Thanksgiving needs a better agent. It’s sandwiched directly between two of the best-marketed holidays in America—Halloween and Christmas. Halloween sold itself as the most important day of the year to dress up as your favorite superhero or the sexiest lamp, and Christmas is all about getting shiny new toys and drowning ourselves in eggnog. Thanksgiving is even outshone by Black Friday, a day dedicated to trampling complete strangers in an attempt to get the gifts your loved ones really want at a price you can almost afford.
Thanksgiving is a holiday entirely about eating food. We live in America, a country that has a television channel dedicated to food—how did Thanksgiving find itself so far down the list of favorite holidays? As a nation, we owe it to the turkeys in our life to at least remember that it exists before moving on to playing Christmas carols at every waking moment. Grab a seat and fill your Turkey Day with some of our favorite onscreen celebrations of this waist-expanding festival of gobble.
A Charlie Brown Thanksgiving
TV specials do an incredible job celebrating the holiday and showing us just how awkward and difficult it can be to plan a feast with friends and family, but nothing will ever compare to Charlie Brown. As our lone movie entry on the list—granted, it’s a movie the length of the average TV show—we should all take some time out of our busy schedules to relax and enjoy the soothing tones of muted trumpets and lovable, bumbling children working their way through valuable life lessons, all while Charlie Brown does his best to secure a roster spot as an NFL kicker.
Friends – “The One With Chandler In A Box”
Friends taught us all so much about how to handle relationships. Whether you hook up with someone on a break or kiss your best friend’s girlfriend, you’ll need to face the consequences eventually, no matter how painful or degrading they may be. Chandler may not be the biggest supporter of Thanksgiving, but his commitment to his friends is admirable. And really, who can blame him for having a problem celebrating on the anniversary of the day his world was shattered?
West Wing – “Shibboleth”
Food may be the core of Thanksgiving, but there’s so much more to it. Not only do President Josiah Bartlet’s speeches sound like a great hug feels, they give us a look at what this holiday could truly represent. More than food, more than family, more than any one person, it’s about the chance to come together and give thanks for everything we have, and to give thanks for the chance to give back whenever we can.
Brooklyn Nine-Nine – “Thanksgiving”
Jake Peralta understands the beauty of this holiday. His childish yet insightful wisdom should stand as a guide for us all—you can keep your summer cookouts and Sunday brunches; all we need is a good Thanksgiving feast to hold us over through each winter’s mandatory hibernation. Wake me up when candy canes become acceptable to eat at all times of the day.
How I Met Your Mother – “Slapsgiving”
The rise of Jason Segel; the return of NPH; television’s continuing love of Alyson Hannigan—HIMYM gave us so much, but the slap bet is the gift that will never stop giving, even after the show ripped our hearts out in the series finale. Every so often, an argument between friends can’t be settled with words. That’s when we turn to our Slap Bet Commissioner and ask for their blessing to commence with the only way to truly settle our differences.
Honorable Mention: Scrubs – “My Day Off”
Sorry, J.D. In a list of the top five, sometimes you need to cut off the fat.