Thanksgiving: Five classic TV specials from The Simpsons to Friends and Master of None | The Independent

Thanksgiving has lengthy supplied wealthy pickings for America’s TV comedy writers.

Any event that requires reluctant family members to be cooped up all day consuming, stewing over a heavy meal and struggling to behave themselves naturally invitations stress. It additionally represents a golden alternative to do one thing new with some of widespread tradition’s favorite characters.

As America sits down to turkey and pumpkin pie, right here’s our choice of 5 of the very best Thanksgiving episodes from US TV.

A Charlie Brown Thanksgiving (1973)

This Emmy-winning animation was the third seasonal particular tailored from Charles M Schulz’s beloved Peanuts caricature, following widespread Christmas and Halloween one-offs.

Now considered an establishment, A Charlie Brown Thanksgiving is aired on ABC each November.

When Peppermint Patty invitations herself over to Charlie’s home for the season, the perennial worrier has to improvise a meal with the assistance of Snoopy, Woodstock and Linus, serving buttered toast, pretzels and jelly beans to their visitor’s annoyance, prompting a falling out.

The Simpsons – “Bart vs Thanksgiving” (1990)

A transferring story of jealousy and reconciliation, one of The Simpsons’ early excessive factors was this from its second season, when Bart destroys Lisa’s home made centrepiece for the dinner desk and is distributed to his room in shame.

Working away as a substitute, Bart finds himself watching his neighbours’ joyful gatherings from the road and finally ends up at a soup kitchen, the place he realises how fortunate he really is in contrast with the plight of Springfield’s much less lucky.

Sneaking again in through the tree home, he finds Lisa in tears and apologises for his damaging impulses.

The episode can be notable for the go to of Marge’s twin sisters Patty and Selma and austere mom Jacqueline Bouvier. Their ingratitude and fixed criticism of Marge’s talents as a hostess an all-too-familiar expertise for a lot of.

Frasier – “A Lilith Thanksgiving” (1996)

Frasier was in its ingredient by season 4, and this episode by which the pompous radio psychiatrist (Kelsey Grammer) and his ex-wife Lilith (Bebe Neuwirth) conspire to get their son Frederick into Boston’s unique Marbury Academy is especially fantastic.

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As one catastrophe leads to one other, Frasier and Lilith solely handle to irritate the headmaster, Dr Campbell (Paxton Whitehead), earlier than ruining his dinner and having to give up the turkey that Niles (David Hyde Pierce) has been busily making ready in a last-ditch bid to salvage the state of affairs.

The sabotaging of Niles’s plans is as scrumptious as it’s completely inevitable.

Friends – “The One With All of the Thanksgivings” (1998)

The massively widespread NBC present usually excelled at seasonal specials and this episode from season eight was one of its highest moments.

As Ross (David Schwimmer) bemoans getting divorced once more, the group transfer to console him by recalling their very own worst vacation experiences, teeing up a sequence of impressed flashbacks.

Phoebe (Lisa Kudrow) recollects a previous life by which she misplaced an arm as a nurse within the American Civil Battle earlier than Monica (Courtney Cox) reluctantly recounts the occasions of Thanksgiving 1987, when a teenage Chandler (Matthew Perry) is overheard referring to Monica as “fats”.

Chandler (Matthew Perry) and Ross (David Schwimmer) in a classic Friends flashback


A 12 months later, a a lot slimmer Monica makes a botched try to seduce Chandler in a confused bid for revenge. This leads to her dropping a kitchen knife and by accident severing his toe.

Within the current, the pair – now courting – reconcile when Monica seems at his door carrying a turkey on her head, full with novelty sun shades and a fez. Chandler laughs and inadvertently tells her he loves her for the primary time.

Master of None – “Thanksgiving” (2017)

Dev (Aziz Ansari) has grown up not celebrating the vacation on non secular grounds so has at all times spent the day along with his pal Denise (Lena Waithe) as a substitute.

Revisiting the years in flashback, we see Denise inform Dev she is homosexual as an adolescent in 1999 however wrestle to inform her mom Catherine (Angela Bassett), fearing her disapproval.

When she does come out in 2006, Catherine finds acceptance tough however through the years is in a position to come to phrases with the state of affairs, inspired by the instance set by Denise’s aunt Joyce, grandmother Ernestine and by Dev. By 2017, she is in a position to welcome Denise’s new girlfriend Michelle as her visitor.

An impressively frank piece of writing by Waithe that might solely have come from hard-won private expertise.

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