Thanksgiving dinner–the truest test of family strength.  At this annual meal, cousins fight over heirlooms, somewhat-excluded aunts get all the dish on your past fourth months at school, uncles make jokes, and families reunite. When the time finally comes during this hectic day to settle down and eat, you may end up realizing that the dishes in front of you actually have something in common with the people sitting around you. 

The Turkey: The Attention-Seeking Cousin

turkey, chicken, duck, goose
Morgan Goldberg

When you think of Thanksgiving, you think of turkey. It's the star of the dinner, and it knows that all other foods on the table are just its back-up dancers. I'm sure we all have that one cousin or sibling in the family who loves all of the attention, loves talking the most, and loves being talked about the most. But even with all of the drama of the night, deep down we all know we love turkey and are excited to eat it for the next several days.

The Cranberry Sauce: The Gossipy Aunt

jam, sweet, berry, vegetable
Claire Hurley

It all sort of goes together– juice and gossip. Based on that logic, the "scoop" of melty cranberries is like that aunt you see only for the holidays that is just always asking for the "dish" of the past couple months. Also like the cranberry sauce, you only really need that aunt in small quantities.

The Sweet Potato Casserole: Grandma

chocolate, sweet, pastry, cream, cake, candy, goody, dairy product, cookie
Hui Lin

Sweet potato casserole just has to be your adorable grandma who spent the day slaving away, making sure the dinner is as perfect as it can be. They're sweet on their own, but that little extra sweetness from the marshmallows just makes them all the better. Simply put, you wouldn't want them any other way. 

The Stuffing: The Lovable Uncle

Liz Kaplan

There is always that one uncle you find hilarious, but there's definitely something you don't know about him and will most likely never completely know. Just like him, stuffing does seem a bit strange–I mean, pieces of bread and vegetables cooked inside of a turkey? At the end of the day, you don't ask questions but just embrace stuffing (or your uncle) for what it is.

The Bread Rolls: The Loyal Parents

If you think about it, bread rolls are totally like parents. When you're hungry, bread is there to fill you up. When you're sad, bread is there to cheer you up. When you're drunk, bread is there to sober you up. That's why bread is your mom and dad–always there to hold you together when you need them most.  

The Veggies: The Comforting Siblings

vegetable, broccoli, carrot, pepper, stir-fry, salad, onion
Dylan Barth

Ah, the vegetables. They're the part of the dinner that you never want to leave out. Just like your brother or sister, vegetables are a breath of fresh air from all of the unhealthy foods of the night or all the drama at the Thanksgiving table. You need your vegetables to conquer the dinner without feeling super weighed down.

The Mashed Potatoes: The Best Pet

cream, dairy product, milk, mashed potatoes, dumpling, ravioli, dairy, sweet
Helena Lin

Even though your family all gathers together for this wonderful holiday to celebrate, nothing can help with the inevitable drama. Mashed potatoes are there for you, just like your pets. They're so amazingly cuddly that they hold the entire dinner (and family) together. 

The Desserts: Awesome You

sweet, candy, cake, chocolate, pastry, cookie
Rebecca Li

Just when you think you couldn't fit one more thing inside your now turkey-shaped body, you see them all the way across the room– pumpkin pie, pecan pie, apple pie, maybe even cranberry hand pies. That's you–you are the dessert. You may sit there and think about yourself all the time, wondering if you're worth it. Well, you are. So go, stand up, and get the biggest gosh-darn piece of pie that can fit on those too-tiny dessert plates.