Tryptophan Television


As the denizens of TV Bacon gather together to ask the Lord’s bles…er, to make pumpkin pie and pumpkin muffins and pumpkin pancakes and other assorted holiday foods, we celebrate TV-wise with guest blogger Lisa‘s list of the best Thanksgiving television. Enjoy it while celebrating with someone you love, or use the episodes to escape from family gatherings with people you love but could use a break from. Happy holidays!

“Do you know what I dream about when I dream about Thanksgiving, which is often? I dream about eating SO much deliciousness that all the blood rushes to my stomach and I pass out at the table.” – Seth Cohen

“Shibboleth” – The West Wing
Written by Aaron Sorkin

There’s nothing I can say about “Shibboleth” that would do it any sort of justice. It’s a brilliant hour of television and one of the finest episodes of The West Wing that ever aired. This episode has it all – specially raised turkeys Eric and Troy gobble their way to a presidential pardon; Toby fights prayer in school; Bartlet goes head-to-head with China over a container ship full of men, women, and children; and we hear one of the most heartfelt speeches about religious freedom ever. And just when you think that your overworked heart can’t take another minute, the music swells and your eyes get a little misty as we close on Bartlet declaring a National Day of Thanksgiving. It’s simply not the holidays until I watch this episode. I cry every darn time.

“The One With Chandler In A Box” – Friends
Written by Michael Borkow

Monica gets an ice chip in her eye and is forced to see the substitute ophthalmologist, who just happens to be her ex-boyfriend’s son. And happens to be totally hot. Michael Vartan guest stars in the ep where Chandler spends some time thinking in a box. A really big box. Oh, and Monica gets to wear an eye patch.

“Thanksgiving” – Felicity
Written by JJ Abrams

Hands down one of the best episodes of Felicity ever. It’s pretty perfect – jealousy, flirting, cooking in a dorm lounge. Julie and Felicity try their hand at a turkey and all the trimmings, but find that their makeshift dinner leaves much to be desired. It all works out in the end, after Javier brings his turkey and makes things as awesome as possible with his adorable and judgmental self. And when Noel plants one on Felicity in the bathroom? Kissing, y’all. Be still my beating heart.

“The Homecoming” – The O.C.
Written by Josh Schwartz & Brian Oh

I’m not going to mince words here – Seth Cohen is ten thousand kinds of adorable as he juggles two women on Thanksgiving Day. But while Summer and Anna vie for his affections, Ryan goes back to the old neighborhood to settle a score for his brother. Those crazy Cohens down bottles of wine, pitchers of margs, and end up eating Chinese take-out as the day goes from perfectly pleasant to downright nutty. And even though Seth doesn’t win the heart of either girl that evening, he sure captured mine.

“Thespis” – Sports Night
Written by Aaron Sorkin

Dana test runs her Thanksgiving turkey by thawing it out on the light board, much to the confusion of the entire staff. Meanwhile, Dan and Casey celebrate their “anniversary”, Jeremy convinces the staff that a Greek ghost named Thespis is out to ruin their evening broadcast, and Isaac worries about his pregnant daughter after she’s unexpectedly rushed to the hospital. Maybe it’s Robert Guillaume’s quiet grace and maybe it’s because he’s what made Sports Night so amazing for me, because when he happily passes out cigars in honor of the birth of his healthy grandson? It’s a happy Thanksgiving indeed.

“Colorblind” – Alias
Written by Alex Kurtzman & Roberto Orci

I confess. I usually don’t watch this entire episode. Because really, the Thanksgiving part starts at around the 32-minute mark and that’s where I start, too. After a crappy day of saving the world, Sydney comes home to find an annoyed Francie burning Thanksgsiving dinner. What ensues is the sweetest gal pal cooking scene ever, a Thanksgiving proposal, and all-around good times. But the best scene comes at the very end as we see Jack’s icy exterior thaw just enough to give Syd a slight smile after she brings him Thanksgiving leftovers.

“The One Where Underdog Gets Away” – Friends
Written by Jeff Greenstein & Jeff Strauss

After everyone’s plans go awry, Monica makes Thanksgiving dinner with three kinds of potatoes (lumps, tots, with peas/onions) to mark their first holiday together. But all is not well for the gang as Joey deals the fallout from being cast in a VD prevention ad, Rachel misses her flight to Vail, dinner burns after an unfortunate (but hilarious) miscommunication, and Chandler relives his worst Thanksgiving ever. The “Got the keys?” vs. “Got the keys!” is still one of my favorite Friends moments.


4 thoughts on “Tryptophan Television

  1. Pingback: Tryptophan Television

  2. The one that’s missing from this list is “A Deep-Fried Korean Thanksgiving” from Gilmore Girls. Adam Brody playing hymns on his guitar to placate Mama Kim. Sookie, grieving over her perfect, wild-range, organic turkey being tossed into the deep fryer, drunk off her fanny while her relatives gleefully throw everything that isn’t bolted down into the fryer. Rory and Lorelei planning for not one, but three Thanksgiving dinners discovering in the end that they gave up the rolls for nothing. Ah. Good times.

  3. I *still* quote the “Got the keys?” vs. “Got the keys!” all the time. Brilliant television! Oh, and when Monica starts crying and “only dogs can hear her now”. Still cracks me up.

    Thanks for this! I miss all these shows.

  4. Pingback: The 10 Best Musical Moments in Television of 2007 « TV BACON

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