Brooklyn Nine-Nine’s holiday episodes, definitively ranked

From Latvian smugglers to prolific car thieves to a certain revolutionary musical, here's a festive run-down of New York's finest (sitcom).

Terry Crews, from left, Dirk Blocker, Joe Lo Truglio, Melissa Fumero, Andy Samberg, Chelsea Peretti, Andre Braugher and Joel McKinnon Miller arrive at An Evening With

Rich Fury/Invision/AP

Terry Crews, from left, Dirk Blocker, Joe Lo Truglio, Melissa Fumero, Andy Samberg, Chelsea Peretti, Andre Braugher and Joel McKinnon Miller arrive at An Evening With "Brooklyn Nine-Nine" at Bing Theatre on Thursday, May 7, 2015, in Los Angeles. (Photo by Rich Fury/Invision/AP)

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(Please note: I’ve omitted Season Five because it does not contain a clearly defined holiday episode.)

     1. S3E10 – “Yippie Kayak” (9/10)

Summary: Jake, Gina, and Charles are trapped in a department store during an armed robbery – a.k.a. “real-life Die Hard.” Meanwhile, Amy, Rosa, and Captain Holt attempt a Polar Bear Plunge while Terry tries to separate his work from his family life.

A plot: 5/5; basing an episode on the movie that governs Jake’s life was inevitable, hysterical, and a thousand percent more captivating than I expected.

B/C plots: 4/5, mostly because I believe that the ‘Amy attempting the Polar Bear Plunge’ plotline is based on me.

Memorable quote:

Jake: “Oh my God, it’s real life Die Hard. I mean, oh, no, crime!”

 

     2. S2E10 – “The Pontiac Bandit Returns” (8.5/10)

Summary: Jake is forced to cooperate with an old nemesis to get information for Rosa’s task force. In the meantime, Gina and Charles agonize over their parents’ romantic relationship, and Amy tries to subvert Captain Holt’s “no gifts” policy.

A plot: 4/5; it’s always great to see Doug Judy. It’s even better when he and Jake are forced to go undercover as garishly dressed, very friendly car thieves.

B/C plots: 4.5/5, because Gina and Charles’s parents are comedy gold, and Amy’s brown-nosing is pretty classic, too.

Memorable quote:

Gina: “Oh, Charles. I can’t take that. It’s clearly not cash, and I don’t have time in my life to return things.”

 

     3. S4E10 – “Captain Latvia” (7/10)

Summary: Charles and Jake try to get a unique toy back from a Latvian gang before Christmas while the rest of the team prepares to face the talented, smug Metropolitan Transportation Authority in a caroling competition.

A plot: 3/5; Charles’s weird yet adorable love for his son is, arguably, even more entertaining than his weird yet adorable love for everything else, but it would function just as effectively as a subplot.

B/C plots: 4/5; the drunk and disorderly perp-turned-caroler is a nice touch, but Gina’s Hamilton jokes sanctified (at least in this superfan’s mind) the entire episode.

Memorable quote:

Gina: “Hamilton” was amazing! How is no one talking about this musical? It’s so good. Wow, you guys look more upset than Aaron Burr, sir. That’s from the musical “Hamilton,” which I just discovered, basically.”

 

     4. S1E10 – “Christmas” (6/10)

Summary: Captain Holt receives death threats from a criminal he once arrested, and Jake is tasked with protecting him. Meanwhile, a nervous Terry is evaluated to go back in the field, and Amy tries to get Rosa to smile for a group Christmas card picture.

A plot: 4/5, but only because of how dramatically it affects the rest of the season.

B/C plots: 2/5; expecting a show to “find itself” in the first season would be gratuitous; nevertheless, these subplots practically sacrifice their characters’ quirks in favor of advancing the plot.

Memorable quote:

Amy: “You look happy. Let me guess. Your egg sandwich fell on the floor, and they gave it to you for free.

Jake: No. Can you do that? Why doesn’t everyone just drop their sandwiches on the floor?

Amy: I was trying to insult you.

Jake: And instead you gave me an amazing life hack!”

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