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.

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Spencer Kornhaber is a senior associate editor at The Atlantic, where he edits the Entertainment channel. More

Before coming to The Atlantic, he worked as an editor for AOL's Patch.com and as a staff writer at Village Voice Media's OC Weekly. He has also written for Spin, The AV Club, RollingStone.com, Field & Stream, and The Orange County Register.

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