Thanksgiving movies to enjoy this holiday weekend

As the days wind down before Thanksgiving, members of the Student Life arts and entertainment staff gave their picks for movies to watch as we recharge over the next few days.

‘The Twilight Saga’

There has never been a better Thanksgiving movie or series of movies than “The Twilight Saga.” For five years, Paramount Pictures released masterpiece after cinematic masterpiece during the Thanksgiving holidays. No matter which film you decide to watch, you can do no wrong (except for “New Moon”—it’s my least favorite). I fondly remember wanting to go with my cousins to see the PG-13 franchise about werewolves and vampires but being prohibited by my parents for its “mature” content, but now, no one is stopping us. If you’re spending Thanksgiving in St. Louis with friends and away from family, this might be the perfect opportunity to have a “Twilight” marathon. Watch all five movies and relive Bella and Edward’s love story in all of its poorly lit and deliciously dramatic glory, and remember a simpler time when you fought at the dinner table over the only two sides that matter—Team Edward or Team Jacob. — Sabrina Spence, Senior Cadenza Editor

Graphic by HN Hoffmann

‘The Princess Bride’

I’ll never be able to shake the memory of first hearing the shrieking eels from “The Princess Bride” on a couch in the dark of my cousins’ basement after Thanksgiving dinner probably 14 or 15 years ago. There’s nothing about the movie itself that makes it specific to Thanksgiving, but I’ve always fondly associated the two. There are certainly flaws to the movie, but its ever-exciting storyline, idealistic romance and endlessly quote-able characters make for a wonderful Thanksgiving viewing experience. Have fun stormin’ the castle! — Matthew Friedman, Associate Editor 

‘The Big Lebowski’

You’re splayed on the couch in a near-comatose stupor after helpings on helpings of turkey, stuffing, and the like. Mentally, you’re about as sharp as a meatball. You should’ve stopped at one piece of pie, but what were you going to do, just leave it there all lonely? And now your family, equally incapacitated, wants to throw on a movie to distract themselves from their imminent, tryptophan-induced spiral of regret: look no further than this Coen Brothers cult classic. Watch Jeff Bridges’ “The Dude” approach life with comforting apathy, and laugh away the calories as he, Donny, and Walter set out on a bizarre and winding quest to retrieve his stolen rug. It’s been labeled a stoner movie, and let’s be real, that’s exactly what you need; something light, hilarious, and aesthetically soothing to wash down your meal with. —Grady Nance, Staff Writer

‘A Charlie Brown Thanksgiving’

It’s a classic, plain and simple. I’ve never done much for Thanksgiving, but “A Charlie Brown Thanksgiving” isn’t even something I need to set up—it aired on TV, commercials and all. When football games weren’t playing, this movie was. It’s calm, perfect for when you’re so stuffed you can’t even think about getting off the couch, and it’s funny enough to keep you engaged. Best of all, it’s fun for everyone—pre-COVID, I usually did family Thanksgivings with everyone from my grandparents to my elementary-school-age cousins. All of us could come together to watch Snoopy cook up the second-best Thanksgiving meal ever. (The first, of course, being the one we just ate.) What more could you ask for? — Isabella Neubauer, Senior Cadenza Editor

‘The Muppet Christmas Carol’

I’m well aware that this is a controversial take, but in my family Christmas begins the moment the dishes are done at Thanksgiving dinner. What better movie to put you in the spirit of the season than The Muppet Christmas Carol? The combined nostalgia factor of the legendary Mupppet cast of characters and one of the most iconic Christmas stories ever written (besides, you know, the original one) is almost too festive to be safe. If you hear “All I Want for Christmas is You” on the radio after watching this movie, I have no guarantee you won’t go full-tilt into becoming a Hallmark Christmas movie protagonist. So, if you end up quitting your job to move to your hometown for the holidays and fall in love with the local Christmas Tree farmer, know I gave you ample warning. In my family, we like to put up our decorations that day and then watch the movie together, but there really is no wrong way to watch this movie! Also, as a nerdy side-note, the costumes in this movie are remarkably accurate to the time period, so kudos to the Muppets for once again doing the most for the period drama community. —Lydia McKelvie, Staff Writer 

‘The Spongebob Musical’

Much like Lydia, I know this might be a controversial choice, but hear me out. You can watch a professional-quality filming of ‘Spongebob: the Musical’ for only five dollars on Youtube. Personally, just knowing that boosts my spirits immensely. Spongebob is played with infectious joy by former gymnast Ethan Slater, and the whole cast—which includes a rapping Plankton and a tap dancing Squidward—is stunning. The Spongebob musical is a cute, exhilarating way to recharge over Thanksgiving break, and if you’re like me, you’ll keep coming back to it for months to come. —JJ Coley, Senior Editor 

Sign up for the email edition

Stay up to date with everything happening at Washington University and beyond.