We can't lie and say that Thanksgiving television specials give us that same warm and fuzzy feeling as their Yuletide counterparts. For starters, there are very few of them and it is difficult to find them anywhere besides the Hallmark Channel.
Lucky enough, regularly scheduled television uses the holiday as filling for ridiculous plots and famous guest stars. Occasionally, a show strikes a cornucopia of good family drama or hilarious turkey-debacles and we thank our lucky stars that our families, unlike their television counterparts, are only mildly crazy.
Here are some of Art Attack's favorite Thanksgiving themed TV episodes.
Mad Men - "The Wheel"
An early look into Don Draper's private life and arguably one of the best episodes the series ever produced. Don, once again, chooses himself over his family even on Thanksgiving. For a split second, there is almost a moment of redemption, but alas, he is Don Draper. It's also the Kodak "Carousel" episode and the one when Peggy realizes she's pregnant, just as she's giving birth! Pass the gravy.
Beverly Hills, 90210 - "The Kindness of Strangers" Only Brandon Walsh would find a homeless veteran on Thanksgiving and bring him to casa Walsh for supper, and only the Walsh clan would welcome a dirty, hobo into their home. Isn't what the holiday is all about after all, sharing turkey with filthy strangers you just met?
Bewitched - "Samantha's Thanksgiving to Remember"
Like most family holidays, you are forced to see relatives that you'd rather not, and your significant other's crazy aunt winds up casting a spell that brings the whole family to 1620 to celebrate with the original pilgrims. Oh, no, that only happens onBewitched
.Married With Children
- "A Bundy Thanksgiving"
Al wants his annual sweet potato pie. He goes to extreme measures to get the treat, such as stealing one from a funeral! In the end, Al shows his kinder side by sharing the stolen, pie from a dead person with his family. Moral learned.
Friends - "The One With the Rumor"
The famous Brad Pitt episode in which he plays an old high school crony of Ross's and lets it spill over turkey and stuffing that he and Ross had an "I hate Rachel" fan club. If only we knew then what we know now.
Bevis and Butthead - "Bevis and Butthead Do Thanksgiving"
A lesser known of the cartoon holiday specials, B&B joined Kurt Loder in chatting with celebrities about their Thanksgiving wishes. It's all very touching.
Oprah - "Oprah's Favorite Things Episode(s)"
For 7 years, the "Queen of Talk" opened her audience's heartstrings, by opening her very large wallet. Lady O loved surprising her guests this time of year by making them scream for joy, uncontrollably convulse, accidentally faint and sometimes vomit all in the name of saying "thanks."
The Mouse on the Mayflower
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Not a television episode by any means, but a classic none the less.
"The Macy's Thanksgiving Day Parade"
The best way to ring in the spirit of eating is to spend your morning watching tween heartthrobs dance on pink snowflake covered floats while lip-syncing, high school marching bands freeze their tootsie's off, massive flying balloons of this year's toy de jour, musical renditions of Broadway shows you will never see and Al Roker.