The Office Christmas Episodes: Ranked from Worst to Best
Written by: Garett
Christmas season is in full swing. There’s just over two weeks until Christmas Day, the music is blaring in every store you go into, and it’s currently snowing outside. So, in the spirit of Christmas I decided to watch all The Office Christmas episodes and rank them from worst to the best. Now, these are all great episodes because The Office is just fantastic in general, but some qualify as television classics. In my opinion, The Office did Christmas episodes better than any other show in television history. Lastly, before I get started, I want to note that my rating for each episode is on an “Office Christmas Episode scale,” and not on a general television episode scale. So let’s get to it. Here are my rankings:
7. Dwight Christmas (Season 9)
This is the very last Christmas episode from The Office, and in my opinion the worst. It doesn’t really have a Christmas feel to it. From the very beginning, the office realizes they totally forgot the Christmas party that was supposed to be that day. So everyone, besides Jim and Pam who are totally for it, reluctantly agrees to let Dwight have a German-themed Christmas party. This includes Dwight portraying himself as Belsnickel, the gift-giver who gets to decide who has been impish or admirable.
Nothing in this episode is really that funny. There are a few moments that garner a little chuckle, but that’s it. Dwight as Belsnickel wasn’t all that funny. Erin becomes sad when she finds out Andy won’t be coming back from his sailing adventure for at least a few more weeks, Dwight becomes sad when Jim leaves the party early to go to Philadelphia, and Darryl gets drunk and gets really upset at Jim who hadn’t included him in his Philadelphia business plans after his promise to. All of these were major storylines in this episode, but they were all downers. However, it was a nice feeling to see how happy Dwight was when Jim came back to the party unexpectedly. You can begin to tell the writers were wrapping up all the Jim-Dwight rivalry years to end the series soon. Lastly, with no Michael, Kelly, Ryan, or Andy, this episode was doomed from the start.
Funniest Moment: When Oscar researches Belsnickel and announces to the office that Belsnickel had a partner who was his slave boy that dressed up in colorful clothes and a blackface. Dwight then proclaims to a perturbed office that he doesn’t stick to every outdated Belsnickel tradition. The camera then shows Nate dressed as the slave boy with a blackface in the office parking lot, receives a text message from Dwight, then promptly turns around and heads back to his car.
6. Christmas Wishes (Season 8)
First off, this is the first Christmas episode without Michael Scott, which is really detrimental to the episode. Michael Scott is The Office. The other major problem with this episode is there are not any major storylines. The closest thing to one is Jim and Dwight trying to frame each other for playing a prank so Andy will punish them by giving the other his Christmas bonus. The problem with this storyline is it’s boring and it gets annoying. It lacks the well thought out and laughable pranks of seasons past. The other minor storyline is Erin’s major jealousy of Andy’s new girlfriend Jessica while she’s at the party. Erin uncharacteristically gets really drunk, which increases her jealousy and annoyance. She tells Andy her Christmas wish was that Jessica was dead, six feet under, with worms crawling out of her eyes…which is pretty dark. I did enjoy a vintage Dwight rocking out to Trans-Siberian Orchestra’s Carol of the Bells though. Dwight broke out the air guitar and really got into it, which reminded me of his earlier seasons’ antics. Also, Kelly was hilarious when, after she told Erin early in the episode that she’d be mean to Jessica for her, she was summoned by Erin later to do so. She then butted her way into a conversation Jessica was having with members of the office, and after a few seconds, paused and made a face asking, “Jessica, did you fart?” Things got really awkward, which was hilarious and classic Kelly. While the episode had some funny parts, overall it was lacking an element to really draw the viewers in and keep them interested.
Funniest Moment: At the beginning of the episode Stanley goes off on a rant after Andy tried to be politically correct saying “holiday” wishes. “You know what holiday you’re referring to. I’ve been here 18 years and have suffered through some weird thematic Christmases…And who’s that black Santa for? I don’t care, I know Santa ain’t black! I want Christmas…just give me plain baby Jesus, lying in a manger, Christmas!”
5. Classy Christmas (Season 7)
You can definitely tell this two-part episode takes place after the earlier vintage-Office seasons because it’s not as quirky and funny as earlier episodes were. This was the last Christmas episode that featured Michael Scott as a character though, and that already makes it better than the first two episodes on this list. There are two main storylines in this Christmas episode, the first one revolving around Michael and Holly. After learning Holly will return to Scranton to temporarily replace Toby (who has been called for the Scranton Strangler jury duty) Michael tries his absolute best to impress her by making the Christmas party a “classy Christmas.” After learning Holly was coming back, Michael’s line to the camera, “Thank you Scranton Strangler, you just took one more breath away,” was hilarious. But things become really agitated between Michael and Holly after he learns that she and AJ are engaged. He becomes really jealous, ruins her Woody doll, and does several more immature things that aren’t really funny like his immaturity in earlier seasons was. This storyline to me was more along the lines of annoying, rather than interesting and entertaining.
