The Best 90s Holiday Episodes Worth Revisiting For Some Retro Cheer

Joel Stice

Read Time 4 minutes

Seinfeld via NBC

Every year we get a fresh crop of TV episodes dedicated to the holiday season. While some become as forgettable as last year’s fruitcake, others are destined to become holiday classics to be enjoyed for repeated viewings. The 1990s were no different than any other decade in this regard and gave us some hilariously festive TV moments.

In the spirit of the season, here are 10 holiday-themed episodes from the 90s that are sure to bring back fond memories and fill you up with retro cheer. So without further ado, put on the hot cocoa and get ready to relive the best 90s season ever.

1. “The Strike” Seinfeld
First Aired: Dec 18, 1997
Starring: Jerry Seinfeld, Jason Alexander, Michael Richards, Julia Louis-Dreyfus

One of the most iconic holiday episodes of all time, it’s centered around Kramer’s return to work and the incredibly bizarre holiday of Frank Costanza. We’re talking of course about Festivus and everything that comes with it. Now somebody break out the aluminum pole!

2. “Merry Christmas, Mrs. Moskowicz” Frasier
First Aired: Dec 17, 1998
Starring: Kelsey Grammer, Jane Leeves, David Hyde Pierce, Peri Gilpin, John Mahoney

Via NBC

Frasier had numerous holiday episodes, but this one is a fan favorite for sure. When Frasier pretends to be Jewish so as not to upset the mother of a woman he’s dating, pure hilarity ensues. It’s worth watching this episode to see Niles dressed as Jesus alone.

3. “Twas The Blight Before Christmas” Home Improvement
First Aired: Dec 15, 1993
Starring: Tim Allen, Patricia Richardson, Jonathan Taylor Thomas, Richard Karn

Because it’s Home Improvement, you know that Tim is going to somehow try to add a motor or turn up the voltage with the holidays. All the Taylor boys have their own storyline going in this episode, but it’s Mark appearing in a Christmas recital that really seems to connect the strongest.

4. “The One Where Rachel Quits” Friends
First Aired: Dec 14, 1996
Starring: Jennifer Aniston, Courteney Cox Lisa Kudrow, Matt LeBlanc, Matthew Perry, David Schwimmer

Yes, the holiday armadillo is a classic, but is it really better than the one where Rachel quits? Debatable. Everyone in this episode is a holiday mess, but it’s a toss-up between Joey’s job at a Christmas tree lot and Ross trying to win a trip to Space Camp — via selling cookies — that make it a Friends classic.

5. “Christmas Show” The Fresh Prince of Bel-Air
First Aired: Dec 16, 1991
Starring: Will Smith, Alfonso Ribeiro, James Avery, Tatyana Ali

Via NBC

The Fresh Prince was always great at mixing Will’s antics and occasionally tugging at viewer’s heartstrings. After the Banks family finds out all of their gifts have been stolen while on a ski trip, they learn to make the most of the holiday season. Besides making you laugh, it’s a reminder that the important thing during the season isn’t gifts, but family. (cue studio audience “aww”)

6. “The Best Christmas Ever” That 70s Show
First Aired: Dec 13, 1998
Starring: Topher Grace, Ashton Kutcher, Laura Prepon, Mila Kunis, Danny Masterson, Wilmer Valderrama

You won’t get any heartfelt messages with That 70s Show, but what you will get is Eric and his buddies finding a festive way to piss off Red. After the guys pocket the cash that was supposed to go towards a Christmas tree, they soon find out that their holiday beer bash isn’t going to turn out the way they had hoped.

7. “White Trash Christmas” Roseanne
First Aired: Dec 14, 1993
Starring: Roseanne Barr, John Goodman, Lauri Metcalf

Plenty of seasonal specials like to incorporate holiday decorating into the storyline, and this Roseanne episode hilariously followed that trend. There’s some drama with Darlene living with David, but the highlight is the Conners’ feud with the neighborhood over their tacky decorations. In case you were wondering, yes, beer cans can be used as a wreath.

8. “Santa’s Little Helpers” Boy Meets World
First Aired: Dec 11, 1998
Starring: Ben Savage, Rider Strong, Danielle Fisher, Will Friedle, William Daniels

Via ABC

The Boy Meets World episodes that focused on Eric Matthews were always some of the funniest. In this episode from the later part of the series, Eric dresses up as Santa for needy kids. While he’s certainly not the best Santa, he develops a special connection with one of the kids who is an orphan.

9. “Amends” Buffy The Vampire Slayer
First Aired: Dec 15, 1998
Starring: Sarah Michelle Gellar, Alyson Hannigan, David Boreanaz, Seth Green

Via Warner Bros.

What would the holidays be without vampires and teenage drama? This episode isn’t exactly merry, as Angel must deal with an evil force that wants to use his past sins to kill Buffy. Still, the Joss Wheadon-directed episode is a nice alternative to the more typical holiday fare on our list.

10: “A Rugrats Chanukah” Rugrats
First Aired: Dec 4, 1996

We can’t have a “best of” holiday list without Hanukah and who better than Tommy Pickles to tell us the history of this Jewish holy holiday? The Rugrats tied the traditions of Judaism into more than a few episodes, but this is a real standout. During a pageant at Borris’ synagogue, the babies attempt to help him deal with a childhood foe.

So how about it? Which 90s holiday episodes do you watch every year when the festivities roll around?

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