11 Essential Holiday Genre Episodes - Mania.com

11 Essential Holiday Genre Episodes

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11 Essential Holiday Genre Episodes

For Your Holiday Viewing Pleasure

By Robert T. Trate     December 03, 2012
Source: Mania.com

The Doctor, a Christmas staple!
The holidays are a tricky time for television. More often than not, TV shows go on hiatus for the holidays. There was a time when this wasn’t so. There were also a few TV shows that broke with convention and had the holiday play a part of the episode. Others, well, what is more magical than the spirit of Christmas? Mania has assembled 11 Essential Holiday Genre Episodes for your viewing pleasure. There are, of course, more out there. However, these precious 11 stand high above the rest. 
11. The Real Ghostbusters: X-Mas Marks the Spot (Season 1, Episode 13)
Availability: DVD and YouTube
Yes, The Real Ghostbusters, not the one with lame ass Gorilla. Here in “X-Mas Marks the Spot” the guys bust the Dickens’ Ghosts and have to fill in. A fun romp and perfect mix of what would happen if the Ghostbusters busted Christmas Past, Christmas Present, and Christmas Yet to Come. 

10. Beauty and the Beast: Dead of Winter (Season 2, Episode 4)
Availability: DVD, Netflix, and YouTube
All right, before you go all willy nilly on me, the love story of Vincent and Catherine takes a backseat in this episode. Those that live below prepare to celebrate Winter Fest and be thankful for the life they have created. Vincent’s father, Paracelcus, has returned and the master of disguise is taking his revenge on those that outcasted him. Murder, mystery, and a guy who looks like a lion. Sounds like Christmas to me.

9. Farscape: Terra Firma (Season 4, Episode 13)
Availability: Blu-ray, DVD, and Netflix
When John Crichton actually got home the first time, it was the past. The second time, it was Christmas. So imagine his surprise when an alien assassin shows up and tries to murder both him and Aeryn. The shoot out around the Christmas tree is a perfect genre feast!

8. Quantum Leap: A Little Miracle (Season 3, Episode 10)
Availability: DVD and Netflix
This is one of those rare episodes where the person Sam Beckett is trying to save can actually see Al’s hologram. Al plays more of a prominent role in the episode as they try and scare the Dickens out of this cold hearted tycoon. The clip below is not from the episode but fun nonetheless.

7. Amazing Stories: Santa ’85 (Season 1, Episode 11)
Availability: DVD, YouTube, and Netflix
We all have that gift we only asked Santa for and never got. What if you held that grudge your entire life? Pat Hingle plays such a man and the Sheriff that arrests Santa Claus in this classic episode.

6. G.I. Joe: Cobra C.L.A.W.s Are Coming to Town (Season 1, Episode 39)
Availability: DVD, Netflix, and YouTube
If you are old enough to remember G.I. Joes, then you know the joy that the holidays brought. The best year was the year my brother and I got the USS Flagg. Here is a fun episode involving the holiday and a shrink/ enlarging ray. Shipwreck really had his hands full by the end. Enjoy this brief clip from the episode. 

5. Doctor Who: A Christmas Carol (Season 6, Episode 0/ Holiday Special)
Availability: Blu-ray and DVD
Every year now the BBC releases a Doctor Who holiday special. It was a tradition in the UK which, thankfully, has found its way here. There are various levels onto which they revolve around the holiday. This one stands high above the rest.
4. Tales from the Crypt: And All Through the House (Season 1, Episode 2)
Availability: DVD and YouTube
Here it is, the second episode of Tales from the Crypt. Not only does it not disappoint, but it gives you everything you would axe for during the holidays.

3. Batman: Christmas with the Joker (Season 1, Episode 38)
Availability: DVD and YouTube
Batman truly has his hands full as he battles the Joker on Christmas Eve. Oh, and to make matters worse, the Joker is televising the entire thing. Lots of iconic imagery, here, and watching it again reminds of you of the great Batman resurgence of the early nineties.


2. Futurama: Xmas Story (Season 2, Episode 4)
Availability: DVD and Netflix
What if a Santa had been programmed to reward only the good children and punish all the naughty ones? Futurama takes it to the extreme and reflects back on us the absurdities that we have taken Christmas to. Enjoy this very brief clip from the episode! 

