Cheers Wiki

Thanksgiving Orphans is the 9th episode of Season 5 of Cheers. This episode was written by Cheri Eichen & Bill Steinkellner, and directed by James Burrows. It originally aired on NBC in the United States on November 27, 1986.


In the cold open, Woody breaks out the Christmas decorations as Frasier teaches about the horribly-distorted version of Rudolph the Red Nosed Reindeer. With ahead of the schedule, everyone reveals the lack of plans for the evening as thanksgiving approaches.

After the credits, Diane wears a pilgrim costume to hope the annual dinner, when she is disappointed for Sam that evening. Carla agrees to host a dinner at her home. Norm stands up to demand with his friends, rather than her mother. He arrives at Carla's house to stand up and dine with his friends, sparkling a large fight.

After the commercial break, Sam joins the party to admit that her sister came to town, while Diane arrives to explain that her professor invited students, rather than guests. Everyone gathers around the table when Diane offers a speech about historical figures. Carla admits that the turkey was brought by Norm, which isn't fully cooked. Tempers flare as Frasier complaints they're all "pathetic drop-outs".

The pre-credits scene at the end shows everyone resolving their frustrations at the table for a food fight, such as ice-cold potatoes, Jell-O soup, turkey, stuffing, and gravy, but Norm tells Carla what's wrong with his gravy. Carla passes the peas and throws carrots at Norm by telling Julia Child. Before the food fight begins, Diane yells everyone to stop this immediately, and they end up in a food fight. After the food fight ends, Diane throws a pie in Vera's face, and so ends another day at Cheers.


  • The can of Meister Brau was seen on the table in this episode, referencing George Wendt's commercials.
  • Norm's wife Vera makes her first and only onscreen appearance in the series however the viewers do not see her face as it is obstructed by a pie thrown by Diane.
  • The food fight is a reference to The Three Stooges.


Recurring / Guest stars: