We’re Thankful These Thanksgiving Fails Didn’t Happen To Us

By: Kate Row | Published: Nov 14, 2022

Thanksgiving Day is a time for loved ones to gather, share stories, eat delicious food, and put worries aside. But, like anything in life, things do not always go to plan and a lot of the time we don’t get our Hallmark movie happy ending.

From badly burned turkeys and spilled dishes to fires and interesting dishes, these folks have shared their best (and worst)Thanksgiving stories and experiences. Check out these Thanksgiving fails that are sure to have you laughing.

When little brother offers to save you leftovers

It’s no secret that leftovers are highlights of the Thanksgiving feast. The turkey, stuffing, mashed potatoes, and other classic dishes taste delicious on Thanksgiving Day but manage to taste even better in the days after.


Source: seely2593/ reddit

This kid was kind enough to save his older brother some leftovers. However, the portion sizes leave a little to be desired. Looks like he wanted to save the rest for himself. We can’t blame him!

When the turkey is just slightly overcooked

This isn’t the first overcooked turkey we’ve seen and it certainly won’t be the last. But it was shocking nonetheless. Either this person had never used an oven before or they forgot the bird was cooking in there.


Source: wow.sita.bita/ instagram

They must have left it cooking overnight for it to be this charred. This family probably ordered in for their meal, but this is just inedible. Hopefully the pies weren/t left cooking for this long as well.

When you just want to eat already!

Getting the family together is one of the best parts of the Holiday but it can also be stressful to have a house full of people. This particular family has lots of people to accommodate by the looks of their long table.


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And one little girl is having none of it! We get it. When we get hungry we don’t want to pose for photos either. Bring on the turkey!

When you get a big surprise at the grocery store

There seems to be a real need for strategy when it comes to preparing Thanksgiving meals. This includes all the shopping that is necessary before you even start preparing the food. If you wait too long to buy your bird, you might be out of luck.


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Or, you might be stuck with a price tag like this one. We imagine this person was shocked to find that their Thanksgiving feast would cost almost $7,000! But hey, that’s what happens when you don’t strategize for the feast.

When the cake design is… unfortunate

We love to see stores getting excited about the Holidays. The decorations go up, holiday music starts playing throughout the aisles, and you’’ start to see goodies decorated for the season.

Source: xxmiles2/ reddit

However, whoever designed this turkey cake didn’t take a close enough look at the design before it hit the shelves. Are you seeing what we’re seeing? I imagine your guests would be pretty shocked if you served them this dessert!


When your host tries to scare you

This host had a special surprise for their guests. We’ve seen a lot of different things tufted in turkey: vegetables, potatoes, stuffing, mashed potatoes, and more. But we have never seen an octopus inside a turkey.

Source: imgur

We can’t say it looks all that appetizing and we hope this was just a prank before the host pulled out the real turkey which did not have an octopus inside of it.


When the New Cook Book doesn’t do its job

Not all of us are born chefs. And for those of us who are hosting Thanksgiving for the first time, you might need some literature to teach you how to cook a turkey (not to mention the other hundreds of side dishes that should be scattered around the table). 

Source: unclemerie1775/ reddit

But, it looks like the cook book was not as helpful as they would have liked. If those charred edges are any indication, teh meal did not go as planned and there will either be some charred turkey on the table or some lovely takeout.


When Grandpa’s eyebrows get blown away

We think that Thanksgiving Day is probably a very busy one for the fire department because this is not the first kitchen fire we’ve seen around the holidays. With so many people cooking and trying new recipes, it’s not surprising that things don’t always go as planned.

Source: dredpirateluffy/ reddit

In this instance, it looks like someone’s grandpa went to take the turkey out of the oven and was met with flames instead of a delicious meal. We can only hope that his eyebrows are still intact.


9. When the Thanksgiving meal needs some spice

Now we’re all for adding some spice to any recipe and we don’t doubt that those peppers surrounding this turley were delicious. But, we have to draw the line somewhere. Does that red dust look familiar?

