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The Best Christmas Sitcom Episodes for Holiday Laughter

When the most wonderful time of the year comes around, TV shows love to get in on the holiday cheer. Christmas episodes of sitcoms range from silly to serious, but almost every half-hour program dabbles in eggnog and mistletoe. Watching light-hearted Christmas sitcom episodes can brighten the mood and help cure winter blues. From I Love Lucy to Abbott Elementary, shows new and old get in on the fun!

1. The Office – “Christmas Party” (Season 2, Episode 10)

the office christmas party
Image Credit: NBC Universal.

Michael Scott usually captures everyone’s attention in The Office, but the show really starts humming when the ensemble becomes a well-oiled machine. The season two Christmas episode shows how chaotic work events are when Michael hosts an alcohol-infused Christmas party for Dunder Mifflin’s Scranton branch.

2. The Golden Girls – “Have Yourself a Very Little Christmas” (Season 5, Episode 12)

Estelle Getty, Rue McClanahan, Bea Arthur, Herb Edelman, and Betty White at an event for The Golden Girls (1985) episode "Have Yourself a Very Little Christmas"
Image Credit: NBC.

The Golden Girls combines sentiment and hilarity in many Christmas sitcom episodes, and the season five Christmas outing applies to this pattern. Dorothy understands her ex-husband in a whole new way when he applies to become a Santa at a homeless shelter. The banter between Bea Arthur and Herb Edelman always entertains!

3. Everyday Loves Raymond – “The Toaster” (Season 3, Episode 12)

Ray Romano in Everybody Loves Raymond episode The Toaster
Image Credit: Where’s Lunch, Worldwide Pants Incorporated and HBO Independent Productions.

Ray’s relationship with his parents creates most of the best episodes in Everybody Loves Raymond. This classic Christmas sitcom episode in which Frank and Marie juggle loyalty to their son and their true feelings about his holiday gift illustrates the magic of their dysfunctional dynamic. Shoutout to the chemistry between Peter Boyle and Doris Roberts.

4. George Lopez – “Christmas Punch” (Season 3, Episode 12)

Steve Larkin in George Lopez (2003) episode "Christmas Punch"
Image Credit: ABC.

Finding out the reality of Santa Claus’ existence becomes a landmark moment in most people’s childhoods (and in many Christmas sitcom episodes). George Lopez stands as one of the most underrated sitcoms of the 2000s, and this episode in which George’s son grapples with Santa surely delivers more than a few holiday laughs.

5. Home Improvement – “Twas the Flight Before Christmas” (Season 5, Episode 12)

Tom Poston in Home Improvement (1991) episode "Twas the Flight Before Christmas"
Image Credit: ABC.

Home Improvement took the holidays seriously. With Christmas sitcom episodes every season, choosing just one feels impossible. The fifth season episode in which Tim and Al argue while trying to escape an airport with delayed flights feels like the best combination of the show’s holiday elements.

6. The King of Queens – “Net Profits” (Season 2, Episode 12)

Kevin James and Leah Remini in The King of Queens (1998) episode "Net Profits"
Image Credit: CBS.

Doug and Carrie Heffernan’s contrasting personalities make for a great relationship to watch on TV. Doug thinks short-term, while Carrie often imagines big. The same thing happens when Doug brings home a large Christmas bonus and Carrie decides to invest the money in the stock market.

7. Modern Family – “Undeck the Halls” (Season 1, Episode 10)

Modern Family - “Undeck the Halls”
Image Credit: ABC.

Modern Family always feels like a comfort watch during times of stress, so why wouldn’t it during Christmas? The first holiday episode of the series soars with fantastic performances from the ensemble cast. The Dunphy family gets the bulk of the funniness here as Phil and Claire struggle to run the household on the holiday.

8. Friends – “The One With the Holiday Armadillo” (Season 7, Episode 10)

Friends episode "The One with the Holiday Armadillo"
Image Credit: NBC.

Thanksgiving usually resides in viewers’ minds when it comes to Friends. “The One With the Holiday Armadillo” proves the sitcom can delight during December, too. Ross’s iconic armadillo costume used to entertain his son creates one of the show’s most iconic scenes.

9. Full House – “Arrest Ye Marry Gentleman” (Season 8, Episode 11)

Full House - “Arrest Ye Marry Gentleman”
Image Credit: ABC.

Like many Christmas sitcom episodes, this late-series half-hour in Full House dissects the true meaning of the holiday through the eyes of guest star Mickey Rooney’s character. Jesse and Michelle learn about how family means so much more than any other present during the jolliest time of the year.

10. New Girl – “The 23rd” (Season 1, Episode 9)

New Girl
Image Credit: Fox.

Christmas sitcom episodes during season one of a show often establish a lot of ongoing stories for the rest of the season, and New Girl is no different. A lot of intersecting plot threads that bring Jess, Nick, and the rest of the gang together at Schmidt’s work demonstrate the potential for the cast’s chemistry in the future.

