Tis the season!
Snowy days, cozy blankets, days off, a fire crackling in the fire place, the smell of pine in the air...
Christmas has a feel to it that no other holiday does. It truly is the most wonderful time of the year!
In honor of this sacred holiday, I've gathered 25 of the most memorable Christmas episodes on TV. Some are funny and make you laugh; some are heartfelt and leave you comforted; and some are terrifying and make you glad you weren't there.
I've recommended 25 episodes so you can watch one every day leading up to Christmas. If anyone actually does this, please let me know because that would be awesome! Otherwise, feel free to skip around or just pick and choose.
One more thing, there are bound to be Christmas episodes you think are missing so definitely let me know in the comments.
Now, enjoy reliving the Christmas memories of your favorite TV friends and family!
Dec. 1st: "The Bracebridge Dinner" - Gilmore Girls
We begin with Gilmore Girls since I know most of you are going through withdrawals after binge watching season 8 in one day. On this episode, Lorelai and Sookie plan an elaborate meal only to lose their guests when they’re snowed in so they decide to invite the town instead. Throughout the beautifully decorated festivities, Rory pretends she’s not interested in Jess, Luke pretends he’s not interested in Lorelai, and Lorelai’s parents get a much needed mini-vacation. You can watch the full episode on Netflix.
Dec. 2nd: "Santa Simulation" - The Big Bang Theory
It was hard to pick just one Christmas episode from The Big Bang Theory but this is my favorite because it has a girls night out, Raj and Amy sharing hilarious horror stories of dealing with the opposite sex and a soft side of Sheldon. On this episode, the guys plan a Christmas themed Dungeons and Dragons game where Santa is kidnapped. When the girls learn they're not allowed to play they get dressed up to show the guys what they're missing and go out for drinks. Raj ends up tagging along which provides some of the funniest moments of the episode. During the game, we learn that Sheldon hates Christmas because he asked Santa to bring his Pop Pop back from the dead when he was 5 and all he got was lincoln logs. You can watch the full episode on CBS All Access.
Dec. 3rd: "The Strike" - Seinfeld
A Festivus for the rest of us! Kramer wants to resurrect the forgotten holiday which George's dad invented as an alternative to the commercialism of Christmas. We also find out Kramer's been on strike for 12 years and finally goes back to work at a bagel shop only to go on strike again when they refuse to give him time off for Festivus. Elsewhere on the episode, Elaine is trying to track down a guy she gave a fake number to because she accidently wrote it on the back of her free sub card and George creates a fake charity so he doesn't have to give Christmas gifts to his co-workers. It's a classic Seinfeld episode and one of the best of its last season. You can watch the full episode on Hulu.
Dec. 4th: "A Very Sunny Christmas" - It's Always Sunny in Philadelphia
Dennis and Dee are their usual whiny, entitled selves as they complain that Frank buys the presents they want and keeps them for himself. This year it’s a Lamborghini and a designer purse. Charlie and Mac reminisce about their childhoods which turn out to be horrific as Charlie discovers his mom was banging multiple “Santas” and Mac’s family was breaking into other people’s houses and stealing their presents. As usual the group is at their worst and it's awesome. Uplifting? No. Heartfelt? Not at all. The episode ends with them throwing rocks at trains because it’s really the only thing they have left to hold onto. You can watch the full episode on Hulu or Netflix.
Dec. 5th: "Christmas in the Car" - Bob's Burgers
This episode reminds me so much of 2001's Joy Ride. The Belchers head out on Christmas Eve to get a new tree after their first two die. While out, they cut off the driver of a candy cane truck who responds by chasing them. In their attempts to avoid him they end up spending Christmas Eve and the first few hours of Christmas in the car. Meanwhile, back at their house, Teddy stops by to turn off the oven and ends up stealing the episode. You can find current episodes of Bob's Burgers on Fox Now.
Dec. 6th: "The Best Chrismukkah Ever" - The OC
This episode will always be remembered for Summer's gift to Seth -- her in a Wonder Woman outfit. I mean, DAMN. The girl looked amazing. Anna was great but we all knew she didn’t stand a chance. Although Seth was forced to pick between the two girls, he will never have to choose between his mother’s waspy Christmas and his dad’s Jewish Hannukah because he created the best holiday ever – Chrismukkah. Eight days of presents followed by one day of many presents. The fact that it was Ryan’s first Christmas with the Cohens only made it that much more special. You can watch the full episode on Hulu.
Dec. 7th: "Express Christmas" - Modern Family
The Dunphy/Pritchett/Tucker/Delgado clan realizes they won't be together on Christmas and decides to celebrate on the last day they're all available, December 16th. Since that day is today they spring into action. Everyone pairs up and is assigned a job – Phil and Manny get the food; Jay and Cam wrap the presents; Gloria and Luke retrieve the Christmas ornaments; Mitchell, Alex and Lily go tree-shopping; and Claire and Haley head to Target. Schenanigans ensue and nothing goes as planned but at least they end up with a nice Christ- er, December 16th surprise. You can watch the full episode on Amazon Video.
