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What to Watch for Thanksgiving This Year

Culture

With Thanksgiving less than a week away, nothing can get you in the spirit like holiday movies and shows— there's just something about watching them that brings people together. So grab your blankets and hot cocoa, because here's a complete run-down list of the top Thanksgiving must-sees!

1. Charlie Brown Thanksgiving

Nothing beats this classic; something in it really just sets the tone for the holiday. Maybe it's the music, Snoopy preparing the turkey, or the Peanuts gang eating together— whatever it is, it makes you feel cozy and full of serotonin. Many grew up watching this in class before Thanksgiving break, and it's so nostalgic. The Peanuts gang simply has a way of bringing everyone together around the holidays!

Streaming Platform: Apple TV+

Genre: Family

Rating: Not Rated

2. Free Birds

Starring Owen Wilson and Amy Poehler, this Thanksgiving film is perfect for the family. Reggie is no ordinary turkey— he knows farmers just want to fatten up birds for Thanksgiving, and is worried that he will be picked as the prized turkey. However, when he becomes pardoned, Reggie begins living a life free of worry. That is, until Jake takes Reggie back in time to save all the turkeys from ever becoming a Thanksgiving meal tradition.

Streaming Platform: Hulu, Starz, Amazon Prime, Youtube, Apple TV

Genre: Comedy/Adventure

Rating: PG

3. Knives Out

Now, I know what you might be thinking: This is a murder mystery movie, it has nothing to do with Thanksgiving! But hear me out. In honor of Chris Evans being named 2022's "Sexiest Man Alive", he definitely caught the audience's attention with the iconic cable-knit sweater he wore in this movie. His outfits throughout the movie were definitely fall-inspired, and so is the movie. This film is full of suspense, mystery, and fall/winter scenery.

Streaming Platform: Youtube, Amazon Prime, Apple TV, Vudu

Genre: Mystery/Crime

Rating: PG-13

4. Instant Family

This film will definitely make you laugh and bring you and your family closer together. Pete and Ellie are house flippers, but have been driven into a rut by their unchanging routines. Ellie looks into fostering, especially since it's so close to the holidays. They end up realizing that it isn't as easy as it seems, as they foster Lizze, Lita, and Juan. Throughout the movie, Pete and Ellie grow closer to the kids. Although they are a handful, they soon become a close-knit family. No family is perfect, but it's our flaws and the ups and downs that bring us closer to the ones we love.

Streaming Platform: Paramount+, Hulu, Apple TV, Vudu, Amazon Prime

Genre: Comedy/Drama

Rating: PG-13

5. Friends

Friends is a great show to watch during the holidays; it has so many amazing holiday episodes and iconic moments, and has an odd yet beautiful way of bringing friends and family together. We've all related to each one of the characters during the holidays at one point in our lives. Here are all the Friends Thanksgiving episodes that will definitely give you comedic relief and festive feelings!

  • The One Where Underdog Gets Away (S1E9)
  • The One With the List (S2E8)
  • The One With the Football (S3E9)
  • The One With Chandler in a Box (S4E8)
  • The One With the Thanksgiving Flashbacks (S5E8)
  • The One Where Ross Got High (S6E9)
  • The One Where Chandler Doesn't Like Dogs (S7E8)
  • The One With the Rumor (S8E9)
  • The One With Rachael's Other Sister (S9E8)
  • The One With the Late Thanksgiving (S10E8)

Streaming Platform: HBO Max, Hulu, Youtube, Apple TV, Vudu, Amazon Prime, TBS

Genre: Sitcom

Rating: TV-PG

6. New Girl

New Girl is another show to watch to get into that "Friendsgiving" feeling. It has funny Thanksgiving episodes that will make you thankful for friends and family. Watching these episodes makes you realize how much we love these crazy people we call friends and family. These episodes are also perfect for those unlikely, weird, and dysfunctional friend groups!

  • Thanksgiving (S1E6)
  • Parents (S2E8)
  • Thanksgiving III (S3E10)
  • Thanksgiving IV (S4E9)
  • Last Thanksgiving (S6E7)

Streaming Platform: Netflix, Youtube, Apple TV, Vudu, Amazon Prime

Genre: Sitcom, TV Comedy

Rating: TV-14

7. How I Met Your Mother

HIMYM is filled with great friendship and family moments! This show is perfect for close-knit friendships that consider one another family. Enjoy this Thanksgiving with the best HIMYM Thanksgiving episodes.

  • Belly Full of Turkey (S1E9)
  • Slapsgiving (S3E9)
  • Slapsgiving 2: Revenge of the Slap (S5E9)
  • Blitzgiving (S6E10)
  • The Rebound Girl (S7E11)

Streaming Platform: Hulu, Amazon Prime, Youtube, Vudu, Apple TV

Genre: Sitcom, Comedy

Rating: TV-14

8. The Middle

The Middle is great for dysfunctional families with their weird quirks. Each family member brings something special and unique to the group. Sure, the Hecks fight often, and their family or house may not be perfect, but they're there for each other when it counts. Here are the Thanksgiving episodes that are sure to bring you and your family closer together!

  • Thanksgiving (S1E9)
  • Thanksgiving II (S2E9)
  • Thanksgiving III (S3E10)
  • Thanksgiving IV (S4E8)
  • Thanksgiving V (S5E7)
  • Thanksgiving VI (S6E7)
  • Thanksgiving VII (S7E8)
  • Thanksgiving VIII (S8E6)
  • Thanksgiving IX (S9E7)

Streaming Platform: HBO Max, Peacock, Youtube, Apple TV, Vudu, Amazon Prime

Genre: Sitcom, Comedy

Rating: TV-PG

Conclusion

Thanksgiving is really about appreciating who and what you have. It's being thankful for your friends and family, reflecting on how important they are in your life. Take time this holiday to truly reflect on what you've been thankful for this year. You don't even really have to celebrate Thanksgiving to be grateful and thankful this year. This is the time to really appreciate everything and everyone you have in life. Be thankful for ending up this far in life, for all the things you've been through, all the things you've had to handle yourself. Be thankful for your support system, the friends that make life easier, the good memories associated with your family, for your significant other who makes you happy. Have a festive holiday, and Happy Thanksgiving!

Samantha Ferrer
100k+ pageviews

Samantha Ferrer is a 20 year junior in college in California. She enjoys reading, writing, spending time with close friends, and binge watching her favorite shows and movies. Samantha also enjoys watching Rom-Coms and John Hughes movies. On her free time, you can find Samantha thrift shopping, and enjoying/looking at nature.