On Thanksgiving Day 1986, Cheers aired “Thanksgiving Orphans,” an episode that garnered emphatic praise - and angry letters.
By this point, Cheers was one of the most-watched shows on television, earning a hoard of Emmy Awards on its way to becoming one of the most beloved sitcoms in television history. NBC CHEERS
The 1986 holiday episode started in the titular bar, as the gang revealed their respective Thanksgiving plans - or lack of plans, in some cases. Carla (Rhea Perlman), Frasier (Kelsey Grammer), Cliff (John Ratzenberger) and Woody (Woody Harrelson) would be spending the holiday alone; Sam (Ted Danson) had a date lined up, Diane (Shelley Long) was planning to attend a hoity-toity party hosted by her graduate professor and Norm was being forced to go to dinner at his in-laws.