We’ll take our turkey with a side of streaming, thank you.

By Lauren Phillips
November 07, 2019
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Turkey Day may be all about Thanksgiving wishes, football games, and all the food you can eat, but there comes a time when the food is eaten or put away, the dishes are cleaned, and you just want to sit back and put your feet up. Even if you don’t watch football, there’s plenty of Thanksgiving TV to watch, mostly thanks to streaming services such as Netflix and Hulu.

There’s always A Charlie Brown Thanksgiving, sure, but just as there are Christmas movies on Netflix and Halloween movies on Netflix for all your festive streaming needs, there are Thanksgiving episodes, too. Thanksgiving movies on Netflix aren’t the big genre you might hope for, but there are plenty of great TV episodes celebrating Thanksgiving among the best shows on Netflix right now and Netflix Originals. (Hulu has quite a few, too, for those shows you can’t stream on Netflix.)

If you want to fill your Thanksgiving Day—November 28 this year—or the lead-up to the feast with funny, heart-warming dinners with your favorite TV characters, check out these Thanksgiving episodes. They might make you wish for an eventful Thanksgiving dinner or make you glad that your family is as functional as it is, but either way, you’re sure to get a few laughs out of these episodes.

Pro-tip: If you’re charged with time-intensive feast-prep, stream these while you’re cooking to make time fly. And if you’re really desperate for some Thanksgiving movies on Netflix, you can always make Netflix suggestions.

The best Thanksgiving episodes to stream on Turkey Day

Friends: “The One Where Underdog Gets Away”

Season 1, Episode 9

You could spend almost all of Turkey Day watching Friends Thanksgiving episodes—almost every season has one—but why not start with the first, arguably the first Friendsgiving? The gang gets locked out of Monica’s apartment, Underdog escapes the Macy’s Thanksgiving Day Parade, and Rachel scrounges together money to go on a holiday ski trip with her family—hopefully.

Where to watch: Netflix

Friends: “The One with the Football”

Season 3, Episode 9

Post–Thanksgiving dinner, everyone heads outside to play a friendly game of football (despite Ross and Monica’s long-standing ban on football-playing), with predictably unfriendly results.

Where to watch: Netflix

Friends: “The One with Chandler in a Box”

Season 4, Episode 8

Monica wears an eye patch (and makes questionable romantic decisions) and Chandler spends the day in a box as punishment for wronging Joey in the season-four Thanksgiving episode. Start watching for the laughs; stay for the reconciliation at the end.

Where to watch: Netflix

Friends: “The One With All the Thanksgivings”

Season 5, Episode 8

While recovering from food comas, each of the six remembers his or her worst Thanksgiving holidays, and everyone tries to figure out which Thanksgiving was Monica’s least favorite. Lucky for us, this involves many flashbacks, including a shot of Chandler in 1987 with a “Flock of Seagulls” hairstyle, as well as a Thanksgiving Phoebe remembers from 1915, when she was serving in a World War I field hospital—because of course Phoebe would remember holidays from her past lives.

Where to watch: Netflix

Friends: “The One Where Ross Got High”

Season 6, Episode 9

Geller family secrets (and grudges) come to light when Ross and Monica’s parents come to Thanksgiving dinner at Monica’s apartment—the one she secretly shares with Chandler, who her parents don’t care for. Sibling rivalries, parental disapproval, unconventional desserts: What more does a Thanksgiving episode need?

Where to watch: Netflix

Friends: “The One Where Chandler Doesn’t Like Dogs”

Season 7, Episode 8

It’s no “These are my Thanksgiving pants,” but this Friends Thanksgiving episode holds up, with Ross struggling to name all 50 states and Chandler revealing to the group that he doesn’t like dogs—right after Phoebe and Monica bring a dog into the apartment.

Where to watch: Netflix

Friends: “The One with the Rumor”

Season 8, Episode 9

Brad Pitt guest stars as a former classmate—and a founding member of the “I hate Rachel Green club”—and Joey breaks out his Thanksgiving pants when he’s charged with eating the 19-pound turkey all on his own in this classic Friends take on a Thanksgiving TV episode.

