9 Thanksgiving Movies To Watch Before and After Your Feast

Everyone knows about Halloween and Christmas movies. Heck, there’s a whole genre of horror that will get you in the spooky spirit and even more for the jolly folk. But Thanksgiving movies are often looked over. Understandably, there are a lot fewer Turkey Day movies, but they exist. There are also movies that just instill that Fall feeling outside of Halloween and get you into the Thanksgiving mood. 

So while you’re preparing dinner or just lounging after the parade, there are movies for you to watch. There are also some for the food comas that will get you in the Christmas and shopping spirit. 

The Home Sweet Home float by Cracker Barrel Old Country Store for the 93rd annual Macy's Thanksgiving Day Parade.
The Home Sweet Home float by Cracker Barrel Old Country Store® for the 93rd annual Macy’s Thanksgiving Day Parade® on November 19, 2019 | Eugene Gologursky/Getty Images For Macy’s Inc

Before

A Family Thanksgiving

The Hallmark Channel is known for their massive Christmas movie collection, but they also have this sweet Thanksgiving one. It follows Claudia who’s work-obsessed and puts work before anyone else. She’s visited by a sort of Thanksgiving fairy and is transported to a life where she has a husband, kids, a soccer-mom van to teach her what shes’ missing. It’s a bit of an odd premise, but if you want a chill movie for background noise, this is for you. 

You’ve Got Mail

Basically in the rom-com Hall of Fame (if there was one) You’ve Got Mail. Meg Ryan plays a small bookstore owner in New York City who starts to fall for an anonymous stranger through her AOL email. This stranger is played by Tom Hanks, who comes from a rich family in charge of a large bookstore chain. They’re natural rivals until they realize their identities. There’s some talk of Thanksgiving, but the fall moments are what really bring it home for this holiday.  

Sweet November

Keanu Reeves and Charlize Theron play complete opposites: a snobby businessman and an eccentric, quirky woman. She poses a challenge to him to live with her in her apartment for a all of November, no questions, and no more than said month. Oddly he agrees, and they start a romance that gets pretty deep. But she’s hiding something. 

Addams Family Values

Who knew an Addams Family movie can become a Thanksgiving movie, too? Yep, the creepy-yet-wholesome family isn’t just good for Halloween. The sequel is just as fun as the first and features a Wednesday’s revolt at her summer camp involving a Thanksgiving play about pilgrims and Native Americans that is as iconic as her black outfit and braids. 

Free Birds

This is a really funny and fun family movie involving the turkeys that the President pardons every year. They travel back to 1621, in time for the first Thanksgiving. They want to prevent turkeys from being the primary meat eaten for the holiday so that they never have to deal with it again. You can enjoy this while cooking your turkey, for added effect. Just kidding… kind of. 

A Charlie Brown Thanksgiving

This absolute classic is good for before, during, and after your meal; it’s that good. Nothing beats the Peanuts theme song or the cute characters that are center stage. Charlie Brown, Snoopy, and the gang all celebrate Thanksgiving in their own way and are up to their usual antics. 

After dinner movies

Paul Blart: Mall Cop

While digesting all the stuffing and mashed potatoes, waiting to make some room for pie, movies provide an ample amount of entertainment. Paul Blart and his Segway are perfect to do that. It’ll also get you ready for Black Friday because the mall lockdown happens on that cursed shopping day. Hopefully, you have better luck. 

The Santa Clause

For a lot of people, Christmas starts soon after Halloween, but if you like to wait until after Thanksgiving, then this would be the perfect time to pop on a holiday classic. This stars Tim Allen as a workaholic businessman at a toy company who accidentally kills Santa (sort of) and then takes on the role of the big guy.

Elf

Lastly, one more modern Christmas classic to ring in the holiday season is Elf starring Will Ferrell as a childish man-elf. It also brings a family together in the movie, so this is perfect for post-dinner bonding with your loved ones.