Thanksgiving is this Thursday. I’ll let you chew on that morsel for a bit. You done? Okay. Although most stores ushered in the Christmas season the second after Halloween, let me assure you that the eat-until-you-burst holiday is still on this year. Let’s all take a collective sigh of relief; I kept thinking I’d missed it too.

The Mom and Pop Store

If you’re like me (awesome), you may need some help getting in the TG spirit. Anyone? Ok, this list is for you, guy raising your hand in the back. As a sweet bonus, most of the following TG eps are available online via YouTube or Hulu. But before you dig in, tie on your bib, pull up your chair, and savor this reading experience.

Here are your first 5 episodes, let’s call them the appetizers and salad. Each is scored out of 10 wishbones for laughs, Thanksgiving relevance, and cheesiness factor. Come back tomorrow for the turkey and pie (or if you aren’t imaginative, the next 5 on the list).

10. Full House: The Miracle of Thanksgiving

Are you feeling the miracle (ba-bu-bu-baaa) of Thanksgiving? If not, maybe you should take 20 minutes of your life and watch this heartwarming episode. Yes, it is cheesy, and yes, it has “soft rock sharing time” but it is also funny and heart wrenching. This is the first TG without the girls’ mom, and with their grandma snowed in, all they have are three goofy and kitchen illiterate guys to cook their feast. But even a frozen turkey and a dropped Pumpkin pie can be healed with the power of family love.

+ 8 Wishbones for Jessie & Joey’s awesome mullets
– 2 for Joey getting his tongue stuck in a bottle for a little too long
6 Wishbones

9. The Cosby Show: Cliff’s Wet Adventure

The Huxtables are having everyone over for Thanksgiving including the random neighbor kid and Denise’s husband’s ex-wife. Of course awkward moments abound as the family plots how best to meet such the strange addition to the party. But the biggest laughs come from Cliff. He spends his holiday repeatedly braving the raging storm to gather the few items he keeps forgetting. Whenever he came on the screen, I couldn’t help but giggle.

+8 for Olivia’s darling Thanksgiving song for her mom (AND Cliff’s face every time he came in the door)
-2 Wishbones for a who cares convo between Denise and her husband’s ex-wife
6 Wishbones

8. The Brady Bunch “The Un-Underground Movie”

Greg has a really groovy history teacher, and for his creative class project he ropes his whole family into making a movie detailing the Pilgrims’ first year in the new world. Although the Brady’s put the corn in corny, I’ll admit there are a few genuine laughs cooked in. Alice wears a mustache, Bobby plays a dramatic death, and Mike’s slow motion shivers with the best of them. You may give Greg an A for his movie too.

+ 7 wishbones for the legitimately funny movie screening scene
– 1 for general overacting and cheesiness
6 Wishbones

7. Dexter: Hungry Man

And you thought your family gatherings were intense. Dexter gobbles up family awkwardness with his host and fellow serial killer, Trinity. Trinity heats up the psycho factor as his family’s perfect façade crumbles. No Trinity, breaking your son’s finger as punishment, locking your daughter in her room, or calling your wife a horrible name, is not normal TG behavior. Good thing Dexter has Rita and the kids to go home to.

+8 for awesome Trinity tension
-1 for Angel and LaGuerta’s random romantic side plot
7 Wishbones

6. Seinfeld: The Mom & Pop Store

Seinfeld heaps a big serving of quirky fun in this holiday ‘sode (that’s short for “episode”, Nana). And no, I’m not going to stop using food imagery, so get over it. Each character deals with their own tangled situation ranging from George buying Jon(h) Voight’s car, Kramer accidently running a small business out of town, to Elaine winning a spot for her boss on the Macy’s Thanksgiving Day Parade. But Jerry’s struggle to figure out whether he’s invited to a friend’s Thanksgiving party taught me a great interpersonal lesson: interpreting inflection. It can be quite crucial.

+ 8 Wishbones for George’s personal rendition of “Everybody’s Talking”
– 1 For lack of holiday relevance. This is really a pre-Thanksgiving episode, not a pure day of let’s make a Thanksgiving feast kind of sode.
Total: 7 Wishbones

Come back ready for more tomorrow as I count down to the top Thanksgiving episodes!

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