Generally Disturbing Things That Happened During Thanksgiving Dinner

thanksgiving horror stories

Ah, Thanksgiving. The holiday is supposed to be filled with wholesome family traditions and delicious food. But it can also come with a side order of drama and chaos. And while families and friends do come together to give thanks for everything they have, it’s normal for unspoken issues to bubble up. Usually, that happens right when someone is basting the turkey.

Of course, family drama affects all of us, as family members can stir up the worst parts of our respective personalities. If things go horribly wrong every time the family gets together, though, it might be time to rethink the family tradition.

Moreover, who wants to argue about politics while they’re trying to eat mashed potatoes? No one should be bickering about Aunt Nancy’s antics for the third time when the kids are trying to play a board game.

Luckily, the drama that occurs on this fall holiday only happens once a year. And while some people remain tight-lipped about their family drama, Redditors have no such compulsions.

Their Thanksgiving horror stories will assure you that your family is not the only bonkers one.

1. Grandma threatened the unthinkable.


Grandma threatened to sh*t in the turkey if we didn’t let her watch Jeopardy

2. She pretended to have a heart attack.


From Redditor /u/acorngirl:

Here’s what happened. Grandmother didn’t like my dad very much, and she picked a fight with him so he decided that he was going home.

When grandmother M realized that my stepmom (her daughter) was going to take dad’s side and go home too, she yelled a lot…

Then she escalated the situation when things didn’t go her way.

As a last ditch effort, [she] dramatically clutched her chest and collapsed very carefully (it was outside and I guess she didn’t want to bump her head or muss her clothes).

The grandfather just went along for the ride.

Dad offered to call 911, grandfather said it wasn’t necessary, and when grandmother realized no one was taking her seriously she opened her eyes, allowed grandfather to help her up, and went inside with him while fake sobbing.

At least the grandmother committed to the story.

Normally she was quite nice, but she had her moments and really wasn’t happy that her daughter had grown up and had a life. Holidays usually brought out the worst in her. Which was weird because she loved cooking and celebrating.

3. She stole a package of Cheezits.


From Redditor /u/chandabear17:

The woman my cousin had just married stole 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.

The woman had no shame.

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.’

4. An uncle shot a television.


From Redditor /u/ironhead_mule:

My uncle shot the TV because of how the Lions were playing. This was back in ’77 or ’78 iirc.

He really took being a dedicated fan to another level.

It was a 17-inch black and white TV, with two knobs — one for VHF channels and one for UHF. He and my dad had started drinking early and the Lions were awful.

How did this fan deal with the imminent loss?

After a bad play late in the game he strolled into the bedroom, picked up his revolver and shot the TV.

We ate dinner shortly after and then went to my grandmas house to watch the Cowboys game.

5. An intoxicated aunt stole all the spoons.


From Redditor /u/p0i8n5e3cone:

My aunt Janie took a bunch of Xanax (and who knows what else) on top of a jug of Carlo Rossi that she had hidden in her room.

That wasn’t it, either.

She then proceeded to steal every spoon in the house while the rest of us were drinking and playing games.

She cleaned them out.

EVERY. SINGLE. SPOON [was missing]. We found them in her purse. Why just the spoons?

6.  They ate the turkey way too soon.


From Redditor /u/crimefighterrr:

Last year, my husband’s grandma hosted Thanksgiving dinner at her house and asked us to provide the turkey.

And things got progressively worse.

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 [p.m.].

What did they find?

We arrived back at his grandma’s house around 3:45 p.m. and everyone had already eaten all the food. Including the entire turkey.

7.  A family feud started during dinner.


From Redditor /u/neferrandi:

My uncle and grandfather don’t have a good relationship but were tolerating each other because [it was] Thanksgiving. My uncle was cooking lasagna and my grandfather decided to help, so he grated the cheese.

Things sound good so far.

