Can You Identify These TV Shows From a Screenshot of Their Christmas Episode?


By: Gavin Thagard

7 Min Quiz

Image: Fox

About This Quiz

The air gets cooler as the harsher months of winter sets in, neighborhoods are filled with houses decorated by holiday lights and the supply of unhealthy foods and drinks is endless. Those are the signs that Christmas is right around the corner, and for most, they help bring about the holiday cheer even if everyone's low on vitamin D because the sun sets earlier and earlier each afternoon.

As might be expected, another great way to get caught up in the holiday spirit is by watching one of the many Christmas specials that air each year, as television shows try to captivate audiences by showing fans how their favorite characters handle the holidays. These Christmas episodes are nothing new, of course, because shows have been tackling the holiday since the days of black and white television.

Are you ready to reflect on some of the greatest Christmas specials ever aired by some of your favorite shows? From sitcoms to dramas, this quiz covers them all. You might even find it surprising how some of these shows managed to address the holiday.

When you're ready to catch that holiday buzz, jump in and find out if you can get all the questions in this quiz right or if you'll need a little helper of your own before you can finish it.

Fans of this show spent Christmas with its lead characters eight times throughout its run. How well do you know the show?

In the episode "Miracle on Third or Fourth Street," Frasier sits in at his radio station for the sportscaster, Bulldog, on Christmas Day after Frasier's son decides to not join him for the holiday. However, instead of receiving calls that cheer him up, he must listen to one depressing story after another as his Christmas spirit deflates even further.


Have you seen enough holiday specials to pick out this show where chaos reigns supreme leading up to Christmas Day?

It's hard to believe that "The Simpsons" all started in 1989 with a Christmas episode titled "Simpsons Roasting on an Open Fire." The episode was nominated for two Emmy Awards, launching "The Simpsons" into the national spotlight, where it has remained ever since.


Is this a sitcom you're familiar with based on its Christmas episode?

Though "Friends" usually did Christmas episodes yearly, it wasn't until its seventh season that it really delivered with "The One with the Holiday Armadillo." In the episode, the show manages to capture its trademark humor by having Ross dress up as an armadillo to console his son.


This drama takes a new look at the Ghost of Christmas Past. Do you know the show?

"How the Ghost Stole Christmas" takes place in the sixth season of "The X-Files," premiering on December 13, 1998. While "The X-Files" usually tied in episodes to create a larger mythology, this Christmas special was a standalone episode that included only four actors.


No one enjoys Christmas more than spoiled babies. Which cartoon depicted here shows that?

Children are usually taught that Santa Claus is jolly and cheerful, but in "Rugrats," Chuckie doesn't find Santa to hold any of these qualities. Instead, he's scared of the man in the red pajamas, a fear he finally overcomes when the real Santa shows up to deliver presents.


Can you identify this sitcom that shows just how magical the Christmas season can be?

Around Christmas time in its first and second seasons, "Bewitched" aired the same Christmas episode titled "A Vision of Sugar Plums." The only change was an introduction in the second season where Samantha and Darrin receive a Christmas card that launches the show into a flashback from the prior year.


This sitcom always nailed holiday themed episodes, including its Christmas special. What's the show?

Sometimes Christmas brings a family together, but sometimes it separates them. That's what happened to the Taylors in the Christmas episode "'Twas the Flight Before Christmas," where Tim is separated from his family after terrible weather strands him at the airport.


Do you recognize this show that films its Christmas episode like a mockumentary?

The Christmas episode "Undeck the Halls," featured in the first season of "Modern Family," was written by Dan O'Shannon, an award-winning television writer. O'Shannon has written for critically acclaimed shows like "Frasier" and "Cheers" as well.


Is this a show you can identify based on its Christmas special?

"Parks and Recreation" found some magic in their Christmas special, "Christmas Scandal," from the second season of the show. The episode received more viewership than any other episode in the series that season.


It'll take a trip into the past to name this show. What is it?

Two Christmas episodes from "That '70s Show," one from the fourth season and one from the sixth season, take place in 1978. That means the show's timeline was slightly off, but considering the show, the writers were probably a little hazy when they were plotting it out.


This show dedicated two episodes to their Christmas special. What's the show?

While much of "Saved by the Bell" takes place at Bayside High School, the kids get a break from school in the Christmas episode, "A Home For Christmas." Instead, they can be found at the Bayside Mall, where separate storylines eventually collide to unite the gang for the holidays.


Can you identify this show with an episode titled "Santa's Helper"?

