How to ruin Thanksgiving

A guide to a much more entertaining holiday

We all know the trope about how family holidays can be; the big fights, overturned dinner plates, grandma is in tears, your cousin is having an affair, the dog ate the turkey and what have you. 

However, I personally think that this trope has much more relevancy in television shows and movies than it does in real life. I say more chaos! More tears! Let’s embrace ruining Thanksgiving. What’s fun about a family evening where everyone gets along?

So here are some tips on how to ruin Thanksgiving; which, as a bonus, serves as a good litmus test for how awful some of your relatives might secretly be. Here’s to ruining Thanksgiving!

Ask opinions about vaccine mandates

This one is pretty much a ringer for causing havoc. It’s likely that someone in your family is an anti-vaxxer, or they work on the frontlines or they got COVID-19 themselves. Whatever the case may be, someone is going to scream.

Bonus points if you bring up how anti-vaxxers are appropriating a yellow star. This usually weeds out the anti-Semetic apologists and delusional hypocrites — save yourself from having to deal with them again. 

Say you like Jake Gyllenhal

If you think Taylor Swift won’t come up at your Thanksgiving dinner, you’re absolutely wrong. Jake Gyllenhal is enemy number one right now. Props to our girl Taylor for ruining his life 10 year after the break up — she is truly an idol.

Trying to say you like this man, or saying something like, “I think the whole ‘not showering’ thing is cool,” will land you in deep water with that one cousin who is about one more re-released album away from declaring Swift as their savior. Trust me, Swifties are stronger than us all and they will recreate the world in their tartan-scarf covered, female-empowered and aesthetically pleasing vision.

List definitions of different sexualities and gender identities

This one is doubly helpful because it’s educational and frustrating to a group of people who could list off every Fox News host over the last 12 years, but think that saying “they” instead of “he” is mentally taxing. 

Talking about sexualities now will save you in the future from having to answer questions from family members like, “My neighbor says her daughter is a pansexual. What is that?” 

You’ll have a relative watching football with knowledge of the statistics of every member of the team arguing with you that gender identity is “too damn confusing.” It’s an entertaining and enlightening topic.

Bring up Trump-Kennedy 2024

In case you’re confused, there is a group of Q-Anon believers who think that Donald Trump is going to run for President with John F. Kennedy Jr. as his Vice President. And yes, that is the same John F. Kennedy Jr. that died in 1999. The same John F. Kennedy Jr. that was a registered Democrat. Those Trump supporters sure do give me a giggle now and then.

So bring this up, ask for thoughts. This would also be an ideal time to discuss the moon landing, flat earth or the illuminati. 

I say more chaos! More tears! Let’s embrace ruining Thanksgiving.

Argue that Marvel movies are bad

There is truly nothing more delicate than the ego of a mega-Marvel fan. Try arguing that Marvel movies are bad. Talk about how they use the same three tropes over and over and hope no one will notice (super hero losing powers, super hero getting falsely labeled the villain, super hero failing to realize potential — rinse, repeat, go again). 

You can talk about how Captain Marvel and Scarlet Witch are clearly the most powerful Avengers, and that allowing Iron Man to bring down Thanos instead of them was a move made by Disney to appease misogynists who want to see Daddy Billionaire be the hero. 

Make everyone go around the table and define critical race theory

This one is extra fun because unless they got a degree in ethnic studies or a related field, they won’t be able to do it! You could also ask how it’s implemented in schools, examples of when they learned it in their K-12 education and the like.

Continue down this past by asking what version of history they would like to be taught. Since it’s Thanksgiving after all, you could ask if children should be taught that white people were friends and saviors of Native Americans or that roughly 90% of them were dead because of European arrival. Bonus points if you start calling everyone a colonizer.

Have everyone chip in for Thanksgiving by salary

You know what topic puts everyone at ease? Money.

Have everyone say their salary outloud, and then contribute to the meal accordingly. This will really help when the winter holidays roll around too, “Really Tom? You make $220,000 a year to my $25,000 and you get me Costco socks? Really?” Oh, doesn’t everybody love a good money talk?

Call billionaire-supporters ‘bootlickers’

Jeff Bezos wouldn’t last a day if it weren’t for all of his mid- to lower-class groupies who insist he earned his wealth. Considering that he as one person has the financial ability to solve several worldwide social problems, including world hunger, I think what he really deserves is a lifetime in hell talking to the children who starved to death while he was alive. But I digress.

People who will never be billionaires really love loving billionaires. Call them bootlickers and wait for them to implode.

Honorable mentions

If none of these suggestions really did it for you, I have a couple honorable mentions:

You could trash the Reagan presidency. 

Say that Quentin Tarentino’s movies are derivative.

Only bring vegan food to the meal.

Do a Turkey trot or some sort of garbage exercise thing the day-of.

Keep calling someone Karen, but don’t tell them why.

Make one of those, “My family and their problems,” TikToks and then play it at the dinner table.

Just mention Chris Pratt once.

Honestly, whatever method you need to ruin Thanksgiving. Now, if you’re one of those people that has their panties in a twist about ruining a holiday with roots in colonialism and imperialism, you’ve clearly got your own stuff to work out. 

Perhaps you’ll have a lovely and wonderful Thanksgiving evening, but that’s probably because your family isn’t problematic as hell and would respond to these ‘holiday-ruining” prompts with basic human decency. However, if these things really would ruin your holiday, I say let them — and then send me footage of the glorious wreckage.

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