Have you ever experienced a disastrous Thanksgiving meal? The holidays can be a challenge for those preparing dinner for the first time: ovens break, casseroles catch fire and turkeys can go flying onto the floor. Read below for some of our favorite hilarious Thanksgiving horror stories, and then pack your fire extinguisher for Thursday’s dinner.
Maximo Blake – Slippery Turkey, 10 Second Rule?
I drove my mother to our friends’ house for Thanksgiving dinner and nabbed a parking space right in front of their house. Mom handed to me the pan with the turkey, gravy and stuffing, which I placed atop our Volkswagen Beetle while I helped her out. But, when I slammed her door, the vibration caused the pan to slide along the roof, gathering speed down the slope of the back window and over the curved back fender to fly off the car, onto the snow. While my Mom looked on aghast, I quickly replaced the turkey and stuffing from the snow into the pan, brushing off odd bits of gravel. I took Mom’s arm and we turned to walk into the house only to see the front window packed with the horrified faces of our friends, who had apparently watched the whole incident.
Jo Harrington - Credit Card Fraud, Sewage Leak
Thanksgiving 2008, I got a call in the morning from my bank that someone had used my credit card for $5,500 worth of car parts in Santa Rosa, Calif. (I live in Oregon). We worked through the process to stop the charge . . . calmed down and finished dinner for our 15 guests. During dinner, I noticed that my husband was amazingly crabby and kept giving me the “stink eye.” I thought he was objecting to the huge crowd in our little house . . . as it turns out, our sewer line had failed and he was mopping up sewage in our laundry room while the rest of us were laughing and enjoying our dinner. $10,000 later, the sewer is fixed and we are looking forward to a crowd again this year.
Marie Horton – What’s Burning?
For many, many years my mom cooked Thanksgiving dinner for a ton of us. She did it all – preferring it that way. One year I smelled something burning. I went into the kitchen and told my mom it smelled like something was burning. She responded that it was potato on the bottom of the oven from an exploded potato … that’s all. The odor got worse and she opened a window to freshen the air. Finally, she realized that the burning smell was not coming from a potato in the oven but from turnip cubes on a back burner in a pressure cooker. She had forgotten about them. She ran the smoking turnip cubes outside to the back porch rather than throw them in the kitchen trash where they would continue to stink up the kitchen. While she was busy setting the table with the food dishes, I ran outside and took the burned turnip cubes, put them in a bowl, covered them with foil, put them on the Thanksgiving dinner table. As we were passing dishes to one another, I passed my mom the bowl with the charcoal turnip cubes … she was very surprised and we all cried laughing at her expression. We continue to laugh each year about this episode that happened over 20 years ago. My mom is a very good sport. She doesn’t cook anymore – she’s 84 … I wish my mom could still cook – I miss her food. I would even put up with charcoal turnip cubes if it meant I could taste her fabulous cooking. She had many more WINS then burned meals at the dinner table. Thanks Mom!
Cathy Adams – Sweet Potato Casserole on Fire
It was about 25 years ago, my kids were very young, and I was trying to prepare a Thanksgiving meal for my kids and sister. I put the sweet potatoes into a blender to make a sweet potato casserole with marshmallows on top. I was pushing the potatoes down into the blender with a wooden spoon as it was going and suddenly I heard the spoon getting chopped up with the potatoes. I had no more potatoes so I tried to pick out all the wood chips, then I put the marshmallows on top and baked it. I forgot the marshmallows wouldn’t take as long as the potatoes to heat and in a short while the oven was a blaze of burning marshmallows. I panicked, ran for the hose, dragged it inside and sprayed the sweet potato casserole as it burned inside the oven. Then I poured off the water, scraped off the top, replaced the marshmallows and heated it up again…and this time began talking with my sister and forgot about the casserole, and again the marshmallows caught fire. We blew out the fire and I served the Thanksgiving meal, complete with wood chips, which everyone just pulled out of their mouths like tiny bones while eating the sweet potato casserole.
Bonita Hay – ”Hamburger Virus”-Food Poisoning?
My son and his wife flew in from Minnesota with their baby girl. My daughter-in-law threw up getting off the plane and then 4 or 5 more times after arriving at our house. She attributed it to a bad burger in the airport.
Another son and his wife came in from Texas. We live in Louisiana. Everything seemed OKk and we stuffed ourselves as usual on Thanksgiving Day. Big lunch, big dinner … bloated to the max.
My husband was running a fever and isolated himself so as not to give whatever to everyone else.
Around 10 p.m. on Thanksgiving evening, I began throwing up and having diarrhea simultaneously. Our son from Texas had our bedroom as his wife was pregnant and needed to have a close bathroom. So, I had no alternate clothing handy. My husband is twice my size. After I ruined my clothes from repeated illness trips to the bathroom, I donned a pair of his pajama pants and one of his T-shirts that fit me like a dress. I kept having to hold up the pj pants when I ran to the bathroom. Then my son from Texas became ill. He got a trash can and blankets and was on the tile floor in the den throwing up as well.
Then my pregnant daughter-in-law also caught the “hamburger virus” … We fondly think of that particular holiday event as our Thanksgiving from Hell. We also had 2 local sons/families who were not staying here and did not catch the virus. The original daughter-in-law had left to go to her Dad’s house after we ate on Thanksgiving and no one else caught it.
Vicki Slingluff-Andrews – Turkey With a Side of Salmonella
My roommate, a notoriously bad cook, insisted on doing everything herself in an effort to impress her stepmother. The first sign of serious trouble was the smoke alarm going off. It seems roommate had gotten advice from some so-called friends at work who told her to cook the turkey in a bag. I’m sure they meant a cook-in bag, not the paper bag she carried the turkey home from the store in.
Roommate thought it would cook faster if the oven was really hot. My roommate’s friends also told her to put the cranberry sauce in the gravy. She opened the can and dumped it into the gravy without stirring or warming it. When our guests arrived, it was sitting on the table looking like a giant blood clot. The turkey was oozing some gross yellow liquid from every orifice. She tried to stuff the bird with sourdough Mexican cornbread. This didn’t work because she did not have sourdough starter to make it properly; and she poured it into the bird without baking it first, thinking it would cook inside the turkey.
Dinner consisted of what we tried to pass off as blackened turkey with mushy, runny so-called stuffing; cold, lumpy mashed potatoes; the disgusting looking gravy/cranberry sauce combination; and I’m sure a few helpings of salmonella. The only thing edible was some gelatin a guest brought. The day ended with the stepmother throwing up on our red velvet chair.
Lisa Maxwell - Mystery Ingredient
I had just gotten married and it was my first thanksgiving with my in-laws and my mother in law asked me to bring a cake. I wanted to impress her so I went to the store and got all the ingredients but flour. It was late when I realized my mistake so I asked my foreign neighbors if they could help me. They had just come to America and couldn’t understand English. I tried to explain flour. They nodded and came back with something. It looked similar to flour but smelled weird. I used it anyway and the cake seemed to be OK until I put the icing on it. The cake just ate the icing. I mean you could put icing on it and 2 minutes later it was gone … completely. So on our way to the party. I bought an entire tub of icing and quickly put it on right before we went it. When it came dessert time, there my cake sat with no icing on it. Again the cake had sucked it in. But everyone loved it because it was the moistest cake they had ever eaten. Tree tubs of icing it had inside of it. To this day, I have no idea what my neighbors gave me.