Wednesday, November 23, 2011

Top 10 Best Thanksgiving Episodes (Ever.)

Happy Thanksgiving, Bloggie Friends!

Being a lover of television, I decided to put together a list of my the Top 10 Best Thanksgiving Episodes.

These are OBVIOUSLY the best episodes out of EVERY TELEVISION SHOW ON THE EARTH, because I have seen them ALL. Obviously.

Just so we're clear.

10. Grey's Anatomy, “Thanks for the Memories”
Izzie assists Burke with the meal in the kitchen as if it were a surgery, George goes hunting with his dad and brothers (with disastrous results), and Meredith and Christina hide from the holiday by working in the hospital. Ah, Thanksgiving! But this is pretty much typical for the insane staff of Seattle Grace. Oh well- we love them anyway! Most of the time...

9. Alias, "Color Blind"
Okay, so at first glance this may not be the most obvious choice, considering Sydney is trapped in an insane asylum in Bucharest for much of the episode. And then she finds out who killed her fiance. And then SD-6 suspects they have a mole. BUT the episode does end with Thanksgiving dinner, a proposal, and Sydney even brings some leftovers to her estranged dad at work. It's sad but adorable, so of course I had to include it. Besides, Thanksgiving episodes could all use more spies and espionage, amiright?

8. The New Girl, "Thanksgiving"
I know, I'm even surprising myself by naming such a new episode on this list. But I find the show so endearing and hilarious that I just had to include it. This episode follows traditional Thanksgiving television tropes fairly closely- problems with cooking, wacky hijinx, new people invited over for dinner, etc.- but puts a fresh spin on each of them. I love Jess, I love the boys, and I love to see them welcoming Justin Long's Paul (as well as the kazoo he carries around with him). Plus, they put a TURKEY in the DRYER. Come on.

7. How I Met Your Mother, "Slapsgiving"
What can I say? This is a CLASSIC, not just among HIMYM fans, but for television fans. The Slap Bet is practically famous in its own right, so an episode that incorporates it into the plot so brilliantly must be mentioned. Seeing Marshall slap Barney's face off at the end of the episode? Major win. (*salutes* "Major Win!")

6. The OC, "The Homecoming"
I think this is a classic Thanksgiving episode. I do. I love that so many random bits of family and friends up at one house altogether. I love that Seth has lady drama for the first time in his life when BOTH Summer and Anna show up at his house. There is football, traditional Thanksgiving food, and time with family. But there is also a trip to Chino, Julie Cooper acting ridiculous, a Thanksgiving BLIND DATE, and the aforementioned lady drama. My love for this show is undying and eternal.

5. Friends, "The One Where Underdog Got Away"
Not everyone loves the early seasons of Friends, but I absolutely do. This episode is a great introduction to the yearly tradition of great Thanksgiving episodes on this show, and I think it holds up almost 20 (GAH!) years later. Here we learn about Chandler's distaste for all Pilgrim holidays, get to see Monica masterfully prepare four kinds of potatoes, and share in Rachel's excitement for a ski trip with her family. Of course, one Macy's Day Parade float gets away and everyone's Thanksgiving is ruined. At least they're all together, and as Chandler says over their meal of grilled cheese sandwiches, "I'm very thankful that all of your Thanksgivings sucked."

4. Cougar Town, "Here Comes My Girl"
I've already spilled enough virtual ink on the fact that this show isn't what you think it is, so let's just all move on, shall we? The simple premise for this episode is that Jules' son Travis brings his girlfriend over for Thanksgiving, so naturally things get supremely weird, which naturally means hilarious. Add in an over-the-top basketball game the guys play with some neighbor kids and Laurie changing clothes every few minutes (to top Katy Perry's costume changes at the MTV awards, OF COURSE) and you have a winner of an episode.

3. Friday Night Lights, "Thanksgiving"
The only episode on this list that is also a season finale, "Thanksgiving" is none-the-less an incredibly gripping episode, so meaningful, so weighty, so Texas. This episode finds the Taylors preparing to have plenty of company over for Thanksgiving dinner, because what sane person would not want to spend the holiday with the Taylors? For some reason, though, that company includes Buddy Garrity, who plans to come and fry his own turkey. As poor Tami laments to Coach, "Buddy Garrity is coming to MY house and bringing a turkey AND a fryer? When I'm MAKIN' dinner? Does that make any sense?" (You gotta love Tami!) Through it all, Coach Taylor has his eyes focused on a huge hometown rivalry game. During a Thursday practice an assistant coach reminds him, "It's Thanksgiving." "No, it's practice." Tell him, Coach!

I really wish I could find a video of the end of the episode where Tami comes home to find her family decorating the house for Christmas (true to Texas form) the day after Thanksgiving, as well as the accompanying montage. Because it's beautiful, as most everything on Friday Night Lights is. But alas, the internet has let me down, so instead just come borrow the DVDs from me!

2. Friends, "The One Where Ross Got High"
For my money (although really I only have like twelve dollars), this is the BEST Thanksgiving episode of the series, hands down. As much as I love The Ones With Chandler in a Box, All the Football, and All The Thanksgivings (not to mention Brad Pitt's episode), you just cannot beat one thing: Rachel's traditional English trifle. "It’s got all of these layers. First there’s a layer of ladyfingers, then a layer of jam, then custard, which I made from scratch, then raspberries, more ladyfingers, then beef sauteed with peas and onions, then a little more custard, and then bananas, and then I just put some whipped cream on top!"

Add in Phoebe's bizarre crush on Mr. Gellar, Joey's tutorial on how to look happy and make yummy noises, and Ross's exclamation that Rachel's trifle "tastes like feet" and you have a gem of an episode. And if all that weren't enough, we get a rapid-fire outpouring of information to top everything off, including the confession that comprises the title of the episode. All of these exclamations and realizations lead to a hilarious monologue by Mrs. Gellar, addressing everyone's outbursts, including: "Rachel, no you weren’t supposed to put beef in the trifle. It did not taste good."

1. Gilmore Girls, "A Deep-Fried Korean Thanksgiving"
Said in my best Stefon voice... Television's best Thanksgiving episode is "A Deep-Fried Korean Thanksgiving." This episode has everything: not one, two, or three, but FOUR Thanksgiving dinners, Tofurkey, Cat Kirk and Human Kirk, deep-fried turkey (and mashed potatoes) (and pickles) (and a napkin), Grey Gardens, headless chocolate turkeys, and Joseph Stalin jokes.

Seriously though, this is an amazing episode, not only for the series but also as far as Thanksgiving episodes go as a whole. The basic plot comes down to Lorelai and Rory over-committing to Thanksgiving dinners and strategically planning how they are going to make it to all of them. Hijinx ensue! It has a brilliant mix of family time, interesting (and slightly off-kilter) Thanksgiving dinners, and classic Gilmore wit. I'm so happy it's part of my Thanksgiving tradition!

"You know what this means, don't you? We didn't have to skip the rolls."


Anonymous said...

I haven't seen all these (because, unlike you, I haven't seen ALL the TV shows!), but oh how I love the Friends episodes. The One Where Ross Got High is my FAVORITE. (We watched it with friends today!) And the Gilmore one is pretty fabulous, too.

dc said...

I LOVED the New Girl episode too! And I totally wanted to be friends with them as we stood in an overly angry Best Buy line at midnight.

Dahlia Lyme said...

Hi, I just started following you so ive been reading through older posts. You're hilarious! I love your list. I'd rate slapsgiving a little higher, but otherwise I agree. I love new girl, HIMYM, friends, and gilmore girls.
Thanks for the great posts.
And your Stefon reference made me bust a gut.