11. Abbott Elementary – “Holiday Hookah” (Season 2, Episode 10)

Holiday Hookah episode of Abbott elementary
Image Credit: ABC.

Abbott Elementary sometimes hinted a little too much at the potential romance between Janine and Greg throughout season two, but the Christmas sitcom episode gets everything right about their relationship. Seeing them navigate the drunken lights of a bar with Principal Coleman hanging out in the background gives new energy to the series.

12. The Big Bang Theory – “The Bath Item Gift Hypothesis” (Season 2, Episode 11)

The Big Bang Theory
Image Credit: CBS.

Sheldon’s lack of social awareness leads to much of The Big Bang Theory’s humor throughout the years. When the dorky protagonist is faced with navigating holiday gift-giving because of Penny, he finds out that making other people’s seasons joyful may be more rewarding than he ever imagined.

13. Seinfeld – “The Strike” (Season 9, Episode 10)

Seinfeld "The Strike"
Image Credit: NBC.

Leave it up to Seinfeld to create the Christmas sitcom episode with the most creativity on the list. George’s dad, played to perfection by Jerry Springer, celebrates Festivus on December 23 every year. From the metal pole to the airing of grievances, the fictional holiday’s traditions have entered pop culture and remain relevant in real life for over two decades.

14. Cheers – “Christmas Cheers” (Season 6, Episode 12)

Cheers Christmas episode
Image Credit: NBC.

As already stated with other shows, Cheers utilizes the greatness of its large cast to make Christmas sitcom episodes feel more festive. Gift-giving, working on the holiday, and other topics are handled with the same cozy aesthetic the show applied to its decade-long run.

15. Malcolm in the Middle – “Christmas” (Season 3, Episode 7)

Bryan Cranston in Malcolm in the Middle Christmas episode
Image Credit: Fox.

As the years go by, Malcolm in the Middle becomes more beloved for its uncouth style and realistic portrayal of lower-middle-class America. The Christmas episode from season three turns the temperature up several notches as Lois becomes more stressed than usual trying to handle the antics of her sons.

16. The Goldbergs – “A Christmas Story” (Season 3, Episode 10)

The Goldbergs
Image Credit: ABC.

The Goldbergs focuses on the titular Jewish family, and the writers often work into the plot how the clan celebrates Hanukah instead during December. Matriarch Beverly goes into hyperdrive trying to make Hanukah the best one ever for her family in this season three masterpiece.

17. Ted Lasso – “Carol of the Bells” (Season 2, Episode 4)

Ted Lasso Carol of the Bells
Image Credit: Apple TV+.

Ted Lasso changed 2020s television with its happy-go-lucky optimism. The downtrodden soccer team at the center of the story overcomes obstacles and takes problems in stride. The season two Christmas episode goes all in on the series’ same tonal storytelling and, in turn, creates one of the truly festive experiences on television.

18. It’s Always Sunny in Philadelphia – “A Very Sunny Christmas” (Season 6, Episode 13)

Charlie Day in Its Always Sunny In Philadelphia Christmas episode
Image Credit: FX.

Some people prefer their Christmas programming to be a little more crude and rough around the edges. The black humor pouring out of It’s Always Sunny in Philadelphia’s Christmas sitcom episodes make an ideal antidote to the more sappy offerings on the list.

19. Boy Meets World – “A Very Topanga Christmas” (Season 5, Episode 11)

Boy meets World A very Topanga Christmas
Image Credit: ABC.

The romance at the center of Boy Meets World grounds the season five Christmas episode. Cory and Topanga continue to learn about each other’s limits, and the half-hour teaches teenagers to listen and compromise with their partners.

20. Community – “Abed’s Uncontrollable Christmas” (Season 2, Episode 11)

Abeds Uncontrollable Christmas
Image Credit: NBC.

The meta-analysis within Community isn’t for everyone, but “Abed’s Uncontrollable Christmas” never fails to deliver an engaging experience and a breath of fresh air. The characters of the community college celebrating the holidays in a stop-motion animation skit stands out as one of the show’s most ingenious endeavors.

21. The Bear – “Fishes” (Season 2, Episode 6)

The Bear Christmas ep Fishes
Image Credit: Hulu.

The Bear may be more of a comedy/drama than a sitcom, but it runs a half-hour; therefore, it can be considered for the list. The flashback to the Berzatto family’s wild reunion at Christmas illustrates the worst qualities of everyone in the family. Carmy and the rest of the characters absolutely exhaust the audience with dysfunction and screaming.

22. Black-ish – “Black Santa/White Christmas” (Season 1, Episode 10)

Image Credit: ABC.

Anthony Anderson’s family affair loves to invoke some digestible racial jokes within its humor. The season one Christmas episode falls perfectly in line with that decision when Dre becomes his office’s “Black Santa.”



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