A HISTORY OF
By Alec Bojalad
While Christmas usually takes precedence, Thanksgiving always has a welcome home on TV. Here is how the medium has addressed the underappreciated holiday.
“Samantha’s Thanksgiving to Remember” Aunt Clara casts a spell that takes the Stephens family back to 17th Century Plymouth to meet some old pilgrim friends.
A Charlie Brown Thanksgiving
A holiday classic that has stood the test of time. It airs this year on Apple TV+ and PBS.
WKRP in Cincinnati
“Turkeys Away” Arguably the first great sitcom Thanksgiving episode ever. As God as your witness, you’ll believe turkeys can fly.
“A Wing and a Prayer” It’s Thanksgiving at the ER and competing turkeys are being prepared at St. Eligius.
“Thanksgiving Orphans” There may be no better chosen family on television than the Cheers gang and in “Thanksgiving Orphans” they head to Carla’s place to prove it.
“Thanksgiving ’93” Roseanne always took the Thanksgiving holiday seriously and this episode is an explosive example.
“The One With All the Thanksgivings” In this fifth season episode, Ross, Rachel, Phoebe, Monica, Joey, and Chandler flashback to all of the Thanksgivings they’ve shared together.
Buffy the Vampire Slayer
“Pangs” “Pangs”has all the usual Thanksgiving episode trappings: food, friends, and an army of undead Chumash tribe warriors.
The West Wing
“Shibboleth” It’s the night before Thanksgiving at the White House and the West Wing staff are all facing big decisions.
“The Wheel” “The Wheel” isn’t just a great Thanksgiving episode, it’s among TV’s best episodes ever
How I Met Your Mother
“Slapsgiving” It’s Thanksgiving and Barney Stinson is in mortal fear of the third slap Marshall owes him.
“A History Channel Thanksgiving” The boys don’t get an accurate representation of Thanksgiving history via the alien-obsessed History Channel.
“A History Channel Thanksgiving” This episode finds Bob reluctantly agreeing to “rent out” his family to landlord Calvin Fischoeder (voiced by Kevin Kline) to pose as his family for Thanksgiving.
Master of None
“Thanksgiving” The Lena Waithe-centric “Thanksgiving” is an example of everything Master of None does well.