Episode PremiereNovember 21, 2012
Show Period2012 - 2013
Production CompanyNBC Universal Television
Hastily packing a hearty meal into a cooler, Gary informs the twins that their time (six months, to be exact) without a television is coming to a much-needed close. Gary plans to be one of the first seven people in line to purchase a brand television set for only $100 as part of a Thanksgiving weekend promotion. He's surprised at how uncharacteristically supportive Marny's being, seeing as Gary will be miss Thanksgiving, but Marny assures Gary he won't be missing the holiday. She's sure that Gary will give up his spot in line in no time.
In Sheila's apartment, Chris and Sheila are trying to figure out whom Ernie will spend the holiday with. Seeing as it's Ernie's first Thanksgiving, Sheila suggests that the three of them spend it together. Chris is hesitant: should a turkey really be killed for that? After a few thinly veiled threats from Sheila concerning a cozy Thanksgiving full of PBS specials, Chris agrees to her request: all of Chris' friends will come over to her place for dinner. Sheila's thrilled at her chance to win over "a group of unsophisticated savages."
Later, Chris stops by Emily and Nick's to inform them that they'll be joining him at Sheila's. Chris is calling in a huge favor from that time he served as "Trash Can" Annie's date to their wedding (Annie being Emily's sister who's notoriously for getting drunk and falling into trash cans). Emily and Nick are bummed, but a deal's a deal. That night, Gary stands second in line, already shivering. He tries to strike up conversation with the other folks in line, but none of them even want to huddle for warmth like penguins, like Gary suggests. Poor Gary's in for a rough few days. The next morning, Chris and Nick stop by with a breakfast burrito. He tells the guys that even though it's only been one night, he wants OUT! It's too cold! Yet when Gary spots Marny and the kids, he quickly puts on a brave face. Marny tries to seduce him with talk of soup and hot chocolate that awaits him in the apartment, but Gary stays strong for the kids. Nick is envious of Gary: at least he doesn't have to spend the day at Sheila's!
That night, Chris is called to Sheila's apartment for an emergency: she can't seem to decide on a theme for tomorrow's festivities. She toys with the idea of each guest coming dressed as a different Native American tribe, but Chris begs her to keep it simple. The following morning, a worried Marny visits Gary, who's traded spots in line so that he could sit over the heating grate. She begs him to come home; it's Thanksgiving, and they should all be miserable at Sheila's together, as a family! Anyway, they could always just buy the TV. Gary refuses; a $4,000 television set is just too ludicrous to put in a home where Clark breaks everything. Sheila storms off, hurt that Gary isn't putting his family first.
Over at Sheila's, everyone is beginning to arrive. The apartment looks elegant, and Emily's rather impressed. As she hands her famous Oreo pie over to Sheila, Sheila drops a slight bomb. This year, they'll be eating a historically accurate meal, so the only the food that will be allowed are dishes that the Pilgrims and Wampanoag would have actually eaten at the first Thanksgiving. That means no booze (the Pilgrims ran out of it on the boat ride over) and no turkey. Nick, Emily and Marny all look like they're ready to kill Chris, as he enters the living room holding Ernie, who's in a full pilgrim costume. Sheila, oblivious to all of this, delightfully tells the crew that she's boiling a cod. Clark and Yoda approach Marny and tell her how much they wish they were with their dad. She understands, but explains that he made a choice and she's determined for her family to have a good Thanksgiving despite that.
Later, the crew is seated around the festive table, nervously eyeing their hickory nuts doused in maple syrup. The adults are reluctant to take a bite, but mysteriously the kids' plates are all clear. As Sheila leaves to check on dessert, Marny demands the twins tell them how they got rid of their food. Yoda reveals that they scooped it up in napkins and threw it away in the bathroom, while Clark admits that for soup, a glass of water must be spilled for diversion while the soup is then deposited into a houseplant. Nick remembers that he has three pounds of stuffing in the fridge, so he races down to the apartment to get some for sustenance. Out in line, Gary learns that it's not the first seven people in line that get cheap TV's - they go to those who get to the TV's first. This changes things up a bit, and Gary gets up off his chair to do some stretches in preparation. Gary recognizes a familiar face as the man next to him gets out of his tent. It's Emmitt Smith, former running back for the Dallas Cowboys. Sure after three Super Bowl rings he doesn't need a TV, but he still loves running past people! Gary's in for some tough, tough competition.
Cleaning up in the kitchen, a fretting Sheila interrogates Chris. Is the theme limiting? Why doesn't anyone want seconds? Do they all hate her? Why isn't he answering her? Chris begs her to relax, but Sheila's on a roll. She's lost so many of her friends; she can't have Chris' friends rejecting her as well. She wants them to know that there's more to her than constantly being the smartest person in the room. Chris assures her that everything is going well, but Sheila walks in on Nick, Emily and Marny secretly eating stuffing. Sheila's shocked and terribly hurt. She realizes that they hated her food. She rushes over to the table and grabs all four corners of the tablecloth, pulling everything into one bundle. As everyone watches in amazement, Sheila hurls the bundle over the balcony.
Turning to face everyone, Sheila apologizes for causing a huge scene and ruining the holiday. She expects Chris' friends to write her and off and make fun of her behind her back, but they refuse. They would never write her off because of one failed holiday. And what's more, they point out, they make fun of her right to her face! Sheila begins to understand that it's only her friends that banish people to New Jersey for failed dinners. These people don't feel pressure to try to impress one another. After all, Emily wore flats to a holiday event, and Marny doesn't even care how it makes her family look that Gary's in line instead of at dinner. Well, it wouldn't be a compliment from Sheila if it weren't downright insulting, right? Marny realizes that she is the one who abandoned Gary. She realizes her family should be together, even if it is standing in line.
Everyone accompanies Marny and the kids to visit Gary, and Sheila even brings Subway sandwiches to make up for the non-dinner. The doors to the store are finally about to open, and Gary, Clark and Yoda devise a quick plan on how ensure Gary's success. The second the doors unlock, the crowd scurries into the store. Emmitt Smith can't move, held back by Clark and Yoda who cling to one of his legs. The next day, Gary has everyone over for the unveiling of the enormous new television. He turns it on as everyone "oohs" and "ahhs" at the HD picture. Sheila, holding Ernie, announces that the set is much too big for the apartment, and because she's been welcomed to the group, she can say things like that now. Nick falls into a panic. Sheila's been welcomed to the group? Officially? This is the blackest Friday of them all.