My Top 5 Turkey Day TV episodes

By Laura Crisp Davis - November 27, 2021
My Top 5 Turkey Day TV episodes

It's "Leftovers & binge watch" weekend for those of us who aren't ready to dive into the next holiday, so I made you a list of my favorite Thanksgiving TV episodes. If you're spending time with extended family and things are getting a bit tense, skip to number 1. Trust me.

5. The West Wing, "Indians in the Lobby" (drama 2001, S3 E7)

why I love it: I mean, Aaron Sorkin. He's the screenwriter's screenwriter. We all worship his dialogue and infamous "walk and talk" scenes. This episode has its funny moments with the President (Martin Sheen) trying to decide where to spend the holiday, but the social commentary on Indigenous People is absolutely brilliant. 

4. Mad About You, "Giblets for Murray" (comedy, 1994 S3 E8)

why I love it: I recently rewatched this and OMG it's still a hysterical portrayal of people-pleasing and complicated family relationships. My favorite parts are Fran on the phone trying to convince her kid to eat and when Jamie panics with the turkey.

3. New Girl, "Thanksgiving" (comedy, 2011 S1 E6)

why I love it: First of all, New Girl is fantastic because Zooey Deschanel is the queen of quirk. In this episode her character invites a coworker/crush to her friendsgiving dinner, but things go horribly and hilariously awry. So dark and so, so funny.

2. Frasier, "A Lilith Thanksgiving" (comedy, 1996 S4 E7)

why I love it: Frasier's ex-wife Lilith only makes a handful of appearances throughout the show's decade of seasons, and this is one of the funniest. They're so obsessed with getting their son Freddy into an uppety private school that they don't notice the running gag that Grandpa Martin and Uncle Niles keep injuring Freddy. Bonus points for a Jane Lynch cameo as a snooty relative of the school's administrator.

1. WKRP in Cincinnati, "Turkeys Away" (comedy, 1978 S1 E7)

why I love it: Listen, if you're having Thanksgiving with cranky relatives (especially those who are over 50) this is your saving grace. They have fond memories of this episode, no matter what walk of life they've come from. After it first aired, it was all anyone could talk (and laugh) about. It's a bit dated, but the really funny stuff still holds up. (Just make sure any vegetarian/animal rights relatives leave the room because they may not think it's funny.) The big moment is when the nerdy newsman, Les Nessman, reports the big turkey giveaway, but it doesn't go as planned. Please trust me, your family will be howling at the line, " god is my witness..."

Happy viewing,

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