These Thanksgivings Were Total Disasters

December 3, 2021 | Violet Newbury

These Thanksgivings Were Total 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. Here are some Thanksgivings that turned out to be totally for the birds.

1. Black Sheep Brouhaha

My stepbrother had just been released for possession and distribution of illicit substances. He was the total black sheep of the family. He proved why in just one day. He brought his girlfriend, who was plastered out of her mind. They proceeded to eat nothing but turkey and rolls. Then, she decided to go up into my step aunt's bathroom, where we later found her passed out.

My stepbrother attempted to wake her up by punching her in, as he put it, "the cooter.” We had to call law enforcement.


2. What A Grateful Bunch

We were having a big Thanksgiving, maybe 15-20 people who loved to eat. My uncle and grandfather don't have a good relationship but were tolerating each other because of Thanksgiving. My uncle was cooking lasagna, and my grandfather decided to help, so he grated the cheese. He did this in another room because the kitchen was full of other people cooking.

I had brought in the cheese, and everything was going fine. Then came dinner time. The food was coming out, and as tradition dictated, we always started with lasagna. My grandfather made some jokes like, “I know you hate me, but at least I'm grate." That's when it all hit the fan. My uncle literally went into a rage and was yelling at everyone because we didn't tell him he was using "tainted" cheese.

He then started cursing and proceeded to flip the table that had ALL the food on it. Then my grandfather called him outside to settle the score, which resulted in two grown men fist fighting in the backyard. It culminated with my grandad getting thrown into the pond we lived by and slicing his leg on a jagged rock that he landed on.

The rest of us ordered Chinese food and kicked my uncle out.  My grandfather refused to go to the hospital because he had a little too much "holiday joy" in him at the time. My uncle hasn't come for the holidays for several years now.


3. What A Fake!

My grandmother didn't like my dad very much. She picked a fight with him, so he decided that he was going home. My grandmother realized that my stepmom (her daughter) was going to take my dad's side and go home too; she started yelling a lot. Then, as a last-ditch effort, she dramatically clutched her chest and collapsed very carefully.

My dad offered to call for help, but my grandfather said it wasn't necessary. When my grandmother realized no one was taking her seriously, she opened her eyes, allowed my grandfather to help her up, and went inside with him while fake sobbing. Usually, she was quite lovely, but she had her moments. The holidays usually brought out the worst in her, which was weird because she loved cooking and celebrating.


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

I was about 10 or 11 years old. My then best friend and I made plans to hang out at his apartment for the day. He lived in a distant neighborhood from mine. So, to get to and from his place, I had to take a bus. We usually hung out together on the weekend, but since there was no school on Thanksgiving, it gave us an extra day in the week to play together.

He had an older sister, about 17 or 18 years older, who had her own son. His sister lived in her own separate apartment on the same floor, down the other end of the hallway from my friend’s place. We spent the entire day going back and forth from his place to her place, then back to his place, etc. In the meantime, the ovens of both kitchens in both apartments were going full blast, cooking up a fabulous smelling feast of all sorts of food.

When evening came around, it was time to serve the meal. Then they told me something that made my heartbreak. They said it was time for me to go home. I was puzzled. I was invited over to hang out and play with my friend on Thanksgiving. Although it was never specified that I was to eat Thanksgiving dinner with them, I took it for granted that that was what I was going to get to do.

I don’t recall misbehaving in any way the entire day. Regardless, I put on my jacket and left my friend’s apartment. Usually, when I left my friend's place to go home, I would take the elevator down. But this evening, I opted to walk down the stairs all the way to the ground floor. I wanted to smell all the food that was being cooked in all the other apartments throughout the entire building, floor by floor.

I figured smelling all that food in the hallways of my friend’s apartment building would be the closest I would come to having a Thanksgiving dinner that day. Sure enough, it was. I reached the ground floor, exited the building, and crossed the street to catch my bus home. When I finally got home, my family had eaten their Thanksgiving dinner.

My relatives had all gone home left, and all the food was completely eaten up. There was only one pan left on the dining room table that had nothing but turkey bones in it. It didn’t occur to them to save any food for me because they assumed I was having Thanksgiving dinner at my friend’s place, too. I was feeling dejected and depressed.

I just immediately went to bed even though it was still early and I wasn't sleepy—just hungry. It was the worst Thanksgiving I ever had.


5. This Stirred Up A Lot Of Confusion

My Aunt Janie took a bunch of Xanax, and who knows what else, on top of drinking a jug of Carlo Rossi that she had hidden in her room. She then proceeded to pocket every spoon in the house while the rest of us were drinking and playing games. EVERY. SINGLE. SPOON. We found them in her purse. I still don’t know why she took just the spoons.


6. Kissing Cousins

My two cousins came into the living room where we were all gathered, and proudly announced to the family that they were romantically involved. They explained how being related by blood isn’t something they can control and gave this big speech on true love. I was about eight years old at the time, so I didn’t really get it.

My entire family just sat there staring, mouths agape. My two great aunts, the mothers of the two cousins, looked at each other in horror. My great-grandmother, the matriarch of our family, said something along the lines of, “No.” My cousins excused themselves and went to get “fresh air.” Immediately thereafter, chaos ensued.

