Holiday Break: 14 Thanksgiving Movies

Holiday Break: 14 Thanksgiving Movies

Thanksgiving in the United States is a national holiday that occurs on the fourth Thursday of November –– after one of the biggest bar nights of the year and before the official launch of the Christmas shopping season known as Black Friday.

On Thanksgiving, parades are broadcast in the morning, football games are broadcast in the afternoon and, meanwhile, families around the country reunite, reconnect and reflect on what they're thankful for. The day culminates in the evening with a shared feast of turkey, side dishes and pie.

Essentially, Thanksgiving is about family.

In this post, I’m going to share 14 movies that are about very different families in the days preceding, including or following Thanksgiving.


A Charlie Brown Thanksgiving

Peppermint Patty invites herself and a few friends over to Charlie Brown's house for Thanksgiving dinner and learns about the true meaning of Thanksgiving.

iTunes | Amazon


Hannah and Her Sisters

The interwoven stories of an extended family unfolds over 2 years –– starting and ending with Thanksgiving dinners.

iTunes | Amazon


Planes, Trains and Automobiles

An advertising executive desperately trying to get home to his family for Thanksgiving ends up on a three-day odyssey from New York to Chicago trip with a shower curtain ring salesmen.

iTunes | Amazon



A snobbish rich kid and his mother's new working-class boyfriend embark on a road trip from the boy's prep school in Atlanta to his mother's home in Chicago just before Thanksgiving.



Scent of a Woman

To pay for his flight home for Christmas, a college student accepts a temporary job over Thanksgiving weekend to assist a blind and overbearing retired U.S. Army Lieutenant Colonel.

iTunes | Amazon


Home for the Holidays

Upon losing her job and learning that her daughter plans to spend Thanksgiving with her boyfriend, a single mom returns home to spend Thanksgiving with her zany family.

iTunes | Amazon


The Myth of Fingerprints

A dysfunctional family reunites for Thanksgiving in Maine and the complexities of life, love and family ensue.



The House of Yes

A college student brings his fiancée home for Thanksgiving, but nothing goes as planned with his abnormal family.

iTunes | Amazon


The Ice Storm

Set during Thanksgiving weekend in 1973 suburban Connecticut, two dysfunctional upper-class families experiment with casual sex, alcohol and drugs to escape the social changes of the early 1970s.

iTunes | Amazon


What’s Cooking?

Four ethnically diverse families (African American, Jewish, Latino and Vietnamese) gather for Thanksgiving dinner.

iTunes | Amazon


Pieces of April

The family outcast invites her conservative family and dying mother for Thanksgiving dinner at her derelict apartment in New York's Lower East Side.

iTunes | Amazon


American Son

A 19-year old Marine is forced to confront his upbringing and adulthood during a 4-day Thanksgiving leave before his deployment to Iraq.

iTunes | Amazon



A rural Pennsylvania family celebrates for Thanksgiving with close friends, but the holiday festivities abruptly end when two of their children disappear.

iTunes | Amazon


Free Birds

Two turkeys travel back in time to change the course of history –– to remove turkey from the Thanksgiving menu.

iTunes | Amazon


You just learned about 14 movies that are about family at Thanksgiving. If you want to watch other movies that have memorable Thanksgiving scenes but aren't centered around Thanksgiving, get my free download –– The Ultimate Thanksgiving Movie Checklist.

What's your favorite Thanksgiving movie? Answer in the Comments below.

Holiday Break: 14 Thanksgiving Movies first appeared on the Culture Gaps Blog by Jeff Shibasaki.

Disclosure: Some of the links below are affiliate links, which means that if you click a link and make a purchase Culture Gaps will earn a very small commission –– at no additional cost to you.


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Jeff Shibasaki blogs about effective communication skills for the USA at Culture Gaps and healthy web design for unhealthy websites at Bento Sites.