‘The Big Bang Theory’ to ‘Friends’: 5 Episodes You Should Stream Tonight for a Perfect Christmas

Published 12/25/2023, 2:36 AM EST

via Imago

Cheerful Santas, picturesque trees, lavish gifts, and twinkling lights are all hallmarks of the holiday season. However, the chuckles injected by television specials always add an extra layer of joy to the merriment. With the season around, various streaming platforms offer a plethora of joyous and nostalgic options to add warmth to the holidays. And for those who are Netflix Junkies, consider tuning in to two of the greatest sitcoms of all time, Friends and The Big Bang Theory, available on the platform.

Both the shows have their fair share of holiday-themed episodes. Though not every season had its Christmas-themed episode, the Friends and The Big Bang Theory gang never failed to orchestrate amusing Christmas misadventures together. 

The One With The Holiday Armadillo

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Earning its stripes as the ultimate Friends holiday episode in fan circles, this episode takes an unexpected detour towards Hanukkah instead of the customary Christmas theme. The standout moment in the episode was Ross’s entrance as the Holiday Armadillo. Attempting to kindle Ben’s interest in the Jewish holiday, Ross found himself in a hilarious Armadillo costume instead of the intended Santa ensemble. 

This, coupled with Phoebe’s comical ploy to woo Rachel back home with increasingly annoying Christmas presents added an extra layer of hilarity. And it is not just us fans who love this episode. David Schwimmer himself has a special connection with this episode. Way back in 2016, he revealed that the one episode he wanted to show his daughter, Cleo, who was 5 at the time, was The One With the Holiday Armadillo.

The Bath Gift Item Hypothesis

The Big Bang Theory‘s first crack at a Christmas special, The Bath Gift Item Hypothesis, was like a gift wrapped in comedy and tied with a bow of festive cheer. The episode is a comedic powerhouse with Sheldon on a mission to find Penny the perfect gift and hilariously failing at every turn. The ultimate punchline unfolded as Penny surprised him with a signed napkin from Leonard Nimoy, leaving Sheldon’s exasperation in the dust. 

Sheldon breaking out the rare hug for Penny catapulted this Christmas special into the ranks of The Big Bang Theory‘s finest episodes, not just within the holiday lineup but across the entire series. And it is no surprise this gem boasts a stellar 9.1 rating on IMDb. With a perfect blend of character development and humor, it is a masterclass in what this show does best!

The Santa Simulation

Dungeons & Dragons has been a go-to theme for many TV shows, including the Duffer Brothers’ creation, Stranger Things. Paired with Raj’s side story of going dancing with the girls and the writer’s skillful utilization of Stuart during the D&D scenes, this Christmas episode emerged as one of the sitcom’s highlights. This episode was from the sixth season of the show, a season that has generally been underwhelming after a fairly strong start.

This episode, however, was genuinely enjoyable and showcased the writers’ adept handling of character dynamics without succumbing to overly familiar patterns. The writers deftly handled the complex history between Raj, Penny, and Bernadette in The Santa Simulation. It also infused the tabletop roleplaying with a touch of holiday cheer.

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This led to a memorable campaign where Sheldon opened up about his sentiments about Santa.

The One With Christmas In Tulsa

The last Friends Christmas episode took a detour from tradition by becoming a clip show rather than a fresh new episode. In this episode, Chandler was forced to spend Christmas in Tulsa as he was caught up in work that must be completed before Christmas Day to safeguard his job. While revisiting these classic Friends moments always brings a nostalgic touch, clip show episodes can sometimes feel skippable during a binge-watch. Nevertheless, the episode did put forth a significant moment for Chandler and Monica. 

The episode introduced Wendy, the regional vice president of the Oklahoma branch, who begins to flirt with Chandler. In a polite but firm manner, Chandler rejected her advances, highlighting the strength of his relationship with his wife. Wendy, in response, asked Chandler, why he was spending Christmas with her instead of his wife if his marriage was as exceptional as he claimed. This questioning became a turning point for Chandler, leading him to quit his job and venture into a new career in New York. 

The One with All the Candy

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Monica decided to whip up irresistible candies for the Holidays. The sweets become an instant hit among her neighbors and they push Monica to her limit for making more candies, until Chandler steps in to save the day. Meanwhile, Rachel and Tag struggle to conceal their office romance. A playful evaluation from Rachel takes a serious turn when Tag, without reading it, forwards it to human resources. The most heartwarming and memorable part of the episode, however, unfolded in the storyline between Ross and Rachel. 

Upon learning that Phoebe never had a bike growing up, Ross stepped in with a heartwarming gesture – a bike and lessons on how to ride. The gang soon realized Phoebe did not know how to ride, prompting Ross to coax her to the park. Ross decided to push Phoebe into learning the bike, and with the help of training wheels, Phoebe eventually managed to ride the bike. This storyline beautifully exemplifies the essence of camaraderie and celebration that Christmas episodes strive to convey. 

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What do you think about our suggestion? Let us know your thoughts in the comments below!

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Hriddhi Maitra

805 articles

Hriddhi Maitra is a Hollywood News reporter at Netflix Junkie. An enthusiastic movie buff, Hriddhi found her true calling when she worked as a Cinema Content Writer at My Cinema Story while analyzing movies objectively, and offering constructive feedback. Coming from a background where she worked in different niches like finance, food, travel, medicines, automobile, and entertainment, we can safely say she is a jack of all trades.

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