He did this in another room, because the kitchen was full of other people cooking. (We have a big Thanksgiving maybe 15-20 who love to eat.)

I had brought in the cheese and everything was going fine. Flashforward to dinnertime, the food is coming out and as tradition dictates, we always start with lasagna.

But even food couldn’t placate this family.

My grandfather made some joke like, “I know you hate me, but at least I’m grate,” and sh*t hit the fan. My uncle literally went [crazy], and was yelling at everyone because we didn’t tell him he was using “tainted” cheese. Then [he] proceeded to flip the table [that] ALL the food was on.

The uncle completely lost it.

Then my grandfather called him outside to settle the score, which resulted in two grown men fist-fighting in the backyard, culminating with my grandad getting thrown into the pond we lived off of, and slicing his leg on a jagged rock that he landed on.

Sounds like a horrible way to end the holiday.

The rest of us ordered Chinese food, and kicked my uncle out, and my grandfather refused [to go to] the hospital because he had a little too much “holiday joy” in him at the time. Suprising my uncle hasn’t come to holidays in years now…

8. Family members arrived to Thanksgiving dinner with White Castle takeout.


From Redditor /u/pizzaman07:

We were hosting Thanksgiving and prepared all the food ourselves and my mom spend all morning cooking and baking. My aunt, uncle and cousins arrive[d] right before dinner and walk in with a White Castle case…

And they seemingly had no shame.

They just stopped to eat a few minutes ago. We had prepared Thanksgiving just for them and they decided that they wanted White Castle instead.

9. Someone assaulted the butter without consent.


From Redditor /u/IneptNoodle:

Picked up an entire stick of butter with their hand to butter their corn. No wrapper. Bare hand to butter.

10. An aunt decided to fight for her cake.


From Redditor /u/KevWill:

Every Thanksgiving with my MIL [mother-in-law]. My wife and I host. About 15 people come, and everyone brings side dishes as is the custom. Not her mother. She only brings stuff for herself.

And there’s no remorse at all.

She proudly announces that whatever she brought is just for her. It’s not for diet purposes, because she eats all the other food too.

We can’t get behind behavior like this on a day of thanks.

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.

No children first here.

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.

And everyone knows those are the best parts.

If you want to make little kids cry, do that. She wouldn’t give them up though.

Also, she 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.

11. She wanted to watch her wedding video during Thanksgiving, but it didn’t turn out well.


From Redditor /u/homanisto:

I was at my wife’s uncles house for Thanksgiving, and his wife decided right after dinner to play their wedding video (because it was also their anniversary weekend).

Why not combine two momentous occasions?

She looks for half [an] hour to find the video tape, finds it and gathers the whole dinner party (25ish people) to the back room area, plays the video, and right as she’s walking down the aisle, midway down the aisle it goes fuzzy… and cuts to… Dale Earnhardt’s funeral.

What a plot twist.

Uncle Joe used that tape to record Dale Earnhardt’s funeral. Granted it was in small town Michigan wheren the Nascar track is, but still.

A funeral is a funeral.

Everyone froze in complete shock, and I started laughing and felt like I was in a sitcom but it was real life.

12. Homemade ice cream was a huge concern.


From Redditor /u/moby323:

This was years ago when electric ice cream makers were relatively new (or at least the affordable ones were new) so for Thanksgiving, my wife’s family decided rather than have people bake dessert, after dinner, we would all make homemade ice cream instead.

A cute family bonding moment right?

We used good ingredients and made some really high-quality ice cream. It was fun and all of the kids enjoyed it a lot.

But when we were done making the ice cream, my wife’s aunt put the ice cream aside and proceeded to pull out some sh*tty store-brand ice cream to serve the kids.

What was the logic behind this?

They explained that the homemade ice cream was only for the adults [and] the kids just got store-bought ice cream because “they can’t appreciate the good stuff anyway.”

Maybe that was true. But regardless, the kids really wanted to eat the homemade stuff simply because they made it themselves. They were really [putting] out, some tears were shed.

