Unforgettable Christmas Episodes: The Best TV Shows to Watch During the Holidays
Get ready to snuggle up by the fire with a cup of hot cocoa and indulge in the best TV show Christmas episodes that will transport you to festive joy and laughter. From beloved classics like "The Office" and "Friends" to quirky gems like "New Girl" and "Community," these episodes are the perfect blend of heartwarming holiday spirit and delightful entertainment. Join us as we delve into the most memorable and enchanting moments from the best TV show Christmas episodes that will make your yuletide season merry and bright.
New Girl — "Christmas Eve Eve
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The Secret Santa tradition is always a fun time with friends, but when it comes to the New Girl crew, you can expect nothing less than dysfunction and hilarity. Get ready for a chaotic and funny holiday episode!
"Christmas Eve" (Season 3, Episode 7)
Despite being a show ripe for holiday content, Superstore didn't have its first holiday special until season 3. In this episode, Amy decides to loosen up and have some fun on Christmas Eve after her coworkers call her boring. Meanwhile, Jonah and Garrett find themselves dealing with roommate problems while taking pictures with kids, and Glenn tries to make Mateo a believer.
"Christmas Eve" is a hilarious episode that fully embraces the holiday spirit. Don't miss the adorable romantic gesture at the end!
The Office — "Christmas Party
Michael Scott's iPod mishap and Jim's thoughtful secret Santa gift for Pam make this Christmas episode of The Office a must-watch during the winter season.
Happy Days — "Guess Who's Coming to Christmas
In short, this Christmas special of Happy Days serves as a reminder to check in on your friends during the holiday season. The episode is filled with comedy, heartbreak, and drama.
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The Bear Season 2, Episode 6 "Fishes
Prepare for the most stressful family holiday gathering ever in this nail-biting episode of The Bear. Every question you have about Carmy's family gets answered in this intense and cameo-filled Christmas special.
The West Wing (1999-2006)
"In Excelsis Deo" (Season 1, Episode 10)
Along with featuring Jed Bartlet, one of the greatest fictional presidents around, The West Wing showcases its amazing ensemble in the season 1 Christmas episode "In Excelsis Deo." This episode tells a variety of stories centered around the main characters.
From Toby honoring a homeless veteran to C.J. getting involved in a hate crime assault to President Bartlet's last-minute shopping, "In Excelsis Deo" highlights both the joys and tragedies of the holiday season.
Glee Season 2, Episode 10 "A Very Glee Christmas
Not many Christmas episodes have their own album, but Glee's holiday special does. While you can just listen to the songs, watching the episode is highly recommended. Kurt and Blaine's duet and Sue Sylvester's Grinch homage are just a couple of the highlights in this excellent standalone episode.
The OC Season 1, Episode 13 "The Best Chrismukkah Ever
The OC introduces the concept of Chrismukkah, where Christmas and Hanukkah are combined. In this episode, Seth, the creator of Chrismukkah, plays the two girls vying for his attention against each other. With two holidays and two girlfriends, it's a Chrismukkah miracle if disaster can be avoided.
Boy Meets World — "A Very Topanga Christmas
Topanga has strong opinions, and when she starts suggesting how Cory should celebrate Christmas, Cory begins to question how much influence she has over his life.
The Golden Girls — "'Twas the Nightmare Before Christmas
When it comes to Christmas, nobody does it quite like The Golden Girls! This holiday special is filled with comedy, heartbreak, and drama.
Seinfeld Season 9, Episode 10 "The Strike
"The Strike" is the episode of Seinfeld that introduced the world to Festivus, a holiday that rejects the commercialism of Christmas and focuses on airing grievances. This hilarious episode is a must-watch.
Downton Abbey — "Christmas at Downton Abbey
A Christmas proposal becomes a reality for Mary in this dreamy episode of Downton Abbey. Don't miss out on the romantic scene!
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Ted Lasso — "Carol of the Bells
Ted Lasso's Christmas episode is filled with holiday cheer that will uplift your spirits no matter when you watch it, even if it's in the middle of summer!
The Brady Bunch — "The Voice of Christmas
This Christmas special of The Brady Bunch showcases loads of family chaos that ultimately leads to a heartwarming moment when the Brady kids decide to postpone the holiday until their sick mother feels better.
