The 8 Best Thanksgiving Movies

That’s right, there are Thanksgiving movies. The holiday squished between the flashier Halloween and Christmas gets overlooked as a time of movie magic, but Thanksgiving is actually a perfect setting for family drama and slapstick comedy. Here are eight of the best Thanksgiving movies!

1. Planes, Trains, and Automobiles

This odd couple buddy comedy with Steve Martin and John Candy is an ‘80s classic. The two are stuck together traveling across the country over Thanksgiving weekend and — that’s right, kids! — they use several modes of transportation.

2. Scent of a Woman

Al Pacino won an Oscar for his role as a blind, retired, feisty, and honestly horny retired colonel who wants to go to New York for the Thanksgiving weekend with his paid college-age aide.

3. You’ve Got Mail

Do I really need to tell you why You’ve Got Mail is good? It stars America’s sweethearts Tom Hanks and Meg Ryan in one of the cutest classic ‘90s romantic comedies. Playing rival booksellers who fall in love online, Hanks and Ryan don’t know they’re catching feelings for their bookselling enemy. While You’ve Got Mail isn’t specifically a Thanksgiving movie, it features a great Thanksgiving scene so it counts.

4. Pieces of April

This low-budget movie starring Katie Holmes as a young woman living on her own trying to prepare Thanksgiving for her family is poignant, funny, and memorable. There are a lot of close-up shots of stuffing the turkey though which is a little hard to watch as a vegetarian.

5. Son In Law

THIS MOVIE IS THE BEST. I watched it, like, 300 times as a kid because it was one of my stepmom’s favorite movies. Son In Law dares to ask the question — who is the worst possible person to bring home to your parents for the holidays? It also dares to answer the question — Pauly Shore. The answer is Pauly Shore.

6. Miracle on 34th Street

Miracle on 34th Street is perfect for people who want to start Christmas at Thanksgiving (def me) because it’s a classic Christmas movie that opens at the Macy’s Thanksgiving Day Parade. Kris Kringle has to stand in for a drunken Santa, and soon beings to insist he really is Santa.

7. A Charlie Brown Thanksgiving

It’s all the Charlie Brown characters having Thanksgiving. You already know you want to watch it. I want to watch it right now.

8. Hannah and Her Sisters


In the alternate sci-fi universe of Hannah and Her Sisters, three sisters come together for Thanksgiving three years in a row. If you aren’t an adult, you probably don’t realize how unrealistic that is. This is one movie your parents would probably be pumped to watch with you over Thanksgiving, and they’ll be impressed at your taste and film knowledge.

What’s your favorite Thanksgiving movie? Tweet me recommendations @erikaheidewald.

Erika Heidewald
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