December 17, 2023 | Violet Newbury

These Thanksgivings Were Complete Disasters

Thanksgiving usually marks the start of the holiday season. It’s when family and friends get together to celebrate one another, eat some turkey, and of course, give thanks. That is until the drama begins. When guests start hitting the spirits and inappropriate relatives get together, it never ends well. The only thing that you end up thankful for is the day coming to an end. 

1. Black Sheep Brouhaha

My stepbrother, the obvious odd one out in our family, had recently been freed after charges of possession and dealing. On Thanksgiving, he reminded us why we all despise him so much.

He brought his noticeably tipsy girlfriend over for our family dinner. They chose to avoid the variety of food offered and instead just stuffed themselves with turkey and bread rolls. After chowing down, his girlfriend decided to venture upstairs to my step-aunt's bathroom. The next thing we knew, she was discovered unconscious up there.

My stepbrother then tried to rouse her by hitting her. At this point, we were left with no other choice than to involve the authorities.


2. What A Grateful Bunch

Our Thanksgiving was set to be a major event, with about 15-20 food-loving guests in attendance. Despite shaky relations, my uncle and grandpa were tolerating each other for the holiday's sake. The usually bustling kitchen was now filled with plenty of cooks, but my uncle was at the helm, making lasagna. 

Grandpa offered to help and began grating the cheese from another room, due to the kitchen's limited space. Till then, everything seemed to roll along smoothly, with me bringing in the cheese. But when dinner time came round, things got a bit messy. 

As per tradition, the feast always kicked off with lasagna. And with this came a few jests from Grandpa, saying things like, "I might not be your favorite, but at least I'm grate". That's when tensions snapped. My uncle went ballistic, shouting at everyone because he was unaware of the "tainted" cheese he had used in the lasagna.

His anger turned into a fury when he overturned the table laden with food, swearing away. Grandpa then challenged him to a one-on-one outside, leading to an actual backyard brawl between them. The scuffle ended with Grandpa landing in our nearby pond, cutting his leg on a jagged rock during the fall.

The rest of us ended up ordering Chinese food and showing my uncle the door. Grandpa, a bit high-spirited from the festivities, refused medical attention for his cut. After that eventful holiday, my uncle hasn’t joined us for holidays for several years.


3. What A Fake!

My grandma wasn't the biggest fan of my dad. After a heated argument, my dad chose to pack up and head home. When grandma noticed my stepmom—her very own daughter—was siding with my dad and leaving too, she let out a barrage of screams. 

In desperation, she even performed a dramatic act—clutching her chest and gradually sinking down to the floor. My dad kindly offered to call for help, but grandpa insisted it wasn't needed. Once grandma realized her dramatic act wasn't convincing anyone, she opened her eyes. 

With grandpa's assistance, she got to her feet and they headed inside. She was still pretending to cry. Normally, she was a sweet soul but she did have her challenging times. Oddly enough, it was festive occasions that often brought out her less charming side, which was strange given how much she loved to cook and celebrate.


4. It Smells So Good, But This Thanksgiving Just Stinks!

When I was around 10 or 11, I made plans to hang out at my best friend's flat for the day. It was in a different neighborhood to mine, so I rode the bus there and back. We usually spent time together on weekends, but because it was Thanksgiving, we had an extra day that week to have fun.

My friend had a much older sister who lived in the same complex but in a different flat, she even had a son! We spent most of our day swapping between my friend's flat and his sister's. Both homes filled with tantalising smells as they prepared a feast in their warm kitchens.

However, as night fell, and it was time to dish up, I received some distressing news. They told me to go home. I was confused. I'd been invited to hang out on Thanksgiving Day, and although they didn't specifically invite me for dinner, I assumed I'd eat with them.

I couldn't recall doing anything wrong throughout the day, but I put on my jacket and left regardless. I chose the stairs over the elevator that evening to savour the delicious aroma of cooking from each flat on my way out. I thought it would be the closest thing to a Thanksgiving meal I'd get, and I was right. 

I left the building, caught my bus, and arrived home to find my family had already eaten. They had assumed, like me, that I'd be having dinner at my friend's place. They had left no food for me; all that was left was a lone pan of picked-clean turkey bones. So, I went straight to bed, even though it was early, and I wasn't tired, just hungry. 

That has to be the worst Thanksgiving I've ever had.



5. This Stirred Up A Lot Of Confusion

Aunt Janie mixed a lot of Xanax and other pills we're not sure of with a whole jug of Carlo Rossi wine she had stashed in her room. She then carried out a secret mission, unbeknownst to us who were busy having drinks and enjoying games. Yes, she managed to grab all the spoons in the house. LITERALLY. ALL THE SPOONS. 

We later discovered them hiding in her purse. I'm still puzzled as to why she was so fixated on the spoons.


6. Kissing Cousins

My two cousins walked into the living room where we were all hanging out and excitedly told the family they were dating each other. They gave this grand speech about love, ignoring the fact they were related. I was only about eight so, I didn't fully understand it all.

Our entire family just froze in shock. My great aunts, the moms of my two cousins, exchanged horrified glances. My great-grandma, the head of our family, was like, "No way". After that, my cousins quickly excused themselves to get some "fresh air". The room exploded into confusion as soon as they left.

Suddenly everyone had an opinion. My one great aunt, who was into things like shape-shifting and magic, suggested they might be soulmates due to their matching auras. The family's attention then turned from my cousins' relationship to whether my aunt was sane. 

In the middle of all this, I sneaked off to check-in on my cousin because I liked him the most. When I noticed they had vanished, I rushed to tell my family. We quickly formed a search party to find them in the massive desert behind my great grandma’s house. 

