A pot of deeply disappointing mashed potatoes
Photo: Gio Bartlett / Unsplash

The 8 Most Disappointing Dishes on Your Thanksgiving Table, Ranked

Let us not give thanks for these abominations that Americans keep ruining

Thanksgiving is full of disappointments. Oftentimes that involves present company, but it's also a unique opportunity for struggle chefs to screw up the reason most of us gather in the first place: to eat a lot of food with loved ones. Here are the crimes we commit year after year.

8. Cranberry sauce

We actually are fine with the tubular can kind; it's people who try to fancy up cranberries into some neon-bright stew with nuts and nutmeg that just… [resigned sigh]. Cranberry is inherently sour, stop trying to turn it into candy.

7. Ambrosia and Jello Salad

There's also nuts in there and maybe marshmallows and definitely some tangerine pieces. And it jiggles. You know what, let's skip it and go for the pie.

Related: 7 Dishes White People Need to Stop Adding Raisins To, Ranked

6. Gravy

Stop serving lumpy, goopy gravy—especially if it comes from a packet. It doesn't have to be this way!

5. Mashed potatoes

Mashed potatoes are supposed to have some texture, not be so soft they're milky and soup, or too hard because somebody didn't mash like that old sitcom. You had one job!

Related: The 10 Most Mouthwatering Thanksgiving Sides, Ranked

4. Actual bird-ass stuffing

It's almost 2024—the time when the stuffing actually has to go in the bird has long past. Even Stove Top is perfectly fine. There is no need to serve overly moistened stuffing that literally just came out of a turkey's ass.

3. Rolls

Tiny portions of bread shouldn't be so hard to get right, but so many families either burn the buns, serve Hawaiian rolls (are you trying to make turkey sliders at a Guy Fieri restaurant?), or serve the frozen kind that never taste right. Up your bread game!

Related: The 11 Most Edible Thanksgiving Meats, Ranked

2. Casseroles

This is the one time of the year it's acceptable to make a green-bean casserole with the recipe from the fried onions can and call it a side dish. Maybe we should stop.

1. Fried turkey

Somewhere, our country went astray. We mastered frying chicken, but thought we could do better with a giant metal vat filled with gallons and gallons of oil. Turkeys are huge! Stop trying to fry something so big, you're just making a fire hazard and raising everyone's cholesterol levels.