Stuffed? Kick back with the best Thanksgiving TV shows and movie - WBCB: The Valley's CW |

Stuffed? Kick back with the best Thanksgiving TV shows and movies to stream

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By Christine Persaud


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With bellies full of turkey and fixings, and a potential football blowout underway, sometimes the most satisfying way to spend Thanksgiving is to park your butt on the couch and stream to your heart’s content.

Thanksgiving doesn’t have quite the wealth of shows and movies that Halloween or Christmas do, but there are some holiday-themed treasures available if you know where to look. Unfortunately, most of the classic movies are rental only (that’s how they get you), but on the bright side, Google Play will be offering all of its movie rentals for just $1 on Thanksgiving day. We’ve gathered all the essentials, along with some excellent TV episodes available to stream on Hulu and Netflix so you can get your Turkey Day stream on.

TV

‘Friends,’ ‘The One with All the Thanksgivings’

best thanksgiving movies friends all the thanksgivings

The friends of Friends have a long, complicated history, and The One with All the Thanksgivings explores their intertwined pasts, as the characters flashback to previous Thanksgivings, showing how they have changed over the years. It’s also an important episode in the development of Monica and Chandler’s relationship, with one of the most memorable endings in the series.

Watch now on:
Netflix

‘Friends,’ ‘The One with Chandler in the Box’

best thanksgiving movies friends chandler in a box

Friends is one of the few shows that refused to miss a Thanksgiving, so, of course, we’ve added another classic pick from the series here. Who could forget Chandler’s indiscretion that prompted him to literally lock himself in a box to earn back the love of his platonic partner, Joey? It’s time to bask in the simpler time of the aughts with a double dash of Friends-giving.

Watch now on:
Netflix

‘South Park,’ ‘Helen Keller! The Musical’

The golden age of South Park brought one of TV’s best Thanksgiving episodes, in which the fourth graders of South Park Elementary prepare to put on a rendition of The Miracle Worker for the school’s Thanksgiving showcase. When Butters tells them that he just spied on the kindergartner’s play, and it was incredible, the fourth graders decide to pull out all the stops. Reworking the play into a musical turns out to be the first of many ridiculous attempts to up the ante, and a precursor of sorts for Trey Stone and Matt Parker’s musical compositions to come. South Park is known for political commentary, but the show is at its best — as it is here — when it takes a mundane concept and runs all the way into absurdity.

Watch it now on:
Hulu

‘The West Wing,’ ‘Shibboleth’

Life in the White House is never breezy, even during the holidays. As President Jed Bartlet prepares for the annual pardoning of a turkey, a shipping container full of refugees lands on the California coast. The refugees claim to be persecuted Christians seeking asylum from the Chinese government, prompting an international crisis. It’s an episode that showcases the many faces of Bartlet, who must be America’s cheerful head of state while navigating the country’s precarious relationship with China. As is usual for The West Wing, it also features witty banter and an inspiring speech about the American dream.

Watch it now on:
Netflix

‘Bob’s Burgers,’ ‘Turkey in a Can’

best thanksgiving movies bob s burgers turkey in can

This episode is a bit of a heartstring-tugger, as it gets into the family warm-and-fuzzies at the end, yet still offers plenty of hilarity — Bob’s back-and-forth with the deli guy at the supermarket is some of the best repartee the series has to offer. If you haven’t yet seen this one, get ready for a treat that goes well beyond your turkey dinner.

Watch it now on:
Hulu

‘Bob’s Burgers,’ ‘An Indecent Thanksgiving Proposal’

Yes, there are also two Bob’s Burgers choices on the list, but that’s because, like Friends, the show has multiple Thanksgiving specials (including a new one for season 9) and they’re all pretty fantastic. Thanksgiving is generally a family affair, so what to do if you don’t have a family? Rent someone else’s, naturally. That’s what Bob’s landlord, Mr. Fischoeder (Kevin Kline), does in this very special episode, offering Bob’s family five months of free rent if they pretend to be his family so he can make an old flame jealous. It’s another hilarious episode, and Linda’s Thanksgiving song alone is worth the watch.

Watch it now on:
Hulu

‘It’s Always Sunny in Philadelphia,’ ‘The Gang Squashes Their Beefs’

For most people, Thanksgiving is a time to be thankful. For the members of the gang on Always Sunny, it’s a time to reflect on just how awful they have been over the years. After some old foes hinder their Thanksgiving plans, Dennis, Mac, Dee, Charlie, and Frank realize they have too many enemies, and decide to bury some hatchets (literally, in one instance). The Gang Squashes Their Beefs is a fun episode, full of throwbacks to classic Always Sunny plots.

Watch it now on:
Hulu

Movies

‘Pieces of April’ (2003)

The only “free” movie on our list (with a Prime subscription, that is) is an offbeat choice but an interesting one. Katie Holmes plays the titular April in this film about a rebellious woman who invites her dysfunctional family to celebrate Thanksgiving with her in the New York City apartment she calls home. With her dying mother en route along with the rest of her estranged family, April struggles to create a meal that will bring them all together and heal old wounds. Holmes is joined in the cast by Oliver Platt and Alison Pill, as well as Patricia Clarkson in the role of April’s terminally ill mother.

Watch it now on:
Amazon Prime

‘Planes, Trains and Automobiles’ (1987)

Widely regarded as one of the greatest Thanksgiving movies ever made, this comedy casts Steve Martin as an uptight marketing executive whose attempt to get home to Chicago from New York City for the holiday is thwarted by one misadventure after another. He’s joined on the journey by an overly talkative (and annoyingly cheerful) salesman played by John Candy. The film was written, produced, and directed by celebrated filmmaker John Hughes, who knows a thing or two about great comedies.

Watch it now on:
Google Play Amazon

‘Scent of a Woman’ (1992)

While looking for some quick work over the Thanksgiving weekend to help pay for a flight home, New England prep school student Charlie Simms (Chris O’Donnell) happens upon Frank Slade (Al Pacino), a blind retired Army Ranger lieutenant colonel who suffers from alcoholism and is in a dark place. In a sweet turn of events, the two help each other through their own respective issues, and an unlikely bond forms. This film is an absolute classic, and Pacino won his only Oscar for his performance.

Watch it now on:
Google Play Amazon

‘Home for the Holidays’ (1995)

Thanksgiving is all about family dysfunction and awkward meals, right? This film has all that in spades. Single mother Claudia Larson (Holly Hunter) returns home for Thanksgiving dinner after having just lost her job. Her daughter, Kitt (Claire Danes), meanwhile, who decided to stay home, intends to go “all the way” with her boyfriend over the holiday. Great. Despite plenty of familial tension and a mysterious new person at the dinner table, an unexpected love story emerges.

Watch it now on:
Google Play Amazon

‘Miracle on 34th Street’ (1947)

Yes, yes, we know this iconic film is first and foremost a Christmas movie, but you may remember it actually begins at the Macy’s Thanksgiving Day parade, when Kris Kringle (Edmund Gwenn) is forced to stand in for a drunken Santa at the last minute — and that makes it a great bridge straight into the holiday season. Kringle’s unconventional methods win the hearts of the people, but the department store management begins to worry when he begins to express that he really is Santa. Is he delusional? Mentally ill? Or, could it be that he really is the true Mr. Claus?

Watch it now on:
Google Play Amazon


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