Every member of the family started giving their two cents. My one great aunt, who dabbled in shapeshifting and magic, and stuff, said that maybe they were kindred spirits and that their auras seemed to match. Everyone then shifted the conversation from my two cousins to the sanity of my aunt. Meanwhile, I went to go snoop on the one cousin because he was my favorite older cousin.

I realized that they were gone, so I went to tell my family. Then we created a makeshift search party to look for them in the wash behind my great grandmother's house. This wash was huge—miles and miles of uninhabited desert. This was in Benson, Arizona, a sleepy little town in the middle of nowhere. The wash was full of saguaros, snakes, big rocks, and hills, the whole nine yards.

Luckily the family was familiar with the layout of this vast desert wasteland because it was tradition to go walk around in it after Thanksgiving lunch. My mom made it fun for the other little cousins and me, and I remember how we pretended to be the FBI. We ended up finding them. They were standing up on this big rock holding hands.

It was weird. We brought them back and had our awkward Thanksgiving lunch. By the following Thanksgiving, they weren’t together anymore, and no one in my family talks about this at all ever.


7. Turkey Time

My husband's grandma was hosting Thanksgiving dinner at her house and asked us to provide the turkey. We had to go to spend Thanksgiving with my husband's dad's side that morning, so we dropped the turkey off on our way to his dad's house. His grandma said that they would be eating at 4 PM. We arrived back at his grandma's house around 3:45 PM. What we saw made my family's blood boil. Everyone had already eaten all the food, including the entire turkey. All of it.


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

My father’s girlfriend is 10 years older than him and is very superficial. I think she was jealous of my relationship with him and was constantly wanting to assert herself as his number one. I was perfectly fine with that, and it’s awesome that she keeps him busy. However, one Thanksgiving sunk her for me. It was also my first time meeting her.

She sat at the head of the table at MY house and acted like she was the hostess while monopolizing the entire conversation and treating me as if I was her waitstaff.  She told me that I should eat very little to watch my figure and that I should dye my hair. She was disappointed in my husband’s wardrobe choice for the evening, and the grand finale was that she told my father I was being difficult after the night was over and after everything I did to make her comfortable. I haven’t seen her since.


9. No Country Ham For Me

I had been vegetarian/vegan for years without anyone in my family knowing, aside from my parents. Our Thanksgivings were usually pretty big parties with about 30-40 people, so we don’t all sit at the same table or anything like that. Therefore, no one ever really noticed. My very older country cousin, who is about 20 years my senior, had a son who was a master marksman.

The kid would win contests all the time, and often the prizes were really fancy hams, meats, and stuff like that. All the cousins were hanging out drinking some moonshine and George Dickel, our family drink of choice. My country cousin sneakily cut off a few pieces of his prized ham. If one of our aunts caught him with food before the meal, we would all be in trouble, regardless of whether we were all adults.

Everyone was trying it and talking about how good it was, except for me. Then something in him snapped. He became very insistent that I try it and got really mad. He stormed off for a smoke outside. It seems as if me not eating his ham became the embodiment of his entire life of being dismissed by others in the family.

He was making enough of a fuss that my mother had to tell my aunt that I didn’t eat meat. She told my country cousin. He eventually found me and said, “Aw man, I thought you didn’t want it ‘cause it was mine. You don’t eat anybody’s meat. Sorry I was in your face.” We were able to hug it out, but that was the year of the Ham Incident.


10. She’s Not Senile, Just Selfish

My wife and I usually host Thanksgiving for around 15 people. Everyone would bring side dishes, as was the custom. That is, everyone except my mother-in-law. Her approach was mind-blowingly selfish. She would only bring stuff for herself. She proudly announced that whatever she brought was just for her to anyone who would listen.

It's not for diet purposes, because she eats all the other food too. When dessert makes an appearance, she will make a big scene about wanting the first piece instead of letting the kids get theirs and get out of the way. One year there was a big argument about the corner pieces of a chocolate cake. She went first as usual and cut herself two corner pieces and took them both.

If you want to make little kids cry, do that. And, she wouldn't give them up!  She also treats our guest room and bath like a hotel. When she leaves, she takes the toilet paper rolls, the Kleenex box, paper towels, soap, etc. She is not senile. The only reason we would invite her every year is because my wife is the only family that she has, and she would feel tremendously guilty if we didn't.


11. Her Prized Cake Was Pecked By Pigs

My ex-sister-in-law and her mother were invited to our family Thanksgiving at my grandma’s house. To say that she and her mother lived in filth was an understatement. Their basement was inaccessible due to the raw sewage that had filled it. The entire house was filled with garbage from floor to ceiling and infested with fleas and all other sorts of vermin.

They also had pet guinea pigs that roamed the house that would poop and pee everywhere. It was absolute filth. So, they came over and brought a dessert with them, which my grandmother was immediately suspicious of. Upon further inspection, the cake she had made was covered in guinea pig tracks and hair and had little nibbles missing from it.

My grandma immediately tossed it, and then, later, when it was time for dessert, the mother threw a fit that we weren’t serving her prized mayonnaise cake that she worked so hard on and stormed out.


