Is Thanksgiving Dinner In A Can A Real Thing?

During the holiday season, there are those who pride themselves on whipping up an entire spread complete with all the trimmings. Then there are those who'd prefer to have Thanksgiving entirely by can. Microwave a bit of this, mix up and season a bit of that — throw it all together and you can still enjoy a classic Thanksgiving dinner, even if it's not made from scratch. Imagine, instead, a single can containing all your Thanksgiving favorites. You pop it open and pour out the full feast onto your plate. To most people with a working palate, this is not an appetizing alternative to a full-course, solid meal.

We're a little more than happy to report that such a thing doesn't exist, except in the form of wet dog food on Amazon. That actually makes a lot of sense, texture-wise. If you were an avid gamer in the United Kingdom circa 2013 and were involved in any sort of online gaming community, you may have actually seen such Thanksgiving in a can go viral. Even though this questionable product was labeled "Christmas Tinner," one could just as well eat it on Thanksgiving. Holiday dinners in the United States tend to feature many of the same easy holiday recipes. One of the UK's leading game retailers announced Christmas Tinner in 2013 and marketed it toward the "lazy gamer." The purple can has managed to resurface online year after year as a meme but it turns out it was all fake.

Christmas Tinner was an art piece turned marketing hoax

Anyone who spends any time online cultivates some sense of media literacy, but even then, the right headline and marketing tactics can make someone believe anything. After Game announced Christmas Tinner in 2013 as a purchasable item that people in the UK could get their hands on, it went global. Social media ran with it, news outlets covered it, and countless articles were published to relay the announcement. All the while, Game's website said the cans were perpetually sold out. The website's infographic showed the can's contents, labeling around 10 foods by layer. Those layers included turkey, minced pie, roasted veggies, and even figgy pudding. Truly a mouthful.

Only one review had surfaced on YouTube of someone actually trying this dubious Christmas-by-the-can feast (and wholeheartedly enjoying it). Then Christmas Tinner dropped off the map altogether, outside of being an annual online joke. In 2019, Game announced the can's long-awaited comeback, even offering vegan options. That attracted media attention all over again. The YouTube channel, Did You Know Gaming, posted a video detailing an impressively deep dive into this weird part of internet history. The video debunks Christmas Tinner's existence via a whole lot of journalism legwork. In short, the YouTube reviewer's stories of how he acquired the can didn't match up. The Christmas Tinner's insides were actually a satirical art piece created by the same guy who made an egg the most liked photo on Instagram that one time.