There’s one aspect of Thanksgiving dinner that Americans dread the most

Slice of pecan pie with whipped cream on a white plate
No, not the pie—the plate underneath it.
Photo: DebbiSmirnoff (Getty Images)

It might ultimately be a good thing that most people plan on having a scaled-down version of Thanksgiving dinner this year. Not only to help in curbing the spread of coronavirus—nothing causes a surge like a whole bunch of big family gatherings—but also because it’ll help people avoid the thing they hate most about the celebration: doing dishes.


In a recent survey conducted by OnePoll on behalf of LG Electronics USA, a large contingent of respondents indicated that their least favorite aspect of holiday dinners is “washing so many dishes.” In fact, 47% of the 2,000-person survey listed dishes as their Thanksgiving bugbear, followed closely by “cleaning the whole home.” Coming in at a distant third was “prepping the food,” which you’d think would be the most intimidating aspect of a holiday gathering, given that people look forward to this meal all year and expectations for every course are high. But even a subpar dinner can be fixed with enough butter and cream cheese, whereas cleanup is seemingly the same herculean task no matter what you make. And you usually have to tackle it alone, after everyone’s gone home.

The survey turned up some rather curmudgeonly responses to the question as well: a number of folks indicated that their least favorite part of these gatherings was “too much noise,” “waking up early,” and “waiting for things to be ready,” the latter of which can be solved by setting out heavy cream-cheese-based dips on every surface to placate hangry family members. I speak from experience (as both host and hangry guest)!

Hopefully everyone takes their cue from the surging pandemic and decides to cut the guest list this year, a move that’ll have the incidental benefit of fewer dirty dishes and less pressure to impress guests with fancy flatware that must be washed by hand. Convention is out the window this year; get a plastic drop cloth and slop the sides right onto the table if that’ll make you dread Thanksgiving any less.

Marnie Shure is editor in chief of The Takeout.



We will be four for Thanksgiving. Daughter and her husband will bring turkey or ham and mustard greens. I’ll make pickled shrimp, cornbread dressing and homemade pies - pecan (without corn syrup thank you!) and my Nannie’s buttermilk pie. Will eat on our front porch and share with next door porch neighbors.

Normally we all make every dish we (individually) really like - squash casserole, green bean casserole, macaroni and cheese, rutabagas...But this year we are paring it down to a reasonable meal. I’ve been adding those other dishes into our meal rotation so we get our fix before Thanksgiving.