You don’t have to travel whatsoever to visit with your friends in the loft this holiday season, because all four of the New Girl Christmas episodes are streaming. “Only four?” you may ask. Yes, only four, even though the show ran for seven seasons. There's no reason to get greedy this time of the year, but Fox's TV schedule is to blame: Season 3 of New Girl didn’t air a single episode in December 2013, season 5 bypassed the holidays by kicking off in January 2015, and season 7 only had eight episodes that premiered in April 2018. But these are the four New Girl holiday episodes we have and what a gift they are.
The episodes feature some great moments between Jess (Zooey Deschanel), Nick (Jake Johnson), Schmidt (Max Greenfield), Winston (Lamorne Morris), Cece (Hannah Simone), and even Coach (Damon Wayans Jr), as the group comes together to celebrate the spirit of the season and truly love and appreciate one another — and in Schmidt’s case, kvetch about how Hanukkah is overshadowed.
Even though there are only four episodes that are all equally watchable, one, of course, just has to be better than the others. So what follows is a very official ranking of the holiday episodes, from pretty alright to pristine Christmas classic.
Season 2, Episode 11 — “Santa”
How many holiday parties can the group hit in one night, which also happens to be the Saturday before Christmas? The answer is: A lot.
And things just keep going from bad to worse at each party. Jess is still reeling from her recent breakup with Sam (David Walton), Schmidt can’t be civil with Cece, and Nick is a little too into the idea of having a stripper girlfriend. (The latter is the reason we get this gem: “I’m not laughing at you, I’m laughing into me.”) As far as holiday episodes go, this one is completely forgettable.
Season 6, Episode 10 — “Christmas Eve Eve”
What makes a holiday episode so special is often just focusing on the show’s core group of characters and how they’re dealing (or not dealing) with the holidays. The last New Girl Christmas episode of the series unfortunately mucks up the tradition by throwing in too many obstacles, peripheral characters, and a overly lengthy Halloween intro. The episode seems to forget that all we really want for Christmas is to spend time with Jess, Nick, Schmidt, Cece, and Winston.
Jess tries to organize a Secret Santa swap, but accidentally forgets to put her own name into the hat, which makes everyone feel bad after they’ve gotten presents, but not bad enough? On top of that, Robbie (Nelson Franklin) is still dating Jess and he’s fine; Nick is still dating Reagan (Megan Fox), and she’s fine. But you just want to scream for Nick and Jess to be together already, you know? The real stars of the episode are Cece and Winston, who buy each other the most oddly specific presents to coincide with their hilarious inside jokes that make no sense to anyone else. Bean Bag chair? Bean Bag chair!
Season 4, Episode 11 — “LAXmas”
Considering the world we live in right now, this Christmas episode might give you intense anxiety for a few different reasons, the big one being the thought of a crowded airport at the holidays. Jess and everyone else is trying to make their way through LAX to get home, but a huge storm derails everyone’s travel plans. Jess single handedly tries to figure this out for the gang, and you can probably guess that it goes horribly wrong.
Billy Eichner guest stars as a disgruntled airline employee, and Coach (Damon Wayans Jr.) also makes an appearance. Basically, if you’re in the mood for holiday travel hijinx, this is the episode for you. There are also a bunch of sweet moments between Cece and Schmidt — who are not dating at this point in the series — that makes this a standout episode for them.
Season 1, Episode 9 “The 23rd”
The first New Girl Christmas episode is by far the best, as it lets everyone shine in their own, perfectly quirky ways. Also, Schmidt gets to utter the iconic “Judaism, son” in this episode, and remind everyone that he hates Christmas because it means “Hanukkah is over.”
But, what really makes this episode standout is the fact that it’s one of the first episodes of the series that really shows viewers just how deeply this group cares for one another. All Jess wants to do is see Candy Cane Lane light up for Christmas, and all Nick wants to do is finally not miss his flight home for Christmas. Naturally, both of them fail. Or do they?
Sacrificing his trip home (for the fifth year in a row), Nick takes the group on a detour down this Christmas street and next thing you know, everyone is standing in the road, in the middle of the night, screaming to convinced residents to light up Candy Cane Lane. It’s an example of the typical New Girl moments we’ve come to love over the years, and makes you long for a group of friends who will scream over Christmas lights for you. Also, the episode closes out with Deschanel’s own duo, She & Him, singing “I’ll Be Home For Christmas,” off their very underrated Christmas album — just saying.