Thanksgiving is a time of excess: excess turkey, excess mashed potatoes, excess yams, excess stuffing, excess family, excess spending, and excess drama. There's a reason November is known as "breakup season." Anything that was already wrong in the relationship gets magnified under the pressure to meet families, cook for a crowd, or arguments about a holiday rooted in oppression.
But if you look at some of the best-known Thanksgiving episodes on TV, what stands out is that the most epic fights aren't romantic in nature, but rather, between friends. If Christmas is the couple-killer, then Thanksgiving is the true test of friendship. No matter whether your Thanksgiving is pot-lucked, catered, or mockalate-crusted — someone is having a fight before, during, or after dinner. (There's a reason Friends has some of the most memorable Turkey Day episodes.)
Perhaps it's because, as we grow older, our friends are become our "chosen family." Once someone has fielded your 4 a.m. text about a breakup, they've earned the right to get in on that Thanksgiving airing of the grievances. Or maybe it's just because cooking a turkey is a stressful and insane thing to put someone through, let alone forcing them to then host a large group of people.
In the spirit of giving thanks, however, most problems on TV are resolved by the end of the special holiday episode. But don't get too comfortable — Christmas is just around the corner.
Click through for a look back at some of the most memorable Thanksgiving fights. Just think of it as a conversation shifter for when that person at your table brings up the president.