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This article is written by a student writer from the Her Campus at UCSB chapter.

If you try to find a Halloween or Christmas movie, your options are endless. You can even find Christmas-themed Halloween movies like “The Nightmare Before Christmas.” But when it comes to Thanksgiving, it’s slim pickings. 

Every fall, American popular culture discusses whether or not November 1st is the proper time to begin Christmas celebrations. While there are some supporters of the Thanksgiving holiday, there are passionate individuals dedicated to Christmas the way that I am dedicated to referencing Taylor Swift in every article I write. 

Much of the American culture agrees that Christmas time spans from November to December. Millennials and white moms of America wait in anticipation for Halloween to be over so they can switch out their doormats and play “All I Want For Christmas Is You” by Mariah Carey. Starbucks even rolled out its holiday drinks on November 2nd this year. 

But what about Thanksgiving? 

Sure, getting interrogated by your Grandparents about your love life or your post-grad plans isn’t fun for anyone. But eating a meal full of carbohydrates and watching family drama unfold like in Keeping Up With The Kardashians sounds like my ideal Thursday night. Yes, I believe that we should celebrate Thanksgiving in advance! 

So what can we, Thanksgiving-appreciators do to get in the mood for this controversial holiday? Luckily, I have a quick list of some of the best movies that are vaguely related to Thanksgiving to prepare you to celebrate the long history of getting families together to celebrate giving thanks.  

The Parent Trap (1998)

Okay, I know what you’re thinking, this movie does begin at a summer camp. But the essence of it is so undeniably Thanksgiving. The family chaos, the heartfelt moments, and the web of lies are all invaluable components of the Thanksgiving experience. The presence of Meredith Blake, the questionably young new girlfriend of Annie and Hallie’s father, is particularly relatable for those of us who have had to meet a family member’s generally questionable new partner. 

Knives Out (2019) 

Knives Out is the blueprint for Thanksgiving movies. Though the movie has the star-studded families reuniting for other, more sinister reasons, the ambiance of a countryside manor paired with the viral Chris Evans sweater makes this movie perfect for preparing yourself for some (hopefully less deadly) familial drama. 

Free Birds (2013)

Free Birds is true Thanksgiving cinema. It is an animated movie that centers around ending the long tradition of serving turkey at Thanksgiving. It includes time travel, historical inaccuracy, and lots of Thanksgiving ambiance. Need I say more? 

The Hunger Games (2012) 

The Hunger Games Renaissance took over the internet earlier this year, and the hype has refused to die down. With the release of Taylor Swift’s soundtrack standout, “Safe and Sound (Taylor’s Version)” and the buzz surrounding the prequel movie, the dystopian classic has been hard to avoid. 

From Katniss’s ultimate show of dedication to her sister to calling the center of the arena “the cornucopia” (it’s shaped like a cornucopia, by the way), the movies just give Thanksgiving vibes.

A Charlie Brown Thanksgiving (1973)

You saw this one coming. “A Charlie Brown Thanksgiving” is arguably the best long-form piece of media that is solely about Thanksgiving. It is a classic Thanksgiving film, even if it’s classified as a “TV special” rather than a movie. With Fleabag-like asides and simple animation styles, Charlie Brown is the nostalgic Thanksgiving movie that society needs more of. 

Charlie Brown and Friends sit around a Thanksgiving table.

Like any good Thanksgiving dinner, this “ultimate list” was a bit piecemeal: brought together in a chaotic manner. The amount of Thanksgiving movies out there that are both dedicated to Thanksgiving and good is very little. 

So it’s time to say, wake up Hollywood! America likes Thanksgiving and all of the chaos that comes with having all of your family members in the same room. Christmas and Halloween are universally beloved holidays, but sometimes the pot needs a little stir! Americans live for drama, so it’s time to give the people what they want.

Lucy is a second year political science major who writes about everything she loves (and hates) about UCSB and life in general. When not writing, Lucy can be found reading a book, listening to music, or taking a nice long walk.