This Thanksgiving, I’m giving in to social distancing and just staying home. As a result, I’ve been spending a lot of my free time watching movies. It got me thinking: If I could invite any movie characters I wanted to my house for Thanksgiving, who would they be? What food would they bring? So, in lieu of an in-person meal with my family I’ve opted for a theoretical dinner with some of my favorite film characters.

Remy from ‘Ratatouille’

Hot off the recent success of the fan-made Ratatouille musical sweeping Tiktok, Remy had a lot of houses he could have gone to this year, so it’s an honor he’s here. When I first watched his movie, I mistook ratatouille for colorful pasta but after extensive research (read: I Googled it), I learned it’s actually just vegetables (yuck). I guess we do need some sort of side dish and the stuff he makes is probably more elevated than some of the other guests, so I guess it’s fine. Remy isn’t allowed in the kitchen, though, because when we saw the movie in the theater, it really bothered my mom that there was a rat cooking, even though he was a really good chef and also a cartoon, Mom.

Hannibal Lecter from ‘Silence of the Lambs’

Anthony Hopkins in ‘The Silence of the Lambs’

Hannibal Lecter is here, I guess. We wanted to invite Clarice, but Hannibal overheard and invited himself. We were a little cautious at first but, he’s a surprisingly tame and polite dinner guest. Hannibal spends most of the meal pouting in the corner because we wouldn’t let him bring a protein, but, his fava beans are to die for, and he’s very good about wearing his mask. He brought chianti, too, which really helped elevate the meal.

Shrek from ‘Shrek’

shrek 2 animated movies
(Credit: Dreamworks)

If Shrek isn’t at Thanksgiving then I don’t want any part of it. His swamp is probably full of fairytale creatures Donkey invited over that Shrek has no interest in hanging out with, anyway. If he wants to get away, he can come to my place as long as he brings those earwax candles of his for the centerpiece. Mood lighting really helps add a little extra pizazz to the whole affair. In the first montage of the movie, he eats some sort of slug thing, and if he’s up to bringing some of that, we’ll serve it as an appetizer. But I’ve gotta admit, the candles are my priority; cornucopias aren’t gonna cut it this year.

Peik Lin Goh from ‘Crazy Rich Asians’

I’d hoped Peik Lin would show up because then I’d know it was a party worth throwing. I couldn’t imagine Peik Lin would actually remember to bring anything, but I wouldn’t have it any other way. She’s easily the most fashionable person at my get-together, and I think her energy will help transcend this from a meal between strangers to a full-on party.

The Ninja Turtles from ‘Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles’

Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles (1990)

The live-action Ninja Turtles showed up and immediately ordered a pizza despite there being a very large meal in the works. Oh well, I’m sure they’ll be hungry again in time for dinner. They spent the day rough-housing in the backyard and trying to get a touch football game started while the meal got made. Sure, they didn’t contribute much but they’re great for morale. It’s like they’re my adult sons back home from college. (I don’t actually have any sons but I feel like a dad in my soul.)

Miles Morales and Peter B. Parker from ‘Spider-man: Into the Spider-Verse’

Peter B. Parker and Miles Morales in 'Spider-Man: Into the Spider-Verse'
Peter B. Parker and Miles Morales in ‘Spider-Man: Into the Spider-Verse’

What’s better than Spider-Man coming to Thanksgiving? Two Spider-Mans (Spider-Men? Spiders-Men??) coming to Thanksgiving. Peter has zero dollars in his bank account, so he brought some leftover take-out he had in the back of his fridge. Luckily, Miles’ parents sent him over with some nice desserts, and they said some of the other Spider-guys might be coming by later with some home cooking from Aunt May. Coming in costume was delightful, but the masks make it very hard for them to eat. Still, I appreciate the gesture: Be like Spider-Men, Spider-Mans, Spiders-Men and wear a mask.

Slimer from ‘Ghostbusters’

Slimer in the original ‘Ghostbusters’ (Courtesy: Columbia/Sony)

Hey, I get it, this green gourmand doesn’t seem like an immediate first-round pick for dinner guests, but everyone deserves a place to go on Thanksgiving. Besides, Slimer is the gatekeeper to one of the greatest beverages the ’90s had to offer: Hi-C Ecto Cooler. That neon-green, teeth-rotting tangerine sugar-water rocked. Slimer’s signature beverage had 90’s kids across the country crashing before recess. If Slimer brings a bunch of that stuff, he can eat what he wants.

The March Sisters from ‘Little Women’

The March sisters would help bring an element of shabby-chic sophistication and joy to the whole event. At any Thanksgiving, the turkey is the star of the meal and the women of Little Women are pros at whipping up a holiday feast. While I can’t guarantee their Civil War-era traditional foods are like our modern Thanksgiving fare (we’re probably not talking turkey and cranberry sauce) we’re doing our best here. The March sisters feel just a little out of place here with guests like Shrek and Slimer at the table, but it’s our differences that keep things interesting – and they promised to act out one of Jo’s plays after dinner. Plus, there are exactly four March sisters and four Ninja Turtles, and I ship any possible pairings. It’s the Little Women/Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles crossover the fans deserve. Honestly, I kinda just want to see what happens when someone from the 19th century drinks something as hyper-palatable as Ecto Cooler.

Matilda and Miss Honey from ‘Matilda’

Let’s face it, even though Miss Trunchbull seems absolutely awful and not at all like someone I want to hang out with, the chocolate cake she forces Bruce Bogtrotter to eat looks delicious. I might consider inviting her if she brings that cake. Matilda and Miss Honey, on the other hand, are the only cool people in the movie and are more than welcome to come by. And Miss Honey is related to Miss Trunchbull, so maybe she knows the chocolate cake recipe. It seems like it’d be a much more appealing dessert if you weren’t forced to eat the whole cake in one sitting.

Barry from ‘Dinner for Schmucks’

This will be a very different dinner from the one Barry attends at the end of Dinner for Schmucks, but if he’s willing to oblige, I’d love to see another taxidermy presentation. I want to see what he comes up with to top the last one. He doesn’t need to bring a dish, just some post-food entertainment to complement the Marches. It’d be too hard to transport all those dioramas and a food dish, anyway.

Viago, Vladislav, and Deacon from ‘What We Do In The Shadows’

“Why don’t you try some basghetti…” These three vampire flatmates stop by after the sun’s already set. People are just about to settle down for their post-turkey nap when these guys get the party started all over again. For their contribution to the meal, they bring uncooked “basghetti” still in the can and one live chicken. The effort is appreciated, but no one eats any of it. Nevertheless, these guys are the life of the party. Viago bonds with the Ninja Turtles by showing off his martial arts skills and Deacon and the Spider-Men (Spider-Mans, Spiders-Men) are having a dance contest on the ceiling. I like to think that despite all of their differences, they were all able to come together to have a nice dinner.

Hopefully, next year we can return to a more traditional Thanksgiving but until then, I’m thankful to have these movie characters in my life to keep me company this year.

  • Editorial