7 Most Awkward Thanksgiving Dinners From Film and Television

Monday, November 21 by

Son In Law

Every Thanksgiving, when people ask me what I’m thankful for, I immediately respond, “Pauly Shore.” It’s almost a reflex at this point. Considering Pauly Shore’s character, the awesomely-monikered “Crawl,” might be the most irritating houseguest in history (but he’s got a heart of gold!), it’s no wonder that tensions run a little high at Thanksgiving. This is doubly true after dinner, when he claims to have proposed to Becca, his host, so that she doesn’t get asked by her jerk boyfriend Travis. I hate Travis soooooo much!

Any time Pauly Shore gets punched and bleeds all over the dinner table, that’s an awkward Thanksgiving.


While we don’t get to see too much of the dinner itself, calling the journey to Thanksgiving dinner a trainwreck isn’t fair to trains. When free spirit Dutch (Ed O’Neil) picks up his girlfriend’s son, Doyle, and takes him from his boarding school in Georgia to Chicago, the proverbial shit hits the fan. There are not one, but two run-ins with pellet guns, lots of fireworks, racy playing cards, and one instance of Dutch’s dad, played by Shooter McGavin, getting punched in the face with Dutch’s ring hand.

It’s a great film if you can get past what a jerk Doyle is, which takes some time.

Planes, Trains, and Automobiles

Anytime Steve Martin unconsciously slides his hand in John Candy’s asscrack, that’s an awkward Thanksgiving. Despite the strict adherence to formula in this film, the characters are both likable enough, and the situations funny enough, that it manages to stand out among often-trite holiday fare.

The two strangers who meet through happenstance go on a disaster-riddled journey that involves a dense rental car lady, briefly turning into skeletons while driving between two trucks, and eventually just burning their rental car to the ground.

But it all works out in the end. Oops. Spoiler.

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