With the holidays come the obligatory festive episodes of your favorite TV shows, so we decided to compile a list of some of our favorite geeky holiday fare. So, in addition to the Grinch, Frosty, and Rudolph, we bring you some of our favorite holiday-themed TV episodes:
“The Christmas Invasion,” Doctor Who
Doctor Who has stellar Christmas eps every year (see also: 2010’s “A Christmas Carol” and 2006’s “The Runaway Bride”) so, really, you can’t go wrong with anything Whovian! This episode features some spooky-looking Santas avec killer trombones and psychotic Christmas trees that spring to life, turning into killing machines. Oh, yeah, and it was the first full episode featuring David Tennant as the doc. Recovering from the regeneration process leaves him out of commish, so it’s up to Rose & Co. to fend off the Sycorax, who have one third of the world’s population hypnotized. When recovered, the Doctor challenges their leader to a sword fight to determine the fate of Earth, proving once and for all that all we need for Christmas is a Time Lord.
“Abed’s Uncontrollable Christmas,” Community
Ho-ho-holy stop-motion animation, Batman! One of Community’s more emotionally resonant episodes is also one of its all-time greatest, as everyone’s favorite geek, Abed Nadir, takes center stage. In this gem from season two, Abed, on a mission to find the true meaning of Christmas, travels with the gang travel to Planet Abed, whose atmosphere, we learn, is 7% cinnamon. There, they become Christmas-y cartoon-y versions of themselves (Jeff in the Box getting attacked by literal humbugs is a highlight) and Abed learns that, even if he’s without his family, his pals in the study group will be there for him. Cool, cool, cool, indeed!
“Amends,” Buffy the Vampire Slayer
Angel, haunted by the First Evil, which takes the form of several people he killed (including Giles’ former flame Jenny) enlists the help of Buffy, who, still connected to him, starts having the same dreams he’s having. After helping him, as they argue about whether he deserves to live or die, it starts snowing in balmy Sunnydale, bringing a calming lightness to their situation. Even frenemies Buffy and Faith have a genuine moment, which makes this the perfect Christmas ep.
“A Very Supernatural Christmas,” Supernatural
The Winchesters investigate a Santa who comes down chimneys and drags his/her victims back UP in this holiday-themed hour! Turns out, Santa is a Christmas-obsessed cannibalistic older couple who are also Pagan gods! This episode has loads of heart, though, as we see flashbacks of the Winchester boys bonding while waiting for their oft-absent father (we learn that Dean told Sam monsters were real but Santa wasn’t)! Other than the disturbing fingernail-removal scene, we get a touching gift-giving scene and the boys sing a Christmas carol to a very inebriated Santa, making this a holiday ep that has everything!
“Chuck Versus Santa Claus,” Chuck
There’s loads of bang for your buck in this Christmas extravaganza courtesy of the now departed Chuck. Here, Chuck and the Buy More gang are taken hostage by Fulcrum agent Ned, who is working with Mauser to find the Intersect. Things work out, until Chuck and Sarah’s budding relationship takes an unexpected turn when he sees her shoot and kill an unarmed Mauser. Our favorite part of this episode? It’s also a parody of Die Hard, complete with Reginald Veljohnson reprising his role of police officer Powell from the first two films!
“Corpsicle,” Pushing Daisies
Ned investigates the death of a frozen corpse while searching for his beloved Chuck, who went AWOL when she learned that he accidentally killed her father when he brought his mother back to life. Paul Reubens (aka Pee Wee Herman) guest stars as a man with primo olfactory glands—he can smell the death on Chuck!
Which holiday-themed TV episodes make your must-see list?