12 Lessons 'A Charlie Brown Thanksgiving' Can Teach You About Not Being a Butthole

It's the Wednesday before Thanksgiving, the night where every twentysomething goes barring with old friends, lamenting their former glory days while surrounded by every asshat from high school. But it's cold out, so why not stay in and watch the classic special A Charlie Brown Thanksgiving on ABC instead? Not just because it's an underrated delight — forever in the shadow of It's the Great Pumpkin, Charlie Brown and A Charlie Brown Christmas — but because it teaches you what NOT to do during the holidays.

It's a common misconception that Friendsgiving originated with Friends back in the '90s. Not true. The first Friendsgiving, in fact, started when Peppermint Patty invited herself over to Charlie Brown's house 41 years ago. Since then, there's always been at least one Peppermint Patty in your immediate friends group, crashing your get-together (or in Charlie Brown's case, lack thereof). For the record, this is NOT proper decorum.

Now, don't mark me a curmudgeon. I'm a big fan of these kind of impromptu get-togethers. Up until recently my friends held a booze-filled post-Thanksgiving shindig. Then my best friend moved to Maine and I've just taken to adopting a singular friend over my house once a year to fill the void. Point is, I'm not anti-guests. I'm just pro-manners.

Whether you're hosting your own toast-and-jelly-beans meal or inviting yourself over to one, make sure to peruse this quick guide to Thanksgiving etiquette, inspired by the Peanuts gang.

1. Always Ask What Someone's Plans For The Holidays Are

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That's just being polite and caring about what you're friends are doing. I shouldn't even have to say this. But moreover, if Peppermint Patty just ASKED CB what his plans were, she would have known he was going to his grandma's and butted out. Maybe.

2. Never Invite Yourself Over

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Peppermint Patty is all, "My parents are out of town, so I don't have plans, I'll come over to your house." First of all, either Patty's parents are absolutely horrible, or Patty is absolutely horrible. The latter, I think. Second of all, the invite will come organically if the person is able to accommodate you. Don't force.

3. Don't Bring Other People Over Without Permission

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Patty then invites two other friends that Charlie Brown is vaguely acquainted with. I would flip.

4. Dress Appropriately

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Everyone has their own definition of "appropriate." For me it's a black cocktail dress, heels, and red lipstick. For Snoopy it's a pilgrim uniform. For Peppermint Patty it is flip flops in November, and that's where I draw the line.

5. Consistency is Preferred

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My mom is fanatical about this, but sometimes we run out of the cloth napkins with the cornucopia embroidery and have to substitute with plain gold napkins. Improvising is fine, but if you're making a fancy feast, try to at least have an overall well-balanced aesthetic. This leads into my next point.

6. Make The Most of What You Have

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If you overcooked the Brussel sprouts, chances are nobody will notice so long as you load up on sweet potatoes, stuffing, and the most Thanksgiving-y side of all, popcorn.

7. Don't Show Up Empty-Handed

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There are three people coming over and none of them made a casserole or pumpkin pie. Jesus Christ, if you're feeling lazy you at LEAST bring over a bottle of red.

8. Sit Up Straight

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I get that you're sitting in a lawn chair, Franklin, but you have to do better than that.

9. Keep Grace Brief but Poignant

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Even if you're not religious, you can't deny the oratory skills of Linus Van Pelt. It's something we should all aspire to.

10. Don't Insult the Cook

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You know what? If you really feel like the turkey is a little dry, maybe complain to a friend after dinner via text. Don't, by any means, berate your host publicly. You are a guest, and in Peppermint Patty's case, a forced guest. It is a dick move to criticize the generous efforts of someone who welcomed you into your home.

11. Always Have a Mediator to Squash Those Squabbles

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The absent-minded Marcie plays this role, comforting good ol' Chuck and pointing out Patty's social faux pas. You really need someone like that when Pop-Pop drinks too much and starts making racist comments at the table, or your dad starts badgering your Uncle Ronnie about the 500 bucks he owes him.

12. Be Grateful For Your Grandma

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The unseen Grandma Brown is the deus ex machina of the special, ultimately inviting Charlie Brown and his ragtag group of friends over for Thanksgiving at her condominium. A minor detail, but an important one. My grandma and YiaYia alternated hosting Thanksgiving, and now they're so busy being dead that my mother and I are solely responsible for all holidays. This holiday is all about gratitude, so make sure to show respect to those who are working tirelessly to make it a good one.

Images: ABC, Giphy (12)