The Best Holiday Episodes of TV Shows on Netflix Canada Right Now

We all have a favourite Christmas movie, but holidays on the small screen can be just as magical. Here's your guide to the best festive episodes of TV shows on Netflix Canada.

Best Christmas shows on Netflix - Couple watching TV
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Christmas on the small screen

Christmas episodes of TV shows often get a bad rap for being overly sentimental. In the elegant words of Bojack Horseman, who is featured below, “special holiday episodes are always stupid.” But they can also make for some of the richest storytelling, precisely because the holidays carry so much meaning. This list features episodes about many kinds of Christmases, whether they be magical, chaotic or even heartbreaking. Between your annual viewings of Home Alone and It’s a Wonderful Life, make some time for the Christmas episodes of these TV shows on Netflix Canada.

The Office

The Office – “Christmas Party”

Christmas can bring out the best in people. For The Office‘s Michael Scott, however, it brings out petulance and greed. Insulted by the mitts Phyllis knits him for Secret Santa, Michael insists that everyone in the office play “Yankee Swap,” a game where participants steal others’ Secret Santa gifts. It makes for an uncomfortable office but a very funny episode—the ‘babies playing jazz’ poster that Toby gets Angela is absolutely hilarious. And, as with any good Office episode, the sour is balanced with some sweet, like when Pam discovers the personalized gifts inside her teapot from Jim. Because, as he puts it: “Christmas is the time to tell people how you feel.”

Here are 25 laugh-out-loud quotes from The Office.

Gilmore Girls

Gilmore Girls – “Forgiveness and Stuff”

For a light-hearted Gilmore Christmas, you can’t go wrong with season two’s “Bracebridge Dinner,” which features sleigh rides and Kirk speaking Old English. But the first season’s “Forgiveness and Stuff” gets at the heart of the holidays with its themes of forgiveness…and stuff. The episode takes place in the aftermath of Rory and Dean’s accidental all-nighter, which means Rory, Lorelai and Emily are all mad at each other and barely speaking. But then, at the Gilmore Christmas party, Grandpa Richard has a heart attack and the three Gilmore women must make amends in their fast-talking, wise-cracking way. This episode also features Luke cooking Lorelai a Santa burger, which is as adorable as it is gross.

For more festive fun, check out the best Christmas markets across Canada.

Brooklyn Nine-Nine

Brooklyn Nine-Nine – “Yippie Kayak”  

If you know Brooklyn Nine-Nine, you know what Jake Peralta’s favourite movie is—and you understand the joy on his face when, upon finding himself caught in a department-store robbery on Christmas Eve, he exclaims: “Oh my god, it’s real-life Die Hard.” But even if you don’t love Brooklyn, this holiday episode is a thrill, hitting the Die Hard beats perfectly while adding its own spin (including flamethrowers and evil Canadians.) In the end, Jake cedes the Bruce Willis action moment to his partner Charles, and in so doing gives Charles the ultimate gift: proof that Jake loves him more than any movie.

Don’t miss our countdown of the best Christmas movies of all time.

Best Christmas Shows on Netflix - Orange Is The New Black

Orange Is the New Black – “Can’t Fix Crazy” 

“Can’t Fix Crazy” is a good reminder that not everyone gets to spend Christmas with their loved ones. This Orange Is the New Black episode follows the rising tensions between protagonist Piper and evangelical inmate Pennsatucky, who feels disrespected by Piper’s refusal to be baptized. The conflict builds to a dark confrontation, but what’s most memorable about this episode is the prison pageant staged by the women of Litchfield Penitentiary. Each inmate has her moment to shine, especially the normally silent Norma, who steps forward at the last second to sing a rendition of “I Saw the Light” that can only be described as angelic.

Check out our list of the best Christmas songs, ranked!

Bojack Horseman

Bojack Horseman – “Sabrina’s Christmas Wish” 

When you think about it, Bojack Horseman has a lot in common with the Grinch. They’re both not human, they both had hard childhoods and they both hate Christmas. This special takes place on Christmas morning, when Todd convinces Bojack to watch a holiday episode of Horsin’ Around, the sitcom in which Bojack starred in the ’90s. As a result, we as viewers get to watch Horsin’ Around and hear Todd and Bojack’s commentary on it, making this episode both a parody of and tribute to those classic Christmas specials. Bojack’s cold heart eventually melts a little as he and Todd watch his old show: proof that even Grinches need company on Christmas.

Don’t miss these funny holiday jokes!

Schitt's Creek

Schitt’s Creek – “Merry Christmas, Johnny Rose”

If you’ve already had a hard year, the holidays can make things seem that much worse. For the Roses of Schitt’s Creek, who lost their entire fortune, Christmas is a painful reminder of the life they used to have. In this season four Christmas special, however, family patriarch Johnny Rose wakes up on Christmas Eve and decides he wants to celebrate. At first, the other Roses resist, but eventually they come together for a small party at the Rosebud motel. Like Schitt’s Creek as a whole, this is a story about people making the most of what they have, the best part of which is each other. Merry Christmas, Johnny Rose.

Take a look back at the funniest quotes from Schitt’s Creek.

Best Christmas Shows on Netflix - Arrested Development

Arrested Development – “Afternoon Delight” 

For a dysfunctional family Christmas, look no further than the Bluths of Arrested Development. “Afternoon Delight” revolves around the Bluth Company’s annual Christmas party, which Gob of course ruins by firing everyone, necessitating a second party where Michael can re-hire everyone. The episode builds to a classic Arrested climax that features a wonderful shot of Gob, in a banana suit, falling into the ocean. And amidst all the chaos, siblings Michael and Lindsay even manage to find some Christmas spirit.

After you’ve binged these Christmas shows, check out the best Christmas movies on Netflix right now.

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