Rating The Beverly Hills, 90210 Christmas Episodes

90210 Christmas Episodes

It’s time to rate the Beverly Hills, 90210 Christmas episodes.

Merry Christmas everybody! (Said like the Jackson Five.)

I received the Beverly Hills, 90210 season nine DVD set as a Secret Santa gift. Secret Santa knows me so well.

I had the previous eight seasons on DVD and decided it was the right time to finish off the collection and pick up season ten as well. So with every episode at the play of a button, I decided to watch every Christmas episode in the ten seasons of the show.

There wasn’t a Christmas episode for season one, but there were for the rest. And since this is what I do, I decided to rate all nine Christmas episodes based on how many BWalshes they deserve.

There are some really good episodes and there are some really bad ones. I mean bad, real bad, Michael Jackson. Nearly something bad happens to Steve Sanders in every Christmas episode. He calls it the Sanders curse. People forget (or pretend to forget) Donna’s birthday is on Christmas. We’ll also try to find the moral of each episode as some are definitely heavy-handed.

Season 2 – A Walsh Family Christmas

Airdate: December 19, 1991

The Beats

- Steve learns he’s adopted and wants to find his birth mother. He takes off to New Mexico and finds a hospital where everyone is a nun. He charms a nun to show him his birth certificate and finds out his real name is Steven Brown. This storyline doesn’t exactly work a few seasons down the line. He also finds out that she passed away after running into his grandfather.

- Cindy Walsh has Minnesota home sickness and worries that Christmas won’t be the same. Big Jim Walsh has an idea of inviting all of the kids’ friends and their family over for Christmas Eve. But they all have plans.

- The Walsh tradition is to pick up their Christmas tree two days before Christmas. Why?

- Nat’s tradition at the Peach Pit is to feed the homeless on Christmas and Brandon says he’s in.

- Brenda is working retail for Christmas to pick up some extra cash and an old man wearing a Santa costume walks in. Her uptight manager Deirdre wants him out of the store, but she takes him in and lets him hang out at the Walsh home for Christmas.

- Brandon visits Emily Valentine in the hospital, just a few episodes after “U4EA”. He gives her his favorite Minnesota Twins jersey that she so deserves.

- Everyone who was invited over for Christmas who couldn’t make it all of a sudden now make it. Kelly and her mom Jackie Taylor make it after Mel Silver (and David Silver by proxy) flake on plans to hang out as a foursome so that they can see David’s depressed mom. Mel and David eventually make it. Donna Martin was supposed to go skiing with her family, but plans changed and she comes over. Thankfully, her parents don’t make it. Andrea was going to hangout with her grandmother, but she showed up as well, bringing some brisket. Steve’s adopted mom, TV star Samantha Sanders, comes over looking for Steve. Dylan originally visits his dad in jail, but his dad tells him to go back to his friends.

- Cindy thinks Brenda’s Santa has stolen her wedding ring, but it was really Big Jim who took it to get it redone. That Big Jim is a romantic.

- Finally, Steve finds a guy with an airplane right out of the Wright Brothers’ stash to fly him back to LA to be with his adopted mom, who he tells is his real mom, no matter of DNA.

The Sanders curse: This is the first curse, but it’s not really a curse because Steve realizes Samantha is all the mom he needs. Well, at least after he finds out his birth mom isn’t alive.

Moral: Don’t judge the homeless Santa Claus.

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This is a strong 4 BWalsh episode. It’s corny as all hell, but everything wrapped together nicely at the end and left you feeling all groovy and good.

Season 3 – It’s a Totally Happening Life

90210 Christmas
Airdate: December 16, 1992

The Beats

- This is the wackiest Christmas episode ever. Two invisible angels, Clarence and Miriam try to reroute a garbage truck driven by a drunk old man that is set on crashing into a bus carrying all the 90210 kids.

- The story is told backward to show why everyone is upset at each other while on the bus that is headed to a school so that they can give gifts to underprivileged children.

- Andrea is frustrated because she gets accepted to Yale the same day that her boyfriend Jay breaks up with her via letter. Brandon and the very underrated Nikki also break up. Brandon and Andrea watch a movie together, start making out, and then blame the other for thinking about the person they broke up with. So Brandrea.

- David is frustrated because he realizes that once all his friends graduate, he’ll be left alone. And he mopes for just about the entire episode.

- Kelly, Dylan, and Brenda are frustrated because of their crazy long love triangle that they agreed to stop, but then can’t stop. They were just going to be friends. Brenda kisses Dylan first. Then Kelly kisses Dylan and Brenda sees. And then both blame Dylan for being so dang hot.

- Finally, Donna is frustrated because everyone agreed to help her with the gift giving to the youth and they bail out on her because they’re all upset. But Donna pulls the Mrs. Teasley card and Mrs. T forces them all to go.

- While on this bus, they get over their frustration and become friendly again. But the garbage truck is still on its way to crash into the bus. A miracle happens and the truck passes right through the bus and no one seems to realize what happened. The angels Clarence and Miriam think it was the good man above.

The Sanders curse: Steve was in trouble for breaking into the school and trying to get his grade changed. But he still wanted to be at the event to pass out gifts to the children. Mrs. Teasley didn’t want him there, but when he put on the Sanders’ charm, she just smiled. I do like it that she and his mom are the only ones to call him Steven.

Moral: Don’t be selfish. Everyone has problems.

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Even though it is also extremely cheesy, this is the creme de la creme when it comes to Christmas episodes. This is the only episode to receive a full 5 BWalshes.

Season 4 – Somewhere in the World it’s Christmas

Airdate: December 22, 1993

The Beats

90210 Christmas- Over the years, Brenda and Brandon were put in some interesting positions being that they were twins. At the very beginning of this episode, Brenda is wearing a super high cut bathing suit and Brandon has a snorkel on. Brandon checks out his sis, and then they embrace. Creepy. (To be fair to Brandon, Brenda was never more attractive than during this season.)

- They’re going to Hawaii for Christmas.

- It had only been two years since the first Christmas episode, but there were flashbacks anyway.

- Dylan shows up to Case de Walsh with presents for everyone, but he’s going to Baja for the holidays.

- In one of the weirdest scenes of the show’s early run, Dylan goes to Kelly and Donna’s to give presents. He’s technically still dating Kelly. He finds himself underneath the mistletoe with Donna, who is dating David, and they flatout start making out.

- A woman and her daughter show up at Dylan’s door. He finds out that the woman was a romantic interest of his dad’s and the daughter is his little sister. He’s apprehensive and tells Nat so, but doubles down on it and decides to take them both the Disneyland. It also helps him deal with the loneliness of his dad being gone.

- Mel and Jackie are now getting divorced and it’s all Mel’s fault. David and Donna attend his Christmas party, but David is out of it (what’s new?) and he later tells Donna it’s because he doesn’t think they’re working. It’s not only Christmas, but it’s also her birthday. This isn’t the first time someone breaks up with her on her birthday. Her not sleeping with him is a big part of the deal.

- Andrea, who is Jewish, goes to midnight mass with the very Catholic Jesse.

- On the flight to Hawaii, they have to turn around as the computer which controls the landing gear is down. Brandon teased Brenda before the takeoff for being so nervous to fly. He was very scared when the problems started happening. There’s lots of drama around whether or not they’re going to land properly and everyone is scared. They make it home and all is for the better.

The Sanders curse: There’s no real Sanders’ curse here. He doesn’t even have all that big of a part in the episode. But he does play Santa for underprivileged kids. What a good guy.

Moral: Don’t make fun of people who are scared to fly.

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It’s not a strong episode at all. It’s also very weird.

Season 5 – Christmas Comes This Time Each Year

Airdate: December 21, 1994

The Beats

- Jim and Cindy (though Jim isn’t present) are headed to London to spend Christmas with Brenda. Brenda can’t come back to Beverly Hills one time?

- Jesse and Andrea’s infant Hannah doesn’t enjoy Santa Claus and this causes frustration for both parents. Andrea wants her to have the best of both holidays; Christmas and Hanukkah, but Jesse is frustrated. Uh, Jesse, she’s an infant.

- Donna’s mom tries to sabotage her relationship with Ray, by offering him a check to fund his music career as long as he stays away from Donna. Donna is upset that Ray took the money as her mom, in all of her Feliceness, says that he did. Instead, he kept the check to show Donna how twisted her mom is. And then he threw her down the stairs. Wait, that hasn’t happend yet.

- Donna sends Ray’s mom on a cruise.
90210 Christmas

- Dylan finds his dad’s former fiance and FBI handler, Christine Pettit to help him find his money. She sends Jonsey, a goofy private investigator to help him.

- Kelly has an issue with her burns, thanks to a party Steve threw at a home that caught on fire, and needs Brandon to change her dressings. This is a major issue for her. All we see is red skin.

The Sanders curse: Steve has to serve community service for throwing a party at the house that burned down that caused Kelly and her friend to get third degree burns. But he saves the day by being the baby whisperer. The episode ends with Steve and the entire gang (Dylan included who has never seen the baby) visiting Jesse and Andrea to celebrate Hannah’s first Christmas.

Moral: Don’t fight with your significant other.

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The strong close saves this from being a terrible Christmas episode. But hey, it is the beginning of Jonesy.

