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December 5, 2021
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What Thanksgiving Dishes Mean

As families begin to reconvene for Thanksgiving, it can be hard to know how relatives are really doing behind those cheery smiles. Luckily, the food says it all. Here is a comprehensive guide to reading into the dishes your family and friends bring this Thanksgiving.

Turkey = Egomania

What Thanksgiving Dishes Mean

It is a completely bonkers idea to bring a turkey to someone else’s Thanksgiving. If a person shows up at your house with a turkey, it’s pretty clear that they’re trying to make a point. They are the main event. You are a side dish. End of story.

Mashed Potatoes = Aimless Anger

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Picture your cousin with the deranged mien of a cold-blooded killer, wailing on those russets like they’re a starchy punching bag. Potato mashing is the last socially acceptable outlet of the criminally insane.

Stuffing = Repression

What Thanksgiving Dishes Mean

Your aunt arrives with a dish that is literally meant to be shoved inside another dish. Does this require further explanation? She’s hiding something big, and you’re never going to figure out what it is.

Green Beans = Smug Condescension

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We get it. You’ve gone paleo/keto/whatever and now the only thing you’re allowed to eat is a single genus of green vegetables, boiled. We’re happy for you. But wine and a whole lot of butter are the only things that are going to get the rest of us through the day.

Cranberry Sauce = Depression

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Nothing says “I am a formless puddle of bitterness” like an actual formless puddle of bitterness, which is essentially what cranberry sauce is. If someone comes to your festivities with this dour condiment of pectin, they need help, stat! And if it’s from a can, you’re looking at a downright emergency.

Pumpkin Pie = Misguided Nostalgia

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Ah, remember October? The trees were gold and red and burnt sienna. You could still get by with just a windbreaker, and you weren’t yet being force-fed with holiday cheer like a goose by gavage. Well, I hate to be the bearer of bad news, but Halloween is over, and so is pumpkin season. Time to dump the lattes and load up on—sigh—gingerbread.

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