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As Thanksgiving rapidly approaches, Bartlet must decide what to do with 83 Chinese citizens who stowed away on a ship bound for California in order to seek asylum from religious persecution. C.J. has her own minor crisis to deal with when she is forced to chose one of the two turkeys that will receive a Presidential "pardon". Meanwhile, Toby encourages the President to appoint Leo's sister to an education post despite Leo's objections; Josh, Sam and Toby make plans to watch the football game; and Charlie is sent out to find the perfect knife for Bartlet to use for Thanksgiving dinner.
This episode was nominated for a 2001 Emmy Award for Outstanding Directing for a Drama Series.
This episode, in conjunction with several others from this episode, won the 2001 Emmy Award for Outstanding Drama Series.
Donna: Didn't you go to elementary school?
C.J.: Yes, right before being a National Merit Scholar.
Bartlet: (to the turkey) By the power vested in me by the Constitution of the United States, I hereby pardon you.
Bartlet: No, it's not okay! Morton, I can't pardon a turkey. If you think I can pardon a turkey, then you have got to go back to your school and insist you be better prepared to go out in the world.
Donna: You can't pardon a turkey, sir?
C.J.: They sent me two turkeys. The more photo-friendly of the two gets a presidential pardon and a full life at a children's zoo, and the runner-up gets eaten.
Bartlet: If the Oscars were like that, I'd watch.
Josh: I was just flipping a nickel in my office - sixteen times it came up tails.
Toby says that Jamestown was incorporated in the 16th century. However, Jamestown was incorporated in 1607, which is in the 17th century.