8 of the Best TV Episodes, Movies and Songs to Play for the 8 Nights of Hanukkah
From Daveed Diggs' "Puppy for Hanukkah" to the iconic Rugrats Hanukkah episode, here's what you should be watching (and listening to) during the Festival of Lights.
The holiday certainly has plenty of traditions and delicious foods, but as Adam Sandler memorably pointed out in The Chanukah Song, Hanukkah unfortunately doesn't get the lion's share of pop culture moments. Not to worry, we're rounding up our eight favorite pieces of pop culture — from catchy songs that you should be playing on repeat to movies and TV shows you can watch with the family — to celebrate over the next eight days.
"Puppy for Hanukkah" by Daveed Diggs
If this song by Hamilton star Daveed Diggs doesn't make you smile so big that your cheeks hurt, you need to check your pulse. It's catchy, it's sweet and it gives everyone what they "want-akkuh."
Rugrats "A Rugrats Chanukah" (Season 4, Episode 1)
"A Macca-baby's gotta do what a Macca-baby's gotta do!" And a Macca-baby has to watch this adorable (and actually quite educational) episode of Nickelodeon's Rugrats.
Every Chrismukkah Episode of The O.C.
What to do when your mother celebrates Christmas and your father celebrates the Festival of Lights? Well, if you're Seth Cohen (Adam Brody), you make the most out of the situation and combine the two holidays into one super-holiday: Christmukkah.
Here are the episodes in order, which you can watch on HBO Max.
- Season 1, Episode 13,“The Best Chrismukkuh Ever,"
- Season 2, Episode 6, “The Chrismukkah That Almost Wasn’t”
- Season 3, Episode 10, “The Chrismukkah Bar Mitz-vahkkah”
- Season 4, Episode 7, “The Chrismukk-huh?"
Adam Sandler's "Chanukah Song"
Perhaps the most iconic of the modern Hanukkah songs, Adam Sandler's hilarious song first debuted on Saturday Night Live, and lists out the most famous Jewish celebrities. Grab your gin and tonic-uh and party on.
"Hanukkah Blessings" by Barenaked Ladies
Forget "Dreidel, Dreidel, Dreidel," okay? "Hanukkah Blessings" by the Barenaked Ladies, which appears on their Barenaked for the Holidays album is one of the best Hanukkah songs of all time. It has everything that makes a holiday song great: It's catchy, but somehow still emotional! It's sweet and danceable! Give it a listen on its own — or as part of Spotify's Hanukkah playlist.
The Nanny's "The Hanukkah Story" (Season 6, Episode 10)
If your whole family isn't kvelling over the first night of Hanukkah, watching this episode of The Nanny probably will convince them to celebrate in head-to-toe cheetah print. In this episode, Fran (played by Fran Drescher), who is Jewish, looks to incorporate her culture and holiday into her new family's lives, and learns something along the way about miracles.
Love, Lights, Hanukkah
Hallmark is known for their Christmas movies, but in the past few years, they've expanded to include other winter holidays as well. In Love, Lights, Hanukkah, which premieres on Dec. 12, Christina (played by Mia Kirshner) finds out through a DNA test that she is Jewish and gets to discover a new side of herself ... and a potential love interest played by none other than Ben Savage!
Eight Crazy Nights
You didn't think we'd leave out this Hanukkah classic, did you? The animated PG-13 movie is not exactly family-friendly, but it's still hilarious and full of catchy tunes. Would you expect anything less from Adam Sandler?
And how about one extra pop culture moment, to represent the shamash (the "helper candle" that lights all of the others)?
"The One With the Holiday Armadillo" from Friends (Season 7, Episode 10)
Before Seth Cohen came up with Chrismukkah on The O.C., Ross (David Schwimmer) struggled to find a way to get his son, Ben (played by Cole and Dylan Sprouse) to get excited about celebrating Hanukkah as well as Christmas. Well, at least we got the unofficial mascot for Hanukkah: The Holiday Armadillo.