From your family recipes to Pinterest, you have plenty of resources to turn to when planning your Thanksgiving feast this year. If you're an entertainment lover, though, you don't need to look any further than your favorite show to find amazing Thanksgiving dishes from TV and movies to try in real life. You're going to watch all the Thanksgiving specials anyway, so you might as well learn a recipe or two while you're at it.
From Friends to Charlie Brown, there have been some legen— wait for it — dary Thanksgiving meals on television and in movies. I don't know if it's the dysfunctional yet loving families, the hilarious mishaps in the kitchen, or all of those perfectly carved turkeys, but those on-screen holiday gatherings seem so much better than the Thanksgivings IRL. The fictional family drama (and perfectly timed resolution) even makes the dinner table look more fun. When you and your siblings fight, it probably doesn't end with a moving heart-to-heart in your childhood bedroom, but if it were in a movie or on TV, it totally would. If only your family's Thanksgiving was Emmy or Oscar-worthy.
Even if your family's Thanksgiving isn't as hilarious as a sitcom or as romantic as a movie, here are seven entertainment-inspired dishes to complete your menu.
1. Snack Spread, A Charlie Brown Thanksgiving
Though Charlie did what he normally does — completely disappoint his friends — the television special, A Charlie Brown Thanksgiving, may be a pretty accurate representation of a young person's first attempt at holiday cooking. Use his failure as appetizer inspiration, and serve up popcorn, pretzel sticks, toast with butter, and jelly beans before your big meal. To make it more sophisticated, add dips for the pretzels, toppings for the popcorn, and sub out the toast for warm rolls and butter. They may not be the most elegant dishes, but they might be the most nostalgic for your Peanuts-loving guests.
2. Jackson's Deep Fried Turkey, Gilmore Girls
Grab your deep fryer and a fire extinguisher, because this year, your turkey will be deep fried and delicious. Save yourself hours of basting by deep frying your turkey in less than an hour. Just be sure to do it carefully — very, very carefully. Here is how.
3. Cranberry Sauce a la Bart, The Simpsons
Cranberry sauce — and I'm not talking about the homemade kind with all of the crushed berries in it, I'm talking about the jellied stuff that comes out of the can — is a Thanksgiving staple. If Bart can prepare it (and by that, I mean open the can, slide it out, and serve it in a bowl), then so can you. Just make sure to refrigerate it so it doesn't lose its shape like it does here.
4. Eriksen Family Seven-Layer Salad, How I Met Your Mother
I'm the kind of person who puts mayo on just about everything, so the Eriksen seven-layer salad from How I Met Your Mother intrigues me rather than grosses me out. It has Funions, bacon bits, and cheese, so what's not to love in there? If you aren't as willing as the Eriksens to mix gummy bears, cabbage, and mayo, try the new seven-layer salad recipe from the Kitchn.
5. Green Bean Casserole, Pieces of April
Making your first Thanksgiving is hard, especially if you are trying to recreate one from your childhood. If you want to serve someone else's favorite childhood dishes, though, look no further than Pieces of April which features dishes the director, Peter Hedges, has every year at his own Thanksgiving. He even shared the recipe online, so you can easily incorporate it into your holiday menu this year — just try and organize yourself a little better than April, and keep an eye on the damn turkey.
6. English Trifle, Friends
Rachel's contribution to Thanksgiving may have been a mistake, but not everyone hates it... OK yes they do — just ask the Bustle team who tried it. Include an English trifle on your Thanksgiving menu this year to honor Friends, but don't subject your guests to the mismade one from the show. No one wants peas, onions, and beef in their dessert (except maybe Joey), so try the Brown Eyed Baker's pumpkin gingerbread trifle instead. No one will have to fake liking it.
7. Punch, Felicity
A holiday dinner calls for drinks, but don't go the normal beer and wine route. Instead, serve spiked punch like it's 1998, and you're Keri Russell. To avoid the drama of the show, make sure your guests don't drink too much, OK? No one likes tears in their turkey, but everyone will probably love this wassail punch from the Kitchn.
For more Thanksgiving ideas, check out Bustle on YouTube.
Images: Warner Bros. Television; Giphy (4); YouTube (3)