Thanksgiving at the Royce's
Season 1, Episode 8


Alex Hardcastle
Date Aired: November 23, 2011
episode guide
Sweet Sixteen
The Nutcracker

"Thanksgiving" is the eighth episode of season one, it aired on November 23, 2011.

Plot SummaryEdit

In this episode, we discover Suburban ways to celebrate Thanksgiving: the Shays and their family eat dinner together dressed as Pilgrims and the Royces Thanksgiving-extravaganza - a gathering of the neighboring families in Pilgrim and Indian costumes. Though, during both events, things go wrong - Lisa refuses to wear her Pilgrim dress so she decides to instead go to Thanksgiving dinner in nude and during the Royce's dinner, Tessa confronts him about how she feels about her recent run-in with George while he was making out with a woman.


This episode begins with a gloomy Tessa, upset that this year she and George will not be able to carry out their Thanksgiving tradition of going to Central Park to watch the floats get blown up for New York City’s annual Macy's Thanksgiving Day Parade. After which, going to their favorite coffee shop for turkey burgers and black and white shakes. Instead, this year, all they had were numerous invitations to neighbors’ houses to join them and their own families in the celebration.

While Tessa watches the president pardon a turkey on TV and reminisces about being in Central Park instead, there’s a knock at the door. It’s a tall lanky man dressed as a pilgrim asking, in “pilgrim speech” if the Altman’s will be in attendance at Dallas’ house for her Thanksgiving event. George comes downstairs, says yes and then slams the door in pilgrim guy’s face. In the kitchen, George tells Tessa he knows she’s upset they won’t be sticking to their tradition this year but since they moved, they’ll work on creating a new tradition. Tessa informs him that the point of a tradition is that it doesn’t change.

Tessa goes outside to take out the trash and sees Lisa Shay awkwardly standing across the street staring off into space. Lisa tells Tessa that on Thanksgiving Day, half a dozen Shay relatives come to her house, eat with their mouths open and spew unnecessary advice— mostly pertaining to her hair. Lisa then goes on to tell Tessa that to top it all off, her mom, Sheila Shay, has gotten her an Amish dress to wear for the dinner. Lisa looks petrified and does not want to wear the dress. Tessa gives her the bright idea to just tell her mom that she refuses to wear it.

Later in the day, on his way to a big job, George stops by Dallas’ house and asks if Tessa could spend the day with her doing something fun since she’s been a little bummed that they won’t be spending Thanksgiving in the city. Dallas agrees and gets excited that she’ll be able to spend time with Tessa. However, the kind of fun Dallas thinks is fun clearly isn’t Tessa’s kind of fun. They end up at the hair salon.

Dallas tries to convince Tessa to get her hair blown out but Tessa refuses. Dallas even offers to give her a hundred dollars if she gets her hair straightened. Finally, Dallas makes a deal with Tessa that if she gets her hair blown out for Thanksgiving, she will take her anywhere she wants to go for lunch. Tessa agrees. Soon enough, they end up in New York City, buying knockoff purses and getting slices of pizza, with pin-straight hairstyles. However, the party comes to a screeching halt when Tessa spots George in the city— making out with a woman.

On the car ride back home Tessa is furious that George has been cheating on the suburbs with Manhattan. Dallas, on the other hand, is jealous that the woman he was kissing looked like a Puerto Rican and was wearing a no-name-brand tote bag. Dallas and Tessa agree that they can’t tell George they saw him because they weren’t supposed to be in the city in the first place.

Back at the Shay household, Lisa and Sheila go back and forth about wearing the frumpy, ruffled, pale bluish-grey Amish dress. Sheila informs Lisa that all the girl cousins will be wearing the dress. Lisa informs Sheila that all the girl cousins— but one —will be wearing the dress. Sheila tells Lisa that if she wants to be a party pooper she should go poop in her room, by herself. Lisa agrees and stomps off to her room.

While Sheila and her husband peel potatoes and clean out their turkey, Ryan comes into the kitchen and tells his parents that if Lisa’s not wearing the dress, he’s not wearing the vest! Sheila responds by doing the only thing she can do— she turns the heat all the way up so that Lisa has no choice but to put on the dress and leave her room.

