Friends

"Friends" is known for all its episode's names beginning with "The One with..."

Thanksgiving is often spent with family and friends, and gathering together to watch television may be a great way to bond. Here are 10 of the best TV episodes to watch this Thanksgiving season.

“Friends: The One with All the Thanksgivings” (Season 5, Episode 8)

Where to watch: Netflix

While “Friends” has a Thanksgiving episode every season, “The One with All the Thanksgivings” is arguably its best. After finishing their dinner, Rachel, Monica, Phoebe, Joey, Chandler and Ross reminisce about their worst Thanksgiving experiences, leading to several flashbacks. The episode features several classic, hilarious moments — like Joey and Monica putting an uncooked turkey on their heads — and ends with a heartfelt scene between Monica and Chandler. 

“Gilmore Girls: A Deep-Fried Korean Thanksgiving” (Season 3, Episode 9)

Where to watch: Netflix

While Lorelai and Rory Gilmore are known to indulge in questionable eating habits, they’re put to the test in “A Deep-Fried Korean Thanksgiving” when they agree to attend four different Thanksgiving dinners on the same day. The episode features a variety of the holiday’s traditions through differences in Lane, Luke, Sookie, and Richard and Emily’s feasts. It’s a wonder how Lorelai and Rory are even able to move by the end of the day.

“New Girl: Thanksgiving IV” (Season 4, Episode 9)

Where to watch: Netflix

“New Girl” had plenty of great Thanksgiving episodes, but Season 4’s “Thanksgiving IV” was a standout. For the first time in a while, all the core characters are single, so Schmidt decides everyone should bring a date to their Thanksgiving dinner. Filled with hilarious quips, antics and another appearance from Nick’s old, quiet friend Tran, this episode is a must-see for “New Girl” fans.

“Brooklyn Nine-Nine: Lockdown” (Season 2, Episode 7)

Where to watch: Hulu

With Captain Holt and Terry out of the precinct due to a charity event, Jake’s left in charge. He seemingly has everything under control until a mysterious package with a possible toxic powder is dropped off at the office, forcing the precinct to go into lockdown and stopping those with Thanksgiving plans from leaving. The scenario provides a ton of humor, and the episode may be relatable for those who often spend Thanksgiving stuck in a place they don’t want to be.

“Bob’s Burgers: Turkey in a Can” (Season 4, Episode 5)

Where to watch: Hulu

“Turkey in a Can” follows Bob trying to solve the mystery of why his turkeys keep ending up in the toilet. After interrogating his family, none of them own up to doing it, so Bob’s left to concoct a secret plan involving a decoy turkey to catch the culprit. With great lines, an exciting mystery and a satisfying conclusion, “Turkey in a Can” is arguably the best Thanksgiving episode “Bob’s Burgers” has done thus far.

“Grey’s Anatomy: Thanks for the Memories” (Season 2, Episode 9)

Where to watch: Netflix

In “Thanks for the Memories,” George goes out hunting with his brothers while Izzie does her best to put together a nice Thanksgiving dinner for everyone. Meredith finds closure on her relationship with Derek with the help of her patient and Derek struggles in his relationship with Addison. Having been on the air for 16 seasons, “Grey’s Anatomy” has gone through multiple changes. “Thanks for the Memories” takes place back in Season 2 before there was a bomb inside a patient, an active shooter, a fire in the hospital or any plane or ferry boat crashes. Its low level of drama brings a sense of comfort that works well over the holiday. 

“The Office: WUPHF.com” (Season 7, Episode 9)

Where to watch: Netflix

Though not a traditional Thanksgiving episode, “WUPHF.com” still has some fall holiday spirit. Dwight sets up a hay festival in the office parking lot while Michael tries to help Ryan present his WUPHF.com company to his friends and coworkers. Even in its worst episodes, “The Office” rarely fails to give viewers a few laughs, making “WUPHF.com” a solid choice for Thanksgiving. 

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“It’s Always Sunny in Philadelphia: The Gang Squashes Their Beef” (Season 9, Episode 10)

Where to watch: Hulu

While most sitcoms paint their characters as morally good, “It’s Always Sunny in Philadelphia” features some of the most awful, vile and abominable people television’s ever seen. Even though they’ve done bad things to each other over the years, the characters have also negatively affected and ruined the lives of several other people. In “The Gang Squashes Their Beef,” Charlie, Mac, Dennis, Dee and Frank come to realize that the damage they’ve caused is getting in the way of their Thanksgiving, so they see it best to invite several of those they’ve wronged — including Cricket, the McPoyle brothers and Bill Ponderosa — over to bury the hatchet. Of course, in true “Sunny” fashion, this only ends with the gang ruining these peoples’ lives even more.

 

“How I Met Your Mother: Slapsgiving” (Season 3, Episode 9)

Where to watch: Hulu

Through its run, “How I Met Your Mother” excels at running gags, with one of its most famous ones being the slap bet between Marshall and Barney. “Slapsgiving” centers on the countdown to the third slap as Marshall gleefully terrorizes Barney about it during their Thanksgiving dinner. It’s a feel-good episode that brings the whole cast together, introduces another recurring gag Robin and Ted’s salute to phrases with “major,” “general” or “private” in them and an ending with all the characters joining in on Marshall’s catchy, original song, “You Just Got Slapped.”

“South Park: Black Friday /  A Song of Ass and Fire / Titties and Dragons” (Season 17, Episodes 7-9)

Where to watch: Hulu

While Thanksgiving is its own holiday, for some, it may also serve as the true beginning of the Christmas season, especially with most Black Friday shopping beginning the next day. With its trilogy of “Black Friday,” “A Song of Ass and Fire” and “Titties and Dragons,” “South Park” parodies both “Game of Thrones” and Black Friday madness in epic proportions. 

Contact Kira Baldau at baldaukb@dukes.jmu.edu. For more on the culture, arts and lifestyle of the JMU and Harrisonburg communities, follow the culture desk on Twitter @Breeze_Culture.