While there’s something special about spending the holidays with family, for a lot of people, it’s often not without drama. After all, as my father once told me, “You don’t get to choose the crazy you come from.” Reddit users shared their crazy family Thanksgiving experiences on Ask Reddit, and while some are pretty relatable, others are incredibly bonkers — and let’s be serious, it’s the spirit of the season.
Here are the 45 craziest stories.
My grandma accidentally poured dish soap on the turkey instead of oil… might have been one of the funniest but most upsetting things I’ve ever seen.
I thought it would be a funny prank to put a rubber chicken in the oven on Thanksgiving. My mom would laugh and laugh. Ho ho ho, there’s a rubber chicken in the oven, what a gag.
13 year old me didn’t realize that normal adults usually preheat the oven before putting the turkey in.
Every Thankgiving and Christmas dinner my step grandfather will always bring up his fathers death. Always goes into detail about how he walked into the kitchen to see his fathers body on the floor with his head blown off. Either that or politics.
My aunt not being able to come because she was in jail for trying to shoplift a turkey from the grocery
My cousin stole a four wheeler from a police dispatcher and left it in our yard. Told us he and a buddy would come back later to get it cos it was out of gas. Mom sent me to Kroger that morning hoping they had pie shells and called me when I was driving back warning me not to speed cos police were all over our road. (We lived on farm a mile long country road. We were the only house on it.)
The police took our statements, retrieved the ATV, and we didn’t have chocolate pie because of freaking course Kroger is gonna be out of frozen pie shells at 8AM on Thanksgiving morning, what were you thinking mama.
My mother and grandmother had plans to go to a restaurant last year, my sister convinces them to go somewhere else at last minute. Of course this means no reservations but sister is convinced that it’ll be fine and they might just have to wait a few minutes for a table. I live in another state so I get to experience all of this from a distance.
They end up sitting at the bar while waiting for a table, having a few drinks and appetizers. After the 2nd round of martinis my mother looks over and my grandmother is leaning back in her chair, completely limp and unresponsive. Everyone freaks out, paramedics are called, grandma is rushed to the ER.
I’m 1,200 miles away when my mother calls to tell me what happened. At this point grandma is at the ER, still unresponsive, crazy low blood pressure and high heart rate. I’m ready to book plane tickets and rush to the airport when mom calls back “Don’t worry, everything’s OK, your grandmother just got drunk.” Her blood test came back completely normal except with a BAC of 0.24 (3x legal limit). She was awake now so I got to talk to her and she was crying “I’m so sorry, I’ve ruined Thanksgiving.” I assured her that she hasn’t ruined Thanksgiving, and that everyone is just happy she’s OK.
So my grandma is 90 years old, about 4’8″, 100lbs. She hadn’t eaten anything all day because she knew they were having a big dinner. She also ordered another martini while no one was looking, so the 2nd martini was actually her 3rd. This turned into the perfect storm of really drunk grandma.
TL;DR Grandma got run over by a martini
At my friend’s conservative catholic family’s house for thanksgiving, and his older brother told everyone that my pal had gotten a tattoo. His parents were pissed, and forced him to show them the tattoo. When they saw that it was a dollar sign on his left butt cheek, there were tears
When I was a little kid, I asked to say the prayer. It was a big honor to get to say it. My family was notorious for fighting so I said my little prayer all nice and cute then ended with a smartass “God please let my family act normal today and not fight”. Before I could blink my German grandmother slapped me across the face really hard which pissed my mother off. Lots of yelling and we left.
I heard some screaming from outside my apartment. I opened the door and saw this lady running to the dumpster with a turkey still in the pan on fire. She threw it into the dumpster which then caught fire. I called 911 so the fire department could put it out.
My cousin tried showing us “the boot trick”. It was a way to get the cork out of a bottle of wine without a cork screw. You put the bottom of the bottle in your shoe and hit it against the wall and it’s suppose to get the cork out. He gathers us all outside to show us how it works. We’re all standing in my aunt’s driveway to see the trick. Upon hitting the wall the entire bottle shatters and his shoe is soaked in red wine. I guess that’s pretty mild. My family gets along pretty well.
My grandparents had a new oven, and my grandmother had never made a turkey in it before. The turkey drippings somehow caught fire and the kitchen filled up with smoke. We called 911 but by the time the fire department arrived, my dad and grandfather had put out the fire.
So, when the firemen arrived, there was no more fire. They were really nice and understanding. My grandmother was mortified. My drunk aunt tried hitting on all of the firemen even though she had a good 25-30 years on them. My cousin and I just stood in the front yard drinking beers in silence, watching it all play out.
Fortunately, the turkey was fine and dinner proceeded normally once everything settled down.
