Christmas time is often defined as a period for joy, laughter, and togetherness, and if there’s one show that consistently exemplified all of these qualities throughout its nine season run, it is The Office (we’re just talking about the American version of the show this time around, so sorry to those of you who are all about David Brent and co). Even though the beloved sitcom is no longer on Netflix, it can still be easily found and viewed on Peacock and Amazon Prime Video, making it easy to still watch the comedy we all fa-la-love.
While there are many great episodes of the series to choose from, we are currently entering the thick of the holiday season, which means it only makes sense that you put watching The Office‘s Christmas episodes at the top of your to-do list. The show put out nine total Christmas episodes during its run on NBC (surprisingly, not one for every season, as two of those episodes are two-parters), and these really run the gamut of hilarious and heartfelt to offensive and cringey.
There’s everything from drunken mishaps (lots of these, actually) to unwanted trips to rehab to utter heartbreak, which may not seem like sources of levity, but in the hands of this cast, are mined for comedy gold. Not every episode is a hit and some moments definitely aged better than others, but when it comes down to figuring out what to watch this holiday season, you and your family really can’t go wrong with spending some Christmases with your friends at Dunder Mifflin.
Down to watch but not sure where to start? Here’s our list of every single The Office Christmas episode ranked from nicest to naughtiest.
“A Benihana Christmas Part 2” Season 3, Episode 11
Okay, so this episode is supposed to be the big payoff of everything set up in “A Benihana Christmas Part 1.” Unfortunately, moments like Kevin weighing double fudge brownies against Angela and having it be a very close call (the brownies are the only reason he attends her Christmas party over Pam and Karen’s margarita karaoke-fest) and Jim taking advantage of Dwight’s separation from the rest of the group at Benihana to get him to loudly say nonsense to the waitress and across the table are ultimately overshadowed by the racist notes that run through the entire episode, making it very difficult to watch today.
We know that it came out in 2006 and it was a different social and comedic climate, but still, it’s hard to watch Michael be so unable (or unwilling) to tell two very different looking Asian women apart than he has to MARK ONE WOMAN’S ARM (!!!) with a marker just to do so, and even harder to see him and Jim laughing together about said arm-marking. We expect a certain level of cringe from Michael Scott but this is just too much and is probably best avoided, as there are plenty of other quality (and less overtly offensive) The Office Christmas episodes to watch instead.
“Christmas Wishes” Season 8, Episode 10
Now Andy is the boss (and man in the red hat) and he’s eager to kick off his first office Christmas bash as the head honcho by showing off his cross country coach girlfriend, Jessica. New CEO of Dunder Mifflin/Sabre and recently divorced Robert California has joined the party as well (with a tracksuit and blazer combo that’s definitely a cry for help) and is enabling Erin to drink, and though she usually abstains, she’s feeling hurt and jealous watching Andy move on from her and looking so happy, so she really lets loose. Jim and Dwight are tasked with giving up on pranking each other (whoever caves first misses out on his bonus), and Darryl is making progress with the object of his affections, warehouse foreman Val (Ameenah Kaplan).
This episode, however, suffers from the absences of Pam (she’s on maternity leave) and Michael (who left the show at the end of Season 7), and also from Robert’s uncomfortable seeming-attempt to hit on a drunken Erin (thankfully nothing happens in the end but the implication is still enough to make you squirm a bit) and efforts to ply her with alcohol. All in all, not The Office‘s best holiday-themed work.
“A Benihana Christmas Part 1” Season 3, Episode 10
After Michael’s girlfriend, Carol (who is wonderfully played Carrell’s real-life wife, Nancy) dumps him (and not even a trip to Sandals, Jamaica can convince her otherwise), Michael wants to cancel the office Christmas party that is supposed to happen later that day. Meanwhile, the party itself is starting to spiral out of control as Pam and Karen join forces to form a party planning committee to go head-to-head with Angela’s own committee she dominates with a rigid, iron fist.
Andy is attempting to take advantage of Michael’s broken heart to get into his good graces and kiss up, adding fuel to the flames of his rivalry with Dwight to see who can be the closest to their boss. This leads to a hilarious interaction at Benihana hibachi restaurant, where Dwight is isolated from Michael, Andy, and Jim, leading to him pulling the trigger on Angela beginning her Nutcracker-themed party at the same time as Pam and Karen’s margarita karaoke party. Like “Classy Christmas Part 1,” this is an episode more concerned with setting up action then being a knock-out episode in its own right, hence why it isn’t higher on the list, but it still gets some solid jokes in and has its entertaining moments.
“Classy Christmas Part 1” Season 7, Episode 11
Michael is disappointed that everyone in the office seems so happy and well-adjusted this Christmas, so now he’s fishing for drama. As you may expect, it doesn’t take long for the drama to arrive, as Dwight challenges Jim to a snowball fight (which ends up being more intense than Jim anticipates), and word spreads that Michael’s “one who got away” Holly has been transferred back to Scranton to replace Toby, who is thrilled to be on jury duty for the Scranton Stranger’s trial. Darryl is going through some family drama, but Pam thinks it could help his situation if he invites his daughter (who has decided to spend the holidays with her mom) to the office’s Christmas party.
