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Posted at 12:30 AM ET, 11/25/2010

The five pieces of Thanksgiving pop culture that make every Turkey Day complete

By Jen Chaney

This Thanksgiving, we at Celebritology are thankful for so much.

We are thankful that Jennifer Grey won "Dancing With the Stars" and once again emerged from that famous corner in which people perpetually put her.

We are thankful that (fingers crossed) conversation this Thanksgiving weekend will be focused on gossip about the royal wedding instead of gossip about Tiger Woods's adultery-related car accident.

We're thankful for Gwyneth Paltrow, now available in both insouciant and irresistible editions.

But above all, as we are every year, we are thankful for the enduring Thanksgiving pop culture traditions that get more delicious with each passing year. What are they? Stop brining and basting for a second and we'll share our five favorites.

1. "A Charlie Brown Thanksgiving"

Its quality doesn't match "A Charlie Brown Christmas" or "It's the Great Pumpkin, Charlie Brown." But for anyone who's ever fantasized about serving toast, popcorn and pretzel sticks on Thanksgiving, this holiday special is like a lovely, animated, Snoopy-in-a-chef's-hat dream come true. It also provides the ideal opportunity to remind Peppermint Patty that a person really can't complain about the quality of her Thanksgiving dinner when she: a. invites herself to said Thanksgiving dinner and b. shows up wearing flip-flops. Why don't you ponder those etiquette tips, sir? (By the way, you can watch "A Charlie Brown Thanksgiving" via the Hulu clip above, or tonight on ABC when the network re-airs the show at 8 p.m. EST.)

2. Adam Sandler's "Thanksgiving Song"

The highbrow answer to "What's the best Thanksgiving song?" is "Alice's Restaurant" by Arlo Guthrie. The real answer, for most people? Adam Sandler's "The Thanksgiving Song." Because as brilliant as an 18-minute commentary on the Vietnam draft might be, it loses every time to "Gobble gobble goo and gobble gobble gickle/I wish turkey only cost a nickel."

3. The Macy's Thanksgiving Day Parade

Excessive promotion of NBC programming and Broadway shows. Cheesy, badly executed lip synching. Marching band after marching band. Yes, the Macy's parade is pretty predictable. But then every once in a while it surprises you -- as it did in 2008 -- with an unexpected Rick Rolling. And that's why we'll be watching again this morning, just in case of an Astley sighting.

4. "Planes, Trains and Automobiles"

There are numerous, thoroughly enjoyable Thanksgiving movies. But perhaps the most satisfying sight on Thanksgiving Day -- after you've successfully navigated the interstates and can happily burrow into a corner of your parents' sofa, all cozy and full of tryptophan -- is Steve Martin and John Candy, struggling hilariously to make it home for the big meal. And no, those still aren't pillows.

5. The "Turkeys Away" episode of "WKRP in Cincinnati"

I love Starvin' Marvin. I heart the Thanksgiving fourth-season finale of "Friday Night Lights." I'd totally eat the trifle Rachel serves in one of the many Thanksgiving episodes of "Friends," even if it does taste like feet. And, of course, it goes without saying that I'd happily heave mashed potatoes in the "Cheers" Thanksgiving Day food fight if given the chance.

All that being said, the King of Thanksgiving TV Episodes remains the "WKRP" installment in which turkeys are launched out of a helicopter in the most ill-conceived radio promotion of all time. As a Thanksgiving Day gift to you, here's the episode in its entirety. So enjoy, and remember that turkeys should never be used as bombs at the Pinedale Shopping Mall.

By Jen Chaney  | November 25, 2010; 12:30 AM ET
Categories:  Pop Culture  
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Next: Happy Black Friday, see you on Monday


Interesting News! I just now printed Coupons of my Favorite Brands at

Posted by: terriabreu | November 25, 2010 1:53 AM | Report abuse

Happy Thanksgiving, Jen Chaney.

"And I was sittin' there on the Group W bench, with all kinds of mean, nasty, horrible people, and one of them came up to me and said, 'Kid, what'd you get?' and I said, 'I didn't get nothing - I had to pay fifty dollars and clean up the garbage,' and they said, 'No, Kid, what are you in for?' and I said, 'littering,' and they all moved away from me on the Group W bench until I said, 'and creating a nuisance,' and they all came back and slapped me on the back and we had a great time, smoking cigarettes, talking about crime and mother-raping and father stabbing."

Posted by: byoolin1 | November 25, 2010 7:59 AM | Report abuse

Also, that *is* interesting news, terri. Now why don't you print yourself a coupon for 10 pounds of Go F*** Yourself?

Posted by: byoolin1 | November 25, 2010 8:08 AM | Report abuse

Happy Thanksgiving all. I am especially thankful for their C0-Majesties Liz and Jen and all the Lizards.

One other piece of Thanksgiving pop culture -- football. Lions and Cowboys (not playing each other Liz). The night game is too new to be a tradition yet.

Enjoy the holiday however you celebrate.

Posted by: epjd | November 25, 2010 10:39 AM | Report abuse

i everything want you see go to ready love you keep yourself said hot sex 90 vh1 joy watkins pokemon red and blue versions nintendo gameboy pikachu mewtwo and charizard.

Posted by: demonterius | November 25, 2010 1:26 PM | Report abuse

i everything want you see go to ready love you keep yourself said hot sex 90 vh1 joy watkins pokemon red and blue versions nintendo gameboy pikachu mewtwo and charizard.

Posted by: demonterius | November 25, 2010 1:28 PM | Report abuse

I see that we're going to need another coupon.

Posted by: byoolin1 | November 25, 2010 2:40 PM | Report abuse

Bon jour, byoolin!

Posted by: Nosy_Parker | November 25, 2010 4:27 PM | Report abuse

Howdy, ep! Sure wish Detroit had won...

Posted by: Nosy_Parker | November 25, 2010 4:30 PM | Report abuse

Happy Thanksgiving, Lizards!

-Snarky Squirrel

Posted by: 7900rmc | November 25, 2010 5:20 PM | Report abuse

Listening to "Alice's Restaurant", of course!
since when is "Trains, Planes and Automobiles" a holiday tradition?!

Posted by: TripFL | November 25, 2010 6:46 PM | Report abuse

Happy Thanksgiving, fellow Lizards. That Rick Astley clip is hilarious. I just posted it on my Facebook page. Gotta love a guy with a sense of humor about it all.

Posted by: td_in_baltimore | November 25, 2010 8:23 PM | Report abuse

T-Day wouldn't be complete in the Kabuki household without a screening of "Lost in America."

Posted by: kabuki3 | November 26, 2010 6:35 AM | Report abuse

Finally, a voice of reason, LiJe(pronounced liege), you missed the boat:

"Listening to "Alice's Restaurant", of course!

Don't come any more Thanksgivinger than that. Might be an age thang.

Posted by: osh123 | November 26, 2010 10:42 AM | Report abuse

And no national holiday can be celebrated without The Boss.

Posted by: kabuki3 | November 26, 2010 11:07 AM | Report abuse

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