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The Best Thanksgiving Dinner Scenes In Movies, Ranked

Updated November 23, 2020 688 votes 111 voters 3.8k views20 items

Thanksgiving dinner is known for several things: gathering with family, eating a delicious meal of turkey and cranberry sauce, and the uncle who starts a fight at the table by discussing politics. The best Thanksgiving dinner scenes in movies have these elements and many more. Unlike Christmas, Thanksgiving doesn't have a lot of films dedicated specifically to it. There are a few, like Home for the Holidays, as well as some that just happen to be set around the holiday, such as Planes, Trains and Automobiles. Other pictures make a pitstop around late November, allowing them to include a meal scene.

Thanksgiving dinner scenes can be funny or dramatic. Good luck not laughing when Rowan Atkinson gets the turkey stuck on his head in Bean, or when Charlie Chaplin has more fun playing with his food than eating it in The Gold Rush. Like more than a few actual Thanksgiving dinners, some can get bogged down in family feuding, as when an insensitive comment offends a couple looking to adopt a child in Instant Family. Even superheroes celebrate the holiday. Remember how awkward it was when Norman Osborne came to celebrate with Peter Parker in Spider-Man?

Vote up your favorites from this list of great Thanksgiving dinner movie scenes, regardless of the genre.

  • 'Planes, Trains and Automobiles' - Del Griffith Comes For Thanksgiving
    Video: YouTube
    Planes, Trains and Automobiles is a 1987 American comedy film written, produced and directed by John Hughes. The film stars Steve Martin as Neal Page, a high-strung marketing executive, who meets Del Griffith, played by John Candy, an eternally optimistic, overly talkative, and clumsy shower curtain ring salesman who seems to live in a world governed by a different set of rules. They share a three-day odyssey of misadventures trying to get Neal home to Chicago from New York City in time for Thanksgiving dinner with his family....  more
    • Actors: Steve Martin, Kevin Bacon, John Candy, Ben Stein, Michael McKean
    • Released: 1987
    • Directed by: John Hughes
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  • 'Rocky' - Paulie Throws Out The Turkey And His Wife
    Video: YouTube
    Rocky is a 1976 American sports drama film directed by John G. Avildsen. A small-time boxer (Sylvester Stallone) gets a supremely rare chance to fight a heavy-weight champion (Carl Weathers) in a bout in which he strives to go the distance for his self-respect....  more
    • Actors: Sylvester Stallone, Joe Frazier, Burgess Meredith, Carl Weathers, Talia Shire
    • Released: 1976
    • Directed by: John G. Avildsen
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  • 'The Gold Rush' - Charlie Chaplin Plays With His Food
    Video: YouTube
    The Gold Rush is a 1925 American silent comedy film written, produced, and directed by Charlie Chaplin. The film also stars Chaplin in his Little Tramp persona, Georgia Hale, Mack Swain, Tom Murray, Henry Bergman, and Malcolm Waite. Chaplin declared several times that this was the film for which he most wanted to be remembered. Though it was a silent film, it received Academy Award nominations for Best Music and Best Sound Recording upon its re-release in 1942....  more
    • Actors: Charlie Chaplin, Mack Swain, Georgia Hale, Henry Bergman, Malcolm Waite
    • Released: 1925
    • Directed by: Charlie Chaplin
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  • 'Bean' - Stuffing the Turkey
    Video: YouTube
    Bean, also known as Bean: The Ultimate Disaster Movie or Mr. Bean: The Movie is a 1997 feature film based on the television series Mr. Bean. It stars Rowan Atkinson in the title role and Peter MacNicol. It was directed by Mel Smith. The film used many of the ideas and skits from the original television series....  more
    • Actors: Burt Reynolds, Sandra Oh, Rowan Atkinson, Johnny Galecki, Peter Capaldi
    • Released: 1997
    • Directed by: Mel Smith
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