11 memorable food scenes from holiday films and specials — and what to eat while you watch them

(Source, Left: John De Borman/Miramax; Center: Greg Gardiner/New Line Cinema; Right: Julio Macat/20th Century Fox)

I remember the first time I watched Mickey’s Christmas Carol On TV as a child. It was actually my introduction to the classic Charles Dickens story. Of all the sights, the one that stood out to me most: Ebenezer’s visit by the Ghost of Christmas Present, surrounded by an abundance of delicious food, including heaps of minced pancakes, perfectly roasted turkeys, and mushy tenders. Baby pig.

“And don’t forget the pan of smusmumagah roasted chocolate…ah, with Smismashio…ah, with smusmumagah…ah, with yogurt.”

I didn’t know what it was – but I knew I wanted to eat it right away!

As we line up our holiday watch lists for another year, I can’t help but notice how many classic (or soon-to-be) seasonal movies, series, and shows have equally important food scenes that make us drool over—and perhaps move the plot, too. To keep you from pausing and running to the fridge or launching a delivery app during your binge-watching party, here’s a list of snacks to grab and serve before relaxing to watch these holiday favorites.

Home Alone 2: Lost in New York (1992)

(Source: Julio Macat / 20th Century Fox)

Scene: Kevin eats pizza alone in a limousine.
Cravings: Your cheese pizza.

Is there anything more luxurious for a child than sipping a Coke than a champagne flute while eating your cheese pizza in a stretching limousine? This is exactly how Kevin McAllister (Maculai Culkin) lives in the sequel Home Alone When he finds himself lost in New York. Considering how Kevin was deprived of his favorite pizza the night before his family abandoned him for Paris in the first movie, this scene is a piece of heaven.

How the Grinch Stole Christmas! (1966)

(Source: Cat in the Hat Productions / MGM Animation)

Scene: The Grinch joins the Who-ville feast.
Passion: Barbecue “The Beast”
whatever it means.

We’ve been blessed with a number of edits to Dr. Seuss’ holiday classic How the Grinch Stole Christmas!, But the most memorable may be the 1966 TV special starring Boris Karloff.

Just as the heart of the Grinch grows two sizes, your appetite will double once you see the people of Who-ville planning their festive spread, including the three-tiered Who-pudding candy. But the pièce de résistance is the roast beast, which the Grinch has the honor to carve. What is it exactly? He. She sounds Like beef but shaped like a turkey and has no bones, so we can only assume it’s a duck. This is definitely not a snack for one person. Plan accordingly.

Gremlins (1984)

(Source: John Hora / Amblin Entertainment)

Scene: A mother kills a gremlin in her kitchen.
Cravings: gingerbread cookies.

Alone at home with a newly hatched, hungry grimlin, Billy’s mother, Lynn (Francis Lee McCain), refuses to escape and hide while her home is broken into. Her first encounter takes place in the kitchen where the monsters feed on the gingerbread she has been baking all day. In one of the most gruesome scenes in the movie – and arguably one of the best – she slaughters a ghrelin with a blender, knife, and microwave.

Who wouldn’t want to eat some crackers then?

Elf (2003)

(Source: Greg Gardiner / New Line Cinema)

Scene: Friends are preparing breakfast.
Cravings: spaghetti, maple syrup, and all kinds of desserts.

dwarf He plays “fish out of water” with such earnest joy. When Buddy leaves the North Pole in search of his biological father, his new family treats him to a lovely pasta dinner. It’s quick to add its own flavor to the dish, by putting maple syrup on top. Buddy takes his fusion cuisine to new heights when he prepares a unique breakfast the next day: spaghetti with maple syrup, chocolate syrup, mini marshmallows, and chocolate covered candy.

While we recommend keeping your pasta separate from your dessert stash in order to satisfy both your pasta craving and your dessert craving, you do.

Love Actually (2003)

(Source: Michael Coulter / StudioCanal)

Scene: Juliet visits Mark to watch the wedding footage.
The Passion: Banoffee Pie.

Newly married Juliet (Keira Knightley) comes bearing a slice of Banoffee pie when she visits her husband’s friend, Mark (Andrew Lincoln), hoping to persuade him to show him the video he took of her on their wedding day.

While she’s reviewing the shots, she realizes he really likes it – and that was before she offered him a cream pie filled with bananas and toffee.

You’ll need a bigger slice of pie to unload all of this — and grand gestures are still to come.

Little Women (2019)

(Source: Yorick le Saux / Columbia Pictures)

Scene: The Azar family gets a fortune from food after its good work.
Cravings: Cakes, sweets, and piles of pink ice cream.

When the March sisters donated their delicious breakfast — sausage, eggs, and boiled pears — to a family in need on Christmas morning, they expected nothing in return. But their very wealthy neighbour, who probably has enough food and money to feed the entire county, rewards the young women and their mother with an impressive array of food including cakes, sweets, and even pink ice cream!

If that scene doesn’t make you drool for a big breakfast feast, I don’t know what will.

Eight Crazy Nights (2002)

(Source: Happy Madison Productions)

Scene: Davy steals a can of peanut brittle from the mall.
Cravings: Peanut brittle – obtained legally.

Inspired by Saturday Night Live the favorite Hanukkah songWritten and performed by Adam Sandler, eight crazy nights is an animated film featuring Sandler as a 33-year-old alcoholic named Davy who has been sentenced to community service. His bad temper and low spirit often lead to poor judgment – including the theft of a box of brittle peanuts from the mall.

eight crazy nights Not the most family-friendly animated movie, but it’s packed with Sandler’s sense of humor in the late ’90s and early 2000s. Have some laughs as you crack your sweet tooth on some peanut brittle—store-bought or homemade preferably.

Serendipity (2001)

(Source: John de Bormann / Miramax)

The scene: Jonathan and Sarah go on an impromptu date after meeting their store in a cute way.
The Passion: Frozen Hot Chocolate.

The frenzy of holiday shopping can either bring us closer or make us want to split humanity forever. Lucky for Jonathan and Sarah (John Cusack and Kate Beckinsale), they ended up hooking up with a pair of gloves at a department store. This leads them to enjoy a couple of frozen hot chocolates at a café called Serendipity3 – which just so happens to be Real New York City Foundation.

Frozen hot chocolate is perfect for those special holiday moments when you want the comfort of warm cocoa but at the temperature of a milkshake. It is the complete contradiction.

Die Hard (1988)

(Source: Jan de Pont/Silver Images)

Scene: Sgt. Al Powell picks up Twinkies for his wife.
Passion: Twinkies.

Stock up on those Twinkies; It will be a long night. In this often-discussed holiday thriller, NYPD detective John McClain (Bruce Willis) must take out the terrorists who crashed the Christmas Eve company party of his estranged wife at Los Angeles’ Nakatomi Plaza.

As John crawls through the building’s air ducts, Sgt. Al Powell (Reginald Filjohnson) of the LAPD picks up some Twinkies for his pregnant wife. Unfortunately, Al soon gets the call about the hostage situation that Jon is trying to defuse, preventing him from handing over the filled donuts full of cream. You may be waiting for them a long time, but fortunately you can snack with time.

“Welcome to the party, pal!”

A Rugrats Hanukkah (1996)

(Source: Nickelodeon Animation)

Scene: Didi makes latex while Grandma Minka shares the story of Hanukkah.
Passion: Latex!

Hanukkah was rarely portrayed on mainstream children’s shows in the 1990s. But at the beginning of its fourth season, the famous children appear Rugrats They did just that with this special holiday.

As Tommy, Chucky, Phil, and Lil learn about “the Maccabees” from Tommy Granny Minka, Diddy interrupts story time to get Minka to help make latex Celebrating the Festival of Lights. The mere mention of crispy potato fritters may trigger your craving, so prepare accordingly: Light up the fryer before hitting the power button to enjoy piping hot latkes while you watch rugrats learn the meaning of Hanukkah.

Dash & Lily (2020)

(Source: Eric Tremi / 21 Laps Entertainment)

Scene: Dash makes mochi with a group of Japanese ladies.
Passion: Mochi.

Dash (Austin Abrams) despises the holiday season, while Lily (Midori Francis) wholeheartedly embraces it, but there’s one thing they can agree on: the food is amazing! In this limited YA series, two young teenage boys from New York communicate during the holidays via cryptic notes and a series of darings—most of which involve eating or making food.

One daring in particular has Dash trying to make mochi under the eyes of a group of Japanese grandmothers. He couldn’t help but make a mess of himself and of the sticky dough. With a language barrier preventing him from asking for help, Dash is forced to “listen to his voice” to help him focus on the challenge ahead.

While he’s doing that, we’ll just Eat Our mochi, thank you very much!

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