If you’ve already worked your way through all the festive movies on Netflix and have indulged in one-too-many Home Alones, it’s time to move on to the Christmas episodes of TV shows instead. Plus, it’s so much easier to find the time to watch a festive Friends than a whole Christmas film. You can start to feel super-festive in 30 minutes or less..!
I’ve come up with a list of all the Christmas episodes of some classic TV sitcoms and series. As much as this blog post is a list of ‘to-watch’ suggestions of top seasonal shows, it’s also a record of my favourites so that I can refer to it whenever I have a spare half-hour and am wondering what festive episode to watch.
It’s been a while since I’ve watched these festive specials of Ab Fab so I’ll be catching up with them on the iPlayer this year and I can’t wait to see Jennifer Saunderes and Joanna Lumley in full-festive action!
Where to watch: Absolutely Fabulous is currently available to watch on BBC iPlayer.
BIG BANG THEORY
I find myself welling up every time I watch the gift being exchanged in the first Christmas episode of The Big Bang Theory, even though I’ve seen it tons of times before. SO good!
- Season 2, Episode 11 – The Bath Item Gift Hypothesis
- Season 3, Episode 11 – The Maternal Congruence
- Season 6, Episode 11 – The Santa Simulation
- Season 7, Episode 11 – The Cooper Extraction
- Season 10, Episode 11 – The Holiday Summation
Where to watch: The Big Bang Theory is currently available to watch on Netflix.
THE DARLING BUDS OF MAY
I watch The Darling Buds of May every year (you guessed it, usually in May) but I like to save the fesive episode featuring my favourite TV family for December. I can’t stress how much I love this show – I even took a holiday to the farm last year!
Episode 4 – Christmas is Coming
Where to watch: This episode is currently avaialble to watch on ITV3.
We have the DVD boxset of Father Ted so we always watch the Christmas special every year. And when we turn the lights on the Christmas tree we always, without fail, say ‘They’re on now Ted”.
1996 – A Christmassy Ted
Where to watch: All three series and the Christmas Special of Father Ted is available to watch on Channel4.com
THE FRESH PRINCE OF BEL-AIR
I recently watched the first Christmas episode of The Fresh Prince of Bel-Air bacuase I have the DVD box-set of the first series and I loved seeing young Will Smith decorating the Banks’ house for Christmas!
- Season 1, Episode 15 – Deck The Halls
- Season 2, Episode 12 – Christmas Show
- Season 4, Episode 14 – T’was The Night Before Christening
Where to watch: The Fresh Prince of Bel-Air is currently available on Netflix
There are SO many festive episodes in the ten seasons of Friends – and not just the ones I’ve listed below. These are the official Christmas ones but other episodes either side of these shows are full of thanksgiving and new years fun too!
- Season 2, Episode 9 – The One With Phoebe’s Dad
- Season 3, Episode 10 – The One Where Rachel Quits
- Season 4, Episode 10 – The One With The Girl From Poughkeepsie
- Season 5, Episode 10 – The One with the Inappropriate Sister
- Season 6, Episode 10 -The One with the Routine
- Season 7, Episode 10 – The One with the Holiday Armadillo
- Season 8, Episode 11 – The One with the Creepy Holiday Card
- Season 9, Episode 10 – The One with Christmas in Tulsa
Where to watch: Friends is currently available on Netflix
FRIDAY NIGHT DINNER
I’ve just re-watched the Friday Night Dinner Christmas episode and it really makes me chuckle!
- Series 2, Episode 7 – Christmas
Where to watch: All 6 series of Friday Night Dinner is available to watch on Channel 4.com
GAVIN AND STACEY
We always watch the original Gavin & Stacey Christmas Special multiple times each year – sometimes as early as July! I’m sure the new 2019 Christmas Special will be watched just as often 🙂
Where to watch: The 2019 Christmas Special will be shown on Christmas Eve 2020 on BBC1 and both episodes are available to watch on BBC iPlayer.
THE GOOD LIFE
After all the self-sufficiency we’ve been doing at home this year I really wanted to re-watch The Good Life with Felicity Kendal and Richard Briers.
- Series 4, Episode 8 – Silly, But It’s Fun
Where to watch: I couldn’t find the series online anywhere so I asked for the DVD boxset for my birthday. The Christmas episode is on BBC2 on 22nd December at 6pm.
