Home Viewing tips Our 5 best handpicked Thanksgiving movies (which are available on Netflix)

Our 5 best handpicked Thanksgiving movies (which are available on Netflix)

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One of the best Thanksgiving movies was just removed from Netflix, so while you can’t quote the “Those aren’t pillows!” scene from Planes, Trains and Automobiles, you can escape your family over these Thanksgiving movies. So before your mom asks you to help clear the table and you are forced to listen to rambling story from your Uncle Sal, cue up some traditional (and a few nontraditional) Thanksgiving films.

Adams Family ValuesAddams Family Values (1993)

Think your family is strange? Try the Addams Family. An adaptation of the classic television show, the movie features a summer camp Thanksgiving pageant ended when participants revolt and almost burn the camp’s resident mean girl at the stake. The movie’s main plot involves con artists trying to convince the Addams clan that their long-lost Uncle Fester has returned. In the film, you get acquainted with Lurch, Cousin It, and the rest of the Addams clan. Somehow Uncle Sal doesn’t seem quite so bad now, does he? A fantastic cast rounds out this movie including Raul Julia, Angelica Houston, Christine Baranski, Christina Ricci and Joan Cusack.  (Netflix link)

Charlie BrownThe Mayflower Voyagers (1988) 

What would a holiday be without a Peanuts special? Yes, the beloved characters even tackled Thanksgiving. Part of the “This is America, Charlie Brown” series, this special is now streaming on Netflix. Skip making the hand turkeys, and relive 5th grade Thanksgiving lessons with this trip back to the Pilgrim days. Unlike other Charlie Brown specials, this one actually features adults rather than just the children. The Mayflower Voyagers doesn’t skimp on facts either, showing the grim conditions of the Mayflower, death and sickness and all. The Peanuts gang encounters Squanto of the Pawtuxet tribe, and eventually makes preparation for the first Thanksgiving.  (Netflix link)

DutchDutch (1991)

One of the least-popular John Hughes movies, Dutch features the tale of a schlubby guy, his new girlfriend, and her spoiled child, Doyle. Ed O’Neil’s Dutch decides to be a hero and pick up Doyle from prep school and bring him home for Thanksgiving. Only Doyle is none too happy to meet his mother’s boyfriend, let alone travel with him. In true 90’s movie fashion, calamities ensue on this horrible road trip. A box office flop, this film has since inspired a somewhat cult following and multiple positive reviews on Netflix. If you’re a fan of John Hughes, you’ll definitely recognize the hallmarks of his writing on Dutch.  (Netflix link)

House of YesThe House of Yes (1997)

Unconventional yet highly recommended by many critics is the film The House of Yes. Based on the play by Wendy McLeod, the film centers on Marty and his twin sister, Jacqueline as Marty brings home his new girlfriend, Lesly, for Thanksgiving. Marty intends to marry the girl who he met shopping, but his family is both eccentric and wealthy. Jacqueline is newly-released from a psychiatric hospital and is obsessed with Jackie Kennedy; Jacqueline is referred to as “Jackie O” by her family. A tense battle of family drama and secrets set during the holidays, The House of Yes is a dark comedy that will make you grateful for your family, bad jokes and all. The movie stars Parker Posey, Josh Hamilton, Freddie Prinze Jr and Tori Spelling, who earned a Razzie nomination in 1997 for her “performance.”  (Netflix link)

Buffy Vampire SlayerBuffy the Vampire Slayer: Pangs (1999)

Although this is an episode of a television show and not a movie , this Thanksgiving streaming choice is one to consider. Everything at Buffy Summers’ Thanksgiving dinner is going haywire. Spike the vampire is on the run, people are getting ill, Buffy’s mother is out of town, and there are vengeful spirits from Native American tribes attacking everyone.  Just another Thanksgiving in Sunnydale!  Episode eight of the 4th season of Buffy the Vampire Slayer, “Pangs” features a very special holiday on the Hellmouth and will make you glad the most exciting thing at your Thanksgiving was two choices of pie!  (Netflix link)

With so many holiday films available, Thanksgiving movies are often overlooked in favor of Christmas favorites. However, our list gives you a chance for you to get your fill on Thanksgiving-centric streaming, and you can even come back for seconds without the guilt.


Name: Bri Ahearn is a freelance writer and podcaster from Cincinnati. She streams television and movies constantly, and will watch nearly anything, from obscure 80's movies to the newest Academy Award winner. She enjoys documentaries, comedies, and dramas. Some of her favorite films are Rear Window, Bonnie and Clyde and Notting Hill, plus anything Disney. She is one half of Other Side of the Mirror, a podcast for TV's Once Upon a Time. Visit her at @brimeetsbooks or brimeetsbooks.com.


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