In this ThanksgivingEpisode, Lois cooks up a big dinner and invites friends, family, and neighbors -- but the dinner turns into a political discussion when Joe's estranged son, Kevin, returns from fighting in Iraq, revealing that he deserted his position in protest.
* BothSidesHaveAPoint: Averted with Peter, who doesn't seem to feel that strongly about either side.
* {{Bowdlerization}} and CriticalResearchFailure: Brian's line after Ida tells him that Kevin was wrong to desert his post in Iraq is "Well, you're just a dumb tranny" in the DVD version. On TV, the line is "Well, you're a dumb drag queen." A drag queen and a tranny (transsexual) are not the same thing, even though they're both in the LGBT spectrum. A drag queen is a man (a homosexual one, hence the "queen" part[[note]]a heterosexual male who crossdresses is just called a crossdresser[[/note]]) who dresses in an exaggerated feminine manner. A transsexual (specifically a male-to-female one) gets surgery done to be a woman. However, this can be excused as social ignorance on Brian's part and the fact that the latter word has come to be used disparagingly against transsexuals and Fox may have requested a less harsh alternative to the original line, as they have before.
* JustFollowingOrders: Ida believes a good soldier should always do this. Kevin counterpoints with the [[GodwinsLaw usual nugget]], pointing out that blindly following orders historically enables the deaths of countless innocents.
* MamaBear: Bonnie objects to Joe trying to arrest Kevin, even though he deserted the army.
* NoSympathy: Brian thinks Ida should understand Kevin's reason for deserting. She doesn't, and wouldn't have done the same. She tells him that desertion is wrong, plain and simple. In Quagmire's case, he's racist against the Middle-East ever since 9/11.
* ScrewTheRulesImDoingWhatsRight: Both Kevin and Joe had reasons for disobeying the law. Lampshaded by Kevin.
-->''"You knew what your duty said what you were supposed to do, but instead, you did what you thought was right."''
* ShipSinking: Kevin calls Meg a skank. Well, so much for the romance that was implied between them in the early seasons.
* ShoutOut:
** ''Series/AllInTheFamily'': A remarkably similar situation a draft dodger who was living in Canada, to escape prosecution for ignoring his notice to report for duty and fight in the Vietnam War - was shown on a Holiday Episode, that being that series' 1976 ChristmasEpisode "The Draft Dodger." Like ''Family Guy'''s "Thanksgiving," the guest character is able to keep hold of his secret but as another character begins asking questions the truth slowly is revealed, leading to anger, disgust and an emotional argument about the merits of said war and questioning its morality, before a counterpoint is made and peace is (somewhat) restored.
* UnwittingInstigatorOfDoom: Peter asking to see Kevin's Purple Heart leads to the revelation of Kevin's desertion.
* WarIsHell: What Kevin believes. However most of them (including Ida and Quagmire, but not Brian) don't see it that way, and are angry at his desertion.
* WhatTheHellHero: Most of the characters (particularly Ida and Quagmire, with the exception of Brian) call Kevin out for deserting the army, ignoring his reason.