10 Thanksgiving Episodes You Can Watch Now

NOVEMBER 18, 2019
Friends aired multiple Thanksgiving episodes over 10 seasons.
Friends (WB)

Thanksgiving is all about family, food, and football, but there's plenty of TV to be thankful for this holiday season. If you're looking for ways to celebrate, check out these Thanksgiving episodes from shows cast by Central Casting.

1. This is Us, "Pilgrim Rick"

This is Us (NBC).
This is Us (NBC)

For a show notorious for making us cry, This is Us knows how to get to the heart of holidays. In the present, Thanksgiving dinner is derailed when Randall confronts Rebecca about a long-kept secret, but the real heart of this episode comes from the flashback. When the Big Three are kids, the Pearson's get stuck spending Thanksgiving in a dingy motel after their car breaks down. Jack works some magic to turn what could have been a disaster into one of the best Thanksgivings the family ever has.

Where to watch: Hulu or the NBC app

2. Friends, "The One With All the Thanksgivings"

Friends aired multiple Thanksgiving episodes over 10 seasons.
Friends (WB)

Over the course of ten seasons, Friends had many memorable Thanksgiving episodes, but "The One With All the Thanksgivings" is a standout. After Ross claims he's having the worst Thanksgiving ever, the gang recall their own worst holidays, including an interesting story Phoebe shares from her past lives. Want more Friends Thanksgivings? Also check out "The One with the Football."

Where to watch: Netflix (Friends leaves Netflix for HBO Max in early 2020)

3. How I Met Your Mother, "Slapsgiving"

How I Met Your Mother (CBS).
How I Met Your Mother (CBS)

"Slapsgiving" offers some Thanksgiving excitement with the return of How I Met Your Mother's ongoing slap game. Marshall still owes Barney three more slaps to settle their bet from season two and promises to collect on the holiday. That's not the only thing looming over the dinner, since it's Marshall and Lily's first holiday as a married couple, Lily wants everything to go perfectly, but Ted and Robin's awkwardness threatens to derail the evening.

Where to watch: Hulu

4. Gilmore Girls, "A Deep-Fried Korean Thanksgiving"

Gilmore Girls (WB).
Gilmore Girls (WB)

You know what's better than Thanksgiving? Four Thanksgivings. Lorelai and Rory get invites to four Thanksgiving dinners from the Kim's, Sookie, Luke, and Lorelai's parents. While it seems like a fun idea at first, by the last dinner there is enough turkey and family tension to sour the day. Thankfully, all's well that ends well and four Thanksgivings are a success in Stars Hollow.

Where to watch: Netflix

5. Brooklyn Nine-Nine, "Thanksgiving"

Brooklyn Nine-Nine (Universal).
Brooklyn Nine-Nine (Universal)

For the 99th precinct, Thanksgiving isn't about having a meal with friends and family, it's about ulterior motives. Amy invites everyone to her house for dinner so she can ask Holt to be her mentor, Rosa agrees because she doesn't want to spend the holiday with her sister, Gina jumps at the opportunity to critique Amy's home décor, and Terry just wants to eat.

Where to watch: Hulu

6. The Simpsons, "Bart vs Thanksgiving"

The Simpsons (FOX).
The Simpsons (FOX)

The Simpsons is known for its Halloween specials, but their first Thanksgiving episode was an instant classic. Bart runs away after accidently throwing Lisa's table centerpiece in the fire and finds himself at a homeless shelter serving a Thanksgiving meal. He realizes he's lucky to have his family and goes home to apologize to Lisa and rejoin everyone for family dinner.

Did you know Central Casting casts walla groups for The Simpsons? To make group scenes, like those at Moe's Tavern, feel more authentic, productions hire walla groups to record background conversations that are added in post-production.

Where to watch: Disney+

7. The West Wing, "Shibboleth"

The West Wing (WB).
The West Wing (WB)

While President Bartlet deals with a humanitarian issue, C.J. and Charlie are tasked with making sure Thanksgiving dinner goes according to plan. For C.J., that means deciding which turkey to pardon and which to send to the kitchen. Toby, Josh, and Sam are busy making football plans, so Charlie is left digging deep into the history books to find the perfect carving tools.

Where to watch: Netflix

8. It's Always Sunny in Philadelphia, "The Gang Squashes Their Beefs"

It's Always Sunny in Philadelphia (FX).
It's Always Sunny in Philadelphia (FX)

Realizing that their bad behavior over the years is starting to interfere with their lives, the gang decides to hold Thanksgiving to make amends with people they have hurt. As a peace offering, Mac and Dennis invite Liam and Ryan McPoyle, Hwang, and Gail the Snail to their apartment for dinner. It all goes as well as you'd expect, but at least they tried in the spirit of the holiday.

Where to watch: Hulu

9. Will & Grace, "Moveable Feast"

Will and Grace (NBC).
Will & Grace (NBC)

Will, Grace, Karen, and Jack make a pact to visit everyone's family for one hour before heading home for their own Thanksgiving dinner. As expected, they all get in fights with their respective families and don't feel like celebrating when they get back to Will's apartment. In an effort to save Thanksgiving, they go back home to smooth things over with their loved ones before reconvening to spend the rest of the holiday together.

Where to watch: Hulu

10. New Girl, "Thanksgiving"

New Girl (FOX).
New Girl (FOX)

After the Thanksgiving pageant at school, Jess invites fellow teacher Paul over for dinner. The guys just want to celebrate Dudesgiving by eating sandwiches and watching football, but Jess convinces them to have a traditional meal. Schmidt is tasked with making all the food, while Nick and Winston spend time with Paul to determine if he's a good fit for Jess.

Where to watch: Netflix

Which show has your favorite Thanksgiving episode?

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By Meghan Dubitsky

Article Category:

Central Cast