Garfield's Thanksgiving

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Garfield's Thanksgiving
The Title
Created byJim Davis
Written byJim Davis
Kim Campbell
Directed byPhil Roman
Gerard Baldwin
Bob Nesler
John Sparey
StarringLorenzo Music
Thom Huge
Gregg Berger
Julie Payne
Pat Carroll
Theme music composerEd Bogas and Desirée Goyette (music and lyrics)
Lou Rawls and Desirée Goyette (vocals)
Country of originUnited States
Original language(s)English
Producer(s)Phil Roman
Running time24 minutes
Production company(s)Film Roman
United Media
Paws, Inc.
Distributor9 Story Media Group
Original networkCBS
Original releaseNovember 22, 1989
Preceded byGarfield's Babes and Bullets
Followed byGarfield's Feline Fantasies

Garfield's Thanksgiving is a 1989 animated television special based on the Garfield comic strip. It once again featured Lorenzo Music as the voice of Garfield. The special was first broadcast November 22, 1989 on CBS and was nominated for Outstanding Animated Program at the 42nd Primetime Emmy Awards. It has been released on both VHS and DVD home video. On overseas DVD copies of Garfield's Holiday Celebrations, this special is replaced with Garfield in the Rough.


Garfield and Odie scare Jon out of bed with military music and drill sergeant attitudes as he demands pancakes the size of Australia and plenty of coffee for breakfast. After the meal, Garfield decides to take a nap but changes his mind to kick Odie off the table. Along the way, Garfield checks the calendar date and discovers to his horror that he has an appointment with the vet today. When he removes the date hoping to make Jon forget, he then notices that tomorrow is Thanksgiving and instantly demands Jon to buy the Thanksgiving food. On the way home from the supermarket, though, Jon remembers the vet appointment, and this causes Garfield to scream all the way to the office.

While at the vet, Dr. Liz Wilson examines Garfield while Jon attempts to talk her into going out on a date with him. Liz reports Garfield is too fat and must be put on a diet. She tells what the diet is composed of. After this moment Garfield enters a panic, and then he screams. That is after Jon breathes out after he suffocates until Liz says he'll go out with her. When Garfield and Jon simultaneously faint, an exasperated Liz agrees to the date out of annoyance, and Jon invites her to his house for Thanksgiving Dinner.

At home, Jon is excited that Liz is coming over, but Garfield is absolutely miserable at being put on a diet. After eating half a leaf of lettuce for lunch, Garfield tries to raid the refrigerator but is stopped by Odie, whom Jon has assigned to make sure the cat himself doesn't try to cheat on his diet. Later, Garfield weighs himself on the talking weight scale and destroys it for comparing him to Orson Welles, then is repeatedly foiled by Odie when he tries to steal cookies, flour, salt and sugar. Garfield wonders if the lack of food is making him hallucinate.

The next morning, Garfield is even more grumpy than usual, but Jon pays him no mind as he begins preparing the Thanksgiving meal. However, Jon doesn't have a clue on how to prepare such a dinner, as he didn't thaw the turkey overnight, doesn't bother to make stuffing, rubs butter on his skin instead of the turkey, and roasts it at 500 degrees Fahrenheit instead of 325. Garfield helps ruin the meal further by putting garlic powder in the vegetables. Jon shaves and then picks a suit, just in time for Liz to arrive and notice that he's not wearing pants. As Jon leaves to check on the meal, Liz spends a bit of time to inspect Garfield and wonders if perhaps she was a bit too hard on him with the diet. After Garfield pretends to be suffering from every single withdrawal symptom Liz casually mentions, she eventually decides that the diet is too strict for Garfield and lets him off, instantly cheering him up... until he remembers about Jon's horrible cooking of the feast.

In the kitchen, Jon is faced with a still frozen turkey and the realization that he doesn't know how to prepare a Thanksgiving dinner, and he has no idea what to do now. Garfield manages to convince Jon to call Grandma, who arrives seconds later and shoos Jon out of the kitchen. As Jon distracts Liz by giving her a history lesson about Thanksgiving, Grandma proceeds to cook the meal: she cuts the turkey into slices with a chainsaw, adds white sauce then batters and deep fries the slices into what she calls her famous turkey croquettes, prepares sweet potatoes by covering them with butter, brown sugar and marshmallows, and finishes with "split-second cranberry sauce" and pumpkin pie. Once everything is ready, Grandma tells Garfield that Liz couldn't have found a better man than Jon and that she'd better not blow it, then asks Garfield to eat a piece of pie for her as she leaves.

Garfield tells Jon, who has put Liz to sleep with his boring stories, that everything is ready, and they all proceed into the dining room to eat. Afterwards, Liz declares that it was a wonderful meal and agrees to come back next year, then thanks Jon for inviting her with a kiss on the cheek. Once Liz leaves, Jon, Garfield and Odie declare it was a great day and they're thankful for Grandma. They decide to head out for a walk to work off the meal, but Odie is too bloated from overeating to get off the couch. Jon immediately puts Odie on a diet, and Garfield gleefully torments Odie into doing push-ups as payback for yesterday.



Book adaptation[edit]

The book adaptation, which retains the original title "Garfield's Thanksgiving," deviates in the following ways:

  • Odie and the scale are not involved in Garfield's torment, and Jon - too deliriously happy about having Liz over for Thanksgiving dinner - is ignorant to the fact that Garfield is in misery. Garfield is also weak and suffers from insomnia, resulting in a sleepless night.
  • More of Jon's self-ruined Thanksgiving dinner is shown. In the end, the turkey he did not thaw or butter is in terrible state, the sabotaged vegetables are smoking, and the pie he made is burnt. Jon is the one to decide to call Grandma without needing Garfield to offer the idea.
  • At the end, there is no mention of any new diets. Odie and Garfield simply sit comfortably with their full bellies as Jon sees Liz out the door, the three agree unanimously that they have Grandma to thank.


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