7 Funny Movies To Enjoy This Thanksgiving

7 Funny Movies To Enjoy This Thanksgiving

Nov 14
7 Funny Movies To Enjoy This Thanksgiving

Thanksgiving is that wonderful time of the year when we eat too much, catch up with family and friends, and watch movies flaked out on the sofa while recovering from the big meal. Here is a list of funny films with Thanksgiving themes.

7 Thanksgiving Movies To Watch

Planes, Trains, And Automobiles

The traditional journey home for the Thanksgiving holiday forms the backbone of this 1987 John Hughes film. In this instance, Steve Martin is a high-strung marketing executive Neal Page and the effervescent late John Candy is a shower curtain salesman Del Griffith. The two join forces for an epic 3-day cross-country odyssey. Like most Hughes films, the comedy is broad – and the underlying sentiment is compassionate and touching. It remains a much-loved classic because, as Roger Ebert put it at the time: “It is perfectly cast and soundly constructed, and all else flows naturally.”

Free Birds

An animated 3D film with turkeys. In an effort to alter the traditional Thanksgiving massacre, a gang of radicalized Turkey Liberation fowls travel back in time. Voiced by the likes of Owen Wilson, Woody Harrelson and Amy Poehler, this 2013 critical flop actually, has some pretty good laughs if you keep your expectations under control. Maybe leave some distance between the meal and the viewing if you are prone to feelings of guilt.

Home For The Holidays

Actor Jodie Foster directed this comedy-drama about a single mother played by Holly Hunter. Other notable roles include Robert Downey Jr improvising madly as her gay brother, and a young Claire Danes as her teen daughter. The shooting of the Thanksgiving dinner scene famously used 64 turkeys in pursuit of what New York Times critic Janet Maslin dubbed “smothering verisimilitude”.

A Charlie Brown ThanksgivingThanksgiving Charlie Brown Decoration

This Emmy-winning animated TV special from the 70s gets resurrected by ABC each year on Thanksgiving night for a reason. The classic gang of ever young pals – Lucy, Linus, Snoopy, Woodstock, Peppermint Patty and Charlie Brown – deliver a history lesson while dining together. As usual cartoonist, Charles M Schulz’s storyline subversively addresses the class and social concerns that holidays like Thanksgiving tend to highlight. The laughs are gentle, but pointed – kind of suits the season, doesn’t it?

Funny People

An early effort from Judd Apatow, this 2009 comedy stars some of the director’s favorite regular performers, including Adam Sandler, Seth Rogen, Leslie Mann and Jonah Hill. A group of misfit comedy writers (one of whom thinks he is terminally ill) gathers for a family-free Thanksgiving dinner. It’s overly long (2.5 hours on the DVD version) and pretty off-color, so maybe not for the little kids.


A comedy road movie set in the days leading up to Turkey Day, Dutch is a sentimental flop that gets its laughs by accident. Starring Ed O’Neill (Married with Children) as Dutch Dooley, a potential step-dad who is tasked with escorting his girlfriend’s obnoxious and snotty son home from private school for the holidays. Oddly, this turkey was also directed by John Hughes, and it mirrors some of the bigger plot points of Planes, Trains, and Automobiles. Unfortunately, it gets wrong everything that the other movie gets right. It’s on this list to honor our shared understanding that sometimes there’s simply nothing funnier than a truly bad movie.

What’s Cooking?Thanksgiving turkey

Kitchen antics and turkey sight gags energize this anthology film about four diverse families (Vietnamese, Latino, Jewish and African-American) prepping for the big Thanksgiving Day feast. It’s overwrought at times, but the cast is stellar – Alfre Woodard, Mercedes Ruehl, Kyra Sedgewick, Maury Chaykin. There are pregnant lesbians (turkey basters, get it?), inter-faith love stories, dinner is ruined style mishaps and, of course, warm-hearted fuzzy happy endings. Directed by Gurinder Chadha, the Brit who gave us Bend It Like Beckham, the film was much-loved by critic Roger Ebert, who remarked on “…the spell the movie weaves. By its end, there is actually a sort of tingle of pleasure in seeing how this Thanksgiving ends, and how its stories are resolved”.