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Episode 12: Talking Turkey

  • This episode provides examples of the following tropes: Blatant Lies: Hilary tries to pass off the yams she charred as Cajun styleWill: Hilary burned them.

  • Hypocrite: Vy chastises Vivian for the privileged upbringing that she's giving her children when the very reason that she sent Will to live with them was so that he could benefit from this.

  • Hypocritical Heartwarming: Vy berates Will for making fun of Uncle Phil's weight despite doing so herself, reasoning that only she gets to make fun of him like that.

  • Idle Rich: Vy worries that Will will become one of these if he continues living in a wealthy household and doing no work other than schoolwork.

  • Lethal Chef: Will and the Banks children turn out to be this, as their parents and teacher are very reluctant to eat the Thanksgiving dinner they prepared for them. Justified since it was the first time the kids cooked dinner ever.

  • Like Father, Like Son: Will and Vy share many of the same traits, including their penchant for making fun of Uncle Phil.

  • Shared Family Quirks: Philip blames Vivian for spoiling their children after Vy takes issue with it, but Vivian points out that he regularly gives the kids large allowances simply because they ask.

  • Thanksgiving Episode: The episode centers around the Smiths and Banks celebrating Thanksgiving.

  • Tyrant Takes the Helm: Vy quickly assumes authority over her son, nephew and nieces and orders them to do the work that their butler and groundskeeper normally do, which naturally creates discontentment among the Banks family.

Episode 12: Talking Turkey

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Native to North America, wild turkeys once blanketed the landscape. Early historical records waxed poetic about the abundance of this magnificent bird that European colonists found upon their arrival to the New World. Sadly, as human populations climbed, wild turkey populations dwindled throughout their range.

Preferred turkey habitat includes a water source, tall trees for roosting and escape from predators and open pastures that provide food for adults and foraging opportunities for poults. Through harvest restrictions and restoration efforts, Rio Grande numbers have rebounded across the state. Today this big bird struts its stuff from the Panhandle to the Rio Grande valley.

And this king reigns over most of the state. TPWD and partners trapped tens of thousands of Rio Grande turkeys over the decades; they were restocked to suitable habitats throughout the state, successfully restoring the bird to its historic range.

In the mid-1990s, Dr. Raul Lopez, currently with the Natural Resource Institute at Texas A & M, found Texas turkey stocking could be improved in two ways: 1) by releasing 70 to 80 birds at a time, called super stocking, and 2) by releasing them into more suitable habitat.

Hunters can also use locator calls to aggravate roosting toms into giving away their position. Locator calls include owl hoots, crow calls, coyote howls, peacock calls as well as turkey gobbles. Locator calls are meant to induce a reflex gobble from a boss tom. And this provides hunters with a general idea of the roost site, which allows them to get into proper position before the sun comes up.

Susan lives north of Houston with her husband Shannon Tompkins, a reporter and columnist with the Houston Chronicle. Her cookbook is The Field to Table Cookbook: Gardening, Foraging, Fishing, & Hunting. Susan knows a thing or two or three or ten about hunting for and preparing wild turkey.

Remember Jason Hardin from earlier in the podcast? He takes his daughter Lindsey and his son Marshall spring turkey hunting with him. And he spoke with them about their experiences in the field for our Shout Out to the Wild Segment.

Lindsey: When I got my first bird, I remember that I was in the stand, and we were about to leave, I believe, because it had been awhile. And then, from the corner of the stand, we saw a turkey just walking up. A pretty big one. And he came up to our decoy bird and like started like ruffling around it. And then I shot him.

Thanks for the advice, Marshall. And thank you Jason for wrangling your kiddos for the podcast. Check the Outdoor Annual on the Texas Parks and Wildlife website or App to see in which counties spring turkey hunting is still underway.

Friends is without a doubt the king of Thanksgiving episodes. Some sitcoms might have one or two during their run, but Friends celebrated the holiday almost every year, and the Thanksgiving episodes were arguably even better than the Christmas ones. The best is debatable, but our pick is season six's "The One Where Ross Got High," which sees Monica's parents come over for Thanksgiving after she has started dating Chandler, whom they dislike thanks to a lie Ross told years ago. The highlight, though, is Rachel helping Monica cook Thanksgiving dinner, only to accidentally make a bizarre dessert concoction after combining the recipes for an English trifle and a shepherd's pie. The group is forced to make it seem like nothing's amiss, leading to some all-time great "struggling to pretend you like terrible food" acting.