This Thanksgiving would be special, we invited somewhere around 25 people (normally it would’ve been 12) and everyone arrived. Naturally, my mother bought a seriously large turkey, and had it slow cooking all day. It was going to be the highlight of the day and everyone was looking forward to it.
Fast forward, the turkey is out of the oven and is being carved. It looks and smells delicious, the table is set.
Everyone’s sitting down at the table, passing around mashed potatoes and talking about whatever. My mom is bringing the turkey from the kitchen into the dining room.
She drops the turkey platter. It shatters, turkey and porcelain shards litter the floor.
Thankfully, most of the turkey was salvaged due to the 5 second rule. Some of us had shards of turkey platter on our plates but it wasnt a big deal.
The turkey WAS as good as it promised to be, and it is sometimes mentioned as the legendary floor bird.
Aunt opened the pressure cooker without releasing the pressure first. Went about as well as you can imagine.
I was probably six or seven at the time. My mom’s candles caught the kitchen curtains and some decorative greenery on fire. My sister and my cousins and I were at the “kid’s table” in the kitchen while the adults were in the dining room, so no one of significance noticed anything except me. My mom threatened us with pain of death if we annoyed the adults during dinner, so I quietly walked to the dining room and stood silently for a minute or two, until someone noticed me, and only then did I politely say, “Sorry, but the kitchen’s on fire.” My mom still gives me grief about my prioritizing politeness over sense….
My uncle broke one of my grandmother’s antique chairs during an aggressive game of spoons. It was too funny for anyone to be mad.
Spent all day cleaning the house for the guests. Made sure the windows were incredibly clean and clear.
Little brother and cousin were chasing eachother outside. Brother comes running through the door which was clearly open because you couldn’t see the gla- uh oh.
He slammed through the plate glass window and got a massive gash on his face and leg. 80 stitches, plastic surgery, and a multiple day hospital stay.
Don’t clean your windows too well.
I’m leaving for basic training the day before Thanksgiving this year. So, my family celebrated on Sunday. My mom and step-dad were supposed to stop by (they live an hour South, and have a cabin an hour north) on their way home. Well, 6pm rolls around and they still haven’t shown.
Turns out, my SD decided that he didn’t want to go to my uncles and instead wanted to meet us at my grandparents. Which he never told us. So he just drove right on home, denying my mother her last chance to see me before I’m gone until February. I’m honestly still pretty angry.
I was only a toddler at the time but thanksgiving is known as the anniversary of the day my mother, father, and uncle outed one another as heroin addicts! life fell apart fairly rapidly the following year and it has been fun ever since. thanksgiving is now just a small family affair of myself, my brother, and my guardian grandparents
My brother (10) decides to demonstrate how to properly body slam himself onto a bed to the cousins. Proceeds to hit his head on the windowsill behind the bed and crack his head open. We could see skull. Cousin passes out and the parents only console the kid who passes out. 15 stitches later, we got to eat dinner.
Someone will say “pass the dinner rolls” in front of my dad and he will pick it up and throw it at them. Every. Single. Year.
You have to specifically say “please hand me the dinner rolls” or you get a bun thrown at your head.
My great grandmother died at the table right as we were bowing our heads to pray on Thanksgiving. She had been slowly dwindling in health so the whole family gathered together figuring it was her last Thanksgiving, little did we know how right we were. Her kids, their kids and their kids kids, family she hasn’t seen in years, about 20 people all gathered around with her pushed up in her recliner. Food is stuffed on the table and we bow our heads to pray (she was devoutly religious) before we dig in. As we raise our heads and open our eyes we find great grandma slumped over, tongue lolling out dead. As someone started compressions and another person called an ambulance, my youngest cousin dug into her meal completely unaffected by the dead body. Anyway, a nice memory for Thanksgiving every year.
My oldest sister called another sister “a fat bitch” over some stupid fight they’ve been having for years, who then in turn picked up the bowl of green bean casserole and threw it at her. She missed (it wasn’t that far, but I guess she was really angry and that messed up her aim), and it ended up hitting my mother’s favorite painting. It wasn’t salvageable.
We all stopped having Thanksgiving with the entire family after that.
So 25 years ago my son was born early Nov. My moms family is all prim and proper. So my adopted brother takes my 2 week old son to check his diaper during dinner. Comes back with diaper in hand saying it doesn’t look right proceed to smell it said something is wrong. So he tasted it. Everyone is flipping out. He filled a clean diaper with pumpkin pie filling it was hilarious.
It’s not like a crazy story but my uncle was dating this lady who was super fake and acted like she was faaaamly from the beginning. She kept asking to host a holiday and my mom wanting to be nice said she could have Thanksgiving because that was my mom’s holiday to host and she wanted the gf to feel included.
