SparkNotes Blog

15 Ways to Break Up Any Argument at the Dinner Table This Thanksgiving

You know as well as I do that Thanksgiving is not just a time for eating carbs like there’s no tomorrow—it’s also a time for fighting about everything from politics to whether or not a hot dog can be considered a sandwich. (Sure, technically it meets all the sandwich criteria, but putting meat between two halves of bread does not a sandwich make.)

Should you find yourself in the midst of a polarizing debate on the subject of hot dogs, politics, or skim milk (you’re either for it or you’re against it, there is no middle ground), here are some literary ways to break up the argument once and for all:

1. “Keep the peace here, ho!”

2. “Ulysses, noble son of Laertes, stop this warful strife, or Jove will be angry with you.”

3. “I will take it! I will take the Ring to Mordor, though I do not know the way.”

4. “STOP THIS MADNESS IN THE NAME OF YOUR KING!”

5. [Thunder and lightning. Enter three witches.]

6. “A plague o’ both your houses!”

7. “I’VE HAD ENOUGH, I’VE SEEN ENOUGH, I WANT OUT, I WANT IT TO END, I DON’T CARE ANYMORE—”

8. “I saw Goody Proctor with the devil!”

9. “Put away your swords. They’ll get rusty in the dew.”

10. “What are we? Humans? Or animals? Or savages?”

11. “Three civil brawls…by thee, old Capulet, and Montague, have thrice disturb’d the quiet of our streets…if ever you disturb our streets again, your lives shall pay the forfeit of the peace.”

12. “Hold back, you men of Ithaca, back from brutal war! Break off—shed no more blood—make peace at once!”

13. “Unarm, unarm, and do not fight to-day.”

14. [Enter two Clowns, with spades and pickaxes.]

15. “The Ministry has fallen. Scrimgeour is dead. They are coming.”