Nothing says Thanksgiving like family drama at the dinner table, and “Gossip Girl” has had its fair amount of drama over its six-season run. While the beloved teen drama may be known for the crazy situations that the “Gossip Girl” gang seems to always get into, it’s also known for its iconic Thanksgiving episodes full of delectable dinner spreads and never-ending drama.
Whether you are preparing for a rewatch of the series or just want to celebrate the holidays with your favorite characters, here is a ranking of every “Gossip Girl” Thanksgiving episode to remind you that no family, not even one living on the Upper East Side, is exempt from drama.
1. Season 1, Episode 9: “Blair Waldorf Must Pie!”
Starting strong, if there is any “Gossip Girl” episode to call memorable, it would have to be “Gossip Girl’s” first-ever Thanksgiving episode.
Though the drama of the first season is nothing compared to what follows in future seasons, “Blair Waldorf Must Pie!” sets the stage for what we as viewers should expect from future “Gossip Girl” Thanksgiving episodes.
The episode focuses on that year’s Thanksgiving and the Thanksgiving from the year before when Blair (Leighton Meester) and Serena van der Woodsen (Blake Lively) were still friends and everyone was still relatively untouched by the toxicity of the Upper East Side. With Serena and her family joining Dan Humphrey’s (Penn Badgley) family for Thanksgiving, many of their parents’ secrets come to light when they realize that Serena’s mother and Dan’s father used to date back in the day, prompting a hilarious scene where the van der Woodsen and Humphrey children begin to question whether or not they are related.
The drama inadvertently brings many characters — particularly Blair and Serena — back together as they settle their differences to deal with Serena’s family drama. Who says Thanksgiving isn’t a time for forgiveness?
2. Season 3, Episode 11: “The Treasure of Serena Madre”
Number two on the list would be season three’s Thanksgiving episode. Nothing can compare to the iconic dinner scene near the end when half of the table dramatically storms out, all while Jason Derulo’s “Whatcha Say” plays in the background.
In true “Gossip Girl” fashion, everyone gathered around the dinner table harbors an explosive secret that is aired out to the rest of the table, creating chaos. While the dinner does start calm, tensions begin to rise as characters passive-aggressively converse with each other. It all culminates with the rest of the dinner table finding out that Serena has been seeing Nate Archibald’s (Chace Crawford) married cousin, Tripp, that Blair’s mom plans to move to Paris and that Eric (Connor Paolo) was the one who orchestrated Jenny’s (Taylor Momsen) social downfall. The dinner officially ends when Vanessa’s mother offers her opinion about the chaos, only for her daughter to finally snap back at her for being an absent parent.
Truly, no one can accuse “Gossip Girl” of not being the master of dramatic exits, and season three is filled with them. It’s a pretty funny episode to watch as it embraces all the things that make “Gossip Girl” what it is.
3. Season 4, Episode 10: “Gaslit”
While this episode doesn’t follow the typical “Gossip Girl” Thanksgiving outline, it does have its fair amount of drama and family feels.
“Gaslit” tackles the topic of substance abuse. The episode centers around the “Gossip Girl” family joining forces as they find out that Serena ended up in the hospital after waking up in a motel room in Queens with no memory of the past 24 hours. She is unsure of whether or not she consumed any drugs, and as a result, she is sent to a rehab clinic. It’s a pretty hard episode to get through as the viewer watches Serena try to remember what happened the night before.
The episode takes a turn when it is revealed that Jenny, Vanessa (Jessica Szohr) and Juliet (Katie Cassidy) were the ones responsible for the whole situation, for they had planned to get even with Serena by having everyone turn on her.
Though it is not a typical Thanksgiving, it does tackle a serious issue without glossing it over — an important and difficult directional task.
4. Season 6, Episode 8: “It’s Really Complicated”
“It’s Really Complicated” is a perfect name for this episode as it’s nothing short of complicated, twisted or dramatic. Serena and Dan are back together and plan to host Thanksgiving this year, inviting everyone over for what they hope will be a calm Thanksgiving dinner, but in “Gossip Girl” world, that simply does not exist.
On top of the domesticity Dan and Serena are attempting to emulate, Chuck Bass (Ed Westwick) and Nate find out that Chuck’s back-from-the-dead father is the mastermind behind a series of murders. To top it all off, Dan is working on writing an exposé on the “Gossip Girl” gang, and Blair is up to her typical scheming ways to try to keep everything from falling apart with varying degrees of success.
The drama builds throughout the episode, and it comes to a head when everyone at the dinner table finds out that Dan only got back together with Serena to write an exposé on her. Honestly, compared to all the other Thanksgiving episodes, this one is pretty tame with its drama.
5. Season 2, Episode 11: “The Magnificent Archibalds”
Last on this list is “The Magnificent Archibalds.” While the group is mostly separated for the episode, there is still a lot of chaos going around. Family drama has everyone on edge. Jenny is attempting to emancipate herself from her parents, Nate is dealing with the FBI looking for his father and the van der Woodsens find out that Bart Bass, Lily van der Woodsen’s latest husband, has files of their “dirty laundry.” The only one having a semblance of a typical Thanksgiving is Blair, whose biggest problem is embracing the fact that her mother is marrying Cyrus Rose, someone Blair has been struggling to acknowledge.
While the episode does have its fair amount of drama, at least this Thanksgiving episode ends on a happy note with Jenny returning to her family and Blair embracing her new family. It’s a nice change from the cold shoulders and dramatic exits that the “Gossip Girl” gang tends to dish out during the holidays.