The 7 best Thanksgiving meal dishes, ranked by Pike

Thanksgiving dinner
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The greatest eating holiday of the year is here so break out your favorite loose-fitting, elastic-waisted pants. I'm talking about Thanksgiving. No other holiday compares when it comes to the amount of delicious food available. Go ahead and try to name a better one. Halloween? Sure candy is cool but it's nothing compared to a big slab of mashed potatoes and heavy gravy. Easter? Please, that's just more candy and a little ham. 4th of July? Nice try, hot dogs aren't even real food.

I love Thanksgiving for all of the same reasons you probably do: The food, the football, waking up early to watch the parade, the leftover food, and spending time with your family. There's a lot of debate when it comes to what traditional Thanksgiving meal dishes reign supreme, so I am here to settle the debate with an official ranking. Remember, this is not just my personal opinion but is actual fact proven by scientists. Here we go:

7. Green Bean Casserole

Green Bean Casserole
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Green Bean Casserole comes in last because I just don't think it's necessary. It's delicious on its own, but I just can never seem to justify giving up any real estate on my plate to this mid-level casserole. I don't know how it even ended up as a Thanksgiving staple. Are you telling me that the pilgrims were whipping up casseroles on the first Thanksgiving? I doubt it seriously.

6. Turkey

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It's dry. It takes hours to prepare. You've gotta remove random reproductive organs first, or whatever a "gizzard" is. Honestly it feels like we're just serving turkey out of respect at this point. It's the official symbol of the holiday. You don't think of Thanksgiving without also thinking of a little turkey, gobble gobble, etc., but it is far from the best thing on the table. That said, it's so much better on leftover sandwiches. (oh, and dark meat is 10x better than white)

5. Bread

Dinner Rolls
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Serving bread on Thanksgiving just seems a little extra, doesn't it? Like, we probably don't need it. Thankfully you don't need much plate space for it since you can just plop it on top of everything else. That said, the classic dinner role absolutely shines when it comes time to mop up the remaining mashed potatoes and gravy on your plate.

4. Mashed Potatoes

Mashed Potatoes
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Speak of the devils, you've gotta have the ol' mashed 'taters on your plate. When done right, mashed potatoes can be elite. The best part about this dish is that you can shamelessly pour the gravy all over your plate. Doesn't matter what it lands on, it only adds to the experience. (Tip: Keep #2 in a separate dish to avoid any cross-contamination)

3. Pumpkin Pie

Pumpkin Pie
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We can't forget about dessert. Coming in at #3 is the classic Pumpkin Pie. You could also include any other pies here, like apple, or the always delicious pecan pie. Pumpkin is my preference, though. Pile on some whip cream, or if you're feeling real crazy, some vanilla ice cream, and there's no amount of "full" I could be that would stop me from cutting myself a piece or two of Pumpkin pie.

2. Cranberries

Cranberry Sauce
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You won't find a bigger supporter of cranberry sauce than me. It feels like the healthiest dish on the table, doesn't it? That's what I tell myself as I guzzle down my 4th helping, anyway. Go ahead and let the sauce run wild throughout your plate, it's only adding the perfect of amount of "sweet" to the otherwise "salty" meal.

1. Stuffing

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Here's our winner in all its glory, stuffing. It's the perfect compliment to every other dish on this list. I don't know what it is, but it feels like it ties everything together. I think you literally could go without any of the other dishes and it'd be fine, but remove the stuffing and it just feels like another Thursday night dinner.

So there's my top 7. Do you agree with these piping hot takes? I'm on IG @piketaylorradio, let me know what you hate or love about my list. However you might rank them, I hope you get to enjoy them all this Thursday with your family and friends. At the end of the day, food is food, but it's our loved ones that make the day special. (very, very emotional and heartwarming quote!)

Featured Image Photo Credit: bhofack2/Getty Images/Staff