It’s the most wonderful time of the year, but not always if you are Jewish. With all the Christmas excitement, we sometimes forget about Hannukah. While your goyish friends get to watch Elf or The Grinch (or whatever Netflix is up to this season), there are really only four Hannukah films: 8 Crazy Nights, The Hebrew Hammer, Full Court Miracle, and of course, Call Me by Your Name. Thank Hashem, there is television and Laughspin is bringing you the best Hannukah TV episodes to binge for this upcoming festival of lights.
The O.C. – The Best Chrismukkah Ever
If you have never watched The O.C., it is because you saw the marketing and reviews and thought it was a run of the mill teen drama, but The OC is so much more. It is one of the funniest shows of the mid-2000s. Much of that is due to the character of Seth Cohen who shines his brightest during the yearly Chrismukkah episode. While it is a holiday that is incomplete by design, it came from the mind of someone named ‘Seth Cohen,’ so you know this episode will make you proud to be Jewish.
The Nanny – The Hanukkah Story
If Judaism had saints, Fran Drescher would be among them. It is crazy that it took til Season 6 for The Nanny to have a Hannukah episode, but it was well worth the wait. In this episode, Fran thinks Maxwell doesn’t care about Hanukkah as much as Christmas. She’s angry until Maxwell gets into a car accident. It’s funnier than it sounds as he ends up being saved by a Hannukah miracle.
Friends – The One With the Holiday Armadillo
Ross and Monica’s Judaism doesn’t come up much in Friends, but when it does, it really works. In this episode, Ross dresses up as an Armadillo to tell the story of Hannukah to his son. Parents wanting Jewish kids not to feel left out of the Santa madness is a staple of the season and Friends does it in the wackiest way possible.
‘The Goldbergs – A Christmas Story
Another sitcom’s take on how to make Hannukah feel as merry as Christmas, this one goes for the realistic. Yes, the Hannukah bush is a real thing. It took three seasons for TV’s favorite ’80s Jewish family to celebrate the festival of lights, but when they finally got around to it, it is a modern holiday classic.
Crazy Ex-Girlfriend – My Mom, Greg’s Mom, and Josh’s Sweet Dance Moves
Okay, so this one is actually more of a Christmas episode, which is surprising given that much of the episode focuses on Rebecca Bunch and her mother (played by Broadway legend Tovah Feldshuh). The mother-daughter relationship, however, is perfectly Jewish in every way and even features a Klezmer song about all the ways Rebecca isn’t living up to her Jewish mother’s ideals.
Seinfeld – The Strike
While this episode is mainly remembered as the episode which popularized “Festivus” (a holiday made up by George’s father), the episode begins at a Hannukah party. The rest of the episode doesn’t add much to the Hannukah spirit, however, it does follow Kramer’s return to work at H&H Bagels and Elaine trying to track down “Denim Vest” (the man who initially hosted the Hannukah party). This episode will certainly make you feel festive.
The League – The 8 Defensive Points of Hanukkah
So, most of this episode is problematic. There is a lot of homophobia and some very uncomfortable stuff that pushes the boundaries of consent—and it’s not even the Aziz Ansari cameo. But there are two amazing parts: Jason Mantzoukas tries to convert to Judaism and an unhinged song from Nick Kroll as he sings in a local Church.
Rugrats – Rugrats Chanukah
Truly a classic of the genre, this 1996 holiday classic is a must watch. It is adorable, magical, and maybe the most informative episode on this list. Plus, if you haven’t seen it since you were a kid, there are a ton of jokes that you will get now that definitely went over your head when you watched this on a bright orange VHS.