Thanksgiving stories are the best stories, and I won't be hearing any other opinions at this time, thankyouverymuch. If you've ever sat down for a Thanksgiving dinner with your family and friends, I'm confident you have a few very memorable ones that you'll continue to tell for years. To be clear, when I say "memorable," that can mean many things.
For that very reason, members of the BuzzFeed Community as well as Redditors shared their wildest-ever Thanksgiving stories — from the WTF moments I can hardly comprehend, to the ~spiciest~ family drama...and even a couple that genuinely brought a tear to my eye. Y'all, these are...a lot.
(And if you have any of your own to add this year, let us know in the comments below. 👇)
1. "One glorious Thanksgiving, my mom and aunt decided to try edibles. Naturally, they made the rookie mistake of eating another after only *fifteen minutes* — because 'they're not doing anything!' Fast forward two hours, and Mom is in full panic mode about whether or not the local ducks she feeds (daily) will 'starve overnight' because there's no way she's 'in any fit state to go out and feed them,' and my aunt is waking my uncle up every half-hour and asking him to tell her whether or not she's still breathing."
2. "My dad bought a Ron Popeil 'Set It And Forget It' rotisserie oven one year just so he could make our Thanksgiving turkey that way. He got SO excited and invited the whole family over, of course..."
3. "During a childhood Thanksgiving, my mom’s candles caught the kitchen curtains and some decorative greenery on fire. My sister, my cousins and I were at the 'kid’s table' — in the kitchen — while the adults were in the dining room...so no one of significance noticed anything except me. Before we started eating, my mom threatened us with pain of death if we 'annoyed' the adults during dinner. So, when the fire got out of hand, I quietly walked to the dining room and stood silently for a minute or two, until someone noticed me. Only then did I POLITELY say, 'sorry, but the kitchen’s on fire.'"
"My mom still gives me grief about my prioritizing politeness over sense."
4. "My grandpa and grandma got divorced, and grandpa eventually remarried. One Thanksgiving, during the 'what are you most thankful for' portion of dinner, my not-so-well grandpa stood up and declared that he regretted letting my grandma divorce him, and that it was 'the biggest mistake' of his life. Right in front of his new wife."
5. "A family friend, who happened to be lesbian, thought it would be a good idea to carry at least 20 plates across the living room before Thanksgiving dinner. In a shocking surprise to absolutely no one, she dropped all of the plates onto the floor. Then my grandfather, who barely knows this friend, says the most infamous words in our familiy's history — 'You know those lesbians. Slippery fingers.'"
6. "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."
"It was suuupppeerrr awkward. My grandmother never even mentioned the dish's absence at the meal."
7. "A few years ago, my brother and I were tasked with making centerpieces for the Thanksgiving table. Honestly, we made really beautiful pieces — primarily featuring faux leaves. Well, during dinner, real candles were used in the center of them, resulting in mini fires all along the tables, halfway through dinner. Nothing like a bunch of incinerated fake leaves to make you realize you fucked up, big time."
8. "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."
9. "Back when I was a kid, I thought it would be a funny prank to put a rubber chicken in the oven on Thanksgiving. My mom would laugh and laugh — 'Ho ho ho, there's a rubber chicken in the oven! What a gag!' 13-year-old me didn't realize that normal adults usually preheat the oven before putting the turkey in."
10. "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."
11. "About two years ago we had my mom's brother and his family over for Thanksgiving. I loved them! So sweet, and so funny...but they were very secretive within their own family and never, ever shared personal details with each other."
"We do this thing, like many families do, where we go around the dinner table to say what we're thankful for. Completely normal. After a few too many glasses of wine, my uncle decided to share how grateful he was for the nurses in the hospital that took care of my aunt when she had a heart attack a few weeks before Thanksgiving...but NONE of my cousins knew she had a heart attack, or that she was even taking medication for it. They literally DID NOT KNOW their own MOTHER had a heart attack, because 'they don't share information like that.'"
12. "I remember one Thanksgiving when everyone was crazy drunk and fighting. I literally escaped through the bedroom window and drove away with an entire pie."
"Happy ending. 😌"
13. "My husband was an only child of divorced parents. His father loved me, but his mother couldn't stand me. To be clear — the woman couldn't stand anybody. She was a horrible person. On this particular Thanksgiving, we'd been married about six years. My mother-in-law cooked a nice turkey dinner, and we sat down to eat. We filled our plates, and I had one forkful of food in my mouth when my husband asked my mother-in-law what she would like for Christmas..."
"My mother-in-law looked directly at me, pointed her fork at my face, and said: 'Well, I don't know why you bother asking me, because since you married HER, you never buy me what I want anyway.' My husband put his fork down on his plate very carefully, stood up, and said "fine, then you don't need HER sitting at your dining room table. We're leaving.' And we got up and left Thanksgiving dinner.
It took her two entire days to call and apologize."
14. "My mother and grandmother had restaurant reservations for Thanksgiving last year, but very last-minute, my sister somehow convinced them to go somewhere else. Of course, this means no reservations, but my sister is convinced that 'it'll be fine,' and they might just have to 'wait a few minutes' for a table. Mind you — I live in another state, so I get to experience what I'm about to tell from a distance..."
"They end up sitting at the bar while waiting for a table, and have a few drinks and apps. After the second round of martinis, my mother looks over and my grandmother is leaning back in her chair, completely limp and unresponsive.