12. Fill In The Blanks

We were hosting a young lady my wife worked with, as well as her boyfriend. Halfway through dinner, she made a shocking confession. The discussion somehow got to how she and her brother "once got super trashed on Robitussin, and next thing you know we...uh...yeah, that was really a weird time." Everyone just got really quiet as we were trying to decide how to fill that one in and where to go with it.


13. Loaded On Limoncello

One of my mom's friends was invited to our Thanksgiving because her kids were at their significant other’s families for the holiday. That year, my uncle brought a bottle of homemade limoncello to share. The stuff was delicious, but it was also about 50% alcohol. Everyone was drinking it out of little 1 oz glass cups. My mom's friend instead poured herself a FULL glass when no one was looking.

She downed it in 15 minutes and then tried to go back for more. She was passed out at least an hour before dinner even began.


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

Every year we had Thanksgiving at my grandparents' house. One year everyone was there except for one aunt. She was outside in her car, refusing to come in. It turned out she had taken out a credit card in my cousin's name while said cousin was in the Navy. My cousin found out on the drive over while opening her mail. My aunt had racked up a $10,000+ debt for my cousin.

It seems as if that was just one of the first signs my aunt was not in her right mind anymore. That Thanksgiving was one of the last ones where our family got together like that. My uncle, aunt, and cousins never came back after that happened. They did visit again at other times, but my aunt was medicated and not like herself anymore.


15. This Thanksgiving Was Just Bananas

As a child, my grandmother would make banana pudding with homemade custard and meringue for Thanksgiving. Every year my mom and her brother would outdo themselves, trying to keep the other from getting the pudding. My uncle broke into our house one year to take it, so my grandma took to making decoy pudding and hiding the real stuff.

However, one year took the cake. My grandma refused to make the beloved pudding, so my great aunt stepped in and offered to make it. She showed up, and my mom took the entire tray of pudding from her hands. Then, she ran into my grandmother's bedroom, screaming at my younger cousin to get her a spoon. She locked herself in my grandmother's bedroom with every intention of eating herself sick on that banana pudding. But she got way more than she bargained for. 

Unfortunately, my great aunt couldn’t cook. The result of this was that instead of smooth, creamy custard, the pudding had bits of scrambled egg yolk in it. This happens if you try to heat the custard too fast and don't continuously stir it as it's cooking. Only moments after locking herself in the room, my mom returned, disappointed, and ate her turkey in sullen silence.


16. She Tried Turning Him Into Toast

One Thanksgiving, there were about 20 or so of us all crowded into my grandma's kitchen. My sister’s 13-year-old son was caught burying his head in his then 10-year-old sister's lap. I don't think they were doing anything funky. They were laughing, but I couldn’t be sure because I wasn't really staring at them. However, knowing my nieces and nephews though, they were just acting the way kids do.

Either way, it definitely wasn't a red flag or anything, so I didn't pay attention to it. I did perk up, though, when I heard our sloshed, fat stepdad scream, "WHAT ON EARTH ARE YOU DOING TO YOUR SISTER?" My nephew became embarrassed and shocked because by now the room was quiet and everyone was looking at them. My stepdad then proceeded to go into a rant of, "You’re disgusting. What is wrong with you?!"

My nephew was in tears, and I was getting ready to flip myself and tell him it was Thanksgiving, so shut up and listen to what the boy was trying to say. My nephew was sputtering, trying to explain he wasn't doing anything wrong, that he was showing her a 7 Up game.  Since the table was full of food, his sister said he could just use her lap. Before I could say anything, my sister, the boy’s mother, beat me to it.

My sister was super unpredictable. She'd go from calm to "Duck! Cause that glass pepper grinder is coming for your dome" in an instant. Throwing things and hitting people with objects was her forte. Before I could open my mouth, she came flying from through the door. She was having a smoke on the all-season porch and heard everything.

I was right by the toaster because it was by the sink where I was doing dishes with my grandma. It went from bad to worse in a second. The next thing I knew, my sister grabbed the toaster, ripped it out of the outlet, which in turn pulled the microwave down from the shelf above it, which almost hit our grandma. I got myself between Grandma and my sister, who was now halfway across the room with the toaster above her head, making some animalistic screech.

My other sister and I now realized she intended to use it on my stepdad, and it could possibly cave his head in if she does it the way she normally does, so we bum-rushed her. My other sister grabbed her arms, and I wrestled the toaster out of her freakishly strong grip while getting between our stepdad and her. The toaster sister was struggling with everything she had, but the sister holding her arms was built like a linebacker, so she just held on.

Eventually, we got her outside. My stepdad and mom left in a huff, and my other sister and I stayed to comfort Grandma, who was now in a puddle of tears. We helped clean up, saw the rest of the company off, and played a round of dominos with her before helping her to bed. She was heartbroken. My sister did apologize to my grandma, and she quickly forgave and forgot, but my stepdad did not.


17. Picture Perfect

A few years back, my husband's maternal uncle and his kids had come into town from very far away. This was the first time the families had seen each other in nearly ten years, so it was a big deal. My mother-in-law was working herself to the bone to make everything appear picture-perfect. The house was spotless. She had bought a bunch of fancy new plates, had a giant Christmas tree already, etc.

