If you love holiday-themed TV episodes as much as we do, you’ve probably asked yourself, why can’t life be more like television? Why can’t my holiday celebrations play out like they do on my favorite sitcoms?
Well now they can! At least when it comes to the food. We watched some of our favorite holiday episodes of all time and then came up with the perfect multi-course meal to accompany them. Pair each course with the episode in the background and you are in for the greatest (and absolutely the weirdest) holiday meal of your life.
The Office: A Benihana Christmas Goose Paté
When Michael gets dumped by his girlfriend (his real-life wife!) for photoshopping his face over her ex-husband’s in a Christmas photo, he’s left so depressed that Dwight and Jim have to take him to Benihana. Meanwhile, Angela battles with Pam and Karen over the Christmas Party and Jim and Pam make moon eyes at each other the whole episode (OF COURSE). It’s a hilarious 22-minutes, kicking off strong in the cold open when Dwight brings in a dead goose to cook up for the office (much to the horror of the rest of Dunder Mifflin).
So start your own holiday off right with this lovely Roasted Goose Pate. Because as Dwight says, “It’ll save you a trip to the store for that expensive goose grease.”
30 Rock: Ludachristmas’ 5 Onion Tower
As Tracy Jordan so beautifully sings, “Imagine Christmas wishes shooting out of your eyes!”
In this Christmas themed episode, we get Colleen at her finest as she sabotages the “perfect” Lemon family, and we get the rest of the cast learning a little about the Christmas spirit (and subsequently deciding to ruin Christmas for everyone). And of course, we get Tracy Jordan willing to hack off his own foot to enjoy LudaChristmas.
So in honor of this fantastic episode of holiday magic, why not follow Liz Lemon’s way and make the dish she orders at Saturdaze (the restaurant she takes her family, Jack, and Colleen to). As Liz so proudly states, “I’ll take the five onion tower for two for one please.”
Orange Is the New Black: You Can’t Fix Crazy “Prison Pruno”
From secret Santa to the both hilarious and deeply touching Christmas pageant, this is a solid ensemble episode with the incredible cast.
In the spirit of this prison Christmas episode, why not try your hand at some toilet wine for your guests? Or are your guests a little too hoity toity for some good ole fashioned toilet wine (First of all, who do they think they are? Get a BETTER FAMILY)? If so, try this craft version of Poussey’s prison pruno.
South Park: A Woodland Critter Christmas Braised Venison
For a Christmas episode, this is pretty dark and surprising. We start out in a fairytale in which Stan has to help talking, adorable Woodland animals find their perfect Christmas. Then the world both expands and devolves into a horrific tale of the antichrist complete with abortion, murder, and blood orgies. And that just scratches the surface of this dark Christmas tale.
The only way to honor these sick, woodland creatures would be to eat one of them (they’d sacrifice themselves for your Christmas blood orgy-don’t worry). And in that weird, holiday anti-spirit may I suggest making Braised Venison with Rosemary and Shiitake Mushrooms? Just imagine those sweet, bloodlust-filled eyes looking at you the whole time and dig in!
Friends: The One With the Holiday Armadillo’s Beef Brisket
“Santa, the Armadillo, and I will have a talk in the kitchen! Well, that’s not a phrase I ever thought I’d say.”
The Thanksgiving episodes get more love but the Friends gang knew how to celebrate the Christmas/Hanukkah holidays, as well. Here, Ross decides it’s time for his son, Ben, to learn about the other half of his heritage by ignoring Christmas and teaching him about Hanukkah. But when Ben becomes distraught (with some terrible child acting) Ross panics and tells him Santa Claus will still visit anyway. Unfortunately, there are no Santa costumes left though, so Ross invents the Holiday Armadillo to teach Ben the magic of Hanukah. It’s a silly episode but one that became an instant classic.
So, gross armadillo recipe? That was our first instinct but then I looked up Armadillo recipes and realized that I would not recommend them due to the whole “causing leprosy” thing (I know, you’re heartbroken). But in the spirit of the episode and traditional Hanukkah foods, why not make a good brisket? You can even overcook it and make it tough like I assume armadillo hide is, if you really want to commit.
Seinfeld: The Strike’s Bagel Stuffing
Hate all the commercial and religious aspects of Christmas? Why not try Festivus (for the rest of us)!
Seinfeld was the show about nothing but in this unique holiday episode, a few staples are touched upon. We’ve got Elaine trying to get her free sub — which speaks to the longing for that perfect, much-deserved gift at the end of the year. There’s a Scrooge/Bob Cratchit dynamic between Kramer and his boss at the bagel shop, but you really can’t blame the guy for denying a request to be off for a made up holiday. George with his cynical commentary on charity (and embezzling) with the human fund is notable, too, but his family and the coinciding uncomfortable memories take the spotlight as George’s father brings back a Festivus wrestling tradition.
In the spirit of the bagels (that Kramer put his hands into… yuck), why not make this Rachel Ray Everything Bagel Bacon Stuffing at your own Festivus table (It looks legit delicious). Get it before Kramer sabotages the steam valve at the bagel store. Bwahahahaha. Oh they can still make bagels? Huh.
The O.C.: The Best Chrismukkah Ever’s Latkes
You had slowly been falling in love with Ryan Atwood and Seth Cohen’s amazing bromance throughout the season, but it’s in this Christmas/Hanukah fusion episode that it becomes true love for them and the entire Cohen/Atwood clan. Plus eight days of presents followed by one day of MANY presents? Who doesn’t love that?
In honor of these two cultures being (as adorably explained by Seth) fused together to create a super holiday, try this crazy, fusion recipe with Latkes AND ham (and gruyere and fennel)?? Yum.
Arrested Development: Afternoon Delight Triple Chocolate Pot Brownies
Is the pruno not cutting it anymore? Are your family members teetering right on the edge of a breakdown? Time to chill things out for the night with a little afternoon delight.
From Gob’s many thousand dollar pants to Buster’s “trophies” from Army to the incestual stylings of Maebe and Michael to Tobias (who “blue” himself), this episode of Arrested Development stays with you. And it all comes to a glorious end when Oscar mistakes Michael hinting that he should have a little “afternoon delight” with Lucille to wanting him to drug her with pot brownies. So if you’re in a legal state, make these delicious brownies for your guests (all consenting, legal adults of course) and turn your frowns upside down. And that, friends, is how you make it through holiday dinner.