This desert, full of cacti, snakes, enormous rocks, hills and more, stretched for miles around our tiny little town of Benson, Arizona located in the middle of nowhere. But we often roamed around this desert after Thanksgiving lunch, so we knew our way around. 

My mom made these excursions entertaining for my little cousins and me by pretending we were part of the FBI. Eventually, we found my cousins. They were perched on top of a huge rock, holding hands. That was weird. We took them back home, and our Thanksgiving lunch resumed, albeit very awkwardly. 

By the following Thanksgiving, those two had split up, and nobody in our family has brought that up since.


7. Turkey Time

My husband's grandmother was in charge of Thanksgiving dinner and had asked us to supply the turkey. We were set to spend the morning of Thanksgiving with my husband's father's family, so we dropped the turkey off at his grandmother's place on our way there. She informed us that dinner was scheduled for 4 PM. 

We made our way back to his grandmother's house around 3:45 PM. What we encountered really stirred up my family's emotions. All the meals were finished, including our whole turkey contribution. Not a single bite was left.


8. She Acts Like Number One, But She’s A Number Two

My dad's girlfriend, who happens to be a decade older than him, is a real piece of work. Honestly, I think she's a bit jealous of my bond with him and always seemed to need to mark her territory, so to speak. Not that I had a problem with their relationship; it's great that he's got someone to keep him on his toes. 

The game changer, for me, came one Thanksgiving. That was also when I met her for the first time. Picture this: She's sitting at the top of the table, in MY home, playing the host like it's her very own party. She spends the meal dominating the conversation, ordering me around like I'm some sort of hired help. 

She was full of free advice, like how I should eat less to help maintain my figure and switch up my hair color. To add to it all, she questioned my husband's choice of attire for the evening. The icing on the cake? She complained to my dad about how I'd made life difficult for her that night, despite all my attempts to make her feel welcome. 

Coincidentally, I haven't seen her around since then.


9. No Country Ham For Me

For years, I'd been following a vegetarian/vegan diet, but the only family members who knew were my mom and dad. Our family's Thanksgiving celebrations were grand events, hosting around 30-40 people. As everyone wasn't together at one table, my dietary choices flew under the radar. 

Among the relatives was my older cousin from the countryside, around 20 years my senior, whose son had an uncanny knack for marksmanship. His boy kept racking up wins in shooting contests, often snagging fancy hams and other meat delicacies as his prize. 

On Thanksgiving, we cousins would usually gather, enjoy some George Dickel and moonshine, our family's preferred drinks. My country cousin, keeping his actions stealthy to avoid the wrath of any vigilant aunts, managed to slice off a few pieces of the prize ham before dinner.

As everyone sampled it and praised its deliciousness, I abstained. This hit a nerve with him, prompting him to strongly urge me to try it. When I still refused, he got upset and stepped out of the house. Somehow, my refusal to eat his ham seemed to symbolize a lifetime of feeling overlooked by the family.

His objection rose to such a level that my mom had to spill the beans about my vegetarianism to my aunt, who passed the news to my country cousin. Later he sought me out, confessing, "Aw man, I thought you passed on it just because it was mine. But you don't eat any meat. Sorry I pressured you". 

We shared a hug and made up, but this little episode came to be remembered as the infamous Ham Incident of that year.



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10. She’s Not Senile, Just Selfish

My wife and I typically run the show for about 15 people every Thanksgiving. It's a potluck style where everyone contributes side dishes. All, but my mother-in-law. She stands out and not in the nicest way possible. Her antics tend to lean on the selfish side—she brings food only for herself and declares that loudly for anyone who happens to hear.

Her peculiar habits aren't related to dietary requirements, she feasts on everything else as well. When it's dessert time, she makes a spectacle out of grabbing the first slice, without giving the kids a chance to get out of the scene. A memorable dispute took place one year over a chocolate cake's corner slices. 

She bagged not one, but two of the much-desired corners. If you ever wanted to upset little children, that's a quick way. She didn't even offer a slice to the tearful kids! But that's not all. She also treats our spare bedroom and bathroom as if it's a hotel. 

The toilet paper, Kleenex, soap, paper towels—they all vanish when she leaves. To assure you, forgetfulness because of old age isn't the reason here. We keep inviting her because my wife is her only remaining relative and the guilt would be unbearable otherwise.



11. Her Prized Cake Was Pecked By Pigs

We invited my former sister-in-law and her mother to our family's Thanksgiving gathering at my grandma's house. Describing their living conditions as unsanitary would be putting it mildly. Their basement was a no-go area, filled to the brim with raw sewage. Piles of trash covered every surface throughout the house, attracting an assortment of pests and insects.

To top it off, pet guinea pigs had free rein of the house, making a mess wherever they roamed. Put simply, their home was a breeding ground for filth. So when they showed up with a dessert, my grandma was understandably wary. A closer look at the cake revealed evidence of the guinea pigs—paw prints, fur, and tiny bite marks.

Without hesitation, my grandma disposed of the cake. However, when dessert time rolled around, the mother was fuming about us not serving her much-touted mayonnaise cake. She caused quite a scene before storming out of the party in a huff.


12. Fill In The Blanks

We had a dinner guest one night, a young woman my wife works with, and her partner. In the midst of our meal, she confessed something quite surprising. We were talking and somehow the conversation led to her and her brother's past experience. 

She shared, "We overdosed on cough syrup once and let's just say... it was a strange period of our lives". The room fell into an awkward silence as we all tried to figure out how to process that information or redirect the conversation.


