The television business has a lot to be thankful for, if the number of Thanksgiving episodes it has churned out over the years is any indication.
One of the most memorable for many people revolves around turkeys and their inability to fly. WKRP in Cincinnati’s 1978 episode “Turkeys Away,” is about a misguided promotion that included live turkeys being dropped over the city from a helicopter. Let’s just say, the ensuing chaos delivered hilarity that still stands up nearly 44 years after that first airing.
Sitcoms have been feasting on holiday fare for decades. All in the Family took a serious turn in 1975 with “The Little Atheist,“ in which Carroll O’Connor and Rob Reiner’s characters — Archie and Mike — argue about the religious upbringing of baby Joey.
More recently shows have made Thanksgiving offerings an annual affair. Friends did 10 Thanksgiving episodes, one for each year the show ran, and Everybody Loves Raymond aired eight.
It’s not just sitcoms, though, that have been taking a bite of the Thanksgiving pie over the years. The NCIS franchise, for example, has delivered nine holiday episodes that add a little procedural drama to the holiday meal.
Bob’s Burgers leads the way among animated series with 10 Thanksgiving-themed episodes. The Simpsons is among toons that have aired five each.
Scroll through our selection of 50 classic Thanksgiving-themed TV episodes that range from hilarious head-scratchers to murder mysteries from the 1960s through the 2020s.
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