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? Action Figure Junkies 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. We have done our best to update where you can stream these episodes, however, when in doubt, check JustWatch.com. This website is probably the best gift we can give you! #AFJ4LIFE
11. The Real Ghostbusters: X-Mas Marks the Spot (Season 1, Episode 13)
Availability: DVD, Netflix
Yes, The Real Ghostbusters, not the one with lame ass Gorilla. Here in “X-Mas Marks the Spot” the guys bust the Charles Dickens’ Ghosts and have to fill in. A fun romp and a 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, CBS All-Access
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
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 shootout around the Christmas tree is a perfect genre feast!
8. Quantum Leap: A Little Miracle (Season 3, Episode 10)
Availability: DVD, Hulu, Amazon Prime (Buy), Apple (Buy), Vudu (Buy)
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, Apple TV (Buy), Fandango Now (Buy), Amazon Prime (Buy), YouTube (full episode below)
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, tubitv, Amazon Prime (Buy)
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. The clip below is a review of the episode.
5. Doctor Who: A Christmas Carol (Season 6, Episode 0/ Holiday Special)
Availability: Blu-ray, DVD, Amazon Prime
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, Apple (Buy), Microsoft (Buy), YouTube (Below)
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, Blu-ray, Amazon Prime (Buy), Google Play (Buy)
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 you of the great Batman resurgence of the early nineties. FYI Junkies, this episode even spawn a DC Icons figure of the Joker.
2. Futurama: Xmas Story (Season 2, Episode 8)
Availability: DVD, Hulu, SyFy, Amazon Prime (Buy)
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.
1. The Twilight Zone: Night of the Meek (Season 2, Episode 11)
Availability: Blu-ray, DVD, Netflix, Amazon Prime
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.