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Thanksgiving is next week, which means the holiday season is officially starting and we're all in for lots time with our crazy families for the next month. To help keep you (relatively) sane at your own family party, we asked our readers to send in their most memorable Thanksgiving fails. We've got turkeys. We've got Japanese "penis temples." We've got someone who referred to herself as Mrs. Poopsgiving.

In short, most of these stories will make your family's Thanksgiving dinner seem tame in comparison:

1. The holidays at Caroline B.'s house sound dangerous.

It was Thanksgiving, 2010, the year the turkey fought back. My little brother and I were helping our mom make the dinner. My mom put the turkey in her antique glass cooking pan and placed it in the oven. Two hours later, there was a popping, cracking, sizzling kind of sound coming from the oven. Thinking it was juice overflowing, my mom opens the oven door and suddenly shrieks and ducks. The pan had broken and glass shards were popping and shooting out! When it finally stopped, we turned the oven off and carefully removed the turkey and shattered glass. And then my brother and I had the brilliant idea to wash and pick the glass out of the bird. We cut our fingers and partially mutilated the bird, but somehow managed to save the turkey and Thanksgiving.

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2. And what would a list of Thanksgiving fails be without a "We almost burned the house down... twice" story? Thanks for this, Laura.


On Thanksgiving, everyone in my family just divvies up amongst ourselves what dishes we were bringing to dinner at my mom's. In 2011, I made green bean casserole and pumpkin pie. That year, I went over to my mom's early to help her cook. The pies were the last thing to be put in. I put my pride and joy of the pies in the oven. About 15 mins later, the house is smoking and there is a bad burning smell. Frantically, we run in the kitchen. I put the pies on a plastic pan and the pan melted!

Anytime someone does something silly or dumb, it's called a "Jennifer" moment. Named after my mom, who is the queen of doing weird shit. Of course, I was the joke of dinner. I was the Jennifer for that being. I thought I was never going to let it down. You may think almost burning the house down is bad right? It gets better! I didn't have to live it down long at all!

As my mom is tipsy off her Riesling, she decides that she wanted to prep the annual turkey stew for the next day that evening. But, she forgot she put a couple dirty pans in the oven to make sink and dishwater space to clean later. These pans had gravy drippings on them, and subsequently leaked onto the oven. She didn't take these pans out. She put the turkey in the oven to cook with those pans. As everyone is joking about me pulling a Jennifer after dessert, the kitchen billowed with black smoke. My mom says "OH SHIT!!!! I forgot about the turkey stew!" Key word, turkey stew, she thought she burnt the next days meal. Didn't even remember she put the pans in oven. They were the reason the oven was burning profusely. At least when I melted the plastic pan, it was just her and I at home. When she did it later that evening, there was 12 of us at her house. The smoke and smell was so bad that we had to go outside and hang out while it sifted out. Moral of the story, don't be a Jennifer, and if you are a Jennifer, don't talk shit. It will bite you in the ass.

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3. Yikes. Amy might win the "worst Thanksgiving" award.

Four years ago I decided to host Thanksgiving at mine & my husband's house since we were trying to combine families (this was the second marriage for both of us). My husband kept telling me it wasn't a good idea because our families were so different, but I thought this was a great way to get them together! Invites were sent- fast forward to Thanksgiving. I slaved over the meal (granted I didn't make a turkey- but for 17 people I felt I'd stick with what I was comfortable with) and had the house all set up for the big event. Everyone came and it seemed to be going well. I was the ever gracious hostess flitting from group to group and making sure everyone had what they needed and was happy. I realized after we ate while the families were either watching the games or sitting out on the patio around the fire pit.... that I couldn't find my husband. Looked everywhere.... then went out in the front to see if he'd taken the car to make a trip to the store since the beer was running low. Found him. In the car. With my cousin's wife. They didn't seem to notice me (maybe it was the steamed up windows making it hard to see me?!?!?) so I went inside and got my cousin, told him what I had just found and brought him outside. Stillllll going at it they were. He opened the car door, screamed many an expletive at them and him & my husband rolled around in our driveway. Quite the neighborhood spectacle was made. That was the last holiday I spent with my husband and my cousin with his wife. We both got divorces the following year. My ex and my cousin's ex dated for a year.....then he cheated on her with her best friend. Go figure!

