Cheers Cast 5.09: Thanksgiving Orphans

CHEERS Season 5, episode 9: “Thanksgiving Orphans”

Hosted by Ryan Daly with special guests John Trumbull from SNL Nerds Podcast and Rick Heinichen from Jeff and Rick Presents.

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6 responses to “Cheers Cast 5.09: Thanksgiving Orphans

  1. Loved how John went after Rick for being happy.

    We don’t do Thanksgiving here, but I’m definitely a Christmas orphan who has often accepted random invitations to eat at other family’s houses or with likewise orphaned friends.

  2. Great discussion. I definitely would say that this episode is overrated. It’s fun because it’s Cheers, but parts of the episode feel slow. However, you guys make a good point that the pacing is deliberate because it’s steadily building up to the release of the characters’ frustration and tension during the food fight. The final joke with Vera arriving is funny too.

    By the way I think this episode is the first time — and one of the few times — that the full cast is together in an extended scene away from the bar. The only other example I can think of off the top of my head is the classic one-hour tenth season finale in which Woody and Kelly get married (which in my view is one of the top five Cheers episodes of all time, unlike this one).

    1. Some of the Bar Wars have the whole gang at Gary’s Olde Town Tavern or on neutral ground; the bowling one was before this.

      1. Oh yes good point. I forgot about the bowling episode. I can’t remember if Frasier was there, but he wasn’t a full cast member yet anyway. As for the later Gary episodes, it seems like Frasier and Rebecca were often not directly involved in those stories as much as the other characters, except probably the one where Gary fakes his death and they’re all in on it to fool Sam.

  3. I think this is one Cheers’ best episodes! The perfect example of high and low comedy. How many TV shows could incorporate a food fight and a reference to William Styron in 23 minutes?

    Sam’s salute to Coach–and the rest of the group’s reaction—gets me every time. It’s great to be reminded that Coach is never far from Sam’s mind. Even with the cast caked in food, it’s touching.

    On the other end of the spectrum, Diane’s guttural yelp “STOP THIS IMMEDIATELY!!!” makes me laugh every time.

    I can’t believe Trumbull was so relatively “meh” on the episode, Maybe rethink ever having him back? I mean, his Cheers opinions really can’t be trusted.

  4. Diane’s SCREAMING at them to stop is incredible. The low guttural tone and intense look in her eyes is masterful. And the perfect delivery of “I have never been witness to such…” followed by the glop of cranberry. It never feels like Long is bracing for it either.

    I get the praise the episode gets. It’s a fun, atypical episode where most it is set outside of the bar. The whole group is together. It’s a holiday episode without it being a sappy sitcomy Christmas ep. you get an actual food fight which is so rare. And you get to see them all ping ponging off each other. It’s fun!

    And man, Shelly Long’s “Gobble gobble!” arrival gets me every time.

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