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America’s Favorite Thanksgiving Movies By State

Thanksgiving usually is a day of feasting and the occasional spirited debate—but your gathering will likely be quieter this year. This significant change makes it essential to hold onto the most important tradition of all: watching movies.

Okay, so “most important tradition” is a stretch. But we at CableTV.com are a little biased when it comes to television-based activities. That’s why we surveyed 1,000 total strangers to see what they think about Thanksgiving movie-watching.

Your State's Favorite Thanksgiving Movie

Holy ham and stuffing, that’s a lot of Forrest Gump up there.

Forrest Gump is an evergreen classic—its richly sentimental story and drowsy two and a half hours runtime make it a perfect Thanksgiving watch. It’s just the sort of thing you want to watch with a belly full of turkey.

At least, that seems the case in 27 states.

Whether you’re into Forrest Gump or not, feel-good movies reign supreme on Thanksgiving. Sports dramas like Rocky, Remember the Titans, and The Blind Side will pump you up with vicarious feelings of victory, even if you don’t have enough folk together to throw the pigskin around this year.

Knives Out was an instant Thanksgiving hit when it debuted in theaters last year, so consider watching it if you want to start a new tradition. The Thrombey family’s antics might even leave you feeling a little lucky you dodged the worst of your own family’s drama this Thanksgiving.

Or if you find yourself missing your wacky family, maybe Addam’s Family Values is the film you need this year. Perhaps you can arrange an online viewing party with your cousins in Wyoming.

And if you’re this writer—or a rom-com lover in Oregon—this is the best time of year to play You’ve Got Mail for the thousandth time. A “Happy Thanksgiving back” to you all.

Of course, movies aren’t the only reason we gather ‘round the TV on Thanksgiving. Although half of our survey participants are there to watch movies, some folks have more diverse tastes.

More highlights from our Thanksgiving survey

CTV Thanksgiving Watching Trends
  • 20% of respondents prefer to watch the Macy’s Thanksgiving Day Parade over movies, sports, or TV reruns.
    • Heads up—the parade lives on this year in the form of new but pre-recorded performances. You can catch it on NBC and Telemundo Thursday, Nov. 26, from 9 a.m. to 12 p.m. ET.
  • Diehard sports fans make up 17% of respondents.
  • 13% of those surveyed would rather watch festive TV reruns on Thanksgiving
    • Friends Thanksgiving episodes were the runaway favorite.
    • The season 4 Bob’s Burgers’s episode called “Turkey in a Can” was the runner-up.
    • That ‘70s Show’s season 1 episode 9, simply titled “Thanksgiving,” snagged third place.
  • 38% of those surveyed usually go to the movies on Black Friday. We hope you’ll all stay safely home this year—maybe give Forrest Gump another watch.

Our final take

Join us in keeping alive the most significant Thanksgiving tradition—enjoying a nice sit-down in front of your TV.

Whether you prefer movies, sports, TV reruns, or the time-honored Macy’s Thanksgiving Day Parade, watching television is one Thanksgiving tradition we can all safely enjoy.

Methodology

To get our initial list of movies, we surveyed 1,000 people, asking them what they watch on Thanksgiving. We then plugged these films into Google Trends to discover which movies people in each region showed the most interest in over the past 12 months.

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