10 of the Best Thanksgiving TV Episodes Ever

at 4:00 pm | By
friends thanksgiving episode chandler says i love you monica turkey head

Monica Geller (Courteney Cox) wearing a turkey on her head while Chandler Bing (Matthew Perry) confesses he loves her after Thanksgiving dinner is and will forever be on our top 10 best TV moments list.

In honor of our beloved Friends and their many Thanksgiving dinners and disasters, here are the 10 most memorable Thanksgiving-themed TV episodes and specials that we love to watch more than once.

Gilmore Girls – “A Deep Fried Korean Thanksgiving” (Season 3, Episode 9, 2002)

Four Thanksgiving dinners. Two stomachs. One Tofurkey. One deep fried turkey. One drunk Sookie (Melissa McCarthy). Rory (Alexis Bledel) and Lorelai Gilmore (Lauren Graham) know how to celebrate Thanksgiving – a little bit of time spent with friends, a little bit of time spent with family, and just enough familial rifts to make it awkward for a hot second.

Gossip Girl – “Blair Waldorf Must Pie!” (Season 1, Episode 9, 2007)

There were many great Thanksgiving episodes during Gossip Girl‘s six seasons, but season one’s Thanksgiving episode is the best. The flashbacks to Serena van der Woodsen (Blake Lively), Blair Waldorf (Leighton Meester), and Nate Archibold (Chase Crawford)’s past is a happy and welcomed contrast to their current days of chilly friendships and betrayal. However, the episode ends on an especially sweet note with Serena, Eric (Connor Paolo) and Lily (Kelly Rutherford) dining on french fries together at a diner, while Blair and Eleanor (Margaret Colin) snack in their kitchen and the Humphrey’s play football in Brooklyn.

Buffy the Vampire Slayer – “Pangs” (Season 4, Episode 8, 1999)

This is the episode in which Willow (Alyson Hannigan) takes issue with Thanksgiving, and Anya (Emma Caulfield) teaches Buffy (Sarah Michelle Geller) and Willow (and all of us) what Thanksgiving is basically all about by explaining, “I love a ritual sacrifice…To commemorate a past event, you kill and eat an animal. It’s a ritual sacrifice. With pie.” Plus, Angel (David Boreanaz) secretly reappears to help protect Buffy.

buffy the vampire slayer pangs thanksgiving episode

Friends – “The One With All The Thanksgivings” (Season 5, Episode 8, 1998)

Admittedly, every Thanksgiving episode of Friends is a generous display of comedic wit, lovey-dovey friendship and yummy dinners. I personally love Season 8’s “The One with the Rumor” (guest starring a steamy Brad Pitt, Jennifer Aniston‘s then-husband) and Season 9’s “The One with Rachel’s Other Sister” (Christina Applegate plays Amy, Rachel’s awfully but hilariously rude sister), as well as the Thanksgiving episode from Season 1 (things were so sappy in the first season). But “The One with all the Thanksgivings” is truly the best for several reasons: nostalgia and reminiscing about what their lives were like ten years prior. Chandler is mid-A Flock of Seagulls phase, and then a year later, he and Ross (David Schwimmer) transition into their Miami Vice phase; we see Rachel pre-nose job; Monica loses weight and Chandler loses a toe; and Chandler confesses to Monica that he loves her for the first time, as she’s donning an entire turkey over her head.

The O.C. – “The Homecoming” (Season 1, Episode 11, 2003)

In which Seth Cohen (Adam Brody) is a certified stud, juggling two girls (Rachel Bilson‘s Summer and Samaire Armstrong‘s Anna) at once during Thanksgiving dinner.

Grey’s Anatomy – “Thanks For the Memories” (Season 2, Episode 9, 2005)

There’s always that one person trying to make Thanksgiving perfect: in season two of Grey’s Anatomy, that person is Izzy (Katherine Heigl), even though she’s not the world’s greatest cook. Luckily, Dr. Burke (Isaiah Washington) steps in to help (and instruct, like the good doctor he is) while the rest of the gang is more interested in putting in hours at Seattle Grace.

New Girl – “Thanksgiving” (Season 1, Episode 6, 2011)

Who’s that girl Jess (Zooey Deschanel) wants to cook Thanksgiving dinner for her crush (Justin Long) and her roomies. As fans of New Girl could’ve expected, it was awkward and a mess.

Modern Family – “Pumpkin Chunkin” (Season 3, Episode 9, 2011)

Cam (Eric Stonestreet)’s epic Thanksgiving story which in reality is a flop of a story that not too many of them believe. To prove that his story (watch him tell it below) is real, Cam ultimately reenacts the pumpkin chucking memory:

Will & Grace – “Lows in the Mid-Eighties” (Season 3, Episode 8, 2000) 

In this Will & Grace flashback episode, it’s 1985 and Grace (Debra Messing) invites Will (Eric McCormack), her then-“straight” boyfriend, home to meet her parents. While at a college party, Will meets Jack (Sean Hayes) for the first time, and we are reminded with what the fashion was like in the ’80s. The rest is more or less history.

Seinfeld – “The Mom and Pop Store” (Season 6, Episode 8, 1994)

George (Jason Alexander) buys a car believed to be once owned by Jon Voight. Jerry (Jerry Seinfeld) gets his sneakers stolen. Mom and pop aren’t even a “mom” and “pop.” Worst Thanksgiving ever, and much more.

Please enjoy these ten amazing Thanksgiving episodes with your friends and family and (hopefully) some yummy Thanksgiving dinner leftovers.