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The 8 Best Thanksgiving Movies

The 8 Best Thanksgiving Movies

Now that we are officially past Halloween and all the candy, ghouls, and goblins that day brings with it, it’s officially the holiday season. The first holiday of this season of revelry is Thanksgiving.

Thanksgiving is a time to come together to see friends and family, reminisce about days gone by, and eat your weight in roasted turkey, cranberry sauce, stuffing, and green bean casserole. It’s also a time to play flag football and pretend that your whole body isn’t going to ache tomorrow as if you ran a marathon with a full-grown turkey draped on your back.

After all of that food, if you aren’t passed out in the middle of the living room floor, you’ll probably want to unbuckle your belt a notch or two and spend a few hours on the couch watching a classic Thanksgiving movie. Lucky for you, there are quite a few that fit that criterion. In fact, there are a handful of Thanksgiving-centric movies everyone should see at least once.

Some are straightforward Thanksgiving movies, some are about getting home in time for Turkey Day, and others simply have a scene or two that takes place on the day. Either way, these are movies you should see if you haven’t already. Keep scrolling to see eight Thanksgiving movies every guy (and gal) should see. Add them to your list for the big day this year. Watch one or (if you really eat too much and you feel like you need to digest for hours) have a marathon and watch them all.

son in law

Son In Law (1993)

Where to stream: YouTube, Amazon Prime, Apple TV
Every Thanksgiving calls for at least one viewing of this classic fish-out-of-water tale. It’s the story of a farm girl who brings her eccentric, over-the-top boyfriend (played in perfectly 90s-era charm by Pauly Shore) home to meet the family during Thanksgiving break from college. This oddball wasn’t the type of man her parents imagined her being with. Hilarity ensues.

four brothers

Four Brothers (2005)

Where to stream: Paramount+, YouTube, Amazon Prime, Apple TV
The titular “four brothers” in this film are played by Mark Wahlberg, Tyrese Gibson, André Benjamin, and Garrett Hedlund. These adopted brothers return home to Detroit after their mother is murdered. The brothers set out to find out what exactly happened and avenge their mother’s untimely demise.

The Big Chill (1983)

Where to stream: YouTube, Amazon Prime, Apple TV
This dramedy is centered around a group of college friends who attended the University of Michigan together. They come together for a long weekend fifteen years later after one of their friends commits suicide. The group consists of a journalist, an actor, a doctor her husband, and a Vietnam veteran. The weekend reveals old scars and brings up ghosts from the past.

grumpy old men

Grumpy Old Men (1993)

Where to stream: Paramount+, YouTube, Amazon Prime, Apple TV
With a name like ‘Grumpy Old Men’, you should have a pretty good idea about what you’re in for when you watch this comedy. The “grumpy old men” mentioned in the title of the film are played by Walter Matthau and Jack Lemon. They are neighbors who have known each other since childhood and have never gotten along. The whole situation is exasperated when a new female neighbor moves in and they both end up falling in love with her.

planes, trains, and automobiles

Planes, Trains, and Automobiles (1987)

Where to stream: Hulu, Paramount+, YouTube, Amazon Prime, Apple TV
If you only watch one Thanksgiving movie, make it ‘Planes, Trains, and Automobiles”. Not only is it arguably the best Thanksgiving movie ever made, but it’s also one of the best overall comedies. It’s the story of a tightly-wound executive played by Steve Martin who just wants to get home to Chicago for Thanksgiving. When his flight is rerouted to Wichita, he ends up being forced to find a way home while traveling with a loud, boisterous shower curtain ring salesman played by John Candy.

dan in real life

Dan In Real Life (2007)

Where to stream: Disney+, YouTube, Amazon Prime, Apple TV
Steve Carrell plays a widower named Dan Burns who writes a family advice column. Even with his job, he has trouble raising his daughters. The family visits his parents in Rhode Island for Thanksgiving and the arguing between everyone forces the depressed man to leave and hide at a bookstore. He begins to flirt with a woman only to later realize it’s his brother’s new girlfriend.


Rocky (1976)

Where to stream: Max, Amazon Prime, Apple TV
If you don’t think ‘Rocky’ is a Thanksgiving movie, then you must have forgotten the scene in which Rocky says “To you it’s Thanksgiving, to me it’s Thursday.” Oh yeah, it’s also the story of a local Philadelphia boxer who agrees to fight the reigning World Heavyweight Champion when his opponent is forced to bow out.

scent of a woman

Scent of a Woman (1992)

Where to stream: YouTube, Amazon Prime, Apple TV
Al Pacino plays retired Lieutenant Colonel Frank Slade, a man who has lost his ability to see. He’s a curmudgeon who few can spend too much time with. Charlie Simms (played by Chris O’Donnell) needs money to pay for a home from college for Christmas. He takes a job looking after Frank during Thanksgiving thinking the experience will be easy.

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