1. The Twilight Zone: Night of the Meek (Season 2, Episode 11)
Availability: Blu-ray, DVD, YouTube, and Netflix
This is the “must watch” on our list. Truly, Rod Serling had an incredible gift for telling stories. Wrap one of his tales in Christmas and I dare you not to cry while you are in The Twilight Zone.


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SarcasticCaveman 12/3/2012 12:48:27 AM

 Good list, but I think my favorite Christmas episode of "Twilight Zone" is "Changing of the Guard."  Donald Pleasence is a teacher at an ivy league boys school who is told he has to retire during Christmas break.  Feeling as though he's being unduly ousted, he calls his whole life and career into question and starts doubting that he hever made a difference in any of the lives of his students.  As he's out walking, contemplating suicide, the class bell starts ringing.  He goes into the building to investigate where he is greeted by apparitions of former students of his who thank him for everything he taught them - not just scholastics, but the meaning of things like honor and courage and sacrifice.  I can never watch it and keep my eyes dry.

SarcasticCaveman 12/3/2012 12:50:23 AM

 Oh, and not exactly genre, but as my wife got me into the series, I gotta mention "Black Adder's Christmas Carol"...LOL

ElBaz13 12/3/2012 6:36:50 AM

Awesome list Rob!

Just watched Night of the Meek not long ago. Very odd that it was one of the few studio produced Twilight Zone episodes (it has that "this episode was shot before a live studio audience" feel. Very good.

And thanks for that Ghostbusters reference. Man, I remember seeing this as a kid and thought it was pretty funny and well done. Totally forgotten about it.

Batman Christmas with the Joker keeps reminding how good Batman was compared to that Nolan dreck out there.

Just bought the GiJoe box set a few months ago so I will track down the episode and watch it before Dec 25th.

Other shows that could have made the list:

X-Files - How the Ghosts Stole Christmas

I believe Hercules and Xena had X-mas episodes too.

I'm sure you could have made a top 25 list of episodes but that's a lot of TV to watch. :)

redhairs99 12/3/2012 8:16:53 AM

 Yeah, Xena had at least one or 2 "Winter Soltice" episodes that were good.

Also, Eureka made a habit of having a Christmas episode every year as well.

MrOptimusPrime 12/3/2012 9:25:20 AM

This is a great list.....even if I have not watched all of these episodes however The GIJOE ep; Tales from the Crypt ep; Batman TAS ep & The Twilight ep all hold a special place in my heart each year and I do have all of them on DVD!!!  But I do not just watch them during the holidays these episodes can be watched anytime.......just sit back and enjoy!!!! 

invisioner 12/3/2012 11:54:10 AM

Tales from the Dark Side had a story about the Grither that was a sort of Anti-Santa. the more you say the name, the closer he comes. that was holiday awesomeness.

CaptAmerica04 12/3/2012 12:05:32 PM

 Hmmm... my comment didn't get posted for some reason.  So, sorry if it pops up later as a repeat:

I think that the list should've been expanded to 12 episodes and include the animated Justice League episode "Comfort and Joy."  It's a great episode and an annual watch for my daughter and I.  It's all of the different JLA'ers celebrating in their own ways, but the best is the part with Martian Manhunter learning about holiday spirit and family when he goes to the Kent family farm with Superman (and Clark's lead-wrapped Christmas presents).

RobertTrate 12/3/2012 3:15:43 PM

 CaptAmerica04, never saw that one!!!!! Sounds great... are they on Netflix????

Mayhem101878 12/3/2012 3:34:28 PM

I love that episode of Batman. I was just thinking about it the other day. My favorite part is in the begining where Joker is singing the Batman version of Jingle Bells. I acctually saw again the other day on the Hub.

I also like one that didn't make it on the list "A Very Supernatural Christmas" form Season 3 Episode 8

Where a pagan god dressed like Santa goes around killing people and at the end we see whe Sam gave Deam his amulet that later on Cas tries to use to find God.

almostunbiased 12/3/2012 4:27:45 PM

I watched the first 14 minutes and then the episode stops, WTH that's just mean.

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