Season 6 – Angels We Have Heard On High

Airdate: December 20, 1995

The Beats

- Brandon is now with Susan Keats, or simply Keats as he affectionately calls her. She’s my second least favorite of all his girlfriends (only to Tracy Gaylian who we’ll see shortly). She was super uptight and in the one sexy scene of her entire run, found a way to make a bra and panties fit look unsexy.
90210 christmas episodes

- They wake up in bed together at the start of the episode in his room in the Walsh house. His parents are in Hong Kong, at least he thinks. Keats is super scared of being caught spending the night and tries to make a move for the door, but Brandon tells her that there’s nothing to fear. And then Mrs. Walsh, who is supposed to be in Hong Kong, knocks at his door.

- Cindy Walsh tells Brandon that she doesn’t know where his father Jim is. They got in a fight because she wanted to spend Christmas in California and Big Jim wanted to stay in Hong Kong. Her marriage may have been a mirage.

- Kelly’s boyfriend, the druggie Colin Robbins, buys a gram of coke for the holidays. He explains to Valerie Malone (who barely had a part in the previous season’s Christmas episode) that since everyone drinks and he doesn’t, he deserves it. Hmmm. I wonder if Rick James used the same thought process. He gets high, Valerie hips Kelly to his game, and he promises to quit. Sure he does.

- Steve’s dad Rush makes him the delivery boy for one of his golfing buddies and Steve and Claire Arnold deliver two packages; one to a hot woman in a hotel, and one to a young girl. Of course, the packages are mis-tagged so the little girl gets the adult gift and the hot woman receives the baking oven. Hilarity ensues. Actually, it doesn’t. It just makes Rush call Steve names to make him feel badly. You smell the Sanders’ curse coming along?

- Donna’s new boyfriend Joe, who is the quarterback of the football team (and who Steve Young visited in the Thanksgiving episode of the same season) buys Donna a parrot for her Christmas/birthday gift. Why? I guess when you live in Beverly Hills, you have everything already so why not?

The Sanders curse: Steve tells Rush that he doesn’t care about him because he’s not his real father. In the season two Christmas episode, we learn that Steve is adopted. Rush is distraught and tells Steve the real spit; he is his real father. He knocked up Steve’s biological mother, but never told his wife at the time, Samantha. He just made sure he adopted Steve. He made Steve believe he didn’t really have a biological father this entire time. Ian Ziering’s acting is a tour de force in this episode. When his dad tells him that he couldn’t even tell his mom for fear that it would break her heart, Steve says, “What about my heart?” It got a little dusty in the room for a second.

Moral: Don’t lie to your kids.

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The silly storyline of Cindy and Big Jim Walsh having marital problems hurts it as does Keats. The Sanders’ curse is strong in this one though and the tour de Ziering brings it up to 3 BWalshes.

Season 7 – Gift Wrapped

Airdate: December 18, 1996

The Beats

- There is one major storyline that dominates this episode. Kelly and Valerie are paired off in a gift exchange and have to decide what to get each other. Valerie initially buys Kelly something nice, but then hears from Claire that Kelly isn’t getting her anything nice. She gives her gift away to a woman accepting gifts for charity. She then hears that Kelly did get her something and she has to scurry at the last minute to find something for Kelly. The woman accepting gifts for charity gives her something to give to Kelly, but it’s wrapped and Valerie has no idea what it is.

- Brandon and Tracy Gaylian draw each other and are in a weird place in their relationship and thus, they make everything weird.
90210 Christmas

- Kelly meets her sister who she never knew she had. That storyline would soon repeat with Gina Kincaid (played by the reflection of perfection, Vanessa Marcil) and Donna Martin. Kelly learns that her half-sister was hidden from her even though her mother knew. They both don’t like their father very much.

- Jackie and Mel are dating again and because Mel’s son David is dating Donna, they try to get to know the Martins. Donna’s mom Felice is obnoxious and makes the meeting awkward.

- Kelly and Valerie end up giving each other identical journals, which they both love.

The Sanders curse: Claire’s father, the chancellor, invites Steve and his mom to his Christmas party. Chancellor Arnold and Steve’s mother fall for each other which frustrates both Steve and Claire to no end.

Moral: It’s the giving, not the receiving.

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It felt like a true Christmas episode again and much like the first couple, there was a bit of goofy Christmas magic that was missing from the past few episodes.

Season 8 – Santa Knows

Airdate: December 17, 1997

The Beats

- Brandon and Kelly are the “perfect” couple, which means that of course, Brandon is too comfortable and he falls for the mysterious Emma, who works with him and Steve at the newly acquired Beverly Beat. They shared a kiss prior and he was fine calling it off, but she does everything to tempt him and he falls like dominoes. Kelly is going through an issue of sexual harassment at the health clinic she works at and also has to say kind words about the doctor who is making work uneasy for her. Quite the issue for young Walsh who has just cheated on his girlfriend and wants to kill the doctor. Hypocrisy doesn’t wear well on Brandon.

