A Beloved Thanksgiving Movie Tradition: Screaming at One Another Over the Dinner Table

From Spider-Man to Snoopy, film characters are always squabbling on the holiday.

thanksgiving fights spiderman kornhaber 615.jpg

This post was initially published Thanksgiving 2011.

If Thanksgiving is about enjoying time with family and friends, you wouldn't know it from Hollywood. More often than not, movie scenes with turkey carving begin or end with the lobbing of insults, silverware, and the turkey itself.

Of course, the "holidays=stressful" trope is bigger than film. But cinema's Thanksgiving fights are fascinating for their diversity: On screen, we've seen squabbles between family, friends, strangers, and species. Some films feature fights right before dinner and then a moment of reconciliation at the actual table. Others begin saccharine before going sour. Below, 11 memorable Thanksgiving fights, arguments, altercations, and awkward moments in movies. We restricted our search to spats that occurred on or right before the Thanksgiving meal—so the protracted journeys of, say, Dutch or Planes, Trains & Automobiles don't count. Let us know what you'd include.

Presented by

Spencer Kornhaber is a staff writer at The Atlantic, where he covers pop culture and music. He was previously an editor of Patch.com and a staff writer at OC Weekly. He has written for Spin, The AV Club, and RollingStone.com.

What Happened to the Milky Way?

Light pollution has taken away our ability to see the stars. Can we save the night sky?

Join the Discussion

After you comment, click Post. If you’re not already logged in you will be asked to log in or register with Disqus.

Please note that The Atlantic's account system is separate from our commenting system. To log in or register with The Atlantic, use the Sign In button at the top of every page.

blog comments powered by Disqus

Video

What Happened to the Milky Way?

Light pollution has taken away our ability to see the stars. Can we save the night sky?

Video

The Faces of #BlackLivesMatter

Scenes from a recent protest in New York City

Video

Desegregated, Yet Unequal

A short documentary about the legacy of Boston busing

Video

Ruth Bader Ginsburg on Life

The Supreme Court justice talks gender equality and marriage.

Video

Social Media: The Video Game

What if the validation of your peers could "level up" your life?

Video

The Pentagon's $1.5 Trillion Mistake

The F-35 fighter jet was supposed to do everything. Instead, it can barely do anything.

More in Entertainment

Just In