The holidays are here! Traditionally, it's a time for family, which means that, traditionally, it's also a time for dysfunctionality. There's no way around it. Which is why I've compiled this list of some of the most dysfunctional Christmas episodes. Watching any of these episodes will instantly make you feel better about your Christmas – or Hanukkah or Kwanzaa, for that matter – because at least it's not happening to you. Nothing like schadenfreude to fill you with holiday cheer, right?
- Studio 60, "The Christmas Show": It's new, yes, but it's already reached heights of Christmas dysfunctionality that many shows will never reach, thanks to Darius, Lucy, Simon, Tom, and Andy bringing the Christmas buzzkill. Proving that Santa can't really go around the world in one night isn't a huge surprise to your audience when said audience is composed entirely of people who already figured out that Santa's handwriting looks an awful lot like Mom's. And who then decided not to care, because a present is a present.
- Futurama, "Xmas Story" and "A Tale of Two Santas": Killer robot Santa has decided that everyone is naughty and has the firepower to enforce his view. Kwanzaabot, save us!
- NewsRadio, "Xmas Story": Like the Futurama "Xmas Story," this episode also revolves around a killer Santa. Ripoff! (I mean the other one; this one came first.)
- The X-Files, "How the Ghosts Stole Christmas": If there's anything less Christmasy than a suicide pact, it's discovering your own corpse moldering under the floorboards. Awkward!
- Alias, "The Indicator": When your dad says he's "taking care of Christmas," he means he's getting you a puppy. When Jack Bristow says it, it means he's dealing with the brainwashed moppets who are being molded into future spies. Jack doesn't do puppies. Or kids. Or anything cute. (Which is why he never really hit it off with Marshall.)
- Seinfeld, "The Strike": How can I leave this episode off the list? There's no more dysfunctional December holiday than Festivus. For crying out loud, the holiday isn't officially over until the head of the household is pinned to the ground. And if that really is your holiday tradition, have you considered Scrabble?