25 Hilarious Butterball Help Line Calls to Share This Thanksgiving

Your turkey troubles are nothing compared to these real calls the Turkey Talk-Line experts have answered.

Butterball turkey help line calls - turkey in oven
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You Won’t Believe These Real-Life Butterball Help Line Calls

For more than three decades, the Butterball Turkey Talk-Line has answered the desperate pleas of hundreds of thousands of Thanksgiving cooks. As you can imagine, in that time the staff of 50-plus experts has heard some pretty outlandish tales of Turkey Day mishaps and fielded some truly bewildering questions. Following are a few favourite conversations from the Butterball hotline operators. And if you need help this holiday season with your bird, don’t forget to call 1-800-BUTTERBALL.

Bathtub filling
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Double duty

A father in charge of thawing the turkey and bathing his toddler twins decided to hit two birds with one stone. “We could hear water splashing in the background, and turns out he has his kids and the turkey in the tub all at the same time,” says Nicole Johnson, Talk-Line co-director. The man was calling to find out if the bath water would be an acceptable method for thawing the turkey.

These chicken jokes are anything but fowl!

Filled freezer
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Turkey treasure

After discovering a turkey from 1969 in his dad’s freezer, an Alabama man called the Butterball help line to ask about the best way to cook the over 30-year-old bird. Although the Talk-Line staffer recommended the open roasting pan method to cook most turkeys, this time she suggested that the first step was to purchase a fresher fowl! This same gentleman also had in his freezer: the top of his wedding cake and a snowball from every snowstorm he’d experienced in Alabama.

Find out how Thanksgiving is celebrated around the world.

Laundry hacks - crumpled aluminum foil
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Sun-kissed feast

Some Thanksgiving chefs take extreme measures to please all guests. A caller was emailed a photo featuring a turkey with a “bikini look.” As she was entertaining guests from the Bahamas, she asked the Talk-Line how she could create a “tropical turkey.” Believe it or not, Talk-Line vet Mary Clingman suggested using aluminum foil as a way to make the turkey look like a sun goddess!

Here are more aluminum foil hacks that’ll come in handy.

Worried woman on phone
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Mother-in-law knows best

One woman called the Butterball help line from a closet so her family couldn’t hear her. “Can you hear me? I’ve never cooked a turkey, and my mother-in-law is convinced I can’t cook—and I can’t cook, but I want to do it,” she whispered. The expert walked her through all the steps, advising against basting the turkey (even though the mother-in-law insisted).

Cute newborn baby
Photo: Yulia Sribna / Shutterstock.com

Food baby

A few hours after his wife had given birth, a new dad called the Butterball help line to make sure the turkey hadn’t been thawing too long while he’d been at the hospital. The Talk-Line staffer asked how much it weighed, to which the flustered father replied, “The turkey or the baby?” After determining the turkey’s weight and thawing time, she assured him he would be able to deliver a safe, delicious Thanksgiving dinner by the time mom and baby got home.

Don’t miss these mouthwatering Thanksgiving appetizer recipes.

Three fingers
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Third time’s a charm

One caller was well versed at walking down the aisle, but not so versed when it came to cooking her Thanksgiving turkey. The caller explained to Carol Miller, a 20-plus-year Talk-Line veteran, that Thanksgiving with her first husband was a bust since she forgot to thaw the turkey. She blundered Thanksgiving with her second husband when the foil pan she was using bent and slipped out of her hands leaving the feast on the floor. She was hoping the third time would be the charm so she called the Butterball Turkey Talk-Line to make sure she was doing everything right!

Mature woman hands slicing vegetables
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All in the family

A woman in her seventies, cooking Thanksgiving dinner for the first time, called for help because her mother said she was tired of cooking and it was time her daughter learned how to prepare the Thanksgiving meal. See, it’s never too late to pick up a new skill!

Master these cooking hacks, and you’ll save time, money and effort in the kitchen.

Santa hat on snowy tree
Photo: OlegDoroshin / Shutterstock.com

Santa’s helpers

Even Santa has Turkey Day questions—he and his wife called the Butterball hotline before making a showing in the Macy’s Thanksgiving Day Parade. The jolly pair wanted to check in on the Turkey Talk-Line experts to see who was naughty and nice, plus get roasting information to make sure their bird turned out picture-perfect. “Guess the Turkey Talk-Line expert made the nice list, because Mrs. Claus was very happy with the help,” says Johnson.

These holiday jokes are sure to put a smile on your face.

Door-to-door salesman knocking on door
Photo: LightField Studios / Shutterstock.com

Borrowed time

Realizing his oven was too small to fit his Thanksgiving turkey, a landlord came up with a solution: switch roles and “rent” one of his tenant’s ovens for $25. He figured his problems were solved until he realized he’d have to constantly interrupt his tenant to baste the turkey. In a panic, he turned to the Turkey Talk-Line to ask how often he’d have to baste. The staffer assured the relieved landlord that just once would do the trick.

Arms holding chainsaw
Photo: Dario Lo Presti / Shutterstock.com

Tools of the trade

Another gentleman called to tell the operator he cut his turkey in half with a chainsaw and wanted to know if the oil from the chain would adversely affect the turkey.

These funny DIY jokes will bring down the house!

Carving turkey at Thanksgiving
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Flipping for turkey

A disappointed woman called wondering why her turkey had no breast meat. After a conversation with a Talk-Line operator, it became apparent that the woman’s turkey was lying on the table upside down.

Find out how to make store-bought stuffing mix taste homemade.

Opening oven door
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The great turkey expansion

A new bride cooking Thanksgiving dinner for the first time in a small, apartment-sized oven wanted to make sure her turkey wouldn’t expand during cooking (as baked goods do) and thus get stuck in the oven.

Need help cultivating an attitude of gratitude? Here’s practical advice on how to be more thankful every day.

Shovelling heavy snow
Photo: Parilov / Shutterstock.com

Snow day

A lady from Colorado called the Butterball help line about “how to thaw” her frozen Butterball. She proudly shared the fact that her turkey was stored in a snow bank outside! It had snowed the night before and it then dawned on her that she didn’t have a clue which snow bank her turkey was in. At that point, the conversation was really over because she was now on a mission to go find her turkey.

Take a look back at the worst snowstorms in Canadian history.

Photo: Mabeline72 / Shutterstock.com

Wash, rinse, and never repeat

A first-time Thanksgiving chef called Marge Klindera, a 20+ year Talk-Line veteran, in tears one Thanksgiving morning. She was so proud to have thawed the turkey successfully and continued to rinse the turkey—with dish soap! The tears started flowing when the turkey wouldn’t stop sudsing. If only she called before she would have found out you don’t have to rinse the turkey—just pat it dry with paper towels.

Find out the one thing you’re not doing with paper towels (but should be).

Photo: Mny-Jhee / Shutterstock.com

Not-so-smooth sailing

Having lost power an hour into roasting, a woman called the Butterball hotline for advice on how to finish safely. Little did the Talk-Line know that the caller’s adventurous neighbour had crashed into a power line while hang gliding, leaving the whole neighbourhood without electricity. The caller was able to transfer her turkey to a gas grill to finish cooking, but Turkey Talk-Line couldn’t save Thanksgiving for the hang glider, who spent the rest of his holiday in the ER. Safety comes first in the kitchen, too.

Kids peeking through oven door
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Keeping it cooking

One mom called in to share how her little girl had asked if they could slow-roast the turkey for three or four days because she liked how it made the house smell. The experts at the Butterball Turkey Talk-Line told her that the turkey should only stay in the oven for a few hours and that it wasn’t a good idea to leave it cooking for four days. (These hacks to get rid of household odours are much more effective!)

Turkey in pan
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It’s a wrap

A proud gentleman called to tell the staff how he wrapped his turkey in a towel and stomped on it several times, breaking the bones so it would fit in his pan.

Florida on map
Photo: Alexander Lukatskiy / Shutterstock.com

State bird

When a Talk-Line staffer asked a caller what state her turkey was in (meaning how thawed was it) the caller responded with, “Florida.”

Here are 25 genuinely funny knock-knock jokes.

Bride and groom on wedding cake
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Keeping up the ruse

The wife of a chef called in, ready to spend their first Thanksgiving together as a married couple. Her husband was convinced she was a great cook… But only because she’d been sneaking restaurant meals into pots and pans before her husband got back for the “homemade” meals. She didn’t want the magic to end on Thanksgiving, so she pulled off the special meal with advice from the Butterball help line.

These hilarious wedding jokes will keep the laughs coming.

Lego bricks
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The secret ingredient

A Kentucky mother had followed Butterball’s instructions for roasting a turkey, and everything seemed to be going smoothly. The bird came out of the oven golden-brown, but there was a strange, bright red colour when she started to carve it. Turns out her son had helped her “season” the turkey with Legos, and she wanted to know if it was still safe to eat.

Every mom and dad will relate to these funny parenting quotes.

Roasted turkey with meat thermometer
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Is this thing done?

One woman was getting worried. Her turkey had been in the oven for seven hours and was still only 140°F, when Butterball recommends cooking it to 165°F or 180°F. The Talk-Line operator figured there was no way it was still undercooked and asked the caller to take it out of the oven and try carving it. Suddenly, there was a burst of laughter in the background. “When she went to pick the turkey up and put on the carving board, the whole thing just disintegrated into pieces,” the operator says. “It wasn’t that the turkey wasn’t done, it was the thermometer that wasn’t working, and it had just been cooked until it was practically falling apart.” Lesson learned: An accurate meat thermometer is worth the investment.

Find out how a hairdryer could be the secret to your best-ever Thanksgiving turkey.

Suitcase on wheels
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Hot wheels

“How do I make gravy?” asked one man. The question wouldn’t be so strange if it hadn’t been for the suitcase he was rolling down the sidewalk. Inside was a fresh-out-of-the-oven turkey that he was bringing to his mom’s house.

Want to make this year’s meal particularly memorable (without resorting to luggage)? Check out these inspired turkey recipes for Thanksgiving.

Opening closet door
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Mum’s the word

Two sisters called from a strange location: the closet of the spare bedroom. They were in charge of making Thanksgiving dinner for the first time and didn’t want their mom to know they needed advice from the Butterball help line.

Here are more funny family jokes to put a smile on your face.

Hot tub
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Getting into hot water

A 16-pound turkey can take longer than expected to thaw, so one caller put the frozen bird in the hot tub and called to ask how long until it was ready to eat, according to Esquire. The answer: never. Letting it defrost in cold water—without heat and jacuzzi chemicals—is the way to go.

Looking for some expert advice yourself? Check out these turkey tips from Butterball spokesperson Shahir Massoud.

Childhood toys - child surrounded by Hot Wheels toy cars
Photo: Sharomka / Shutterstock.com

Lost and found

“We had one mom call, and she was stuffing the turkey, and the kids had their little Matchbox cars, and they would park them in the garage, so to speak,” Talk-Line co-director Sue Smith told Esquire. “So they went to carve the turkey and found the cars in the stuffing.” The kids were thrilled to find the toys they thought they’d lost, but the mother was more concerned with food safety. The stuffing had to be thrown out, but luckily, the turkey got the green light.

Don’t miss these hilarious Tweets about food.

Winking dog
Photo: Zakharova_Elena / Shutterstock.com

Not-so-hot dog

A couple’s oven kept turning off while it was preheating, so they called in to find out if they could use the grill as a plan B, according to Esquire. The Talk-Line adviser said it was a great option and stayed on the line with the wife while her husband fired up the grill. Before they moved the turkey outside, the wife realized the problem: The dog kept jumping up and turning off the oven.

These dog jokes will leave you howling with laughter.

Turkey legs
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Help in a pinch

One caller had always cut the legs off the turkey before putting it in the oven thinking that was how you had to cook a turkey. She later learned that the only reason her mom had been doing that was because their oven had been so small that that was the only way to get the bird into the oven!

Next, check out these funny Thanksgiving quotes that are perfect for sharing around the table.

Reader's Digest
Originally Published on Reader's Digest