Which U.S. States Have The Worst Thanksgivings?

Last modified date

Thanksgiving misery

Thanksgiving is the time of year when Americans gather together to give thanks, and also to argue politics, yell at the TV, listen to that drunk uncle slander whole ethnic groups, and fight their neighbors in Wal-Mart parking lots during Black Friday sales. Thanksgiving can be a miserable day, which made Estately wonder if there were states where conditions on the ground increased the likelihood of a terrible Thanksgiving. We crunched the numbers using the six criteria below to determine if the state you live in is prime habitat for a downer of a Thanksgiving.

  1. Likelihood of a family food poisoning episode
    • Most cases of salmonella per capita derived from poultry in the past five years (CDC)
  2. Likelihood of relatives getting drunk and making a scene
    • Prevalence of binge drinking among adults per capita (CDC)
  3. Likelihood of political arguments
  4. Dietary restrictions impacting meal quality
    • States with highest rates of diabetes (CDC) and highest percentage of vegetarians/vegans (Facebook user data)
  5. Likelihood of favorite NFL team losing on Thanksgiving
  6. Likelihood of guests/cooks abandoning meal to shop a Black Friday sale
    • Percentage of Facebook users expressing interest in Black Friday sales—(Facebook user data)


Profiles of the ten most miserable states to spend Thanksgiving


Ohio won the title of The Most Miserable State to Spend Thanksgiving by an overwhelming margin. If any state will feature a simultaneous argument about Benghazi and the ethics of eating meat it will be over a plate of sugar-free pumpkin pie at an Ohio dining room table. Family divisions will only get more heated when the severely inebriated and the guests with food poisoning fight over who gets to use the bathroom first.


Political differences + binge drinking combine to make an Iowa family Thanksgiving feel just like if FOX News and MSNBC accidentally booked their holiday parties for the same venues.


Only after agreeing to cook a Tofurkey alongside the actual Turkey, and once arguments over Obama’s real country of birth have died down, and after everyone has another drink, only then can Pennsylvanians give thanks that both the Steelers and Eagles have a legitimate chance to meet in the SuperBowl.


There are only a few things you can count on during an Arizona Thanksgiving—the Arizona Cardinals losing and someone struggling to convince the others that meat-free side dishes and sugar-free desserts taste delicious.


After a long year of farming cranberries, it’s not surprising Wisconsin likes to kick its feet up a bit on Thanksgiving. Plus, the Packers traditionally don’t play well on Thanksgiving, so it’s not surprising Packers fans choose to binge drink and black out before halftime/dinner.


It’s a Nebraska tradition to loosen one’s belt well before dinner to make room for a flask of bourbon just in case you know who goes and drinks all the wine.


Maybe everyone wouldn’t have food poisoning if the turkey had been cooked all the way through, but no, the cooks were too busy basting their livers in white wine and Baileys…


Grandpa’s recent health troubles mean there will be no gravy this year, and absolutely no mention of Hilary Clinton running for president in 2016. Anyone who breaks this rule is not allowed to touch the box wine and will be added to Uncle Grover’s email joke list.


Located on the border of sweet potato pie country and pumpkin pie land, the good people of Virginia will spend a good portion of their dinners debating the merits of Obamacare for treating everybody’s diabetes.


There are cheaper ways to get out of doing dishes on Thanksgiving, but Missourians rushing off to catch the Black Friday sales is somehow the most socially acceptable one.

Need to change where you live? Check out homes for sale across the country on Estately.com

Ryan Nickum