13. Loaded On Limoncello

One Thanksgiving, we invited one of my mom's pals over since her own kids were spending the holiday with their respective partners' families. That same year, my uncle came bearing a handmade limoncello gift—an absolute treat, but so potent that it was around 50%. The norm was to savor it in small, 1oz cups, which everyone stuck to.

However, when nobody had their eyes on her, my mom's friend poured herself a glass to the brim with this strong cocktail. She chugged it down all within a span of 15 minutes, and even tried to refill her glass for a second round. But before we could put the turkey on the table, she was already out cold, fast asleep an hour prior to dinner time.


14. Let’s See How Badly This Day Racked Up

Every Thanksgiving used to be at my grandparents' place. One of those years, everyone showed up except one of my aunts. She was camped out in her vehicle, insistent on not coming inside. The reason why was jaw-dropping. Turns out she had fraudulently applied for a credit card under my cousin's name. 

Unfortunately, my cousin was serving in the Navy at the time and found this out, of all places, on her ride over while she was going through her mail. My aunt had managed to accumulate a whopper of a debt—over $10,000. Looking back, this incident was probably an early indication that my aunt wasn't her usual self anymore. 

That Thanksgiving turned out to be one of our last traditional family get-togethers. My uncle, aunt, and cousins stopped being part of these gatherings after that fiasco. While they did drop in from time to time, it was clearly different. My aunt, now on medication, was just not the same.


15. This Thanksgiving Was Just Bananas

When I was a kid, my grandma used to whip up a special banana pudding with homemade custard and meringue for our Thanksgiving gatherings. Every Thanksgiving, my mom and uncle would indulge in a friendly competition, trying to keep the other away from that heavenly dessert. 

My uncle even went as far as breaking into our house one year just to snatch it, so grandma had to start making a fake pudding while hiding the real one. Now, there was one year that took the prize. Grandma decided to step back from making the signature pudding, so my great aunt offered to try her hand at it. 

When she arrived with the pudding, my mom swiftly grabbed the whole tray from her and dashed into grandma's bedroom. Yelling at my younger cousin to grab a spoon, she locked herself in the room, determined to eat all that pudding alone. But she bit off more than she could chew.

Sadly, my great aunt really wasn't a great cook. The end result was a banana pudding with bits of scrambled egg yolk instead of the usual velvety custard. This mishap occurs if you rush the custard's cooking process and don't stir it consistently. So, after only a few minutes in the room, my mom came back out—deflated and beaten. 

She quietly ate her turkey dinner without the sweet reward she'd hoped for.


16. She Tried Turning Him Into Toast

On one Thanksgiving, around 20 of us were packed in my grandmother's kitchen. My teenage nephew was seen leaning on the lap of his younger sister in a playful manner. They were having fun, and from what I could tell, there wasn't anything unusual happening, typical kid stuff you know.

However, this unremarkable occurrence aggravated our rather tipsy, chubby stepdad who dramatically yelled, "WHAT ON EARTH ARE YOU DOING TO YOUR SISTER?" The room fell silent, everyone's gaze was on them. My poor nephew, taken aback, was now the undeserving center of attention. 

Our stepdad didn't stop there, and started berating him with unsavory comments. Tears streaming down his face, my nephew was in the midst of trying to explain that he was merely showing his sister a 7-Up game. As there was lack of space on the food-laden table, his sister suggested using her lap instead. 

My sister, the boy’s mother, decided to take charge. My sister was wildly unpredictable—one moment she's calm, and in the next, she's a hurricane ready to throw anything within her reach. Her fiery temperament was well-known for things literally flying around. 

Before I could intervene, she burst through the door, having heard everything while taking a smoke break on the patio. I was standing near the toaster by the sink, washing dishes with my grandma, when chaos broke loose. In a flash, my sister yanked out the toaster, causing the microwave from above to almost topple onto grandma. 

I managed to shield grandma from the cascading appliances while my sister brandished the toaster in the most deranged way. My other sister and I realized the potential harm she could cause to our stepdad with her throwing prowess, and we decided to intervene. 

My sister pinned her arms while I skillfully wrestled the toaster from her surprisingly strong grip, forming a human barrier between her and our stepdad simultaneously. Our defiant sister struggled but was no match for the strength of my burly sister.

After quite a struggle, we managed to lead her outside. An angered stepdad and mom stomped off, leaving my other sis and me to console grandma, who was now a sobbing mess. We cleaned up, bid goodbye to the remaining guests, and managed a round of dominos with grandma before tucking her in. She was crushed. 

My sister did apologize to grandma, who forgave her swiftly, but our stepdad never did.



17. Picture Perfect

Several years ago, my husband's uncle, along with his children, visited us from a distance. The families hadn't seen each other in almost a decade, making this event very special. My mother-in-law was putting a tremendous amount of effort into making the home immaculate. Every nook and corner sparkled. 

She had gotten brand-new, exquisite crockery, installed a magnificent Christmas tree, the works. However, around the same time, my 20-year-old sister-in-law began dating a not-so-intelligent boyfriend. Since the uncle's 20-year-old daughter was engaged to, unfortunately, another not-so-smart lad, my mother-in-law invited him to our Thanksgiving festivities. 

She was hoping we'd all be taken by him, but that didn't really go as planned. My sister-in-law and her boyfriend wanted to sneak away for some alone time before dinner, pulling the excuse of "Black Friday Shopping". But my mother-in-law wasn't naive enough to buy it. 

While she was distracted elsewhere, the two attempted to secretly exit through the garage. Just as they were leaving, my mother-in-law noticed and dashed after them into the garage. When the door shut behind her, the sound of her shouting echoed around the rest of the house, thanks to the garage's attachment to the main building. 

