It’s finally that time of the year when we go last-minute shopping for our families, gulp down eggnog, wear ugly matching sweaters and live out every Hollywood Christmas stereotype under the gigantic Christmas trees as we await Santa’s presents!
From being doused by typical dad jokes at dinner tables to incessant family chatter and fun, the Holiday season has officially arrived, and we cannot help but soak in the Yuletide spirit. Christmas movie marathons and show binges with family make up a crucial part of “quality time” as well!
Holiday-themed episodes are usually a fan favourite in shows. These scenes are often chaotic and uncomfortable as one may see family drama ensue. At times they are uproariously funny with family conflict, altercations, humour and comedy finding a common ground.
From Gilmore Girls to Seinfeld, there are uncountable TV shows who have milked Christmas episodes by the dozen to produce wonderful content.
Here are five such Christmas-themed episodes to set the mood for the Holiday season:
The 5 best Christmas episodes to watch on Netflix
5. Gilmore Girls
In the tenth episode of the first season, titled ‘Forgiveness and Stuff’, there is a Christmas Party where Richard Gilmore collapses and is rushed to the hospital. Lorelai, who is uninvited from the party initially for certain altercations with her mother, is accompanied by Luke to the hospital where Rory and Emily are already present.
Kelly Bishop aka Emily delivers a memorable performance in this episode. The episode also gives an insight into the kind of relationship Lorelai and her parents, especially Richard, share. While it is not filled with the usual fun and cheer of the holidays, it does include poignant moments of family problems that are a staple of every dysfunctional family Christmas dinner.
In the final season of Seinfeld, the tenth episode aka ‘The Strike’ brought to the fans a Christmas special. Jerry started dating a literally “two-faced” woman and George started a fake charity to gather money for Christmas presents at the office. The episode also included Frank Constanza’s idea of the Festivus that he held on December 23rd where one decorates their house with a plain aluminium pole, rants against people who have disappointed them throughout the year and, ultimately, feast.
Festivus has become a pop-cultural favourite among fans of the show with various sites and vendors selling items related to Festivus. It is a brilliant parody of the holiday season with iconic one-liners, making this episode with Frank Constanza, one of the show’s greatest ones.
3. 30 Rock
With a humorously dark twist to the meaning of “quality” time spent during the holidays with loved ones, the episode titled ‘Ludachristmas’ which is the ninth episode of 30 Rock’s second season, sees the spirit of Christmas test friendships and relationships. With well-timed comedy and brilliant writing, the episode gives off Scrooge and Grinch vibes which is absolutely refreshing and endearing to watch.
Jack is smitten by Liz’s parents due to the amount of love they shower their children with which is right in contrast with his own mother. However, the latter is set to prove to her son how they are not as perfect as they seem. On the other hand, staff members of TGS with Tracy Jordan begin preparing for the annual Christmas party but Kenneth cancels such festivities and makes them understand the “true” spirit of Christmas by making them understand the meaning behind the holiday season leads to inevitable confusion and chaos.
2. Big Mouth
In this special episode aired in the fifth season, hormone monsters Maury and Connie feature as hosts of the show. The episode features the classic holiday tales with a raunchy twist that is quintessential to the show. From talking about the injustice meted out to virgin Mary by depriving her of pleasure during impregnation to the Santa and Mrs Claus being more naughty with elves than nice, the show also features the plight of a Jewish kid in a predominantly Christian world when Andrew expresses his grief about having to spend Hanukkah alone.
One of the most underrated episodes of the show, it is ridiculously funny as always. Offensive and funny, the creators nail the various holiday tales with brilliant creativity that almost mimics the rude and chaotic vibe of South Park, especially when Andrew magically converts into a Christian. It is definitely not one for those who are easily offended!
1. The Office
Titled “Christmas Party” and featuring as the tenth episode of the second season, Dunder Mifflin paper Company is seen grappling with the festivities and fun of the holiday spirit. The Secret Santa is the perfect opportunity for Jim to give Pam his gift but his plans are disrupted when a selfish Michael Scott makes everyone play Yankee Swap to win himself the perfect gift- that’s so very Michael of him!
This episode is one of the most brilliant Christmas episodes as it features the true spirit of the holiday season in workplaces. The holiday season unleashes the best and worst among the employees who hilariously scramble to get the best gift. This Emmy-nominated episode received a lot of praise and applause, especially for the “Yankee Swap” sequence that brings out the Machiavelli in Michael.