Mad About You: Ranking all Thanksgiving episodes

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3. Mad About You Season 7, Episode 7: “The Thanksgiving Show”

Starting with Mabel’s pediatrician, Dr. Lee, Paul and Jamie invite a weird mixture of people—even their British neighbors, who hate them—to their Thanksgiving celebration.

As if planning dinner for an increasingly random and at-odds collection of people isn’t enough, the Buchmans also have to deal with the very real possibility that their daughter might be allergic to Murray, who was there for Paul long before he even met Jamie.

The whole episode begs the question of whether “the more, the merrier” is really a thing.


  • Jamie tells the truth about Thanksgiving, right after she and Paul finish telling Mabel a sugary-sweet version of the holiday: “Ok, listen to me: It’s the worst day of the year.” Just after this, when Jamie asks why their Thanksgivings are always so terrible, Paul sets the stage for the entire episode: “I think we’re just fundamentally inhospitable people.”
  • Dr. Lee’s complaints about managed care, always followed with talk of how much he still loves his job. (Sure, Doc.)
  • The running turkey gag: Each time the Buchmans invited a new guest, they needed a bigger turkey—so, Paul had size descriptions at each stage, ranging from “Joe Pesci’s head” to “the entire cast of Goodfellas.”
  • CHARADES. Lisa’s terrible guesses, Paul’s theatrics…all of it!

Not-so-much highlights:

  • I was never comfortable with Dr. Lee’s whole, “that makes me happy!” thing, and I think it’s even worse for 2019.
  • “You should think of Thanksgiving more as a triumph of the human spirit than as a political holiday…It’s about people carving out a life for themselves against all odds.” Jamie, sweetie, no. Wednesday Addams and I disagree. Strongly.