Thanksgiving meals take hours, sometimes days to prepare (unless, of course, you're getting takeout). Whether you're waiting for the turkey to finish cooking or the turkey already made you sleepy, there are some Thanksgiving traditions that are a must.
It's also becoming time to collect a few pop culture recommendations, too. To help set the atmosphere with Thanksgiving cheer, TODAY.com has rounded up some of the best movies for the holiday.
Queue up some animated classics like "A Charlie Brown Thanksgiving," PG family-friendly live-action movies like "The Mighty Ducks," movies on Disney+ (a lot of them), and all that Netflix has to offer.
There are classics, like "Planes, Trains & Automobiles," and hidden gems, like "Dutch," that some consider the ultimate Thanksgiving movie.
And most of all, there's something for you.
'Grumpy Old Men' (1993)
Thanksgiving is about gathering. But what if you don't like the people you're gathered next to? "Grumpy Old Men" is a classic starring Jack Lemmon and Walter Matthau as two Minnesota neighbors who never got along and never will (they think).
'Fantastic Mr. Fox' (2009)
During the Thanksgiving season, turkeys take the spotlight. "Fantastic Mr. Fox" turns our attention to other woodland creatures — the wily fox. Wes Anderson directs this lively, star-studded animated movie adapted from a Roald Dahl novel.
'Soul Food' (1997)
Vivica A. Fox, Vanessa Williams and Nia Long star as estranged sisters who reunite to spend time with their mother, Big Mama, who falls into a coma. She was the glue holding the family together, so her absence nearly brings the family to blows before they figure out how to get along.
'Scent of a Woman' (1992)
Al Pacino earned an Oscar for his role as an irascible, blind retired Army lieutenant colonel. There is a Thanksgiving scene, yes, but it's worth watching just for its cinematic appeal.
'For Your Consideration' (2006)
"For Your Consideration" is all about a fictional film as it vies for Oscar nominations. At some point it's retitled "Home for Thanksgiving" to help its Oscar chances, or so the cast and crew think.
'An Old-Fashioned Thanksgiving' (2008)
"An Old-Fashioned Thanksgiving" is loosely based on a short story by Louisa May Alcott in which a widow, Mary Bassett (played by Helene Joy), cannot afford to have a turkey for Thanksgiving dinner with her three kids. Her wealthy mother, whom Mary cannot stand, catches wind of it and arrives at Mary's home to help, which Mary resents.
'Lez Bomb' (2018)
Lauren is finally ready to share her sexuality with her family by introducing her partner to them on Thanksgiving. But every time she tries to, there's some type of distraction that thwarts her efforts.
'Pieces of April' (2003)
April Burns (Katie Holmes) invites her family to spend Thanksgiving with her in her tiny New York City apartment. They are physically so close to each other, but couldn't be further away emotionally and socially.
Sixty-something-year-old Krisha has become sober after a history of addiction and wishes to reconnect with her family, with whom she has an estranged relationship. She arrives at her sister's house where everyone is staying in hopes of winning them over.
'Stuck In Love' (2012)
It's one tumultuous year for the characters in "Stuck In Love," but somehow an estranged family finds a place of peace after it all.
'The Humans' (2021)
Three generations of Blakes spend Thanksgiving in lower Manhattan. There's more tension than turkey, though, and a lot of familial fractures that they must work through before they can actually enjoy each other's company.
'Our Father's Keeper' (2020)
"Our Father's Keeper" pulls on the heartstrings in showing arguing family members who attempt to care for their patriarch as he forgets who they are.
'Tower Heist' (2011)
It's really not Thanksgiving without some drama, and "Tower Heist" is just that when a ragtag group of unlikely friends try to take back stolen money from a con man.
Dutch Dooley (Ed O'Neill) volunteers to pick up his new girlfriend's son from school in another state. Little does he know, he has a new formidable foe in the form of a preteen. "Dutch" is a story about dysfunction that can come with blending families and the awe-inspiring power of a brat.
