20 Thanksgiving Episodes for Kids That You Can Watch Together (or Stick on While You Tend to the Turkey)

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Perhaps you’re counting on screen time to keep the kids from getting underfoot while you prepare a massive holiday feast; or maybe you’re realizing that after gorging yourself on said feast, there’s not much to do but change into sweatpants and cozy up with a family-friendly holiday special. Well, friends, you can easily cover both bases with our round up of Thanksgiving episodes for kids, which includes comedic relief from the likes of Garfield and the Rugrats, tender family moments courtesy of Full House, and just about everything in between.

35 Thanksgiving Activities for the Whole Fam

1. Garfield’s Thanksgiving (1989)

  • Suitable for: Kids ages 4+; Rated G
  • Run time: 24 minutes

Garfield, the fattest and laziest of cats, is put on a diet by his vet (and his owner’s love interest) in this uproarious, Emmy award-winning holiday special from 1989. Watch it after the Thanksgiving feast and the whole fam will find the antics of this food-loving feline particularly entertaining.

2. An Arthur Thanksgiving (2020)

  • Suitable for: Kids ages 5+; Rated NR
  • Run time: 57 minutes

An Arthur Thanksgiving is much like any other Thanksgiving in that the episode involves a series of unforeseen and unfortunate events—a missing family pet, a relative showing up unannounced, and complications to the annual parade—that threaten to derail the whole holiday. Also totally relatable is the fact that somehow everything works out in the end.

3. A Looney Tunes Thanksgiving (1979)

  • Suitable for: Kids ages 7+; Rated PG
  • Run time: 48 minutes

The ragtag team of friends have a hard time agreeing on a holiday dinner menu—namely because Bugs Bunny is on a health kick that involves (you guessed it) a whole lot of carrots, while the rest of the bunch are all more interested in eating each other. Can Yosemite Sam, Wile E. Coyote, and Sylvester overcome their carnivorous cravings and come together for the holiday? Tune in to find out.

4. The Care Bears’ Grams Bear's Thanksgiving Surprise (1986)

  • Suitable for: Kids ages 4+
  • Run time: 23 minutes

No Care Bears episode would be complete without some force of evil for the cuddly protagonists to fight, and this 1986 Thanksgiving special is no exception. This time, it’s Sour Sam—a villain who has a diabolical plot to ruin the holiday by foisting crabby apple pies on the town. Fortunately, the team of do-gooders manages to save the day with some help from Gram Bear’s Star Baker skills.

5. Paw Patrol: Pups Rescue Thanksgiving/Pups Save a Windy Bay (2018)

  • Suitable for: Kids ages 4+; Rated Y
  • Run time: 23 minutes

The rivalry between Mayor Goodway and Mayor Humdinger is still going strong in this Paw Patrol holiday special—and, per the usual, it’s Mayor Humdinger who is on the wrong side of Thanksgiving history. The plot isn’t particularly original—needless to say, the pups save the day and Adventure Bay has its feast—but chances are your pup-obsessed toddler won’t mind.

6. Animaniacs: “Turkey Jerky” (1993)

  • Suitable for: Kids ages 7+; Rated Y7
  • Run time: 21 minutes

Here, a holiday special from Animaniacs—a wildly popular animated comedy musical series from the 90s—in which the Warners must protect their beloved pet turkey and its newly hatched babe from Miles Standish, a hungry bully with a hankering for roasted bird. (Spoiler: Wit > brawn.)

7. Full House: ”The Miracle of Thanksgiving” (1987)

  • Suitable for: Kids ages 7+; Rated PG
  • Run time: 24 minutes

Laugh, cry and get overwhelmed by early 90s nostalgia with this holiday special, in which the oh-so wholesome Full House cast strive to make their first Thanksgiving without Pam—the deceased mother of D.J., Stephanie and Michelle Tanner—a memorable one.

8. Rugrats: “The Turkey Who Came to Dinner” (1997)

  • Suitable for: Kids ages 6+; Rated Y
  • Run time: 24 minutes

Grandpa wins a competition for a free Thanksgiving turkey, only to discover the prized bird is still alive. Hilarity ensues when the iconic gang of babies grow attached to the main course and everyone has to settle for cereal. This cartoon is cute and clever enough for the whole family to enjoy.

9. Hey Arnold!: “Arnold’s Thanksgiving” (1998)

  • Suitable for: Kids ages 8+; Rated Y7
  • Run time: 24 minutes

As is his custom, the football-headed kid known as Arnold sets out on a quest to discover the true meaning of things when the tenants of the boarding house get too caught up bickering to give thanks. This thought-provoking holiday special has positive messages and, like most Hey, Arnold episodes, it has aged remarkably well.