We all go there and the house is filthy. I’m talking big clumps of old dust bunnies right out in the open all over the place, living room, kitchen, hallways, just everywhere. Smells like a garbage can. I have to use the toilet and I go upstairs to where she says it is. Laundry everywhere. But I get to the bathroom and its caked with mold and a mountain of garbage, makeup supplies and just crap piled on one of the two sinks in there. Toilet was white with black gunk caked into the sides. I held my pee.
She also ordered in food and served it to us on styrofoam plates. Not that I need it on nice plates but lady you BEGGED for a holiday and then didn’t do any hosting at all.
We never went to her place again.
Mom bought a new stove and had me, my brother, his very pregnant girlfriend, and a few others over for Thanksgiving. About a half hour to an hour before the turkey was supposed to be done, Mom checked on it. It was still raw. She had hit the wrong button when programming the new stove and accidentally shut it off. Luckily we learned you can in fact microwave a turkey because, judging from the look my brother’s pregnant GF gave, she was ready to eat my mom. (Not surprising the turkey was a bit dry but otherwise not bad.)
My family had a Thai exchange student during Thanksgiving one year. Thanksgiving is huge in our family–35+ people at dinner, tons of food, appetizers out the wazoo, etc–and this was going to be her first and only Thanksgiving, so we really played up how exciting it was. We told her that there was going to be a ton of food, so don’t eat a big breakfast! Save room for the amazing Thanksgiving food!
She ended up not eating anything at all on Wednesday or Thursday morning and fainted in my uncle’s living room on Thanksgiving day. She hadn’t even eaten any appetizers–turned out that she didn’t know what that word meant, and didn’t know she was allowed to eat the food that was spread out all over the coffee table and bar.
We almost had to take her to the emergency room because her English wasn’t quite good enough to explain why she fainted and we thought something was seriously wrong. After all that, she ended up not even liking the food.
Three words: Deep-frying turkey. It’s a good thing we decided to do it in the driveway, instead of in the garage.
My dad spilled his red wine into the freshly carved turkey meat one Thanksgiving! Now every time he finishes carving it we ask him if he wants to marinate it first, or have it plain.
One Thanksgiving my older brother took over cooking duties. He had just graduated from culinary school and was an amazing chef. My aunt and cousins came over to find a juicy Turkey and amazing sides. She likes her turkey burned apparently and made her family not eat the dinner. They all watched us eat. My mom was so pissed they never got invited back to our house for any event for years.
I was having a farting contest with my cousin in the bathroom. She let out one of those ones that ends in an upturned squeak, like her asshole was meekly asking me a question. I lost it and threw my head back in laughter, and when my head came back down, it was into the granite countertop. at like 127 mph. I split my forehead open and had to go to the ER for stitches. But wait there is more.
In the ER, one of the nurses asked how I cut my forehead and I told her I was laughing at a fart. She laugh-farted in response.
I was 11 so obviously it was the funniest goddamn thing that had ever happened to me.
Anyway I’m 30 now and still have that stupid scar right between my eyebrows and sometimes I remember how I ruined thanksgiving like 20 years ago and then a nurse farted and I laugh.
Not really a negative incident but we left my one aunt in charge of cooking the turkey.
Fast forward a couple of hours and we’re all playing cards when someone mentions “wait, why don’t we smell the turkey?” Yep, she completely forgot to turn on the oven and let it sit there for about five hours with no heat.
We had pizza that year.
We had all of the food out in the kitchen at my aunt’s house. We all were in the living room and heard a commotion. Merle, my cousin’s boyfriend’s huge yellow lab, had helped himself to the turkey. He had pulled it from the table onto the floor. It has been almost 14 years: I still give Merle the side-eye when we eat around him!
I was 8 and hanging out with an older family friend, she was about 13. For some reason my very drunk and high aunt thought that this family friend was turning me against my cousin (her daughter) and bursts into the house screaming at her about this. Then said aunt got into a fist fight with another aunt in the front yard.
Yeah, we stopped seeing that side of the family for awhile.
A family friend, who happened to be lesbian, thought it would be a good idea to carry at least 20 plates across the living room. As one could expect, she dropped all of the plates onto the floor. Then my grandfather, who barely knows this friend says the most infamous words in our families history, “you know those lesbians. Slippery fingers.”
I was around 5-6 years old. Us kids were playing hide-n-seek and I hid way in the back of Grandma’s closet. While I was hiding back there, I found this beautiful deep red robe, I assumed it belonged to my grandfather who died just after I was born. I tried it on and it was huge on me but the silk felt really smooth and cool, so I decided to go ask my grandma if I could have it to grow into.
