Who Shmoop’s NOT Inviting to Thanksgiving Dinner This Year

Shmoop counts down the 10 most ungrateful literary characters who are persona non grata for this year’s Thanksgiving feast.

Thanksgiving is a time to put aside all of your familial angst in the name of deliciousness, but after a hard day in the kitchen, Shmoop isn’t about to share with anyone who can’t spare a compliment to the chef.

Since Shmoop prefers its dinners to be low-drama and its guests thankful, here is Shmoop’s list of literary characters who will not be getting an invite this year. Shmoop’s ranked them from 10—allowed in if they bring a green bean casserole—to 1—never allowed in, even with a gourmet brined turkey. No offense, guys. It’s just that Peeta Mellark can both bake bread and say, “Thank you.” Maybe next year!

Ron Weasley

10.     Ron Weasley, Harry Potter

 Every year, Ron Weasley got a new sweater for Christmas, and every year he complained about it, ignoring all the hard work his mom put into creating a gift that would protect him from the chill of snow, if not dementors. Ron would be the kid at Thanksgiving dinner feeding his mom’s sweet potato pie to the dog under the table. No wonder Mrs. Weasley seemed to prefer Harry Potter; at least Harry was appreciative of her knitting exploits.

9.     The Trojans, The Aeneid

After years and years of war against the Greeks, the Trojans woke up one morning to see the Greeks gone and in their place, a beautiful wooden statue of a horse outside their walls. The Trojans were ecstatic to finally win, but were still suspicious of the giant wooden horse. Of course, all it took was a little convincing by a Greek spy and the Trojans brought the horse into their city. Once inside the walls, the horse burst open with Greek soldiers who burned Troy to the ground. Needless to say, the Trojans weren’t very thankful for their gift from the Greeks. Maybe one should look a gift horse in the mouth.

8.     Milo, The Phantom Tollbooth

After a hard day in the number mines, the citizens of Digitopolis like to get their fill of Subtraction Soup. The generous people they are, they even shared this delectable dish with total foreigner Milo. Milo, however, was completely unappreciative of this kind gesture and just started complaining that the soup made him hungrier instead of more full. That put the Digitopolians in a tough spot as they had to explain their completely sensical custom of eating until they’re no longer full. Milo should have known better: when in Digitopolis, do as the Digitopolians do.

7. Ender Wiggin, Ender’s Game

Ender spent the entirety of Ender’s Game talking about how he was going to end the war against the Buggers. When he finally did end the war, though, he started crying about how he didn’t end the war in the right way. Hey, Ender, you gotta remember: the ends justify the means. And Buggers certainly can’t be choosers.

 

6.     King Lear, King Lear

First rule of parenting: don’t ask children how much they love their parents. King Lear clearly missed this memo. When he asked his three daughters how much they loved him, his first two (arguably straight-up evil) daughters answered with lavish purple praise, while his youngest (and legit good) daughter tempered her response with reality. King Lear was so incensed by her honesty that he banished her. Talk about being ungrateful for getting what he asked for.

5.     Holden Caulfield, The Catcher in the Rye

Holden Caulfield, the original emo teenager, wanted new ice skates, but when his mom finally got them for him, it turned out she bought him hockey skates instead of racing skates. Maybe next time, Holden will be a little clearer about what he wants—although, if the rest of the book is any indication, probably not.

4.     Jason, Medea

So Medea doesn’t quite get a pass here—murdering your kids? Total no-go—but Jason was probably the worst baby daddy known to man. First he seduced Medea to get her to betray her dad and help him succeed in his quest. He promised her that if she helped him secure the golden fleece, he’d marry her and be with her forever. She was so convinced by his charm that she killed her own brother to prevent her dad from capturing her new boyfriend. But what did Jason do to thank Medea? He broke up with her (after they already had kids together!) so he could marry the Princess of Corinth. There’s a reason why Medea is the ultimate woman scorned.

3. Edmund Pevensie, The Lion, the Witch, and the Wardrobe

Pre-Aslan Edmund was the worst possible guest you could ever have. He was a jerk to his siblings and made fun of the kindly Professor who took them in. His sister Lucy introduced him to a magical land called Narnia and instead of thanking her, he told everyone she was making it up. When all the siblings were transported to Narnia, he turned against them by siding with the White Witch just so he could stuff his face with more Turkish delight. Pre-Aslan Edmund would basically be the one staying at home eating all the mashed potatoes while his siblings were helping out at a food kitchen.

 2.     Everyone Except Charlie Bucket, Charlie and the Chocolate Factory

 Given that there were only five golden tickets to visit the elusive Willy Wonka’s chocolate factory, you’d think that the lucky ticket holders would understand how privileged they were to get the inside scoop. Nope! Other than our protagonist Charlie Bucket, they were all entitled snobs who thankfully ended up getting their just desserts.

1. Oliver, Oliver Twist

Oliver Twist is the poster child for ungratefulness. His catchphrase is literally, “Please, sir, I want some more.” Leave a little turkey for everyone else, eh?

Know another literary character who should be stuck out in the cold this Thanksgiving? Share with us in the comments!

Best Desert Island Companions

What if we told you that you could take an all-expenses paid trip to a desert island with a group of friends?  What would you pack? What would you wear? And most importantly, who would you bring?  We already covered who we wouldn’t want to bring, but we’re not anti-social, Tom Hanks-esque castaways. No, we’ve got the perfect list of companions for our desert island retreat.

1. The White Witch, The Lion, the Witch, and the Wardrobe

The first word in desert island is desert, and that means those suckers can get toasty.  What would be better (and more convenient) than having a witch who can create eternal winters serve as your air conditioning unit? Just don’t get on her bad side. Things might get a little too chilly.

2. Holly Golightly, Breakfast at Tiffany’s

Holly would definitely be able to put together some awesome parties from stuff found on the island.  Who needs the Professor making fake coconut radios when your girl Holly can make you a piña colada? Girls just want to have fun, are we right?

3. Hermione Granger, Harry Potter series

Besides the fact that Hermione is one of the best characters ever, she has a lot of skills and talents that would be useful on an island. Between her encyclopedia knowledge of spells, her bag that can hold a never-ending amount of items, and her extensive knowledge of plants from taking Herbology classes, she would make sure everyone had a magical time, and even would be able to apparate us off once we got tired of Holly’s existential crisis. 10 points to Gryffindor!

4. Atticus Finch, To Kill a Mockingbird

It’s common knowledge that when a group of people is in isolation for too long, some conflict can emerge.  (See: Lord of the Flies.) In addition to providing excellent eye candy by looking like the smoking Gregory Peck, Atticus is a great lawyer and mediator who would be able to settle any arguments and prevent things from escalating.

5. Tris Prior, Divergent

 Photo from Entertainment Weekly.

Tris is an all-around kick-butt lady.  She has an extensive knowledge of weapons and self-defense techniques from her Dauntless initiation training.  Plus she is super loyal and selfless (despite her claims otherwise) so she will always be willing to take one for the team.  We mean, a girl basically without fear? Totally someone we want on our island shortlist.

6. Feste, Twelfth Night

This character is a fool.  No, the kind that Mr. T likes to pity, but that archetypal figure who serves as comic relief by cracking jokes about everyone around them.  That sounds like even better entertainment than cable TV. You know, unless he makes fun of The White Witch. Then we might be in for a cold, er, treat.

How about you, Shmoopers? Who would you take with you to a desert island?