No Thanks, Thanksgiving: Why isn’t there a “classic” Thanksgiving film?


The holidays will soon be upon us, and with them come all sorts of rituals and traditions in which families and individuals participate. Pop culture is a part of many of these time-honored acts, with people popping in their favorite holiday films and music to get them properly in the mood. And while there is a bevy of winter holiday film classics to choose from, why isn’t there a go-to Thanksgiving film? The day itself is rife with comic and dramatic possibilities, metaphors revolving around family or tradition, but there isn’t as deep a list of Thanksgiving films when compared to Christmas, Halloween, Valentine’s Day or even Fourth of July.

When asking people about their favorite Christmas films, there’s a wide host of answers, from “It’s A Wonderful Life,” “National Lampoon’s Christmas Vacation” and “A Christmas Story,” to alternative offerings like “Die Hard” and “Gremlins.” Heck, there’s even a whole subgenre of horror films set around Christmas like “Silent Night, Deadly Night,” “To All a Goodnight,” “Krampus” and “Black Christmas,” among many others. But when thinking about films that people watch during the Thanksgiving season, that number dries up pretty quickly. “Planes, Trains and Automobiles” is probably the closest to a “classic” film for the holiday, but even that really doesn’t deal with Thanksgiving at all (it culminates in attending the meal) and instead is more about holiday travel.

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