Every Bob's Burgers Christmas Episode Ranked

Although "Bob's Burgers" has plenty of great episodes to choose from, the yearly holiday installments are always a special treat. The show's Halloween episodes are packed with trick-or-treating and a lighthearted, spooky atmosphere. Its Thanksgiving episodes are filled with trials, tribulations, and turkey. And then, of course, there are the Christmas episodes, which celebrate both the coziness and the chaos of the winter season. 

On "Bob's Burgers," Christmas offers plenty of opportunities for hijinks, from Linda's (John Roberts) near-maniacal love for pageantry and Bob's (H. Jon Benjamin) seasonal anxieties, to whatever scheme Louise (Kristen Schaal) has come up with to score presents from Santa for herself, Tina (Dan Mintz), and Gene (Eugene Mirman), no matter what the cost. There are dysfunctional family members to deal with on all sides, and that's without mentioning the ongoing pressure of trying to run a family restaurant during one of the busiest times of year. From its third season onward, "Bob's Burgers" has managed to provide annual holiday cheer that's sweet and silly without ever getting too cheesy (unless cheese happens to be a topping on the Burger of the Day, of course). 

In honor of the Christmas season, we've ranked every "Bob's Burgers" Christmas episode from worst to best. We've taken into account a number of factors, including how funny each episode is, how they encapsulate the holiday, and which ones bring something truly unique to such a consistently charming series. With a whopping 11 Christmas episodes to chose from, consider this your guide to firing up "Bob's Burgers" on Hulu this season.

11. Father of the Bob (Season 5, Episode 6)

Though Linda's eccentric relatives have appeared in several holiday specials, and her sister Gayle (Megan Mullally) is a constant source of chaos in the Belchers' lives, we rarely get a look at Bob's extended family. In this episode, Bob receives an invitation to his estranged father's (Bill Hader) annual Christmas party, which is held at his own restaurant, Big Bob's Diner. At Linda's insistence, Bob agrees to attend with his family, but tension between Bob and his father boils over into a battle for cooking dominance in the kitchen. 

"Father of the Bob" is more grounded outing than other holiday extravaganza, and it's quite a bit more stressful than the other episodes on this list. Those qualities might make it less ideal for fans just looking for some yuletide cheer, but Bob and his father end up serving as a good reminder of how we can work through issues with the ones we love. It's a good lesson, especially during a time of year when familial tensions can run high.

10. Yachty or Nice (Season 11, Episode 10)

One of the longest-running jokes on "Bob's Burgers" is the vicious rivalry between Bob and Jimmy Pesto (Jay Johnston), the snarky, showboating owner of the Italian restaurant across the street. It's almost unheard of for Jimmy to do anything nice for Bob, which is the source of Bob's anxiety throughout this Season 11 episode. 

After being invited to cater the local yacht club's holiday boat parade — a gig that seems too good to be true — Bob is concerned that there might be some sort of ulterior motive at play. His suspicions are confirmed when he learns that Jimmy was responsible for the invitation. Meanwhile, Louise, Tina, and Gene set their sight on a boat filled with presents intended for needy kids. 

"Yachty or Nice" doesn't exactly boast the same level of Christmas vibes of other "Bob's Burgers" specials — the yacht club setting is certainly less than traditional — but it does feature its fair share of heartwarming moments. Plus, the new dimension it brings to Bob and Jimmy's rivalry makes it something special.

9. Better Off Sled (Season 9, Episode 10)

Normally it's the Belcher kids who spend the Christmas season preoccupied with gifts. In this Season 9 episode it's Bob and Linda who are focused on presents, although they're more concerned about giving than getting. See, Tina, Gene, and Louise are busy trying to get the most out of the neighborhood's only sledding hill. 

After a massive snowfall, the kids are excited to get in some top-notch sledding over Christmas vacation. That's when Louise's teenage nemesis, Logan (Kurt Braunohler), throws a wrench into their plans by taking over the sledding hill with his friends. When the Belchers and their crew attempt to take the hill back, they're greeted by an army of teenage boys and a barrage of snowballs. As epic snowball warfare unfolds, Linda struggles to knit scarves for the kids by Christmas, and is devastated when Bob proves to be a much more gifted knitter than she is.

"Better Off Sled" is among the more small-scale and low-key of "Bobs' Burgers" holiday specials, and it's focused more on general winter hijinks than it is on Christmas itself. But that doesn't mean it's without its charms, and the snowball action is a stand-out.

