Brooklyn 99 and holidays go together like turkey, mashed potatoes, and gravy. Unless, of course, you're like Jake Peralta (Andy Samberg) and hate the holiday, preferring to spend it watching football and eating "mayo nut spoonsies" (spoonfuls of mayonnaise and peanuts). But we have a better idea: celebrate Turkey Day with the best Thanksgiving episodes of the series. Here they are, ranked by us:
5. S3 E8 "Ava"
A fine episode, though only tangentially Thanksgiving-related, Terry's wife unexpectedly goes into labor at the precinct while he is stuck at Rikers Island interrogating a prisoner. Meanwhile, the internet has gone out, forcing everyone to do the paperwork by hand. The best part of the episode revolves around Jake trying to keep Captain Holt away from Terry's wife, as he says weird, inappropriate things to her. But he ends up saving the day by bringing in his ex-boyfriend Frederick (Nick Offerman!!!) an OB/GYN. The only real Thanksgiving connection is the cold open where Boyle is wearing a turkey costume.
Quote of the episode: Every time people start talking about what they're thankful for and then cut Boyle off before he can say anything. The perfect running gag.
4. S2 E7 "Lockdown"
On Thanksgiving Eve, the precinct goes into lockdown when there is potential exposure to anthrax in the precinct. Jake is left in charge, while Terry and Captain Holt try to work from Terry's house, where his even larger brother-in-law makes fun of "Tiny Terry." Things in the precinct rapidly devolve, as Jake is incapable of long-term planning and people management. When he finally listens to Amy, things get under control. It's a good episode if a little by the book. The best parts are seeing Captain Holt in Terry's home office, including bouncing on a yoga ball.
Quote of the episode: Jake: "As you all know, I hate Thanksgiving. The pilgrims were murderers and turkey tastes like napkins."
3. S1 E10 "Thanksgiving"
The precinct plays Boyle Bingo, crossing off things they expect Boyle to do. Amy plans a Thanksgiving at her apartment for the squad in an attempt to get Captain Holt to agree to mentor her, which is ruined by her awful cooking and when Jake and Holt attempt to recover $10,000 that went missing from lockup. It's a nice sort of Scrooge type episode where we learn why Jake hates Thanksgiving and Gina and Rosa actively hoping for disaster and drama. Also, Terry is hungry. Very, very hungry. It's the perfect combination of all the elements that make Brooklyn 99 great, just like a great Thanksgiving meal.
Quote of the episode: Jake: "I am thankful that Thanksgiving only comes once a year. People stuff themselves. And then at midnight, they run to appliance stores and trample each other to death. It's a garbage holiday. (Starts to sob) I'm sorry, I just get emotional when I talk about how bogus Thanksgiving is."
2. S4 E7 "Mr. Santiago"
Jimmy Smits plays Amy's dad who is visiting for Thanksgiving. Jake's attempts to impress him go awry when Mr. Santiago finds the binder Jake had put together, including an old case file where Jake thinks the answer is "so obvious" who committed the unsolved crime. This leads to a ton of tension and some twists and turns where it's obvious the elder Santiago doesn't approve of Jake but ends in them solving the case after learning to have more respect for women.
Meanwhile, Boyle's plan to slaughter a live turkey go awry when Gina objects and lets it loose in the apartment. Also, there's no way a cop in Brooklyn can afford an apartment that large. But the real crème de la crème of the episode is recurring star Jason Mantzoukas as Adrien Pimento and Captain Holt watching the dog show, which leads to betting on the dog show.
Quote of the episode: (tie) Jake: "We arrested a woman today because we are feminists."
Adrian Pimento: "No, no, no, I don't mess with computers, okay? Ever since I died of dysentery on the Oregon Trail, I was like, no thank you. I'm done with this."
TV Announcer: The Cairn Terrier is intelligent and inquisitive with a bold personality.
Captain Holt: "A bold personality." We know what that's code for: she's a bitch.
1. S5 E7 "Two Turkeys"
Because the only thing better than one meal of Jimmy Smits is a second Thanksgiving helping, this time with a side of Bradley Whitford and Katey Sagal as Jake's parents. The Peraltas host the Santiagos for Thanksgiving and Amy's mom brings a second turkey. Jake and Amy try to ratchet down the tension with alcohol, which works for a while but eventually ends with Jake's and Amy's dads competing with each other over who can better carve a turkey, and Jake's dad cuts his thumb off. The regular cast of Brooklyn 99 is amazing, but adding ringers like Smits and Whitford is the perfect secret sauce to any holiday meal.
And meanwhile, back at the precinct, Captain Holt's pie has gone missing—and everyone's a suspect! This story also features some excellent work by Marc Evan Jackson as Captain Holt's husband Kevin, which always improves any episode.
Quote of the episode: Jake: "Oh, no. There are downsides to alcohol."
We hope spending time with the found family of Brooklyn 99 helps make this, and every, Thanksgiving more bearable for you. Brooklyn 99 is streaming on Peacock. Happy Turkey Day.