11 Women Share the Thanksgiving Cooking Fails They'll Never Live Down

woman burning thanksgiving turkey oven
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Thanksgiving is the most food-centric of all holiday gatherings. Whether your bird is deep-fried, brined, stuffed, or made of tofu, we all look forward to that amazing spread of eats on Turkey Day. And most of the time, we get to enjoy all the trimmings with no real drama. But not always.


Here, 12 times Thanksgiving cooking went wrong. Seriously, hilariously wrong. The good news is that NONE of these stories involve food poisoning or vomit of any kind. The bad news is that some of these poor chefs may never live these moments down.

1. "When I was 22, I decided to become vegan and was SUPER into it and probably kind of obnoxious about it. I was trying to convert my meat-and-potatoes family into becoming vegan, but they weren't buying it. I ended up offering to bring food for the family Thanksgiving dinner and brought all vegan side dishes instead of the family favorites I had been assigned. My sister burst into tears when she saw my version of green bean casserole, and my mother was SO mad about my dairy-free mashed potatoes. There was a lot of yelling that year." -- Melanie, Danville, Indiana

2. "My sister and I were making the turkey, and she reached in to pull all the stuff out and her hand got stuck! It took us hours to get it out, and we almost had to go to the ER. We are able to laugh about it now." -- Heather, Blythville, Arkansas

3. "My brother-in-law was hosting one year, and he swore up and down to my mom that he washed the turkey inside and out. Wanna guess what we found poking out DURING dinner? I told my squeamish sister it was a baby." -- Tedi, Phoenix, Arizona

4. "I was in charge of making all the rolls for Thanksgiving the year that I learned that baking POWDER and baking SODA are NOT the same thing. Ooops." -- Jessica, Destin, Florida

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5. "You know how every year it seems like there is a story about a family setting their house on fire by deep-frying a turkey? Yeah, that would be us. We were the dumbasses who tried to deep-fry in an enclosed porch, and I don't even know how it happened, but the curtain near the deep fryer caught fire, and we had to call 911." -- Kimberly, Hershey, Pennsylvania

6. "I was pregnant and very sick with morning sickness and very hormonal. I had been enlisted to make the cheesecakes for the whole family. It was late, and I had worked all day and was not feeling well. I made the cheesecakes and had them in the oven to bake. They were absolutely beautiful. I reached in to get the tray out (had two on one tray) and they slipped from my hands. Cheesecake all inside the oven, oozing out the bottom of the oven door and on the floor. I just shut the oven, walked away in tears, and went to bed. The dog enjoyed the cheesecake that was all over the floor though." -- Lyndsay, Chillicothe, Ohio

7. "The first year we were married, I volunteered to host. I am a bit of a foodie and was SO excited to be able to make an amazing meal for my new in-laws. Everything turned out beautifully, and as we were eating, my mother-in-law complimented me on how moist the bird was. I said thanks, and then said, 'This is so much better than the turkey I had last year. That was awful!' In my post-cooking euphoria, I forgot that I spent last Thanksgiving with them. She was the one who made that turkey. I was so mortified when I realized that I totally insulted her." -- Sarah, Tucson, Arizona

8. "Last year, I was in charge of making the pies for our huge family dinner. I made six pumpkin, two apple, and three cheesecakes. I had worked all day on them and was letting them cool on the kitchen table so I went to take a nap. My husband was watching football, and I told him to watch the kids so I could sleep. An hour later, I woke up and went into the kitchen to find fingerprints or finger holes in all of the pumpkin pies and a giant handful missing out of the center of the chocolate cheesecake. In the corner was my 2-year-old, happily licking her fingers clean." -- Tami, Lincoln, Nebraska

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9. "My daughter really wanted to help me make stuff for Thanksgiving, so I put her in charge of the gravy. I should have watched her more carefully, because when the recipe called for adding 1/2 teaspoon of salt, she added a 1/2 cup instead. Yikes! Not good, not good at all." -- Pamela, Edina, Minnesota

10. "My husband prides himself on his creative cooking skills, but adding bacon to the pumpkin pies was way TOO creative for my traditional family." -- Alice, Avon, North Carolina

11. "We decided to have family Thanksgiving on the beach, so we rented a beach house that claimed to have a fully stocked kitchen. Everything was fine until we got to the point where we needed to put the 25-pound turkey in the oven and discovered there wasn't a single pan big enough. We tried to create a pan out of tons of tin foil but it fell apart as the turkey started dripping. We ended up hacking the bird into smaller pieces that we cooked one at a time. We started cooking at about 10 a.m. and the last bit of turkey was done at midnight." -- Claire, Yuma, Arizona

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