Not A Hallmark Christmas Movie Binger? Try These TV Christmas Episodes Instead

Melinda Crow

Photo by Nicolas J Leclercq on Unsplash

If you're fed up with holiday musicals and sugar-coated Hallmark movies, or maybe you don’t have the stomach for that stuff, even in a normal year, there are alternatives.

If Die Hard is your idea of the world's best Christmas movie, this list may be for you. After you've done your Bruce Willis impression for the hundredth time, move on to these comedies for some holiday laughter, with just a hint of sappiness.

For Netflix members only:

Start with The Office

Even if you were never a regular watcher of the series, you can dive into the Christmas episodes from the past. I mean, who doesn't love Steve Carrell? And John Krasinski? Even the females in your life will hit the couch with you when he's involved.

The Christmas cheer begins in season two and only the fourth season lacks a holiday episode. Most episodes run around a half hour or less, so there's plenty of opportunities for snack breaks. Total viewing time for seven episodes will eat up three hours and forty-nine minutes of your time, so plan accordingly.

Here's your episode list with ratings from IMDb:

  • Season 2 Episode 10 2005 Christmas Party 22 minutes IMDb rating: 8.9 stars
  • Season 3 Episode 10 2006 Benihana Christmas 42 minutes IMDb rating: 8.8 stars
  • Season 5 Episode 10 2008 Moroccan Christmas 30 minutes IMDb rating: 8.4 stars
  • Season 6 Episode 13 2009 Secret Santa 30 minutes IMDb rating: 8.5 stars
  • Season 7 Episode 11 2010 Classy Christmas 1 hour IMDb rating: 9 stars
  • Season 8 Episode 10 2011 Christmas Wishes 23 minutes IMDb rating: 7.9 stars
  • Season 9 Episode 9 2012 Dwight Christmas 22 minutes IMDb rating: 8.4 stars

New Girl has eye candy for everyone

Again, you don’t have to be a regular fan of this show to appreciate the wacky humor of Zooey Deschanel-- or just appreciate looking at Zooey Deschanel or her male costars. You get four episodes to enjoy that all center around Zooey's character living with a whole herd of men all at once, roommate-style. Once again, the episodes are sitcom length, so the four episodes will take you one hour and twenty-seven minutes to feast your eyes and have a laugh or three.

Here's your episode list with ratings from IMDb:

  • Season 1 Episode 9 2011 The 23rd 22 minutes IMDb rating: 7.7 stars
  • Season 2 Episode 11 2012 Santa 20 minutes IMDb rating: 8.2 stars
  • Season 4 Episode 11 2014 LAXmas 22 minutes IMDb rating: 7.6 stars
  • Season 6 Episode 10 2016 Christmas Eve Eve 23 minutes IMDb rating 7.6 stars

Wrap things up with The Ranch

This is the one that might suck you into watching the whole series, whether for the first time or the fifth. It may even be the one series that could convince you to open a Netflix account. The humor is rowdy. The characterizations are human. And the storyline builds from straight-up humor to just enough sappy seriousness to keep you watching. Plus, there's Ashton Kutcher. You get three episodes focused on the holidays to dip your toes into the puddle before you decide whether to hit rewind and start the whole series from the beginning.

Here's your episode list with ratings from IMDb:

  • Season 1 Episode 20 2016 Merry Christmas (Wherever You Are) 30 minutes IMDb rating: 8.6 stars
  • Season 2 Episode 1 2017 My Next Thirty Years 30 minutes IMDb rating: 8.1
  • Season 4 Episode 20 2020 Take Me Home, Country Roads 30 minutes IMDb rating: 8.9

And for the non-Netflixers among us:

Here are your top choices across the generations, including where to watch:

Moonlighting Season 2 Episode 10 1985
Twas the Episode Before Christmas, starring Bruce Willis, Cybill Shepherd, Allyce Beasley; watch on Amazon Prime Video.

Hot in Cleveland Season 6 Episode 7 2014 Cold in Cleveland: The Christmas Episode, starring Valerie Bertinelli, Jane Leeves, Wendie Malick, and Betty White; Watch on CBS All Access and for Purchase on Amazon Prime Video.

Mom Season 5 Episode 8 2017 An Epi-Pen and a Security Cat, starring Anna Faris, Allison Janney, and Mimi Kennedy; Available for purchase on Amazon Prime Video or YouTube TV.

Night Court Season 1 Episode 2 1984 Santa Goes Downtown, starring Harry Anderson, Karen Austin, John Larroquette; Available for purchase on Amazon Prime Video.

Married With Children Season 2 Episode 13 1987 You Better Watch Out, starring Ed O'Neill, Katey Segal, and David Garrison; Available for purchase on Amazon Prime Video and on Hulu.

Boston Legal Season 3, Episode 10 2006 The Nutcrackers, starring James Spader, Julie Bowen, Mark Valley; Watch free with ads on IMDB TV.

Monk Season 5 Episode 9 2006 Mr. Monk Meets His Dad, starring Tony Shalhoub, Traylor Howard, Jason Gray-Stanford; Available on Amazon Prime Video.

Last Man Standing Season 4 Episode 11 2014 Wedding Planning, starring Tim Allen, Nancy Travis, Molly Ephraim; Available for purchase on Amazon Prime or on YouTube TV.

Cheers Season 6 Episode 12 1987 Christmas Cheers, starring Ted Danson, Kirstie Alley, Rhea Perlman; Available on CBS All Access and for purchase on Amazon Prime Video and Hulu.

Seinfeld Season 4 Episode 13 1992 The Pick, starring Jerry Seinfeld, Julia Louis-Dreyfus, Michael Richards; Available for purchase on Amazon Prime Video or on Hulu.

M*A*S*H Season 1 Episode 12 1972 Dear Dad, starring Alan Alda, Wayne Rogers, McLean Stevenson; Available for purchase on Amazon Prime and on YouTube TV.

Fresh Prince of Bel-Air Season 2 Episode 13 1991 Christmas Show, starring Will Smith, James Avery, Janet Hubert; Available for purchase on Amazon Prime Video, and on YouTube TV.


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Waco, TX

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