Great Thanksgiving Moments in Pop Culture

One thing that will become abundantly clear on this blog in the next month or so is that I really love the holidays. Christmas especially, but I have to give props to Thanksgiving as well. On that note, one thing I particularly enjoy is holiday themed movies, TV episodes, and music. Here are some of my favorite Thanksgiving pop culture moments (note: anything that pre-dates the 90s, I am only vaguely familiar with. Thus, this list is pretty 90s/00s heavy.)

Turkey Pardoning (The West Wing): This episode (Shibboleth) is all-around excellent, and much deeper than the scene I’m about to discuss. But, the best Thanksgiving-y part of the episode is CJ trying to choose the turkey the President must pardon – and being unable to choose which one gets to live, and which one must die (“The more photo-friendly of the two turkeys gets a Presidential pardon and a full life at a children’s petting zoo; the other one gets eaten.”) I also love the part of the episode where President Bartlett gives Charlie his turkey-carving knife – awwwww!

Chandler in a Box (Friends): There are so many Friends Thanksgiving episodes to choose from, but this one is my very favorite (and probably my favorite Friends episode ever, period). Matthew Perry literally spends the entire episode in the box, and still manages to be hilarious (Why is Chandler in the box? “Joey had reasons.” “They were threefold.”) Also note that a pre-Alias Michael Vartan makes an appearance and looks tasty while doing it.

Sydney and Friends (Alias): Speaking of Alias, I love Sydney’s Thanksgiving dinner with all her friends. It’s not necessarily because it’s a big, special Thanksgiving episode (it isn’t), but I love it because it gives poor Sydney Bristow a moment to be…gasp…happy. Seriously, girl went through so much nonsense on the show that it was good to see her with her friends, celebrating, and actually laughing and lighthearted for once. Not that it would ever last…

Blair Waldorf Must Pie (Gossip Girl): Though I am somewhat ashamed to admit it, I do watch Gossip Girl on occasion. And, indeed, their season 1 Thanksgiving episode is pretty great, for two reasons: one, the van der Woodsens travel far outside their Upper East Side cocoon to Brooklyn (so awkward) and two, the episode flashes back to last year’s Thanksgiving, featuring drunk Serena (and drunk Serena = way better than normal Serena). The episode also ends with two surprisingly sweet (for Gossip Girl) moments: the Humphrey family playing football together and the van der Woodsen clan sharing stories over french fries at a Brooklyn diner.

My Two Greatest Enemies (Friends): Even though seeing this always reminds me that Brad Pitt and Jennifer Aniston got divorced (and that’s kinda sad), it’s still a great episode. It also has one of my favorite lines ever, courtesy of Brad Pitt’s Will: “My two greatest enemies, Ross. Rachel Green and complex carbohydrates.” Other great moments: “You’re the hermaphrodite cheerleader from Long Island?!,” Phoebe hugging Brad Pitt, and Joey eating an entire turkey by himself (“What was I thinking? Jeans have no give!”)

Locate, Justify, Hide (Cougar Town): Both the season 1 and 2 Thanksgivings are great, but I particularly love season 1 – it has so many great small moments. For example: Jules’s pre-Black Friday scouting trip strategy (locate, justify, hide), the cul-de-sac crew’s “Hi, Kylie!” serenade, the guys’ pseudo-macho pickup basketball game, and Laurie requesting a glass of half red/half white wine (classy).

Happy Thanksgiving!

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