The other storyline was the snowball fight between Jim and Dwight where Dwight terrorizes Jim throughout the episode with various snowball attacks. This provided multiple laughs and Jim was constantly fearful of his next encounter with Dwight. Jim attacking the snowmen in the parking lot at the end was pretty funny. It also reversed the roles of the two characters, as Jim is usually the one getting the best of Dwight with pranks. The situation between Darryl and his daughter not wanting to visit him on Christmas was a downer, even though she winds up coming to the Christmas party and seems to have a good time. Overall, this episode wasn’t as funny as The Office usually is, just amusing, with mostly serious parts. There were a few funny quips from Kevin and Stanley, especially where Stanley talks about how jealous he was of Toby and how badly he wanted to be on jury duty.
Funniest Moment: After Jim accepts Dwight’s challenge to a snowball fight, Jim receives a text to walk outside into the parking lot to meet Dwight. The only thing that is in the parking lot is a snowman, so when Jim turns to walk back inside, Dwight bursts out of the snowman and ambushes Jim with snowball after snowball. In Dwight’s one on one with the camera, he says, “I have no feeling in my fingers or penis, but I think it was worth it,” with a satisfied smirk on his face. He also sends a text to Jim once they’re back in the building saying, “How about icing it, LOL.”
4. Moroccan Christmas (Season 5)
This one is a very solid Christmas episode and it grabs your attention with a funny intro scene where Jim pranks Dwight by wrapping what looked to be his desk and chair in Christmas paper, only for it all to come crashing down once Dwight sat down on it and there was nothing there. For this episode, Phyllis is the head of the Party Planning Committee and throws a Moroccan-themed Christmas, much to the dismay of Angela. She blackmails Angela to do everything she wants because she knows about Angela cheating on Andy with Dwight. I’m not real big on the Moroccan-themed party because it doesn’t seem quite as much like a Christmas episode, and more of just a regular office party. Dwight is funny in this episode when he buys up all the Princess Unicorn dolls (the hottest Christmas toy) from all the stores and sells them to desperate parents for a ridiculously high price of $200 each.
The main storyline though revolves around Meredith drinking too much at the party and the office giving her an intervention for being an alcoholic. While this allowed for some very funny comments and happenings, this was also my biggest problem with the episode. Meredith is a great secondary character, she’s just not funny enough to revolve an entire episode around. But when she caught her hair on fire and Dwight yells, “We’ve gotta live one!” before putting out the flames with a fire extinguisher is hilarious. Michael also has some very funny comments during the intervention, which the rest of the office is less than thrilled about. He finally tricks Meredith into going to rehab towards the end, and when she finds out, he has to drag her in kicking and screaming, which really wasn’t all that funny. The episode ends with a very awkward/funny scene after Andy plays “Deck the Halls” on a sitar he just learned, but nobody responds because they are still stunned after Phyllis broke the Angela/Dwight affair news to everyone. This episode has enough funny parts to make it a solid Office Christmas episode to put it at #4 on the list.
Funniest Moment: Toby was absolutely desperate to buy the Princess Unicorn doll that his daughter really wanted, and went to Dwight to pay $200 for one. When Dwight had just sold his last one to Darryl, Toby pleaded and pleaded with Darryl to let him buy the doll from him, to which Darryl said he would sell it for $400. A super-relieved and thankful Toby paid him $200 (and told him he owed him the extra $200), took the doll, but was dumbfounded when he saw the doll was black. “Is there something wrong with the doll?” asked Darryl. “No, no, it’s even better than I expected,” Toby managed to say.
3. Secret Santa (Season 6)
Season six gave us a great Christmas episode. From the beginning, Phyllis comes into the office dressed as Santa, very excited after Jim (a co-manager at the time) allows her to play the part for the Christmas party. When Michael comes into the office dressed as Santa and finds out that Phyllis is also Santa, he becomes very upset which leads to many funny moments. He tries to compete with Phyllis for a while, and tells Kevin to come sit on his lap to tell Santa what he wants for Christmas. As soon as Kevin sits down, Michael is overtaken by his weight and can hardly breathe, while Kevin takes his sweet time thinking about what he wants for Christmas. That scene was outstandingly funny. Finally, the office votes for one Santa and chooses Phyllis, which causes a distraught Michael to dress as Jesus instead. He comes out and proclaims, “Behold, Jesus Christ, with his hands in the air, which is comical. But the funniest part of that scene is when Toby says, “Wow, Michael it must be obvious how wrong this is,” to which Michael responds, “Ahh, the anti-Christ,” while making a sizzling sound after putting his hand across Toby’s face. That is such a funny scene.
In a bad mood, Michael (as Jesus) proceeds to put a damper on the party by making out-of-line jokes about several employees, which are hilarious, and spills the beans about Andy having Erin as a secret Santa and giving her the actual twelve days of Christmas with real life animals. Erin had been tortured by her gift and Andy wanted to stay anonymous because he liked Erin. The episode ended with Michael finding out Dunder Mifflin had been bought out and they would clean house. But after breaking the news to the office, they all find out over speaking phone with David Wallace that the Scranton branch will remain with jobs, making everyone very happy. Dwight then breaks out karaoke singing “Boulevard of Broken Dreams” by Green Day while gifts are exchanged around the office, which is a feel-good scene. The best thing about this episode was the many one-liners that were so funny, for example Creed asking Phyllis (as Santa), “what if you’ve been really, really bad, like evil…” in Creed’s weird but funny way.
