The ‘Thanksgiving Grandma’ Is All Set To Host Jamal Hinton For A Sixth Year

The most wholesome Thanksgiving tradition online will continue this year when Jamal Hinton visits the home of Wanda Dench for the sixth year in a row.

The pair became internet icons in 2016 when Dench accidentally texted Hinton about her upcoming Thanksgiving plans, thinking Hinton was her grandson. After Hinton corrected her, he joked, “Can I still get a plate?” Dench responded, “Of course you can, that’s what Grandma’s do. Feed everyone!”

texts between jamal hinton and wanda dench

Hinton gamely appeared at the Dench’s on Thanksgiving 2016, and he and the Dench’s hit it off. The pair have been meeting every Thanksgiving since, becoming minor internet sensations in the process.

Hinton and Dench have undergone several life changes throughout the years. Hinton now attends with his girlfriend, Mikaela. Dench’s husband Lonnie passed away last year due to COVID-19.

Ahead of their 2020 meetup, Dench spoke with TODAY and explained how the pair’s unlikely friendship came to pass and how it’s stayed strong over the years.

“My grandson that originally started all of this by changing his phone number and not telling me he changed it,” she said.

“Jamal taught me that age made absolutely no difference. I love all of my grandkids and kids, but we all are different generations and we all reminisce about different things. But when Jamal came along, my husband and I and him and his girlfriend, we would go out to dinner throughout the year together and we would just lose all track of time. That’s when it dawned on me that there doesn’t have to be a generation gap to have friendships. So now I look at a lot of young people in a different light than I used to and I make it a point to talk and get to know them. He’s changed my life a lot, I know that.”