Sitcom Christmas specials that are worth repeated views

Virgin Radio

22 Dec 2022, 14:39

Credit: BBC / Sony Pictures Television

Christmas is great for telly, isn’t it? One of the joys of the festive period is going through the TV guide and circling all the shows you want to watch. And a continuous source of televisual joy over the years has been the sitcom Christmas special.

Remember Geraldine Granger and her many Christmas lunches? Or what about Dawn coming back to visit Wernham Hogg? And who can forget Nessa and Dave Coaches dishing out Celebrations as presents?

Here, in no particular order, are some of the all-time great Christmas comedy episodes, which we reckon are definitely worth revisiting if you want a laugh over the next few days.

Only Fools and Horses

Back in 1996, if you weren’t settling down to enjoy the first episode of a Christmas trilogy of the much-loved BBC sitcom, then you were in the wrong place. A huge TV audience of 21.3 million people watched in the UK. 

In the episode, Del and Rodney get dressed up as Batman and Robin, which leads to one of Britain’s most iconic comedy scenes. 

The Office

The two-episode Christmas special in 2003 was the last in the series about the paper company and its employees. With David Brent having been made redundant, the mocumentary catches up three years later.

Brent is now repping, Gareth is in charge at the Slough branch of Wernham Hogg, and Dawn and Lee are living in the US.

With Dawn coming back for a festive visit, will Tim make his move… again?

The US Office

The argument rages on regarding which version of The Office is better? UK or US? Well, we think they exist perfectly well within their own universes, thank you very much, and it’s just fine to love them both.

And surely no list of classic festive sitcoms is complete without including the Secret Santa-turned-Yankee Swap episode.

Will Jim’s teapot eventually make it to Pam? And who will get the iPod? 

Gavin and Stacey

We’ve been treated to two festive episodes of the classic BBC sitcom. The first came in 2008, between series two and three, and then we rejoined the much-loved characters in 2019.

In the first, Mick is obsessed with his turkey, Pete’s looking after his mum, and Smithy has an unusual approach to wrapping his presents.

Then, in the most recent episode, Neil the Baby is no longer a baby, Smithy has got a new girlfriend, and Uncle Bryn is having a nightmare making the Christmas dinner.


Admit it, you’ve lost count of how many times you’ve watched and re-watched Friends, haven’t you? 

One of the all-time classic episodes is The One With the Holiday Armadillo, in which Ross tries to teach his son about Hanukkah, the Festival of Lights, but ends up dressing as a Holiday Armadillo.

Or, according to Chandler, a “Weird Turtle Man”.

The Vicar of Dibley

The 1996 Christmas special sees Dawn French’s Geraldine contriving to have to eat a whole bunch of lunches. 

Because everybody invites her round for Christmas dinner so she won't be alone, the popular vicar ends up having to scoff four different meals.

Ted Lasso

Whilst the above episodes were all released a while back, Ted Lasso’s festive special only came out last year. 

Weirdly released in August 2021, Carol of the Bells takes all of the feelgood energy that the sitcom exudes and ramps it up with some Christmassy vibes. 

With Ted feeling low, Rebecca rocks up and asks him to help her spread some festive cheer. 


The Strike, from 1997, is the Seinfeld episode that brings us Festivus. The holiday, which is celebrated on 23rd December as an alternative to the pressures and commercialism of the Christmas season, entered popular culture after it was made the focus of the episode.

It was co-written by Dan O'Keefe, the son of Daniel O'Keefe, who invented the holiday.

Peep Show

Mark hosting Christmas in the flat for his parents was never going to go brilliantly, was it? And that was without Super Hans turning up and Dobby’s plans changing, meaning she’ll be there too. 

Whilst Mark is finally going out with the Dobster, he hasn’t told his parents yet.

Oh, and remember, Cauliflower is not traditional, Dad.

There are, of course, loads more festive sitcom specials to enjoy, both new and old (we didn’t even mention Father Ted or Alan Partridge), but we think the above shows are certainly worth watching over and over again.