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4. This reader asked to be credited as "Ifyouknewmyin-laws,you'ddrinktoo." We believe her after hearing this story.

Thanksgiving about a dozen years ago at my mother-in-law's place. My sister-in-law and I knew how things would be, so we brought margarita fixin's and those flowed freely throughout the entire debacle.

We arrive on time for dinner only to find that MIL's husband hadn't put the turkey in the oven early enough or turned up the heat high enough to actually cook it. My husband dissected the turkey and put it back in the (now hot) oven to cook more quickly. Margarita!

We are all in one room (open concept living room and kitchen) because MIL's apartment is small, so there is no way to avoid the smack-talk between family members throughout the afternoon and into the evening. Margarita!

MIL keeps disappearing into her bedroom. She is completely off her rocker, so we are kinda happy not to have to interact with her. Margarita! Until there is a kick at the door. Not really a knock, a pounding. Like you hear on the TV show "Cops:?!??! Well, yes, there are two officers outside the door (Margarita and lots of giggling!). Apparently, when MIL disappeared into her room, she kept calling 911 and asking them to connect her with her daughter who had not shown up for dinner yet.

The police showed up to let us know to stop her from calling. (Margarita!).

I don't think we ate what should've been a noon-ish lunch until 7 or 8pm, and by that time, we had noshed on all of the side dishes, so all that was left was turkey. Oh, and my SIL and I were completely hammered.

Best Thanksgiving ever!!!

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5. Camryn's Thanksgiving is a rollercoaster, but at least she learned something valuable by the end of the day.

The day started with me watching the Thanksgiving Day parade and feeling inspired and overzealous when watching the baton twirlers. I grabbed something akin to a baseball bat and started flailing it and cracked my poor father in the back of the head with it. He was okay, and then we went to my aunt's house for dinner.

When cooking the sweet potato pie, my aunt preceded to leave the glove in the oven and it caught fire. Back then, I didn't fully understand the concept of fire safety, so I thought I would be of best help if I stopped in the middle of the floor in the way of everything, stopped, dropped, and rolled. Again, everything turned out fine, albeit the pie being inedible but the house was still standing, and we never let her live it down. She got a fire extinguisher and fireproof oven mitts for Hanukkah that year.

Best of all to top it all off, one of my cousins was talking about visiting a place in Italy that apparently sounded similar to something quite crude in Japanese. My other cousin's Japanese wife (who didn't speak much English and was still new to the family) burst out laughing. We asked "what, does that mean something in Japanese?" My cousin looked sheepish and said, "it, uh... It means penis temple."

That's the Thanksgiving I always refer to as "the day I learned how to say penis temple in two languages."

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6. A reader who asked us to call her "Mrs. Poopsgiving" sent in this story. It starts out with fairly mild Thanksgiving Day annoyances, but boy, that last paragraph. We have so many questions.

A few years ago was our first Thanksgiving without my mother-in-law. We almost cancelled, because everyone was still mourning.

We didn't cancel, and the following is what happened.

For awhile everything was fine. Turkey was cooking, everything else was being started. My kids only eat brownies for dessert, so I put a pan in. I pulled the turkey out to check on it and put it back in. I had no idea that the flimsy pan I had the turkey in had ripped when I stuck it back on, so all the turkey drippings went into the pan of brownies! I was out of eggs, so my husbands grandpa had to bring the only 3 eggs he had to my house with him.

I started to do some of the dishes and realized my sink was stopped up. My husband had to come in the kitchen to try to fix it. That didn't work, so we had to start putting dirty dishes in the bath tub.

We finally got to eat and everything was fine, except for it being awkward being the first holiday without my mom in law.

Everyone left and I started feeling horrible. I automatically thought I messed something up and gave everyone food poisioning. I had to go to the bathroom, Pronto! While in there, I started getting really hot and then passed out. I woke up because someone was screaming, I didn't realize until later that I was the one screaming on the floor, half naked with poo everywhere! I had a huge bruise under my chin and another across the side of my face.

It was a memorable Thanksgiving.

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