23 Cartoon Christmas Episodes From Your Childhood & Where To Find Them

Remember back in the day when Christmas break extended forever? When you had all the free time in the world to mainline your favorite cartoon Christmas episodes? Well, that time is long over, so in-between awkward office parties, mass-ordering gifts for the fam, and penning listicles about holiday nostalgia (what, just me?) you have to be selective with what Christmas episodes you can catch. Luckily, if you’re feeling nostalgic this holiday season and want to revisit that simpler time without making an extreme effort, I’ve laid out a guide for where to watch all the best animated holiday specials for your childhood.

Now, of course, sometimes certain shows double (or triple) up on multiple streaming services. Sometimes you can just grab episodes flipped horizontally on a certain website that rhymes with “ZouTube,” but we don’t talk about that. At the very least, this round-up should serve as a reminder of what Christmas classics were hidden throughout the late '90s and 2000s. Sometimes, in fact, there’s more than one Christmas special in a series, especially if said series has been around for, I don’t know, 28 or so years.

So don’t deprive yourself, scroll down to see where you can get certain Christmas cartoons this season, and hopefully you can fit these shows into the chaos of the season.

1. "Gone Shopp'n," Aaahh!!! Real Monsters

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The trio has a little Christmas-in-July mall adventure and end up enamored with a lava lamp. Which is understandable, because who didn't have one of those on their Christmas list in the '90s?

Availability: Streamable on Amazon.

2. "Arthur's Perfect Christmas," Arthur

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Arthur and his anthropomorphic friends show just how many different ways you can celebrate Christmas... oh, and Hanukkah. 

Availability: Streamable on Amazon.

3. "Twas The Day Before Christmas / Jingle Boo / The Great Wakkorotti: The Holiday Concert / Toy Shop Terror / Yakko's Universe," Animaniacs

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It's a series of animated shorts from the Warner Brothers (and their Warner sister, Dot), plus the rest of the Animaniacs fam. 

Availability: Streamable on Netflix.

See Also: "A Christmas Plotz / Little Drummer Warners," "My Mother The Squirrel / The Party / Oh! Say Can You See? / The 12 Days of Christmas Song"

4. "Christmas With The Joker," Batman: The Animated Series

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One of my all-time favorite Christmas specials, because you haven't lived until you've heard the Clown Prince of Crime's rendition of "Jingle Bells, Batman Smells."

Availability: Streamable on Amazon.

See Also: "Holiday Knights"

5. "A Very CatDog Christmas," CatDog

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CatDog sells out! That is, they sell themselves as a Christmas gift and Santa Claus is highly unamused.

Availability: Streamable on Amazon.

6. "The Nutcracker," Courage The Cowardly Dog

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Maybe this isn't a literal holiday special, but the homage to the Tchaikovsky ballet is the closest we get to a Courage Christmas.

Availability: Streamable on Netflix.

7. "Dexter Vs. Santa's Claws," Dexter's Laboratory

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In which the extremely logical Dexter raps about there being no Santa Claus and ends up horribly, horribly mistaken.

Availability: Streamable on Amazon.

8. "Doug's Christmas Story," Doug

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Porkchop goes on trial for the attack of Beebe Bluff, just around the holidays. Can Doug help clear his pup's name, or is it straight to the pound for our dear Porkchop?

Availability: Streamable on Amazon.

9. "Fa La La Ed," Ed, Edd N Eddy

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The Eds bring Christmastime into the summer for the usual purposes of scamming the rest of the Cul De Sac kids, but Rolf — as some strange variant of Santa Claus — is the real MVP here.

Availability: You can check it out on iTunes.

See Also: "Ed, Edd n Eddy's Jingle Jingle Jangle"

10. "Christmas Everyday!" The Fairly OddParents

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In case you couldn't piece it together, Timmy makes a wish that every day would be Christmas, in song. We love you, Noggy. 

Availability: Streamable on Amazon.

See Also: "Merry Wishmas"

11. "Billy & Mandy Save Christmas," The Grim Adventures Of Billy & Mandy

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It's a predictably spooky Christmas for Grim, Billy, and Mandy, as they try to find a head vampire to stake after Santa Claus is bitten.

