Thanksgiving is destined to be uncomfortable this year.
If you are able to safely gather with loved ones, bitter conservative relatives are almost guaranteed to dampen the mood. Meanwhile, for those of us spending Turkey Day alone this year, it may be nice to escape to alternate TV universes, where the dysfunctions of Thanksgiving 2020 don’t even hold a torch to the absurdity of Joey getting his head stuck in a raw turkey. Here are the worst TV Thanksgivings to help you feel better about yours.
The A-Team: “Family Reunion”
The A-Team don’t really do Thanksgiving. Sure, they acknowledge that it’s a thing, but the team celebrates the holiday a lot differently than others.
In “Family Reunion” the team gathers at a palatial estate, where viewers quickly learn that “you should never get too friendly with a bird you’re about to eat.” But the celebration is derailed before it even begins, as the A-Team have only 24 hours to reunite a daughter with her terminally ill dad in exchange for secret information on distrustful politicians.
Buffy, The Vampire Slayer: “Pangs”
Buffy has fought her share of blood-sucking vamps, but all she wanted to do in season 4 was enjoy a nice Thanksgiving feast with the Scooby Gang. But the holiday spirit is soon thwarted, as the ancient Chumash Tribe, vindictive for being wiped out by settlers, get accidentally released on the world by Xander. A massive brawl ensues, all but ruining Thanksgiving for Buffy and the gang.
Dexter: “Hungry Man”
While Dexter has fought for four long seasons to balance his serial killer instincts with his domesticated home life, it all unravels after Dexter spends Thanksgiving at the home of Arthur, AKA the Trinity Killer, who would soon go on to murder Dexter’s wife in one of the most shocking twists in TV history.
Halfway through prepping the Thanksgiving meal, Dexter realizes that Arthur viciously abuses his family, as he learns that beats his son and locks his daughter in her room, causing Dexter to fully loose his cool in front of Arthur’s family.
Cheers: “Thanksgiving Orphans”
Nothing like a couple of lonely alcoholics to make you feel better about your lonesome holiday. The band of drunks gather together for a pot luck since they all have nowhere to go in one of the only episodes that takes place outside of a bar.
But dinner at Carla’s soon takes a turn for the worst. The turkey takes forever to cook, so the gang gets crabby and soon start to snip at one another, fully unleashing their fury in a messy food fight that ruins the occasion.
Family Guy: “Thanksgiving”
One of the tensest moments in Family Guy, Joe and Bonnie learn that their son Kevin died in Iraq on Thanksgiving Day, forever traumatizing them and ruining Thanksgiving.
But it turns out that Kevin faked his death to desert the army and shows up unannounced at Peter’s door. Joe is viciously disappointed in his son, and the gang all sit down for one hell of an awkward (and hilarious) Thanksgiving dinner.
Food Network: Giada De Laurentiis “Thanksgiving Live”
We’ve all succumbed to a fair share of cooking-related injuries on Thanksgiving day, but not a lot of people can say they’ve wounded themselves on live TV.
Chef Diada’s one job was to cut the turkey without cutting herself, and she ended up cutting her finger so bad that she needed stitches. It wasn’t a very romantic moment, and that whole turkey was definitely contaminated and inedible.