Unfortunately, this was also about the time my sister-in-law, who was 20 at the time, started sleeping with her moron boyfriend. Because the uncle's daughter, who was also 20, was engaged, my mother-in-law had invited her fiance, who was also a moron, to Thanksgiving in order to show him off. She wanted everyone do adore him, but that's not what happened.

My sister-in-law and her boyfriend were trying to sneak off to get busy before dinner even started, saying they wanted to do "Black Friday shopping," but my mother-in-law was having none of it. Eventually, while her attention was turned to some other part of the house, my sister-in-law and her boyfriend started sneaking out into the garage to leave.

My mother-in-law caught wind of it and went running out into the garage. The door closed behind her, but the garage was completely attached to the house, so the entire rest of the family was treated to the audio of her screaming.  We were surprised to hear some very choice expletives from my very conservative mother-in-law’s mouth.

Everyone inside was awkwardly trying not to look at each other and pretend we couldn't hear this whole thing. Once they were done fighting, my mother-in-law and sister-in-law came back inside, both with their make-up all smeared from crying. My mother-in-law was red in the face from yelling, but the second she stepped through the door, she put her "perfect Thanksgiving" face right back on and proceeded to pretend as nothing at all had happened.


18. His Plan Insured Thanksgiving Wasn’t Ruined

My cousins are a raucous bunch. One Thanksgiving, after eating and playing many rounds of dice, one of my cousins went to get more drinks and backed his truck directly into my parents' car, smashing up the front. My cousin didn’t have any insurance, so he came back inside and told my dad he had a “plan.” I still can't believe what he ended up doing.

They pulled my parents' car up to the garage where a freshly slaughtered deer hung from hunting that morning. Then the troop of male cousins began smearing blood across the hood and tucking fur into the grill and headlights. My dad called his insurance company the next day, saying he hit a deer on his way home from Thanksgiving, and it ran off into the woods and couldn’t be found.

The insurance company came out, checked the situation, and approved the claim. That was the year my family committed insurance fraud on Thanksgiving.


19. We All Paid The Price At This Gathering

My uncle got wasted and WENT OFF about how resentful and angry he was that my cousin married a woman whose family didn’t have a lot of money, prompting my uncle and aunt to pay for their 200+ person wedding. There were easily about a hundred of the invited guests who were colleagues of my uncle’s that he felt obligated to invite and impress to keep up appearances.

He unloaded in a world-class rant about how ripped off he felt, how he and my aunt secretly fought about every cent they spent that he didn’t think was necessary. He said that the only things he found necessary were the things that would impress his colleagues. He was angry that my cousin and his new wife hadn’t made it explicitly clear during the wedding that he had paid for it.

He was also livid that her parents both gave speeches and didn’t express that he had paid for the wedding. He was also really angry that he had paid for his own daughter’s lavish wedding and had not gotten any financial help from her husband’s family—not even a half-hearted offer. He informed them that traditionally, the groom’s family offers to pay for the drinks and that he and my aunt thought they were cheapskates for not even offering.

To make matters worse, everyone in both of those weddings was at that Thanksgiving, and it caused multiple rifts. I thought my aunt was going to seriously hurt him. It was obviously something that had been stewing for months, if not years.


20. The Beginning And End Of A Family Tradition

My very conservative and kind in-laws drove three hours to have Thanksgiving dinner with my family the year my husband and I married. It was supposed to be this sweet new tradition melding our families and all that. It went so, so horribly. My youngest sister and her boyfriend arrived a couple of hours late. They were wasted and proceeded to eat a ton of food, then promptly passed out on the couch.

My in-laws watched in abject horror a little bit later as the boyfriend came to slightly, flipped them both off, and then passed out again. My in-laws haven’t visited us for holidays since.


21. This Holiday Was Totally Shot

We went to visit my part of the family on Thanksgiving one year. My uncle was shooting at turtles in the creek with his Glock while drinking. He then handed 15-year-old me the piece and told me to go at the turtles. I told him, "I don't want to shoot a turtle." So, my uncle looked straight forward, took a swig of his drink, then a big drag on his smoke, exhaled, and punched me in the cheek.

I fell down in complete shock that he actually hit me. Then he said, with a fearsome calm, "Get. The. Darn. Turtles." And so I did. It ended up backfiring on him, almost literally. The mechanism jammed, so I, never having really fired a pistol before, I turned like an idiot towards my uncle, and said, "Umm. What do I d-" BOOM! The thing discharged right next to my uncle's face.

A nearby tree was not so fortunate. So, my uncle and I stared at each other for a short, awkward moment, then he reached out with both hands and took the weapon away from me. He eyed me and took another drag of his smoke. Apparently, he was using old bullets and that was just what caused the delay in firing or something. But there's an even darker.

A couple of years ago, he got taken in for threatening to kill my aunt. He spent a year behind bars and then my dad let him live with us to get back on his feet. He filled up the computer with an astonishing amount of malware, then eventually disappeared, but not before leaving the backyard gate open and letting our dogs out into the city for the day. One of the dogs messed up her leg while out and has never walked the same since.


22. Hit The Road Aunt!

My aunt, who had been married multiple times and was generally known to have been promiscuous, was over.  She nastily told my sister she was going to meet the Devil for living with her fiancé before marriage. She berated her for a few minutes about sinning and whatnot while they were at my grandmother's cooking. We live in the middle of nowhere, and our houses are divided by small pastures.

