Best Thanksgiving TV Show Episodes

We know that Thanksgiving will look a little different this year. Although you may not be having an extravagant Friendsgiving, you can still curl up on the couch with a mug of hot chocolate and watch these Thanksgiving TV classics! Here is a list of Thanksgiving episodes from our favorite TV shows from “Gossip Girl” to “Brooklyn Nine-Nine”.

  1. 1. "Brooklyn Nine-Nine"

    The truth is, I can just tell you to watch the video above so you can see the best Thanksgiving moments from several episodes… but in addition to that, I’m going to highlight my top two favorite Thanksgiving episodes from "Brooklyn Nine-Nine". Warning: there is fake blood in the clip that might be distrubing to viewers.

    "Thanksgiving," Season 1, Episode 10

    Just ten episodes into the first season of Brooklyn Nine-Nine, we were treated to an iconic Thanksgiving episode taking place at the home of detective Amy Santiago. She’s obsessed with impressing their captain, Raymond Holt, and wants nothing more than to show off her ability to play hostess, be the adult in the room, and gain Holt’s willingness to become her professional mentor. Of course, it all goes awry almost immediately because, first, a case pops up, pulling Jake Peralta and Holt away from the dinner to track down some missing evidence, and second, Santiago is not a good cook. We get to enjoy the squad in her home and their shenanigans and the side plot where Holt discovers that Peralta hates Thanksgiving due to some childhood wounds that he covers up with humor. At the end of the episode, Santiago does earn Holt’s mentorship and Peralta takes Holt’s advice and chooses to see the squad as his new family and to celebrate the holiday with them.

    "Mr. Santiago," Season 4, Episode 7

    In the fourth season, the dynamics on the squad have changed a bit and a couple of new characters have been introduced. One important change is that Amy Santiago and Jake Peralta have started dating. In the Thanksgiving episode, Santiago is once again hosting dinner at her house and this time, she has invited her father Victor, who is a retired police officer. Imitating Santiago’s attention to detail, Peralta has compiled a binder of information about his girlfriend’s dad, intending to bond with and impress him. Victor reveals that there is a case from twenty years ago that he never solved involving a bank robbery, and he and Peralta set off to solve it in time for the holiday. Meanwhile, back at Santiago’s, the squad has a live turkey in the home and they are intending to kill and prepare the bird for their dinner. However, the bird doesn’t exactly follow orders and they end up hiding from it in fear. Additionally, Holt has given a new friend of the squad, Adrian Pimento, a $2,000 loan to get his private investigator’s license, which Pimento swiftly spends on a bet instead and upsets Holt. In the end, Pimento wins big on his bet and pays Holt back in full, the squad survives dinner with only minor injuries, and Santiago inadvertently helps Peralta and Victor solve the case. Victor initially tells Peralta that he isn’t good enough for his daughter, but in the end he proves himself worthy.

    "Brooklyn Nine-Nine" has a strong ensemble cast who provide endless laughs, touching moments of vulnerability, and plenty of entertainment. These two episodes, out of several Thanksgiving episodes and spanning seven seasons, is absolutely one to watch!


  2. 2. "Gilmore Girls"

    “A Deep Fried Korean Thanksgiving,” Season 3 

    So, you thought stuffing yourself with turkey, mashed potatoes, cranberry sauce, and pumpkin pie was hard? Try attending four Thanksgiving dinners and still managing to walk all over town. This absolutely iconic Season 3 episode of “Gilmore Girls” features its festive cast of kooky characters celebrating Thanksgiving in all-out holiday fashion, Sookie getting drunk in order to deal with her husband deep frying her turkey, Lane and Dave sneaking away from Thanksgiving dinner at the Kim household, and Rory and Jess having one of their first kisses as a couple. It’s a must-see and, notably, the cinematic color palette of Stars Hollow is immaculate. 

  3. 3. "Gossip Girl"

    First things first, “Gossip Girl” has so many iconic Thanksgiving episodes that it’s hard to pick just one. That being said, one of the classics has got to be the season 3 Thanksgiving classic, “The Treasure of the Serena Madre." There is no other way to describe the disastrous Thanksgiving dinner than embarrassingly, deliciously, unapologetically awkward. Watchers know that nobody in the world of “Gossip Girl” goes to a social event for dessert, but the proof is really in the pudding when every character’s secrets come spilling out at the dinner table. Cece is drunk, Rufus tells bad jokes, Serena is uncomfortable that Maureen is jealous of her, Lilly knows the truth, Blair thinks her mother is pregnant, Jenny's mad at Eric, and Vanessa just doesn't wanna be there (what else is new?). Oh, did I mention the whole scene features “Whatchya Say” and iconic lines like “Your sweet potatoes are bland!” In essence, it’s one of the most iconic scenes in recent television history and a must-see on turkey day.

  4. 4. "Friends"

    “The One With All the Thanksgivings,”  Season 5

    “Friends” has a Thanksgiving episode in about every one of their 10 seasons. My favorite, and one of the most iconic, lies in the season five episode, “The One With All The Thanksgiving." If you have not seen “Friends” I am sure you have run across a meme or gif with Monica’s head in a turkey. Besides the humor, this episode flashbacks to the character's worst Thanksgivings and it is sure to bring up memories! If you haven't watched “Friends” yet, and you are curious about why Monica has a turkey on her head, I highly recommend logging on to HBO Max!

  5. 5. "Pretty Little Liars"

    “Taking This One to the Grave,” Season 5

    “Pretty Little Liars” may not be the most cheerful show to watch around the holidays, but it is sure to be a great episode to watch if you want drama. This episode includes holiday decorations, pie baking, and of course, murder. What more can you ask for?

Happy watching!