It’s the most wonderful time of the year! That is, time for TV shows to roll out a fresh batch of Christmas-themed episodes for our viewing pleasure. But which of the many Christmas episodes we’ve enjoyed over the years have stood the test of time to become a true holiday tradition? You tell us. We’ve ranked the most enduring Christmas episodes ever -- along with a few wild cards -- and placed them in a March Madness-style bracket. Over the next two weeks, we’re asking you to vote for your favorite episodes until we get a winner: the undisputed best Christmas episode of all time.
(6) Friends, "The One With the Holiday Armadillo" (aired December 14, 2000)
What's a single dad to do when he tries to plan a special celebration for the holidays with his young son, only to find out the local costume shop is all out of Santa suits? Take the only costume left and declare himself "The Holiday Armadillo"! That's what Ross does in this "Friends" gem, though he's nearly outshined by Chandler, who managed to borrow a costume and show up as Santa. Ross begged him to leave, prompting one of the installment's best lines from Mr. Bing: "But I didn't get to shake my belly like a bowl full of jelly!"
(11) Roseanne, "Santa Claus" (aired December 24, 1991)
"Santa's gotta be a woman … who else would do so much for so little"? Roseanne asks as a way of convincing her boss that she should play the Rodbell's department store Santa. With Mrs. Claus played by her sister Jackie -- who hilariously takes her job as Santa's lap-sitting organizer way too seriously -- Roseanne-as-Santa charms the good kids and threatens a fibber he'll end up "knee deep in sweaters" on Christmas morning if he doesn't work his way off the naughty list. The gig also provides Roseanne with the chance to find out something surprising about distant daughter Darlene and end up with a big gift of her own in an episode that is the epitome of the show's ability to blend sweet moments with funny ones.
Which episode deserves to advance to the next round of Mistletoe Madness? Vote in the poll above, click here to see the full bracket and vote on other pairings (first-round voting ends Tuesday at 6 PM PT), tweet out your choices using the hashtag #MistletoeMadness, and hit the comments to tell us about all the great Christmas episodes we forgot to include.
- Holidays & Celebrations
- Arts & Entertainment