In the Christmas episode of "Diff'rent Strokes," Arnold Jackson searches for a way to earn money to purchase Christmas presents, so he gets a job collecting money for orphaned children. However, the man he works for, Mr. Jones, turns out to be a thief and robs Arnold's family on Christmas eve, but the family won't let that zap their Christmas spirit.


You can watch Christmas unravel for a working-class family in which show shown here?

The episode "White Trash Christmas" takes place in the sixth season of "Roseanne," airing on December 14, 1993. In the episode, the Conners rebel against the Neighborhood Association by putting up their "trashy" Christmas decorations despite being requested not to. Their defiance is proof that Christmas comes in many forms.


Do you recognize this famous Nickelodeon show by its Christmas episode?

"Kenan and Kel" was known for its unique beginning where the two titles characters addressed the audience directly in front of a red curtain with the set located behind it. In the Christmas special, the show sticks true to form as Kel expresses to the audience how their Christmas episode is going to be special.


Will you be able to match this creepy Christmas episode to its show?

Who would have thought that a horror show like "Tales from the Crypt" could pull off a Christmas special? Well, it did just that in its traditional bloody and brutal manner by pitting a greedy woman against a murderous Santa Claus.


Are you familiar with this sitcom that delivers a left turn in its Christmas special?

There are few things as devastating as missing out on a Christmas bonus, but that's the reality Al Bundy faces in "Married... with Children." Luckily, a Christmas miracle, or disaster, gives Al the chance to prove to his family that Christmas can still have meaning.


What's the name of this cartoon that '90s kids will certainly be able to identify based on its Christmas episode?

"Hey Arnold!" always knew how to tackles serious themes in its stories, which was unique for a children's show, and this never proved more true than in its Christmas episode "Arnold's Christmas." The episode dives into the life of Mr. Hyunh, a resident at the boarding house who is still looking for the daughter he was forced to abandon during the Vietnam War.


Select the show that pushed boundaries with its two part stop-motion animated Christmas special?

"Community" was always willing to play with structure in its episodes, which is why it came as no surprise that the show tackled stop-motion animation in its Christmas episode. By doing this, the writers gave a nod to classic Christmas specials from the '60s like "Rudolph, the Red-Nosed Reindeer."


Christmas isn't always jolly, evident by which shown depicted in this image?

Christmas is never as chaotic as it is in "It's Always Sunny in Philadelphia," a show known for its dark comedy. While most Christmas shows like to end on a positive note, "It's Always Sunny in Philadelphia" only comes to a close after all the presents are stolen.


Can you identify this show where hope outweighs adversity by the end of the Christmas episode?

The title of the "ER" Christmas episode, "I'll Be Home for Christmas," is based on a Christmas song from 1943. The song was written by Kim Gannon and Walter Kent, and Bing Crosby provided vocals.


Are you familiar with this sitcom that addresses the theme of inadequacy around Christmas time?

"Twas the Night Before Christening" is an episode from "The Fresh Prince of Bel-Air" that's set in the future. Strangely, if you follow the show's timeline, the episode is set two years after the Banks family moves out of their home in Bel-Air, meaning that the events didn't really happen.


Name this show that manages to capture some of the universal themes of Christmas despite its unique setting?

"Xmas Story," the "Futurama" Christmas episode from the second season, was written by David X. Cohen, an executive producer on the show. Cohen also wrote for shows like "Beavis and Butt-Head" and "The Simpsons," but "Futurama" is his most recognized work.


One of the best places to celebrate Christmas is in the bar where everybody knows your name. Which show shown here proves that to be true?

"Cheers" uses a holiday classic, "It's a Wonderful Life," to pull together its Christmas episode in the sixth season. The movie plays in the bar at both the beginning and the end of the episode as the gang gathers around the television to watch it.


Do you recognize this sitcom where the lead family uses Christmas as another opportunity to fit in?

Coming from poverty, the Clampetts are out of place in Beverly Hills, but that doesn't mean they can't celebrate Christmas. The only problem is that they aren't ready for Christmas in a rich neighborhood, so when they start receiving gifts like a television, it's a little overwhelming for the family, which gives the show an opportunity to play up the comedy.


The boys in which show depicted in this image have to be good if they want to celebrate Christmas?

Three boys in a middle-class family can provide plenty of chaos, and that proves true over and over in "Malcolm in the Middle," particularly around Christmas time. Challenged to be good, Malcolm and his brothers decide they'd rather have Christmas on their own terms.


How well do you know this sitcom where the father gets even grumpier than usual during Christmas?