Gilmore Girls — "The Bracebridge Dinner
Lorelai's Christmas party and the snowy town of Stars Hollow provide the perfect setting for falling in love with this heartwarming episode.
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Abbott Elementary Season 2 Episode 10 "Holiday Hookah
Abbott Elementary already has an unforgettable Christmas episode. This episode captures the awkwardness of encountering coworkers outside of the workplace, especially during the holidays when everyone is in a different mindset. And if you have a crush on a coworker, things can get even more complicated. Will Janine be saved?
Family Matters — "Christmas Is Where the Heart Is
Carl and Steve Urkel find themselves stuck on a train during the holiday season, and that's exactly why this episode's title is so fitting. This comedy also delivers a heartwarming message.
Parks and Recreation — "Christmas Scandal
Depending on your type of humor, this might just be the funniest episode on this list.
Black Mirror (2011-)
"White Christmas" (Season 2, Episode 4)
"White Christmas" is a dark and terrific episode of Black Mirror, featuring Jon Hamm in a holiday special. The episode explores the concept of capturing consciousness and preserving it inside technology for consumer use. It's a must-watch for fans of A Christmas Carol and How the Grinch Stole Christmas.
Mythic Quest Season 3, Episode 6 "The 12 Hours of Christmas
In typical Mythic Quest fashion, their Christmas episode revolves around having to work through the holiday. Although the characters struggle with work-life balance, they still manage to find moments to celebrate. But geez, they really need to work on their priorities!
I Love Lucy — "The Christmas Show
Fun fact: This episode of I Love Lucy made history as the first-ever "flashback" episode on television.
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Mad Men Season 5, Episode 10 "Christmas Waltz
Among Mad Men's Christmas episodes, the fifth season entry is a standout because of the interactions between Don and Joan. Their rare moments together reveal a mutual respect and camaraderie in the male-dominated world of a 1960s advertising agency. Plus, this episode features Joan snapping at Meredith the incompetent receptionist. Who isn't pushed to their limit during Christmas?
Buffy the Vampire Slayer — "Amends
"Amends" is one of the more touching episodes of Buffy the Vampire Slayer. This Christmas special showcases the true power of love and how it can overcome any situation.
Saved by the Bell — "Home for Christmas: Part 2
Zack Morris and the gang take on holiday jobs at the mall, where they end up helping a family in need. This heartwarming episode reminds us of the true meaning of Christmas.
The Simpsons (1989-)
"Simpsons Roasting On An Open Fire" (Season 1, Episode 1)
With its long and storied history on television, The Simpsons has produced numerous Christmas episodes over the years, but none can surpass the original. The very first episode of the show finds the Simpson family facing financial hardship before Christmas, prompting Homer to take on a job as a mall Santa Claus.
While The Simpsons has changed throughout its many seasons, this episode still delivers plenty of laughs and fun. It culminates in a surprisingly heartwarming conclusion that sets the tone for the rest of the series.
"Regional Holiday Music" (Season 3, Episode 10)
Throughout its run, Community has taken playful jabs at rival show Glee, and this Christmas episode fully embraces that humorous rivalry. When the enthusiastic glee club teacher Mr. Radison enlists the study group to put on the annual holiday show, each member becomes progressively brainwashed into embracing the Christmas spirit.
Known for its musical numbers, Community delivers some of its best in this episode. It offers the yuletide fun one would expect, along with a cleverly hidden dark revelation regarding the former glee club.
Hart Of Dixie (2011-2015)
"Blue Christmas" (Season 2, Episode 10)
For fans of heartwarming small-town stories, Hart of Dixie is the perfect show to watch during the holiday season. "Blue Christmas" is just one of several Christmas episodes, and it stands out as the best.
The episode follows Zoe as she searches for a replacement Santa, while Lemon and Lavon work to create the perfect gift for Ruby. Throughout the episode, festive Christmas lights and decorations contribute to an overall sense of holiday spirit.
