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5 episodes to binge while the turkey cooks

These highlights from season 9 will keep the whole family entertained.

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Myron Luzniak/NBC

The New York Times released a list of suggested shows that pair wonderfully with a nice Thanksgiving feast. Smartly, they included American Ninja Warrior on that list.

It looks like Hulu has the most recent season (season nine) at your binge-watching fingertips. You can also watch the episodes on NBC.Com. But if you’re a Ninja Warrior first timer, where should you start? You’re not going to make it through ALL 15 episodes while you chop, stir and bake, so we’re helping newbies focus in on some key episodes.

From our scientific research (AKA: We Googled it), it looks like on average, it takes about four hours to cook a turkey, with an additional 30 mins to 1 hour of resting.

So, here are our suggestions for the five episodes you should watch on Thanksgiving. Don’t agree with us? Let’s hear it in the comments!

*Disclaimer: Every episode from the season is worth it! Our other suggestion is skip shopping on Friday, plop on the couch, and watch the whole dang season while eating leftovers.

Los Angeles Qualifiers

It’s the first episode of the season and hosts Matt Iseman, Akbar Gbajabiamila and Kristine Leahy have that fresh-season glow about them. This episode also covers the introduction of the fan designed obstacles. If you’ve never watched the show before, LA is where you’ll meet a lot of colorful characters like Grant McCartney, Natalie Duran, and Flip Rodriguez.

Cleveland Qualifiers

If you have family and friends wandering back and forth around the television, the Cleveland Qualifiers might just be the episode that sucks them in. Incredibly strong competitors Allyssa Beird and Jesse Labreck take on the course and prove why American Ninja Warrior has become a stand out for providing female role models. You’ll also get to see Joe Moravsky start his journey to a spectacular season.

Daytona City Finals

The City Finals episodes bring along a longer, more grueling course than the Qualifiers. Daytona is a perfect example of that. It’s also a great example of the baffling athletic feats these Ninjas can pull off. If you’ve somehow stayed immune to the excitement around Jessie Graff, you’ll feel it in full force during this episode. You’ll also see the legendary Drew Drechsel in action.

National Finals Night One

It was so hard to pick between Night One and Night Two of the National Finals, but we’re going with the first one. This episode will walk you through the obstacles of Stage One and send some familiar faces sprinting towards the buzzer. It features great performances from Ninjas like Barclay Stockett and Lance Pekus. Keep an eye on that Allyssa Beird...

Season Finale

Now that everyone is glued to the TV, the turkey is resting and dinner is almost done, hit up the season finale. Viewers will be shocked by the devilish obstacles of the second and third stages. And they’ll be cheering on their new heroes. Competitors like Joe Moravsky and Najee Richardson will be all you can talk about when you finally dig into your feast.

We’re also pretty sure that after this little taste, you’ll be going back in for more of American Ninja Warrior’s season nine episodes!