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- 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)
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 movie’s 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.
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!
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 in theaters now, 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’s coming in 2019 over Thanksgiving weekend? That’s right: Frozen 2. So get a viewing in and then head to the theaters for the sequel!
- Garfield’s Thanksgiving
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 on Thanksgiving day 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:
- 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
You know it’s coming: Thanksgiving is as good a time as any to start your Star Wars movie marathon before The Rise of Skywalker comes out in December!
Patty Holliday is a movie critic, 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.