Nothing says it's the holiday season quite like cuddling up on the couch and binge-watching TV. It's too cold to go outside anyway, right? I know that there are a ton of movies themed around the holiday season that you can watch, but honestly, sometimes you just want to relive the magic of a classic, special holiday episode of a great TV show. Plus, it's much easier to binge through a bunch of festive TV episodes than movies anyway. When you're looking for something to watch this holiday season, look no further than this list of the best Christmas and Hanukkah TV episodes from your favorite shows.
1. Community — "Regional Holiday Music"
The comedic brilliance of Community sadly went under-appreciated by a mainstream audience when it was airing on NBC, but it grew to become a cult classic. Some of the sitcom's best episodes were its annual holiday specials, which saw the Greendale study group trying to throw all-inclusive holiday parties, getting the claymation treatment in a winter wonderland, and in this standout special, becoming literally infected with Christmas cheer and bursting out into song. Not only does "Regional Holiday Music" offer up the sharp wit and smart storytelling that Community has become known for, but it's also packed with original holiday music that will definitely replace those old carols you've heard a million times.
2. Friends — "The One With The Holiday Armadillo"
Another show known for going all out with its holiday specials, Friends is always a perfect choice to get the whole family laughing. Although they've done a bunch of Christmas specials, "The One With The Holiday Armadillo" definitely stands out as the most iconic. It's also got the perfect mix of both Christmas and Hanukkah in it, as Ross attempts to teach his son Ben about the Jewish celebration while hilariously dressed up as an armadillo.
3. Boy Meets World — "A Very Topanga Christmas"
There's no better feel-good, nostalgia show than Boy Meets World, and that makes its holiday episodes perfect viewing for the holiday season. In particular, "A Very Topanga Christmas" stands out an extra-festive choice. In the episode, Cory goes through his own version of A Christmas Carol as he sees what his life would have been without Topanga in it.
4. Gilmore Girls — "Forgiveness and Stuff"
The Gilmore girls always do every family even up big, and that includes Christmas. The show's first holiday episode goes characteristically haywire as Emily, Lorelai, and Rory all find themselves at odds during Emily's big Christmas party, but they end up having to work through their differences after a major health scare. It's the perfect thing to watch with the relatives you may have gotten into an argument with at Christmas dinner.
5. The O.C. — "The Best Chrismukkah Ever"
For tons of split-faith families around the world, the holiday season is a time full of celebrating multiple traditions. And thanks to Seth Cohen, now that Christmas/Hanukkah combination has a name: Chrismukkah. Seth's passion for the combined holiday is truly infectious when he first introduces it to Ryan in "The Best Chrismukkah Ever," and just like Ryan starts to feel the cheery spirit, so will you when you watch this fun and joyful episode.
6. That '70s Show — "The Best Christmas Ever"
You can always count on That '70s Show to come hard with the hilarious, irreverent jokes, even during the holidays. The sitcom's first holiday special is also its best, complete with illegal tree chopping, a competition to get Donna the best gift, and of course, a ton of booze.
7. The Office — "Christmas Party"
For a super stressful but ultimately hilarious and kind of sweet episode of television to watch over the holidays, look no further than the "Christmas Party" episode of The Office. True to form, Michael Scott winds up throwing a wrench in the office's holiday gift exchange and nearly ruins the holiday party, before saving it by buying an obscene amount of alcohol.
8. The West Wing — "In Excelsis Deo"
If you're looking for a heartwarming holiday episode with more weight to it than the more comedic shows listed above, you can't go wrong with The West Wing. The show's first Christmas episode follows all the White House staffers as they set out to perform good deeds in the holiday spirit, and ends with a touching gift exchange between Josh and his assistant Donna.
9. It's Always Sunny In Philadelphia — "A Very Sunny Christmas"
Nobody does Christmas like the Paddy's Pub gang... and that's probably a good thing. The show's best Christmas special finds the gang having a really crappy Christmas, as Dennis and Dee complain about the bad presents Frank gave them, Mac and Charlie discover all their holiday traditions are illegal, and Frank nearly dies in a car crash. But in the end, they all come together to have a very merry, and very trashy, Christmas.
10. 30 Rock — "Ludachristmas"
30 Rock always nails it when it comes to inventing a unique take on the holidays, like a whole new mythology behind Leap Day, Anna Howard Shaw Day instead of Valentine's Day, and of course, Ludachristmas, an even more drunken and debaucherous take on the traditional office Christmas party.