Thanksgiving is a busy time, from lists and shopping to prep, cooking and sometimes even hosting! You deserve a break today, so we’ve rounded up 15 laugh-out-loud Thanksgiving episodes from your favorite sitcoms to give you a much-deserved chuckle or straight out guffaw (and help you realize that maybe your holiday drama is nothing compared with these folks). We’ve even paired them with a classic Thanksgiving dish. Whether it’s streaming a few here and there or a full-out marathon on Turkey Day (after the Macy’s Day Parade and National Dog Show, of course), enjoy this hilarious lineup of our favorite sitcom Thanksgiving episodes.
Make Room for Daddy
The episode: “Thanksgiving Story” (1953)
The plot: You might know this throwback sitcom from its second name, The Danny Thomas Show, which it debuted in its fourth season, but chances are you haven't seen this holiday episode in a while (if at all). That's because the first three seasons haven't been shown in syndication since the 1960s! In this episode, Danny has to miss Thanksgiving dinner because he's doing a benefit show in Boston. To cure the homesickness, he heads to the history museum, where he's the sole visitor on a guided tour of a pilgrim exhibit — but luckily his family has a sweet surprise for him back at the hotel.
The dish: Tabbouleh, to honor Thomas's Lebanese American upbringing; remember, his birth name was Amos Muzyad Yaqoob Kairouz.
Watch it: “Thanksgiving Story,” on Vimeo
The episode: “Samantha's Thanksgiving to Remember” (1967)
The plot: A nostalgic Aunt Clara (Marion Lorne) casts a spell that accidentally transports herself, the Stephens family, and nosy neighbor Gladys Kravitz (Sandra Gould) back to 1620s Plymouth. Though Samantha (Elizabeth Montgomery) manages to zap them into period-appropriate attire, Darrin (Dick York) gets accused of witchcraft when he lights a match—those wouldn't be invented for another 185 years!
The dish: A cloth bag filled with pudding, the dessert that gets Darrin in trouble when he starts a fire to boil it.
The episode: “Thanksgiving Comes but Once a Year, Hopefully” (1967)
The plot: There are mishaps aplenty when Ann Marie (Marlo Thomas) tries to prepare the favorite dishes of both her parents and her future in-laws. She cooks in two separate apartments and accidentally stuffs her oyster goose stuffing in the turkey and her chestnut turkey stuffing in the goose. Look out for a surprisingly ahead-of-its-time joke, when the mailman mistakes an envelope of dried marjoram for something more illicit.
The dish: A frozen-solid mince pie — Ann has to make vents in the crust with a hammer and screwdriver.
The Bob Newhart Show
The episode: “Over the River and Through the Woods” (1975)
The plot: After ducking out of a trip to Seattle with his wife, Emily (Suzanne Pleshette), Bob (Bob Newhart) invites his friends over for a bachelor Thanksgiving to watch the William & Mary college football match. A drinking game — and a jug of vodka and apple cider — leaves the gang absolutely sloshed, and with only a sad small turkey between them, Bob decides to call for Chinese takeout. Spoiler: Slurred speech and Cantonese words don't mix.
The dish: Moo goo gai pan, Bob's order of choice.
The Brady Bunch
The episode: “The Un-Underground Movie” (1975)
The plot: Greg (Barry Williams) casts his family in a student film about the first Thanksgiving — and the Bradys have lots of opinions. Carol (Florence Henderson) wants to dress her daughters in period-inappropriate colorful Pilgrim costumes, Alice (Ann B. Davis) has script notes, and Peter (Christopher Knight) and Bobby (Mike Lookinland) are mad they can't play Native Americans. They argue. They make up. The film is a roaring success.
The dish: Instant mashed potatoes, which Greg uses (alongside spray-painted corn flakes) as snow in his “hard winter scene.”
Watch it: “The Un-Underground Movie,” on Hulu