Michael B. Jordan as Adonis Creed in Creed II

The Rocky Movies Are Thanksgiving Movies. Don’t @ Me.

Maybe you're not Italian, but this is a thing and everyone should rewatch all the Rocky movies

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The fight of the Italian Stallion is one that many know. Rocky, which won Best Picture at the Academy Awards in 1977, has been a staple in the film community for quite some time, but there’s something so very Thanksgiving about the movies.

Maybe it’s because a good majority of the films came out right around the holiday. With the exception of Rocky II and Rocky III, all of the films came out either the week of Thanksgiving or right around Christmas (Rocky Balboa came out in December of 2006).

Maybe it’s because I come from a family of proud Rocky fans, and that means that we have often spent our holiday either rewatching the franchise or going to the theaters to see the movies.

In fact, our plans for this Friday night are to go out, after we shop all day, to see Creed II, because we’re that dedicated to the series. Maybe it’s because we have just always loved the Rocky movies, but it brings up the question: Do other families also have movies that are their own holiday films?

If we’re not watching Rocky, there are times when the James Bond franchise is our Thanksgiving viewing of choice, which is a bit ironic, since Bond is British. Despite that, we still crowd around and watch the movies as a marathon. So why is it that we pick these movies that tend to typically come out around Thanksgiving and call them “holiday movies”? To my recollection, there’s never been a scene in any Rocky movie where they’re joined around a table with a turkey in the middle.

Creed II spans the time of at least a year throughout the story, and not once do we see any holiday at all. Yet, many are planning on spending their Turkey Day at the cinema, seeing what happens to Adonis Creed and Rocky Balboa as Donnie prepares to take on Viktor Drago.

Maybe it’s because they’re family movies. They’ve always been about overcoming, looking to those near you to give you strength, and remembering the importance of family at all costs. Yes, Rocky Balboa loses Adrian and his son along the way, but he always goes back to their relationships and what they taught him in times of need.

All of Creed II is about Adonis trying to prove himself against a Drago, defending his father’s honor, and learning how to be a father himself. Maybe these movies reach out to us at the holidays because they remind us that, no matter what happens throughout the year, the holidays are when people want to reach back out to their family members, and Rocky often tries to reconnect with his own.

Forget the Die Hard Christmas movie discourse. The Rocky franchise is a Thanksgiving one, and that’s that.

(image: MGM)

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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.