My sister ran home crying, and my dad jumped three fences to go kick them out of my grandmother's house. It was quite the scene for the neighbors with all of the yelling. We took all of our turkeys across the pasture to our other aunt's house, and they had pizza while they packed their bags to go home. They never came back for a holiday dinner.


23. Slow Motion Slapstick

My sloshed nephew was giving his much smaller and younger brother's girlfriend a really hard time. When she left the house in tears, the younger brother stood up to the older brother. The next thing we knew, my son was saying, “Umm...I think you'd better come out back.”  We found my nephew swinging roundhouse punches.

The good news was that his punches were in slow motion because he was so wasted. His younger brother was able to duck them all and then was able to get inside the reach of his brother and slap him right in the face. The older brother could not have been more surprised. It was pretty trashy but also pretty darn funny and, frankly, pretty satisfying.


24. Turkey Day Tantrum

My sister, who was 30 at the time, threw a giant temper tantrum because my long-term girlfriend, who I lived with, was sitting in her seat. My girlfriend is currently severely disabled and wanted to sit next to me so that I could cut up her food for her. My sister got so angry because we laughed over her temper tantrum that she excused herself from the table and ate "Thanksgiving" alone in the kitchen. I'm still stunned at how self-involved she was.


25. I Finally Sent The Packer Packing

My aunt always brought several large Tupperware containers to Thanksgiving dinner. Her reasons behind this were utterly ridiculous. She would begin packing up food for herself immediately after everyone had filled their plate. If you thought you might want seconds, you had to take them the first time because there was often nothing left after she'd filled her containers.

Of course, if you did go for seconds, she would make a snide comment about how much food you were eating. I don't recall ever seeing her sit down with a plate to eat with us. She was always in the kitchen packing up the food that she hadn't paid for or prepared. Not only that, but her daughter, who was 28 at the time, wouldn't speak to anyone and fed the shrimp hors d'oeuvres to the cats. They're no longer invited.


26. Oh Snap!

My grandpa and my cousin both wrestled back in their heyday.  One Thanksgiving, they were both playing around wrestling, and my cousin accidentally dislocated my grandpa's shoulder. It was totally by accident. My grandma freaked out, as anyone would, and was like, "Bob, we gotta get you to the hospital.” My grandpa looked around at everyone's concerned faces, sighed and said, "Oh Jesus Christ," then snapped his shoulder back into place. My brothers and I could not stop laughing.


27. Anyone For Leftovers?

One time my roommates and I hosted a Friendsgiving. People brought drinks. In fact, they brought so many bottles that we ran out of counter space for them and started leaving them on the porch. After dinner, when people were already getting pretty tipsy, my coworker showed up with one of those huge, blue, water cooler jugs filled with home-brewed hooch that his dad had made.

It wasn't very good, but once we all polished off the original 60 or so bottles that everyone brought, we broke into the jug. The next morning I woke up in my own bed with two of my friends. I emerged to a scene of carnage. There were people passed out on the couch and on the floor. There was one dude I had gone to high school with, and not seen in years, curled up, sleeping in a chair.

I didn't even remember seeing him the night before. There were half-eaten pies that looked like people had taken handfuls straight out of them, crusty dishes on every surface, broken glass, bottles, stains on the floor, half-smoked joints put out in drink caps, and that darned jug STILL had a good couple of gallons of hooch left in it.


28. This Honeysuckle Sucked The Life Out Of Us

My uncle made a drink from the honeysuckle flowers in my grandma's yard. Everyone got a taste, including the kids. All of the adults drank at least two jelly jars full of it. After a bit, the gathering broke up, and as is the way of the South, everyone made their way out to the cars to say goodbye. I saw my chance and drank a big cup full of the honeysuckle concoction...

Later that night, it kicked in. Somehow my uncle had made the most potent laxative imaginable and called it a drink. There are three bathrooms in my grandma's house, and they were all full for around 10 hours as people emptied their lives out of their butts. Somehow it never occurred to any of the adults that I was pooping my brains out also because I had consumed more of that stuff.


29. My Aunt’s Boyfriend Is The True Turkey

My aunt’s boyfriend didn’t like her being around anyone but him. So, when she had us all over for Thanksgiving, he tried his best to make her feel bad about it. He refused to carve the turkey, refused to make the potatoes, and then got mad at her when she made them. He said that she made them “wrong,” and when she called him out on it, he called her a nasty name in front of myself, my mother, my grandmother, and my step-grandfather.


30. My Cousin Made The Day So Special

I have a crazy cousin who came to dinner after not being invited. She proceeded to yell at everyone because no one brought the “special bread” that her son liked, and now he was STARVING. Perhaps she should have brought her own Hawaiian sweet bread if that’s the only thing her spawn would eat. She then boxed up a large portion of the leftovers and left. She went unseen until the next unfortunate family function.


31. Big News

My cousin went into the living room and pulled my grandma aside for a few minutes. We suspected he had just been snorting in the bathroom, so we were all pretty concerned with how this would go down. When we found out, I was as surprised as anyone. My grandma then gathered everyone into the room and announced that she had just found out that she was a great-grandmother to a 6-month-old baby!