To our surprise, we heard some strong language coming from the usually reserved mother-in-law. We all cringed inside, trying to avert eye contact and pretend as though the scenario was unheard. The argument subsided and both my mother-in-law and sister-in-law returned, their make-up smeared due to crying. 

My mother-in-law's face was flushed from her outburst, but as soon as she stepped inside the house, she immediately put on her "ideal Thanksgiving" demeanor, acting as if nothing had happened.


18. His Plan Insured Thanksgiving Wasn’t Ruined

My cousins sure are a lively group. One Thanksgiving, we had finished eating and were enjoying some dice games when one of my cousins decided to grab more beverages. Unluckily, he reversed his truck straight into my parents' car, wrecking its front. Having no insurance, he returned indoors with a devised "plan," which left me awestruck.

They pushed my folks' damaged car near the garage where a deer, hunted that very morning, was hanging. Then, my band of male cousins started rubbing deer blood on the hood, stuffing fur into the grill, and headlights. Next day, my father called his insurance company claiming he'd collided with a deer while driving home from our Thanksgiving feast, and it had disappeared into the woods.

The insurers came to inspect the car, assessed the scenario and validated the claim. That year, my family illicitly fooled their insurance company on Thanksgiving.


19. We All Paid The Price At This Gathering

My uncle had had a little too much to drink and went on a rant about how upset he was because my cousin got married to a woman whose family didn't have a great deal of wealth. This led to my aunt and uncle footing the bill for a big wedding of over 200 guests. 

Among the invitees, around a hundred were my uncle's workmates, whom he felt the need to invite and impress. He let it all out in an epic diatribe about how cheated he felt, expressing his and my aunt's hidden quarrels about each penny they spent which he doubted was necessary. 

According to him, the necessary expenses were those that would make a good impression on his workmates. He was upset that my cousin and his new wife hadn’t publicly acknowledged that he had footed the bill for the wedding.

He also vented his frustration that her parents both gave speeches at the wedding without mention that he had paid for it. He was heated about the fact that he had paid for his own daughter's extravagant wedding, and received no financial contributions from her husband's family—not even a symbolical offer. 

He schooled them about the tradition where the groom's family offers to pay for the drinks, calling them tightfisted for not even considering it. To compound the issue, everyone present at both those weddings was at that Thanksgiving dinner, causing several familial tensions. I thought my aunt was about to lose it on him. 

Clearly, this grievance had been simmering for quite some time, possibly even years.


20. The Beginning And End Of A Family Tradition

My rather traditional and pleasant in-laws graciously rode three hours to join my family for a Thanksgiving dinner the same year my husband and I tied the knot. The plan was to start a heartfelt new custom, blending our families together. Unfortunately, it went terribly wrong. 

My younger sister and her boyfriend turned up a few hours late and it was clear they had drank too much. They proceeded to consume lots of food, then crashed on the couch. Later on, it was a shocking scene for my in-laws as the boyfriend somewhat woke up, rudely gestured at them, and then fell back asleep. 

Consequently, my in-laws have decided to skip visiting us during the holidays since that incident.


21. This Holiday Was Totally Shot

One Thanksgiving, my family and I paid a visit to my relatives. My uncle, with a drink in one hand and his glock in the other, was trying his hand at aiming at turtles in the creek. He nonchalantly thrust the glock into my 15-year-old hands and instructed me to take a shot at the turtles. 

I confessed my unwillingness to harm the turtles, leading my uncle to respond by taking a gulp from his drink and consequently punching me in the face. Reeling from the unexpected blow, I crashed to the ground in utter surprise. 

With an intimidating tranquility, my uncle repeated his command about the turtles, and so begrudgingly, I complied. But fate decided to play a prank on him. The mechanism jammed. Being inexperienced with it, I ended up, quite foolishly, pointing it at him while querying "Uhh. what should I..." and then—BANG! 

The pistol unexpectedly discharged, missing my uncle's face by inches. The trunk of a nearby tree bore the brunt of the accidental shot. After an awkward moment, he cautiously took it away from me, threw me a glance, and proceeded to take another swig of his drink. 

Apparently, he had been using old bullets, which had caused the delay in firing. For my uncle, life took an ominous turn. A few years later, he was taken in by authorities for threatening my aunt's life. After a year behind bars, my dad generously allowed him to stay with us to get his life together. 

He managed to infect our computer with piles of malware, and later disappeared after leaving our backyard gate open. As a result, our dogs spent the day roaming the streets. Unfortunately, one of them injured her leg and never walked properly again.


22. Hit The Road Aunt!

My aunt has been married many times. She also has a reputation for loose morals. When she came to visit, she spewed some nasty words at my sister, condemning her for living with her fiancé, unmarried. While in my grandmother's kitchen, she railed at her about sin and such for several minutes. 

Our homes, set in a remote location, are divided by small grassy fields. Tears streaming down her face, my sister bolted for home. My dad, in response, hurdled over three fences to get to my grandmother's house and usher them out. Needless to say, it caused quite a spectacle for our neighbors, thanks to all the shouting. 

We took all our turkeys across the grassy field to our other aunt's house. While packing their bags to leave, they feasted on pizza. That was the last time they joined us for a holiday dinner.



23. Slow Motion Slapstick

My tipsy nephew was seriously bothering his younger, smaller brother's girlfriend. She ended up leaving, in tears, because of his behavior. As a response, the younger brother decided to stand up to his older one. Suddenly, my son told us, “Umm...I think you should probably see what's happening outside"

We discovered my nephew wildly throwing punches. Thankfully, given his tipsy state, his punches were so sluggish that his little brother managed to dodge them all. Not only that, but he even got close enough to his brother to land a slap directly on his face. The older brother was completely taken aback. 

