We understand that you have all eaten decades worth of Thanksgiving meals and that epochs of your stepmother’s shitty Turkey, or dry-as-sand stuffing, might’ve left you fearful and chastened. For this list, however, imagine the Platonic ideal of every food ranked herein: the best mashed potatoes known to humankind, et cetera, et cetera.
Fight amongst yourselves. We’ll be too busy eating.
The Native Americans call it maize. Or they would, if we hadn’t proceeded to eradicate them after celebrating the first Thanksgiving.
20. CREAMED SPINACH
I guess adding cream and butter to spinach makes it better. But, still, it started with spinach. NEVER FORGET.
19. PUMPKIN BREAD
Only one dude at Playboy eats this every year at Thanksgiving, because his wife has perfected it. (Hey, honey.)
18. ASPARAGUS WITH HOLLANDAISE SAUCE
We will never speak of this again.
17. CRANBERRY SAUCE (CANNED)
There are log people and sauce people and never the twain shall meet.
We’re going hard as a motherfucker on this pig, son.
15. PECAN PIE
Of the three traditional Thanksgiving pies, this is the weakest. Sorry, The South.
14. MACARONI AND CHEESE
The only truly acceptable Thanksgiving pasta. (Hint: don’t puss out and Kraft it — make the real deal. Then crumble bacon and potato chips on top before putting it in the oven. You’re welcome.)
13. CRANBERRY SAUCE (REAL)
There are log people and sauce people and never the twain shall meet. The log people are, apparently, wrong.
12. MASHED SWEET POTATOES
Only if you put the baby marshmallows on top. If not, get that weak shit off my track.
11. CORN BREAD
The preferred corn delivery method.
10. APPLE PIE
Some of the fools at Playboy voted you down, baby. But you’ll always be my sweet, sweet American pie.
9. GREEN-BEAN CASSEROLE
The only acceptable green vegetable on a Thanksgiving table.
It’s like that song “Pour Some Sugar on Me,” but with turkey drippings and wine and flour and butter.
Someday, I will make a plate-sized biscuit and just ladle the food right on top of it. And then patent that shit. Until then, however, we’ll make do the old-fashioned way.
6. CANDIED YAMS
The only time we will ever, EVER eat a yam.
The Rolls Royce of hand-held starches. (Yeah, I know. Get thee to a punnery.)
4. MASHED POTATOES
The keystone of every Thanksgiving meal. The glue that holds warring families together. The spackle of a life.
Because, otherwise, you’re just being a side-dish monster. Also: So that your father-in-law can feel superior for one night.
2. PUMPKIN PIE
Just shut up, you cinnamon minx, and get in my face. There’s room. Oh, yes, there’s room.
Why don’t we eat this year round? There’s no good reason why we don’t. We should. When I run for President, I will campaign on just this one issue. And I will win. Because you all know this is truth. The true-true. The absolute. There can be only one.