Another year, another Thanksgiving. Will your celebrations include out-of-left-field political tirades? Subtly vicious passive-aggressive digs? Your aunt's weird casserole that you choke down annually? Who knows! But I do know that whatever happens, it probably won't be as bad as the Turkey Day celebrations you're seconds away from reading about.
1."Last year, all the grandkids came over and they are toddlers. They ran around the house most of the night before Thanksgiving in a pack, screaming and causing chaos and disorder. Eventually, they made their way to the mantle above the fireplace where they discovered a box that they just couldn’t resist picking up and opening. The oldest one grabbed handfuls of gray dust out of the box and started throwing it up in the air in the living room, yelling out 'it's snowing, Mommy!' while my aunt stared in shock and horror. Apparently, the kids found the ashes of our aunt’s old cat and couldn't help but spread the love."
ABC / Via giphy.com
2."This was back in the 80s — AKA, no Google. We finished our Thanksgiving dinner and everyone was cleaning up. Somehow, a button broke off of the dishwasher, so my grandfather grabbed some superglue to fix it. He ended up gluing his hand to the door of the dishwasher. The adults tried to free him, to no avail, so my father had to quite literally dismantle the dishwasher door with his father's hand superglued to the front of it. He carried the door — with my grandfather attached — to the back of our station wagon, and brought the conjoined duo to our local emergency room. They waited for several hours, only to be set free by a nurse who happened to have nail polish remover in her locker."
3."After my parents divorced, my mom was dating a new guy that I really didn’t like. He yelled a lot, had a mean sense of humor, and I was, like, seven. They took a trip together before the holiday and then we all went to Thanksgiving dinner a few weeks later at my aunt's. I was in the middle of making my plate when my aunt asked, 'Aren’t you so glad they got married?' They went to Vegas and got married without telling me. I now have big trust issues."
4."My mother and her mother decided to go out for Thanksgiving dinner one year, and I was away at college. They ended up sitting at the bar while they waited for a table and had a few drinks and apps. After the second round of martinis, my mother looked over and my grandmother was leaning back in her chair, completely limp and unresponsive. Everyone freaked out, called the paramedics, called me, and my grandma was rushed to the hospital..."
"I'm ready to book plane tickets and rush to the airport when mom calls back and says 'Don't worry, everything's OK! Your grandmother just got drunk.'
Her blood test came back completely normal, except for a BAC of 0.24 — three times the legal limit. My grandma is 90 years old, about 4'8", and 100 pounds. She hadn't eaten anything all day because she knew they were having a big dinner. She also ordered another martini while no one was looking, so the second martini was actually her third."
5."One year, we had Thanksgiving dinner at my mother-in-law's house who lives just down the street. Two bites into my meal, my Ring doorbell alerted me to someone at my door. I pulled it up and caught an old man I'd never seen before entering my house. I bolted out of my chair and ran home, down the street. When I got there, no one was inside. I pulled up the video and saw that he exited like 20 seconds after he entered, quietly grumbling 'hrrrm, wrong house!' The funny thing was, as we were leaving for dinner I thought to myself: Did I lock the front door? What are the odds?!"
6."Three years ago, my mom had surgery to remove her breast cancer tumor the week of Thanksgiving, which meant that I was in charge of cooking for our small family of four. I was excited to make homemade mashed potatoes, but in my grocery shopping I picked up sweetened condensed milk instead of evaporated milk. The beautiful mashed potatoes I had imagined could have been used to spackle a wall; they were that thick. I stood in the kitchen and bawled because I thought I had ruined Thanksgiving while my mom was recovering from surgery. My dad, who is not a touchy-feely man, came to hold me and tell me everything was going to be OK. Of course that made me cry even more. We can all laugh about it now, but that was a very stressful year."
7."On the most traumatizing Thanksgiving I've ever experienced, my dad's then-new girlfriend randomly blurted out that my dad has a 'thick penis' at the dinner table — in the presence of all his kids, their significant others, and his sister. I'd never seen a woman in her 40s turn that shade of red after she registered what she said."
8."My cousins and I were on the stairwell with a direct view of the kitchen while all the grownups were in the other room. My aunt reached in to put a casserole dish into the oven. Suddenly, we saw a ball of flame burst out, and my aunt shot backward. We were stunned. My aunt stood straight up and laughed and walked over to us like it was no big whoop. My cousin asked, 'Mom, what happened to your eyebrows?'"