Everyone was pretty confused, especially my aunt and uncle, but we all raised a glass in congratulations. At Christmas, another announcement was made. He was NOT the father.


32. Thanksgiving Day Melee

I have a rather large family on my father's side. He is number three out of ten siblings. All of the siblings have multiple children, my cousins. I was talking to my female cousin about where she was going to school, and her newest boyfriend took offense to this. Apparently, he thought I was another guy trying to hit on his girl.

Mind you, there were more than 60 people at this gathering. I kindly said, “Hey man, she’s my cousin, don’t worry,” and smiled, trying to be cordial. In addition, homemade moonshine had been going around for about three hours, and this guy was visibly inebriated. He immediately took a drunken swing at me, missed, and blasted one of my aunties in the back of the head. Madness broke out.

Several family members jumped him and began delivering a beat down. My grandmother and everyone else were screaming, and I was caught in the mix. My cousin ended up having to take this poor idiot to the ER. Several family members ended up going as well, due to fighting each other. Dinner never got served because the commotion caused the large serving table to spill over. It was heartbreaking.


33. Pass The Picture Please

About a decade ago, my cousin, who was a junior in high school, finally got himself a girlfriend. She didn't come to Thanksgiving, but everyone wanted to see what she looked like. So, he gave us a picture, and everyone had a turn looking at it, made a comment, and passed it along. Most of the men in the family were wasted, and when they got the pic, all of them would say, "Hey, she looks familiar."

They then proceeded to talk about the time they had gotten intimate with her. Of course, it was all meant to be in good fun, but it was pretty classless, and this was my cousin's first girlfriend. He was not really the "fratboy/alpha male" type to appreciate this type of ribbing. He was also the smartest in the family by far. Eventually, he left the state for college, became a doctor, and never showed up to Thanksgiving dinner ever again.

He did show up to a family wedding. All those guys came up to him asking for free medical advice.


34. I Was Worried For Nothing

My husband's stepsister got into a massive fight with her cousin in the middle of dinner. I don’t even remember what the cousin said to her first, but all of a sudden, we heard, “Well, you know what else is ratchet, not knowing who your baby daddy is!!!!” The cousin got so mad at her that she proceeded to throw a drink bottle across the table.

It took three grown men to hold the two of them back. I also got my behind squeezed by my husband’s inebriated “bad uncle.” Since it was my first time meeting his family, I was too shy and scared to make a big deal out of it. Ironically, before the trip, I was worried sick they would think I was trash and wouldn’t be classy enough for them. Nope.


35. What’s The Point?

My stepdad's uncle used to think it was hilarious to go up to someone eating a slice of pie, point first, then swipe it after they took their first bite, saying, "There's no point in the pie." He would then proceed to eat it or throw it away. This wasn't a one-time thing. It was "his'' joke, and he would do it repeatedly at gatherings and brag about it afterward.

I immediately got into trouble for suggesting that touching my pie would be an excellent way for him to lose his remaining arm.


36.  Don’t Diss My Students!

I was 17 at the time, and my dad had passed in August of that year. That Thanksgiving, my mom, my boyfriend, and I went to visit my dad's brother. All three of us worked in special education with severely handicapped students. It's something I was, and still am, very passionate about. The visit started off with my aunt and uncle calling my much-loved students a burden on society.

They said that their classes were a waste of school funding that took resources away from the "normal" kids who deserved that money because they would actually grow up and be "useful.” Great start right out the gate. Then my aunt's father, who was not related to us at all, showed up and started grilling my recently-widowed mother on when she was going to start dating and if she was going to remarry.

It was by far the most uncomfortable and infuriating holiday I've ever experienced.


37. My Cheezy Cousin

My cousin helped herself to a Costco-sized box of individually wrapped Cheezit packages from our garage. I just happened to notice they were gone when putting food in the fridge. I asked about it publicly, and she locked up, started stuttering, and went to get them out of her car. She returned with the excuse, "I thought these were mine. I have a box just like them at home.”


38. What Happened To The Bird?

My grandpa had too much bourbon, which was pretty much par for the course with him. But it had huge consequences. He stumbled en route to bring the fully cooked 20 lb turkey to the dining room. The bird shot off the platter, hit the tile floor, and skipped along until it came to a rest against the wall. A barrage of expletives was let loose by Grandpa as we all sat expectantly in the dining room, waiting for the meal to start.

Some 20 minutes later, the dinner did commence, complete with an oddly shaped bird which had recently undergone “reconstructive surgery” at the hands of drunken “Dr.” Gramps.


39. His Big Mouth Squashed Our Dinner

My uncle noticed that my sister, who was somewhere between 6 and 10 years old at the time, was avoiding an item on her plate. "You haven't touched your squash," he said. She took that as a literal challenge and slapped the watery orange goo with her open hand. The stuff went everywhere. As popcorn ceilings are a pain to clean, we were still noticing little orange flecks from the ceiling years later. My uncle stopped coming to holiday dinners after that—it wasn't worth the dry cleaning bill.


40. A Friendsgiving Fiasco

A few weeks prior to Thanksgiving, my brother had been diagnosed with terminal brain cancer. I had taken a tremendous amount of time off work to help care for him, along with my parents. I needed a break and to blow off some steam, so the night before Thanksgiving, my friend and I went to a concert to see one of my favorite bands. We had front-row seats.

