Today is Thanksgiving and that means plenty of food and plenty of downtime. Since many of us will spend the day hanging out on the couch and not everyone can watch football (or Nickelback performing at halftime). So forget all the Black Friday nonsense and watch the movies on our list of great Thanksgiving comedy movies.
A story that takes place between two Thanksgivings. We meet a trio of sisters, and shenanigans break loose once we learn that one’s husband falls in love with his sister-in-law. Husbands leave wives, crisis happens, and family tensions build. It was one of Woody Allen’s most successful films and even netted Academy Awards for best supporting actor (Michael Cane) and actress (Diane Weist).
What’s Thanksgiving without a little bit of family dysfunction? April (Katie Holmes), the oldest daughter in a highly dysfunctional family, lives in a small apartment in New York with her boyfriend Bobby (Derek Luke). She’s estranged from her family but decides to invite them all over to her small apartment for Thanksgiving dinner. What makes this gathering so special is that her mother is dying of breast cancer and it’s probably going to be her last. The film is a marathon of will April be able to make Thanksgiving dinner? Will she reconcile with her family? Will she give everyone food poisoning? Will her family like Bobby? Will April’s neighbor have a future job on the HBO series, The Wire?
Two neighbors and former friends turned rivals (over a stolen girlfriend) continue their years of pranking each other in the Minnesota wilderness. Both are now old and single and their rivalry kicks into high gear once a new love interest moves into town. Once family comes to visit for Thanksgiving everything gets interesting as we witness some of the most hilarious geriatric humor to ever exist on film.
When you think about this movie, you don’t think Thanksgiving, you think Al Pacino’s “huuhhhhh” catchphrase. Chris O’Donnell plays Charlie, a New England prep schooler who agrees to spend his Thanksgiving weekend looking after a retired Army Lt. Colonel Frank Slade (played by Pacino) in exchange for money to get home on Christmas.
What he learns is that Frank is a crotchety, blind alcoholic, who is also suicidal. The perfect recipe for Holiday shenanigans. Humor, jokes, and integrity follow in one of the last roles we remember Pacino completely kicking ass in before he just became a caricature of himself. This movie isn’t what many would instantly classify as a comedy, yet there are so many quotable funny parts that you shouldn’t get so wrapped up in the sugar business that you forget the taste of real honey!
One of two John Hughes penned movie on this list. It’s the classic tale of self-made businessman Dutch (Ed O’Neil) goes to pick up the son of his girlfriend at a private school in Georgia and bring him home to Chicago for Thanksgiving.
The kid (Ethan Embry) is a bastard and instantly butts heads with Dutch and sabotages much of the trip that includes gun play, money stolen, fireworks mishaps, car accidents, hitchhiking with prostitutes, and a homeless shelter. The two eventually bond and get home in time for Thanksgiving dinner and lessons are learned. Most importantly, that nothing burps better than bacon… and Ed O’Neil was at one point attempting to be the human incarnate of Homer Simpson.
Yes, a Pauly Shore move is on this list, it’s probably the only one I’d ever consider putting on the list so enjoy it why you can. Shore plays an LA weirdo Crawl who befriends farm girl Becca (Carla Gugino) who is experiences West Coast culture shock as she goes starts college.
Life changes pretty drastically come time for Becca to return home to the MidWest for Thanksgiving. Crawl comes along and small town hijinks ensue as Becca makes up the lie that she’s engaged to The Wease in order for her to avoid her high school sweetheart proposing. There’s farming jokes, hoedowns, things about wild birds, and cowboys. There’s also Kelly Kapowski and Encino Man cameos, which if you think about it makes it a meta movie before any of us knew that was even a thing.
Written, produced and directed by John Hughes, Planes, Trains, And Automobiles, follows Neal (Steve Martin), as a high-strung ad executive, who meets Del (John Candy), an overly talkative accident-prone shower ring curtain salesman. Through a series of travel mishaps, these two are set out on a three day journey for Neal to get from New York to Chicago in time for Thanksgiving dinner with his family…and you thought Due Date was an original premise.
Martin was rarely better and Candy was hitting with a string of comedy classics in a window that included Armed And Dangerous, Little Shop Of Horrors, Spaceballs, The Great Outdoors, Uncle Buck and Home Alone all being released in the span of about 5 years. Planes, Trains And Automobiles went down as one of his best.
…Those aren’t pillows!