Ah, Thanksgiving. Every family’s tradition is different, but some things always ring true. There will always be a motley crew of folks coming together to celebrate and slip into a tryptophan-induced slumber.
Here are the people who show up at Thanksgiving dinner.
The college student
He doesn’t want to be there. He’s only home because his dorm is locked and the sole reason he’s visiting his parents for as long as he is is because it takes a lot of time to do all that laundry. His main concern is getting through the meal so he can duck out and find some old high school buddies to go out drinking.
The pig is the not-so-nice way of describing how much he can shovel in his tummy. It’s not like he fasted, either. He just has an ability to store food like the basement of a doomsday prepper. Basically, it’s like Joey from ‘Friends’ showed up.
The football fan
This guy may not have any rooting/gambling/football fantasy-related interest in any of the games on this day, but he is not above missing the whole meal just so he can watch the entire overtime, choosing to eat an small bowl of M&Ms because they're the closest edible thing within reach. If you're lucky, he'll get up from the indentation he's created in the couch to say hello to Grandma on his way to the bathroom.
The uncle no one sees the rest of the year
This guy is so mysterious and gung ho to see you, always mentioning how he’s definitely going to be in touch with you in a few weeks when he’s back in town, only to disappear like a candy wrapper in the wind. No one knows where he lives. No one knows his age. He’s like the Dos Equis most interesting man in the world, without, you know, the interesting part.
This woman knows everything about the entire family and decides now is the best time to drop the bomb that your cousin just started treatments to undergo transgender surgery. She's so good, in fact, she may be the one to tell you about your impending midlife crisis.
The leftover lady
At some point, this woman is guaranteed to say the following: "Please, take some home! There’s no way we can eat all of this ourselves! We'll only throw them out!” Then, the time-honored dance begins. You pretend you simply can't take anything home. She promises it's no big deal and you'll be doing her a favor. You begrudgingly say, "Fine," but are secretly pumped because you have lunch all set for the next four days.
The bad news bringer
He just broke up with his girlfriend. Or he just got fired. Or his house just went into foreclosure. Or all three. This is the guy who puts on the brave face and stands in the kitchen, nursing a flat Diet Coke and talking to anyone who’ll listen about his problems while other people uncomfortably mumble sympathy.
A kid's job is to run around and around, knock over the pate, rile up the dog, get sick by eating way too much cranberry sauce and have everyone politely smile while pretending to say she’s adorable when she’s more annoying than a guy stealing your parking spot at the mall on Black Friday.
The woman who brings the dish no one likes
It may not crawl, but it’s gross. While everyone devours the homemade sweet potatoes and salivates over the 25-pound turkey, Aunt Muriel’s “stuffing” gets touched about as much as a girl headed to the convent on prom night.