Days of Our Lives Review for the Week of 11-20-23: A Lackluster Thanksgiving, but at Least Salem Celebrated This Year


Thanksgiving is often the forgotten holiday, sandwiched between Halloween and Christmas. So it’s no wonder Eric almost forgot about it.

In recent years, Days of Our Lives has ignored Thanksgiving altogether or given lip service to celebrating it (one year, the only nod to the holiday was a wordless montage where people sat down at the Pub at the end of the episode.)

On Days of Our Lives during the week of 11-20-23, several families celebrated Thanksgiving, which was an improvement over the past. But it didn’t feel much like Thanksgiving over at Julie’s, and the series soon moved on to some intense drama elsewhere.

The off-screen Turkey Trot was a cute idea, but its impact on the characters was silly.

Bill Hayes may not be able to work as much as he used to, but the writers needed a better excuse for Doug’s absence. The idea of Doug taking a nap and joining them for dessert but not eating dinner was ridiculous, especially since he’s the king of family toasts.

To make matters worse, Everett joined Juile for Thanksgiving for a silly reason.

It made no sense that he came over unannounced on Thanksgiving to ask her to do a feature — hasn’t he heard of phone or email as a contact method? And it made even less that Julie not only asked him to stay but that he took over the cooking so that Doug could sleep!

Juile: I asked Everett here to join us for Thanksgiving dinner. He has no family here in Salem, so tonight, we’re his family.
Chad: And you two know each other?
Everett: From a previous life, maybe.

To an extent, it’s believable that Julie would invite a stranger who has no family in Salem to Thanksgiving dinner. It is not plausible that he would do the cooking or that it came about in this silly manner.

The show needed Everett in that living room for two reasons. One was to make inside jokes about how he used to play Julie’s beloved Nick. The other was so he could make Chad uncomfortable.

But how hard would it have been for Doug to have met him at Turkey Trot and invited him to dinner because he had no place to go? That would have made a ton more sense.

I know many crazy things happen in Salem that don’t happen in the real world, but come on! This was nonsensical even by Salem standards.

And to make matters worse, Chad’s kids spent Thanksgiving off-screen, playing in the yard and fighting over a swing.

It didn’t make sense that Chad and Stephanie let them play while the adults had dinner, especially since Stephanie had bribed Thomas with the promise of a vegetable-free meal.

The kids who play Thomas and Charlotte might not have been available, but again, Days of Our Lives handled the issue in a way that didn’t make sense and pulled viewers out of the story. Plus, their absence made Thanksgiving feel not very festive.

There were a few funny moments in the scene — Chad not understanding why Stephanie told him and Everett to go into the kitchen together cracked me up — but overall, it was a dismal Thanksgiving.

At least Chad’s decision to fire Everett during the holiday was a dream! But his two-faced behavior isn’t much better.

He did the same thing with Alex, pretending in front of Stephanie that they were best friends and secretly cutting him out of her life. Is he ever going to learn?

Stephanie isn’t much better, acting cold toward Chad whenever she interacts with him but defending him and the relationship passionately in front of Everett.

This couple is becoming less and less likable. There is no one to root for in this annoying love triangle; the sooner it ends (preferably with everyone going their separate ways!), the better.

This Holly/Johnny/Chanel triangle is also getting on my last nerve. Holly and Johnny would be inappropriate as a couple for many reasons. Holly is a teenager, and Johnny is an adult, so it would be a no-go even if Johnny weren’t already committed to Chanel.

And Tate should have the backbone to tell Holly that he’s not participating in her stupid scheme and that if she doesn’t want to be friends, that’s her loss.

He shouldn’t have shown up unannounced, either — contrary to Brady’s advice, if someone is ghosting you, you don’t show up on their doorstep to continue bothering them.

Johnny is doing the same thing he did when he was with Wendy: canceling dates because he wants to support a friend. He’s also completely oblivious, even after Chanel tried to alert him.

Abe and Paulina’s Thanksgiving was probably the best of all of the Thanksgiving celebrations, even if it was silly that Steve and Kayla had invited Abe but weren’t available to celebrate it.

I’d hoped that Abe kissing Paulina would spark a memory. Abe’s memory loss has lasted far too long, even for a soap. But Abe and Paulina’s awkwardness with each other as they tried to navigate their new reality was the story we should have had on screen all along.

Thank you for showing me those pictures. I don’t want to see anymore. It just hurts to see pictures of my daughter and grandchildren and not have any memories of who they are.


Abe’s pain and sadness upon looking at photos of Lani and the twins were perfect, too. (I wish we’d gotten to see those photos along with him, though!). It was silly for Chanel to leave altogether because of it, but that allowed her to run into Johnny, so that was okay.

Most of the week was dedicated to some front-burner stories.

