Whether you are anticipating a smooth Thanksgiving meal with loving hugs and heartfelt goodbyes or a passive-aggressive conversation surrounding the recent midterm elections, it can be agreed we will all be ready to unwind after the day’s festivities. Check out these autumn and Thanksgiving themed films and TV episodes that pair perfectly with the upcoming holiday — and eating leftover mashed potatoes and gravy.
1. “Lady Bird” (2017)
A renowned coming-of-age film from director Greta Gerwig, "Lady Bird" explores complex relationships within a family, and the idea of finding gratitude in where you came from. While Thanksgiving itself is a small moment in the film, the overarching theme of familial appreciation makes this a beautiful and timely film. Exploring the relationships between a new adult and her family as she navigates her life away from home can resonate with a lot of students. The film ends with "Lady Bird" recognizing her gratitude for her family and upbringing, as she looks to channel this into the next step of her life.
2. “New Girl” — “Parents,” Season 2, Episode 8
In the series’ annual Thanksgiving episode, the friend group gathers to celebrate the holiday, but Jess calls everyone together for a slightly different reason. She had invited both her parents, who have been divorced for years, to the dinner without the other one knowing, looking to “parent trap” the two. Winston, Nick and Schmidt entertain with their lighthearted banter, while the drama unfolds between Jess and her parents. This dramedy provides great entertainment and laughs for after the big dinner.
3. “Gilmore Girls” — “A Deep Fried Korean Thanksgiving,” Season 3, Episode 9
The Gilmore Girls, Rory and Lorelai, spend their Thanksgiving Day running all over their Stars Hollow, hoping to celebrate multiple Thanksgivings with all their closest friends. First visiting the Kim’s house for a very traditional meal, the two next head to Sookie’s where they enjoy a much more laid-back meal. Next up is Luke’s diner where the dynamic duo don't hold the banter back. Finally, the evening closes with a petulant evening at Richard and Emily’s. Regardless of how your Thanksgiving festivities are set to unravel, you are sure to relate to one of these meals.
4. “A Charlie Brown Thanksgiving” (1973)
This one is an absolute Thanksgiving classic. Charlie Brown offers viewers the traditional turkey day experience. Snoopy is up to his typical shenanigans, while the rest of the gang celebrates Thanksgiving at Charlie Brown’s home, despite him not being there himself. This comedic short offers insight to the bonds of a friendship and the appreciation they hold for one another. The classic nature of the film can bring the entire family together to spend some time unwinding following the day.
5. "Planes, Trains & Automobiles" (1987)
It may be your dad's favorite. It may be your favorite. Either way, this '80s classic is the perfect holiday watch. Most can agree that the holidays can be a stressful, lovely time and sometimes it can just be all the crazier for it. No movie better encapsulates this feeling — or does it with better laughs — than the one that depicts Steve Martin accompanied by John Candy on his struggle to return home for Thanksgiving.