Availability: Streamable on Amazon.

12. "Arnold's Christmas," Hey Arnold!

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In one of the most genuinely heartwarming (and strangely serious) holiday specials of the decade, Arnold tries to reunite Mr. Hyunh with his long-lost daughter by accomplishing a series of yuletide errands. Have tissues at the ready.

Availability: Streamable on Amazon and Hulu.

13. "The Most Horrible X-Mas Ever," Invader Zim

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Don't let the title fool you, the Invader Zim series finale (which has our titular anti-hero trying to take over the world in the guise of St. Nick) features the most absurd and amazing Christmas carol of all time.

Availability: Streamable on Amazon.

14. "'Twas The Night," Johnny Bravo

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Our favorite blonde musclehead accidentally beats up Santa, forcing him to take the reins and deliver Christmas gifts in his stead. 

Availability: You can catch the episode on iTunes.

See Also: "A Johnny Bravo Christmas"

15. "A Pinky & The Brain Christmas," Pinky & The Brain

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If you can believe it, this episode (in which Brain, as television's Proto-Zim, is also trying to take over the world with a hypnotizing doll) actually won a Primetime Emmy. You can thank Pinky's sweet, simple heart for that.

Availability: Streamable on Amazon.

16. "'Twas The Fight Before Christmas," The Powerpuff Girls

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Princess tries to get all the nice kids on the naughty list and get herself on the nice list... you know, to become a Powerpuff and all. It's up to your three favorite kindergartners to stop her.

Availability: Bleh. You can ask real nice for the 10th anniversary Powerpuff Girls DVD collection or (and you didn't hear this from me) you could do some light poking around in the forests of YouTube.

17. "Son Of Stimpy," The Ren & Stimpy Show

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It's not... it's Stimpy's actual son, and that's all I'm going to say about that.

Availability: Streamable on Hulu and Amazon.

See Also: "A Scooter For Yakmas"

18. "Rocko's Modern Christmas!: Can't Squeeze Cheer From A Cheese Log," Rocko's Modern Life

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A classic tale about Rocko's attempt to bring Christmas cheer to the household, and Mr. Bighead's inexplicable prejudice against elves.

Availability: Streamable on Amazon.

19. "The Santa Experience," Rugrats

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Out of fear of receiving mountains of coal, Angelica tries to redeem herself before Christmastime, because she is literally me as a child.

Availability: Streamable on Amazon and Hulu.

See Also: "Let It Snow," "Babies In Toyland," "A Rugrats Chanukah" for your Jewish friends, and "A Rugrats Kwanzaa," if that's also a thing you do.

20. "Simpsons Roasting On An Open Fire," The Simpsons

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The very first episode of The Simpsons is a holiday essential, and you are a heartless monster if you don't see pure love in the eyes of Santa's Little Helper.

Availability: FXX will set you up.

See Also: Any of the other Simpson's Christmas specials, but my personal favorites include the likes of "Marge Be Not Proud," "Miracle on Evergreen Terrace," and "She of Little Faith."

21. "Mr. Hankey, The Christmas Poo," South Park

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Mr. Hanky doesn't care about what religion you celebrate, he brings holiday joy to everyone. Leave it to South Park to keep it classy.

Availability: Streamable on Hulu.

See Also: "Merry Christmas, Charlie Manson!," "Mr. Hankey's Christmas Classics," "A Very Crappy Christmas," "Red Sleigh Down," "It's Christmas in Canada," "Woodland Critter Christmas," and "HappyHolograms"

22. "Christmas Who?" Spongebob Squarepants

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SpongeBob brings Christmas to Bikini Bottom, and even though Squidward "bah humbugs" all of it, he ends up having to save the day when Santa doesn't show face.

Availability: Streamable on Amazon.

23. "Have Yourself A Thornberry Little Christmas," The Wild Thornberrys

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Eliza puts animals before the well-being of her family and it quite possibly jeopardizes the holiday. Sounds on-brand.

Availability: Streamable on Hulu and Amazon

Images: Giphy (23)

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