The whole scenario might have been quite tacky, but it was also incredibly humorous and, honestly, very satisfying.


24. Turkey Day Tantrum

Back when my sister was 30, she had a massive outburst because my long-time girlfriend, who I happened to share a home with, was in her spot. You see, my girlfriend has severe disabilities, and she wanted to be next to me so I could help with her food. 

My sister took extreme offense when we chuckled at her outburst and rather dramatically, decided to take her "Thanksgiving" dinner solo in the kitchen. I still am taken aback by her lack of consideration.


25. I Finally Sent The Packer Packing

My aunt had this quirky tradition of carrying a bunch of Tupperware along to every Thanksgiving dinner, the reasons of which were simply astonishing. The moment everyone was served, she'd start stashing away food for herself. 

Were you hoping to get seconds? Better help yourself in the first go, because after her Tupperware raid, there'd be nothing left for anyone else. And if you did dare to go for a second serving, she'd throw a snarky comment your way, all about how much you're eating. I don't ever remember seeing her actually sit down to eat with us. 

She'd be way too busy stuffing away food she neither paid for nor made. Adding to the craziness was her 28-year-old daughter who would not interact with anyone and instead, was seen feeding shrimps to the cats. Needless to say, neither of them gets an invite anymore.


26. Oh Snap!

Back in the day, both my grandad and cousin were quite the wrestlers. This one Thanksgiving, they decided to have a little wrestling fun, and unfortunately, my cousin ended up popping grandpa's shoulder right out of its socket. It was an absolutely unintentional mishap. 

My dear grandmother was completely taken aback and hurriedly said, "Bob, we need to rush you to the hospital right away". In response to this, grandpa glanced at the worried expressions around him, let out a sigh and muttered, "Oh Lord Almighty," before speedily setting his shoulder back into place. 

My brothers and I found the whole scenario so funny, we just couldn't stop our giggling.


27. Anyone For Leftovers?

There was a time when my roommates and I threw a Friendsgiving bash. Friends brought quite a few bottles, so many that our kitchen counter quickly ran out of space and we had to store all the extra bottles on the porch. After dinner, when folks were already semi-loaded, my workmate arrived, lugging a massive, blue water cooler jug filled with homemade liquors his father had concocted.

Taste-wise, it wasn't top-notch. But as we finished off the initial stash of around 60 bottles brought by everyone, we popped open the jug. The next day, I woke up to a surprise. I was sprawled out on bed with a couple of my friends. I walked out to what I can only describe as pure pandemonium. 

Bodies lay all around my apartment. They were everywhere, on the couch, floor, and even somebody I hadn't seen since high school asleep in a chair, whom I didn't remember being there. 

Half-eaten pies looked as though they had been ripped apart by hand, dirty dishes spread across every inch of the table, shards of broken glass scattered around, empty bottles strewn about, floor stained with splashes, and that infernal jug STILL held quite a few gallons of leftover hooch.


28. This Honeysuckle Sucked The Life Out Of Us

My uncle concocted a beverage using honeysuckle flowers from my grandmother's garden. Everyone tried it, even the children. Each of the adults downed at least two jarfuls. Eventually, the event wound down, and in typical Southern fashion, we all headed to the parking lot to bid our goodbyes. Seizing the moment, I chugged a large serving of the honeysuckle potion...

Later that night, the effects set in. Unknowingly, my uncle had brewed an incredibly powerful laxative masquerading as a refreshing beverage. My grandma's house, with its three toilets, was occupied for almost half a day as people exorcised their bodies via relentless bowel movements. 

Amid the chaos, no one seemed to realize that I was suffering just as badly, having ingested an even larger quantity of the potent elixir.


29. My Aunt’s Boyfriend Is The True Turkey

My aunt's boyfriend wasn't comfortable with her spending time with anyone other than him. This became evident when we were all invited to my aunt's place for Thanksgiving, and he attempted to ruin the mood by making her feel guilty about hosting. 

His contribution to the festive atmosphere was filled with reluctance—he wouldn't cut the turkey, nor would he prepare the potatoes. In fact, he got upset with my aunt when she decided to handle the potatoes herself. According to him, she didn't make them correctly. 

When my aunt confronted him about his behavior, he was disrespectful and called her an unpleasant name loudly enough for the rest of us—myself, my mom, my grandma, and my step-grandpa—to hear.


30. My Cousin Made The Day So Special

I've got this nutty cousin who showed up uninvited to our family dinner. She started fussing at all of us because none of us thought to bring the "special bread" that her son prefers, claiming he was now famished. Perhaps she could have thought ahead and brought the Hawaiian sweet bread herself, knowing it's the only thing her kid will eat. But she didn't stop there.

She ended up packing a hefty amount of leftovers and just bolted. We didn't see her again until the next unavoidable family event.


31. Big News

My cousin slid into the living room and gently pulled my granny away from the festivities for a short chat. We all roughly guessed he'd been doing something sketchy in the restroom, so we all watched alertly for any odd development. 

When the revelation hit, it blindsided me as much as anyone else. Granny then herded us all together in the room and shared that she had just become a great-grandma to a six-month-old baby.

The news left everyone rather perplexed, particularly my aunt and uncle, but we all hoisted a drink in celebration. However, the festive season brought another twist—he was NOT the dad after all.


32. Thanksgiving Day Melee

My dad's side of the family is pretty big; he's the third out of ten siblings. Every one of those siblings has kids, so I've got loads of cousins. I chatted with one of my female cousins about her school and her new boyfriend took it the wrong way. He apparently thought I was trying to flirt with her.