8. Have Yourself a Maily Linda Christmas (Season 10, Episode 10)

Every so often, Linda takes on a second job outside of the restaurant, usually with delightfully disastrous results. We're treated to another one of Linda's short-lived side hustles in this Season 10 episode, which sees her taking on a temp job at the local post office to save up some extra money for the holidays. When it becomes clear that one man's gift for his nephew will not be delivered by Christmas, Linda takes matters into her own hands — and probably breaks several federal laws in the process. 

While Linda battles bureaucracy and evades the Postal Service, Bob and Tina are trapped at home with her sister and her parents, who are always seconds away from a massive fight. During all of this, Gene and Louise search for the perfect gift for Tina, who has frustrated them with meaningful, personalized presents during their sibling gift exchange. 

Linda's well-meaning but misguided ambitions are at the heart of some of the best "Bob's Burgers" episodes, and "Have Yourself a Maily Linda Christmas" is no exception. It's a perfect encapsulation of the stress, exhaustion, and love that characterizes the last few days before Christmas.

7. Gene's Christmas Break (Season 12, Episode 10)

Fans of Gene and his weird and wonderful music, this one's for you. Gene's keyboard is a "Bob's Burgers" staple, bringing a dose of idiosyncrasy and unadulterated joy (plus some sampled fart noises) to the show. No matter what his family — or the rest of the world — says, Gene's dual passions for music and absurdity persist.

In this episode, sweet Gene engages in his yearly Christmas DJing, much to the annoyance of the rest of the Belcher family (except Linda, who loves all of her children's nonsense). His most-played tracks are from his favorite holiday album, a trippy Christmas record from 1973 called "Percy McTinsel-bud's Tinsel Machine." But Christmas is nearly ruined when the extremely rare record gets broken, sending the Belchers on a quest to recapture its magic at any cost.

Though less action-packed than other "Bob's Burgers" Christmas episodes, "Gene's Christmas Break" is a sweet look at the lengths the family will go to cheer each other up, respecting the fact that one person's annoying novelty song might just be another person's treasure.

6. Bob Rest Ye Merry Gentle-Mannequins (Season 3, Episode 9)

The first-ever Christmas episode of "Bob's Burgers" goes jingle all the way right out of the gate. After one of Bob's relatives leaves him a storage unit, the Belchers are excited to see what sort of riches might be waiting for them. Instead of fur coats, money, or even a dry erase board, however, they find a man named Chet (Zach Galifianakis) living inside. Unwilling (and a bit afraid) to leave him there, the family brings Chet back to their house so that he won't have to spend Christmas alone. 

It quickly becomes clear that Chet has a talent for creating beautiful holiday window displays, a skill that he quickly employs at the restaurant. Bob is thrilled, asking Chet to create a display each day leading up to Christmas. Chet agrees, but his time in their basement takes an unnerving turn when he begins to reveal his backstory.

This episode is funny, festive, and deeply bizarre, highlighting the show's talent for capturing all three things at once. "Bob Rest Ye Merry Gentle-Mannequins" shows the importance of generosity and caring for others, as well as how love can be found in the strangest places. It also shows that you should probably not let strangers from storage units move into your house — but hey, it works out fine in the end!

5. The Last Gingerbread House on the Left (Season 7, Episode 7)

One of the most memorable secondary characters on "Bob's Burgers" is the Belcher family's eccentric and ridiculously wealthy landlord, Mr. Fischoeder (Kevin Kline). This episode takes the Belcher family to Fischoeder's neighborhood after the real estate tycoon invites Bob to a Christmas party. 

Of course, nothing with Mr. Fischoeder is ever as it seems, and Bob is quickly pulled into a high-stakes gingerbread house-building competition, which Fischoeder offers to pay him to lose. Looking for a way to come up with the money for his children's Christmas presents, Bob agrees to take a dive, but his natural talent for gingerbread houses (and his irritation with Fischoeder's constant taunts) gets the better of him, and he decides to forgo the bribe and play to win. Meanwhile, Linda and Teddy (Larry Murphy) take the kids out for a night of Christmas caroling, leading them to a house that's rumored to be haunted.

Christmas is about family, and as "The Last Gingerbread House on the Left" proves, that means something different to everyone. Sometimes, a family is two parents and a gaggle of children, and sometimes it's a group of peculiar old rich men who build gingerbread houses together in a cellar. The episode builds to a beautifully ludicrous crescendo that cements it as one of the very funniest "Bob's Burgers" holiday shows.

