Over the years, many characters on many TV shows have attempted to summarize the spirit of Christmas, but few have done a better job than Michael Scott of The Office: “Christmas is awesome. First of all, you get to spend time with people you love. Secondly, you can get drunk and no one can say anything. Third, you give presents. What’s better than giving presents? And fourth, getting presents. So four things. Not bad for one day.”
Brings a tear to your eye, doesn’t it?
Since most office Christmas parties were cancelled this year, why not spend some Christmas time with your friends at The Office? Sling has select Christmas episodes of the show on-demand via Comedy Central, including “Christmas Party” (Season 2); “A Benihana Christmas Pt. 1 & 2” (Season 3); “Moroccan Christmas” (Season 5); “Secret Santa” (Season 6); and “Dwight Christmas” (season 9). After watching all 6 episodes (yet again), Mark Schiff and Peyton Lombardo put together this definitive and completely subject list of the best Christmas moments on The Office. To watch the show live and on-demand on Comedy Central, sign up for Sling Orange using the link at the bottom of this page.
Best Cold Open
MS: "Moroccan Christmas" – Jim, “a blackbelt in gift wrapping,” wraps Dwight's chair, desk and everything on it. It’s cute and funny. What happens next is hilarious.
PL: Easily Jim gift wrapping all of Dwight’s desk. Everything from his stapler to his phone is decked in wrapping paper. And then...
MS: "Moroccan Christmas" has a couple. First, we have Michael dragging Meredith into a rehab center as she screams hysterically in protest (it’s funnier than it sounds). But the squirmiest moment comes when a fed-up Phyllis finally blurts out to the party that “Angela and Dwight are having sex.” Except that Andy, Angela’s fiance, was out of the room when the announcement took place, and he has no idea about the big reveal, so he serenades his bride-to-be with “Deck the Halls” on a sitar. Andy’s off-key song is awful, but his coworkers' pained expressions makes the scene truly excruciating.
PL: "A Benihana Christmas" has by far the cringiest moment of any holiday episode, when Michael is excited to gift Carol with a trip to Sandals resort in Jamaica. As underwhelmed as she is by this gesture, she ends up dumping him because he made a Christmas card with her family and himself photoshopped onto her ex-husband… awkward.
PL: “This isn’t your grandmother’s Christmas party,” Phyllis exclaims as she plans her first holiday soirée as head of the party planning committee. Her choice, Nights in Morocco, doesn’t disappoint. She nails the theme with everything from belly dancing to hookahs, a major switch-up from the holiday parties the office usually throws. While the party doesn’t end up a total success for the reasons mentioned above, these wild surprises are what makes The Office so entertaining.
MS: It has to be the OG “Christmas Party,” right? After some awkward Secret Santa exchanges, Michael makes up for his lack of decorum by purchasing $160 worth of Vodka. Everyone gets wasted, Packer gets silly-stringed while passed out drunk, and they all head to Poor Richard’s for another round. That’s about as good as it gets in the universe of this show.
Most Michael Moment
MS: In “Secret Santa,” Phyllis gets to fulfill a years-long journey of playing office Santa (“I have the right temperament and the figure to do the job well”) only to have Michael pitch a fit. Michael has uncharacteristically retrograde opinions about the issue, and the joke is that he’d rather act like a sexist buffoon than cede the spotlight to a new Santa. He ultimately realizes this, but in his apology, he spills the beans about Dunder-Mifflin’s potential closure, until head honcho David Wallace tells them that their jobs are safe. Michael Scott: Making a bad situation worse before ultimately saving the day, kind of!
PL: During Secret Santa in "Christmas Party," Michael receives a hand-knitted oven mitt from Phyllis. He’s not happy with his gift, so he makes the entire office switch to "Yankee Swap" where each successive person can keep or steal gifts. With an iPod in the mix (a highly coveted item in 2005), he ends up pissing off everyone in the process, and gets stuck with paintball lessons from Dwight.
Best Episode Overall
PL: My favorite holiday episode is “Christmas Party” for sure. Michael, in telling everyone how he was able to afford the aforementioned iPod (for a Secret Santa with a $20 limit, no less), reveals that he got a bonus from firing Devon. Understandably, everyone gets pissed and doesn’t want to party with him, so we get a quote so memorable, it’s now Christmas merch: “Happy Birthday, Jesus. Sorry your party’s so lame.”
MS: The supersized “A Benihana Christmas” isn’t just the best Office Christmas episode, it’s arguably a top ten episode overall. As Peyton says above, this is the one where Carol breaks up with Michael after he photoshops himself into her family vacation pictures. Michael then throws himself a big ol’ pity party, which includes running back a :30 second sample of “Goodbye, My Lover” because he “just wants a taste.”
You could make a case that this episode deserves to be tops in each category on this list: Dwight bringing a goose carcass into the office is a killer cold open; Andy’s comment to Michael that he “can’t concentrate when I know you’re in pain” is one of the cringiest compliments in Andy’s extensive history of ass-kissery; Darryl brings his keyboard to the “Margarita-Karaoke-Christmas” for some live karaoke that even Angela can’t resist; and the part where Michael marks the arm of the Benihana waitress is one of the funniest moments in the show’s history (Michael even laughs at himself for this). Directed by comedy legend Harold Ramis, “A Benihana Christmas” is an absolute classic; Belsnickle himself couldn’t have delivered a better gift.
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