Best Thanksgiving Specials if You Need a Laugh (You Do)

With Thanksgiving around the corner and things looking rather bleak from a pandemic perspective, we could all use a little levity in our lives. So put the tinsel away (for now) and enjoy these Thanksgiving specials in celebration of the forgotten holiday.

Friends – “The One With All the Thanksgivings”

While it’s difficult to go wrong with an episode of Friends, “The One With All the Thanksgivings” is undoubtedly the best of the Thanksgiving specials (of which there are many, so if you have a few hours, you could realistically binge them all). If you’re looking for a quick, funny watch, this episode is the one you want.

In the episode, everyone in the gang recounts their worst Thanksgiving, which results in hilarity, heart, and complete relatability. To tie everything together, this episode also ends with a confession of love that honestly, we wouldn’t want to see happen any other way.

How I Met Your Mother – “Slapsgiving”

The combination of a friends-giving with a bet is unbeatable in the world of television, which is why this is the best Thanksgiving episode of How I Met Your Mother, though again, the show has numerous Thanksgiving specials.

In this episode, a slap bet has Barney stressing out all day, and we get to see the beginning of ongoing plot points, such as Ted and Robin saluting every time someone uses an expression that starts with a military rank. It’s major HIMYM humor, executed to perfection.

New Girl – “Thanksgiving IV”

Again, New Girl has delighted viewers with many a Thanksgiving special. While all episodes are hilarious, this episode in particular is a fan favorite for many reasons, one of which is the main plot point, devised by none other than Schmidt: “Bangsgiving.”

In the episode, everyone must bring an eligible date for another roommate, which of course results in hilarity. Not only are we graced with an adorable moment between Schmidt and Cece, but we also get to appreciate Nick’s obsession with Tran, and enjoy the perfection of Ryan and Jess’ budding relationship.

Modern Family – “Three Turkeys”

There’s nothing quite like family during the holidays, for better or for worse, which is why this Modern Family episode is one of the best. Each character is experiencing the holiday in a way in which only they can, and there are countless antics—including Jay and Gloria’s failed escape—that make this episode unbeatable.

The real draw here, however, is the fact that, while everyone has different plans for the day, they all end up in the same place, together. So if you’re looking for a combination of feel-good family time and humor, this is definitely the Thanksgiving special for you.

Brooklyn99 – “Lockdown”

The 99 is known for absolutely hilarious writing and acting, paired with very real moments and commentary on bigger themes, which is why this Thanksgiving special is a must-see.

In this episode, it’s Thanksgiving night and Jake has been left in charge of the precinct while Holt and Terry attend a charity event—much to Amy’s dismay, and rightfully so. As the episode goes on, things at the precinct get out of hand, resulting in a lockdown and rising tensions that are too funny to miss.

You don’t need to like Thanksgiving to appreciate these specials, so even if you find yourself skipping over the holiday entirely to put up your tree and string out the lights on your house, spending some time to view these specials is well worth the laugh you’ll get out of them.

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