No insta-classic holiday episodes this year. Sigh.

parenthoodImage Credit: Justin Lubin/NBCWere there any “classic” Thanksgiving episodes this year? I’m at a loss. My favorite turkey-centric episode this season was, by far, this week’s Parenthood, which was one of the show’s strongest episodes ever, and was the right combo of funny and sort of poignant and still vaguely realistic. But I’m having a hard time comparing it to any of the Friends Thankgivings, or “Slapsgiving,” or “The Indians in the Lobby.” Was there a Woody Woodpecker moment this year? I did not see one.

I’m a sucker for a good holiday episode (show me a drunk Sookie from Gilmore Girls any day of the week and twice on Tuesdays), so I was looking forward to some new ones to file in my holiday treasure vault of joy. How I Met Your Mother was fun I guess, but a far cry from being worthy of multiple re-watchings. Raising Hope, maybe? I adore that show, but “Meet the Grandparents” was a little on the sad side for me. Does it really hold its own against, say, WKRP Cincinnati‘s famous Thanksgiving episode? Alas, it does not.

Did you see any instant classics that I missed, PopWatchers?


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  • Lindsey

    My favourite Thanksgiving episode is from The Bob Newhart Show entitled “Over the River and Through the Woods.” Emily visits her family and Bob stays home and gets crazy drunk while watching football with Jerry and Harold. The phone call to order Chinese food is the best part!

    • Charlene

      That episode was the best! I love my dvds, but it’s been so long and they haven’t released the last two seasons. :(

    • Mark

      “I’ve got an order here for der Bob Hartley!”
      .
      “Let me go get a hand cart to bring up the moo goo gai pan.”

      • oc

        wasn’t that the ep with moo goo goo goo, chinese baby food?

    • Heidi

      More Goo

    • Cara

      Friends had the best TG episodes ever…

  • Winger

    If you’re going to pick a West Wing episode, take Shibboleth. If the moment when the President gives his family carving knife to Charlie doesn’t well you up, you have no soul.

    • Beth

      One of my favourite episodes ever of the West Wing.

  • lettergirl

    “the indians in the lobby”–refresh my addled brain. what was that from?

    • Casey

      It’s from The West Wing.

  • Allan

    Wow – “funny and sort of poignant and still vaguely realistic” – really makes me wish I’d seen it.

    • silentj

      The West Wing, season 3.

    • Bernice

      It was such a wonderful episode. One of my fav shows.

  • ann

    I would have to disagree. HIMYM was definitely worthy of multiple re-watches – if only to hear all the Lost references again!

    • Paige

      The Blitz is definitely worthy of re-watches. Of course, it was no Slapsgiving, but still pretty strong.

      • ann

        I totally agree Paige.

      • amj

        I agree too Paige!

      • Andie

        I thought it was much, much better than Slapsgiving!

      • Emma

        Way better. I’m sorry but I just feel to awful for Barney in that episode. Blitzgiving was LEGEN…wait for it…DARY.

    • jasmine

      The Blitz was alright… but I was really hoping for another slapsgiving

      • Oscar Chip

        No we had that last season with Slapsgiving 2: Revenge of the Slap. Plus Marshall only has one slap remaining. The usage of that final slap, I’m assuming, has to be epic. Plus the cast is contracted til the end of season 8 so we’ve got, at least, a range of 2 1/2 more seasons to eagerly await the final slap.

      • Kate

        Agreed. The blitz was just alright.

  • Chris

    I don’t know if was a “classic” but I thought “The Middle” presented an excellent Thanksgiving episode Wednesday night. It hit all the classic issues and problems with families, especially on Thanksgiving. And the Heck men are dead ringers for my husband, his brother and his father in the “never say I love you” department.

    • joe

      couldn’t agree more!

    • diana

      agreed

  • Buffy Freak

    I loved parenthood this week as well. Cougar Town had a pretty good Thanksgiving episode but I was surprised that Modern Family didn’t do one.

    • Kaiulani

      Totally agree on all points.

    • noo

      I agree :D cougar town was very entertaining
      also i watched raising hope and for a freshman show the thanksgiving episode was fun :D

    • amj

      Cougar Town was great! Loved that episode. And, Parenthood was a classic family based episode.