Remember, there were over 60 of us at this gathering. I tried to play it cool, telling him, "Hey buddy, no worries, she's my cousin," with a friendly smile. Plus, this guy was pretty loaded—we'd had homemade moonshine flowing for about three hours. Instead of calming down, he tried to take a swing at me. 

Unfortunately, he missed me, hit one of my aunts in the back of the head, and chaos ensued. A group of family members quickly stepped in and started defending me against him. All the while, my grandmother and the rest of the crowd were yelling, and I was stuck in the middle. 

Eventually, my cousin had to rush her boyfriend to the hospital, and a couple of other family members went along because they'd hurt each other in the fray. We never even got round to serving dinner, as the ruckus ended up knocking over the food table, which was a real shame.


33. Pass The Picture Please

About ten years back, my high school junior cousin managed to get a girlfriend for the first time. She didn't join us for Thanksgiving but naturally, everyone was curious about her. To satisfy this curiosity, he shared a photo of her. In turn, each family member examining the photo, commented, and passed it on.

A majority of the men in our family, who were, at this point, quite loaded, found her face familiar when they saw the photo. They found it amusing to jest that they've had intimate encounters with her previously. This was intended as harmless banter but was perceived as distasteful, especially considering this was my cousin's first girlfriend. 

My cousin isn't the machismo-driven fraternity guy who generally enjoys such jokes. Moreover, he was undoubtedly the most intelligent amongst us all. Eventually, he moved interstate for college, acquired a medical degree, and abstained from any future Thanksgiving dinners with our family.

He did, however, attend a family wedding. The same group of men approached him trying to score some free medical advice.


34. I Was Worried For Nothing

During supper, my husband's stepsister and her cousin had a massive argument. I can't recall exactly what sparked it, but out of nowhere, we heard, "And guess what's really messed up? Not even knowing who your child's father is!" This remark infuriated the cousin so much that she hurled a water bottle across the table.

It was such chaos that it took three adult men to separate them. To make matters worse, my husband's tipsy "black sheep" uncle made an inappropriate pass at me. As it was my first encounter with his family, I felt too timid and uncomfortable to make a fuss about it. 

Amusingly, before the visit, I had been anxious that his family would see me as low-class and not sophisticated enough. Clearly, that wasn't the case.


35. What’s The Point?

So, my stepdad’s uncle had this funny little habit he thought was the height of comedy. Picture this: Someone is just about to enjoy a piece of pie. He'd swoop in, point at it, and once the person took that first bite, he'd swipe it right out of their hands! He’d even go as far as to say, "There’s no point in the pie". 

He'd then either eat it or chuck it in the trash. And, let me tell you, this wasn't a rare event—it was his signature prank. He'd pull this stunt at every gathering and then gloat about it afterward. Well, I remember one day I warned him—in what I thought was a light-hearted way—that if he dared to swipe my pie, he might end up short one arm. 

You can guess how well that went over.


36.  Don’t Diss My Students!

When I was 17, my dad sadly passed in August. That Thanksgiving, my mom, my boyfriend and I decided to visit my dad's brother. We all shared a common interest—working in special education with students who have severe disabilities. This was, and still is, something I really care about. 

Our visit, however, began on a sour note, with my aunt and uncle harshly labeling my deeply cherished students as a societal drain. They argued that the classes these students attended diverted necessary school funding away from "typical" kids who, according to them, deserved this money more as they would grow up to become "productive". 

What a way to kick things off! Then, my aunt's father—not a relative of ours, turned up and indelicately questioned my recently bereaved mom about her dating plans and possible remarriage. Without a doubt, it was the most awkward and rage-inducing holiday I've ever had to endure.


37. My Cheezy Cousin

My cousin, quite nonchalantly, grabbed a huge Costco box full of mini Cheezit packs from our garage. When I was putting away some groceries, I realized they were missing. Once I mentioned it in front of everyone, she froze.

That's when she started tripping over her words and decided to fetch them from her car. When she got back, her defense was, "I really assumed these were mine. I have an identical box at my place".


38. What Happened To The Bird?

My grandpa got a bit too merry on the bourbon, which wasn't entirely out of character for him. But this time, it turned into a big old mess. As he stumbled towards the dining room, generous 20 lb turkey in tow, it slipped right off the tray. 

It crashed onto the tiled floor, bouncing and skidding until it came to a halt against a wall. Expecting dinner to start any minute, we heard nothing but Grandpa's string of colorful language from the other room.

Roughly 20 minutes later, we did finally sit down for dinner, delighted by the sight of our dinner—the "reformed" turkey. Apparently, it had undergone a rapid "makeover" by an overly refreshed "Dr" Grandpa.


39. His Big Mouth Squashed Our Dinner

My uncle once observed that my little sister, around 6 to 10 years old then, was side-stepping an element on her dinner plate. He remarked, "You've left your squash untouched". She interpreted this as a real dare and whacked the mushy orange substance with her bare palm. The goo scattered all over the room. 

Given the challenge of scrubbing popcorn ceilings, we were spotting little orange specks way up there for years to come. After that episode, my uncle quit attending our festive meals—he reckoned the dry cleaning expense wasn't worth it.


40. A Friendsgiving Fiasco

Several weeks before Thanksgiving, my brother received a terminal brain cancer diagnosis. My parents and I had been taking turns looking after him, and I had been off work for quite a while. Feeling overwhelmed and needing some distraction, I decided to go to a concert with a friend the evening before Thanksgiving. 

We had managed to grab front-row seats for one of my favourite bands. The venue was a three-hour drive away from our hometown. Our plan was to crash at another friend's place after the concert and join her for Thanksgiving dinner the next day. 

