Thanksgiving is a day to spend time with our families and to appreciate and give thanks for our loved ones. It's also an excuse to air dirty laundry, start arguments and generally feel awkward.

In the spirit of giving, we have compiled a list of the most awkward family dinner scenes. Hey, maybe they'll make you feel better about your own awkward Thanksgiving. Thanksgiving is a day to spend time with our families and to appreciate and give thanks for our loved ones. It's also an excuse to air dirty laundry, start arguments and generally feel awkward.

In the spirit of giving, we have compiled a list of the most awkward family dinner scenes. Hey, maybe they'll make you feel better about your own awkward Thanksgiving.

(Warning: Adult Content below.)


Sam Mendes's film has many uncomfortable moments involving the Burnham family, but the most disturbing has to be the dinner scene in which Lester, played by Kevin Spacey, chucks a plate at the wall. The most interesting part of this scene is that apparently, Spacey was instructed to drop the plate on the floor. He improvised and hurled it at the wall, causing Thora Birch and Annette Bening to look genuinely horrified. Who can blame them?

Watch the full-size video on YouTube


It's easy to see why a dinner involving the Secretary of the Treasury's family and two frauds who manipulated their way into their daughter's wedding and are now trying to sleep with the patriarch's other two daughters might be uncomfortable, but it gets even worse. After the Owen Wilson and Vince Vaughn's characters awkwardly lie about their maple syrup business, grandma begins a tirade about Eleanor Roosevelt's alleged lesbianism. Oh, and the Secretary of the Treasury's daughter gives Vince Vaughn some "special attention" under the table during dinner! Awkward!

Watch the full-size video on YouTube


'Meet the Parents' (2000)
Ben Stiller does the perfect job as nervous boyfriend of the family's beloved youngest daughter, especially at dinner when he finds himself caught in a lie that he can't get out of. Playing Greg Focker, he explains to Robert DeNiro's character Jack Byrnes that you can milk a cat, because "you can milk anything with nipples." Jack then retorts, "I have nipples, Greg, can you milk me?" Greg changes the subject by opening a bottle of champagne that destroys the urn containing Jack's mother's remains. The scene ends with the Byrnes family cat urinating on the ashes.


'Pieces of April' (2003)
April Burns, played by Katie Holmes, is a girl living in the Lower East Side of Manhattan that invites her estranged family over for Thanksgiving dinner. We can see why the family is dysfunctional from the moment they leave suburbia for NYC, arguing over mother Joy's (Patricia Clarkson) frequent pot use and a funeral they hold for an animal they've killed with their car. Everything is going OK until April's oven breaks and the family decides to bolt to a restaurant. Only through the kindness of strangers is dinner actually cooked and the family able to make it back to April's apartment for dinner, but not before awkwardness ensues.


Chevy Chase's Clark Griswold gets himself in a myriad of awkward situations in the 'Vacation' movies, but none as bad as dinner during 'Christmas Vacation.' The tree is set on fire, the family is terrorized by a squirrel and bothered by Ellen Griswold's cousin's family, but at least the turkey dinner will be OK, right? Not in this case. The turkey is cooked for way too long, deflating like a pierced basketball when Clark cuts into it. The family, horrified, suffers through an awkward meal while trying to salvage the overcooked bird.

Watch the full-size video on YouTube


'Guess Who's Coming to Dinner?' (1967)
The precursor to 'Pieces of April,' this film centers primarily on the bigotry that accompanies interracial relationships. Spencer Tracy and Katharine Hepburn play a wealthy couple whose daughter is set to marry a man she has just met. The problem? The man is African American, and the year is 1967. When Tracy meets his daughter's fiance, his liberal politics are challenged and he is made to look like a hypocrite because he seems to only support progress when it doesn't involve his own family. It only gets more awkward from there.


'Rachel Getting Married' (2008)
Anne Hathaway plays Kym, who's recently released from rehab so that she can attend her sister's wedding. Upset that she hasn't been chosen to be maid of honor and generally feeling unappreciated, she gives a four-minute, rambling speech at the rehearsal dinner as family and friends of the bride and groom watch in horror. Kym takes a moment that is supposed to be about her sister and rejoicing in her happiness, and turns it into one of the all-time most awkward dinner scenes as she describes her own recent recovery from drug abuse.


'Parenthood' (1989)
The mother of all awkward family movies is 'Parenthood,' and the most awkward scene occurs during a blackout at a family dinner. Gil (Steve Martin) goes to retrieve a flashlight while at his sister's house, and returns holding what he thinks is the device. When the lights turn on, however, we see that Gil is holding his sister's dildo, much to the shock of the family. When Gil's niece explains that what she thinks is an electric ear cleaner is "kind of big," grandma exclaims, "It sure was!" We'll leave it at that.


MORE FROM OUR PARTNERS:

Imagine These Dysfunctional Hollywood Thanksgivings [PopEater]

CATEGORIES Features