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The Best Holiday Episodes On 'The Big Bang Theory'

Updated November 6, 2019 382 votes 94 voters 8.0k views14 items

There's something about watching a holiday episode of your favorite TV show that makes you feel warm and fuzzy inside. Whether it's a yearly Christmas episode the ends with the main characters cozying up around the Christmas tree, or a fun-filled Halloween episode that captures the best spooky feelings and makes you feel like a kid again, there's really nothing on TV like a classic holiday special.

For fans of The Big Bang Theory, the holiday episodes of the series have always felt truly special. From the apartments being fully decked out for the season, to Sheldon's hatred for almost all holidays, the best Big Bang Theory holiday episodes manage to feel like throwbacks to classic sitcom episodes while still featuring the smart and diverse humor that the series is known for. Like everything that's great about Big Bang Theory, its holiday TV episodes can be counted on year after year to make us laugh, to make us feel, and to make us glad that we don't have to spend the holidays with Sheldon, we only have to spend a half an hour each Halloween, Thanksgiving, and Christmas with him.

Even if it's not that time of year, you better prepare to head off to Mrs. Wolowitz's house for Thanksgiving, order the pepermint bark cheesecake off the Cheesecake Factory menu, and deck the halls with the rankings of the best Big Bang Theory holiday episodes. Bazinga!

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  • 5

    The Holographic Excitation

    The Holographic Excitation
    Photo: CBS

    Stuart and Raj organize a Halloween costume party at the comic book store. Amy and Bernadette will go with their partners, but Penny dislikes parties at the store. Amy and Bernadette then persuade her to show interest in Leonard's activities just as he shows interest in hers despite not liking them. Taking their advice, she visits Leonard's lab, is fascinated by his work, is turned on, and has sex with him there - and whenever she visits his lab, or he shows how smart he is, as at the party. Meanwhile, Sheldon and Amy argue over pair costumes, compromising between Amy's preferred Raggedy Ann & Andy and Sheldon's R2-D2 & C-3PO to go as Raggedy Ann and Raggedy C-3PO.

    Elsewhere, Howard talks endlessly about his space mission, boring his friends. Before sex, Bernadette forbids all space talk, so he boycotts the party. She drags him along anyway; he lashes out at Raj for having him silenced. Bernadette confronts Howard, who reveals that without space he is "just...Howard Wolowitz". She says she fell in love with "just... Howard Wolowitz"; they kiss. Raj later sends him a video of Buzz Aldrin boring children by endlessly mentioning his Moon trip, and Howard finally realizes his mistake.

    • Original Airing: Oct 25, 2012
    • Season: 6
    • Episode Number: 5
    18
    2
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  • 6

    The Clean Room Infiltration

    The Clean Room Infiltration
    Photo: CBS

    Raj will be unable to host Christmas dinner as his father is coming to town and is depressed about his divorce. Amy hosts a Victorian-era Christmas dinner instead. Her traditional party games bore everyone. Sheldon and Amy have agreed not to exchange gifts, but Sheldon decides to get her one anyway as revenge for the dinner and kissing him in public under the mistletoe. Bernadette takes him to the mall where he gets his picture taken with Santa and a frame which includes a personalized Christmas message to Amy. To his surprise s

    Meanwhile, Leonard and Howard are working together in a clean room when a pigeon flies in. They are unable to get the bird out even with Raj's help. Howard is devastated when he accidentally injures the pigeon with a blast from a fire extinguisher. Leonard tells him how to revive it; however, a crow flies in. Howard and Leonard agree to take the blame for ruining the lab together until Penny convinces them to erase their names off the sign-up sheet for the lab and leave.

    • Original Airing: December 11, 2014
    • Season: 8
    • Episode Number: 11
    18
    4
    Is this a great holiday episode?
  • The Middle Earth Paradigm
    Photo: CBS

    Penny invites the guys to her Halloween party. They at first decline as they do not dance, but accept when costumes are mentioned. At the party they have problems socializing: Sheldon is unable to explain his Doppler effect costume since none of Penny's friends are physicists or smart enough to understand it; Raj (dressed as Thor) cannot speak to women; Howard as Robin Hood is mistaken for Peter Pan; and Leonard (dressed as Frodo Baggins from The Lord of the Rings) is insecure.

    Penny's ex-boyfriend Kurt (underdressed as a very tall, muscular caveman) later shows up and aggressively confronts Leonard, causing him (and later Penny) to leave. Penny goes to check on Leonard and apologizes for Kurt's behavior. She is very upset, but Leonard tells her she is perfect, and they kiss, though Penny confesses she is drunk. They kiss again, in sight of Kurt, Leonard saying "That's how we roll at the Shire!" before locking his apartment door in a panic. Meanwhile, Howard cannot find Raj, who is at home sleeping with a girl who finds him to be a "very good listener".

    • Original Airing: Oct 29, 2007
    • Season: 1
    • Episode Number: 6
    18
    5
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  • 8

    The Good Guy Fluctuation

    Leonard meets an attractive female comic book enthusiast named Alice at the comic book store and immediately gets attracted to her. However he is still in a committed relationship with Priya and as a result, is torn between cheating on her with Alice or staying loyal to her. He goes to Penny for advice, but he does not find her advice useful, so he goes to Sheldon, who quotes Friedrich Nietzsche's views on morality (Morality is just a fiction used by the herd of inferior human beings to hold back the few superior men). Leonard surprisingly takes Sheldon's advice and goes to Alice's apartment. But just when they are about to have sex, Leonard's conscience gets the better of him. He tells Alice that he already has a girlfriend, prompting her to throw him out of her apartment. Later he tells Priya via Skype about how he tried to cheat on her.

    To his surprise, Priya accepts his actions but then reveals that she cheated on him by sleeping with her ex-boyfriend. Leonard becomes very upset at this and closes his laptop on Priya, indicating their breakup. Meanwhile, Sheldon becomes the victim of a successful Halloween prank by the guys and decides to take revenge by pranking them back. But due to his lack of guile, none of his pranks are successful; Leonard reverses his airbag prank on him; Raj does not get scared of the snake which Sheldon hid in his drawer in their office; Howard and Bernadette pretend that Howard had suffered a heart attack after Sheldon gives him an electric handshake, which actually scares him more. However, he manages to finally scare Leonard by leaping out from under the couch cushions in zombie face paint after Leonard speaks with Priya.

    • Original Airing: Oct 27, 2011
    • Season: 5
    • Episode Number: 7
    19
    7
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