It’s the most wonderful time of the year! That is, time for TV shows to roll out a fresh batch of Christmas-themed episodes for our viewing pleasure. But which of the many Christmas episodes we’ve enjoyed over the years have stood the test of time to become a true holiday tradition? You tell us. We’ve ranked the most enduring Christmas episodes ever -- along with a few wild cards -- and placed them in a March Madness-style bracket. Over the past two weeks, we’ve been asking you to vote for your favorite episodes until we get a winner: the undisputed best Christmas episode of all time.
(12) Community, “Regional Holiday Music” (aired December 8, 2011)
Congratulations, Greendale: You've made it to Regionals! “Community” stars Joel McHale and Gillian Jacobs tweeted out support for this festive Season 3 installment, pushing it to a decisive win over a vintage “M*A*S*H” holiday episode and into the Mistletoe Madness finals. But can the Greendale Seven go all the way and beat out the formidable one-two combo of Al Bundy and Sam Kinison, both in full-on "Bah humbug" mode? We like its chances: The episode-long “Glee” parody is spot-on, Annie’s ditzy Santa routine is an all-time “Community” classic (“Boopy doopy doop boop, sex!”), and seeing the study group all together at Troy and Abed’s place watching the “Inspector Spacetime” holiday special could warm the Grinchiest of hearts.
(14) Married… With Children, "It's a Bundyful Life" (aired December 17, 1989)
*Flush!* When the toilet-worshipping Al Bundy took on a singing piece of poo last round, we should’ve known who’d come out on top. This “Married” Christmas special easily disposed of our 2-seed, “South Park’s” Mr. Hankey, in the Final Four, making this final matchup a battle of big-time underdogs. The appeal here is obvious: Casting the late, great comedian Sam Kinison as Al’s foul-mouthed guardian angel was a stroke of divine inspiration. And you have to respect “Bundyful Life” for not wimping out and going soft in the final act; Al tells Sam he wants to live again… just because his family seemed too happy without him around. A perfectly Scrooge-like sentiment that flies in the face of every corny Christmas episode we've ever had to endure… does it get any more Bundyful than that?
Which episode deserves to win Mistletoe Madness? Vote in the poll at the top of the page (voting ends Thursday at 6 PM PT), click here to see the full bracket and check out all the previous matchups below, tweet out your choices using the hashtag #MistletoeMadness, and hit the comments to tell us about all the great Christmas episodes we forgot to include.