THE GREAT BRITISH BAKE OFF
Past Bake Off contestants compete to make the most festive bakes – yum! If this doesn’t inspire you to start making gingerbread men and mince pies, nothing will!
- 2017 – The Great Christmas Bake Off
- 2017/18 – The Great Festive Bake Off
- 2018 – The Great Christmas Bake Off
- 2019 – The Great Christmas Bake Off
Where to watch: The festive specials are currently available to watch on Channel 4.
MORECAMBE AND WISE
I love having Eric Morecambe and Ernie Wise’s Christmas Specials on in the background while I go about my festive acitivities in my home – it provides a really nostalgic feel while I decorate the tree and wrap presents.
- 7 Episodes from 1969 to 1977 – Morecambe and Wise Christmas Show
Where to watch: DVD boxsets fo the Christmas episodes are available to but or the 1975 Christmas Special will be shown on Christmas Day 2020 on BBC2.
My husband’s favourite – we watch Merry Christmas Mr Bean multiple times during the festive period: we already watched it a month or two ago and I’m sure we’ll be putting it on again this weekend.
- Series 1, Episode 7 – Merry Christmas Mr Bean
Where to watch: Mr Bean is currently available to watch on ITV4 and Prime Video.
Having watched all the seasons of New Girl in order when they aired, I’ve never revisited the festive episodes as stand-alone shows so I’m excited to try them out this week. Seeing as Zooey Deschanel stars in one of my favourite Christmas films Elf, I’m sure her seasonal TV shows will be just as fab.
- Season 1, Episode 9 – The 23rd
- Season 2, Episode 11 – Santa
- Season 4, Episode 11 – LAXmas
- Season 6, Episode 10 – Christmas Eve Eve
Where to watch: New Girl is currently available to watch on Prime Video.
A bit of a British classic, the Christmas episodes were long-awaited when they first aired over two evenings back in 2003. Of course I’m talking about the UK version of The Office with Ricky Gervais – I haven’t watched beyond the first episode of the US version so I don’t even know if they have a Christmas special? Perhaps you can fill me in??
- Series 3, Episode 1 – The Christmas Special (Part 1)
- Series 3, Episode 2 – The Christmas Special (Part 2)
Where to watch: The series is currently available on Netflix and NowTV.
ONLY FOOLS AND HORSES
In the end, Only Fools and Horses became a solely Christmas special-based show. While I was growing up there was a new festive episode every year on the 25th of December, so it became a Christmas tradition to watch David Jason and Nicholas Lyndhurst as Del Boy and Rodney Trotter on the big day.
- 1981 – Christmas Crackers
- 1982 – Christmas Trees
- 1983 – Thicker Than Water
- 1985 – To Hull and Back
- 1986 – A Royal Flush
- 1987 – The Frog’s Legacy
- 1988 – Dates
- 1989 – The Jolly Boys’ Outing
- 1990- Rodney Come Home
- 1991 – Miami Twice, Part 1 and 2
- 1992 – Mother Nature’s Son
- 1993 – Fatal Extraction
- 1996, Episode 1 – Heroes and Villains
- 1996, Episode 2 – Modern Men
- 1996, Episode 3 – Time On Our Hands
- 2001 – If They Could See Us Now
- 2002 – Strangers on the Shore
- 2003 – Sleepless in Peckham
Where to watch: Only Fools and Horses is currently available to watch on Britbox and Netflix.
THE VICAR OF DIBLEY
Thanks to the BBC, I’ve recently re-watched every episode of The Vicar of Dibley as the box-set is available on the iPlayer at the moment. I love watching Dawn French and I couldn’t believe how many episodes there are that I didn’t see the first time round. There’s even some new 2020 lockdown specials so check those out too.
- Series 1, Episode 8 – The Christmas Lunch Incident
- Series 3, Episode 2 – Winter
- Series 4, Episode 1 – Merry Christmas
- Series 4, Episode 2 – Happy New Year
- Series 5, Episode 1 – The Handsome Stranger
- Series 5, Episode 2 – The Vicar in White
Where to watch: The series is currently available to watch on BBC iPlayer and The Christmas Lunch Incident will be shown on Christmas day 2020 on BBC1.
I’d love to know which of these shows is your favourite so please leave me a comment below and please do let me know if I’ve missed off a show you love so that I can add the details to make this the most epic Christmas telly list ever! 🙂