Top 10 Thanksgiving Specials to keep viewers festive on Turkey Day


The cast of Friends sitting around the Thanksgiving table in Monica’s apartment.

1. Charlie Brown

Best Episodes: “A Charlie Brown Thanksgiving”

“A Charlie Brown Thanksgiving” is a classic that has been airing for many years.  The animated comedy based on the comic strip Peanuts has won an Emmy Award and continues to be shown on television around the Thanksgiving holiday.  Charlie, the main character, plans to have Thanksgiving at his grandmother’s house, yet his plans change when Peppermint Patty invites herself over. This original comedy brings families closer, and Charlie puts on a great show for an unplanned Thanksgiving dinner.

2. Friends

Best Episodes: “The One with the List” (Season 2, Episode 8),  “The One with Chandler in a Box” (Season 4, Episode 8), “The One With All The Thanksgivings” (Season 5, Episode 8), “The One with Rachel’s Other Sister” (Season 9, Episode 8), and “The One with the Late Thanksgiving” (Season 10, Episode 8)

The beloved American sitcom Friends features a Thanksgiving special during each of its ten seasons, each filled with heartfelt moments and laughs.  The episodes include a lot of fun moments, such as two confessions of love, an irritating sister who almost ruins Thanksgiving, a getaway Underdog balloon from the Macy’s parade, and much more. Overall, the Friends Thanksgiving Episodes are heartfelt and nice, but also keep viewers laughing and entertained.

3. Gossip Girl

Best Episodes: “Blair Waldorf Must Pie!” (Season 1, Episode 9), “It’s Really Complicated” (Season 6, Episode 8)

Always bountiful with scandal and drama, Gossip Girl’s Thanksgiving episodes are no exception.  With five Thanksgiving episodes aired over the course of their six season run, each episode brings a massive dosage of drama.  Because everyone on this show is basically related in some way, the expected family drama that comes with Thanksgiving is taken to an entirely new level.

4. Gilmore Girls

Best Episodes: “A Deep Fried Korean Thanksgiving” (Season 3, Episode 9)

This episode follows Lorelai and Rory as they try to attend all four Thanksgiving dinners that they promised to attend.  Like all Gilmore Girls episodes, family and friendship is highlighted in this feel-good Thanksgiving special.

5. Buffy The Vampire Slayer

Best Episodes: “Pangs” (Season 4, Episode 8)

In this season four episode, Buffy encounters a Native American spirit seeking historical vengeance for his tribe.  It is full of action and drama, but also full of heart, as we are once again reminded of the familial relationship between the show’s “Scooby Gang.”  With its balance between adventure and comedy, this episode brings together the best of Buffy in an incredible feast of an episode.

6. How I Met Your Mother

Best Episodes:  “Slapsgiving” (Season 3, Episode 9), “Slapsgiving 2: Revenge of the Slap” (Season 5, Episode 2), “Blitzgiving” (Season 6, Episode 10)

“Blitzgiving” in season 6, is one of the most popular of the How I Met Your Mother Thanksgiving specials.  In the episode, Ted is determined to make a turkey inside of a turkey, a “turturkeykey,” but in his attempt, he becomes the Blitz, or the guy who leaves just before something amazing happens.  He misses out on the gang’s fun Thanksgiving plans.  “Slapsgiving” in season 3 and “Slapsgiving 2: Revenge of the Slap” in season 5 seem to be fan favorites of the Thanksgiving episodes, as Barney gets slapped as part of a bet, but there are also warm Thanksgiving moments.

7. Full House

Best Episodes: “The Miracle of Thanksgiving” (Season 1, Episode 10)

“The Miracle of Thanksgiving” in season 1 is an episode that will make viewers laugh and cry.  In the episode, it is the Tanner’s first Thanksgiving without Pam, so Danny tries to make it a very special day.  The family spends the day making Thanksgiving foods, such as a pumpkin pie and a burnt turkey.  Like all Full House episodes, it illustrates the bond of family and friends.

8. Seinfeld

Best Episodes: “The Mom and Pop Store” (Season 6, Episode 8)

This iconic television show never fails to make viewers laugh, and its holiday episodes are no exception. With incredible guest stars such as Bryan Cranston and Jon Voight, this Seinfeld episode meshes a decent helping of Thanksgiving spirit with its usual antics.

9. The O.C.

Best Episodes: “The Homecoming” (Season 1, Episode 11)

This quintessential teen drama brings levels of over-the-top excitement that rival those of Gossip Girl, which is to be expected, given to their mutual creator Josh Schwartz. While the most iconic holiday celebration on The O.C. is undoubtedly their unique holiday mash-up “Chrismukkah,” this outrageous Thanksgiving episode serves as a close second, bringing love triangles, complicated family relationships, and incredible alternative music to the drama-filled dinner table.

10. Modern Family

Best Episodes: “Three Turkeys” (Season 6, Episode 8)

This long-running acclaimed comedy always delivers its share of fun, especially when it comes to the holidays.  The episode “Three Turkeys” is an instant classic, as it is extremely well reviewed and quite hilarious, making the best of the usual antics that the show’s large and unique family has to offer.