Willem Dafoe as Norman Osborn carving a turkey

Reminder: Spider-Man Is a Thanksgiving Film

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Hello, I’m back with another case for “This Superhero Movie Is Actually a Holiday Film and No I Will Not Be Taking Questions.” Today’s is about the 2002 Sam Raimi film Spider-Man.

Before we begin, let me remind you that I am a staunch believer in the fact that Iron Man 3 is a Christmas movie and one of the best out there. But now, let’s get into the Thanksgiving spirit by watching Peter Parker bleed and Norman Osborn use that to figure out he’s Spider-Man.

Is the entirety of Spider-Man a Thanksgiving movie? No, not really. It passes through quite a lot of time because we start with Peter Parker still in high school, and then he’s living in New York City on his own relatively quickly. Time has clearly passed, but there is a scene that is very much the Thanksgiving dinner from Peter Parker’s idea of hell, and it is glorious.

Don’t have Thanksgiving with your villain

We can all relate to having a family meal with someone you hate. Whether it is your racist uncle or a cousin that no one likes, we’ve all been there. But this dinner is … well, barely a dinner. It starts with Norman Osborn coming to Peter and Harry’s apartment after trying to kill Spider-Man as the Green Goblin, and it slowly descends into madness because Norman quickly learns who Peter Parker really is.

Honestly, who doesn’t relate to this, though? Some family member says something and the entire day goes from a nice dinner to everyone fighting, and someone is upset because they did all the cooking and now no one is eating. At least Aunt May can have a nice dinner with just Peter, since MJ leaves and Harry was an ass to her.

From Norman Osborn getting slapped by Aunt May to MJ wanting to fight Harry, the dinner goes about as smoothly as anything in Peter Parker’s life goes—meaning it is a total disaster, and it is not his fault but all falls apart because of him.

But seeing Norman sharpen a knife while quizzing Peter about his bleeding scratch is one of the most frightening moments in movie history, and why not celebrate the worst of the family holidays by watching it? And just in time for Willem Dafoe to return to the role in Spider-Man: No Way Home, a movie I hope will confirm itself as a Christmas movie so I can just have a Spider-Man movie for every holiday.

So now, when we think about holiday movies, we should think about how Spider-Man technically falls into the category of a Thanksgiving movie, and instead of celebrating the holiday that has a racist and horrible history, let’s just all watch Norman Osborn try to cut a turkey looking as if he’s going to kill Aunt May.

(image: Marvel Entertainment)

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Rachel Leishman
Rachel Leishman (She/Her) is an Assistant Editor at the Mary Sue. She's been a writer professionally since 2016 but was always obsessed with movies and television and writing about them growing up. A lover of Spider-Man and Wanda Maximoff's biggest defender, she has interests in all things nerdy and a cat named Benjamin Wyatt the cat. If you want to talk classic rock music or all things Harrison Ford, she's your girl but her interests span far and wide. Yes, she knows she looks like Florence Pugh. She has multiple podcasts, normally has opinions on any bit of pop culture, and can tell you can actors entire filmography off the top of her head. Her work at the Mary Sue often includes Star Wars, Marvel, DC, movie reviews, and interviews.