When we think about our favorite holiday specials, usually the Christmas ones come to mind. But what about all of the iconic television Thanksgiving episodes? 

From Friends to The Office to Modern Family, there are an endless amount of television shows that deserve recognition for their Thanksgiving-themed episodes — where comedy, family conflict and small-screen-worthy chaos reign supreme. 

So, whether you’re preparing for the holiday or just looking for something to binge during your post-turkey coma, these 19 Thanksgiving episodes are a must-add to your holiday queue. 


1. ‘Friends’

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

What Happens: It’s Thanksgiving and after Monica's big turkey dinner, Ross complains that his divorce and eviction mean he is having the worst holiday ever. Of course, this prompts the gang to reminisce about their former (not to mention terrible) Thanksgiving experiences. Yes, flashbacks are included. 

Where to Watch: Amazon Prime Video


2. ‘This Is Us’

Episode: Season 1, Episode 8, “Pilgrim Rick”

What Happens: In a flashback, Jack, Rebecca and the three kids make their way to Rebecca's parents' house for their traditional Thanksgiving holiday. When an unforeseen disaster occurs, the family begins a tradition of their own, one that involves a killer hat and convenience-store hot dogs. Meanwhile in present day, the family gathers at Randall's house for the occasion. Guys, this is the episode in which Randall learns the truth about William and Rebecca’s relationship ... and it’s not pretty. 

Where to Watch: Amazon Prime Video

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3. ‘Gilmore Girls’

Episode: Season 3, Episode 9, “A Deep-Fried Korean Thanksgiving”

What Happens: Lorelai's parents expect the girls for Thanksgiving dinner ... and so do Lane, Luke and Sookie. So, how do they handle four enormous dinners? They don’t exactly. But it’s at Emily and Richard's where, to Lorelai's dismay, Rory reveals that she has applied to other schools besides Harvard.

Where to Watch: Amazon Prime Video

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4. ‘New Girl’

Episode: Season 2, Episode 8, “Parents”

What Happens: When Jess's (divorced) parents, Bob and Joan, show up at the same time for Thanksgiving dinner, Jess takes the opportunity to try and "parent trap" them into a reconciliation. As you can imagine, her plan ultimately backfires. 

Where to Watch: Amazon Prime Video

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5. ‘How I Met Your Mother’

Episode: Season 3, Episode 9, “Slapsgiving”

What Happens: As Lily and Marshall host their first Thanksgiving as a married couple, Barney remains on edge in anticipation of the third slap in their "slap bet" (which is supposed to be coming that night). Meanwhile, Ted and Robin sleep together on the night before Thanksgiving. So yeah, that’s awkward. 

Where to Watch: Amazon Prime Video


6. ‘Parenthood’

Episode: Season 2, Episode 10, “Happy Thanksgiving”

What Happens: Tensions run high at the Braverman family holiday when Drew feels uncomfortable about his mom's bringing Gordon to dinner. Meanwhile, surprising news from (again) Gordon has Adam torn between his job and family. 

Where to Watch: Amazon Prime Video

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7. ‘Modern Family’

Episode: Season 3, Episode 9, “Punkin Chunkin”

What Happens: When a former neighborhood resident, now rich and successful from a video-game idea, returns for a visit, Haley uses it as an opportunity to try to convince her parents that college is not a necessity. Jay feels Manny could use a little dose of constructive criticism, and Cameron is offended when Mitchell questions the authenticity of his colorful childhood stories — specifically his “punkin chunkin” story

Where to Watch: Amazon Prime Video

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8. ‘Gossip Girl’

Episode: Season 1, Episode 9, “Blair Waldorf Must Pie!”

What Happens: When Dan hears that Serena and her family are spending Thanksgiving alone at the Palace, he invites them to spend the holiday with his family, creating an uncomfortable situation for Rufus and Lily (whose children are unaware of their um, weird, romantic history). Meanwhile, Blair's emotions spiral out of control when she learns that her father isn't coming home for the holiday. 

Where to Watch: Amazon Prime Video


9. ‘Seinfeld'

Episode: Season 6, Episode 8, “The Mom & Pop Store”

What Happens: George is set to buy a 1989 Volvo sedan, but instead the car salesman talks him into buying a 1989 LeBaron convertible he says was previously owned by Jon Voight (spoiler alert: it wasn’t). Elaine wins her boss (Ian Abercrombie) a chance to walk in the Macy's Thanksgiving Day Parade, and Kramer decides to help out a small mom-and-pop shoe-repair shop by sending business their way. As part of his project, he cleans out Jerry's closet and sends all of his sneakers to them for repair. Unfortunately, Kramer's suggestions for the shop send the old couple into bankruptcy ... oops. 