Funniest Moment: When Michael is competing with Phyllis (both dressed as Santa) as to who is actually the office’s Santa, he tries to get people to come sit on his lap to tell him what they want for Christmas, just as Phyllis was currently doing. Michael says as he sits down, “Phyllis is only pretending to be a man. I’m the real thing, sit down on my lap and there will be no doubt,” to which the entire office replies “ugghh.”
2. Christmas Party (Season 2)
Christmas Party in season two is one of the ultimate Christmas episodes from any show of all time. With season one really short and kind of slow, this episode falls right in the sweet spot of when people all around the world began falling in love with the show. Michael Scott was vintage Michael Scott here, with him making many off-the-wall comments and being more insensitive than the Michael Scott of newer seasons. He provides many great laughs at the expense of his employees in this episode. After getting a $3,000 Christmas bonus, he decides to throw the “best Christmas party ever.” With everyone having a secret Santa with a $20 gift limit, Michael buys a $400 iPod for Ryan, which he is extremely proud of. But when he gets a homemade oven mitt from his secret Santa Phyllis, he gets really upset and decides to switch the Secret Santa game to Yankee Swap (where you can steal others gifts on your turn). This leads to members of the office getting gifts that are meant for others, like Ryan getting a nameplate that says “Kelly” from Stanley. Michael holds the oven-mitt up, really talking it up when it’s another person’s turn to steal a gift, and when Meredith steals it, he says, “Ha! Suckaaaa, see I wanted somebody to take it. Reverse psychology.” He ends up with paintball lessons from Dwight, for which he still isn’t satisfied, and the iPod gets stolen by nearly everyone.
All of this Michael-caused chaos is hilarious. Once everyone is in a bad mood from the turn of events, Michael tries to cheer everyone up by going to the liquor store and buying vodka. He asks the clerk, “Is this enough to get 20 people plastered?” to which the clerk replies, “20 bottles of vodka…yeah that should do it.” This episode also plays to Jim and Pam’s flirtation (something fans loved), even though she was with Roy at the time. He gets her a teapot with many sentimental items inside, and even though it gets stolen by Dwight, she ends up with it. While a great, great episode, it isn’t the best Christmas episode because being only 16th episode ever made, the characters really haven’t hit their stride yet. They are still working on fully figuring out who their characters are, which make people like Stanley and Kevin funnier in later seasons.
Funniest Moment: Before Michael switched the gift giving to Yankee Swap, a few gifts were exchanged from the original Secret Santa. As Jim opened up his gift from Creed, it was an old, worn-in button-up long sleeve shirt. The scene then goes to Jim talking to the camera man with the shirt on (way too small) saying, “He obviously forgot to get me something, then went into his closet and dug out this little number, and then threw it into a bag.” Then it flips to Creed telling the camera man, “Yep, that’s exactly what happened.”
1. A Benihana Christmas (Season 3)
This hour-long season three Christmas special is the best Christmas episode The Office (or any television series) has to offer. It begins with Dwight bringing a dead goose into the office to cook for Christmas and never stops being funny. The episode is centered around the aftermath of Carol breaking up with Michael at the beginning of the episode. Michael sulks for a while, which creates funny moments like him lying on the ground behind Pam’s desk, and him “canceling Christmas” and threatening to take New Year’s away from Stanley. It was also hilarious when he was sitting in his office listening to a 15 second preview of James Blunt’s “Goodbye My Lover” on repeat. Andy tries to cheer him up by taking him Benihana, so Jim and Dwight accompany both of them for lunch, where several funny moments occur.
Back at the office Karen and Pam decide to team up and create their own, fun Christmas party to take down Angela’s boring nutcracker-themed party. Even though the two parties would eventually merge, several funny moments occurred when everyone had to decide which party to attend. Hilarity ensues when the Benihana group brings two of the waitresses back and Michael claims to be in love with one of them—he just doesn’t know which one she is! He finally figures it out and marks her arm with a marker to be able to tell the two apart, which is extremely funny. Throughout the Christmas party, Kevin, Michael, Andy, Kelly, Creed, Dwight, and Angela all sing karaoke, which provides for several memorable moments such as Kelly singing Pat Benatar’s “We Belong” to Ryan who then turns up his martini glass, and Michael and Andy singing John Mayer’s “Your Body is a Wonderland.” But the most memorable karaoke moment was Kevin singing “You Oughta Know” by Alanis Morissette…that had me rolling!
Funniest Moment: After Michael had lost track of which Benihana waitress he was supposedly in love with, he was telling Roy and Kevin about it and how he couldn’t tell the two waitresses apart. When they were giving him a hard time about it, Michael replies, “Well you know, they’re wearing the exact same uniform, I’ve been drinking, and you know how all…waitresses (implying Asians) look alike,” which leads to laughter from all three of the guys.