TV: The best Thanksgiving episodes

By Columbus Alive
From the November 21, 2013 edition

Thanksgiving is still a week away, but don’t we start celebrating holidays earlier and earlier each year? So with that in mind, I thought those of you looking to get into the Turkey Day spirit might like to watch some of the great Thanksgiving episodes out there.

Most are on Netflix, others are surely available on iTunes or one of the umpteenth streaming sites. But if you’re that interested in watching these, you’ll know where and how to find them.

“We Gather Together,” “Roseanne”

This lovable blue-collar family sitcom produced a number of great Thanksgiving (and Halloween) episodes throughout its run, but it’s best to start with the first from Season 2. It’s the typical familial discord in the Connor household, mainly because Roseanne’s mother is there, but also because Jackie is hiding the fact that she’s now a cop.

“The Wheel,” “Mad Men”

This isn’t the most Thanksgiving-y episodes, although in typical “Mad Men” fashion angst abounds, so maybe it is. Anyway, it’s the finale to Season 1 — I’ll avoid spoilers for those who haven’t seen it — and it includes Don Draper’s unforgettable, “It’s not called ‘The Wheel.’ It’s called ‘The Carousel’” pitch.

“The One with the Rumor” & “The One with All the Thanksgivings,” “Friends”

“Friends” has also done a number of funny Thanksgiving episodes, but the one with Brad Pitt (then married to Jennifer Aniston) as a hilarious guest star in “Rumors” is great. “All the Thanksgivings” is a flashback episode, culminating with Monica wearing a turkey on her head.

“Slapsgiving,” “How I Met Your Mother”

Barney enacts slap bet revenge in the best way possible. That is all.

“The Ties That Bind,” “The Wonder Years

If you’re looking for Turkey Day sentimentally, look no further. Arnold patriarch Jack gets the promotion he deserves, but in return must travel on Thanksgiving, thus breaking the family tradition of him carving the turkey. Oh no, we can’t have Butthead do it!

Netflix bonus episodes:

“New Girl,” “Thanksgiving,” “Parents” (and “Thanksgiving III” airs Tuesday on Fox)

“Cheers,” “Thanksgiving Orphans”

“That ’70s Show,” “Thanksgiving,”

“Parenthood,” “Happy Thanksgiving”

“Buffy the Vampire Slayer,” “Pangs”

Photos courtesy of AMC, CBS