Thanksgiving Horror Stories: 9 Turkey-Day Tales From The Weird Wide Web

Thanksgiving is a time-honored tradition in which we reflect on the bounty of life with our friends and loved ones. It is also a strong holiday cocktail of potential disaster, combining latent familial animosities, an oddly formalized eating ritual, and dangerous levels of alcohol. Thanksgiving disasters can and do happen.
You know how it goes. Grandma drops the bird on her ailing dog. Your drunk uncle starts railing against the reptilians in Congress (again). You cook an entire feast for all of your loved ones only to discover that you left that frozen baggie of turkey offal inside.
We combed through Reddit — the Internet's raw hive mind — to find some of the most unbelievable tales of Thanksgiving woe. (We can't thank the poor souls enough.) These sad and hilarious stories will make you feel better when things inevitably don't work out well this year.
Click through to check 'em out, and try to keep your uncle away from the sauce if you can.
Illustrated by Ly Ngo and Sydney Hass.
1 of 9
"We found one of our cats inside of the Thanksgiving turkey one year. We heard rattling from the kitchen, and when we looked, the turkey was jiggling and meowing. No leftovers that year."

2 of 9
"Every year since I can remember, on Thanksgiving day, my mother wakes me up by dangling the uncooked turkey over my head. I am not joking."

3 of 9
"One year at Thanksgiving, my mom went to my sister's house for the traditional feast. Knowing how gullible my sister is, my mom decided to play a trick. She told my sister that she needed something from the store. When my sister left, my mom took the turkey out of the oven. She removed the stuffing, [took out a] stuffed a Cornish hen, inserted it into the turkey, and restuffed the turkey. She then placed the bird(s) back in the oven.

When it was time for dinner, my sister pulled the turkey out of the oven and proceeded to remove the stuffing. When her serving spoon hit something, she reached in and pulled out the little bird.

With a look of total shock on her face, my mother exclaimed, 'Patricia, you've cooked a pregnant bird!'

At the reality of this horrifying news, my sister started to cry. It took the family two hours to convince her that turkeys lay eggs!"

4 of 9
"My family recently hosted a Canadian couple for their first American Thanksgiving meal. When we sat down to eat, I announced that I'm thankful to be hosting them on Thanksgiving and would be honored if they'd lead the singing of the traditional Thanksgiving song. They both looked horrified and sat there stunned. We all let them sweat it for about 10 seconds; then everyone burst out laughing. Good times."

5 of 9
"One year my dad was opening a Champagne bottle in the kitchen, while my mom was taking the turkey out of the oven and carrying it over to the counter.

Champagne cork goes POP — shot straight up to the ceiling and SHATTERED the kitchen light. SMASH!!!! Shards of glass and glass fragments all over our newly cooked turkey.

Two hours later, we had a pork roast instead."

6 of 9
"One Thanksgiving, about 10 years ago, my family went to Chicago, and all assumed that I had been told. It was like Home Alone, only I didn't live at home, and instead of fighting off robbers, I just smoked pot and watched 2001: A Space Odyssey."

7 of 9
"When I was 14, my family decided to go out to a restaurant for Thanksgiving. This restaurant in particular served all sorts of cutesy martinis — appletinis, mochatinis — you name it if it had a '-tini' in the name.

Six or seven rounds later, everyone was so drunk that they cried. I was also allotted quite a few sips, so for a very naïve 14-year-old, I was pretty drunk. They decided that I was the most sober out of everyone there (and I'm pretty sure I was) so they made me drive them all back to my aunt's house. I basically learned to drive right then. Keep in mind the 'car' was my aunt's house-sized SUV that went from zero to 60 in maybe two hours. I had no idea what the f**k I was doing but somehow I got everyone home.

No one ever, ever talks about that night. However, when I passed my driving test two years later, I got a lot of responses along the line of, 'We all knew you'd pass!' Uh, yeah, flooring it down the freeway as a sloshed 14-year-old teaches you pretty f**king quick."

8 of 9
"For years, we would always pick on my mom about that one time that she forgot to take the bag of giblets out of the turkey. The funny thing is, it had never happened, and she would get very defensive and insist that it never happened. We all knew it never happened, but it was fun to pick on her anyway (I know, I'm a terrible son).

One of my Thanksgiving jobs is to make the gravy. So, last year, I come home and my mom says, 'All_in_time, this turkey only had the neck inside, no giblet bag. Can you make gravy with that?' I did my best and made some decent gravy. When the turkey came out of the oven, it had a weird bulge near the neck opening. My dad grabbed some tongs and pulled at it, and lo and behold, it was the giblet bag! It was jammed really far inside and partially frozen, so my mom didn't even realize it was there. Now the joke is ruined."

9 of 9
"When I was a kid, we went to a farm for Thanksgiving, and they slaughtered our turkey. They cut the feet off, and I took them and put them inside my sweater, and grab[ed] them as if they were my hands. I was small enough that the ratio was such that it could have looked like I really did have scaly reptilian hands. My mom was laying on the couch, taking a nap, so I went up to her quietly, and touched her cheek with one of my new hands.

When she started to stir, I started screaming, 'I'M CHANGING! I'M CHANGING! IT HURTS SO BAD!!!' She freaked the f**k out and started screaming like crazy. She tried to back up against the back of the couch and went over the edge of it, and it took several members of my family to calm her down. Still, nobody took my new hands away."


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