Source: matchboxtw20ty

This person used hot cheetos dust to season their turkey. It’s not for us but we do applaud the creativity. If you’re looking to add some spice to your next turkey meal, maybe this is the way.


When the prank war starts

This prankster decided to shock the entire family with this thanksgiving treat. Your eyes do not deceive you! The cook of this masterful turkey places two lemon halves beneath the skin of the turkey.

Source: fb3playhouse/ reddit

The result was this turkey all dressed up with nowhere to go. We can only imagine the reactions around the table were absolutely priceless. As an added bonus, we bet the lemon added some flavor to the bird (in more ways than one).


11. When the family interrogation begins

There’s been a joke going around teh internet for a long time about Thanksgiving and how some people dread it because they know they’ll be hit with tons of questions from their distant family members who they never really see.

Source: lindsay_fuce/ twitter

“Are you working?” “Do you have a boyfriend?” “So, what’s your plan for the future?” It can feel more like a job interview than an evening with family. But hey, you probably won’t have to see them for a whole year, so just answer the questions and enjoy the food.


When you don’t have a turkey so you improvise

Not everyone can get their hands on a turkey and not everyone even likes the bird. When in doubt, there’s always spam. This person was clever enough to whittle a can of spam into a makeshift turkey.

Source: roro4484/ reddit

We don’t think it will taste quite the same but it’s impressive nonetheless. Maybe this is a treat for the dog so he can share in the festivities.


When you have to make do with what you have

This family was snowed in on Thanksgiving so they had to make do with what they had. The absence of turkey was not going to stop them from enjoying a festive dinner.

Source: parkie89/ reddit

They created this “turkey” made of meatloaf and corndogs. We must admit, we’re impressed. This is a true testament to making the most of what you have. And it does even look like a turkey if you squint a little!


When you use the marinating drawer

There are thousands of ways to cook a turkey and most families have their own unique traditions for how to do so. This person has one of the most unique ways to marinade a turkey that we’ve ever seen!

Source: theinward07/ reddit

When asked how they marinade their bird, they said they use the marinating drawer in theri fridge (duh). We thought those drawers were just for fruits and vegetables and sandwich meats. Silly us!


When the homemade tart winds up on the floor

No one is happy when the dessert ends up on the floor. The tart is ruined and the rug is probably not going to recover from those fruit stains all that quickly. All in all, it’s a sad day when the dessert can’t be eaten.

Source: goosenyc reddit

If this family abides by the 5 second rule they might be able to scoop some off the floor and salvage it. What makes the whole situation worse is that the lovely dish was homemade. Happy Thanksgiving.


When it all falls down

This has to be one of the most disheartening Thanksgiving fails that we’ve seen. All that food has gone to waste! Perhaps they need a sturdier table for next year. The good news is we don’t see a turkey on the ground here.

Source: detestify/ reddit

So maybe the bird was on another table and that part of the meal is still salvageable. Otherwise, we assume the pizza place received a call from these folks that evening.


When the leftovers creations get more creative

People enjoy their Thanksgiving meal leftovers in lots of different ways. But this has to be a first for us. This person made a leftovers burrito. You may be wondering what they used for the tortillas.

Source: tetelestia/ reddit

That is, in fact, turkey skin around a burrito filled with turkey, ham, mashed potatoes, and stuffing. Regardless of if this looks tasty to you or not, you have to give it up for creativity.


When teh jello shots become a jello pie

We’re awfully glad they put out a sign warning us of the content of this dish, because otherwise the guests would have been very surprised when they took a big bite of the dessert. 

Source: lasermanmcgee/ reddit

The person who posted this dish said that they were just too lazy to make individual jello shots so they made a jello pie instead! Why not bring it along for Thanksgiving? Maybe it’ll become a tradition for years to come.


When Thanksgiving defeats you

It looks like the Thanksgiving meal cooked this person rather than the other way around. Whatever happened in that oven was grounds for collapse on the floor.

Source: macaroniandbooty/ reddit

Unfortunately, we’re not sure much food is going to be cooked while they’re like this. Hopefully, they were revived and figured out a way to save the meal. But, anyone who has hosted for the holidays can probably relate to this feeling.


