• Holidays

The Greatest Hanukkah TV Episodes, Ranked

List RulesVote up your favorite episodes that celebrate the Festival of Lights.

Though there are sadly fewer TV episodes celebrating Hanukkah as compared to the wealth of Christmas specials, a few bright spots stand out like glowing menorah candles. There are, of course, also a few misshapen dreidels that refuse to land on “gimel” (the winning symbol on the holiday spinner, for those who have never played), but they are still better than nothing at all.

Examples such as the Rugrats episode of  “Chanukah” is a classic beloved by all, as is “The One with the Holiday Armadillo” episode of Friends, but there are also a few you’re likely not familiar with, such as The Goldbergs' “A Christmas Story,” which follows a Jewish family in the 1980s who celebrate “Super Hanukkah,” and the Even Stevens holiday special “Heck of a Hanukkah,” which sees the show’s rapscallion protagonist receive a visit from the ghost of his great-great-great-grandmother. 

So which Hanukkah episodes are your favorites? 

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  • 1

    Rugrats - 'Chanukah'

    Season 4, episode 1

    A holiday special that taught millions of children about the Festival of Lights in a fun, accessible way, the Rugrats are to Hanukkah what the Peanuts are to Christmas. The episode sees the pack of adventurous kiddos acting out the story of Hanukkah. Featuring iconic lines such as, “A Macababy’s gotta do what a Macababy’s gotta do,” Tommy play-acting Hanukkah hero Judah Maccabee, and Angelica explaining the correct pronunciation of the holiday (“You have to ‘chhhh’ when you say it!”), the episode is both a classic and a great intro to the holiday.

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  • Photo: NBC

    Season 7, episode 10

    A hilarious classic episode, Ross dresses in costume to capture his son’s interest in learning about the Festival of Lights, but the only costume available to rent is an armadillo. A half-Jewish kid, Ben knows a lot more about Christmas than Hanukkah, but he gladly focuses on learning about the miracle of Hanukkah once Santa also expresses interest. The whole crew then comes together to light the menorah. The touching, funny episode spotlights the importance of family and friendship during the holiday season, regardless of faith or beliefs.

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  • 3

    The Nanny - 'The Hanukkah Story'

    Photo: CBS

    Season 6, episode 10

    Fran, the fabulous Jewish protagonist of the hit sitcom, teaches the children she nannies about the Festival of Lights. When asked why Jewish holidays begin at sundown, she responds in her trademark nasally voice, “That’s because God realized that before 5 pm, to wear sequins is gauche.” The episode features flashbacks to her childhood, a ceremonious menorah lighting, and a Hanukkah miracle. 

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  • 4

    Arthur - 'Arthur's Perfect Christmas'

    Photo: PBS

    Season 1, Holiday Special

    Featuring a Hanukkah subplot in which Francine has to miss a friend’s Christmas party because her family is celebrating the last night of Hanukkah together, the episode presents different types of families and ways of celebrating the holiday season. In a touching moment, Muffy finally comes to realize that the Festival of Lights is just as important to Francine as how she feels about Christmas.

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