Where to watch: Netflix

Friends: “The One with Rachel’s Other Sister”

Season 9, Episode 8

Monica and Chandler break out their wedding china for Thanksgiving dinner—just as Rachel’s other sister Amy stops by for the holiday, brutal observations in tow.

Where to watch: Netflix

Friends: “The One with the Late Thanksgiving”

Season 10, Episode 8

After guilting Monica and Chandler into hosting Thanksgiving dinner, the others arrive an hour late, putting everyone at odds in the final Friends Thanksgiving episode.

Where to watch: Netflix

How I Met Your Mother: “Slapsgiving”

Season 3, Episode 9

It’s the group’s first Thanksgiving together, and Lilly and Marshall plan to host since it’s also their first Thanksgiving as a married couple. Lilly obsesses over a perfect meal, while Robin and Ted continue to navigate their breakup. Meanwhile, Marshall gives Barney a heads up—the third slap in their ongoing “slap bet” will happen sometime on Thanksgiving.

Where to watch: Hulu

How I Met Your Mother: “Slapsgiving 2: Revenge of the Slap”

Season 5, Episode 9

Slapsgiving returns—but this time, Marshall has decided to share the slap and gives the honor to either Ted or Robin, both of whom have good reason to want to slap Barney.

Where to watch: Hulu

Jane the Virgin: “Chapter Twenty-Eight”

Season 2, Episode 6

Filled with as much drama (and melodrama) as any episode of this telenovela-inspired series, this Thanksgiving episode includes a celebration of family milestones as Jane makes difficult motherhood decisions and celebrates her son’s first Thanksgiving, family in tow. A brief but heartfelt discussion of what each family member is grateful for at the Villanueva family dinner table gives the partial Thanksgiving episode a sweet, thought-provoking scene.

Where to watch: Netflix

New Girl: “Thanksgiving”

Season 1, Episode 6

Jess invites a music teacher she has a crush on to her apartment for Thanksgiving. However, her roommates hadn’t planned to have a major feast—they just want to stick to their tradition, and watch football and drink beer.  If you thought your Thanksgiving feast was full of cooking mishaps, Jess’s hilarious-yet-disastrous feast will make you feel much better.

Where to watch: Netflix

New Girl: “Parents”

Season 2, Episode 8

Jess uses Thanksgiving dinner as an opportunity to set up a Parent Trap scenario for her divorced parents (Jamie Lee Curtis and Rob Reiner) in this follow-up to the iconic first New Girl Thanksgiving episode.

Where to watch: Netflix

New Girl: “Last Thanksgiving”

Season 6, Episode 7

Schmidt’s father and Jess’s injured possible love interest join the gang for the final Thanksgiving episode, which has Nick and Schmidt on a booze-fueled escapade with Schmidt’s estranged dad and Jess struggling to give bad news.

Where to watch: Netflix

Brooklyn Nine-Nine: “Thanksgiving”

Season 1, Episode 10

The precinct gathers at Amy’s apartment for a Turkey Day feast that no one wants to eat, and Jake and Holt escape on a buddy crime-fighting escapade.

Where to watch: Hulu

Brooklyn Nine-Nine: “Mr. Santiago”

Season 4, Episode 7

Amy hosts Thanksgiving for the precinct again—with her father as a special guest. A vicious live turkey also joins the celebration, thanks to Boyle’s culinary ambitions.

Where to watch: Hulu

Gilmore Girls: “A Deep Fried Korean Thanksgiving”

Season 3, Episode 9

Four Thanksgivings—is that a dream come true, or a stomachache waiting to happen? If anyone can take it, it’s the Gilmores, whose capacity for consuming junk food is unparalleled. They make a mission to stop at four very different, but festive, celebrations—including one at Emily and Richard’s, which is difficult considering Lorelai is not currently speaking to her parents.

Where to watch: Netflix

Life in Pieces: “Godparent Turkey Corn Farts”

Season 1, Episode 9

Even if you’ve never watched this piecemeal comedy, you can get on board for the first Thanksgiving episode, which has the family vying to be named godparent(s), bringing a live turkey home, and enjoying some dangerous food.

Where to watch: Hulu

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