And we don’t blame them.

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 sh*t about how “you don’t understand, you don’t have kids” and I was like “Yeah, but I was a kid and I know how crappy I would feel” but they put their foot down and said no, there wasn’t enough to go around, the kids eat the crappy ice cream. “If you want them to have some so badly, then you can share your portion with them.” I said, “Alright then, okie dokie, that’s what I’ll do.”

Thank goodness for kind people.

So when I went to serve myself, I got a big ass salad bowl and filled [it] all the way to the top, grabbed six spoons and then went and sat at the the kids’ table, and we all just pigged out on my portion.

We doubt that went over well with everyone.

There was hardly any left, so what did the adults have to do? Pull the shitty ice cream out of the fridge and eat that instead, sulking and at the same time, 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 pissed and tell me off once we got in the car, but instead she laughed… and told me she loved me.

13. When grandpa accidentally knocked grandma out.


From Redditor /u/cvbresl1n:

My grandpa was pretending to fake punch my grandma for sh*ts and giggles. The thing is, she leaned into it. He knocked her out and she fell to the floor. Best Thanksgiving ever, went down in history

14. A sister threw a fit when she couldn’t sit where she wanted.


From Redditor /u/shlomo_baggins:

We did a family dinner today instead of Thanksgiving tomorrow. My sister (30 years old) threw a giant temper tantrum because my long-term girlfriend, who I live with, is sitting in her seat.

What adult acts like this?

My girlfriend is currently severely disabled and wanted to sit next to me so I could cut up her food for her. My five-year-old of a sister got so huffy because we laughed over her temper tantrum that she excused herself from the table…

That’s not all.

[She] ate Thanksgiving [dinner] alone in the kitchen. I’m still dumbstruck at how self involved she is.

15. He talked dirty to a turkey.


From Redditor /u/darharhar113:

My mom and dad play music, so one Thanksgiving, me and my brother were left home to make sure the turkey didnt burn till they got back.

Okay, sounds normal.

I was upstairs playing video games. [As I was] heading down to check the turkey, I hear something in the kitchen.

What was it?

It was my brother talking to the turkey while basting the it. Literally the first words I can hear clearly are, ‘Oh yeah, who’s a dirty birdy.’ I turned around and walked back upstairs.

16. An aunt requested her family to pay for their Thanksgiving meals.


From Redditor /u/soosarooni:

It wasn’t at the dinner, but my aunt invited us all over to her and her family’s house (which was out of state) for Thanksgiving, and it was all going to be provided by them.

And that convenience is unbeatable.

So our family decided to go and offer to bring something, anything just as a thank you. But she persisted we didn’t [need to] bring anything.

We love a generous aunt.

The dinner was good, and it was an overall very great Thanksgiving. Well, sometime about a month later, we got a letter from that aunt proclaiming that we now owe her $75 to cover the cost of the meal.

The tables turned quickly, huh?

My parents were furious, 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. They wouldn’t even be so mad if it weren’t for the fact that she didn’t even tell anyone about this when she was giving invitations.

17. A cousin invited themselves to Thanksgiving when they weren’t originally invited.


From Redditor /u/squirmdragon:

I have a crazy cousin who came after not being invited and then yelled at everyone because no one brought the special bread her son likes and now he’s starving.

That sounds like a personal problem.

Maybe bring your own Hawaiian sweet bread if that’s the only thing your spawn will eat.

She then boxed up a large portion of the leftovers and left and was unseen until the next unfortunate family function.

18. A baby announcement turned sour.


From Redditor /u/kat_the_houseplant:

My cousin went into the living room and pulled my grandma aside for a few minutes. We suspected he had just been doing [a substance] in the bathroom, so we were all pretty concerned with how this would go down.

It wasn’t as bad as expected.

My grandma then gathered everyone into the room and announced that she just found out that she was a great grandmother… to a six-month old baby!

