Few holidays are more tailormade for Instagram than Thanksgiving. When it comes to food porn, a plate packed with turkey, stuffing, sweet potatoes, and green beans can be the Holy Grail of culinary color palettes, presenting the perfect opportunity to show the world just how well you’re eating on the fourth Thursday of November. But for every lemon-herb basted bird and ice cream-topped slice of apple pie, there’s a #StrugglePlate just waiting to rear its ugly head, clogging your timeline with images of watery corn and charred macaroni and cheese.
While families have certainly been screwing up Thanksgiving dinner since the Pilgrims landed on Plymouth Rock nearly 400 years ago, social media has presented a new opportunity for amateur cooks to be shamed, mocked, and publicly chastised online. For better or for worse, the Struggle Plate has become an inextricable component of Thanksgiving tradition, reminding us to be grateful every time we’re spared the cruel fate of an inedible side dish and gag-inducing desert.
Today, as America continues to nurse its tryptophan hangovers, we take a minute to celebrate this year’s most depressing Struggle Plates. From hot dog-stuffed turkeys to cereal-sprinkled green bean casserole, just be glad your aunt didn’t bring one of these dishes to dinner last night.