Thanksgiving is one of those holidays that calls for some good viewing material. Most of us have fond memories of spending Thanksgiving with family, friends, or even by ourselves. Whether you’re going to a Black Friday sale later that night, or simply going to pass out on the couch in front of something good, here are some choices of Thanksgiving episodes for your viewing pleasure:
“The One With the Football” – Friends, Season 3, Episode 9
I’m a huge fan of Friends and might be able to quote this entire episode. It’s one of my personal favorites because it features the whole cast playing football for pretty much the entire episode. There’s very little Thanksgiving here, but lots of laughs, physical gags, and pratfalls.
“Luke Ducharme” – Love Life, Season 1, Episode 5
This episode is a flashback to the teen years of Anna Kendrick’s character. It’s self-contained, happening all at boarding school over Thanksgiving break and depicting a relationship disappointment the character suffered. It’s as charming as it is heartbreaking. One of my favorites from the season.
“The Quirk-ducers” – Bob’s Burger, Season 7, Episode 6
Bob’s Burgers is a gem of a show, full of awkward comedy and colorful characters. This episode is so out there, you just have to watch it. I have two words for you: “Erotic Friendfiction.”
“Sangiving” – Gentefied, Season 2, Episode 6
This episode opens with a fully cooked turkey flying through the air in slow motion and hitting a family portrait on the wall while shattering the glass. This is what Thanksgiving is all about for many families. Being together and keeping the piece don’t always mix. Since cooking and food are such an integral part of the story of this show, this is one of the episodes that truly stands out for me.
”WUPHF.com” – The Office, Season 7, Episode 9
This episode is unconventional as it doesn’t feature any turkey, a large feast, or anyone sitting down to eat together. This episode is all about Dwight’s hay festival in the parking lot. Meanwhile, Jim has reached his commission cap and has no motivation to work. Nothing says late November to me more than not wanting to do any more work for the year.
There you have it! Watch these and get inspired to write your own Thanksgiving episode. It’s such a rich holiday in terms of potential conflict and interesting storylines. For each one of these shows, the writers created traditions for the characters. An interesting exercise for feature and TV writers is to imagine what your characters might do for the holidays even if your story doesn’t take place during this time of year. You’ll be amazed at the discoveries you will make about your characters.
Got your own Turkey Day-themed TV pilot? Check out our TV coverage options!
Julia Camara is an award-winning Brazilian screenwriter/filmmaker. Julia won a Telly Award for the sci-fi found footage feature Occupants. Julia’s feature directorial debut In Transit, won Best Experimental Film at four different festivals. Julia’s other writing credits include Area Q and Open Road.