The great American holiday of Thanksgiving is just around the corner- and that is something I can fangirl hard. In this house, the main draw is football on the TV. Which I mostly love- especially in this age of Taylor Swift and Travis Kelce. But when the pumpkin pie is being served, I want to find something a little sweeter to entertain me. So I put together the best Thanksgiving movies list in case you need to find something other than touchdowns to cheer. (affiliate links are included in this post) ps- here’s a list of the best TV Thanksgiving shows as well.
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Best Thanksgiving Movies List | AKA, What To Watch Instead of Football This Year
We watch movies around here like it’s our job, and Thanksgiving is no time to take the day off.
Pull out this list of the best Thanksgiving movies to watch and veg out on the couch until it’s time for leftover turkey sandwiches to be served. Mmmm… leftovers.
Truly the best part of Thanksgiving celebrations (minus the spending time with family, of course.)
Are There Thanksgiving Movies?
Some of these movies on the Thanksgiving movie list are all about the actual Thanksgiving holiday.
Some of these movies just have a scene or two about Thanksgiving and some of these are Thanksgiving movies for kids.
Hopefully, you can use this movie list as a guide to finding something you’ll all love!
Thanksgiving Movies List
Need to escape family politics?
Shhh… the movies on! is a perfectly valid excuse.
Tune in and tune out for a little while and enjoy a little something from the best Thanksgiving movies list ever!
- Planes, Trains, and Automobiles. Please- if nothing else- watch this one.
- You’ve Got Mail! Not a Thanksgiving movie, but has a Thanksgiving scene so it totally counts.
- Sweet November. Look, fangirling Keanu Reeves is always appropriate!
- National Lampoon’s Holiday Reunion
- Rocky. This one came out during the holidays, so it counts? Plus there’s a Thanksgiving scene that leads to one of the best love stories ever. And I love Rocky. So. This one makes the list of Thanksgiving movies.
- Grumpy Old Men. You know the type- and they are just like this! There’s an engaging Thanksgiving Dinner scene here.
- For Your Consideration. A movie about making a movie- which gets renamed Home For Thanksgiving is a Thanksgiving movie, right? Right. Plus it stars two Schitt’s Creek alums so you know I’m there.
- Paul Blart: Mall Cop. Black Friday Mall Shenanigans- this is obviously a must-watch!
- Scent of a Woman. Hoo-rah! You know you said it just like Pacino.
- Home for the Holidays
- The Blind Side. Okay, I know… it’s a cheat but it might make errryone happy. Football AND a Thanksgiving scene. Winner!
- The House of Yes. Parker Posey in her most intense portrayal to date.
- Funny People
- Son-in-Law. Pauley Shore as a classic Thanksgiving guest is one you just can’t help but laugh over!
- Dutch. Why is the Thanksgiving road trip so funny? I dunno, it just is. This one is, anyway.
- Hannah and Her Sisters. It’s Oscar-winning and a Thanksgiving movie. What’s not to love here?
- Pieces of April. A little dark, a little humor, and happy Thanksgiving to all!
- Tower Heist. I love a good action movie featuring my favorite comedians, don’t you? And this one happens to take place over Thanksgiving so it totally makes the Thanksgiving movies list.
- Spider-Man (2002). Thanksgiving at Aunt May’s place. Enough said- it’s a Thanksgiving movie.
- The Big Chill (1983) Look, I don’t care how old or young you are, the music in this one will turn your Thanksgiving into a bop. Set during Thanksgiving following the death of a friend, it’s one of the classics.
- Thanksgiving (2023) This one is new to the holiday and might not be for everyone! It’s a straight-up horror slasher movie that takes place during the holiday. So remember before heading to the theaters or downloading this one.
Thanksgiving Movies For Kids (and For Adults Who Act Like Kids)
Kids love football as much as… well, around here they love it for about half a quarter. And then they are D-O-N-E.
So, what’s a kid to do on Thanksgiving day?
Watch a few of these Thanksgiving movies for kids, of course! You should also peep the Disney Thanksgiving movies and shows as well.
This one is for kids and for adults who act like kids (you know who you are).
- A Charlie Brown Thanksgiving. Is it really the Thanksgiving holiday without a viewing of this classic? Nope, it is not.
- Free Birds. A Thanksgiving turkey pardoned by the President is the star of this show. Kids will love the premise, parents will love the voice cast (Owen Wilson, Woody Harrelson, Amy Poehler, and George Takei)
- Addams Family Values. With the new animated Addams Family out, your kids are pretty much ready to continue with the spooky and creepy family! There’s a first Thanksgiving reenactment scene that’s absolutely nuts.
- Frozen. It was released in 2013 over Thanksgiving weekend, and guess what came out in 2019 over Thanksgiving weekend? That’s right: Frozen 2. So get a viewing in and then watch the sequel.
- Garfield’s Thanksgiving
- Encanto. Also released over Thanksgiving and has a completely family-focused message. We’re adding it to your must-watch over the holidays list!
Not Thanksgiving, But Totally Worth Watching With Family
I’m adding this set of lists in as well because we always seem to end up watching a movie marathon or over the Thanksgiving holiday weekend.
We like movies, what can we say?
So on the list of movies that aren’t Thanksgiving specific but are totally binge-able with your family this holiday:
- 50 Family Vacation Movies To Watch In 2023
- How To Watch the Fast And Furious Movies In Order (Look, it’s about FAMILY so it counts!)
- How To Watch The Harry Potter Movies In Order
- Watch the Marvel Movies in Order ( printable PDF included!)
- How to Watch the Star Wars Movies in Order
- Back-To-School Movies To Get You Ready For Class
- List of Fourth of July Movies Like Independence Day
- The Merriest List of Disney Christmas Movies (2022)
- Football Movies To Stream Instead Of Actual Games
We hope this list helps you find something to watch on Thanksgiving Day besides football!
We’ll be right there with you on this one.
Patty Holliday is a parent movie reviewer, writer, and podcaster living in the Washington, DC area. Her goal is to bridge the gap between casual fandom and picky critic with parent movie and television reviews. As a lifelong fangirl and pop culture connoisseur, she’s been creating online since 2009. You can find her work at No-Guilt Disney.com, No-Guilt Fangirl.com, No-Guilt Life, and as host of the top-rated No-Guilt Disney Podcast.