From Teeth to Politics: People Share What Ruined Thanksgiving in Viral Post

Thanksgiving is barely over, but online commenters are already rushing to share the moments that wrecked their holiday in 2022.

Reddit was awash with bad holiday experiences, when one user asked: "What ruined your Thanksgiving this year?"

With thousands of comments, people started sharing the reasons they hadn't enjoyed a very happy holiday.

Burnt turkey and family arguing
A file photo of a woman worrying after finding out her turkey is overcooked, left, and a picture of a family arguing in the kitchen, right. A viral post has prompted people to share what ruined their Thanksgiving in 2022. cookelma/JackF/Getty Images

A 2019 survey of 2,000 Americans found that the average household will see six important holiday-based tasks go wrong, with 56 percent saying that the turkey is usually the biggest cause of problems.

Commissioned by Omaha Steaks and conducted by OnePoll, the survey found that other common "Thanksgiving fails" included running out of time to prepare dinner, not all of the food being ready to eat, running out of wine, and forgetting the main ingredient of a dish.

But why do we like to share our negative experiences with each other?

Geoffrey Beattie, professor of psychology at Edge Hill University in Lancashire, England, told Newsweek: "People have a negativity bias. Negative events have a bigger impact on us than positive events. We remember negative experiences better. Some of our most vivid memories are very negative.

"Negative experiences affect us emotionally. That's why we like to share them. By talking or writing about them we are expressing this emotion and, in addition, using language to make sense of them, to work out what happened and why," Beattie added. "Emotional disclosure makes us feel better and is good for us."

On Reddit, commenters were quick to answer the question: "What ruined your Thanksgiving?"

One commenter wrote: "Tooth infection that spread. Went to [the] dentist yesterday to get antibiotics and it ballooned across my face overnight. So here I am, sitting in ER triage with a 101.3 fever and a face that hurts like hell."

Another Redditor shared: "Girlfriend broke with me last night so I've been spending the entire Thanksgiving trying to act like it doesn't bother me."

It turns out that breakups around Thanksgiving aren't uncommon either. In 2017, AskMen polled more than 600 readers, asking which holiday is the most reasonable to dump someone.

Referred to as the 'turkey dump,' breaking up over Thanksgiving was revealed to be the most popular decision, with 46 percent of respondents agreeing that this was the best holiday to end a relationship. The turkey dump is most common among students as it is often the time that freshmen will return home and break up with high-school partners.

"I caught a cold," wrote another commenter, sharing his bad Thanksgiving. "That and I got laid off."

"Racist in-laws," read another reply. "If I hear another Mexican joke, I'll probably burn a building down."

One Redditor wrote that their day was ruined because: "For the past few years my dad and my step-mother have turned into angry republicans."

In a poll of 1,005 U.S. adults conducted by Axios, 77 percent of people agreed that Thanksgiving celebrations were not the time to discuss politics with the family.

But, despite the majority saying they'd rather not discuss politics, 41 percent of Democrats and 29 percent of Republicans admitted they would probably do it anyway.

Pets also seemed to play their part in the holiday chaos this year. One Redditor wrote: "My relative's dog ate the surface of our pumpkin pie and an entire package of bread rolls."

"Dog got out, leading to a two-hour search and cold dinner," commented another frustrated poster.

With so many negative stories around Thanksgiving, is there something that makes it more likely for people to have a difficult holiday?

"Expectations are often ridiculously high. People want the day to be perfect and any deviation is immediately noted, things that would normally pass unnoticed," said Beattie. "People then catastrophize these deviations—'it's ruined the day'—they overreact. It's this process, which is full of emotion, which then becomes the problem."

Luckily, though, not everyone was rushing to share disaster stories from the holidays, with a few commenters sharing how their day had gone well.

"Nothing," read one reply answering the question. "It was really lovely.," while another Redditor wrote: "Honestly it's been a great day."