I realized a few weeks back that this year is the 30th anniversary of my all-time favorite TV episode, Cheer’s “Thanksgiving Orphans,” which first aired on November 27, 1986. I taped the show that night and held onto that tape for years. Somewhere along the way the tape either gave out or I lost it. I recorded it again sometime in the late 90s or early 00s, and it became an integral part of my Thanksgiving celebration. The year we found ourselves without a VCR, I sprung for the Cheers season five DVD collection. Every year in November I say to myself that I’m going to revisit that entire season. Every year, I watch just the one episode.

My love of the episode has become a bit of a running joke for those of you who follow me on Facebook. I usually make an announcement that I’ve poured myself a nice distilled beverage and am about to put the DVD in. Some years I post a few of my favorite lines. One year I “live blogged” my viewing, sharing roughly half of the show.

It’s always been something I’ve done on my own, though. S watched it a few times in the early years we were together. But although she finds the show funny, she doesn’t have the enthusiasm for it that I do. So she’s let me enjoy it in solitude.

This year, though, I’ve decided to bump up my viewing a few hours and will let the girls watch with me. They’ve never seen Cheers before, so are coming in blind. I told them this afternoon that it was my favorite show when I was growing up, we drove by the location it was based on when we were in Boston, and there’s a big food fight. That got them interested.

I’ve always thought my love of “Thanksgiving Orphans” was unique. When I remembered this was the 30th anniversary, I went searching for articles about the show. I found the three I’m sharing below. I was pleased to learn that I’m not the only person who thinks it is likely the best episode of one of the great shows of all time, and stands on its own as one of the finest half hours of comedy.

Happy Thanksgiving, everyone!

A Cheers family Thanksgiving ends in a big mess

Summer sitcom rewind: ‘Cheers’ – ‘Thanksgiving Orphans’

Food Fight! The Messy True Story Behind the Classic ‘Cheers’ Episode, ‘Thanksgiving Orphans’