All records up to date as of 25 November 2021
Thanksgiving marks the day that the first settlers in the USA peacefully broke bread with the native Americans back in the 17th century.
Since that first community dinner the day has become a traditional occasion for friends and family share each other’s company and eat heaps of plentiful food – replicating the initial feast.
In celebration of the event, we’ve put together 10 Thanksgiving record titles that showcase the wholesome holiday.
Fastest time to carve a turkey
The best way to start anything Thanksgiving-related is with the star bird himself, the turkey!
Ironically this record was achieved by Briton Paul Kelly in a time of 3 min 19.47 sec in Essex, UK. Paul went head-to-head against local butcher David Harrison in 2009 for an event to celebrate the 25th birthday of KellyBronze turkeys.
Largest type of domestic turkey
US residents eat the bird each and every year, but do they know which breed is the largest in the world?
The world’s largest type of domestic turkey is the broad breasted white. Adult males (toms) weigh 13.5-18 kg (29-40 lb) at 20-24 weeks old, and hens at the same age weigh 6.5-9 kg (14-20 lb).
On the other hand, the smallest type of domestic turkey is the midget white: adult males weigh around 6 kg (13 lb), with females at 3.5-4.5 kg (7-10 lb), making them only a little larger than the biggest domestic chickens.
Weighing 39.09 kg (86 lb), the titanic turkey that holds this record was named Tyson. He won the last annual `heaviest turkey' competition, held in London on 12 December 1989.
Tyson was sold at a charity auction for a record £4400 (then $6,692).
Largest green bean casserole
It might not be your favourite part of the meal, but it’s one of the most important!
Achieved by Green Giant, this record is a massive version of a Thanksgiving casserole.
The team used an estimated 125,000 individual green beans in the recipe, in addition to 485 cans of mushroom soup, 65 quarts of milk, and 95 pounds of French-fried onions to create the record-breaking dish.
The jumbo sized serving came out to weigh an impressive 457.67 kg (1,009 lb), and was inspired by the 91st annual Macy’s Thanksgiving Day Parade (which also has a record).
Though it looked tasty, the entire plate was donated to Citymeals on Wheels, a non-profit organisation which prepares and delivers food for the housebound New York elderly in an act that truly embodies the spirit of giving.
Fastest time to eat 500 g of cranberry sauce
André Ortolf loves breaking speed eating records.
The German-born food editor can eat 500 g of cranberry sauce in a mere 42.94 seconds!
André has held this record since 2016, and in fact smashed his previous time of 1 min 0.27 seconds.
Most mashed potato eaten
André also holds two spud speed eating records:
- Most mashed potato eaten in 30 seconds: 598 g (21.09 oz)
- Most mashed potato eaten in one minute: 1120 grams (39.5 oz)
André is a much-loved member of the Guinness World Records family, but he's not invited to our Thanksgiving dinners. Leave some for the rest of us!
Largest family reunion
Many Americans already know that this holiday is a festive occasion to be spent with family, but has anyone’s gatherings ever been as large as the world’s largest family reunion?
Consisting of 4,514 people, the world’s largest family reunion was achieved by the Porteau-Boileve family at Saint-Paul-Mont-Penit, Vendée in France, on 12 August 2012.
See if you can beat that total next year.
Largest pumpkin pie
Check out this record, a dessert made for the biggest of Thanksgiving dinners. The largest pumpkin pie weighs 1,678 kg (3,699 lb) and was made by New Bremen Giant Pumpkin Growers (USA) at New Bremen Pumpkinfest in New Bremen, Ohio, on 25 September 2010.
The diameter of the pie was a whopping 6 m (20 ft). The crust took 440 sheets of dough to construct while the other ingredients used were canned pumpkin, evaporated milk, eggs, sugar, salt, cinnamon and pumpkin spice.
Largest inflatable parade
Every year, the first thing many do upon Thanksgiving Day is turn on their televisions to the iconic Macy's Annual Thanksgiving Day Parade in New York City, USA.
It is verified as the world's largest inflatable parade, with many balloons of famous characters being touted by civilians through the streets of Manhattan.
On 22 November 2001 the famous parade celebrated its 75th anniversary, flaunting 30 of the signature, larger-than-life balloons to the millions of spectators lining the streets.
It’s become so associated with Thanksgiving, it’s hard to imagine celebrating without it.
First videogame character in Macy’s Thanksgiving Day Parade
Gamers might be surprised to know that they too play a major part in Thanksgiving, specifically in the annual televised Macy’s Day Thanksgiving Parade.
One of the most famous holiday events in the world, the 1993 event heralded a watershed when Sonic the Hedgehog became the first videogame character in Macy's Thanksgiving Day Parade.
While momentous, the debut did not go well: strong winds blew the giant balloon into a lamppost and punctured it.
Since then several other videogame characters have been featured in the American Institution. In fact, Sega's iconic hero made a return to Macy's Parade line up in 2011 to commemorate the 20th anniversary of the Sonic franchise, and was featured again in 2012 and 2013.
Largest bottle of wine
To end our merry round up of records, we give you the record you might need most after putting up with extended family for more than six hours: the largest bottle of wine.
It measures an amazing 4.17 m (13 ft 8.17 in) tall, 1.21 m (3 ft 11.63 in) in diameter and was filled with 3,094 litres (650.58 UK gal, 817.34 US gal) of delicious wine, and was achieved by André Vogel in Lyssach, Switzerland, on 20 October 2014.