While we all have our annual must-watch traditional movies, let’s not leave the rest of our favorite characters and story arcs out of the holiday love: we’ve collected quite a few TV holiday episodes that we love catching reruns of this time of year. Because when people mention Santa, who doesn’t think of Ross Geller as a giant armadillo telling the story of Hanukkah? It’s certainly in our top geeky holiday episodes!
This year, we’re making popcorn, settling in with mugs of hot chocolate, and rewatching our favorite holiday episodes because reasons. What are these reasons, you may ask? Read on to find out!
For sentimental reasons:
I Love Lucy, “Christmas Show”
If you grew up watching I Love Lucy reruns on TV, this one is obvious. Not only do you get the shock of realizing that Christmas trees used to cost $5, and looked scrawny, but in this Christmas special you also get a bunch of flashbacks of best moments from past episodes—i.e. Lucy being perfectly ridiculous, as she does so dang well.
Bonus: Five Santas, one of which is...the real Father Christmas?
For hilarious reasons:
Raising Hope, “The Last Christmas”
It is not “last” as in the last episode of the series or season. No, it’s the last because Virginia is convinced the world will end three days before Christmas. She has extreme-couponed her way into a post-apocalyptic survival stash that any Prepper would be proud of. “We’re gonna be billionaires if I’m right about dental floss being the new currency,” she declares. Naturally, she gets the Chance family prepared and forces them to celebrate on the 21st. And, since it’s Virginia, it’s...not your average Christmas celebration.
Bonus: Watch out for the llamas, they spit.
For heartfelt family moment reasons:
Cristela, “It’s Not About the Tamales”
Cristela’s brother comes to visit for Christmas, which throws off the family dynamics, as he’s their mom’s favorite child. Which is relatable as all get-out: when holiday tensions are running high, which of us hasn’t wondered if our parents secretly have a favorite child...and we’re not it? Also in the mix is Cristela’s coworker, who shows up at 4 a.m. to help make tamales because he mistakenly thought he was invited—awkward and hilarious. Cristela’s sarcasm is always welcome in our holiday rewatches.
Bonus: Scarecrow in a nativity.
For laugh-out-loud family moment reasons:
Bob’s Burgers, “Christmas in the Car”
We love this episode where Linda gets excited about Christmas super early. Like, day-after-Halloween early. She may be determined to prove to Bob it’ll be fine, but the tree isn’t really on her side...after all, when you buy a tree on November 1st, it’s probably not gonna make it all the way to Christmas. When Tree #3 expires on Christmas Eve, the entire Belcher family piles into the car in a desperate attempt to get a last-minute replacement. What follows isn’t cutesy, Love Actually-style family bonding. It’s Belcher bonding.
Bonus: Dutch baby pancake jokes.
For singing and dancing reasons:
Crazy Ex-Girlfriend, “My Mom, Greg’s mom, and Josh’s Sweet Dance Moves!”
Rebecca’s criticism-lobbing mother comes to visit—“Where is the bathroom?” song and all. Naturally, Rebecca takes the approach of lying about everything to please/impress her mother. Our favorite moment—which we rewind and watch more than once—is the final California Christmas song. If you like a musical number here or there with your holiday TV specials, this is the episode for you.
Bonus: Elf-ear headbands that we want to own.
For kick-butt lady protagonist reasons:
Veronica Mars, “An Echolls Family Christmas”
We don’t need a reason for a VM rewatching, but we certainly won’t pass on including it in our holiday watching. There are multiple mysteries during this holiday season, including $5,000 missing from a poker game. Will Veronica hunt down the missing money? Duh. In the process, she’ll run afoul of conspiracies, hidden infidelities, and a stabbing or two...but it’s all in a day’s work for our favorite do-it-all detective.
Bonus: Reindeer boxers.
What episodes do you try and rewatch every holiday season?