When the meal is flaming hot

When we say we’re looking forward to a piping hot meal, we don’t mean it literally.  We can’t say for certain which part of the Thanksgiving meal this is that went up in flames but we sure hope it wasn’t the turkey. 

Source: supermegakid/ reddit

Luckily they have lots of other side dishes that are sure to taste delicious. We see that her son in the corner looks none too concerned about the fiery meal as he just smiles with the fire extinguisher ready.


When the rice krispies are festive

When it comes to the month of November you will start to see lots of things shaped like turkeys. It’s just all part of the festivities and what gets people excited about Thanksgiving. But we can’t say we’ve ever seen a rice krispies turkey.

Source: the_coagulates/ reddit

We hope they had a real turkey to go along with this bird-shaped dessert. We must say we’re impressed by the commitment and the creativity. We might have to try this at our own gathering this year.


When you open the oven to disappointment

All the work and time it takes to prepare a Thanksgiving meal cannot be discounted. When you perfectly prepare the meal and open the oven to see a disaster like this, it’s easy to make promises that you will never host again.

Source: to_helz/ reddit

We can’t exactly tell what went wrong here. It looks like the glass that held the turkey couldn’t take the heat and just exploded. We also can’t help but be very confused by the turkey itself. Was it the smallest turkey there ever was?


When the turkey looks a little different

This man took a photo of what was going to be his family’s Thanksgiving meal poking fun at his wife. Apparently, she was tasked with buying the turkey and he would cook it. Easy enough.

Source: perforatededge/ reddit

Except that this was the turkey she bought. I guess she thought the family would go straight to making turkey sandwiches instead of the usual feast people enjoy this time of year. We’re glad he shared his experience for the rest of us to enjoy online.


When the turkey hits the ground but you’re still in high spirits

It looks like  this turkey was all prepped and on its way to the oven for roasting when it hit the floor. Does the five second rule apply here? It looks like the man who dropped it is high spirits regardless.

Source: minicheatle/ reddit

Sometimes, all you can do is laugh through the pain. Maybe he had another turkey lined up and ready to go. Having a backup is never a bad idea.


When the dessert is kind of scary

We are assuming this Thanksgiving dessert was made with love by some kids so we aren’t going to roast it too hard. We can see what they were probably trying to go for. And good for them for doing something other than the usual pumpkin pie.

Source: fruset/ reddit

However, we can’t help that this cake is somewhat terrifying! Those white chocolate chip teeth are fairly scary. Hopefully it tasted sweeter than it looks.


When the turkey comes alive

This unique turkey is bringing new meaning to surf and turf. We saw the turkey stuffed with octopus but this one is on a whole other level! The octopus is only one element of this sea creature.

Source: sean1978/ reddit

The olive eyes and crab legs make this a very interesting centerpiece. It’s definitely one of the mre interesting Thanksgiving turkeys we’ve ever seen.


When the oven fails you on the worst possible day of the year

Of course the oven would fail on one of the busiest cooking days of the year. That’s just how the cookie crumbles. Or rather, that’s how the oven door crumbles. This poor host walked down to find her oven in shambles on the morning of Thanksgiving.

Source: tree_hair/ reddit

We can’t even hazard a guess as to how or why the door fell off. It looks like this will be another home that the pizza delivery man will make a stop at.


When work provides the meal

No one wants to work on Thanksgiving! But unfortunately some people have to work the Holidays to make the world continue to go round. This employee was not too impressed with the Thanksgiving feast provided to him by his company.

Source: jackalopacabra/ reddit

We’re not sure if that meal makes up for having to work the holiday. But, it’s better than nothing. Pumpkin pie can make almost anything better in our opinion.


When the scale has had enough

Sometimes the Thanksgiving feast is just more than the scale can bear. We all know this holiday is made for overeating, but this person might have taken it a touch too far because their scale couldn’t stand it!

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Not to worry. We all know that January is the time for resolutions and new workout plans. Enjoy the leftovers while you still have them.