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  • Writer's pictureNoah Yard

10 Christmas Themed Episodes to Get into the Holiday Spirit.

It’s Christmas week, which made this constantly irksome blogger think about my favourite Christmas episodes throughout all the shows I watch. This list might show my age, and they’re basically all from sitcoms so I understand this list might not be for everyone, but I believe that I’ve compiled a list of Christmas themed episodes that will get you in the mood for the holidays if you watch them. So here goes, in no particular order...

Schitt’s Creek: Merry Christmas Johnny Rose.

It wouldn’t be a Constantly Irksome post if I didn’t add in my biased favourite show, Schitt’s Creek, but the show did legitimately produce one of my favourite Christmas episodes. Merry Christmas Johnny Rose happens after the Roses have spent a couple of years in their new hometown, and Johnny decides they’ve ignored Christmas long enough. He decides he wants to throw a Rose Christmas party like they did when the family was rich.

He can’t quite pull it all together, however, with a lack of resources, a disinterested family, and a dilapidated tree, Johnny falls short of his idyllic Christmas.

However, at the last moment, as they often do in the show, the other Roses pull together to make Johnny’s wish come true. It’s an episode that really highlights what makes the show great. One of those moments where the family comes even closer together, realising things are just things, and all that matters is that they are together and there for one another.

Futurama: Robot Santa Clause

Futurama gets a special mention not so much for a singular Christmas episode, but a recurring Christmas character: Evil robot Santa Clause. He’s a four-tonne, demonic robot who rides through on his sleigh to terrorize and attack the residents of New New York. EVERYONE is on his naughty list, and if he catches you, he kills you with any manner of horrible Christmas themed weapons.

Bob’s Burgers: Bob Rest Ye Merry Gentle-Mannequins

Cartoons can have GREAT Christmas episodes that both amuse and tug at the heartstrings. To me the best example of this in Bob’s Burgers is this one.

The family, notorious for harbouring strays, take in a man living in a storage unit who thinks he’s a mannequin come to life. Every day he decides he’s going to put on a Christmas display in the family’s restaurant every day leading up to Christmas, which helps bring in new business. Things take a twisted turn though when mannequin man starts to miss his girlfriend, who is an actual mannequin.

Bob’s Burgers has a lot of other great Christmas episodes, Like Christmas in the Car and Father of the Bob.

Community: Comparative Religion

Obviously, there’s a Community episode that would belong more on this list, the stop motion one where Abed imagines a magical Christmas. But I hate musicals and it’s hard to forget that Abed is actually having a mental breakdown, so I refuse to put it here. Comparative Religion may be less festive, but it’s also less annoying, (hot take alert!)

Shirley, ever the intolerant Christian, throws the study group a lovely party, but Jeff is too busy gearing up for a petty fistfight. It’s a great episode because it highlights that the holidays are very different for so many people, for Jewish, Muslim and even Jehovah’s witnesses. Despite Shirley’s denial, it’s a good reminder of that.

Plus, there’s the iconic line, as Shirley bats some fool with a Candy Cane, “It’s December 10th!”

It’s Always Sunny in Philadelphia: A Very Sunny Christmas

I love “It’s Always Sunny in Philadelphia”, its constantly walking the line of what is socially acceptable to depict on television, and usually crosses it.

This Christmas episode in question, “A Very Sunny Christmas”, crosses that line so many times, it subverts everything that makes a classic Christmas show. Danny Devito/ Frank steals his children’s presents, Charlie’s mother does unspeakable things, and Charlie bites a mall Santa on the face (Did you f*** my mom Santa??).

It’s horrible, it’s dark, and it’s one of my favourite Christmas episodes ever.

Brooklyn 99: Yippy Kayak

Jake Peralta’s whole thing is Diehard, so when he gets the chance to recreate his favourite movie during a department store robbery, he has a lot of fun, and so does the audience.

Jake and Charles must rescue hostages as Canadian burglars try to drill into a valuable building next door. I’ve never seen Diehard, so a lot of the subtler references go right over my head, but the episode is still so much fun.

Like Diehard it’s not so much about Christmas as it is… during Christmas. But, like many people who believe Diehard to be a Christmas movie, I believe this one still belongs on the list.

The Office: Moroccan Christmas

So many Christmas episodes of the office could make it on this list, the time Michael made the group play Yankee swap, the time Phyllis was Santa, and the time Dwight dressed up as Belsnickel. But my personal favourite is the disastrous Moroccan Christmas.

Meredith has a little too much fun at a Christmas party thrown by Phyllis, the theme being a night in Morocco. Michael, being totally emotionally and socially inept, tries to set up an intervention at the office, and then. Physically drags her to rehab.

It’s a great showcase of the show’s greatest asset, Michaels stupidity, all with a fun Christmas twist.

New Girl: LAXMas

While trying to fly to London to meet her dreamy boyfriend’s family Jess runs into problems at the airport when everyone’s flights are delayed and messed up. It’s a great ensemble episode that includes all the gang partaking in antics through the airport.

A highlight is Jess running into a bitter airport worker played by the hilarious Billy Eichner, who ends up saving the day, staying totally bitter while doing it, it’s brilliant.

Then there is the subplot of Cece and Schmidt sitting in the first-class lounge, they’re will-they-won’t-they currently in the off position, they learn how to be friends and it’s all very heart-warming.

The Simpsons: Marge Be Not Proud

“Buy me Bonestorm or go to hell!” This one's a favourite from childhood, and it really hits me with its message and the way the story is handled.

After Marge refuses to buy Bart a violent videogame he steals it instead. When Marge finds out she is so disappointed that she starts to treat him differently and leaves him out of Simpson’s family traditions. Bart tries everything to get back in his mother’s good graces and ends up doing a nice portrait of him that she can put in a frame. The mother son dynamic here, them making up at the end makes me really emotional every time I see it.

Special mention goes to another classic Simpson’s Christmas episode, Miracle on Evergreen Terrace. When Bart burns town his families Christmas tree hilarity ensues.

Seinfeld: The Strike

For me, the apex of Christmas episodes, the granddaddy of them all isn’t about Christmas at all, but about a charming little holiday called Festivus! Invented by Seinfeld’s Frank Costanza in “The Strike”, we learn about how George and his parents spent the holidays, celebrating Frank’s demented creation.

The day included an aluminium pole instead of a tree, the feats of strength, where George had to fight his father, and my personal favourite, the airing of grievances (I’ve got a lot of problems with you people! And Now you’re gonna hear about it!”) In terms of great Christmas stories, this one has them all beat.

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