Thanksgiving is an interesting holiday. Putting its colonialist roots aside, it’s usually just a weekend of stressed-out people cooking for a big drunk group of family members who don’t usually spend that much time together. But it’s also a uniquely American tradition, and that means that TV is an integral part of the whole thing.
There are a lot of traditional TV episodes that are almost as synonymous with the holiday as turkey and yelling at your racist uncle: the football game, the Macy's Thanksgiving Day Parade, A Charlie Brown Thanksgiving, and even a dog show or two. But another tradition, and one that we believe is a hell of a lot more fun, is the selection of Turkey Day episodes of your favorite TV shows. It’s a staple of the old-school network family sitcom, but shows on premium cable or streaming platforms often take a crack at the subgenre too.
Thanksgiving episodes of your favorite TV shows are the best; the reality is most of us will, at some point during our family Thanksgiving weekend, want to rip our hair out due to spending so much time with our "loved" ones. There’s nothing better to do in those situations than watch another family, even a fictional one, be even more dysfunctional than your own. This kind of escapism is probably healthier than trying to win arguments with your parents or drink until you can’t remember everyone’s names, so you should definitely consider it.
Sneak away at some point after Thanksgiving dinner, maybe bring a trusted sibling or cousin or dog with you, and indulge in some of television’s best Thanksgiving specials.