Eventually, we see Lisa in her room sweating bullets. Her clothes are completely soaked. Ryan comes in with a Vitamin Water in hand and tells her that he appreciates the fact that she is taking a risk— just like “Ace Ventura in the super confusing spotless movie that had the titanic lady with the mid-size naturals.” This makes Sheila happy and she realizes that she really is taking a risk. Then, Ryan proceeds to ask her if he can have the Vitamin Water because it’s really hot and that’s the last one. He drinks the entire thing in one gulp.

Lisa can take the heat no longer and goes to the bathroom to take a shower. While there, she hears someone come in. When she looks around, she sees that her towel has been replaced with the Amish dress.

Downstairs, just as the Shays have gathered around the TV and are about to cut the turkey, Lisa comes downstairs with a towel wrapped around her and asks Sheila if this is what she wanted her to wear. She then drops the towel and flashes her naked body the entire family. Sheila is so shocked she drops the turkey. Lisa's six year old cousin compliments her for having a "nice rack" and Lisa's elderly Nana nods in approval. As Lisa’s dad then explains it, she "ruined Thanksgiving with her naked body." Lisa runs out of the house and starts to happily streak through the streets of Chatswin. When she hears police sirens, she wonders what she is doing and starts to check the door handles of all the parked cars for a place to hide.

At Dallas’ house, the guests are well to do and uptight. Dalia with her “professional” party planning experience has put together a fancy shindig— of course after threatening the chef that if he sent out clumpy mashed potatoes and pale greens similar to last year’s dinner things would not be pretty.

With everyone seated and about to dig into the turkey, Dallas makes a speech suggesting that everyone go around the table and say what they are most thankful for. Noah's wife glares at Dallas and says she's thankful that she doesn't have to dress like a hooker to impress her husband and that she actually has an identity outside of her marriage. When it’s George’s turn, Tessa takes the opportunity to ask him if he is most thankful for the Tri-Boro Bridge. Then she shouts out that they know about him and his Puerto Rican girlfriend.

Outside, George admits to Tessa that he has been to the city about five or six times since they moved to the suburbs because he was working on a bar out there. He then admits that he’s seen the Puerto Rican girl only twice. He felt that he needed to get away for his own creativity and freedom. Tessa suggests that she feels the same way and it isn’t fair that she doesn’t get the opportunity to go back to the city but he does. George admits that parents and their kids, no matter how close they are, are not equals.

On the ride back home George and Tessa aren’t speaking. We watch as George takes the New York City exit. He explains to Tessa that he looked up the word “tradition” in the dictionary and Tessa was right— traditions don’t get changed. Suddenly Lisa pops up in the backseat of their car, still naked. Luckily George has a gym bag full of clothes in the backseat. The three of them go to the Altman’s favorite coffee shop in New York City, Empire State Diner, and get a round of black and white milkshakes.

Gobble, gobble!



  • Rae, Starcruizer - unreleased - Dallas and Tessa get blowouts.
  • AgesandAges, Alright You Restless - Dallas and Tessa drive to NYC.
  • Digable Planets, Rebirth of Slick (Cool Like That) - Dallas and Tessa walk and shop the streets of New York.
  • Vassy (feat. Tim Myers), We Are Young - Lisa rebels against her mother and goes streaking through the neighborhood.

External LinksEdit

Episode Guide vte
Season 1 Pilot · The Barbecue · The Chatterer · Don't Call Me Shirley · Halloween · Charity Case · Sweet Sixteen · Thanksgiving · The Nutcracker · Driving Miss Dalia · Out in the Burbs · The Casino Trip · Sex and the Suburbs · The Body · Fire with Fire · Poetic Injustice · Independence Day · Down Time · Entering Eden · Hear No Evil · The Great Compromise · The Motherload
Season 2 Homecoming · The Witch of East Chatswin · Ryan's Song · Foam Finger · The Wishbone · Friendship Fish · Krampus · Black Thai · Junior Secretary's Day · Chinese Chicken · Yakult Leader · Body Talk · Blowtox and Burlap · T-Ball & Sympathy · Leaving Chatswin · How to Be a Baby · Eat, Pray, Eat · Brown Trembler · Decemberfold · Go, Gamblers! · Apocalypse Meow · Stray Dogs
Season 3 No Me Gusta, Mami · Victor Ha · Open Door Policy · The Birds and the Biederman · Blame It on the Rainstick · About a Boy-Yoi-Yoing · I'm Just Not That Into Me · Catch and Release · The Ballad of Piggy Duckworth · No, You Can't Sit with Us · Dalia Nicole Smith · Les Lucioles · Stiiiiiiill Horny
See also: Episode Guide