The Mindy Project Season 2, Episode 11 “Christmas Party Sex Trap”
Mindy Kaling, formerly a writer on The Office before creating her own sitcom, knows how to deliver a great Christmas episode. In this episode, she gives a character a dramatic backstory involving gingerbread houses. The chemistry between Mindy and Danny is electric, especially during their impressive dance number. If you need a reminder, this is the episode with the unforgettable dance scene.
It's Always Sunny In Philadelphia (2005-)
"A Very Sunny Christmas" (Season 6, Episode 13)
Fans of It's Always Sunny in Philadelphia are treated to a hilarious special holiday episode in this long-running FXX series. The episode follows the gang's misadventures at the mall as they get into all sorts of mischief and trouble.
One particularly memorable scene involves Charlie confronting the mall Santa, accusing him of sleeping with his mother before launching an attack. The gang must then escape while fending off angry children, mischievous elves, and even Santa himself.
"The One With the Holiday Armadillo" (Season 7, Episode 10)
The holiday-themed episodes of Friends are always crowd favorites. While the show is renowned for its Thanksgiving episodes, it also boasts several memorable Christmas episodes and other holiday-themed episodes.
In the season seven episode "The One With the Holiday Armadillo," Ross attempts to introduce his son to the joy of Chanukah by dressing up as Santa Claus. However, his plans quickly spiral into absurdity, resulting in hilarious moments and chaotic mishaps.
Full House (1987-1995)
"Our Very First Christmas Show" (Season 2, Episode 9)
Surprisingly, it took until the second season for Full House to have an official Christmas-themed episode. However, the wait was worth it. Danny's meticulously planned trip to visit family in Colorado for the holidays is disrupted by a sudden blizzard that traps the Tanner family at a small airport. As a result, Stephanie becomes increasingly worried about Santa finding their new location.
"Our Very First Christmas Show" offers something for everyone. The holiday drama heightens the stakes, the kids find themselves in various mischievous situations, and the romance between Jesse and Becky adds a touch of sweetness to the episode.
This Is Us (2016-2022)
"Last Christmas" (Season 1, Episode 10)
Every episode of This Is Us is filled with emotion and heart, and their first-ever Christmas-themed episode truly exemplifies this. In the past timeline, the Pearson family rushes Kate to the hospital when she falls ill with appendicitis. While there, they encounter Dr. K and lend him a helping hand for once.
Meanwhile, in the present timeline, Kevin reluctantly pretends to be Sloane's boyfriend at her family's Hanukkah party, Randall talks a man down from the edge of a building at the office holiday party, and Rebecca and Kate visit her gastric-bypass surgeon. This episode blends moments of laughter and tears, making it perfect for those who miss the chaos and love of their own family's Christmas celebrations.
The O.C. (2003-2007)
"The Best Chrismukkah Ever" (Season 1, Episode 13)
In the early seasons of the beloved teen drama The O.C., the show introduced the concept of Chrismukkah, which quickly became a cultural phenomenon. This episode sees Seth attempting to combine the best aspects of Hanukkah and Christmas to create the ultimate holiday celebration.
Even years later, Chrismukkah remains a topic of discussion in popular culture, thanks to its impact on viewers. The concept was revisited on the show multiple times, demonstrating its enduring popularity.
"The Constant" (Season 4, Episode 5)
"The Constant" may not be a traditional Christmas-themed episode, but it stands out as one of the best episodes of the entire Lost series. It follows the desperate journey of Desmond Hume as he tries to reconnect with his long-lost love, Penny.
The emotional impact of this episode is profound, with viewers often finding themselves in tears as Desmond and Penny finally manage to reconnect after years apart. Their poignant phone call remains one of the most powerful scenes in the entire show.
NEXT: 10 Best Sci-Fi and Fantasy Holiday TV Episodes For A Fantastical Christmas
These are just a few of the many beloved TV shows that have delighted audiences with their unforgettable Christmas episodes. Whether it's the heartwarming holiday cheer of "New Girl" or the hilarious mishaps in "The Office," these episodes have become must-watch classics during the festive season. From sitcoms to dramas, these shows have managed to capture the essence of Christmas and create memorable moments that have brought joy to viewers year after year. So gather around the TV, grab some hot cocoa, and get ready to relive the magic of these best TV show Christmas episodes.
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