The Blog of Toledo Lucas County Public Library

Thanksgiving Movies and TV Shows

Posted 11/14/20 by Eric P

Some holidays lend themselves to moviemaking: Halloween or Valentine’s Day. Christmas movies have become an entire cottage industry unto themselves, with whole television networks now dedicated to cranking out more Christmas movies every year than there are bells on bobtails.

If you’re feeling festive in November, however, finding a Thanksgiving movie can be a challenge. Here’s a list to help with that. They aren’t all classics by a long shot, but if some of them tend to induce a sleepy, tryptophan-like effect, well – at least when you wake up, you’ll be that much closer to peppermint latte season.

Cover of Home for the Holidays

Home for the Holidays

Cover of Planes, Trains and Automobiles

Planes, Trains and Automobiles

Cover of A Charlie Brown Thanksgiving

A Charlie Brown Thanksgiving

Cover of The Turkey Bowl

The Turkey Bowl

Cover of Turkey Hollow

Turkey Hollow

Cover of Cold Turkey

Cold Turkey

Cover of Our Father’s Keeper

Our Father’s Keeper

Cover of Pieces of April

Pieces of April

Cover of The Oath

The Oath

Cover of Addams Family Values

Addams Family Values

Cover of The Ice Storm

The Ice Storm

Cover of Free Birds

Free Birds

Cover of Lez Bomb

Lez Bomb

Cover of Deadfall


Cover of Jack and Jill

Jack and Jill

Cover of The Vicious Kind The Vicious Kind
Cover of Krisha Krisha
Cover of Son in Law Son in Law

TV series have tended to be more successful than movies at immortalizing Thanksgiving’s mix of family togetherness and dining-table awkwardness. Maybe it’s because TV shows, with their ongoing serial structures, have the chance to acquaint you with the characters and their relationships over time before breaking out the gravy and giblets.

Television has given us some of American culture’s most classic examples of Thanksgiving storytelling, from Buffy the Vampire Slayer’s fraught non-family dinner to WKRP in Cincinnati’s doomed radio promotion to that episode of Friends where someone got a turkey stuck on their head. Here’s a list of some other seasons of television, all available on DVD from the library, that include a Thanksgiving episode in their line-up:

Cover of Father Knows Best, Season One

Father Knows Best, Season One

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Cover of The Waltons, Season Two

The Waltons, Season Two

Cover of Northern Exposure, Season Four

Northern Exposure, Season Four

Cover of Frasier, Season Four

Frasier, Season Four

Cover of Gilmore Girls, Season Three

Gilmore Girls, Season Three

Cover of Boston Legal, Season Five

Boston Legal, Season Five

Cover of Friday Night Lights, Season Four

Friday Night Lights, Season Four

Cover of The Big C, Season Two

The Big C, Season Two

Cover of Parenthood, Season Two

Parenthood, Season Two

Cover of Glee, Season Four

Glee, Season Four

Cover of Hawaii 5-0, Season Four

Hawaii 5-0, Season Four

Cover of The Middle, Season Four

The Middle, Season Four

Cover of The Middle, Season Eight

The Middle, Season Eight

Cover of Modern Family, Season Eight

Modern Family, Season Eight

Cover of Modern family, Season Eleven

Modern family, Season Eleven

Cover of Crazy Ex-Girlfriend, Season One

Crazy Ex-Girlfriend, Season One

Cover of Baskets, Season Three

Baskets, Season Three

Cover of Fuller House, Season Two

Fuller House, Season Two

Cover of Speechless, Season One

Speechless, Season One

Cover of Arrow, Season Six

Arrow, Season Six

Cover of New Girl, Season Six

New Girl, Season Six

I hope there’s something in these lists to amuse and divert you… because there’s no more time-honored Thanksgiving tradition than avoiding one’s family by falling asleep watching something on TV.