Donielle Flynn

NEW YORK, NY - NOVEMBER 17: A view of the lunch served during the National Geographic Channel celebrates the premiere of the miniseries event Saints & Strangers (airing Nov. 22 & 23) with a Thanksgiving lunch at NoMad Hotel Rooftop on November 17, 2015 in New York City. (Photo by Jemal Countess/Getty Images for National Geographic Channels)

Not gonna lie… I’m guilty of a couple of the rudest behaviors at Thanksgiving dinner. I never thought of some of these as rude until I looked back at the times I DID these things. Then I had the “Oh YEAH!” moment of recalling a family member being less than pleased in that moment. Thanksgiving is a time for getting together with friends and family, but it doesn’t mean everything in 100% smooth sailing.

This isn’t on the list, but this is also definitely a no-no. My co-worker told me his family drove Up North to his uncle’s for Thanksgiving dinner the day after, Friday. The uncle had Thanksgiving dinner the day before and gave them all leftovers! Plus, they were there to help him with work in his house! After they finished the work, they ended up going to McDonald’s. That uncle is not on the “nice” list for those shenanigans.

A friend of my sister always shows up for gatherings with HER OWN TUPPERWARE. She doesn’t like to cook, so she eats and takes some home. I would not personally show up with my own tupperware (even with family) unless I was explicitly told to bring my containers and expect to take home leftovers, but that’s just me.

Etiquette experts have weighed in to give us their top answers on what you SHOULDN’T do this Thanksgiving.

The 8 Rudest Behaviors at Thanksgiving Dinner

  • Bringing Dishes That Require Cooking

    GUILTY. In my defense, it was green bean casserole. I use fresh green beans and I like for them to be cooked, but still maintain that bright green color. My sister was hosting Thanksgiving and I brought the casserole uncooked. She never SAID anything to me, but I think she was annoyed. Hindsight being 20/20, I get it. There’s only so much room in the oven. Ultimately, I paid the price. My casserole ended up being undercooked and I was disappointed.

    casserole dish

  • Not RSVP-ing

    #VALID  If you took the time to get dressed and travel there, the least you can do is TELL THEM YOU’RE COMING.  To be clear, RSVP at least a week ahead of time.  If someone is nice enough to invite you over for Thanksgiving, you should be nice enough to let them know how many people to plan for when shopping and figuring out seating.


  • Starting Tense Conversations

    Unfortunately, Thanksgiving is REALLY soon after the elections.  Everyone has a right to their opinions, but remember the uncomfortable Thanksgiving of 2016?  Politics can be bad for appetite and family bonding.  So can any other tense subjects within the family.  You’re there to share a meal and create good memories.  Leave your baggage at home or make excuses for not being there and do your own thing.  To be clear, the experts didn’t say that, I’m just suggesting based off of my own experiences.

    Table with elegant place settings and turkey motif during American...

    Table with elegant place settings and turkey motif during American Thanksgiving meal, Lafayette, California, November 26, 2020. Get premium, high resolution news photos at Getty Images

  • Only Talking to People You Know

    Crap.  Guilty.  If I don’t get introduced to an unfamiliar face, I may be known to bypass them in the moment.  I can’t recall a Thanksgiving gathering where I didn’t know everyone, but it’s never a bad idea to introduce yourself first.  I always try to remember the other side of the coin: if I didn’t know people at a Thanksgiving gathering, I’d appreciate it if they introduced themselves.  I should extend that same courtesy.

    Dr. Fauci Recommends Americans Should Never Shake Hands Again To Prevent Coronavirus


  • Showing Up Empty-Handed

    Listen.  I am not the best cook, so sometimes, I cook nothing.  #GUILTY My sister is a really good cook. It can be intimidating. Also, sometimes my work schedule doesn’t allow me time for food prep. I’m usually in charge of pretzels and hummus.

  • Asserting Yourself in the Kitchen Without Being Asked

    Dude.  Do NOT go into your host’s kitchen and start taking over the meal.  I have never personally experienced this, but I would be livid if this was done to me.  You have to ask, “Do you need any help?” first.


  • Assuming You Can Take Leftovers

    Chances are, there will be leftovers, but you have NO IDEA what the host’s plans are for them.  If you get asked to take home leftovers, SCORE, but never assume.


    gray leftovers are for quitters shirt

    BTW, I think this T-shirt is HILARIOUS.  You can check it out in our Must Haves section or CLICK HERE.

  • Hanging Around Too Long After Dinner

    Ya ain’t gotta to go home, but you can’t stay here.  Use common sense to figure out when “GO TIME” should happen.

    Ypsilanti, Michigan

    Visiting Depot Town is like “going back in time..” (Nice!)

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