Thanksgiving means good food, spending time with family and giving thanks. But for the TV-obsessed, it also means a chance to relive favorite Thanksgiving episodes. Here are my top five favorite Thanksgiving TV episodes, limiting myself to just one episode of “Friends.”
5) ‘The King of Queens:’ ‘Supermarket Story’ (Nov, 23, 1998)
This was a tough call as “King” has a few solid episodes to choose from, but I went with this one set in a grocery store. Carrie (Leah Remini) struggles to find all the ingredients to give her father the perfect Thanksgiving, while Doug (Kevin James) struggles to remember the name of the guy who keeps talking to him. This one is worth watching just for the random, yet hilarious, cameo by Donny Osmond at the episode’s conclusion.
4) ‘Cheers:’ ‘Thanksgiving Orphans’ (Nov. 27, 1986)
Carla (Rhea Perlman) invites the whole gang over for Thanksgiving dinner, but when Norm (George Wendt) has trouble cooking the turkey, the whole event turns into a giant food fight. The classic moment in this one is when Diane (Shelly Long) hits Norm’s wife, Vera, in the face with a pie, thereby robbing the gang — and us — of the opportunity to finally see her face.
3) ‘Everybody Loves Raymond:’ ‘The Bird’ (Nov. 24, 2003)
“Raymond” is the only show for me that comes close to “Friends” in the Thanksgiving episode department with eight different ones. My fave comes from season eight when the Barones and MacDougalls (Robert’s in-laws) finally start getting along until Pat (Georgia Engel) kills a bird to put it out of its misery when it hits a window.
2) ‘Friends:’ ‘The One Where Ross Got High’ (Nov. 25, 1999)
Monica (Courteney Cox) and Chandler (Matthew Perry) are afraid to tell Monica’s parents that they’re living together because they don’t like Chandler — which we later find out is because of Ross (David Schwimmer). Rachel (Jennifer Aniston) screws up the dessert, Phoebe (Lisa Kudrow) dreams of Jacques Cousteau and Joey (Matt LeBlanc) is just trying to get the whole thing over with so he can go hang out with his dancer roommate and her friends. The sequence when all the secrets start spilling out still cracks me up every time.
1) ‘WKRP in Cincinnati:’ ‘Turkeys Away’ (Oct. 30, 1978)
Although this episode originally aired in October, it is without a doubt the number one TV episode most associated with Thanksgiving. Station Manager Mr. Carlson (Gordon Jump) comes up with what he considers to be a blockbuster Thanksgiving promotion for the station. But it turns into a gigantic — yet hilarious — disaster. The final line of the episode is still quoted today more than 41 years later: “As God as my witness, I thought turkeys could fly.”
All of the Thanksgiving episodes of “King” and “Raymond” will be part of the “Thanksgiving Weekend Binge-a-Thon” on TV Land beginning at 8 p.m. Thanksgiving Day. And you can watch all the “Friends” Thanksgiving episodes beginning at 1 p.m. Thanksgiving Day on TBS.
However you spend your Thanksgiving, I wish you and yours a very happy and blessed holiday.