey in a leather vest?

thanksgiving episodes buffy the vampire slayer
20th Television

20. Buffy the Vampire Slayer

  • Episode: “Pangs”
  • Where to find it: Season 4, Episode 8

Buffy is seriously stressing about preparing the perfect Thanksgiving—even before the Native American spirits show up. Highlights include Spike dodging arrows while tied to a chair and Angel secretly helping his beloved Buffy from afar...only for Xander to spill the beans at dinner.

thanksgiving episodes sopranos

21. The Sopranos

  • Episode: “He Is Risen”
  • Where to find it: Season 3, Episode 8

As tensions rise between Tony and Ralph, Tony forces Carmela to lie to Ros and cancel their plans to host them for Thanksgiving. (Talk about a holiday tradition everyone can relate to.) But we really come back to this episode for Janice's boyfriend of the moment, a Christian songwriter with narcolepsy who keeps falling asleep at the dinner table.


22. Cheers

  • Episode: “Thanksgiving Orphans”
  • Where to find it: Season 5, Episode 9

With no other plans, the entire Cheers gang decides to get together (outside of the bar, we might add) for a potluck Thanksgiving dinner at Carla's new home. Naturally, an uninvited guest makes an interesting appearance and changes the tone of the evening. But hey, the group vowed that this would be the best holiday ever, right?


23. George Lopez

  • Episode: “Guess Who’s Coming to Dinner, Honey”
  • Where to find it: Season 2, Episode 9

George decides to spice up this year’s Thanksgiving by inviting a man who he believes could be his father. However, things get awkward when he finds out that his mother’s one-night stand with this individual never actually happened.

fresh prince
NBC Productions

24. The Fresh Prince of Bel-Air

  • Episode: “Talking Turkey”
  • Where to find it: Season 1, Episode 12

What Happens: It’s Thanksgiving and Will’s mom, Viola, is in town for a visit. But she’s quickly disappointed when she realizes the kids have become lazy and are waited on hand and foot by Geoffry. Aunt Viv then tasks Carlton, Will, Hilary and Ashley with preparing their Thanksgiving feast. (We’re sure you can imagine how that goes.)


25. Friday Night Lights

  • Episode: “Thanksgiving”
  • Where to find it: Season 4, Episode 13

Thanksgiving has arrived and the East Dillon Lions are getting ready to take on the Dillon Panthers. As per usual, the Taylor’s are inviting everyone to their house for a gathering, including the Riggins fam, the Collettes and, of course, Buddy Garrity (who takes it upon himself to bring a deep-fried turkey).

the harvest festival

26. Parks and Recreation

  • Episode: “Harvest Festival”
  • Where to find it: Season 3, Episode 7

Technically, the residents of Pawnee never actually celebrate the holiday during this episode, but the Harvest Festival is pretty close to the actual thing. Leslie Knope is determined to make this year’s event the best one yet, however, things take a turn when a Wamapoke tribal leader puts a curse on the event and Li'l Sebastian gets loose.

new girl thanksgiving episodes

27. New Girl (Again)

  • Episode: “Thanksgiving”
  • Where to find it: Season 1, Episode 6

Jess decides it would be a good idea to invite her crush and fellow school teacher, Paul, to Thanksgiving. Naturally, things go awry. While it might be bad for Jess, it makes quality television.


28. That ’70s Show

  • Episode: “Thanksgiving”
  • Where to find it: Season 1, Episode 9

Dinner at the Foreman’s gets interesting when Laurie brings home an attractive pal from college. Eric immediately becomes infatuated and hilarity ensues.

masters of none

29. Master of None

  • Episode: “Thanksgiving”
  • Where to find it: Season 2, Episode 8

Rather than the usual episodes that tell the story of Dev’s life, this special installment centers around Denise and takes place over a series of Thanksgivings from the '90s to the present day. Spoiler alert: You’re going to need tissues for this one.

thanksgiving episodes pll

30. Pretty Little Liars

  • Episode: "Taking This One To The Grave"
  • Where to find it: Season 5, Episode 12

No, it's not your quintessential Thanksgiving episode, but the episode does open on Thanksgiving day, complete with pumpkin pies. In this intense finale, the Liars team up with Mona to figure out the truth about Ali. Meanwhile, Spencer finds herself entangled in Bethany's murder investigation.

thanksgiving episodes kimmy

31. Unbreakable Kimmy Schmidt

  • Episode: "Kimmy Finds Her Mom!"
  • Where to find it: Season 2, Episode 13

It's the episode where Kimmy finally reunites with her mom in Florida, but if you ask us, it's Jacqueline who shines in this episode. As she hosts Thanksgiving dinner for Russ and his family, she says, "I know what I'm thankful for. Loving someone other than myself... and revenge!" (Definitely stealing this answer for our next gathering.)

thanksgiving episodes bernie mac

32. Bernie Mac

  • Episode: "Tryptophan-tasy"
  • Where to find it: Season 2, Episode 7

While Bernie cooks his personal turkey, his nephew, Jordan, accidentally adjusts the grill and causes the meat to become undercooked. As a result, Bernie gets extremely sick and spends Thanksgiving having hilarious fever dreams about the kids.

thanksgiving episodes dexter

33. Dexter

  • Episode: "Hungry Man"
  • Where to find it: Season 4, Episode 9

It's Thanksgiving season, and while everyone else is hungry for turkey, Dexter is hungry for blood. In this episode, he takes a deep dive into the personal life of Arthur, aka The Trinity Killer. The result is an intense showdown over the most awkward family dinner.

thanksgiving episodes pll

34. Riverdale

  • Episode: "Chapter Sixty-Four: The Ice Storm"
  • Where to find it: Season 4, Episode 7

Archie honors his late father by spearheading a peaceful Thanksgiving dinner at the community center. But it quickly devolves into chaos when a few unexpected guests turn up. Meanwhile, Jughead and Betty investigate a recent death and Cheryl and Toni concoct a plan to cover up a murder.

brooklyn nine nine

35. Brooklyn Nine-Nine

  • Episode: Season 1, Episode 10
  • Title: “Thanksgiving”

What better way to bond with your coworkers than to spend a holiday with them? That’s exactly what happens when Amy invites the entire precinct over for Thanksgiving, where they soon learn that her cooking is less than impressive.

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taryn pire

Food Editor

Taryn Pire is PureWow’s food editor and has been writing about all things delicious since 2016. She’s developed recipes, reviewed restaurants and investigated food trends at...