The concert was three hours from home, and we had made plans to spend the night with another friend and her boyfriend. The plan was to have Thanksgiving dinner with them. We had talked to her on our way to the show, and she was excited. She was prepping and cooking for the big feast. We showed up after the concert with Taco Bell to find them wasted and the entire Thanksgiving dinner in Tupperware.

It was sitting cold on the counter, and she told us to help ourselves. They had already eaten the day before on WEDNESDAY afternoon! Not THURSDAY, the actual turkey day. About a half-hour after we showed up, her boyfriend disappeared. We found out that he was wasted and paranoid and hiding in the bedroom. Later, my friend and I were alone talking, and it took a turn for the worse.

She started crying. She was telling me that she was having nightmares about her ex-husband and that she didn’t think that she dealt with the divorce SIX months prior. Tears were streaming down her face saying, "You just don't know the nightmares I'm having." She was then grabbing my hands every five minutes and repeating, "But you are going through so much."

The next morning my father called and asked if I would have dinner with my brother so they could see some family. I high-tailed it out of their house. It was the last good day my brother and I had before he passed on a few months later. I will forever be grateful for that day with him. You really do figure out who your real friends are and who are the selfish ones.


41. Dumped On And Ditched

My mother was in her early 70s. She called my brothers and me a week before Thanksgiving to talk about dinner. I was the first one she called. She sounded tired, so I told her not to stress about dinner, and I recommended that instead of the traditional dinner of turkey, ham, etc., she could just prep a lasagna. She already had sauce in the freezer.

It would be low-key and easy. She thought that was a great idea, and so did I. My mom didn’t have to work day and night over turkey, ham, and all the fixings, and we could just enjoy family time without the stress. A week later, I showed up at my mom's. She had made the traditional dinner AND the lasagna. She made both! I was very confused. Then I found out the reason why, and I wanted to scream.

It turned out my older brother, who was 42 at the time, told her Thanksgiving was for turkey and tradition, not lasagna. At this point, I was surprised and disappointed that she had to do MORE work, and the whole point was less—totally selfish. So, this brother of mine showed up last, without his girlfriend, and he had only one of his three children with him.

We were all happy when he walked in, and we asked him where his girlfriend was. He said she couldn't eat lasagna because it gave her heartburn, so she stayed home with the other kids. Then saw the lasagna AND the traditional supper. He proceeded to lose his mind. He started shouting about how my mother didn't tell him she was making the traditional supper.

He continued to mumble many inappropriate things and stormed out with his kid in tow. My mom started to lose it, toot, and began crying.  He closed the door, she stormed out after him and began screaming his name to come back in from the balcony. He didn’t even look back, packed up his kid in the car, and left. She walked back in sobbing.

The look she had on her face broke all of our hearts. A lot of consoling was done that night. We had lots of leftovers, so I was glad I had my eating pants on. I couldn't believe that my 73-year-old mother made a meal to accommodate my brother’s selfish demands and lack of understanding, and he basically dumped all his anger on her.

He never apologized. To this day, he still believes he did nothing wrong. It hasn't been the same in my family since then.


42. A Flaming Good Time

My friend didn't have much money, so a bunch of us got together to pitch in and surprise her and her kids with a Thanksgiving meal. We had found out they only had a few sandwiches to share. There were a bunch of our trucks pulling up into her yard and people just bum-rushing her house with food and decorating. At the time, her ex had left most of his possessions behind.

This had the makings of a giant bonfire to help rid her of the painful memories of that said ex who refused to pick up his stuff after five months of notice, including a fiberglass boat. The flames, spirits, and booze were definitely off the charts that Turkey Day. Most people slept in the bed of their trucks and woke up to a high and mighty neighbor calling us trash, but whatever. It was one memorable Thanksgiving.


43. Thanksgiving With The Feds

My uncle was hiding in Haiti for years during the Baby Doc days. Somehow, he had snuck back into the country and showed up for Thanksgiving. About 45 minutes later, a bunch of federal agents busted in and took him away. I was around 11 or 12 at the time. They searched the house too and took all my dad's hunting rifles. He was an avid deer and pheasant hunter, and he didn't get them back for over a year. No one ever explained the whole story to me.


44. The Cat Needs To Get His Tongue

My dad was in the early stages of Alzheimer's at the time. He had always been a bit racy, but as his condition presented itself, he would say things that were shocking beyond description. One Thanksgiving, we had about 10-12 people over. In the middle of dinner, as he was just starting to develop symptoms, people were talking about a female friend who was going in for surgery.

Suddenly, my dad spoke up, and in a loud voice, said, "What is she going to do? Get her privates switched around so that things will be easier in bed?" He wondered why no one laughed at his joke, then he went back to eating his turkey as if nothing really happened at all. The rest of us made a note to have him see a doctor right after the holiday on Monday.


45. The Whole Truth

One Thanksgiving, my aunt got inebriated and then undressed. She ran down the street, still undressed, after hitting on my cousin's boyfriend. Her kids saw it all. They were all under the age of 12 at the time. I called Child Protection Services because she tried driving while impaired with the kids. She then cried the whole next day because everyone was mad at her. She's not invited to Thanksgiving anymore.