"My aunt got closer. Everything on her was singed, including the lace around her apron, and her bangs were frizzled, sticking out all over. Slowly it dawned on the entire family that my aunt had turned the gas oven on before lighting the pilot. Basically, the entire house could have blown up. Much concern. My aunt refused to go to the hospital. While serving dinner later, she looked down and said, 'Huh. I thought I put pantyhose on today.' They had evaporated."
9."One year, my grandmother's dog literally died an hour before dinner."
10."We refer to this as the Thanksgiving From Hell. I was sleeping on the floor (house was full of relatives, you know) and I woke up to my aunt SCREAMING bloody murder from the bathroom. She was taking a shower, and the plumbing backed up through the tub. It was, quite literally, shitty water. We had to shut the water off and finish the cooking at several different neighbors' houses. To make matters worse, we couldn't reach a plumber until the following Monday. My uncle was staying at a hotel and wouldn't let a single one of us use his room to use the bathroom or to shower. We had to take car loads of family members to the literal gas station to use the bathroom. So, I went back to college all gross from days of no showering."
"Turns out the plumbing issue was a city-wide problem and they had to excavate the entire street in front of our house, so the whole ordeal was expensive, messy, and left such a scar on my family that none of my relatives have been invited back since. We have small, immediate family-only Thanksgivings now, and they are so much better."
11."One year, I was showing off the brand new telescope I'd recently purchased to all of my cousins. Unfortunately, that's also the year that my cousin decided to come out as a Flat Earther."
12."Last Thanksgiving, I was nervous about COVID raging through my state while hosting a gathering of many people in a small house. So I bought at-home test kits for everyone to test themselves — just an extra layer of reassurance. A relatively minor request, right? No. You would think I had asked them for one of their limbs. The hostility, the passive aggression, the disrespect. So...there I sat, alone, with a pile of extra tests and a profound disinterest in spending time with those people ever again."
13."A few Thanksgivings ago, my 17-year-old cousin stood up in the middle of dinner and announced that he got a girl pregnant and that she was keeping the baby. Most people laughed until about 30 awkward seconds went by and one by one we started realizing that he was, in fact, serious. My 80-year-old grandma who hasn’t had a drink of alcohol in over a decade drank wine straight out of the bottle after."
14."My 12-year-old cousin refused to eat all of the food that my 80-year-old grandma spent the whole day making because it 'wasn’t Brazilian.' For context, his parents are 100% Italian. We do not have any Brazilian relatives."
"His parents are brain surgeons so they’re loaded, and their excuse was that he doesn’t eat homemade stuff — only 'high end' food? I had no idea what that had to do with Brazilian food, but I assumed that it was just some sort of phase. In hindsight, I don’t even think he’d had Brazilian food before."
15."My mom always has a specific menu planned out for the holidays, and every year my grandmother brings a not-very-good mac 'n' cheese (that my mom never asks her to bring). One year, my grandmother brought her mac 'n' cheese, per usual, but my mom REFUSED to bake it, or even serve it. She kept saying 'we already have a cheesy carb' and tried to say we didn't have enough oven space...even though we had an entire second oven that wasn't being used."
16."I was living with my mom and stepdad while I was going through a divorce. My dad and his wife invited me over for Thanksgiving dinner. I went alone — without my kids and then-husband — and it was the worst thing I ever did. Instead of comforting me, my stepmom proceeded to tell me that I didn't need a man because all they do is steal from you, then scolded me for not going to college and getting a 'real job.' Apparently, if I'd done that, I 'wouldn't need a real man.' She promised me that my ex-to-be would take everything from me and then file for bankruptcy, which I'd have to pay."
"I understand some things she said were to help me, but she's always managed to hurt my feelings ever since I was a kid. She has always made me feel worthless — no matter what I do. I only put up with her because I love my dad and I want to see him whenever I can."
17."Many years ago, my former mother-in-law met me at the door with a roll of paper towels and a bottle of window cleaner. She said her new tradition was for me to wash the outside of all of the windows."
18.And finally: "One year, my sister hosted Thanksgiving for our entire extended family. She set up the buffet on her glass-top breakfast table because it was round and easy for people to walk around while they made their plates. Unfortunately, she forgot that heat + glass = disaster."
"Halfway through the meal, there was a huge BOOM. The glass table had cracked in half and all the hot dishes on it hit the ground. Luckily, everyone had already made their plates...but my sister obviously had to get a new table. It was the only leftover-less Thanksgiving we've ever had."