We'd spoken to her while on the road; she sounded thrilled and was busy cooking up a storm for the holiday feast. When we arrived post-concert with our Taco Bell takeout, we found them inebriated, with all the Thanksgiving food neatly packed in Tupperware containers.

The food lay cooling down on the counter, and we were told to help ourselves. To our shock, they had devoured the Thanksgiving meal the previous day, WEDNESDAY afternoon, not on the actual Thanksgiving day, THURSDAY! Around thirty minutes into our arrival, her boyfriend vanished. 

Turned out he was tipsy, feeling paranoid and sequestered himself in their bedroom. As the evening wore on, my friend and I found ourselves having a serious heart-to-hearts. She broke down, sharing with me about her haunting nightmares involving her ex-husband. 

She confessed she was struggling with the aftermath of her divorce, which had taken place only SIX months ago. In between her sobs and gripping my hands tightly, she kept repeating, "You just don't know the nightmares I'm having". She also acknowledged repeatedly that I was handling a significant crisis myself.

The following morning, my dad phoned, requesting me to have dinner back home with my brother and the family. I hastily hit the road back home. It turned out to be one of the last enjoyable days I shared with my brother before he passed months later. I still treasure that day with him. 

Such intense experiences truly reveal who your authentic friends are and who only think of themselves.


41. Dumped On And Ditched

My mom, who's in her early 70s, rang up my brothers and I a week before Thanksgiving to discuss our holiday meal. I was the first one she talked to. She seemed weary, so I suggested, instead of her usual turkey and ham feast, why not whip up a lasagna? She had already good to go sauce in the freezer.

We both thought this would be a relaxed and straightforward option. It would save Mom from fussing over the traditional feast, and we could simply savor our family time without any pressure. A week on, I arrived at Mom's place to see that she'd made both the turkey dinner and the lasagna. I was taken aback. Then I found out why and I felt like screaming.

It turns out my elder brother, who was 42 then, voiced his opinion that Thanksgiving is more appropriate for turkey than lasagna. I was stunned and upset knowing mom had to put extra effort, completely against the initial plan of a lesser workload. What's more astonishing was when he arrived last, with only one of his three kids and without his girlfriend.

His arrival brought cheer to everyone, and we inquired about his girlfriend's whereabouts. He said lasagna is a no-go for her as it triggers her heartburn, so she stayed back home along with the other kids. Imagine our surprise when he saw the lasagna and the traditional feast on the table. 

He completely lost his cool, yelling that mom never informed him about the turkey dinner. He then mumbled several unfit phrases, grabbed his kid, and stormed out. My mom, distressed, started crying. He didn't even respond to her calls from the balcony nor look back, just packed his kid in the car and drove away. Mom returned, her sobs piercing our hearts.

The shattered look on mom's face was heartbreaking. That night was filled with consoling. Thank god I was prepared for a big meal, as there were piles of leftovers. It was disheartening to witness my 73-year-old mom working her socks off to cater to my brother's selfish demands and insensitivity, and faced his unwarranted resentment.

To date, he hasn't apologized. He still stands firm on his innocence. Our family dynamic has been off ever since.


42. A Flaming Good Time

One of my pals was low on cash, so we all decided to chip in to bring her and her little ones a surprise Thanksgiving feast. We learned they only had a couple sandwiches for the day. Suddenly, there were loads of us arriving at her house in our pickup trucks, rushing in with food and decorations. Her ex had moved out but left his stuff behind.

Seemed like the perfect situation for a big bonfire to help her let go of those lingering memories of her ex who, despite five months' notice, hadn't come to collect his belongings, including a fiberglass boat. The bonfire, camaraderie, and drinks were absolutely unprecedented that Thanksgiving. 

Many of us crashed in our truck beds, waking up to a haughty neighbor labeling us as riffraff, but who cares. It was undeniably a Thanksgiving to remember.


43. Thanksgiving With The Feds

During the era of Baby Doc, my uncle was undercover in Haiti for quite some time. Unexpectedly, he managed to return to the country and even showed up at our Thanksgiving celebration. Roughly 45 minutes into his surprise visit, several federal agents unexpectedly broke in and took him away. 

I was just a kid at the time, around 11 or 12 years old. The agents also searched our home, seizing all my dad's hunting rifles. My father, who is a passionate hunter of deer and pheasant, didn't see those rifles again for over a year. The full story was never really explained to me.


44. The Cat Needs To Get His Tongue

During this period, my father was beginning his journey with Alzheimer's disease. He had always been a little cheeky, but as the disease began to manifest, he would make comments that were indescribably surprising. One memorable Thanksgiving, we had a gathering of about 10-12 guests. 

Just as he was showing early signs of his condition, everyone was engaged in a conversation about a female friend who was due for surgery. Without warning, my father chimed in. In a volume louder than the friendly chatter, he candidly asked, "Is she planning to rearrange her 'downstairs' to have an easier time in the bedroom?" 

He couldn't understand why no one found his inappropriate humor amusing, and then he casually continued to enjoy his turkey as though nothing out of the ordinary had occurred. We collectively decided that a doctor's appointment was necessary for him right after the holiday on Monday.


45. The Whole Truth

On one particular Thanksgiving, my aunt had too much to drink and, against all reason, took off her clothes. In her uninhibited state, she flirted with my cousin's boyfriend before sprinting down our neighborhood without any clothes on. Her children, all below the age of 12, had to witness the entire thing. 

Because she was attempting to drive after drinking with the kids in the car, I felt compelled to alert Child Protection Services. The aftermath had her in tears for an entire day as she faced the anger and disappointment of the family. We've decided not to include her in our Thanksgiving gatherings anymore.