"All in the Family" wasn't afraid to push boundaries, so much so that the show probably wouldn't be on the air today. The show's Christmas special let out all the works as Archie Bunker's grumpiness reaches an all-time high after he loses his Christmas bonus.


A hospital isn't always the best place to find the Christmas spirit. Identify this show that manages to pull it off?

The third season of "House" sees the episode "Merry Little Christmas" take place. In the episode, House's drug problem escalates to the point that he rejects an offer to spend time with friends on Christmas Eve, instead going home where he overdoses on pills. It's the culmination of a rough year for House that ultimately finds him in legal trouble.


You'll have to go back to the '60s, but is this a show you remember based on its Christmas episode?

"The Andy Griffith Show" proves that even criminals deserve to celebrate Christmas in the episode "A Christmas Story." The episode begins when Andy imprisons Jim, a moonshiner, for the holidays and ends when he arrests the rest of his family members so they can spend Christmas together at the police station.


Select the name of this television series that pulls out all the sentiments in its Christmas special?

The 1988 episode "Christmas" from "The Wonder Years" follows a story from 1968, where Kevin and his siblings try to talk their father into buying an expensive color television. However, despite being set in 1968, a television in the department store in the episode plays a Christmas special that actually took place in 1969.


Have you seen this show where Christmas proves to be both endearing and wicked?

The Christmas episode in season 3 of "Supernatural" utilizes not only the show's traditional monster of the week formula but also provides a backstory for Sam and Dean and their life growing up as hunters. The episode shows how the brothers still find meaning in Christmas even if it's only a small distraction from the life they live chasing down monsters.


The comedy runs high in the Christmas episode of which sitcom displayed in this image?

There are quite a few comedic twists in the episode "Christmas Present" from the fifth season of "Everybody Loves Raymond." In the episode, Raymond tries to convince his wife to let him go on a golf trip by purchasing her an impressive present, only to lose the trip after she agrees to it because of his own insecurities.


What's the name this show that teaches about the value of a gift in its Christmas episode?

"NewsRadio" knew how to play up odd humor, and that's exactly what the show did in the Christmas episode "Xmas Story." One of the funniest gags features Bill as he tries to convince the rest of the staff that the office Santa is trying to kill him.


You'll have to pull out the tissues to finish the Christmas episode of this show. Name the show?

It takes 39 years for Adrian Monk to reconnect with his father in the episode "Mr. Monk Meets His Dad." Though it's difficult at first, the two start to bond again, and the episode ends with a touching moment where Jack Monk buys his son a bicycle before teaching him to ride it.


The frenzy created around Christmas time creates plenty of havoc in which show depicted here?

"A Very Special Family Guy Freakin' Christmas" featured guest appearances from the rock band KISS. In the episode, Peter wants to watch the band perform in the show "Kiss Saves Santa," though he's forced to go to the mall for new Christmas presents instead.


How well do you know this classic television show that sets up a compelling Christmas mystery?

First airing in 1975 and concluding in 1985, "The Jeffersons" was a spinoff of "All in the Family" that in many ways built on its predecessor. Some of the show's greatest successes came during Christmas time, as the show aired a total of five Christmas specials during its run.


Would you consider yourself enough of a Christmas special fan to identify this show?

"3rd Rock from the Sun" nails its Christmas episode by playing up the difficulty of extraterrestrials trying to adapt to human life. In the episode, the Solomons are excited to celebrate the holiday until each member of the family runs into problems relating to how Christmas actually works.


Are you familiar with this comedy that proves Christmas in a hospital doesn't have to be completely depressing?

Nurse Tisdale makes her first appearance in the Christmas episode of "Scrubs" titled "My Own Personal Jesus." She only appears in two other episodes several seasons later: "My Hypocritical Oath" and "My Ocardial Infarction."


Have you seen this sci-fi drama that tackles Christmas in one of its episodes?

"White Christmas" is the only television special ever created and aired by "Black Mirror." It's also the final episode of "Black Mirror" to appear on Channel 4 before the show was permanently moved to Netflix.


Can you identify this popular children's show that gave its audience a thrilling Christmas special?

Big Bird and the gang have plenty of problems to overcome in "Christmas on Sesame Street." In the episode, not only does Big Bird try to figure out how Santa Claus gets down the chimney, but Cookie Monster can't seem to write a letter to Santa without getting distracted.


What's the name of this show that used Christmas to bring some rare positivity to its world?

Art Carney plays Henry Corwin, a drunk who has a job as a department store Santa, in "The Night of the Meek," which aired in the second season of "The Twilight Zone." Carney would later play Santa in "The Great Santa Clause Switch" and in "The Night They Saved Christmas."


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