Dec. 8th: "Abed's Uncontrollable Christmas" - Community
Disappointed with life, Abed uses claymation and a group therapy session to find the meaning of Christmas. His friends reluctantly tag along but get ejected, one by one, along the way as they bring down the Christmas spirit. Abed's determined to get to the North Pole because he's sure that's where he'll find the meaning of Christmas. Unfortunately, all he finds is the first season of Lost. Luckily, his friends return and remind him what Christmas is for through the magic of song. You can watch the full episode on Hulu.
Dec. 9th: "O Come All Ye Faithful" - The Vampire Diaries
This episode is not merry, bright or filled with Christmas spirit, but I like a little variety to my TV shows. On this episode, a beautiful version of "O Come All Ye Faithful" plays in the background as Klaus murders 12 hybrids that Tyler was trying to save and then drowns his mom as punishment. I have thought about this episode many times since I first saw it; the scene definitely stays with you. Elsewhere, Stefan and Caroline discuss the intricacies of their immoral lifestyle and Damon tries to do the right thing by sending Elena back to Mystic Falls while she was still sired to him. You can watch the full episode on Netflix.
Dec. 10th: "The One With Phoebe's Dad" - Friends
I'm sure this isn't the most popular Friends Christmas episode but it's my favorite. Monica and Rachel are hosting a party when their heater breaks making the apartment unbearably hot. Ice cube appetizers, anyone? Phoebe finds out her dad lives nearby and Chandler and Joey go with her to confront him. Unfortunately they run out of time to go Christmas shopping and end up buying presents for the group at a gas station. The two of them passing out their gifts is one of my favorite parts in an already hilarious show. You can watch the full episode on Netflix.
Dec. 11th: "A Benihana Christmas" - The Office
After Carol breaks up with him, Michael mopes around the office threatening to take Christmas away from everyone. Andy tries to cheer him up by taking him to Benihana which he calls "Asian Hooters." Back at the office, Pam and Karen are ruining Angela’s Christmas party by throwing one of their own complete with karaoke and margaritas. I’ve seen this episode 20 times and I still laugh out loud when Michael marks his new girlfriend because he can’t tell her apart from the other Benihana waitress. This episode has so much of what makes The Office great – crazy, dramatic Michael; the love triangle between Pam/Jim/Karen; the secrecy surrounding Dwight and Angela; Michael's irrational hatred of Toby; and the overall chaos of what should be a boring paper supply company. You can watch the full episode on Netflix.
Dec. 12th: "Mr. Hankey, Christmas Poo" - South Park
This is easily one of the most memorable South Park episodes of all time. It's the annual Christmas pageant and similiar to 2016, everyone is offended by something in it. It's decided that anything offensive to anyone will be removed, including Santa Claus, wreaths, trees, stars, lights, and candy canes. Elsewhere on the episode, Kyle is feeling left out because he's Jewish and confides in Mr. Hankey, the Christmas Poo. Gross, yes. Hilarious, also yes. Trust me, you will never forget Mr. Hankey. Especially after he shows up on the night of the pageant to restore everyone's Christmas spirit. A very important side note: this was the first episode where Kenny didn't die! It's a Christmas miracle! You can watch the full episode on Hulu.
Dec. 13th: "Christmas Scandal" - Parks and Recreation
Leslie has a public image crisis when Councilman Dexhart says they’re having an affair, which is much easier to control than the real affair, which involves sex in a hospital room just after the birth of his love child, with more than one woman, none of which is the mother. In order to clear her name, Leslie must go on Joan Callamezzo's show and expose herself in more ways than one. Meanwhile, Andy and April subtly flirt as they try to come up with a Christmas present for her gay boyfriend. This is an early episode that showcases Leslie's love for her work and her co-workers love for her as they all join together to light the tree at the Pawnee holiday festival. You can watch the full episode on Hulu or Netflix.
Dec. 14th: "Afternoon Delight" - Arrested Development
It’s time for the annual office Christmas party! Michael’s upset because George Michael wants to go to yams, I mean, Ann’s house instead of the party. Lindsey doesn’t want Maeby to go because she hopes to meet someone there. Both rejected, Maeby and Michael bond while singing what ends up being an awkward and ill-advised karaoke song. Elsewhere on the episode, Lucille is paranoid and lonely; Buster learns how to use a skill crane; and Gob gets roasted by the Bluth Company employees. Nobody does Christmas like the Bluth’s! You can watch the full episode on Hulu or Netflix.
Dec. 15th: "The Best Christmas Ever" - That 70's Show
Early in this long running series, Red gives Eric $40 to get a Christmas tree and tells him he can keep the change for a party he wants to throw in the basement. Eric does what every teenage kid would do – cuts a tree from the side of the road and uses the money to buy beer. Lori is jealous and spikes the party's punch with rum. This results in Jackie and some of her cheerleader friends getting wasted and hitting on Fez who happily soaks up the attention. Watch it just to see clueless Kelso and drunk Jackie before they were married in real life. You can find the full episode on Netflix.
