Thanksgiving Fails - Do Not Try This At Home

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From dishes to decorations, people love to go all-out for Thanksgiving. Whether you're hosting the big meal at your house or bringing a side dish to share, now is the time when folks are known to pull out all the stops.

But beware—the higher you aim, the further you can fall. As proof, we present the following Thanksgiving fails below, courtesy of our pals at Instagram. Our cascade of cautionary tales runs the gamut from hellish home decor snafus to malicious meal-killers. Once you're done cringing, make your list of things not to do for the holidays.

1. Don't forget to set a timer

It doesn't matter if this is your first or 50th time roasting a turkey, the cardinal rule of cooking is to always set a timer. Especially on Thanksgiving Day, when you could get lost in conversation or sucked into watching the football game, a timer counting down the minutes until you should check the bird could save you from this terribly toasty disaster.

2. Kids and paint don't mix

Parents, we know using your kiddo's handprint or footprint on a seasonal craft is cute, but when said toddler refuses to sit still or step right where you want, you will pay the price.

3. Spelling counts, especially on a banner

A banner can be festive, but a banner with a glaring typo kind of defeats the point. No matter how busy you are leading up to the big day, if you're assigned decoration duty, double- and triple-check your spelling!

4. Grilling outdoors? Watch those flames

If your turkey's on a grill, keep in mind that it should never be left unattended—that's an open flame in there! If this does happen to you, here's a bit of advice if your bird goes up in flames: Do not pour water on it. Smother the flames by keeping the cover on, and keep a fire extinguisher close at hand in case the flames don't subside on their own.

5. Food styling should be left to the pros

Don't feel too down on yourself if your sad attempt at making a cranberry sauce "rose" turns out as poorly as this one. The inspiration dish came from a magazine that likely paid a professional photographer and food stylists big bucks to make it look picture-perfect.

6. Keep the comedian of the family away from the turkey

Someone clearly thought he was being funny, but his lowbrow attempt at humor may not have gone over too well. Raw turkey—or any raw meat in general—should never be manhandled or made to look like it's relaxing on the sofa with a beer. And we shudder thinking about how many people's grubby hands have touched that TV remote!

7. It may not look pretty, but it (probably) tastes fine

Nothing says Thanksgiving like forcing down a bite of your great aunt's mushy Brussels sprouts and butternut squash side dish while forcing a smile. In all fairness, this dish might taste OK, but looks do matter.

8. Cake pops are not for the novice baker

Cake pops, when made well, are big crowd-pleasers. But if you aren't very confident in your baking abilities—specifically your ability to form a perfect chocolate orb—you should think twice about attempting this dessert. It's not as easy as it looks!

9. Don't get fancy with your pie decorations

Additional garnishes like acorns and leaves made from pie crust are a nice touch, but many amateur bakers underestimate how long it actually takes to make these decorations. Perhaps this wouldn't have been such a pumpkin pie fail if the baker had focused on the quality of the desert itself. Save the pie!

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