'Funny People' (2009)
Life gets put into perspective in "Funny People" fast after heralded comedian George Simmons (Adam Sandler) learns he has a fatal disease. To preserve his legacy, he starts imparting all his tricks of the trade to struggling performer Ira (Seth Rogen). The experience breathes new life into Simmons — literally and figuratively.
'The Oath' (2018)
Dark humor is on full display in "The Oath," a comedy starring Tiffany Haddish and Ike Barinholtz in which a dystopian government makes Thanksgiving Day a deadline to declare loyalty or face consequences.
'Alice's Restaurant' (1969)
"Alice's Restaurant" is a dramatic comedy starring folk singer Arlo Guthrie as Arlo Guthrie. Guthrie plays a college student who has avoided being drafted into the military. He's fresh off leaving college and having a Friendsgiving when a simple mistake gets him on the police's radar.
"Friendsgiving" has surprises in the form of unexpected houseguests, unwanted changes in events and a resurfacing of problems previously solved. The ensemble film stars Malin Åkerman, Kat Dennings, Aisha Tyler, Chelsea Peretti, Christine Taylor, Jane Seymour, Wanda Sykes and Deon Cole.
'The Turkey Bowl' (2019)
"The Turkey Bowl" is a sports comedy in which rival high school football teams in a rural community hash out old beef in a rematch of their classic football tournament, the eponymous Turkey Bowl. The game will settle 15 years of unfinished business, but the stakes become even higher than that as the movie unfolds.
'Sweet November' (2001)
"Sweet November" is a remake of a 1968 film of the same name. There are endless Christmas romances — but here's a Thanksgiving one. In the 30 days of November, Charlize Theron's character goes through a short-lived, but deep, romance with Keanu Reeves.
'Autumn in New York' (2000)
This dramatic rom-com will tug at the heartstrings. In the movie, a notorious playboy falls in love with a young woman facing a fatal illness. "Autumn in New York" stars Richard Gere, Winona Ryder and Anthony LaPaglia.
'Instant Family' (2018)
"Instant Family" is the quintessential example of how Thanksgiving dinners can be full of pressing questions no one wants to answer. Mark Wahlberg and Rose Byrne play new parents who adopt three siblings after years of saying they'd never have children. But becoming an "instant family" isn't easy.
'A Charlie Brown Thanksgiving' (1973)
It doesn't get any more on brand than this holiday classic, "A Charlie Brown Thanksgiving" from 1973. Peppermint Patty invites everyone over to Charlie Brown's for Thanksgiving for an iconic scene of them all sitting around the table together to eat a rather untraditional meal.
'Home for the Holidays' (1995)
In "Home for the Holidays," Holly Hunter plays Claudia Larson, a middle-aged mother whose daughter makes Thanksgiving plans without her. Left alone, Larson returns to her childhood home with her dysfunctional family who gets on her nerves, but she ends up remembering the importance of family — and finding a new love.
'Garfield’s Thanksgiving' (1989)
In "Garfield's Thanksgiving," the titular cat's owner puts him on a diet right before Thanksgiving. Of course, Garfield isn't having that, so he cooks up ways to still get the food portions he's usually spoiled with.
'You’ve Got Mail' (1998)
Nothing washes down turkey like a romantic comedy to rally behind. Tom Hanks stars alongside Meg Ryan as two New Yorkers who meet online without knowing they are actually business rivals in real life.
Watching NFL games on Thanksgiving Day is a tradition for many. When the games end, start your own overtime with "Hoosiers," a classic underdog tale of a high school basketball team in Indiana and its unlikely rise.
‘The Peanuts Movie’ (2015)
After watching "A Charlie Brown Thanksgiving," you may be nostalgic for more Peanuts action. "The Peanuts Movie" is a newer spin on the characters, starring Noah Schnapp of "Stranger Things" as Charlie Brown.
'The Mighty Ducks' (1992)
In "The Mighty Ducks," a disgruntled lawyer is ordered to perform community service and ends up coaching a kids hockey team. By the end, the job hardly feels like work.
