Sitcoms through the decades are known for their funny holiday episodes. Christmas tends to outweigh the representation of other winter holidays, but plenty of shows have offered great New Year’s stories. Rather than stay out all night, it’s nice to comfortably watch different characters ring in the new year.
From the 1960s to the 2010s, sitcom episodes for New Year’s have been witty and heartwarming. These ten are an excellent variety, and they blend the jokes with the lessons quite well.
10 Full House: “Happy New Year” (7.1)
When it comes to 1990s sitcom episodes, it’s hard to beat Full House’s take on New Year’s Eve. The series didn’t have quite as many holiday episodes as Family Matters, but it had several festive moments through the years.
In the fourth season, Joey finds the love of his life after Danny and Jesse sign him up for a video dating service, but he never sees her again after this episode. The rest of the Tanners are all dolled up to party, and Michelle’s constant refrain of “Happy New Year” is pretty adorable.
9 Good Times: “A Place To Die” (7.4)
The Evans family is ready to celebrate New Year’s Eve in the 1970s, and so is an unexpected guest. Just as Florida and her children are discussing their plans, an elderly man named Hubert comes into their home and desires to die there. This strange request is met with some confusion, but Hubert is allowed to stay for New Year’s.
Florida’s husband is unable to return in time, so everyone decides to party at home. Just as another year begins, Hubert takes his last breath. The unusual holiday sitcom episode from Good Times‘ third season is an important story for the series and its decade.
8 The Goldbergs: “The Most Handsome Guy On The Planet” (7.7)
This season two episode of The Goldbergs takes place during that sweet spot between Christmas and New Year’s. Amid his 1980s childhood, Adam goes to see E.T. at the theater over and over again, and Murray struggles to find a bond with his father, whom the kids call Pop Pop.
By the end of the episode, the Goldbergs are celebrating New Year’s Eve together, and Pop Pop finally starts to feel like part of the family, much like Bev’s dad, Pops.
7 The Lucy Show: “Chris’s New Year’s Eve Party” (7.8)
It’s fun to get a taste of what New Year’s Eve celebrations could be like in the 1960s. Season one of The Lucy Show is all about a grand party that the kids want to handle themselves. But what is a party worth without Lucy?
The gala is incredibly dull, so Lucy and Ethel save the day by livening things up with a Charlie Chaplin sketch. It’s great fun to see all the balloons and fancy outfits.
6 Boy Meets World: “Train Of Fools” (7.9)
Boy Meets World is remembered for its many holiday episodes, and New Year’s is one of those. This season three storyline lets the Matthews family out to party. When Shawn’s “limo” (actually a hearse) falls through and Cory accidentally sends away the last cab in Philadelphia, the kids wind up on the subway.
Cory, Topanga, Shawn, Eric, and his model date get stuck on the subway. They eventually turn it into a fabulous party, including a baby delivery, and ’90s kids everywhere still remember it.
5 Seinfeld: “The Millennium” (8.2)
Leave it to Seinfeld to come up with a New Year’s episode in May. Just like it sounds, “New Millennium” is all about preparing for Y2K. The funny thing is, the episode aired in 1997.
Kramer is planning for the millennium over two years in advance! It is hilarious to retroactively watch people in the 1990s imagining what the year 2000 would be like. It’s also fun to see Lauren Graham as Valerie, Jerry’s girlfriend, in this episode.
4 How I Met Your Mother: “The Limo” (8.3)
How I Met Your Mother’s first New Year’s Eve episode (in season one) is fairly simple. Ted rents a limo to impress his friends, and it looks like it’s going to be a fun night of party-hopping.
However, a few mix-ups lead to the group parting ways and being separated. Ted makes room for Robin when her boyfriend is nowhere to be found, and the two share a kiss at midnight even after the boyfriend shows up. With Barney’s playlist, it’s sure to be a fun night.
3 Frasier: “RDWRER” (8.3)
This hilarious season seven episode of Frasier is one of the most creative New Year’s stories ever. Frasier and Niles set out to celebrate with their dad on a road trip in his Winnebago. Martin is a road warrior, as his new license plate indicates. One little mix-up completely alters the journey. While the Cranes stop to eat, Niles goes to lay down and walks right into the wrong vehicle.
He thinks he has been kidnapped in his father’s Winnebago, which leads to a wild goose chase involving the police. Luckily, Frasier and Martin are reunited with Niles, and they don their tuxedos and make it to their destination just in time for midnight.
2 Friends: “The One With The Routine” (8.6)
Friends is famous for its holiday episodes, and “The One With the Routine” is a comical part of season six. It’s time for “Dick Clark’s New Year’s Rockin’ Eve.” Joey is all about the midnight kiss, but Monica and Ross are the real focal point of the episode.
They’ve been saving up their old high school dance moves, and the siblings embarrass themselves by going all out to try to get a close-up on camera. From their dancing to their facial expressions, Ross and Monica make this episode one of Friends’ most iconic.
1 That ’70s Show: “That ’70s Finale” (8.9)
Finales of certain long-running sitcoms are often rating successes, and That ’70s Show is a great example. The show’s finale is unique in that it is a New Year’s episode – a time for beginnings is the framework for an ending.
The episode is appropriately timed to be the final day of the 1970s, thereby concluding a show about that decade. The ending allows the main cast to reminisce and finish an era with a bittersweet event.
The Office: 10 Christmas Party Moments That Wouldn’t Fly In The Real World
About The Author