Maggie’s naivety about Konstantin is annoying and out of character. This woman was married to Victor and often called him out on his shady behavior while he lamented that he couldn’t keep a secret from her!

I’d hoped that even if Konstantin’s alleged connection to Victor clouded her judgment, Xander would realize what was what. Nope. He seems to have also totally bought that Konstantin chased down a kidnapper and got close enough to get punched in the face without seeing who was attacking him.

I guess his judgment is also compromised because Sarah finally stopped throwing tantrums, and the two agreed to co-parent peacefully. But a con artist should know a con artist.

If Leo ever gets out of jail, he can help everyone. Though Steve’s on the case, at least—his trip to Greece is why he couldn’t host Thanksgiving dinner.

The Ava story gets worse every day.

It’s bad enough that Gil’s attempted rape of her was a plot point.

Good for her for shooting him, but still. Other than Ava calling him a pervert and worrying she’ll go to jail for shooting two people in self-defense in as many months, there’s been little reaction to her shooting a guy who tried to force himself on her on her kitchen table.

Sexual assault should never be a mere plot point, but Days of Our Lives uses it that way all the time.

Back in the day, characters reacted emotionally to these experiences, but now they quickly move on to the next plot, or else their response is exaggerated and ridiculous, like when Allie tried to shoot Tripp between the legs.

Tripp and Wendy should be in a hurry to move out of this cursed apartment where people keep getting killed. How many times will they have to stay away from their home because the police have blocked it off as a crime scene before they’ve had enough?

Worse still, Clyde has too much power. There’s no way in hell that a former mob boss like Ava and a ruthless member of the DImera family, who might as well be a mob boss, too, would so easily give in to his demands.

Stefan: Clyde said something about needing to get into the evidence room at Salem PD.
Ava: Yeah, yeah. He had me lift these off of Harris.
Stefan: I’ll take ’em.
Ava: And do what?
Stefan: I’m gonna copy ’em and bring ’em back.
Ava: Yeah?
Stefan: Yeah.
Ava: How do I know I can trust you?
Stefan: Is there any other alternative, Ava? Look, I don’t know about you, but I take Clyde Weston and his threats very seriously. So I’m not gonna let him or any of his goons lay a hand on my wife.So you and I, for the foreseeable future, we’re gonna keep the ones we love very close and very safe. And I’ll tell you this: I’m not gonna let Clyde use me like this for long.

At least Stefan seems to be engaging in some plan to give Clyde enough rope to hang himself, but still. Two mob bosses should have had a counter-move a long time ago.

It’s incredibly frustrating that Clyde threatened Ava in the police station, but she kept her mouth shut. All she had to do was put the phone on speaker when Harris walked in, and that would be that.

Clyde is a one-note character who only knows how to get himself in trouble selling drugs. JJ was utterly inexperienced when he took Clyde down the first time; if he could do it, Ava certainly can!

His plan depends entirely on Ava keeping her mouth shut. She needs to learn the same lesson several Neighbours characters recently learned about keeping unnecessary secrets.

All that has to happen is for her to report this crime and get police protection for Tripp. That’s it. Clyde would be out of luck then.

If she wants to handle it herself, she could tell Harris what’s happening, and the two could devise a plan together.

There is no reason to listen to Clyde and even less for someone like Ava to do so. When your story depends on usually strong characters acting weak, there’s a problem.

Nicole’s story is painful for a different reason. It continues to be unnecessarily cruel.

Nicole: You want to know what I was thinking about before you came in?
Abe: Tell me.
Nicole: Karma.
Abe: Karma?
Nicole: I know you don’t remember, but I used to be a terrible person. I lied and cheated and hurt people. Maybe I wasn’t supposed to bring a child into this world.

However, at least Abe set Nicole straight about this nonsensical idea that she “deserves” to lose her baby. I hope those viewers who are okay with what Sloan is doing because Nicole did something similar to Sami two decades ago were listening.

Ari Zucker continues to rock these scenes and deserves an Emmy for her performance, but I hope this isn’t dragged out too much longer. Nicole needs to be reunited with her baby NOW, not six months, a year, or two years from now.

It’s also annoying that Dr. Pierce’s explanations are increasingly ludicrous and depend on many unlikely coincidences. I know Nicole is depressed, but she and Ej should suspect something isn’t right here.

What do you think, Days of Our Lives fanatics? Hit the big, blue SHOW COMMENTS button and sound off about the Salem Thanksgiving, the baby switch storyline, and anything else on this week’s episodes.

Don’t forget to check back on Sunday for the latest Days of Our Lives Round Table discussion.

Days of Our Lives streams exclusively on Peacock. New episodes drop on weekday mornings at 6/5c.

Jack Ori is a senior staff writer for TV Fanatic. His debut young adult novel, Reinventing Hannah, is available on Amazon. Follow him on X.

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