Six seasons and a Thanksgiving episode! With the Community movie finally on the way, now's the perfect time to revisit the cult classic sitcom, which had one Thanksgiving episode in its fourth season. Unfortunately, it occurred in the so-called "gas leak year," the season universally acknowledged as the weakest given creator Dan Harmon was absent. Despite that, "Cooperative Escapism in Familial Relations" is one of its more solid outings, and it's crucial to Jeff's character arc. The episode sees Britta join Jeff on his long-awaited reunion with his estranged father, played by James Brolin, while everyone else spends Thanksgiving with Shirley. They end up hiding out in the garage the entire time to get away from her family, turning the episode into a parody of prison break movies. Boot this one up while giving thanks to Peacock for saving us from the darkest timeline where a Community movie never happens.

Guess who's coming to dinner? Brooklyn Nine-Nine has a few strong Thanksgiving episodes to offer, but the funniest might be this one from season four, which is also the first to introduce Jimmy Smits as Victor Santiago, Amy's father. Jake and Amy are dating at this point, so when her father comes out for Thanksgiving, Jake is desperate to impress. But he and Victor unexpectedly end up working together when Jake thinks he may have cracked one of Victor's unsolved cases from when he was a cop. Meanwhile, the precinct gathers for Thanksgiving at Amy's apartment and a live turkey gets loose. Come for all that, but stay for the subplot pairing Holt and Adrian after the former lends the latter money that he immediately goes and bets. Really, what more could you ask for from a sitcom than Andre Braugher providing sassy live commentary on a dog show?

In true Gilmore fashion, Lorelei (Lauren Graham) and Rory (Alexis Bledel) commit to more than one Thanksgiving dinner prompting the mother-daughter duo to rush between their multiple engagements with stops for Lane's (Keiko Agena) tofurkey, Luke's (Scott Patterson) traditional diner dinner, Sookie (Melissa McCarthy) and Jackson's (Jackson Douglas) deep-friend turkey, and Emily and Richard's (Kelly Bishop and Edward Herrmann) formal affair inspiring comedic chaos.

Slapsgiving" continues in the tradition of one of the most hilarious long-running gags on the hit sitcom. Marshall (Jason Segel) won a bet against Barney (Neil Patrick Harris) and as his prize, he gets to slap Barney five times. Meanwhile, Ted (Josh Radnor) and Robin (Cobie Smulders) are trying to get over the awkward post-break-up-but-still-friends phase they find themselves in. (Read our oral history of the episode here.)

The gang looks back on all their terrible Thanksgivings through the years. Chandler (Matthew Perry) remembers his parents telling him they're getting divorced over dinner. Joey (Matt LeBlanc) recalls getting his head stuck in Monica's (Courtney Cox) turkey. Classic. Monica relives the horror of meeting Chandler for the first time when he called her fat and the following year when she accidentally cut off his toe. Monica puts a turkey on her head to cheer Chandler up and he ends up accidentally telling her he loves her.

No sitting around full of turkey and stuffing for this crowd, instead Samantha (Elizabeth Montgomery) takes everyone back to see the pilgrims via some witch-y time travel and Darren ends up on trial for witchcraft.

After a visit to the senior health fair, Marie (Doris Roberts) decides she and Frank (Peter Boyle) are eating healthy and Deborah (Patricia Heaton) concurs. The two start scheming a "no fat" Thanksgiving while Raymond, Frank, and Robert (Brad Garrett) watch in horror as their Thanksgiving dreams turn into a nightmare involving a jiggling tofu-turkey.

Vanessa (Camille Winbush) decides she wants to become a vegetarian after her teacher Mr. Diggs (Don Franklin) tells her about growing up on a farm days before Thanksgiving. Bernie (Bernie Mac) is none too pleased to attend Mr. Diggs' vegan Thanksgiving for Vanessa's sake and naturally gets jealous, not to mention hungry. Mac enlists Jordan (Jeremy Suarez) to smuggle turkey into the meat-free dinner and Jordan ends up sharing his stash with Mr. Diggs' son who has never had meat in his life.

While this episode may be the only one not to feature a family-filled day of stuffing and turkeys (you'll have to see "The Butter Shave" to get your bird fix), this Seinfeld classic features the second-most Thanksgiving-y thing: the Macy's Thanksgiving Day Parade. Elaine (Julia Louis-Dreyfus) wins Mr. Pitt (Ian Abercrombie) a spot holding Woody the Woodpecker in the parade, everyone is invited to Tim Whatley's (Bryan Cranston) night before Thanksgiving party except Jerry (Jerry Seinfeld), and George (Jason Alexander) buys Jon Voight's car. In true Seinfeld fashion, each event comes together in the end in the cringiest way possible. Be especially thankful for guest spots by Jon Voight himself and Bryan Cranston. 041b061a72


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