In 1621, the Plymouth colonists and Wampanoag Indians shared an autumn harvest feast that is acknowledged today as one of the first Thanksgiving celebrations in the colonies. For more than two centuries, days of thanksgiving were celebrated by individual colonies and states. It wasn't until 1863, in the midst of the Civil War, that President Abraham Lincoln proclaimed a national Thanksgiving Day to be held each November.
Happy thanksgiving to you my lovelies! Hope you have a safe, fun, and filling day!
Thanksgiving hasn't truly arrived until your favorite TV shows produce episodes revolving around giving thanks, togetherness, loneliness, burnt turkey and food fights. And although many writers have failed in their quests to seamlessly integrate the holiday into their shows, making for cheesy and awkward plots, there have been a few Turkey Day-themed episodes that left lasting impressions. Here are the 10 most memorable TV Thanksgivings.
- Bewitched, "Samantha's Thanksgiving to Remember:" Seventeenth century Plymouth, witchcraft and Thanksgiving come together in this memorable Bewitched episode in which Aunt Clara's poorly crafted spell causes Samantha, Darrin and Gladys to take part in the very first Thanksgiving. They get into a bind when Darrin is suspected of sorcery after lighting a match to start a fire, and Samantha must save the day by defending him in a trial. Back home, Samantha still manages to prepare a turkey that's not undercooked and super-delicious, according to Darrin.
- The Bob Newhart Show, "Over the River and Through the Woods:" Known for the "moo-goo-gai-pan" scene, this Thanksgiving classic is regarded by fanatics of The Bob Newhart Show as the best episode of show's entire run. Emily visits her parents for the holiday and Bob stays behind to remain near his patients, spending the day with his buddies watching football, drinking and cooking. This leaves Bob attempting to order Chinese food while sloppy drunk: "And more Moo Goo Goo Goo" Maybe I'm ordering Chinese baby food."
- WKRP in Cincinnati, "Turkeys Away:" Any TV historian will tell you that "Turkeys Away" takes the cake, err pumpkin pie, when it comes to TV Thanksgivings. Mr. Carlson comes up with an ill-conceived Thanksgiving promotion that involves dropping live Turkeys from a helicopter over a shopping mall parking lot. Naturally, the event turns to chaos and Gordon broadcasts the event live, dropping this line that will forever be a part of sitcom lore: "As God is my witness, I thought turkeys could fly."
- Happy Days, "The First Thanksgiving:" "The First Thanksgiving" aired weeks after "Turkeys Away," making 1978 a memorable year for episodes revolving around Turkey Day. The cast of characters gather around the tube to watch the Packers game as the Cunninghams host Thanksgiving. Marion attempts to gain their attention and make them realize the significance of the holiday, educating them on the first Thanksgiving. The episode's best moments transpire while the regulars take part in historical reenactments, including The Fonz, who rides a wooden motorcycle while dressed as a pilgrim.
- Cheers, "Thanksgiving Orphans:" Since these barroom buds apparently spent more time with each other than their families, it was only fitting they spent a Thanksgiving together. With nothing better to do, the gang gathers at Carla's new home, but tensions mount after their enormous turkey, dubbed "birdzilla" by Carla, doesn't cook. Tempers boil over when Norm flicks a pea at Carla, causing an all-out food fight that allows everyone to vent their frustration. Eventually, they settle down and enjoy the turkey, and even Norm's wife Vera makes a rare appearance, though her face was covered with a pumpkin pie.
- Roseanne, "We Gather Together:" The less than perfect Conner family fittingly experiences a less than perfect Turkey Day as Jackie discloses to her mother that she's a police officer. General bickering between family members persists throughout the gathering — much to the amusement of Dan, who later finds his father has an interest in Crystal.
- Northern Exposure, "Thanksgiving:" This Northern Exposure "Thanksgiving" episode provides a different perspective on the nation's first holiday, as the Native American townsfolk of Cicely, Alaska celebrate The Day of the Dead by throwing tomatoes at white people, remembering the true history of the relationship first cultivated in Plymouth. Joel — native to New York City — happens to be the one person who doesn't take it in stride, claiming that he isn't white because he's a Jew. In addition to learning about the local customs, he's also informed that he owes another year of medical service to the state in which he's supposedly perpetually unhappy.
- Mad About You, "Giblets for Murray:" Paul and Jamie host both sets of their parents for Thanksgiving — a break from tradition. But appeasing everyone proves to be a chore, as Paul and Jamie make several trips to the nearby store, picking up essential items like canned cranberries and marshmallows. After they return home to find their buffet-style set-up reset in a more traditional manner, they finally decide to assert themselves, emphasizing their right to do things their way. Unfortunately, a string of turkey mishaps — true to a typical sitcom Thanksgiving — causes further chaos.
- Friends, "The One Where Ross Got High:" Friends simply knew how to do Thanksgivings right, and this episode is proof. Monica's and Ross's parents are coming for the holiday but have no idea their daughter is dating and living with Chandler, whom they dislike because Ross blamed him after he got caught smoking pot in college. Chandler makes his best effort to win them over before breaking the news that he's dating their daughter, and Ross attempts to clear up the old fib while forcing everyone to eat and enjoy Rachel's beef and peas trifle. The day becomes even more interesting as a series of confessions surface and quarrels ensue.
- The West Wing, "Shibboleth:" The job of the president remains unrelenting as Thanksgiving approaches. A ship of Chinese illegal immigrants seeking asylum arrives in California and Bartlet must determine whether or not to send them back. Not long after that problem arises, Toby wants Bartlet to appoint Leo's sister to an education department post despite the inevitability that her opposition to school prayer would stir up unneeded controversy. On the lighter side, CJ avoids making her own crucial decision, remaining unsure of which turkey deserves a pardon for the Presidential pardon ceremony — she has two and the one that isn't selected is killed. Instead, Bartlet just requests a Butterball.