46. Turning The Turkey Tables

My wife and I had a chat about hosting a Thanksgiving meal for the family back in July, and everyone seemed thrilled about it. We went shopping and spent a decent chunk of cash to gather everything required for our big feast. 

Our excitement was through the roof since this was going to be our first hosting at our new home, which had plenty of room for all the guests. However, we later discovered that one of my wife's aunts had doubts about our ability to pull it off. She did the most despicable thing imaginable.

She secretly invited everyone to her place for Thanksgiving dinner instead. Well, everyone except us. Naturally, we were pretty upset about the entire ordeal. We discussed the issue with the rest of the family, and somehow, they all decided to take our side. They would tell her they'd attend, but in truth, they'd be at our place.

 She was definitely in for a shock that night.


47. Our Invitation Came At A Cost

My aunt called us all for a family Thanksgiving at her house, even though it was in another state. They promised to cater for everything. We agreed to join in and even suggested bringing something as a sign of gratitude. But my aunt insisted we shouldn't bother. Dinner was splendid and we had a fabulous Thanksgiving. 

Imagine our shock when a month later, we received a disturbing letter. It was from my aunt, claiming we owed her $75 for the meal. My parents were fuming, considering we'd already spent a decent amount on traveling to see her and we'd even suggested bringing our prepared food to ease her burden. 

Our frustration wasn't just about the money, but that my aunt never mentioned this when she was inviting us.


48. I Served Up Some Sweet Revenge

A while back, when home ice cream machines were just hitting the market, my wife's family decided that for Thanksgiving desserts, we would make our own ice cream in lieu of the usual baked goods. We chose premium ingredients and whipped up some seriously good ice cream, which was a blast.

The children absolutely loved being part of it. But boy, were we in for a massive letdown. As we finished churning the ice cream, my wife's aunt set it aside, then brought out some sub-par, supermarket ice cream to give the little ones. 

Apparently, the homemade batch was just for the grown-ups, and the kiddos were stuck with the store-bought version because "they can't appreciate the good stuff anyway". Whether this was the case or not, the kids were desperate to taste the ice cream they helped create. Needless to say, there was disappointment and tears. 

I stood up for them, appealing to the aunt, "Don't be cold-hearted. Let them have a taste of what they made". In my eyes, the magic of holidays is mainly about the children's joy. The delight we feel seeing them beaming. Regardless, the aunts didn't budge, arguing back about how I "didn't understand since I don't have kids". 

I countered by saying, "Sure, but I was once a child, and I can empathize with how they feel". But they remained steadfast, arguing there wasn't enough to share, and the store-bought ice cream was for the kids. One smugly suggested, "If you want them to have a taste so bad, give them some from your share". 

Accepting the challenge, I agreed. I had a clever trick up my sleeve, after all. When it was time to serve myself, I filled a massive salad bowl to the brim, grabbed half a dozen spoons, and joined the kids at their table. We hogged out on my "portion".

The homemade ice cream was almost gone, forcing the adults to resort to the untouched store-bought batch, grumbling as they tried to keep a stiff upper lip. The room was filled with resentful silence for an hour until we took off. I was scared that my wife would reprimand me once we got into the car, but she just laughed and expressed her love instead. 


49. This Holiday Needs A Rewind

I once attended Thanksgiving at my wife's uncle's home, which coincidentally, also fell on their anniversary weekend. All thanks to the aunt's idea, we found ourselves reminiscing about their wedding day, as she managed to dig out their old wedding video after a strenuous half-hour search. 

You could imagine this crowd of 25, all huddling together in the back room to witness those beautiful moments, hoping to bask in their warm, romantic aura. That's when the most unexpected secret unraveled itself. While watching the bride elegantly make her way down the aisle, right about halfway down, the video took a bizarre turn. 

Instead of witnessing the rest of the wedding, we were all left agape, as the screen flickered and Dale Earnhardt’s funeral took center stage! As it turned out, my uncle had dubbed over their precious marital memories to record this obituary tribute. The room fell into stunned silence, and amid the shocked faces, I couldn't help but burst out in laughter. 

It was as if I had been suddenly thrown into the middle of a sitcom, but this was no script. It was pure, unfiltered reality.


50. The Hostess Went All Out

When I was just a kid of 11, my large family and I were invited to a friend's home for a Thanksgiving feast. The house was massive, allowing the kids to frolic in the basement, while the grown-ups busily prepared the holiday meal upstairs. But right after we dug into dessert, someone spotted an odd detail that flipped the evening on its head.

They figured out my uncle and our hostess, a family friend, had sneaked off into the master bedroom. Now, it's worth mentioning at this point, my aunt and the hostess's husband were still seated downstairs. One after the other, we knocked on the bedroom door, but the duo inside remained stubborn. 

I caught some peculiar sounds from the room, but I just couldn't make sense of it all. My recollections include my aunt sobbing uncontrollably and the husband boiling with rage, while my uncle and hostess refused to emerge for nearly two hours. 

When they finally burst through the door, the hostess was dressed differently, and the rest of us were utterly bewildered. This incident etched so deep in my mind that recently, I probed my mother for the truth about that unusual night. Her response was absolutely startling.

Apparently, while we youngsters were busy striking a tune downstairs, some adults upstairs were drinking, getting tipsy. Allegedly, the errant uncle and hostess had sequestered themselves in the bedroom to enjoy a bit of something a bit more intense and eventually got so high they didn't dare leave the room. 

We still suspect they were up to something more, but that remains a mystery. Interestingly, all the couples implicated somehow remain joyfully married to date.


Sources: Reddit,,

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