'Little Women' (2019)
Thanksgiving is all about coming together — and when that happens, drama occasionally follows. The latest "Little Women" adaptation is the definition of cozy, with the four March sisters (Emma Watson, Saoirse Ronan, Florence Pugh and Eliza Scanlen) helping each other through loves and disappointments in Massachusetts during the Civil War era.
'A Family Thanksgiving' (2010)
Thanks to some holiday magic, Claudia (Daphne Zuniga) has a chance to see what her life could look like with a few tweaks. In the Hallmark movie, Claudia goes from high-powered lawyer looking for a promotion to a wife and mother trying to cope with her new responsibilities. Is there a place she can meet in the middle?
'Toy Story 4' (2019)
Or, just make it a "Toy Story" marathon. "Toy Story 4" is the most recent sequel in the series of beloved Pixar movies about sentient toys whose owners severely underestimate their capacity for adventure. Warning: You will cry.
'Free Birds' (2013)
"Free Birds" is a Thanksgiving caper told from a turkey's point of view. In the movie, a turkey named Reggie (Owen Wilson) is pardoned by the president to live life without fear of being eaten for Thanksgiving. He partners with Jake (Woody Harrelson), another turkey, to travel back in time to 1621, before the first Thanksgiving, to stop the bird from becoming the holiday's trademark dish.
Nothing says Thanksgiving like good eating! "Ratatouille," a Paris-set Pixar movie, is a celebration of just that. Remy is an aspiring chef ... who also happens to be a rat. He tries to climb the culinary ladder, despite encountering skepticism from every angle.
'National Treasure' (2004)
Thanksgiving is a holiday centered around an American story – and "National Treasure" is the story of one very famous American document. Ben Gates (Nicolas Cage) is on the hunt for a treasure only rumored to exist and in his pursuit discovers a string of clues located on the back of the Declaration of Independence.
'Paul Blart: Mall Cop' (2009)
Every Thanksgiving has a little Christmas sprinkled into it. "Paul Blart: Mall Cop" is a good segue movie for celebrating both occasions. Paul Blart (Kevin James) is routinely ridiculed for taking his job as a security guard at the mall too seriously. But when he's the only one left to save shoppers from a mall's Santa's helpers gone rogue, everyone relies on him.
'Addams Family Values' (1993)
This fun film is great for pre-turkey laughs while dinner is still cooking. "Addams Family Values" is a sequel to the 1991 "Addams Family" film starring Anjelica Huston, Raul Julia and Christina Ricci.
'We're Back! A Dinosaur's Story' (1993)
How Thanksgiving is done in small towns is very different from how it's celebrated in big cities. "We're Back! A Dinosaur's Story" shows four dinosaur friends leaving their small city for an adventure in the Big Apple that even they aren't quite big enough to handle.
'Miracle on 34th Street' (1947)
Imagine if one of the many Santas-for-hire in the United States was actually the real deal? Susan Walker (played by a young Natalie Wood) is convinced that the jovial man (Edmund Gwenn) she meets at a Macy's might really be Santa, and tries to convince the world to believe her.
'Planes, Trains and Automobiles' (1987)
It wouldn't be Thanksgiving without unpredictable weather, specifically in the Midwestern region. Unfortunately, Neal Page (Steve Martin) in "Planes, Trains and Automobiles" may miss his Thanksgiving plans after his flight to Chicago is rerouted to Kansas. He hits every road block imaginable when trying to make it home, and learns a lot along the way.
"Winnie the Pooh: Seasons of Giving" (1999)
This hourlong Winnie the Pooh special tells three stories: “Groundpiglet Day,” “A Winnie the Pooh Thanksgiving” and “Find Her, Keep Her.”
'A Looney Tunes Thanksgiving' (2014)
"A Looney Tunes Thanksgiving" serves up two segments, "Bugs Bunny's Thanksgiving Diet" and "Daffy Duck's Thanks-for-giving Special." They take an unconventional approach to a traditional holiday, but it works.
'Jim Henson's Turkey Hollow' (2015)
And last but not least in TODAY's Thanksgiving movie pack is "Jim Henson's Turkey Hollow." Tag along as the Emmerson family tries to track down an elusive monster some don't even believe exist.