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55 fun Thanksgiving trivia questions and answers to break out at the dinner table

Quiz everyone about the holiday's history, beloved foods, traditions and more.

Thanksgiving isn't just about the turkey.

Before you dive into your mound of gravy-covered mashed potatoes, carve out some time to learn more about Thanksgiving's rich history. But since it's a holiday and all, make a game out of it by testing yourself — and everyone else at your table — with a few rounds of Thanksgiving trivia.

At some point throughout your Turkey Day festivities, fire off some of these questions to get some healthy — and welcome — competition going. And if you want to up the stakes, tell everyone that the person with the most answers wins all the leftovers (or another slice of pumpkin pie).

Some of these questions are sure to be a challenge, but that's what makes 'em fun. For example, do you know how many cranberries it takes to make one pound of the popular side dish? Or which department store hosted the first Thanksgiving Day parade? Hint: It wasn't Macy's.

You'll have to keep reading to get the answers to all the top Qs about your most cherished Thanksgiving traditions, everything from the food you eat to the movies you watch (and, well, fall asleep to).

  1. Question: Which states were forecasted to raise the most turkeys in 2022? Answer (in order): Minnesota, North Carolina, Arkansas, Indiana, Missouri and Virginia, according to the U.S. Census Bureau.
  2. Question: Has there ever been a hurricane on Thanksgiving Day? Answer: Though November hurricanes are rare, Hurricane Otto hit Central America on Thanksgiving Day in 2016 as a Category 3 storm and is the strongest hurricane on record so late in the season.
  3. Question: What is the most popular day to shop during Thanksgiving weekend? Answer: Unsurprisingly, Black Friday is the most popular with 69% of those surveyed planning to shop on the day, according to the National Retail Federation.
  4. Question: According to the Farmer’s Almanac, which snowstorm blanketed New York City on Thanksgiving Day, causing problems for the Macy’s parade? Answer: On November 23, 1989, four inches of snow fell on the Big Apple, making it the first Thanksgiving Day storm recorded in more than 50 years.
  5. Question: Which retailer was the first to host a Thanksgiving Day parade? Answer: Gimbels department store hosted a Thanksgiving Day parade in Philadelphia in 1920, four years before Macy’s held their first.
  6. Question: Which U.S. president was the first to officially pardon a turkey? Answer: In 1989, George H.W. Bush "presented a Presidential pardon" to a "fine tom turkey" — and it's been an annual tradition ever since.
  7. Question: What are the top five gift categories for gift-giving this year, according to the National Retail Foundation?Answer (in order): Clothing, gift cards, toys, books/music/movies/video games and food/candy.
  8. Question: Which U.S. Founding Father famously called turkeys "a bird of courage"? Answer: Benjamin Franklin
  9. Question: What are Americans most thankful for? Answer: Family, health and life, according to a 2021 survey by YouGov.
  10. Question: True or false: The Pilgrims referred to themselves as “Pilgrims.” Answer: False. They called themselves "Separatists."
  11. Question: Which two NFL teams have played a game on Thanksgiving Day since 1966? Answer: Detroit Lions and Dallas Cowboys
  12. Question: What did the Spaniards likely eat at the first Thanksgiving? Answer: Based on what they brought over on their ships, it was likely a pork and bean stew, sea biscuits and red wine.
  13. Question: How long can a turkey be stored in the freezer? Answer: An unopened whole turkey can be frozen for up to two years, according to Butterball.
  14. Question: How long is the Macy's Thanksgiving Day Parade route? Answer: 2.5 miles
  15. Question: What notable Native American served as an interpreter between the Pilgrims and Native Americans?Answer: Squanto, who also taught the Pilgrims how to fertilize soil for farming. 
  16. Question: How many passengers were on the Mayflower? Answer: 102
  17. Question: When was the first Thanksgiving feast held?Answer:  November 1621
  18. Question: What was on the menu of the first Thanksgiving?Answer: Venison, goose, duck, fish, and porridge or bread made from corn.
  19. Question: When was Thanksgiving declared a national celebration? Answer: President George Washington designated November 26 as a Day of National Thanksgiving in 1789.
  20. Question: In 2022, how many people are expected to shop between Thanksgiving Day and Cyber Monday? Answer: An estimated 166.3 million people, according to the National Retail Federation and Prosper Insights & Analytics.
  21. Question: When was it decided that Thanksgiving would be observed on the last Thursday in November? Answer: On October 3, 1863, President Abraham Lincoln signed a proclamation, stating the last Thursday in November was Thanksgiving.
  22. Question: When did the Mayflower officially depart England for America? Answer: September 6, 1620
  23. Question: How was the Mayflower’s voyage from England to America? Answer: 66 days
  24. Question: Where did the Pilgrims first land when arriving on America’s shores? Answer: Provincetown, Massachusetts
  25. Question: Where did the Pilgrims settle? Answer: Though the Mayflower initially landed off the coast of Cape Cod, they decided to settle in Plymouth, Massachusetts.
  26. Question: What was the first official act of legislation by the Pilgrims? Answer: On November 11, 1620, the Mayflower Compact was written and signed by the male Pilgrims and passengers of the Mayflower laying the groundwork for the first government.