4. Christmas in the Car (Season 4, Episode 8)

"The Last Gingerbread House on the Left" isn't the only episode in which the Belcher family's Christmas takes a potentially life-threatening turn. In the Season 4 episode "Christmas in the Car," the family embarks on a last-minute trip to buy a tree after the one Linda bought prematurely (she picked it up on November 1st) dies on Thanksgiving. However, the trip goes horribly awry when Bob and Linda accidentally antagonize the driver of a candy cane-shaped semi-truck. 

While Bob and the rest of the family worry that this Christmas might be their last, Teddy goes to the Belcher home to turn off the oven and keep the Christmas ham from drying out. Unfortunately, he becomes caught in a trap that Louise has set for Santa. This particular gag leads to one of the funniest pieces of animation in the show's history, as Teddy struggles desperately to free himself from the Belchers' fridge.

Aside from being a great example of the show's propensity for wringing hilarity out of tense situations, "Christmas in the Car" makes a powerful addition to the canon of original "Bob's Burgers" songs. A key plot point hinges on Gene's efforts to get a radio DJ to play his favorite Christmas tune, "Jingle in the Jungle." It's just goofy enough to feel like a real-world novelty ditty, but full of that sincere "Bob's Burgers" charm.

3. Nice-Capades (Season 6, Episode 5)

A lot of the magic of "Bob's Burgers" comes from the Belchers kids' willingness to believe in wild and impossible things. Tina believes in ghosts, Gene believes in a legendary two-butted goat, and Louise believes very strongly in the power of Santa Claus. Louise takes her Christmas list, and the big guy's ability to make her wishes a reality, very seriously.

In "Nice-Capades," the three siblings inadvertently anger a mall Santa (Henry Winkler) when they kick him out of a massage chair. Terrified of being placed on the naughty list, Louise convinces her siblings to help put together an elaborate musical spectacular that they will perform on the mall's ice rink, outlining exaggerated versions of all the good deeds they did that year. 

In addition to a bunch of fun musical numbers (including Mr. Fischoeder performing a song about all the alcoholic drinks he enjoys at Christmas), this episode is a lovely showcase for Louise as a character. She may present herself as a hardened cynic who never stops scheming, but underneath the surface she is a sweet kid who cares a lot about others.

2. The Bleakening (Season 8, Episodes 6 & 7)

One of the best things about "Bob's Burgers" is its original songs. From ridiculous boy band jams like "Whisper in Your Eyes" to Gene's '80s mashup "Work Hard or Die Trying, Girl," the show has given us plenty of genuinely clever and catchy tunes to laugh and dance along to. But it's Season 8's epic two-part Christmas special "The Bleakening" that gave us some of the show's best songs overall. 

The hour-long story of "The Bleakening" follows Linda as she tries to host the best Christmas party of all time. However, after her party, she realizes that her beloved miniature Christmas tree, which was covered with all of her favorite decorations, has been stolen. As a rash of Christmas robberies sweeps the town, Linda attempts to investigate the crime and recover her prized ornaments. Louise and her siblings come to believe that the robberies are the doing of the Bleaken, the "Bob's Burgers" version of evil Christmas sprits like the Krampus

The special draw here is that "The Bleakening" takes the opportunity to become a full-on musical in a big way, even by this show's standards. Not every show could pull that off, but "Bob's Burgers certainly can. Particular highlights include the triumphant "Twinkly Lights" performed by drag queen Miss Triple X-Mas (Todrick Hall) and a ditty performed by Art the Artist (Adam Driver) while he poses nude for a life drawing class.

1. The Plight Before Christmas (Season 13, Episode 10)

Very few shows make it past a dozen seasons, and it's nearly unthinkable that any could do so while remaining as good as they ever were. But "Bob's Burgers" Season 13 broke with conventional wisdom by serving up the best of the show's 11 Christmas episodes to date. "The Plight Before Christmas" is as fine an episode as any at demonstrating everything that makes the show special — absurd quirks, satirical looks at modern anxieties, and a deep family love at the center of it all.

The episode finds Bob and Linda doing their best to support their kids at two simultaneous holiday events — Tina's Thundergirls play and Gene's band concert. They're just barely keeping it together when it turns out that Louise is participating in a poetry contest that's also happening on the same night. Louise tells the family they don't need to come, but Tina begins to suspect she's hiding her true feelings.

As the prickliest of the Belchers, Louise is frequently the center of the show's most touching moments. Any time her unspoken emotions and fierce love for her family take center stage is truly something special. This episode is a shining example of that, driven by a hilarious clockwork plot that spotlights each member of the family in turn. It's topped off with a wordless finale set to, of all things, Philip Glass' score from "Mishima: A Life in Four Chapters" (a custom arrangement prepared for the show with the blessing of Glass himself).