30 Safe Conversation Topics For Your Thanksgiving Dinner

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Detail from Norman Rockwell's 'Freedom from Want,' a.k.a. a Thanksgiving without anybody yelling about Donald Trump.

[Editor's Note: This post was originally published in Fall of 2016.]

As some of you may have noticed, it's been a rough couple weeks. It's difficult to even tiptoe onto the internet without becoming entrenched in headlines about the KKK; friends with whom you normally assume your politics align are finding new ways to horrify you every day on Facebook. So hey: Raise your hand if you're looking forward to spending an extended period of time with your family this Thanksgiving weekend!

While it's true that civil debate between people who disagree is arguably a necessary tool in combating ignorance, xenophobia, and fear, it's also true that some of us have relatives with whom respectful discussion about politics is about as likely as Donald Trump forging a friendship with Kendrick Lamar.

With that in mind, we here at KQED Pop thought it might be nice to provide readers with a cheat sheet of alternative discussion topics, should you want to continue a great American tradition of avoidance and denial. Please feel free to print this out and bring it along to your own family dinner — or hell, make copies and tuck one beside each attendee’s napkin. You might just become the most popular dinner guest of all time.

    1. Stranger Things
    2. Gilmore Girls
    3. Martha and Snoop's Potluck Dinner Party
    4. Space turkey
    5. People you know who are getting married
    6. People you know who are getting divorced
    7. Why Brad Pitt and Angelina Jolie are getting divorced
    8. Poldark
    9. Bob Ross
    10. Bob Costas
    11. Simone Biles
    12. David Bowie
    13. Prince
    14. Sharon Jones
    15. This video of Prince playing with Sharon Jones
    16. Whether or not a hot dog is a sandwich
    17. How to prepare Thanksgiving leftovers
    18. The weather (no references to global warming!)
    19. The Cubs winning the World Series
    20. Vin Scully
    21. How to fix the Giants' bullpen problems
    22. Our robot overlords and how soon they'll overtake us
    23. Old-timey celebrity feuds
    24. Not-old-timey celebrity Instagram accounts
    25. Pecan vs. pumpkin pie
    26. Ellen
    27. Whether you should adopt a dog or a cat from the SPCA
    28. How much is a reasonable amount of money for a keychain
    29. Why we don't have an international UFO committee already
    30. Riley Curry -- a.k.a. the gift that keeps on giving. Note that this list will always include Riley Curry. At least until she gets old enough to talk politics.

Not enough topics? Try out some from 2015: