The Buzzkill

It's tradition in most households for everyone at the dinner table to talk about what they're thankful for. Most people just go through the motions and speak about something broad, but The Buzzkill is extremely candid. She'll go into excruciating detail about the "tough year" she had and how she's so thankful to have lived through it. Is there anything more awkward than hearing about a single mother struggling to provide for her children when all you want to do is devour delicious turkey? I'm not saying you shouldn't feel bad for her – BUT MASHED POTATOES!

The Jokester


The Jokester isn't funny unless you're over the age of 40. For anyone else, he's a loud and annoying drunk. He has a stupid kid name, like Bobby, and never shows up for dinner – he arrives just in time for dessert. If you're lucky, your Bobby is divorced. If not, your night is doomed to listening to Bobby's wife tell HILARIOUS stories about how lazy he is. It should come as no surprise that these stories captivate the whole room: Where else can you hear about a man's ineptitude and his wife's disapproval? (Hint: EVERY TV SHOW EVER) Bobby's "jokes" consist of loudly exclaiming things like "cleaning is a woman's job!"

The Cousin

The Cousin is a nice enough guy, but you never really see him enough to establish any kind of friendship. This wouldn't be so awkward if you weren't close as kids. The Thanksgivings of playing Sega Genesis together are over, replaced by forced small talk:

"Hey man, how's it going? Oh, you're in a band now. Cool. What kind of music? Alterna-Dancecore-Acid-Punk, eh? Yeah, not really sure what that is. Like Fall Out Boy meets Slayer meets Madonna? Oh. Oh, OK. Wow. Yeah sure, I will totally hit you guys up on Myspace. I will definitely do that."


Politically Incorrect Grandma

Grandma isn't actually racist — she just grew up in a different time. Try as she might, she can't keep up with today's politically correct lingo. During dinner when the conversation inevitably turns to politics, Grandma will pipe up with something like: "Well I think it's great that we finally have a colored president! Those people try so hard." Your dad will chuckle and politely inform her that the term "colored" is now considered racist. Then he'll continue on his rant about how having a president with the middle name Hussein "just ain't right."

The Kid

The Kid is between the ages of 6 and 10 and idolizes you for whatever reason. Despite you being almost 15 years older, he believes the two of you have a ton in common and should probably hang out the whole night. He'll insist on sitting next to you at dinner and spend the entire time punching you as he mimics his favorite professional wrestlers. Later, when the adults are engaged in conversation, you'll be assigned the role of entertainer. You'll try something simple, like playing Mario Kart. Sounds easy, right? Wrong. Since The Kid only has a younger sister, he's used to kicking ass at video games. This makes him a sore loser. You're now left with two choices – take a dive, or make him cry. I personally prefer crying. Nobody beats me at Mario Kart.

Illustrated by Emily Gottlieb