Where to Watch: Amazon Prime Video


10. ‘Orange Is the New Black’

Episode: Season 1, Episode 9, “F---sgiving”

What Happens: Piper is in high spirits when she makes peace with Alex and awaits a visit from Larry on Thanksgiving. However, we see Healy's true colors when he throws Piper into solitary confinement for dancing with Alex. The experience of solitary forces Piper to take a serious look at her life and come to several conclusions about the future. Pretty intense. 

Where to Watch: Amazon Prime Video


11. ‘Friends’ (again)

Episode: Season 3, Episode 9, “The One with the Football”

What Happens: After watching professional football on TV, an old sibling rivalry between a very competitive Monica and Ross resurfaces. Of course, Thanksgiving dinner is postponed when the gang decides to play a friendly game of "touch" football.

Where to Watch: Amazon Prime Video


12. ‘Boy Meets World’

Episode: Season 4, Episode 10, “Turkey Day”

What Happens: After Cory and Shawn win a turkey and stuffing for donating the most food cans, they decide to split it by having their families celebrate Thanksgiving together. But things get somewhat weird when both Amy and Alan, and Chet and Virna Hunter, are uncomfortable with the idea of mingling with another class.

Where to Watch: Amazon Prime Video


13. ‘Grey’s Anatomy’

Episode: Season 2, Episode 9, “Thanks for the Memories”

What Happens: None of the doctors (well, interns and residents) can resist skipping work, as Izzie tries to embrace the season by making a perfect Thanksgiving dinner. And while she doesn’t quite know how, Burke saves the day and helps her, while Cristina, Meredith and Alex hide at work. Oh, yeah, and George has to embrace his own O'Malley tradition by shooting a turkey. Ouch. 

Where to Watch: Amazon Prime Video

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14. ‘Modern Family’ (again)

Episode: Season 6, Episode 8, “Three Turkeys”

What Happens: Phil and Luke are in charge of prepping the turkey for the main dish — clearly the family’s first mistake. Claire (who is ready for disaster) supplies a secret back-up turkey while Jay and Gloria decide to serve up a cozy Thanksgiving of their own after their vacation away gets canceled. Of course, none of these goes according to plan and, as usual, chaos ensues. 

Where to Watch: Amazon Prime Video


15. ‘Everybody Loves Raymond’

Episode: Season 3, Episode 10, “No Fat”

What Happens: After a visit to the senior health fair, Marie decides she and her husband Frank are going to start eating healthfully. When Deborah agrees, the two women start scheming a “no fat” Thanksgiving. In utter shock, Raymond, Frank and Robert watch in horror as their usual turkey, stuffing and mashed potatoes quickly turn to vegetables and tofu-turkey.

Where to Watch: Amazon Prime Video


16. ‘The Office’

Episode: Season 7, Episode 9, “WUPHF.com”

What Happens: In an attempt to recreate Hay Place (a fond childhood memory) before Thanksgiving, Dwight puts together his own version in the parking lot of Dunder Mifflin. While obsessing over his childhood dream of becoming Hay King (and making a pretty hefty profit off of families), he loses his relationship with Angela, who meets her future husband, Senator Robert Lipton, at the event. 

Where to Watch: Amazon Prime Video

NBC / Getty Images

17. ‘The Mindy Project’

Episode: Season 1, Episode 6, “Thanksgiving”

What Happens: What could be worse then running into an ex at a holiday? That’s what happens when Mindy agrees to attend her friend’s get together in Connecticut. While there, she awkwardly runs into Dennis, her blind date from the pilot, and things quickly spiral downhill. So much so that a fight even ensues...

Where to Watch: Amazon Prime Video

Ron Tom/ Getty Images

18. ‘Fresh Off the Boat’

Episode: Season 2, Episode 8, “Huangsgiving”

What Happens: In this family there’s one special Thanksgiving tradition: A 5:00 a.m. phone call from mom deciding which sister will host this year’s holiday. (We’re not kidding.) Now, it’s Jessica’s turn—and you can definitely say the pressure is on. 

Where to Watch: Amazon Prime Video


19. ‘Full House’

Episode: Season 1, Episode 9, “The Miracle of Thanksgiving”

What Happens: It's the family's first Thanksgiving without Pam, and Danny is determined to make the day extra special for the girls. But when Danny's mother, Claire, gets stranded in Washington due to bad weather on Thanksgiving morning, Danny, Jesse and Joey must step up and save the holiday. Did we mention John Stamos cooks a turkey in a leather vest? 

Where to Watch: Amazon Prime Video

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