“Fantastic Five Friday” is a weekly meme hosted by Anna @ The Weekly Enthusiast. Each Friday a new list will be posted about five things related to television and film. You can join in on the awesomeness even if you don’t have a blog by commenting on Anna’s FFF post here.
This week’s topic is:
Five Favorite Holiday Episodes
I love holiday-themed episodes. To a ridiculous extent. Every Thanksgiving and Christmas, I have to watch all of my favorites, even if I’ve seen them a thousand times, just because it doesn’t feel like the season until I’ve seen them (or at least, most of them). Of course, I can’t list them all (there are new ones every year, you know), so I’ll settle for my five absolute favorites
(even though this list is cheating a little bit).
5. Naturally Sadie, A Very Sadie Christmas (2×24)
“As I walked into the caf the very next day, / My body was screaming, ‘Hip hip hooray!’ / My perfect gift was wrapped up in style, / And I could not wait to see Ben Harrison’s smile.”
There are probably only five people on the internet who know this show, but (from the second season onward) I loved it. A lot. A Very Sadie Christmas has everything I want in a holiday episode – gratuitous rhyming, fluffy feelings, some cliche but adorable plot-lines, and slight progress in one of the cutest relationships ever. My favorite thing about this episode is the way Ben and Sadie are willing to give up the thing that means the most to them, just to buy each other a gift that’ll be special (because they care about each other greatly). It’s a play on O. Henry’s short story, The Gift of the Magi, but even though it’s a familiar story, it fits these characters well and still makes me feel warm and fuzzy. I absolutely adore it (and Charlotte Arnold).
4. Boy Meets World, Easy Street (4×12)
|“Cory, it’s Christmas Eve. You should be with your family.”
“No, see, that would be the wrong choice. See, the difference in the poem is that that guy had to choose his road alone.”
“So you don’t think he had a best friend?”
“No, I guess not. But according to this, you do.
There are four Boy Meets World Christmas episodes, and while I enjoy rewatching them all this time of year, my favorite (and the most meaningful, in my opinion) is Easy Street. This episode isn’t Christmas-y in the sense that it’s about holiday traditions or Santa, like the other Christmas-themed episodes in this series, but it’s an amazing episode about doing whatever it takes to make Christmas special for those you care about (even if this means taking a shady job for the — possible — mafia, just so you can buy expensive, amazing presents for your friends and family). My favorite aspect of Boy Meets World has always been Shawn and Cory’s friendship, which is at the forefront in this episode, and probably why I love it a little more than all of its other holiday specials. I love what Easy Street says about the two of them, and I love how they end up interpreting Robert Frost’s poem “The Road Not Taken” in the end.
3.How I Met Your Mother, The Final Page (8×11 & 8×12)
“Eight years ago I made an ass of myself chasing after you, and I made ass of myself chasing after you a bunch of times since then and I have no regrets because it led me something that I wouldn’t trade for the world… It led to you being my friend.”
— Ted Mosby
How I Met Your Mother isn’t known for its Christmas episodes (like it is known for its Thanksgiving ones). Though it’s had five episodes that take place during this holiday, only one specifically is about Christmas or Christmas-y things (season one’s How Lily Stole Christmas), and some of these (particularly season seven’s Symphony of Illumination) are even really depressing. For this reason, when The Final Page aired this Monday, even though it wasn’t overtly filled with holiday themes, I held onto it. And watched it repeatedly. The Final Page is the kind of episode I want to see during this season because it makes me cry, it makes me laugh, and it makes me incredibly giddy. It simultaneously makes me want to hug all of the characters, and throw confetti, and sob for eight seasons because… wow. What. A. Midseason. Finale. I’m not going to spoil it for those of you who haven’t seen it yet, but this episode is filled with everything I love about this show. It is beautiful. It is romantic. Moreover, it is bromantic. And if I didn’t adore already adore Barney Stinson before (I did), then I most definitely adore him now. This show is meant to be a comedy, but lately, it’s been making me feel all the feels. But with episodes like this one, the feels are totally welcome. Bring it on, How I Met Your Mother. (I can’t wait to see the second half of season eight next year.)
(Note: The quote I wanted to quote has been left out because it is not only incredibly spoilerific, but also, it’s way too long. *sigh* Damn your perfect speeches, Barney Stinson!)
2. The O.C., The Best Chrismukkah Ever (1×13)
|“So what’s it going to be, huh? Do you want your menorah or candy cane? Hmmm? Hanukkah or Christmas?”
“Uh huh. Don’t worry about it, buddy. Because in this house you don’t have to choose. Allow me to introduce you to a little something that I like to call ‘Chrismukkah’.”
“That’s right. It’s the new holiday Ryan, and it’s sweeping the nation.”
There’s a Chrismukkah episode in every season of The O.C., but I have a soft spot for the first one because it’s the episode that introduces the concept (and I’m just incredibly biased — the first season was my favorite). From Seth Cohen’s logical explanation for the holiday to the perfect mixtape to shoplifting in malls to drunken Christmas dances to Spiderman kisses, this episode is beyond entertaining. It just isn’t The O.C. without it.
1. Friends, The One with the Girl from Poughkeepsie (4×10)
|“Went to the store, sat on Santa’s lap, asked him to bring my friends all kinds of crap. / He said, ‘All you need is to write them a song.’ Now, you haven’t heard it yet, so don’t try to sing along. / So don’t sing along! / Monica, Monica, have a happy Hanukkah. / Saw Santa Claus, he said hello to Ross. / And please tell Joey Christmas will be snowy. / And Rachel and Chandler… [mumbles] gl… handler…
Happy holidays everybody!”
It’s probably cheating (because it’s so long, and therefore has more options than most television shows), but Friends is my go-to show for any holiday. Nearly every season has a Christmas (or New Years) episode, and it’s entertaining watching them in order, seeing what changes year to year, and especially, what manages to go wrong. Maybe it’s because this show focuses more on the comedy than it does on the drama, but it’s my favorite to watch during the season because it’s light, hilarious, and never boring. I want to say I adore them all (even The One With Christmas in Tulsa, even though it’s basically a montage of all the other Christmas episodes), but if I had to choose a favorite, it’s The One with the Girl from Poughkeepsie — solely for Phoebe’s quest to write the perfect Christmas song. (Monica and Joey’s shenanigans are amusing as well.)
Degrassi: The Next Generation — “If Jay Can’t Be Happy…” (Season 8 Mini)
“Yo, my name is Holly J, and you’ve gots to be told / when it gets into the winter months, it starts to get cold, / but luckily for everyone, you will not shed a tear / ’cause coming around the corner is some holiday cheer. / It’s gotta be hardcore, hardcore, hardcore / when you’re standing under mistletoe that hangs above the door… / Do I have to make this clear? Should I write it in a note? / Just put your arms around me, stick your tongue into my throat. / Booyah.”
I don’t know what to say about this miniature episode, except for the fact that I had to mention it in some capacity because type-A Holly J Sinclair, under some evil Christmas dust (or whatever that is), raps the most… interesting rhyme to her pre-Declan sort-of-crush Blue, and embarrasses the hell out of herself. This episode is also adorable for the Jay/Manny pining, and the KC/Clare cuteness.
Sailor Moon S (The Movie)
This isn’t exactly a Christmas episode — it kind of has (nearly) nothing to do with the holiday (and it’s a film special). But it snows a lot, and it’s adorable and romantic, and there’s Tuxedo Mask dressed as Santa Claus, so I’m throwing it on this list anyway.