Everyone freaks out, paramedics are called, and grandma is rushed to the ER. I'm 1,200 miles away when my mother calls to tell me what happened. At this point, grandma is at the ER, still unresponsive, with crazy-low blood pressure and a very high heart rate. 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."
15. "Being the gay Martha Stewart-wannabe that I am, I hosted Thanksgiving for years — dutifully preparing everything from scratch. It was stressful. So, one year I told my older sister that it was her turn to do it for once. She glibly mentioned how 'easy' it was, and gave me a passing glance that I took to be a dig. Next thing you know, her husband is carving the cooked turkey...and he feels something strange."
16. "My grandmother ran over herself with her SUV. I was on my way to the Thanksgiving festivities when it happened, so I don't know the exact details, but I do know that she was getting food out from the back of her car, put it in neutral instead of park, and it *slowly* ran her over. The craziest part is that my family — all inside — didn't notice until they heard a bump against the house. The SUV made three loops before hitting the house. She ended up being totally fine, but she's obviously not allowed to go outside alone during the holidays anymore."
"This story is now an 'oh, Grandma!' moment in our family."
17. "When my husband was a kid, they traded off on hosting Thanksgivings between his mom and her sisters. One year, they all showed up to his aunt’s house, and after an hour of appetizers and small talk, his dad commented that he couldn’t 'smell the turkey cooking.' That’s when my husband’s aunt revealed that they were having fondue for dinner. Because she doesn’t like turkey."
"No joke, every single person left."
18. "My dad had an allergic reaction to shrimp cocktail before dinner, and his face blew up. He refused to come out of the kitchen or sit at the table with us. He was just eating his food in the kitchen and trying to act like things were totally normal, like yelling out “hey, good mashed potatoes this year, huh?” Meanwhile, my mom is angry-crying at the table, telling us to 'just eat [our] fucking food that [she] worked all day on.' All of us kids are just very scared, and very, very confused. My sister starts crying because things are so weird, and no one wants to eat because there is so much tension."
"Eventually, my mom convinces my dad that she needs to take him to the ER. My high school senior brother took the bottle of wine and shared it with seventh grade me, and got me drunk for the first time. My parents came home from the ER to me throwing up on the bathroom floor."
19. "My mom dominated the Thanksgiving dinner conversation for a solid 45 minutes...about how everyone should be drinking their pee."
"She read in some yoga book about how it cures some infection called 'Bali belly' that you get in places like, you guessed it, Bali, but stressed that it's actually 'just really helpful' for all sorts of shit. She went way into detail about how you have to 'catch it mid-stream of the first pee of the morning,' blah, blah, blah. By the end, she was defending it SO THOROUGHLY that she said she was going to start tomorrow morning. She never did, and now she denies the conversation lasted more than five minutes, and insists that everyone was 'egging her on.'"
20. "My sister and I tend to play-fight and roughhouse, even as grown ass adults, and we always take it way too far. We were both competitive fighters, so it wasn’t hair pulling or the like — it was choke holds and grappling, since we weren’t allowed to close-hand punch or kick each other. One Thanksgiving, when we were both in our late teens, she came out of nowhere and shoved me onto the floor and into the pantry. I, being kind of pissed, chase after her and double leg take-down her into the whole damn collapsible table full of Thanksgiving food. She goes flying, the food goes flying, and we get cussed out for a good twenty minutes straight."
21. "When I was a little kid, I asked to say the Thanksgiving dinner prayer — it was a big honor to get to say it. My family was also notorious for fighting, so I said my little prayer all nice and cute...then ended with a smart-ass 'God, please let my family act normal today and not fight.' Before I could even blink my eyes open, my German grandmother slapped me across the face really hard, which pissed my mother off. Lots of yelling, and then we left."
22. "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 all the way 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."
23. "We're celebrating Thanksgiving years ago, and my cousins and I were upstairs watching TV while the adults were downstairs cooking. My cousin — who we'll call Max — was notorious for stripping down to only his undies at any possible opportunity. That Thanksgiving, Max decided to strip down to his undies and wrestle with my other cousin. All of a sudden punches were being thrown, so Max (still partially-naked) runs downstairs in front of everyone, in only his underwear. Genius kid, right? Anyway, he slipped and fell in the middle of the kitchen. My uncle, Jack, who was holding a hot tray of mashed potatoes, tripped on Max and spilled them all over his partially-naked body. Cue my grandmother screaming 'WHY IS MY NAKED GRANDSON COVERED IN MASHED POTATOES,' and my grandfather replying 'eh, stranger things have happened...like when we found out about Jack's half sister.'"
"So anyway, that how my uncle's kids found out about their half-aunt."
24. "One of the last years we had my 90-year-old grandma over for Thanksgiving, my entire family got totally hysterical during dessert. Someone would tell a pretty ordinary story, and we wouldn't be able to stop laughing. It was the most fun we'd ever had together at a holiday — but, as it turns out, we were all stoned. Unbeknownst to us, my brother put weed into his pie. 🙄"
25. "25 years ago, my son was born in early November. Two weeks later, we went to my mom's house for Thanksgiving — it's important to know that everyone on her side of the family is very prim and proper. During dinner, my brother took my two-week-old son to check his diaper. He came back with the diaper in hand, saying 'it doesn't look right.' He proceed to SMELL it, and said something was wrong. So, he tasted it."
"Everyone absolutely flipped out...but he filled a clean diaper with pumpkin pie filling. It was hilarious."
If you have a memorable Thanksgiving story you're dying to share, let us know about it in the comments. 🍗
Note: Submissions have been edited for length and/or clarity.