We’re counting down the days to Thanksgiving by looking at a variety of Thanksgiving-themed TV episodes. Thanksgiving episodes are all different, but they have lots of tropes in common. Today we’re looking at the Roseanne episode “We Gather Together.”
Directed by: John Pasquin
Written by: Danny Jacobson
Episode Number: Season 2, Episode 9
Where to Watch It: Netflix
This episode is mostly about actual family. Both Roseanne’s parents and Dan’s parents visit, which means lots of fighting and passive-aggression. Roseanne’s mother criticizes Jackie all night. Things get worse when Jackie tells her mother that she’s a cop and her mother gets upset. Meanwhile, Dan’s father keeps hitting on his friend Crystal.
There is a nice friendship moment when Dan stands up to his father and tells him to leave Crystal alone. Dan’s father Ed lashes out at him by asking if he has something going on with Crystal, deeply offending Dan.
The episode opens with Roseanne monologuing at the turkey as she prepares it. She tells it, “How you doing, birdie? You look how I feel.” She adds, “Here I am, 5:00 in the morning, stuffing bread crumbs up a dead bird’s butt!” She guesses that Jackie will forget to bring the cranberry sauce she asked for. Jackie actually brings it, but it’s just one dented can.
Later, Roseanne’s mother critiques all of her cooking choices, including chastising her for cooking the turkey breast up.
After the meal, Dan talks about how the tryptophan in turkey really makes you exhausted. Roseanne replies, “Yeah, it can’t be the four beers.”
Dan puts on his football jersey and gets excited about his annual tradition of playing football with his friends. Roseanne asks him to “warm up” by moving the couch a few feet so she can set up the kids’ table.
This episode doesn’t have any mention of the history of Thanksgiving.