Arts & Entertainment

19 classic Thanksgiving TV specials and comedy videos

File: Thanksgiving dinner served on a computer desk.
File: Thanksgiving dinner served on a computer desk.
Joselito Tagarao/Flickr Creative Commons

Holiday traditions in our digital age may include less appointment viewing, but you can have your own Thanksgiving celebration online with these Turkey Day videos. We've got a look at the best moments from classic Thanksgiving episodes and specials, Thanksgiving-themed comedy videos and more.

A Charlie Brown Thanksgiving

A Charlie Brown Thanksgiving video

The most classic of Thanksgiving specials, Charlie Brown and the Peanuts crew have their sweet take on the holiday. The classic feels like it was there from the beginning, but it was actually the 10th primetime Charlie Brown special. While not as memorable as the Christmas or Halloween shows, it holds its own and gives a feeling of holiday warmth.

"Friends" Thanksgiving episodes

Friends Thanksgiving video

"Friends" made the Thanksgiving episode an annual tradition. Images of Joey and Monica with turkeys on their heads burned their way into '90s TV viewers' brains. You also get Brad Pitt in the Brad and Jen days. Watch highlights from the "Friends" Thanksgiving episodes above and, if you think you're a "Friends" Thanksgiving expert, go take this BuzzFeed quiz and test your skills.

"How I Met Your Mother's" Slapsgiving


"How I Met Your Mother" was another show that embraced Thanksgiving as an annual show tradition, with a "slap bet" between friends leaving Neil Patrick Harris's Barney living in fear for years before getting smacked — hard — and bringing everyone together over an act of violence between friends.

Watch the first Slapsgiving on Netflix

"The West Wing": President Bartlet calls the Butterball Hotline

Bartlet calls Butterball

Following this year's midterms, it may be time to look back at the more optimistic world of politics seen in "The West Wing." Whether you agree with his politics or not, Martin Sheen's President Bartlet is a lot of fun in the farcical interaction where he tries to play the role of an average American calling the Butterball Hotline.

Watch it on Netflix

A "Cheers" Thanksgiving

A Cheers Thanksgiving video

"Cheers" defined '80s sitcoms and spawned another of the biggest sitcoms in history, "Frasier," and you can get a distillation of both the conflict and the love that flowed throughout the show in this Thanksgiving episode. It's what happens when a shared Thanksgiving goes awry, featuring a full-on food fight and some of the best defined characters in TV history being completely themselves.

Watch it on Netflix

"Gilmore Girls"' deep-fried Thanksgiving

Gilmore Girls Thanksgiving video

"Gilmore Girls" only did one Thanksgiving episode in its run, but it was a memorable one featuring Lorelai and Rory trying to enjoy four Thanksgiving dinners in one day. You can watch the most exciting of the four above — featuring Thanksgiving turkey meeting a deep frier.

Watch it on Netflix

"WKRP in Cincinnati"'s turkey drop

Turkey drop video

"As God as my witness, I thought turkeys could fly." Watch the moment when everyone sees what happens when you drop live turkeys from a helicopter on Thanksgiving, courtesy Les Nessman's live play-by-play. The episode was actually based on a true story from radio station WQXI, which inspired many of the characters on "WKRP." Read all about the turkey drop's real-life origins in this oral history. An excerpt: "We thought that we could throw these live turkeys out into the crowd for their Thanksgiving dinners. ... People were laughing at us, not with us. But it became a legend."

And for a bonus, watch the turkey drop aftermath back at the WKRP offices:

Turkey drop aftermath video

Thanksgiving comedy videos

Speaking of bonuses, here's a look at some of our favorite Thanksgiving comedy videos.

The Holderness Family went viral last year with their "#XMAS JAMMIES" video, and they're back this year going for the Thanksgiving audience with Meghan Trainor parody "All About That Baste." Watch it for some slightly embarrassing family-friendly comedy in under two minutes.

Holderness Family Thanksgiving

For something less family friendly, check out Fox's ADHD "Thanksgiving Carol." While providing a more cynical take on the holiday, it also includes a couple bonus Thanksgiving facts along the way.

ADHD Thanksgiving Carol

A classic from Conan O'Brien in his "Late Night" days, it's a Thanksgiving turkey pleading for clemency from Conan's Thanksgiving table. The turkey trying to avoid being eaten by Conan became an annual tradition for the show.

Conan Thanksgiving turkey video

When it first came out, we took a look at Nicole Westbrook's "It's Thanksgiving" — produced by the madman behind Rebecca Black's "Friday. It's still insane; you can read about the video's 16 craziest moments or just watch the thing here. (Also, it has 16 million views at this point, so just remember that you probably missed out on your chance at being a pop star with a ridiculously bad song.)

Nicole Westbrook: It's Thanksgiving video

In the rush to deliver topical Thanksgiving content, Nerdist has mashed up Thanksgiving with "The Hunger Games" to create "The Gobble Games." Reviews for the new film haven't been as strong as previous installations of the franchise, so this video might be your best option for a Thanksgiving "Hunger Games" fix.

The Gobble Games

Finally, some videos from the kings of sketch comedy, "Saturday Night Live."

There's this year's new video, "Back Home Ballers":

Bill Swerski's Super Fans:

The kissing family:

The Californians:

Debbie Downer:

And finally, perhaps the most famous of all — Adam Sandler's Thanksgiving Song:

Did we miss any classic or new Thanksgiving videos? Share your favorites with us in the comments or on Facebook and Twitter (@KPCC).