Canadian Thanksgiving happened over a month ago, but with American media leading the television schedule networks are churning out their Thanksgiving episodes right about now. I love seasonal specials on TV! Usually Halloween and Christmas are my favourite TV specials but Thanksgiving gets a few great hits too. Surprise: they’re all comedies!
Slapsgiving (How I Met Your Mother)
HIMYM gave us a great many running jokes but my favourite, by far, is the Slap Bet. For anyone who hasn’t watched, a slap bet is exactly how it sounds: two people make a bet and the winner gets to slap the loser in the face. The two appoint a Slap Bet Commissioner who will make difficult and objective decisions. The result of the bet was that Marshall (Jason Segel) gets to slap Barney (Neil Patrick Harris) 5 times, at any point in time. Watching Marshall use his slaps when Barney is being a prick is incredibly satisfying but the Slapsgiving episode is my favourite because it comes with an original musical number: “You Just Got Slapped”.
Thanksgiving (New Girl)
There was never a part of me that thought defrosting a turkey in the dryer would be effective but now I know to never try it. In this first season Thanksgiving episode, Jess (Zooey Deschanel) invites a fellow teacher and her crush Paul (Justin Long) to Thanksgiving dinner because his grandma just died. I have a soft spot for episodes where the character tries to adult really hard and fails at everything and the night is a mess. That’s what happened in this episode. 100% mess. Paul’s dead grandma isn’t the only corpse in the episode.
Thanksgiving (Brooklyn Nine-Nine)
Jake (Andy Samberg) tries everything he can to get out of the Thanksgiving dinner hosted by the overachieving dorky Amy Santiago (Melissa Fumero). Santiago is only hosting the party to impress Captain Holt (Andre Braugher) and deliver a heartfelt speech in front of the whole squad. Her Thanksgiving goes awry when Captain Holt has to leave and also her food is inedible exacerbating Terry’s hunger rampage. When the dust settles around this disaster of a Thanksgiving, Jake learns a lesson about who he considers family and drops a total humblebrag about the show’s diversity:
I’d just like to say I am happy to be here with my family. My super weird family with two black dads, and two Latina daughters, and two white sons, and … Gina. And I don’t know what you (Scully) are. Some strange giant baby? To the Nine-Nine!
The Black Friday Trilogy (South Park)
I’m cheating slightly with this because 1. there are three episodes, and 2. they have more to do with the aftermath of Thanksgiving that is Black Friday in America. As someone who spent 6 years working mall retail (including when Canada adopted Black Friday sales), I feel the dread and drama around this one day of aggressive shopping. The plot centers around the boys figuring out which gaming console to buy — a PS4 or an XBox One — and it takes on a Game of Thrones theme. Kenny becomes Lady McCormick and later, Princess Kenny, the champion of PlayStation. This epic saga is hilarious and will satisfy all of your scorn towards Black Friday consumerism.
The One Where Ross Got High (Friends)
An absolute classic. Mr. and Mrs. Geller come to the apartment for Thanksgiving dinner and Chandler (as Monica’s secret serious boyfriend) has trouble winning them over. He learns that it’s because Ross blamed him when his parents caught him smoking weed in college. Meanwhile, Rachel tries to make a dessert trifle but 2 pages of the cookbook stick together and she creates something that’s half a trifle and half a shepherd’s pie. Eventually everyone’s secrets are out on the table and we get this amazing scene of lightning round confessions:
I hope everyone celebrating Thanksgiving next week has a wonderful time with friends and family! Try not to have any sitcom-like disasters.