    • KRibbons

      I clicked on this article HOPING it would mention how wonderful Parenthood was! I am so glad!!! It is such an amazing amazing show.

      • reason

        Me too! I think Parenthood was the best Thanksgiving ep I have seen since “Friends” signed off.

  • psyche

    i’m still crossing my fingers for chuck next monday.

    • Marie

      Just waiting for the awesome return of Timothy Dalton!!!

    • Joycee

      Heck yeah, the return of Linda Hamilton and Timothy Dalton woot woot!

      • BettyLouWho

        Amen to that, can’t wait for Chuck. Raising Hope was excellent too; god bless exploding Turkeys. Best of all time history for me is BtVS: Pangs. Turkey, vamps, arrows and Angel. Oh and Buffy fights a bear. What more could you want.

  • LOL

    Any Thanksgiving without Bush in office is a “classic.”

    • joblo

      how original.

    • No LOL

      But that makes no sense whatsoever. If you want to get a dig in at someone, you have to relate it to the story.

  • kb

    i loved the better with you episode this week..its no friends thanksgiving episode but definitely surpassed cougar town

  • brian

    Will and Grace had the best Thanksgiving episodes! The 80s flashback, Moveable feast, Jack’s coming out, Queens for a Day… I miss that show

    • Heather M.

      Don’t forget the dry run!

      • Ann

        Loved the dry run!!!

    • MLLASH

      OOOH I *LOVED* W&G

    • JR

      oh the 80’s episode was one of my all time favorites

    • Melissa

      Queens for a Day is 1 of my all time fav Will and Grace episodes!! Also my fav Friends Thanksgiving episode is the one with Brad Pitt….CLASSIC!!

    • RM

      Oh jeez the ’80s flashback can never be topped, by any show. Priceless. “Maaa there’s chicken on the floor!”

  • sam

    The Middle was great. From Sue baking the pie to the male family members failing to talk about anything but football, it was very funny.

    • Ron

      I’d say it was my favorite of the thanksgiving themed episodes this year. The dad not speaking to his dad and brother and Frankie’s mom not coming was so realistic. I love when the old aunts are on too

    • Brian

      I’ll third this. It’s a shame the show gets so little buzz — it’s one of the funniest and most consistent comedies on the air. And it’s a rare one I don’t have to wait ’til the kids are in bed to watch.

      • Jennifer

        Yes, sadly, this is the ONLY prime time TV show we watch with our kids. My husband and I were just discussing how sad it is that there aren’t more shows that we can watch with them. Whatever happened to 8:00 “family” shows?

    • JKS

      So true! It’s such a good show that I can put aside my dislike of Patricia Heaton. This week’s TG episode was great-and it even had Norm Macdonald!

    • Meredith

      Loved it! What an under-rated show.

    • ariettty

      “The Middle” (whispers to self)

      • Bosco

        Ha!- Love that Brick!

      • amj

        I love that Brick too!

    • Chaz

      Another vote for The Middle–it doesn’t get the respect it deserves.

    • Vanessa

      Totally agree. The Middle was great and is so under-rated (‘under-rated’ whispers)

    • E C L

      Great episode from a great show!!

      • noo

        it was awesome :D the aunts were fantastic and it was an amazing show for brick!

    • Mountain Flower

      I agree on The Middle this week. Loved the episode. I’m starting to think NO ONE working at EW even knows this show is on. (Guess they’re all watching Survivor together)

      • joe

        yes… EW please cover this show!!

    • Brian

      Here’s another vote for the great, underappreciated “The Middle.” Don’t you people know there’s a LIBRARIAN coming for Thanksgiving?”

  • Charlie

    I thought the HIMYM episode was awesome, one of my all time favorites and one of the best they’ve done in a while

  • Carolyn

    I enjoyed The Middle’s Thanksgiving episode!

  • Steve

    Don’t worry Margaret, there appears to be alot of good christmas episodes coming up in December (I’m looking at you Community, don’t disappoint me with your stop-motion animation christmas episode)

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