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Wednesday, November 24, 2010

WEEKEND REWIND: Top 10 Thanksgiving Episodes

It's a special edition of Weekend Rewind this week (on Wednesday!) counting down the Top 10 Thanksgiving themed episodes. As always this is based on personal opinion so enjoy and Happy Thanksgiving!

Close Calls
Everybody Loves Raymond "The Bird"
Everybody Loves Raymond #180 "The Bird" - A hilarious Thanksgiving dinner with Robert's in-laws (played to perfection by Fred Willard and Georgia Engel) that includes a funny Thanksgiving play.
Home Improvement #160 "Thanksgiving" - The Taylors spend Thanksgiving at the Silverdome and the Detroit Lions' home game but Tim causes a power outage in the stadium. A fun episode for those who love Thanksgiving Day football.
Bewitched #119 "Samantha's Thanksgiving to Remember" - Aunt Clara sends the Stephens back to Plymouth in the 1600s where Darrin is accused of being a witch. A nice historical look at Thanksgiving.
Friends #179 "The One With the Rumor" - Brad Pitt guest stars as Will, a formerly fat friend of Monica who formed an "I Hate Rachel Greene" fan club with Ross in high school. A great episode and a great guest starring turn by Pitt.
The Cosby Show #133 "Cliff's Wet Adventure" - Cliff has to go out to get items for Clair in a storm multiple times and Denise invites Martin's ex-wife to Thanksgiving dinner. The episode is good but Cliff's performance is a standout.

10. Everybody Loves Raymond #10 "Turkey or Fish" (first aired November 22, 1996)
In the first of many Thanksgiving episodes in this classic series, Debra tries to break tradition by hosting Thanksgiving and serving fish instead of turkey. Among the many funny moments are Ray putting the fish in the dishwasher and Marie subtly trying to sabotage Thanksgiving.

The Middle "Thanksgiving"
9. The Middle #8 "Thanksgiving" (first aired November 25, 2009)
In the first Thanksgiving episode of this great young series, Frankie cancels Thanksgiving when everyone seems to have other things going on or bad attitudes. Like this series so often does, it mixes humor with heart when Axl finds Brick in the corn maze and the kids and Mike try to do Thanksgiving for Frankie.

8. Roseanne #32 "We Gather Together" (first aired November 21, 1989)
In the first of many Thanksgiving episodes, Roseanne is stressed by all the guests from both sides of the family coming over and Jackie tries to hide her new career as a policewoman from her parents. A typically dysfunctional Thanksgiving makes for a great episode about this dysfunctional family.

WKRP in Cincinnati "Turkeys Away"
7. WKRP in Cincinnati #7 "Turkeys Away" (first aired October 30, 1978)
A well-known episode from an otherwise unremarkable series, Mr. Carlson has a big Thanksgiving stunt planned that he won't let any of the rest of the staff in on. When that stunt turns out to be dropping turkeys from the sky, he utters the famous line "as God is my witness, I thought turkeys could fly." That line and the reaction from the group as they recall the events makes this episode a classic. 

6. Friends #130 "The One Where Ross Got High" (first aired November 25, 1999)
No show was better known for great Thanksgiving episodes than Friends and this is one of the best. There are many great moments including Ross's reluctance in having to tell his parents he got high in college, Phoebe's dreams about Jack Gellar, and Joey and Ross wanting to escape to go out with Joey's hot roommate. But what makes this among the best is Rachel's English Trifle - which she accidentally mixes with a Shephard's Pie, and everyone's reactions to eating it.

5. The Wonder Years #53 "The Ties that Bind" (first aired November 14, 1990)
In a heartwarming Thanksgiving episode, Jack is forced to be gone during Thanksgiving after getting a promotion and Norma is noticeably upset. But when she and the family meet him at the airport in a great final scene, the kids see a tenderness in their parents not usually seen.

Cheers "Thanksgiving Orphans"
4. Cheers #104 "Thanksgiving Orphans" (first aired November 27, 1986)
In a very memorable episode, the Cheers gang has nowhere to go for Thanksgiving but they all end up together and the dinner devolves into a very funny and memorable food fight. The episode is hysterical ending with a glimpse of Norm's unseen wife Vera... with a pie covering her face.

3. Mad About You #55 "Giblets for Murray" (first aired November 17, 1994)
Paul and Jamie host Thanksgiving for their families in a great episode. From the constant attempts at getting a turkey (including lowering it to the kitchen window from the upstairs apartment), to the opposition against a buffet style meal, everything that could go wrong does go wrong. The best moment is Jamie throwing one of the turkeys out of the window.

Friends "The One With the Football"
2. Friends #57 "The One With the Football" (first aired November 21, 1996)
In the best of many great Thanksgiving episodes from this series, Ross and Monica renew their football rivalry by playing football in the park with the rest of the friends. This episode is a classic from start to finish including Chandler and Joey's competition for a Dutch girl watching and Ross and Monica's constant trash talking. Plus, who wouldn't want to being playing football on Thanksgiving with these guys? It makes you want to be there with them.

1. The Bob Newhart Show #83 "Over the River and Through the Woods" (first aired November 22, 1975)
But the best Thanksgiving episode is this classic from The Bob Newhart Show. Bob, Howard, Jerry, and Mr. Carlin spend Thanksgiving together getting drunk and watching them all try to function is a comedic masterpiece. While they are all funny, Bob steals the show as he calls himself "durrr" (Dr.) Bob Hartley on the phone and orders "more moo goo gai pan." It is comic genius throughout the episode and showcases the best of many characters who are pretty good to begin with.

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