It’s almost Thanksgiving, my favorite holiday! Next week we’ll all get to eat our body weight in Thanksgiving turkey, mashed potatoes, and cranberry sauce, we’ll listen to football games play all day, and we’ll remember all the things we’re grateful for. At least, that’s the hope. Sometimes it works out that way, but sometimes, the Thanksgiving holidays can range from busy to bittersweet to just plain weird. So in honor of this most food-filled of holidays, I put together a short list of some memorable Thanksgiving scenes from books, movies, and TV. None of these works are about Thanksgiving, but they all feature some memorable Thanksgiving scenes.
Miracle on 34th Street – I know what you may be thinking: this is a Christmas movie Hannah, get it together! But don’t forget that the entire plot swings into motion on Thanksgiving – at the Macy’s Thanksgiving Day Parade no less. If it weren’t for an intoxicated actor trying to play Santa in the parade, the real Santa would never have entered the lives of Doris/Dorey (depending on what version you’re watching) and her precocious daughter Susan. Plus, our introduction to all three characters also gives us a memorable glimpse at the behind-the-scenes of one of the most beloved Thanksgiving traditions.
Anna and the French Kiss by Stephanie Perkins – Although the book takes place over the course of a whole school year, Anna’s Thanksgiving in Paris with Étienne St. Clair is definitely one of the more memorable sections of the book. While the search for a Thanksgiving dinner in Paris is certainly entertaining to read, what really makes St. Clair and Anna’s Thanksgiving weekend memorable is that it takes their chemistry and their “will they, won’t they” status to a whole new level, particularly when it comes to a sparks-filled slumber party…
How I Met Your Mother – How I Met Your Mother actually features several Thanksgiving episodes, from the first season episode in which Ted and Robin discover the dark side of Thanksgiving volunteering to season three’s Slapsgiving episode featuring a slap countdown and Robin’s older boyfriend. But to my mind, none are as memorable as Slapsgiving 2: Revenge of the Slaps from the fifth season. We get Marshall’s love for the perfect turkey, Lily’s “you’re dead to me” look, and the hilarity of watching an all-important slap first divide Ted and Robin, then bring the whole group together as it changes hands to the sounds of touching music. And of course, the slap itself is delightful. If this all seems a little wacky, well, I did warn you some of these Thanksgiving scenes were just plain weird!
Fangirl by Rainbow Rowell – Fangirl’s Thanksgiving definitely falls into the category of bittersweet. Right before Thanksgiving really kicks into gear, main character Cath finds out that unbeknownst to her, her sister Wren has been talking to their estranged mother – and is planning on spending part of the holiday with her. This leads to a fight between the sisters that has been building for most of the book so far. And when Wren doesn’t make it back in time for Thanksgiving dinner, Cath and her father keep each other company, eating turkey and mashed potatoes on the couch, while the green bean casserole – Wren’s favorite – gets cold in the kitchen.
Those are just a few of the memorable Thanksgiving scenes from media featuring some not-so-traditional Thanksgiving dinners. Here’s hoping your Thanksgiving is as memorable as these, and hopefully better than most of them!