The Best New Year's Eve Episodes For Your Hangover

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Monica (Courteney Cox) and Ross (David Schwimmer) in 'Friends' Season 6, "The One With The Routine."

If the festive season is Sodom and Gomorrah, New Year's Day is the fire and brimstone that comes to cleanse us of our sins. It's a day to get our heads straight before work starts again, a day of quiet contemplation about the year ahead and, most of all, a day of almost universal hangovers. So, as you hide under a blanket and get ready for 2019, here are the New Year's episodes best equipped to get you through the day.

The Office, "Ultimatum" (Season 7)

The world can be separated into two New Year's Resolution groups. There are the Dwights, who refuse to join in ("I've achieved plenty and there's no better than the best") and the Pams, who love resolutions so much, they make whiteboard charts of them, then immediately call meetings about them. The Office's resolutions run the gamut of everything from "Drink less caffeine" to "Meet a loose woman" to "Get more attention by any means necessary." Even if you don't care for resolutions, come to "Ultimatum" for Creed's cartwheel and stay for Andy's rollerskating.

My So-Called Life, "Resolutions" (Season 1)


Continuing on the resolution front, everyone in My So-Called Life (except for Jordan Catalano, who can't remember what day it is) has a thoughtful one. Their deep ponderings about these resolutions are interspersed with the word "like" and soundtracked by bass-heavy Christmas music. "The thing about resolutions is, they're hard to remember around someone like Jordan Catalano..." Angela muses. Actually, the only people who should watch this today are people who were young teenagers in the early '90s. For everyone else, My So-Called Life may actually make hangovers significantly worse.

Friends, "The One With the Routine" (Season 6)

We're so lucky we even still have access to this. Until a major outburst on social media (and a petition) forced them to have a rethink, Netflix was planning on taking all ten seasons of Friends off the streaming service today.  But they didn't! So now you get to watch Elle MacPherson wearing the worst pants of the 20th century, and Ross and Monica doing their middle school dance routine at a taping of Dick Clark's New Year's Rockin' Eve. Soundtracked by a little ditty called "Trouble With Boys," the brother-sister team finger snap, face slap, leapfrog and chicken dance their way to non-glory. And if you're one of the heroes who bothered to learn and perform The Routine in real-life, this one's for you.

Gossip Girl, "The End of the Affair" (Season 5)

If your January hangover demands the highest possible level of melodrama, this New Year's Eve episode is replete with flashbacks, long lingering looks, making literal deals with God, Blair in a wedding dress, Chuck's Amazing Over-Acting Eyebrows, that kiss between Dan and Serena and hospital misery aplenty (angelic nurses and head bandages and velvet dressing gowns, oh my!). Gossip Girl is one of the greatest brain switcher-offers in TV land, so today really is the day to have at it.

King of the Hill, "Hillennium" (Season 4)

Hank starts this episode refusing to worry about the Y2K panic that was gripping America back in 1999. Unfortunately, everyone around him isn't so together. Dale has a fully prepped basement of doomsday supplies, Peggy tries to print out her entire computer history and other characters around town stoke Bobby's paranoia. "I used to work for Dell computer," a lady stockpiling at the supermarket tells the Hills. "I know things..." A survivalist declares: "I live in a shack, I poop in an outhouse, I eat what I kill. Let the grid go down, Lord!" Finally, the all-consuming paranoia proves too infectious for Hank to resist, and he too begins hoarding. The entire episode ends up being a perfect time capsule of one of the most bizarre mass-panics in modern memory.

Family Guy, "Da Boom!" (Season 2)

Talking of Y2K, this Family Guy episode sees the Griffins surviving the Millennium Bug apocalypse and attempting to get on with their lives in the rubble that remains. Newscasters are eating each other, Joe is melted to the ground, Stewie sprouts tentacles, Brian has 5 o'clock shadow, Quagmire and Cleveland are literally joined at the hip and, worst/best of all, Randy Newman won't stop singing.

30 Rock, "Klaus and Greta" (Season 4)

Truly, 30 Rock acted as the greatest creep-prediction oracle in TV history. Not only did it call out Bill Cosby and Harvey Weinstein years before sexual harassment controversies about them broke, it also came up with this episode in which, after meeting his manager on New Year's Eve, Jenna enters into a fake relationship with James Franco in order to conceal his "common law marriage" to a Japanese body pillow. Remarkably, Franco appears as himself, and he and his pillow end up having a ménage à trois with Liz Lemon. It's a time machine back to the good old days when Franco's potential freakiness was a punchline we could actually enjoy. Elsewhere, Tracy Jordan has a feminist awakening and Jack gets wasted at an NYE party and woos Julianne Moore in German with surprising proficiency.

Futurama, "Space Pilot 3000" (Season 1)

If you had a terrible New Year's Eve, this one is for you. Within the first three minutes of Futurama, Fry has been called a loser, had his bicycle stolen and been accidentally cryogenically frozen for 1000 years. You may have had a bad night last night, but at least you're not waking up in 3019.

The O.C. "The Countdown" (Season 1)

If you need a little romance on New Year's Day, here's 45 minutes of interminable love triangles. There's Seth making out with manic pixie dream girl Anna, instead of his one true love, Summer; there's Marissa almost kissing 12-steps "nice guy" Oliver because Ryan said "Thanks" instead of "I love you." Everything, of course, culminates in Ryan and his floppy bangs sweatily running around a hotel (just wait for the elevator, dude), frantically searching for Marissa to get his midnight kiss and finally telling her he loves her. Aww. (Or, y'know, barf.)


Happy New Year, everyone!