Holiday gatherings are a time for friends and family to be merry and create lasting memories. Just kidding: They’re much more likely to be uncomfortable forced interactions that you want to forget as quickly as possible. Here are the most awkward TV and movie holiday scenes of all time.
This one’s a no-brainer. The Christmas dinner scene in National Lampoon’s Christmas Vacation is an all-time classic. You’ve got elderly Aunt Bethany substituting the pledge of allegiance for “THE BLESSING”; the painful shot of the overdone turkey emitting a cloud of smoke when Clark cuts into it; and of course, the loudest, crunchiest chewing ever put on film. It’s the perfect scene to watch whenever you feel like your own holiday meal was a disaster.
Judd Apatow and co. revel in cringe comedy, and Funny People is no exception. In it, Adam Sandler plays a famous comedian dying of cancer. Sandler’s character is having a Thanksgiving meal with some much younger comedians, and his toast starts as a funny bit about being the geezer in the room but quickly plunges into a meditation on getting older, losing touch with loved ones, and dying alone. Cheers!
Friends – “The One With Rachel’s Other Sister”
“The One With Rachel’s Other Sister” is bar none the most awkward of the annual Friends Thanksgiving episodes. The quote-unquote “other sister” is played by Christina Applegate, and she proceeds to crash the meal unannounced, insult everyone, and get into an actual fistfight with Rachel. Oh, and by the end of the night, Chandler has broken all of Monica’s primo wedding china. But hey, those crazy kids end up together by the end of the series, so I guess Monica wasn’t too upset.
Lars and the Real Girl
Okay, so this isn’t technically a holiday get together, but it’s so stupendously awkward we couldn’t NOT include it. And Ryan Gosling is wearing a Christmas sweater, so there’s that. Yep, before Ryan Gosling was the cool Agent K of Blade Runner 2049 or the suave Sebastian of La La Land, he played Lars, a lonely man who finds comfort in a hyper-realistic, life-size doll. Lars keeps the relationship secret for a while, but eventually introduces his brother and sister-in-law to his quote-unquote “girlfriend” — well, it’s pretty easy to guess where the scene goes. Some will find it creepy, some will find it sweet, some will find it hilarious. But we can all agree that it’s excruciating to watch.