Whether you’re a casual foodie or an aspiring chef, hosting Thanksgiving or Friendsgiving for the first time can be a little nerve-wracking. It’s only natural that you want your guests to enjoy themselves and have a great meal, but this pressure can make small kitchen errors feel like full-on catastrophes. The good news is that cooking mistakes are totally normal, and they happen to everyone (yes, even seasoned chefs).

Don’t believe us? We asked the Spoon community to share their biggest Thanksgiving mishaps.

Spoon University Design Team

“One year I knocked the bowl of stuffing on the ground before we were able to put it into a baking dish and cried because it was my favorite part of the meal. Luckily, we had a grocery store across the street so we could get more ingredients, but it definitely messed with the flow of the day.” - Schuyler, Spoon HQ

“Having too many dishes cooking at once! You're bound to forget about at least one of them, resulting in the smoke alarm going off!” - Ashley, Spoon HQ

“I didn't let the dough refrigerate long enough for my homemade apple pie! *facepalm* The dough ended up shrinking in the oven, but it was still definitely edible and super delicious. Can’t go wrong with apples, cinnamon and pie crust — even if it’s not picture perfect!” - Emily, Spoon HQ

“One time I tried to salt-pack the inside of the turkey before putting the stuffing in, but because I used table salt instead of coarse/kosher salt, it turned out way too salty, effectively oversalting the entire turkey, and all of the stuffing!” - Máx, UC Berkeley 2025

Spoon University Design Team

“I left my mac and cheese in the oven for too long and the top burnt a bit. I was mortified, However, I just skimmed off some of the burnt parts and the meal was still very delicious.” - Victory, Hunter College 2025

“Trying a new recipe the day of. I attempted a new recipe, and it’s already a bit of a stressful holiday so I felt very overwhelmed.” - Angeli, UC Berkeley 2024

“I relied on the wrong person to set the timer for a cake and ended up with the most burnt lemon bundt cake EVER. So, with less than two hours until we had to be at dinner, I decided to instead bake a sheet cake and cover it in chocolate icing and pecans with time to spare.” - Bailey, UNC Chapel Hill 2021

Spoon University Design Team

“My dad set the turkey on fire one year when I was younger! My mom had made a backup turkey just in case so luckily there was turkey for everyone.” - Emily, Villanova 2025

“I completely butchered a sweet potato casserole. Lesson: If it ain't broke don't fix it.” - Taylor, Southern Methodist University 2023

Spoon University Design Team

"The first Thanksgiving I hosted was in my one-bedroom apartment with about twelve people and my dog. I got so distracted with cooking and entertaining that I wasn't paying attention to my pup, and he got into some of the food. Turns out he's a fan of mashed potatoes?" - Kenzie, Spoon HQ