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September 2, 2014

We Give Thanks for Our 11 Favorite Thanksgiving Episodes

by David Hofstede, posted Nov 24th 2009 5:05PM
Best Thanksgiving episodes
Whether it's the parades or football games or Charlie Brown cooking toast and popcorn, television is as much a part of Thanksgiving as the turkey and cranberry sauce. This year, we're giving thanks to some of our favorite TV holiday celebrations. It was supposed to be a top ten list, but just like with Thanksgiving dinner, we couldn't resist a little extra stuffing.Best Thanksgiving episodes
Whether it's the parades or football games or Charlie Brown cooking toast and popcorn, television is as much a part of Thanksgiving as the turkey and cranberry sauce. This year, we're giving thanks to some of our favorite TV holiday celebrations. It was supposed to be a top ten list, but just like with Thanksgiving dinner, we couldn't resist a little extra stuffing.

'Father Knows Best' ('Thanksgiving Day')
The members of the Anderson family seem headed their separate ways on Turkey Day, as Bud decides to have Thanksgiving dinner with his football team and Betty is off to dine with a friend. But this being a 1950s sitcom, everyone comes to their senses and returns home in time for dinner. 'Thanksgiving Day' is Golden Age TV at its corniest -- and its most heartwarming.



'The Bob Newhart Show' ('Over the River and Through the Woods')
In the series' most famous episode, Bob, Jerry, Howard and the ever-neurotic Mr. Carlin gather to watch the holiday football games, get plastered on cider and vodka, and order Chinese food from the House of Hu. Bob's drunken attempt to order moo goo gai pan is a classic sitcom moment.

'Buffy the Vampire Slayer' ('Pangs')
Buffy's desire for a traditional Thanksgiving is shattered when the angry spirits of a Chumash Indian tribe fire arrows into Giles' home, and infect Xander with a social disease. After a tense battle with the Indians and a mystical black bear, the Scooby Gang prevails. "I don't know, seemed kind of right to me," says Xander about the holiday experience. "A bunch of anticipation, a big fight, and now we're all sleepy."

'Cheers' ('Thanksgiving Orphans')
While the 'Cheers' gang waits for a giant turkey ("Birdzilla") to finish cooking, Diane, dressed in full Pilgrim regalia, gives thanks to those who influenced her (the list includes Baroque artist Caravaggio and Shari Lewis and Lambchop). Tensions escalate and then explode into television's best food fight. The episode closes with a rare appearance from Norm's elusive wife, Vera.

'Bewitched' ('Samantha's Thanksgiving to Remember')
Loopy Aunt Clara's magic is on the fritz again, as she zaps Sam, Darrin and nosy Mrs. Kravitz back to 17th-century Salem for Thanksgiving. While there, Darrin lights a match to start a fire, and is accused of witchcraft. Ah, the irony.

Friends
'Friends'
('The One with Chandler in a Box')

'Friends' specialized in standout Thanksgiving shows. Here, Chandler confesses to kissing Joey's girlfriend, and serves penance by spending the holiday locked inside a shipping crate. Though he's invisible for most of the episode, Matthew Perry still steals every scene he's in ("You can't tell, but I'm trying to break the tension by mooning you guys!").

'WKRP in Cincinnati' ('Turkeys Away')
Mr. Carlson decides he wants to take a more active role in the running of his radio station, and starts by launching a special Thanksgiving promotion in which radio staff members throw live turkeys from a helicopter. The flightless birds plummet to the earth, shattering windshields and causing the station's listeners to run for cover. Any classic TV fan still remembers the final line of this brilliant episode: "As God is my witness, I thought turkeys could fly."



How I Met Your Mother'How I Met Your Mother' ('Slapsgiving')
The Slap Bet has been a running gag on 'How I Met Your Mother' since season 2 (Marshall wins a bet and gets to slap Barney five times, at any moment of his choosing), and in season 3's 'Slapsgiving' Barney moves one step closer to paying off the bet, despite Slap Bet Commissioner Lily's outlawing the practice on the Thanksgiving holiday. The tradition continued this year with 'Slapsgiving 2: Revenge of the Slap."

'Mad About You' ('Giblets for Murray')
While Paul and Jamie entertain an apartment full of friends and relatives, their dog Murray devours a prominent portion of the Thanksgiving turkey. Rather than admit what happened, the couple embark upon a series of increasingly desperate attempts to replace the main course without anyone catching on.

The West Wing'The West Wing' ('The Indians in the Lobby')
Two Native Americans camp out in the White House lobby, hoping to draw attention to reservation health care issues with a holiday-themed guilt trip. But President Bartlet has problems of his own, and has to call the Butterball Hotline to find out how to cook a properly stuffed gourmet turkey.

'Party of Five' ('Thanksgiving')
Tensions were high when the Pilgrims met the Indians, but that was nothing compared to when the Salinger siblings meet Walter Alcott, the drunk driver who killed their parents. Neve Campbell delivers an Emmy-worthy performance, especially in a powerful scene where she withholds forgiveness, but tells Walter of her broken family, "We're going to be OK."

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pamelajaye

Shibboleth -- The West Wing, Season 2

October 23 2011 at 11:00 AM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply

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