thanksgiving movies

What is America watching for Thanksgiving this year? "Forrest Gump" takes the cake in 27 states.

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 what some may view as the most important tradition of all — watching movies.

CableTv.com surveyed 1,000 total strangers to see what they think about Thanksgiving movie-watching. And "Forrest Gump" is the winner — in a whopping 27 states, including Alabama.

"Forrest Gump" is known as an evergreen classic. Its richly sentimental story and drowsy two and a half hours runtime make it a perfect Thanksgiving watch. 

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 folks 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 for some of us, this is the best time of year to play "You’ve Got Mail" for the thousandth time.

Of course, movies aren’t the only reason we gather around the TV on Thanksgiving. Although half CableTv.com's survey participants are there to watch movies, some folks have more diverse tastes.

  • 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 8 to 11 a.m. CST.
  • 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" episode called “Turkey in a Can” was the runner-up.
    • "That ‘70s Show" Season 1 Episode 9, simply titled “Thanksgiving,” snagged third place.
  • 38% of those surveyed usually go to the movies on Black Friday.

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

Note from CableTv.comTo 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.