46. Turning The Turkey Tables

My wife and I had talked about hosting Thanksgiving with other family members that previous July. Everyone thought it was a great idea. We went out and bought everything we needed and spent a fair amount of money. We were both excited about hosting it, as we were in our first house, and it was big enough to host it. We later found out that one of my wife’s aunts decided that whatever we were going to do wasn’t going to be good enough.

So, she went behind our backs and invited everyone to Thanksgiving dinner at her house.  Everyone except for us, that is. Naturally, we were pretty upset about it. We talked to other family members and in revenge, they all decided not to go to her dinner, but to say that they were going. She was certainly in for a big surprise that night.


47. Our Invitation Came At A Cost

My aunt invited us all over to her and her family's house, which was out of state, for Thanksgiving, and everything was going to be provided by them. Our family decided to go, and we offered to bring something, anything, just as a thank you. However, my aunt insisted we don’t bring anything. The dinner was good, and it was an overall very great Thanksgiving. But a month later, we got an infuriating letter.

It was from my aunt, proclaiming that we now owed her $75 to cover the cost of the meal. My parents were so upset, as we had just spent a lot of money to go down and see her and had even offered to lighten her load by bringing some of our own dishes. We wouldn’t even be so mad if it weren’t for the fact that my aunt didn’t even tell anyone about this when she was giving out the invitations.


48. I Served Up Some Sweet Revenge

Years ago, when electric ice cream makers were relatively new, my wife’s family decided that rather than have people bake dessert for Thanksgiving, we would all instead make homemade ice cream after dinner. We used good ingredients and made some really high-quality ice cream. It was fun, and all of the kids enjoyed making it a lot. But we were in for a huge disappointment. 

When we were done making the ice cream, my wife’s aunt put the ice cream aside and proceeded to pull out some low-quality store-brand ice cream to serve to the kids. They explained that the homemade ice cream was only for the adults. The kids just got store-bought ice cream because “they can’t appreciate the good stuff anyway.”

Regardless of whether that was true or not, the kids really wanted to eat the homemade stuff simply because they made it themselves. They were really put out. Tears were shed. I spoke up and said, “Don’t be heartless; let the kids have the stuff they made. Give them at least a little bit.” I mean, in my family, the kids are the focus on holidays.

It’s about the enjoyment we get by seeing them so happy. Anyway, my wife’s aunts refused to listen, gave me a mouthful about how, “You don’t understand, you don’t have kids.” I told her, “Yeah, but I was a kid, and I know how bad I would feel.” They put their foot down and said no, there wasn’t enough to go around; the kids eat the store-bought ice cream.

She said, “If you want them to have some so badly, then you can share your portion with them.” I said alright then, that’s what I’ll do. Because I had a brilliant plan. When I went to serve myself, I got a giant salad bowl and filled it all the way to the top, grabbed six spoons, and then went and sat at the kids’ table, and we all just pigged out on my “portion.”

There was hardly any left, so what did the adults have to do? Pull the store-bought ice cream out of the fridge and eat that instead, sulking while trying to maintain their dignity. It was pretty much angry silence for the next hour until we left. I was worried my wife was going to be mad and tell me off once we got in the car, but instead, she laughed and told me she loved me.


49. This Holiday Needs A Rewind

I was at my wife’s uncle's house for Thanksgiving. It was also their anniversary weekend, so my uncle's wife decided to play their wedding video right after dinner. She looked for a half hour to find the videotape. She finally found it and gathered the whole dinner party, about 25 people, to the backroom area and played the video. That's when my uncle's secret came out.

Right as she was walking down the aisle, when she was about mid-way down, the video went fuzzy and cut to Dale Earnhardt’s funeral. My uncle used the tape of his wedding video to record Dale Earnhardt’s funeral. Everyone froze in complete shock, and I started laughing, I just couldn't help it. It felt like I was in a sitcom, but it was real life.


50. The Hostess Went All Out

When I was 11 years old, my whole extended family and I went over to a mutual friend's house for Thanksgiving dinner. It was a very large house, so for most of the night, the children played in the basement while the adults prepared the meal upstairs. Shortly after finishing dessert, someone noticed one detail that changed the night entirely.

They realized that my uncle and the hostess, who was our family friend, had disappeared up into the master bedroom.  Mind you, my aunt and the hostess's husband were both sitting downstairs. Every one of us, one by one, went to knock on the door to see what was up, but they refused to come out. I heard some strange noises from behind the door, but I was incredibly confused.

I remember my aunt crying and the husband being extremely angry, but my uncle and the hostess just didn’t come out for almost two hours. When they finally did come out, the hostess was wearing different clothes, and everyone else was incredibly upset. This was always burned into my memory, so recently, I asked my mom what actually happened that night. Her answer wasn't at all what I was expecting. 

It turns out that while we children were playing karaoke downstairs, some of the adults were drinking, and getting wasted upstairs. My uncle and the hostess had locked themselves into the bedroom to do some blow and eventually became too paranoid to come out—so they say. We still think they were getting busy up there, but who knows. All of the couples involved are still somehow happily married.


Sources: Reddit,,

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