These Are the 10 Best Thanksgiving Movies to Stream Over the Holidays

Don't worry, Planes, Trains and Automobiles made the cut

Clockwise: A Charlie Brown Thanksgiving, Planes, Trains and Automobiles, Free Birds and Addams Family Values. Sources: Hulu, Netflix, Amazon

After you’ve gobbled up your turkey dinner and enjoyed a second (or third?) piece of pumpkin pie, it will be time to get cozy with your loved ones for a little holiday-themed movie. Indulge in stories of quirky families and classic traditions—as well as a tale about time-traveling turkeys—in this list of the 10 best Thanksgiving movies to stream on turkey day.

1. Planes, Trains and Automobiles (Hulu)

In this classic holiday film from 1987, Steve Martin stars as Neal Page, a man desperate to get home for Thanksgiving despite a snowstorm that may derail his plans. As Neal journeys via any and nearly every method of transportation in his quest to make it home in time, he’s aided—and annoyed—by fellow traveler Del Griffith, played by the late, great John Candy.

2. Home for the Holidays (Amazon)

If your family get togethers involve awkward conversations with problematic relatives, then you’ll relate to Holly Hunter’s character in 1995’s Home for the Holidays. Hunter plays Claudia Larson, a single mother who has to face her family’s Thanksgiving celebration alone after her daughter decides to spend the holiday with her boyfriend. Co-starring Robert Downey Jr., Steve Guttenberg, and Dylan McDermott, you can also catch the iconic Anne Bancroft in this seasonal film. 

3. Addams Family Values (Hulu)

In this sequel that focuses on the fabulously creepy Addams family, daughter Wednesday (Christina Ricci) is sent to camp and forced to participate in a reenactment of the first Thanksgiving dinner. However, the rebellious adolescent makes a few changes to the script and delivers a Pocahontas-inspired performance that lights up the stage—literally.

4. Jim Henson’s Turkey Hollow (Amazon)

The Jim Henson Company brings a whimsical world to life in this 2015 story narrated by actor and rapper Ludacris. When the Emmerson family travels to the small town of Turkey Hollow to visit their Aunt Cly (Mary Steenburgen) for Thanksgiving, siblings Tim (Graham Verchere) and Anne (Genevieve Buechner) decide to track down the Howling Hoodoo, a local monster that the kids believe may be more than a myth. But they end up with another goal in mind when they uncover an illegal turkey scheme that threatens Aunt Cly’s farm.

5. Son-In-Law (Hulu)

Enjoy a throwback Thanksgiving celebration by watching 1993’s Son-In-Law starring Carla Gugino as Rebecca, a college student who brings her wacky friend Crawl (Pauly Shore) home for the holidays. Crawl’s wild ways initially clash with Rebecca’s traditional family back on the farm, especially when he ends up playing the role of a fake fiancé. But in the end, there’s plenty to be thankful for in this quirky comedy. 

6. The Ice Storm (Amazon)

Christina Ricci makes a second (but very different) appearance on this list thanks to her role in Ang Lee’s 1997 film, The Ice Storm. A wealthy family attempts to navigate their dysfunctional ways as well as the hedonistic social nuances of the early 1970s over the course of a Thanksgiving weekend in this movie that also stars Kevin Kline, Joan Allen, Sigourney Weaver, Tobey Maguire, Katie Holmes, Allison Janney and Elijah Wood.

7. Pieces of April (Amazon)

Katie Holmes takes on a leading role in her second film on this list and delivers a moving performance in Pieces of April. The 2003 movie stars Holmes as the title character, a rebellious woman who invites her estranged family over for Thanksgiving, including her mother (Patricia Clarkson) who is dying from breast cancer. However, in order to manage the daunting dinner, an inexperienced April needs the help of her reluctant neighbor (Sean Hayes).

8. Free Birds (Hulu)

Cartoon fans of all ages should be sure to check out 2015’s Free Birds featuring the voices of Owen Wilson, Woody Harrelson, Amy Poehler and George Takei. In this animated comedy, two turkeys find a time machine and travel back to the first Thanksgiving in order to change the tradition that includes seeing their kind served up as the main dish.


Desirée O is a freelance arts, entertainment and lifestyle writer.