A Definitive Ranking of the Best Disney Channel Holiday Episodes
Have yourself a very Disney Christmas with these nostalgic holiday episodes.
What gets you in the Christmas spirit more than some good old-fashioned ‘00s TV? We already know that Disney doesn’t have too many movies in the Christmas department, but boy does Disney Channel have a ton of holiday episodes. The holiday season is all about nostalgia and there’s nothing more nostalgic than Zack and Cody running around the Tipton Hotel or Raven having a vision?
We re-watched all the old-school Disney Channel holiday episodes and ranked them based on which ones you should watch again this winter season and which ones should be left out in the snow.
1. Lizzie McGuire; Season 2: Episode 20 Xtreme Xmas
Not the Steven Tyler guest starring role. That’s enough to top our list in itself. Then add in the nods to our favorite childhood Christmas movies and this Lizzie McGuire episode officially has it all! A fun episode that ends with a banger of a performance from Steven Tyler — who exists as himself in the Lizzie McGuire universe — we’re watching this one every year.
2. The Suite Life of Zack & Cody; Season 1: Episode 21 Christmas at the Tipton
We’ll be honest, nothing can top the Suite Life Halloween episode, but the Christmas episode is a pretty good one nonetheless. Any episode that features Arwin that heavily is a great episode in our book. Plus, you’d be lying if you said you didn’t have a huge crush on Zack and Cody’s dad, so if he’s featured, we’re watching. All in all, the storyline of getting snowed in is pretty basic, but well-played and the Mary and Joseph in Bethlehem undertone makes for a funny moment with Esteban and London.
3. Kim Possible; Season 2: Episode 13 A Very Possible Christmas
One thing is for certain: Kim Possible still holds up as a great show. This episode doesn’t feel super Christmas-y at first — at least not like the other episodes — but by the end when the Rudolph-esque snowman comes out to sing his song, then I’m feeling the holiday spirit. Rewatching this episode makes you want to curl up with a mug of hot chocolate and warm blanket and rewatch every Kim Possible episode you can.
4. Lizzie McGuire; Season 1: Episode 7 Here Comes Aaron Carter
This really isn’t a Christmas episode at all. Why was Aaron Carter filming his “I Want Candy” music video in a winter wonderland? Why did he kiss Lizzie under the mistletoe? Why was there mistletoe on his dressing room door at all? No matter the answers, you can’t deny that this episode was memorable and it’s absolutely worth the rewatch. It’s definitely a little bittersweet watching now, though — rest in peace, Aaron.
5. The Suite Life on Deck; Season 3: Episode 15 A London Carol
The Suite Life on Deck Christmas episode isn’t as great as the original Suite Life Christmas episode because we don’t get Carey, Maddie, or Arwin. But, this episode is really great if you love our girl London — and who doesn’t? Of course, Disney Channel had to give us a Christmas Carol-themed episode somewhere and London’s storyline is perfect for that: spoiled girl who loves presents more than people. It’s a no-brainer why this one is good.
6. Phil of the Future; Season 2: Episode 15 Christmas Break
Phil of the Future is so underrated. Watching a 22nd-century family trying to figure out the 21st century? It’s perfect, but nothing beats Barb taking a huge bite out of that stick of butter. The time-jumping story is a little more prevalent than any holiday story, but the holiday setting is just right. Truly, why did this show only get two seasons?
7. That’s So Raven; Season 1: Episode 19 Escape Clause
Did The Santa Clause steal the title of this episode for its movie? Maybe. But it was a pretty good episode, so we get it. Raven’s life would be so much easier if she wasn’t psychic, but man is her life so interesting because she is. Plus, That’s So Raven is worth the rewatch just for the fashion alone. This episode has the cute, tenderness of a Christmas episode without being too kitschy. It gives you that “true meaning of Christmas” feeling when Raven realizes she should have just spent the time with her family while also providing some laughs thanks to Cory.
8. Sonny With a Chance; Season 2: Episode 22 A So Random Holiday Special
Why did Disney Channel give us a kids’ version of SNL? But we too would like to unwrap Joe Jonas on Christmas, so we have no complaints. The best Jonas (you already know where I stand) guest starring is worth a Sonny With a Chance rewatch every day — and if you look closely, you’ll see it’s during the Jonas purity ring era. We also forgot just how good some of these sketches are, like the Real Housewives spin off with Disney princess… gold.
9. Even Stevens; Season 1: Episode 15 Heck of a Hanukkah
This really is a typical Even Stevens episode with mischievous Louis out to steal the presents. It definitely gets a little weird and Christmas Carol-y when Bubbie Rose comes along to show Louis his family if he was never born. Despite the name of the episode including Hanukkah, we wouldn’t consider this a top-tier holiday episode. The Stevens family really only celebrates about two seconds of the holiday and we get the most basic introduction to Hanukkah, plus the brief mention of Christmas. The story could have done a lot more with the fact that the family celebrates both — à là Friends' holiday armadillo.
10. Hannah Montana; Season 3: Episode 5 Killing Me Softly With His Height
This is arguably the least holiday-themed episode. Christmas is just a minor detail that’s happening in the back. With how over-the-top Hannah Montana seems to go with guest stars, you’d think its holiday episode would have more than a Lisa Rinna appearance for .5 seconds.
11. The Proud Family; Season 1: Episode 11 Seven Days of Kwanzaa
Some parts of this episode definitely seemed like they didn’t age well — i.e. Oscar and Penny’s friends making fun of homeless people — but in the end, that was kind of the point. The age-old lesson, don’t judge a book by its cover. It’s kind of shocking that there was a Kwanzaa episode on Disney Channel in the early 2000s, but it’s actually a pretty good episode about celebrating Kwanzaa. Not the best they could have done, but definitely not the worst.