10. Winnie the Pooh: Seasons of Giving (1998)

  • Suitable for: Kids ages 3+; Rated G
  • Run time: 63 minutes

The whole Hundred Acre gang—Christopher Robin, Poo, Piglet, Tigger, Rabbit, Gopher and Owl—have worked hard to prepare a Thanksgiving spread. Alas, the feast is lacking some key components (think: turkey, cranberry sauce and pie) that the friends must hunt down in order to save the holiday.

11. Steven Universe: “Gem Harvest” (2016)

  • Suitable for: Kids ages 10+; Rated PG
  • Run time: 23 minutes

This offbeat episode from the Steven Universe series is one to put on for the kids when you need ‘em out of the kitchen. The plot, which features extraterrestrials and a mysterious newcomer, is adequately complex and perfectly entertaining, and the Thanksgiving theme—albeit understated—emphasizes the spirit of togetherness and the importance of holiday traditions.

12. Llama Llama: “Thanks-For-Giving-Story/Finding Dion”

  • Suitable for: Kids ages 4+; Rated Y7
  • Run time: 25 minutes

In the first half of season 2, episode 9, Llama Llama and his group of friends are pioneers who invent a new holiday to show their gratitude to the various adults that serve the community. In other words, this one is a wholesome watch for the toddler and pre-K crowd that avoids the troublesome history behind the actual holiday.

13. A Sesame Street Thanksgiving (2017)

  • Suitable for: Kids ages 4+; Rating Y
  • Run time: 26 minutes

This holiday special from the Sesame Street crew serves up just what you’d expect from the beloved, long-running series: a multicultural celebration full of community love.

14. Blue’s Clues: “Thankful” (1999)

  • Suitable for: Kids ages 3+; Rated Y
  • Run time: 25 minutes

It should come as no surprise that the holiday special (Season 3, Episode 29) of this interactive, hit TV series for toddlers and preschoolers involves guessing what the ever-mysterious pup, Blue, is thankful for.

15. Dora’s Thanksgiving Day Parade (2012)

  • Suitable for: Kids ages 3+; Rated All
  • Run time: 23 minutes

Much like Blue’s Clues, Dora the Explorer is an interactive show that promises the little kid crowd more than just a passive viewing experience. This time, the bilingual protagonist needs some help from your clever kid in order to fix a Thanksgiving Day parade snafu.

16. Daniel Tiger’s Neighborhood: “Thank You, Grandpere Tiger!/Neighborhood Thank You Day” (2012)

  • Suitable for: Kids ages 3+; Rated Y7
  • Run time: 27 minutes

Daniel Tiger’s Neighborhood devotes a full episode to the festive theme of giving thanks with a brief, but treasured visit from Grandpere Tiger, followed by a community-wide celebration known as “Neighborhood Thank You Day.”

17. A Charlie Brown Thanksgiving (1973)

  • Suitable for: Kids ages 4+; Rated NR
  • Run time: 25 minutes

You know the holiday season is in full swing when the Charlie Brown specials become readily available for streaming. Here, the Peanuts gang attempts to pull off a perfect fall harvest feast and, as always, the show’s signature comedic stylings are guaranteed to charm the whole family.

18. Fresh Off the Boat: "Huangsgiving" (2015)

  • Suitable for: Kids ages 12+; Rated PG
  • Run Time: 21 minutes

The humor in this fresh and clever sitcom about a Taiwanese immigrant family will likely go over the heads of younger children. That said, tweens, teens and parents will delight in the fierce adult-sibling rivalry that ensues when the Huang family has the privilege of hosting the holiday feast.

19. The Wild Thornberrys: "Family Tradition" (2000)

  • Suitable for: Kids ages 7+; Rated Y7
  • Run Time: 24 minutes

Fans of this Nickelodeon throwback already know that there’s never a dull moment for the adventurous Thornberry family, and Thanksgiving is no exception. This episode, which finds the clan in the tropical rainforests of Madagascar, involves a holiday invitation from grandma and a difficult decision to make about whether or not to celebrate the occasion stateside.

20. CatDog: “Talking Turkey" (1999)

  • Suitable for: Kids ages 7+; Rated Y
  • Run Time: 23 minutes

A turkey that has escaped from the local Thanksgiving parade seeks refuge with CatDog and the conjoined siblings do their very best to hide it…in a very interesting place. Needless to say, you can expect lots of animal mayhem and comedy from this cartoon ode to Thanksgiving.

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Emma Singer

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Emma Singer is a freelance contributing editor and writer at PureWow who has over 7 years of professional proofreading, copyediting and writing experience. At PureWow, she covers...
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