Two Iowa-raised turkeys, Tater and Tot, were pardoned by the president. Both are 18 weeks old, weigh roughly 40 pounds and stand a little over 2 feet tall.
Making light of the tradition, Obama gave a lighthearted pun-filled speech.
"I want to take a moment recognize the brave turkeys who weren't so lucky, who didn't get to ride the gravy train to freedom," joked Obama. "Who met their fate with courage and sacrifice, and proved that they weren't chicken."
Obama said he has used the past pardoning ceremonies to embarrass his daughters with bad jokes about turkeys.
"This year, they had a scheduling conflict. Actually, they just couldn't take my jokes anymore," the president said.
His nephews, Austin and Aaron Robinson, filled in. Obama joked they had not yet been turned cynical by Washington.
"They still believe in bad puns. They still believe in the grandeur of this occasion," Obama said. "They still have hope."
This was Obama's last turkey pardon.