Every TV Show Needs a Good Holiday Episode

Photo: by The Cut; Images: The Everett Collection, Warner Bros. Television.

Holidays and nostalgia go hand in hand, which is probably why some of the best TV episodes are the holiday ones. Any show worth watching will have a celebration of its own, and our main characters and their story lines run through the chaos and sentimentality of family, food, and tradition, just like the rest of us. And nothing beats coming home for the holidays more than a reunion with the characters we loved growing up.

Start on the Upper East Side for Thanksgiving with the Waldorfs before things get too exciting, pass through Stars Hollow for Jackson and Sookie’s fried turkey, and eventually make your way to the Tipton Hotel, where there are a thousand and one way to do it. Is Christmas right. And don’t forget to attend FaceTime at AFC Richmond’s Christmas Party.

Holiday TV is a serious thing – you can’t waste time switching between channels. We’ve rounded up the best of holiday TV shows, from stressful to heart-wrenching.

Photo: The CW

You know it’ll be a good thing when Gossip Girl himself announces a 16-hour one-day hiatus to exchange flavor gossip. “When the cat is away, the mice will play,” she says. And she’s right. “Blair Waldorf Must Pie” is the perfect Thanksgiving episode and the perfect holiday rewatch. There’s a lot of backstory — Waldorf family baggage, Dan and Lily van der Woodsen’s mother at the same dinner table, all the ways Blair, Serena, Dan, and Nate’s lives were different from last Thanksgiving. But this does not mean there is no classic gossip Girl Problems: Serena and Blair get into another fight over their friends, and the Upper East Siders take an exciting trip to Brooklyn.

Photo: Warner Bros. TV

The downside to being likable to everyone is that everyone expects you for the holidays. Apparently, Rory and Lorelai didn’t make it out of Thanksgiving at Emily and Richard’s house. But, of course, they also said yes to Sookie. And Luke. Lynn. Here we find the lovable mother-daughter duo stuffing themselves at everyone’s parties, eating everything from Mrs. Kim’s Toforki to Jackson’s fried turkey. And somewhere in between all of those, Lorelai discovers that Rory has applied to more colleges than just Harvard (which is…the nice thing to do, Lorelai). Plus, Kirk gets a cat! It’s called Kirk! For those who don’t go back to their hometown on Thanksgiving, a return to Stars Hollow will do.

Photo: Apple TV +

Ted Lasso Putting the Christmas ring on in the middle of August, now is the perfect time to revisit it. The Most Satisfying Show on TV Has The Most Happiest Christmas Special. It doesn’t contribute anything to the plot of Season 2 except for the festive cheer and warm weather. We have footballers singing carols in the city and Richmond Football Club gathering under one roof after we realize that the holiday is not a time to feel alone.

Photo: Warner Bros/Courtesy Everett Collection

It’s the place where Phoebe’s father is not in a far overseas country, but he actually lives in upstate New York, and she goes looking for him with Joey and Chandler. It’s also where Rachel’s holiday party turns into a tropical island because Ross broke the radiator, and the superstructure is inaccessible due to the holidays. The perfect blend of chaos and sweetness needed for a Christmas sitcom.

Photo: 20thCentFox/Courtesy Everett Collection

Boyle Bingo: Thanksgiving Edition, a massive bingo card for all of Boyle’s quirky shapes, is in full swing. Jake Peralta is a true Thanksgiving grinch, who reluctantly goes to Amy’s dinner, where he has to make a toast about what he’s grateful for. There’s vegan stuffing, samosas, and Peking duck, all finished with Jell-O for Hitchcock, who’s had a colonoscopy and can’t eat solid foods.

Photo: Justin Lubin/NBCUniversal via Getty Images

fatherhoodThanksgiving episode does the best job fatherhood It works best – serious – and for that, we can’t help but be thankful. Hadi sneaks away to see her boyfriend (played by Michael B. Jordan that, frankly, her family should have understood). Crosby in charge of carving the turkey. The Bravermans soccer game does everything you need for an episode plot, from confessions to getting together.

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One of the best parts of the sitcom is introducing holiday traditions between friends. Likes How do I meet your motherSlapping. It’s Lily and Marshall’s first Thanksgiving after marriage, which Lily wants to be perfect. It got a little awkward because Ted and Robin recently broke up and Robin brought in a new, older boyfriend. Slapsgiving gets its name from Slap Bet from a previous episode, in which Marshall won the right to slap Barney five times. Marshall delivers the final blow ten seconds before.

Photo: The Walt Disney Company/Courtesy Everett Collection

It’s a straight out fan story: Lizzie’s favorite pop star comes to her hometown to shoot a music video, and she not only ends up in it, but also gets a kiss on the cheek? If Twitter existed at that time, it would have to go private immediately. Above all, the era of Aaron Carter and Hilary Duff has been a vital part of American history. I can hear the phrase “Happy Birthday, Lizzie McGuire” as if it happened yesterday.

Photo: Disney Channel/The Everett Group

Who can forget the iconic episode where Maddie digs up the secret exchange building of the Tipton Hotel to ensure she gets a gift from her certain wealthy friend, hotel heiress London Tipton, only for London to make a meaningful and poorly made gift at home? Zack and Cody’s dad are back in town these days, and in a spark of holiday spirit, Cody tries to get him and his mom back together. Oh, and then the elevator collapses from a winter storm outside, and the twins are stuck inside with a pregnant woman giving birth. A real nativity scene in Tipton.

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