Photo: Courtesy of NBC.
Ahh, Thanksgiving. A time for gathering together with loved ones, getting stinking drunk, and eating yourself sick. It's a tradition as old as, well, America. And, as long as there's been television, our favorite sitcom characters have celebrated Turkey Day with hilarity, drama, and more eating and drinking.
One of our favorite holiday traditions involves coming home after a long day of travel, cracking open a bottle of wine, and watching all the best Turkey Day episodes while our parents work their butts off in the kitchen (we kid, only mildly). So, we pulled together a list of our absolute favorite Thanksgiving-themed episodes so that you can really squeeze every last minute of couch time. Cheesy '90s (and early aughts) shows abound, but during the holidays — who would have it any other way?
Boy Meets World, "Turkey Day"
The cushy Matthews family heads to the trailer park to dine with the not-well-heeled Hunter family. Hijinks ensue, lessons are learned — what could be better?
Will & Grace, "Queens For A Day"
In this episode, Will learns that Queens isn't actually a place to just "dump bodies or buy discount meat." It does, however, have plastic-covered furniture (at least in W&G land). He visits his boyfriend's family for Turkey Day to a less-than-stellar reception, and to top it off, Jack helps
Meadow Soprano Jamie-Lynn Sigler come out to her family. And, as always, Karen is drunk.
How I Met Your Mother, "Slapsgiving"
The actual day of giving thanks takes a backseat to Marshall and Barney's epic, recurring slap bet. (In short, Marshall is allotted five slaps to administer to Barney, spread over a lifetime). The entire episode is hilarious, but the highlight is the awesome medley that Marshall put together to honor the slap. Jason Segel never fails in his singing bits.
How I Met Your Mother, "Slapsgiving 2: Revenge of the Slap"
The name speaks for itself: It's Thanksgiving again, and Barney gets slapped — again. HIMYM is at its best when it's calling on old inside jokes, and this ep is no exception. Plus, Lily's dad's aptly-named board game, "Slap Bet," sounds like a blast.
Home Improvement, "The Wood, The Bad, And The Hungry"
Does everybody know what time it is? Time for Tim and Al to have a turkey-carving race. Safety first!
Gilmore Girls, "A Deep-Fried Korean Thanksgiving"
The Gilmores start out watching Grey Gardens and end by visiting four different Thanksgivings. Plus, Rory gets to sneak around with her edgy new boyfriend and be a total badass.
Happy Endings, "More Like Stanksgiving"
This episode basically embodies everything we loved about the show, and all the reasons why we're still mad it got axed. Between Dave's insistence upon following the Navajo culture over the holidays and Alex's bewilderment when she finds out her new chair is actually a sex swing, to the Real World flashbacks, it's Emmy-worthy stuff.
Modern Family, "Punkin Chunkin"
If for nothing else, we insist that each and every person alive watch this episode to see Phil Dunphy's rendition of the "man shake." Plus, there's some great Cam and Mitch banter, and we get to see the Pritchett clan launch a giant pumpkin.
Friends, "The One With The Football"
Perhaps the most classic of all the Friends Thanksgiving episodes, this depicts the Friendsgiving of all of our dreams. (Except for maybe that whole Gellar cup thing.)
Friends, "The One With Rachel's Other Sister"
This show practically invented the Thanksgiving episode, so we couldn't include just one. Christina Applegate does a guest spot as, you guessed it, Rachel's sister, and she totally nails it. She's rude, self-centered, and completely hilarious.
The O.C., "The Homecoming"
It wouldn't be Thanksgiving without a little bit of date juggling! This ep might not be as legendary as "Chrismukkah," but we love any chance to see ol' Seth Cohen squirm. Plus, Ryan takes a trip to the prison in Chino — festive!
Full House, "The Miracle of Thanksgiving"
The first season of Full House was rife with musical numbers, and this episode delivers as much as any. The Tanners go full-on choreographed in the kitchen while they prepare an ultimately doomed meal. Of course, there's the inevitable lesson to be learned in a ruined turkey dinner.