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Posted at 12:34 PM ET, 12/ 9/2010

Ranked: 'The Office' Christmas episodes

By Jen Chaney

NBC is devoting tonight's entire Thursday comedy block to the holidays, including a very special Claymation episode of "Community" (Claymation is always special, people) and an hour-long holiday episode of "The Office" in which (per the video preview above) the love of Michael Scott's life returns. Thankfully, Holly will be portrayed by the real Amy Ryan and not a Claymation version.

Aside from generating discussion about the imminent departure of Steve Carell, "The Office" admittedly hasn't done a whole lot to generate water cooler chatter these days. But the Dunder Mifflin crew has demonstrated a consistent flair for yuletide episodes. So tonight's installment -- entitled "Classy Christmas," directed by Rainn Wilson and noted as the fifth holiday celebration in the show's history -- will hopefully be a memorable one.

Before tonight's "Office" airs, though, let's pause to rank the four previous fa-la-la episodes from best to worst. I'll start, then let readers weigh in by voting in our ranking poll, which can be found after the jump. (Important note: We are focusing on the American "Office" here, so the British "Office" Christmas special -- which also marked that series's finale -- is off the table. Ricky Gervais fans, if you want to voice your outrage in the comments section, feel free.)

1. "A Benihana Christmas" (season three)

An epic battle ensues between competing Christmas parties (Angela's double fudge brownies vs. Pam and Karen's frozen margaritas), Dwight brings a dead goose to the office and Michael gets plastered after drinking too many "egg noggasakis" during lunch at Benihana's. How plastered? He can't keep track of which waitress he picked up at the restaurant. Then again, that might be due to his trademark cluelessness. Not just the best holiday episode of the series, one of the best period.

2. "Christmas Party" (season two)

Nothing is more fun than a yankee swap ... unless your boss totally breaks the budget limit and buys an iPod to look impressive in front of his employees. No, wait. It's actually worse when a random co-worker throws an old shirt into a bag and acts like it's a gift.


3. "Moroccan Christmas" (season five)

Phyllis asserts her powers as new head of the party planning committee by throwing a Moroccan-themed party, complete with exotic throw pillows and hummus? Check. Meredith gets drunk and sets her hair on fire, prompting a holiday party intervention? Check. Jim plays a joke on Dwight by gift-wrapping his desk? And ... check.

4. "Secret Santa" (season six)

Yet another epic holiday battle ensued in last year's Christmas episode, this time over who should play Santa: Michael or Phyllis. "It's insane. A woman Santa? Where does it stop?" Indeed, Michael. Where does it stop?

Now it's your turn:

By Jen Chaney  | December 9, 2010; 12:34 PM ET
Categories:  Pop Culture, TV  
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Comments

Tonight's hour long Office was possibly the worst episode they have produced. Instead of the light, fanciful nonsense that traditionally dominates things we had vitriol, much to much of Dwight, and outright meanness. The message, perhaps, is that the show is on its last legs unless they come up with a true gem to replace Steve C. My vote is for the New Zealand "diplomat" from Flight of the Conchords.

Posted by: wp318676 | December 9, 2010 11:39 PM | Report abuse

Tonight's hour long Office was possibly the worst episode they have produced. Instead of the light, fanciful nonsense that traditionally dominates things we had vitriol, much to much of Dwight, and outright meanness. The message, perhaps, is that the show is on its last legs unless they come up with a true gem to replace Steve C. My vote is for the New Zealand "diplomat" from Flight of the Conchords.

Posted by: wp318676 | December 9, 2010 11:40 PM | Report abuse

The comments to this entry are closed.

 
 
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