Nerds Gets Cheery: A Look Back at the ‘9-1-1’ Christmas Episodes

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Jack Zeman / FOX

In this installment of our Nerds Gets Cheery Christmas series, we are taking a look back at the three Christmas episodes of FOX drama 9-1-1! There have been plenty of holiday-themed emergencies and heartwarming moments on the series, so let’s get right into it!

Season 2, Episode 10 “Merry Ex-Mas”

The first Christmas episode of 9-1-1 comes in the second season with “Merry Ex-Mas.” It is filled with Christmas-themed calls, heartwarming moments and even some heartbreaking moments, because of course. So keep reading to see some of the best highlights from the episode!

There were plenty of calls the 118 responded to that revolved around Christmas, but there was a heartwarming call that came from the episode. A Navy dad is trying to make it to his daughter’s choir concert, taking all forms of transportation possible. The city bus he’s traveling on crashes, but luckily he was not injured, just helping an injured person. The 118 is told that he’s trying to make it to the show and they give him a ride on the engine. Sirens and all. Buck, speaking for everyone, says he’s going to cry. The dad makes it just in time, with Bobby, Buck, and Eddie running in behind him and he gives his wife and daughter a big hug. “Every time,” Buck says tearfully.

This episode may be called “Merry Ex-Mas” but it is much more complicated than that. Bobby and Athena got engaged and Eddie finally let Shannon back into Christopher’s life. Maddie, meanwhile, is merely trying to move on from Doug and make this Christmas special since the last one was her worst Christmas. This episode is when Doug reenters Maddie’s life through Chimney, as Jason Bailey, and watching it back, it’s heartbreaking to know what was to come.

Honorable Mention

Perhaps one of the best moments to come out of 9-1-1, Buck and Eddie take Christopher to see Santa Claus and an elf mistakes Buck for also being Christopher’s father. To which Buck just smiles and thanks her after she tells him they have an adorable son.

Season 3, Episode 10 “Christmas Spirit”

The second Christmas episode comes just a season after the first, with season 3’s “Christmas Spirit.” Again, there were plenty of Christmas-themed calls and plenty of emotional and heartwarming moments, so keep reading for all the highlights!

Shopping can be a pain, especially around the holidays, but one call in this episode involves a woman fed up with shoppers and starts pepper spraying people trying to get a toy. She even ends up pepper spraying Santa Claus. A single mom collapses in front of her son, and he bravely calls 9-1-1. Maddie helps the kid, telling him to do CPR and keeping him calm. He does CPR on his mom until the 118 arrive and do their magic. By the end of the episode, the mom gets out of the hospital just in time to spend Christmas with her son.

The holidays were less than merry for some characters. Michael was feeling lonely and was sleepwalking. He later walks through a glass window and it’s revealed that he has a tumor. Eddie, meanwhile, is feeling bad that he’s working on Christmas so he can’t spend the day with Christopher. For Maddie, it’s all about getting closure and moving on. Following the events with Doug in season 2, Maddie and her therapist take a trip to Big Bear where Doug died. She relives that day, talks to him, forgives him, and tells him that she survived him and she will never be sorry for that. It’s such a powerful moment in which Maddie finally finds closure after all these years. She’s always been so terrified of Doug, even after he died, and for her to finally move on is inspirational.

Honorable Mention

While Buck is helping Santa at the beginning of the episode, some upset kids asked if he was going to die. Buck’s response? “He’s not really Santa.” “He’s just pretend.” “This Santa isn’t Santa.” There were some upset kids and definitely some upset parents.

Read our full recap of “Christmas Spirit” here to check out everything that happened in the episode!

Season 5, Episode 10 “Wrapped in Red”

The last and most recent Christmas episode of 9-1-1 happens to be the most recent episode of the series. The winter finale of season 5, “Wrapped in Red,” involved plenty more Christmas calls, heartfelt scenes, and an ending that may leave the 118 shorthanded. Keep reading for all the highlights from the episode!

Jack Zeman / FOX

The calls for this episode were definitely amped up a bit from previous Christmas episodes. The 118 responded to a trolley accident involving a two-timing husband, a true Hallmark Christmas movie in the making at an office where a woman falls down an elevator shaft (she ended up getting the guy for the holidays), and a partially collapsed apartment structure, which unfortunately leaves the tenants displaced for Christmas. The Call Center, meanwhile, keeps getting annual holiday calls from a sweet old lady about a possible emergency. Athena ends up going to her house to talk to her, and it’s found out she’s just lonely.

Christopher just wants to have the perfect Christmas, and after getting nightmares about his mom, he admits to Eddie that he’s afraid this is going to be his last one, that he’s going to be dead next year. Buck isn’t feeling very merry because he’s missing Maddie, Chimney, and Jee. Wanting to spread some Christmas cheer after people cancelled on Bobby and Athena’s Christmas dinner, the two of them decide to go to the motel where the displaced tenants are staying to provide them with a big holiday party. Eddie lets Bobby, Buck, Hen, and Ravi know that he can’t be away from Christopher, who is uncertain about where his dad is going to be a year from now. He’s leaving the 118.

Honorable Mentions

As Buck is trying to figure out what to get Taylor for Christmas, he asks Bobby what he got Athena for their first Christmas together. An engagement ring, Bobby answers. “Oh. No. Not doing that,” Buck says.

Check out our full recap of “Wrapped in Red” here, as well as an analysis on Eddie’s possible departure here.

Jack Zeman / FOX

Check out the rest of our Nerds Gets Cheery series to see our other Christmas recommendations and check out our other 9-1-1 coverage here.

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By Megan
Megan has been passionate about writing since she was little and has been passionate about all things pop culture and nerdy since almost as long. Joining Nerds and Beyond in 2019, she also graduated from the University of Wisconsin Oshkosh in 2020 with a Bachelor of Arts in Multimedia Journalism. Megan is constantly binge-watching shows and finding new things to obsess over. 9-1-1 and Marvel currently reign as the top obsessions. You can find her on Twitter @marvels911s if you ever want to discuss some certain firefighters.
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