Turns out granddad was a Grand Dragon in the Carolina KKK and it was his ceremonial robe. The family members who didnt know about this already were highly upset, the ones who knew were embarrassed as hell. There was a small riot when I walked into the kitchen wearing it. That was an awkward Thanksgiving
My grandmother asks my atheist uncle to say grace. Normally he complies as he knows it’s just a thing his mom likes her kids to do. But other conservative uncle has been proselytising to him all day and telling him he’s worried he’s going to hell and taking his non-church going kid with him. So instead of saying grace, he starts with, “Dear heavenly Father, please tell (conservative uncle) to take Jesus, Christmas, Easter, and a cross and shove it up his ass.” Finishes with an amen. Fisticuffs ensue.
Played paintball with my family. My uncle has a receding hairline which left a portion of his head exposed just above his face mask. I took a shot that nailed that portion directly in its center. It was such a perfect shot that it made a circular cut in his scalp which proceeded to bleed. He was fine, but now he has this faint ring of white scar tissue in the center of his head that you can see in the sheen of the light glinting off his head.
Everyone has their plates filled, grandma says grace, then young cousins declares, “I smell dirty pussy!”.
My dad had an allergic reaction to shrimp cocktail before dinner and his face blew up. He refused to come out of the kitchen or sit at the table with us. He was just eating his food in the kitchen and trying to act like things were normal, like yelling out “Hey, good mashed potatoes this year, huh?”
Meanwhile, my mom is anger-crying at the table, telling us to just eat our fucking food that she worked all day on. All of us kids are just very scared and very confused. My sister starts crying because things are so weird and no one wants to eat because there is so much tension. Eventually, my mom convinces my dad that she needs to take him to the ER. My high school senior-aged brother took the bottle of wine and shared it with seventh grade me and got me drunk for the first time. My parents came home to me throwing up on the bathroom floor.
Thanksgiving 2009 was a shit storm. My family was visiting my fathers side for Thanksgiving and things went fine until around dinner. A cousin comes home with three girls wrapped around him. One of the girls is about 7 months pregnant. So my uncle is all pissed and lectures him about making the right choices and some other stuff. Pregnant girl drinks a lot of wine and everyone became drunk. Lots of yelling and fighting occur and my family is just observing this chaos going on. Tears are shed and the pregnant girl leaves with the other girl, leaving one girl with my cousin. They make their way to the bedroom and fucked. Ever since that day we never went back for Thanksgiving.
My grandpa and grandma got divorced, and grandpa remarried.
One Thanksgiving, my not-so-well grandpa stood and declared he regretted letting my grandma divorce him, and that it was the biggest mistake of his life. Right in front of his current wife.
Walked into the garage with my dog and a casserole. My dads champion show dog came galloping out to meet me let out a death scream, had a heart attach and died. Tried cpr for ten minutes. It was clearly dead. He went inside saying what did (me)he do! Grabbed a bottle and left. I picked up the dog and went around to vet clinics for one that was open, the one that was just said yes he’s dead. I’ve never recovered. It was also my birthday.
I invited my girlfriend over for thanksgiving when I was in high school. We had had sex together for our first time the night before and during dinner she abruptly shouted out “I’m pregnant, I took a test this morning and it’s positive. I told you condoms don’t work.” There was a lot of yelling, I don’t remember what all was said, but my older brother knew the night before was our first time and he yelled at her that if she’s testing positive it can’t be mine. She argued for a minute but once my older relatives realized what had happened they all started calling her a liar and she eventually left. She even switched schools after that, and apparently she was pregnant with someone else’s kid. No matter though, I’ve felt like the black sheep at every family get together since and I have heard the story retold every year for the past 16 years.
When I was 16 I got a weed brownie from my dealer. I had never done edibles before so I was super excited. I decided to eat it before Thanksgiving so I would have a nice high and all this good food to eat.
He warned me that it was strong and to only eat half of it. I ate the half and after like 15 minutes I wasn’t feeling anything, so I decided to eat the other half too. I didn’t know that with edibles it takes a while to kick in and wasn’t instant like smoking.
By the time dinner came by I was very stoned, like too much for my own comfort. My aunt and uncle were there too along with my little cousin who was like 4 at the time. I was so stoned that I could not look at anyone, so I just awkwardly stared at my food and gave one word answers when my family tried to talk to me. It made things incredibly uncomfortable for everyone.
After about 20 minutes I could not take it anymore, so I just picked up my plate and went downstairs to my room. My mom followed me and wanted to know what the hell was wrong with me. I admitted to her that I ate a weed brownie and was incredibly stoned and asked if she could just leave me alone because I was too high to deal with things right now. She was cool about it and waited until I came down to yell at me about ruining Thanksgiving dinner