While you go over the river and through the woods to grandmother’s house this Thanksgiving, take a second to pause and reflect upon how there isn’t nearly enough television devoted to the holiday. Sure, there’s the infamous “Turkeys Away” episode of WKRP in Cincinatti (which we will again be discussing later this week) and the classic episode of Cheers that culminates in a food fight, but there aren’t too many other truly unforgettable TV celebrations of giving thanks.
Which is just one of the things that makes A Charlie Brown Thanksgiving all the more special. Lost in the looming shadows of its celebrated Halloween and Christmas specials, this 1973 effort has eternal turkey Charlie Brown inviting his pals to spend the day with him before he enjoys a proper feast at his grandmother’s house. (One of the most troubling aspects of Peanuts is how absent the kids’ parents are, something that comes to the forefront here — where would Peppermint Patty et al eat if it weren’t for Chuck?)
Trouble is that Charlie Brown doesn’t actually know how to cook. So with the help of Snoopy, he serves a dubious feast of popcorn, buttered toast, jelly beans, ice cream sundaes, and pretzel sticks. Top-notch dining it isn’t, but the day isn’t solely about the food, but rather feeling grateful for the friends and family the gang — and, in turn, the viewers — have in their lives.
This heartfelt message has endeared A Charlie Brown Thanksgiving to audiences for nearly 50 years now, and it will remain a delicious holiday favorite until the end of time.
Good Grief! A Charlie Brown Thanksgiving is truly something to be grateful for.
This article original ran in 2017 and is being reprinted as part of our Thanksgiving celebrations.