Dec. 16th: "My Own Personal Jesus" - Scrubs
This episode is more about laughs than emotional tugs on your heart strings. Turk is excited for Christmas but loses his holiday spirit after a bad shift on Christmas Eve; Elliot deals with a pregnant woman who may or may not represent the Virgin Mary; and Dr. Cox as Grinch? Who couldn't have called that? You can watch the full episode on Hulu or Netflix.
Dec. 17th: "How Lily Stole Christmas" - How I Met Your Mother
Lily and Marshall are back together and Christmas is here! Life is good. That is until Lily finds an old message on the answering machine in which Ted calls her a bitc- er, grinch. When Ted refuses to apologize, Lily packs up all of her decorations and leaves. Meanwhile, Barney is the most awesomely annoying sick man I’ve ever seen and Robin takes care of him, eventually spiking his soup with codeine so he'll pass out. How I Met Your Mother is great with the long running jokes and here we see that Ted and Lily historically buy each other a beer when they want to make up. The episode ends with Lily bringing a beer to Ted’s uptight, super religious cousin’s house to save him from spending the holiday with them. You can watch the full episode on Netflix.
Dec. 18th: "Amends" - Buffy the Vampire Slayer
The only Christmas episode in Buffy history, Amends has a lot of the traditional holidays feels – forgiveness, hope, regret, second chances, and the good and bad that come with family. Some say the episode has a little too much moping from Angel but I for one was always a fan of his and especially loved him and Buffy together. There were also good scenes between Angel and Giles and Oz and Willow. You can watch the full episode on Hulu or Netflix.
Dec. 19th: "White Trash Christmas" - Roseanne
Nobody does tacky like the Connor's and this time they're taking on Christmas. After recieving a passive-aggressive note from their H.O.A. to keep decorations simple, Roseanne and Dan go all out, complete with a Liberace cutout. Elsewhere, DJ gets an extra special present from Darlene when he and Beverly surprise her in Chicago. Side note: you'll love seeing geeky, happy Leonard from The Big Bang Theory as emo, sullen David. You can watch the full episode on Amazon video.
Dec. 20th: "A Very Special Family Guy Freakin' Christmas" - Family Guy
Lois is desperately trying to hold on to her Christmas spirit but her family is testing her at every corner. Sounds like the holidays, right? Peter gives all of their presents to charity, Brian burns dinner (amongst other things), and when it's time to clean up there are no paper towels. No paper towels?! Lois loses it. Luckily, Stewie is there to deliver a monologue about what Christmas is all about. You can watch the full episode on Netflix or Hulu.
Dec. 21st: "Christmas Cheers" - Cheers
Only Cheers can make Christmas in a bar seem homey. You've got Norm as a department store Santa, Cliff participating in a canned food drive, Frasier having his first happy Christmas moment since birth and "It's a Wonderful Life" on repeat. Meanwhile, Sam tries to find a gift for Rebecca and ends up spending way more than he wanted to. Throw in a young Woody Harrelson and you won't want to miss it! You can find the full episode on Hulu or Netflix.
Dec. 22nd: "Merry Mayhem" - Dawson's Creek
Everyone is home for the holidays, including Audrey who missed her flight. Dawson brings his actress girlfriend and interesting but weird director boss home. Joey brings Eddie, of whom her dad does not approve. Pacey is unsuccessfully trying to impress his family with his new job. Tensions are clearly high as they all head to the Leary home for dinner. Mayhem ensues when Audrey, hopped up on pain pills and alcohol, calls everyone out on their lies and behavior. It's a trainwreck that you just can't look away from. You can watch the full episode on Hulu.
Dec. 23rd: "Guess Who's Coming to Dinner?" - Happy Days
Fonzie may be the epitome of cool but he still has down days like the rest of us. On this episode, he brags about his elaborate plans to spend Christmas with his cousin but what he's really doing is spending it alone. Richie finds out and asks Fonzie to join his family for Christmas. Luckily the Fonze's pride doesn't get in the way and he accepts his friend's generous offer. The episode is a classic and a reminder that no one should be alone on Christmas. You can find the full episode on Hulu.
Dec. 24th: "Ludachristmas" - 30 Rock
NYC is all merry and bright until Jack's mother comes to Christmas. Liz's family is visiting at the same time and the two can't be more opposite. The Lemons are loving and supportive while Jack's mother is – well, terrorist cells are more nurturing than her. Meanwhile, Gary tries to teach everyone what Christmas is all about and Tracy can't drink because his ankle monitor tests his sweat for alcohol. There isn't much good that comes from this episode but it is definitely entertaining. You can watch the full episode on Netflix.
Dec. 25th: "Simpson's Roasting on an Open Fire" - The Simpsons
Thanks to Bart’s tattoo removal and Mr. Burns decision to not give Christmas bonuses, the Simpsons don’t have enough money to buy presents this year. Homer gets a side job as a mall Santa but only makes $13. Out of options, he and Bart go to the race track and bet it all on Santa's Little Helper. Win or lose, their Christmas is nonetheless salvaged as they fall in love with the pup and make him the newest member of their family. It's a nice reminder that Christmas is about family, not presents. This was truly an iconic series premiere. You can watch the full episode on Fox Now, Simpsons World.