  27. Question: How did the cranberry get its name? Answer: Originally called "craneberry," Pilgrims likened the pink blossoms that appear on cranberries to the heads of Sandhill Cranes.
  28. Question: How many cranberries are in one pound?Answer: It depends, but about 440.
  29. Question: How many cranberries are produced each year?Answer: U.S. farmers harvest approximately 40,000 acres annually.
  30. Question: How long did the first Thanksgiving feast last?Answer: Three days
  31. Question: How many colonists were living in America in 1620? Answer: Approximately 2,499, according to the U.S. Census Bureau.
  32. Question: How many places in the U.S. have the word “Turkey” in their name? Answer: Seven, per the U.S. Census Bureau — Turkey City, Texas; Turkey Creek, Arizona; Turkey Creek, Stone County, Arkansas; Turkey Creek, McPherson County, Kansas; Turkey Creek, Louisiana; Turkey, North Carolina and Turkey Valley, Yankton County, South Dakota.
  33. Question: How many Pilgrims were at the first Thanksgiving harvest feast in 1621? Answer: Approximately 53
  34. Question: What household danger triples on Thanksgiving? Answer: Home fires. There are more than three times the daily average calls about home cooking fires on Thanksgiving Day, according to research by the National Fire Protection Association.
  35. Question: What percentage of consumers had already started their holiday shopping by early November in 2022?Answer: 60% of shoppers got a jumpstart on their holiday shopping, according to a survey by the National Retail Federation.
  36. Question: How many hours does it take to thaw a frozen turkey in the refrigerator? Answer: The National Grocers Association says you should allow 24 hours for each four to five pounds of frozen turkey.
  37. Question: True or false: In 2021, more people shopped online on Black Friday than they did on Cyber Monday. Answer: True. There were 88 million online shoppers on Black Friday compared to only 77 million on Cyber Monday, according to an annual survey by the National Retail Federation and Prosper Insights & Analytics.  
  38. Question: Once cooked, how long can turkey sit before it should be refrigerated? Answer: No longer than two hours.
  39. Question: How long should leftover turkey be stored?Answer: Leftover turkey can be stored for up to four days in the refrigerator. If turkey is stored in an airtight container, it can be stored in the freezer for up to two years.
  40. Question: What are the top three U.S. Thanksgiving travel destinations for 2022?    Answer: Orlando, Florida; Anaheim, California; and Las Vegas, Nevada, per AAA.
  41. Question: How many Pilgrims survived the first winter in America? Answer: About half
  42. Question: What were the top three international Thanksgiving travel destinations in 2021? Answer: Cancun, Mexico; Montego Bay, Jamaica; and Aruba, according to AAA.
  43. Question: On average, how many Americans hit the road for Thanksgiving? Answer: Roughly 50 million, according to AAA and INRIX.
  44. Question: Which Founding Father once proclaimed, “No citizen of the U.S. shall refrain from turkey on Thanksgiving Day”? Answer: Alexander Hamilton
  45. Question: When is the worst time to travel for Thanksgiving? Answer: According to AAA and INRIX, the Wednesday before Thanksgiving between noon and 8:00 p.m.
  46. Question: How many places in the U.S. have the word “Pilgrim” in their name? Answer: Two, per the U.S. Census Bureau — Pilgrim, Michigan and Pilgrim, Dade County, Missouri.
  47. Question: Which U.S. metro areas experience the worst pre-Thanksgiving congestion? Answer: Atlanta, Chicago, Houston, Los Angeles and New York City, according to AAA and INRIX.
  48. Question: How many turkeys are consumed each Thanksgiving? Answer: The National Turkey Federation estimates Americans eat about 45 to 46 million on Thanksgiving.
  49. Question: True or false: Thanksgiving is the busiest travel holiday of the year. Answer: False. The week between Christmas and New Year’s Day is the busiest time for travel with upwards of 90 to 100 million Americans traveling during that time, according to AAA.
  50. Question: True or false: The Pilgrims celebrated the first Thanksgiving with the Sioux Native Americans. Answer: False. The Pilgrims joined the Wampanoag Native People (which includes the Mashpee, Aquinnah and Manomet groups) for the first harvest gathering.
  51. Question: Which state produces the most cranberries?Answer: Wisconsin. Recent projections from Wisconsin’s cranberry growers show that the state will harvest more than 63% of the nation’s cranberry supply in 2022.
  52. Question: What are the top ten most popular Thanksgiving foods? Answer (in order): Turkey, mashed potatoes, stuffing or dressing, gravy, rolls and bread, pumpkin pie, sweet potatoes or yams, apple pie, cranberry sauce and corn, according to a survey by the National Grocers Association.
  53. Question: What are the three most-disliked Thanksgiving foods? Answer: According to a 2021 survey by The Vacationer, cranberry sauce tops the list followed by turkey and green bean casserole.
  54. Question: What do Marilyn Monroe, Meryl Streep, Matt Damon and Taylor Swift all have in common? Answer: According to the New England Historic Genealogical Society, they’re all descendants of passengers or crew on the Mayflower.
  55. Question: True or false: Pilgrim Monument is located at Plymouth Rock. Answer: False. The Pilgrim Monument is located in Provincetown, Massachusetts, and is the tallest all-granite structure in the United States.