25 Turkey Fails That Prove Thanksgiving Doesn't Always Have a Happy Ending

by Justina Huddleston
Nov 20, 2017 at 5:00 a.m. ET

Thanksgiving might be lovingly referred to as "Turkey Day" on the reg, but we're kinda thinking this year we might be subbing out the gobbler. Don't surf and turf or some cute little Cornish game hens sound like a lovely holiday main course? We're pretty much down for anything — except that usual big bird.

You might be wondering why we seem so adamantly anti-turkey right now, and, quite frankly, it's because we're afraid. Very, very afraid. We searched out some Thanksgiving fails, and it turns out there are nothing short of 1,000,001 things that can go terribly wrong when you're preparing a Thanksgiving turkey. We've got enough things to worry about right now as we're getting ready to host on Thursday. We don't need visions of burned turkeys and massive clouds of billowing black smoke dancing in our heads.

Seriously, these will make you rethink your Thanksgiving menu plan. On the other hand, they also kinda make us feel good about what goes down in our own kitchens.

Originally published November 2015. Updated November 2017.

1 /25: Turkey down

1/25 :Turkey down

That awkward moment when Dad has too much wine before dinner and drops the turkey...

2 /25: The squawking dead

2/25 :The squawking dead

Seasoned cooks know that it's all too easy to burn the bird.

3 /25: All trussed up and nowhere to go

3/25 :All trussed up and nowhere to go

This charred turkey got tied up for a little longer than anticipated.

4 /25: You're fired

4/25 :You're fired

Next year, I think someone else should be in charge of the turkey.

5 /25: Leathery lounger

5/25 :Leathery lounger

This turkey didn't feel like coming out of the oven until it had that bronzed leather look.

6 /25: Black beauty

6/25 :Black beauty

Who knows? Maybe a juicy turkey still lurks beneath this charred skin.

7 /25: All torn up

7/25 :All torn up

This turkey got all torn up on its way out of the pan.

8 /25: Guerrilla turkey

8/25 :Guerrilla turkey

Sometimes you have to resort to drastic methods to keep your turkey from being a complete fail.

9 /25: Fried turkey

9/25 :Fried turkey

There's a reason cooking timers were invented, people.

10 /25: Burned outta shape

10/25 :Burned outta shape

Before you reveal your masterpiece to the family, it's always good to take a look yourself.

11/25 :Roadkill

This turkey didn't make its way out of the pan in one piece.

12 /25: Hot-hot-hot

12/25 :Hot-hot-hot

Sometimes an oven that runs hot can turn your bird into a charred, dry mess.

13 /25: Extra crispy

13/25 :Extra crispy

You can just tell people you cooked it this long because you like the skin to be extra crispy.

14 /25: Topsy-turvy turkey

14/25 :Topsy-turvy turkey

This first-time Thanksgiving chef had her world turned upside down by this turkey.

15 /25: Midnight snack

15/25 :Midnight snack

Nothing's worse than the turkey taking way longer to cook than it's supposed to... while simultaneously burning.

16 /25: A whale of a time

16/25 :A whale of a time

This shiny black bird looks more like an orca than a turkey.

17 /25: Go see a shrink

17/25 :Go see a shrink

Seeing a turkey shrink like this would be enough to send anyone running to their therapist.

18 /25: Barbecued beyond belief

18/25 :Barbecued beyond belief

Grilling the turkey seemed like a good idea... until no one wanted to brave the cold to check on it.

19 /25: The forgotten bird

19/25 :The forgotten bird

When deep-frying your bird, don't forget about it and wind up with just two surviving breasts.

20 /25: Run for your life

20/25 :Run for your life

Hey, guys — is it Thanksgiving or the Apocalypse?

21 /25: Random bag of grossness

21/25 :Random bag of grossness

Yeah, you've kinda got to remove those giblets before you roast your bird.

22 /25: He's toast

22/25 :He's toast

Poor little guy got left in the smoker a scoche too long.

23 /25: Perky bird

23/25 :Perky bird

Can it be considered a fail if it's totally hilarious?

24 /25: Hold up, that's not a turkey

24/25 :Hold up, that's not a turkey

Oh my God — they cooked Kermit!

25 /25: Lost turkey

25/25 :Lost turkey

We don't know whether to laugh or cry about this one.