Thanksgiving is a time of give and take. We get time with our family, which is nice! But then we get in arguments with family, and this year there will be no shortage of that, and we have to hyperventilate and step out of the room—deep breaths, deep breaths— which is the opposite of nice. Like I said: give and take.

One of the things that’s pretty universally positive, though, will come on Thursday at the delightful time known as dinner. Thanksgiving offers more side dish options than any other meal. Some are great, some are good, some are fine, and some are classically overrated. But for your own well-being, you should know where each falls within the hierarchy of Thanksgiving sides. So here they all are ranked, below, for your consideration. If anything’s left out, or you disagree, please let us know. All side dishes are not created equal, but freedom of speech will not be repressed. Let us hear it.

Note: Gravy is not a side dish, but it does make any side dish better.

  1. Cranberry Sauce

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OK, like, what the fuck even is Cranberry Sauce? It’s weird, lukewarm Jello that doesn’t really go with anything at all. I had a Gobbler sandwich from WaWa once, and the Cranberry sauce did make that taste really good, but on the table…. Just no.

  1. Creamed Spinach

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See #7, Casserole, Green Bean

  1. Green Bean Casserole

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Green Bean Casserole is perfectly fine, but come on. This is Thanksgiving. There are so many other days in the year to be healthy and eat vegetables. Load up on Turkey. Get some carbs in your belly. Unbutton your belt. That’s what Thanksgiving is for. You have got to be so full of fatty food that you truly have a sense of moral distaste for yourself by the time dessert is served.

  1. Stuffing

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This is a fluid rating for Stuffing, which is the summer mixtape of Thanksgiving sides; it really, really, really depends on what exactly you put in it. Usually, stuffing makes me just extra full, but sometimes there are ingredients that make it worth it all that much. This rating could jump up the charts, but could also plummet.

  1. Cinnamon Apples

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Apple pie without the crust. As a side dish. Next.

  1. Mashed Potatoes

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Mashed potatoes are an essential side in American dining. They are not exclusive to Thanksgiving, which hurts the standing here just a tiny bit, but don’t get me wrong: they are delicious. I don’t think I’ve ever met a person who didn’t like Mashed Potatoes.

  1. Cornbread

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So much of Thanksgiving side is based around starches, but Cornbread (and to a lesser extent, Dinner Rolls) fill the ever-so-important sector of your ever-populated dinner plate. You may not realize you need it, but you do. It’s kind of like when you’ve got a bunch of friends that you watch movies or TV with when you’re hanging out, and one friend is just constantly talking over the stuff. They don’t ever shut the fuck up. They keep talking and keep talking and it’s so fucking annoying! Shut up, dude! Shut up! We’re trying to watch something, holy fuck! But then when that person isn’t there because they’re off fishing or watching wrestling or hanging with other friends, you realize how much you really needed it. Cornbread is your annoying friend. 

  1. Macaroni and Cheese

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Macaroni and Cheese is an interesting case; sometimes a side, sometimes an entree, but always delicious. On Thanksgiving, when the goal is to eat enough to explode, and drink enough to knock out a horse, they serve as an absolutely golden side. This can’t be any Macaroni and Cheese though—Kraft is no good. This should ideally have that flaky crust goodness on the top, but other delicacy forms will also be accepted.

  1. Sweet Potato Casserole

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The golden side. The king of sides. The Godfather of sides. Simply put, there is no topping a Sweet Potato Casserole. Sweet Potatoes by themselves are amazing, and then when made into casserole form, especially when topped by Marshmallows and Brown Sugar? I’m salivating just at the thought.  

Happy Thanksgiving everyone!

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