The news came a little late.

Everyone was pretty confused (especially my aunt and uncle), but we all raised a glass in congratulations.

That’s not the end of the story, though.

At Christmas, another announcement was made. He was NOT the father. Shots were passed around.

19. Politics ruined a family’s Thanksgiving dinner.


From Redditor /u/aizxy:

My father’s parents are Jewish, my mother’s family is Catholic. Around 2005 or so, my parents were hosting Thanksgiving and all of my mom’s family and my dad’s parents were over.

It could have been a fun combined family gathering.

I was at the kids’ table in the other room, so to this day I don’t know how the conversation came up, but at one point my weird uncle ended up telling my dad’s parents that 9/11 was the [Jewish people’s] fault.

He really crossed a line.

Dinner very quickly ended, my uncle was sheparded away from my grandparents and damage control ensued.

20. A full-blown fight happened before dinner.


From Redditor /u/Steele724:

I have a rather large family on my father’s side. He is number 3 of 10 siblings. All of the siblings have multiple children (my cousins). While talking to my female cousin about where she’s going to school, her newest boyfriend took offense to this.


He thought I was another guy trying to hit on her girl. Mind you, there’s 60+ people at this gathering. I kindly say, “Hey man, she’s my cousin. Don’t worry,” and [I] smile trying to be cordial.

The courteous response was not well-received.

[Because] homemade moonshine had been going around for about three hours now and this guy is visibly drunk. He immediately takes a drunken swing at me, misses and blasts one of my aunties in the back of the head.

And as expected…

All hell breaks out… several family members jump him and begin delivering a beat down. My grandmother and everyone else is screaming and I’m caught in the mix.

We feel bad for the girlfriend.

My cousin ends up having to take this poor idiot to the ER, several family members ended up going as well due to fighting each other, and dinner never got served because of all of the commotion which caused the large serving table to spill over. It was heartbreaking, yet satisfying to talk about [it] later years.

21. A dad made an unprompted announcement.


From Redditor /u/sharklops:

Completely unprompted, my father loudly announced he “had a new name for his pecker.”

And, no, he wasn’t talking about a bird.

He went on to inform us that it had been named Gregory, but a Civil War documentary he recently watched had inspired a promotion.

And what was the new name?

General Cocksworth, Pride of South Carolina.

22. Wedding news broke at the table.


From Redditor /u/em_317:

My cousin posted her new wedding pictures while sitting at the Thanksgiving dinner table.

But here’s the kicker.

She hadn’t told any of us that she got married. My aunt said, “You got married??” She denied it.

23. A friend who decided to show-off got hurt.


From Redditor /u/fearless-jones:

[A] drunk friend tried to demonstrate fire-breathing in our backyard in front of friends and small children.

Already, we’re skeptical.

He accidentally lit his beard and face on fire and was yelling profanities while my husband frantically tried to douse the fire.

Unfortunately, he didn’t get out unscathed.

[My] friend looked like Deadpool for a whole month.

24. An aunt peed on a turkey after getting into an argument.


From Redditor /u/Taskogen:

Now, why they do a thing like that?

Close second, aunt peed on the turkey after an argument between her and her sisters over who would get my grandmother’s china and crockery.

25. This mom made a weird announcement at the table.


From Redditor /u/rawmetal:

I was 20, about 10 years ago with my wife and infant. We were with my parents at their friend’s house for a large Thanksgiving dinner.

So it could’ve been a nice evening except for one thing.

There was a good deal of alcohol consumption and my parents were borderline alcoholics. There was a bunch of commotion going on, as usual when you have a big group of people together.

This next thing didn’t help either.

Then my mom yelled out, “I’m going to have sex with everyone at this table.” Of course there was only one very large table everyone was at. We ended leaving quite soon after. You could tell from the look on my dad’s face that he had no idea what to think.

Do you have any Thanksgiving horror stories of your own?

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