It’s a solid episode with some good laughs, but since it’s mostly set-up for Part 2 to take center stage, it isn’t the best as a stand-alone episode compared to some of the others.
“Dwight Christmas” Season 9, Episode 9
Christmas snuck up on the office workers this year and they have nothing planned. Luckily, Dwight is here to swoop in with his idea of a Pennsylvania Dutch, but no one is interested except for Jim, probably because this is his last day working at Dunder Mifflin before he moves on to his new job at Philadelphia. Luckily, Pam has her man’s back and she gets the party planning committee to go through with Dwight’s Christmas celebration, where anything our favorite bespectacled weirdo says goes. This includes disgusting beverages, unappetizing food options, poem readings in German, and a switch-carrying fur covered gift bringer called Belsnickel.
Things take a kind of sad turn when Jim has to leave the party early leaving Pam and Dwight hurt by his departure. There’s even more sadness in this episode coming from Erin, who is hurting when Andy (who she’s now dating) seems to be taking a break from their relationship as he spends extra time away from her sailing the Caribbean, driving her closer to Pete (Jake Lacy). Darryl is dealing with his own pain due to a perceived slight by Jim. Luckily, ol’ Jimmy boy pulls through for a sweet ending, and even Toby gets a reason to feel merry this Christmas. It’s a pretty solid episode with some sweet moments, but it’s not enough of a standout to be the very best.
“Moroccan Christmas” Season 5, Episode 11
The office’s Phyllis-run (she’s got dirt on Angela and it’s delicious watching her have the upper-hand with the blonde cat-loving menace for once) Moroccan-themed Christmas party suddenly comes to a scorching halt when Meredith’s wild drunken dancing leads to her hair catching fire (this show truly does physical comedy like no one else). Once Meredith’s head is extinguished, Michael decides that now is the time to have an intervention for her, led by him and the rest of the office workers. In the midst of this all, Dwight is re-selling the unicorn horned princess dolls he’d bought out from all the local stores vending them so he can turn a profit.
Things ramp up when eventually (literally) drags Meredith to rehab and Phyllis drops a truth bomb on the office that has lasting implications on multiple relationships. This episode incorporates some classic Christmas themes, specifically ones with juicy relationship drama making things awkward for people, but hey, it wouldn’t be the holidays without some good ol’ fashioned comedic animosity and someone being set aflame.
“Classy Christmas Part 2” Season 7, Episode 12
Holly’s return to Dunder Mifflin is bittersweet for Michael thanks to the realization that she is still dating AJ (and that they’re serious enough to be living together). Dwight (who has apparently has a wig to match every office worker and even models them for us) and Jim escalate their snowball war to (even more) violent proportions, leaving Jim paranoid and terrified (ah, the two classic Christmas emotions). Michael airs out his and Holly’s drama in front of the whole office, who (honestly, pretty adorably) seem to be on Michael’s side and have his back through this (even though he’s a dingus, they can’t help but want him to be happy). Toby is loving the attention that his jury duty is giving him, but of course, any party where Toby is the most interesting person in the room is bound to be a boring one, so Darryl’s daughter Jada is NOT enjoying herself. Pam and Andy try to make things fun for her in their own way, but it’s Darryl in the end who really pulls through for his gal. Jim and Pam continue to be cute as heck and we can’t help but continue to root for Michael J. Scott.
“Christmas Party” Season 2, Episode 10
Michael wants to throw the best Christmas party ever and he’s willing to use the $3,000 bonus he was awarded after sacking Devon to do it, going well over the $20 gift limit to splurge for a Secret Santa gift to impress Ryan and show everyone that what you spend is more important than the thought and effort behind the gift.
Since he’s so hooked on the material value of the present over the emotional worth, he forces everyone to participate in a White Elephant exchange with the Secret Santa gifts they’d gotten with other people specifically in mind after receiving a thoughtful homemade gift from Phyllis, and inevitably everything goes wrong, leaving no one happy. Michael throws more money at the problem, buying 15 handles of vodka to try to get the party started and boost everyone’s… spirits (ha). The alcohol does end up allowing people to move past their earlier frustrations, as gifts are swapped once more and amends are made. It’s a sweet episode that quintessential The Office, and really exemplifies the series finally beginning to hit their stride after a rocky start.
“Secret Santa” Season 6, Episode 13
Andy is Erin’s Secret Santa and his version of flirting means terrorizing her with gifting her the 12 Days of Christmas (which has led to a lot of birds hurting her). Phyllis’s dreams of being the office Santa Claus have finally come true (with the help of a fairly recently-promoted Jim) but she runs into trouble (unsurprisingly) in the form of Michael, who refuses to relinquish his self-appointed role of office Santa, leading to warring Santas (and eventually a battle of Santa vs Jesus Christ, the age-old rivalry). Pam is trying to play match-maker for Oscar, who has a crush on warehouse worker Matt (Sam Daly). The party comes to an abrupt stop, however, when Michael gets some shocking news.
There’s a lot to love about this episode — it showcases the show’s humor as well as its heart that shows off the skill of this wonderful cast and channels the spirit of Christmas.
https://decider.com/2021/12/07/ranking-the-best-the-office-christmas-episodes/ Ranking Every ‘The Office’ Christmas Episode Ever