‘We wait all year for pie, family drama and this tweet’: The internet still loves annual meetup of grandma, teen from viral Thanksgiving story

'I was patiently waiting for these pics!'


Brooke Sjoberg

Internet Culture

Published Nov 26, 2021   Updated Nov 29, 2021, 10:31 am CST

For the sixth consecutive Thanksgiving, Jamal Hinton and Wanda Dench spent the holiday at the same table.

Those unfamiliar with the names may recall a viral tweet from 2016, when Dench accidentally texted Hinton, thinking he was her grandson. The then 17-year-old Hinton was invited to the Dench’s Thanksgiving dinner, hosted by Wanda and her husband Lonnie, which became a tradition that carried on even at the height of the COVID-19 pandemic last year.

The Denchs both caught COVID in 2020, leaving one empty seat at the Thanksgiving table that year after Lonnie passed.

“As some of you may have already found out tonight Lonnie did not make it… he passed away Sunday morning but Wanda told me all the love and support he was receiving put a huge smile on his face so I thank every single one of you guys for that!” Hinton wrote in an April 2020 tweet.

But the tradition has carried on. On Thursday, Hinton tweeted a photo of their annual gathering, this time with a photo of Lonnie joining the family for dinner in 2021.

The annual reunion of Dench and Hinton is something the internet celebrates each year. This year, one Twitter user noted that their annual gathering and the accompanying tweet had “become part of the whole world’s Thanksgiving tradition.”

“Like we wait all year for pie, family drama and this tweet,” the Twitter user added.

That Twitter user was far from the only one who chimed in on the annual tweet.

The Daily Dot has reached out to Hinton via Twitter DM regarding this year’s celebration.

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*First Published: Nov 26, 2021, 12:33 pm CST