- I hate Noah Hunter almost as much as I hate Matt Durning, who will show up in the next Christmas episode. Noah is Keanu Reeves at his dumbest. And for some reason, Donna loves him and wants him to experience Christmas. Come on, Donna, it’s also your birthday. Dump him. He’s an idiot.
90210 Christmas

- Steve and Carly (Hilary Swank) try and fulfill her son Zack’s Christmas wishes as he doesn’t believe in Santa anymore. And Nat comes and saves the day by dressing as Santa while Zack wakes up from slumber, seeing the fat man and believing once again.

- David and Valerie are faking a relationship so she can make Noah jealous. David is working at a car wash. His young friend Ben comes out as gay to his parents, who immediately throw him out of the house. David tries to talk sense into the parents after he catches Ben with a razor blade, wanting to end it all. Ben cries no less than 3 times and everytime he cries, he scrunches his face in cartoonish fashion. It’s quite outstanding.

- Since every episode by now was a cliffhanger, the episode ended with Brandon telling Kelly they could “cheat” and open a gift before Christmas morning. Kelly chooses one not meant for her, which is a gift Emma gave Brandon. Of course, BWalsh can’t tell her it was a gift to him. She opens it, it’s a men’s watch, and she loves it. Why would she love it? This isn’t going to fare well for young Walsh when Emma sees Kelly wearing it.

The Sanders curse: The only curse worthy thing in this episode is that when Carly’s son’s friend told him there was no Santa, Sanders was tongue-tied when called upon by Carly to help with the Santa story. By the way, was Hilary Swank ever more charming than in this role of a single mother who couldn’t escape the Sanders charm?

Moral: Don’t cheat on your girl, yo.

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There wasn’t a strong enough Christmas theme, plus it was way too heavy with Ben wanting to commit suicide, Brandon cheating on Kelly (which you know is going to spell doom), and Noah just being Noah. I wish he could’ve been someone else. But it does have a nice moment of Christmas spirit with young Zack believing in Christmas once again.

Season 9 – Marathon Man

Airdate: December 16, 1998

The Beats

- This one doesn’t even have a Christmas-themed title. And oddly, it’s mostly about Dylan’s drug addiction and how he uses both Kelly and Gina to smuggle heroin from Mexico to the US. Yes, Dylan is back from a several year hiatus.

- Dylan’s drug problem takes over his love for Kelly and what little opportunity he has to steal her from her new man, the utterly boring Matt Durning. She figures him out quickly and goes back to Matt.

- But Matt is a puss. Kelly doesn’t tell him about taking a short trip to Mexico and when he learns the truth, he doesn’t even really get mad. Plus, how can anyone replace Brandon Walsh?

- Donna runs a boutique with Kelly called, “Now Wear This!” One of her employees is in a gang and is in trouble for sleeping with the wrong dude, who is her ticket to getting out of the gang if she can get pregnant. Her gang wants to rob the boutique, but she stops it, taking a beating in the process.

- Steve tries to take the easy way out with the Beverly Beat and buys a tabloid story to run to sell more issues. He also pledges $1,000 for a Fight Aids dance marathon, which Janet, who works with him at the beat, says he can’t afford. It gets worse as it’s $1,000 an hour, not a simple $1,000 pledge.

- The great Munce, a stalwart during the early college years comes back to win the Fight Aids dance marathon. Janet tells Steve that all is not lost. Because he bid so much, advertisers wanted to do business with him and his paper.

- Donna thinks Noah has forgotten that her birthday is on the same day as Christmas, but he doesn’t. He has a surprise birthday party for her that Gina does most of the leg work for. But Gina screws up the cake and orders chocolate, which Donna is allergic to. Since when? Gina tells Noah, with Donna standing behind her, that she’s tired of being in Donna’s shadow.

The Sanders curse: For most of the episode, the Sanders curse had reared its ugly head. But it turned out quite well for Steve.

Moral: Don’t play Captain Save-a-McKay.

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This wasn’t only an awful Christmas episode with barely anything to do with the holiday, but it was also a terrible episode overall, which was far too routine during the last two seasons of the show.

Season 10 – Nine Yolks Whipped Lightly

Airdate: December 22, 1999

The Beats

- Gina, who thought previously that Donna’s dad was just her godfather, now knows the truth; Doctor Martin is her real father. Donna was raised as a princess and because Gina was out of wedlock, she was raised poor and like a cousin. They want her over for Christmas, but not their Christmas Eve party because explaining who she is to their friends would be embarrassing.
90210 Christmas

- Janet and Steve now have baby Madeline. That was fast. Janet’s parents don’t approve of Steve and thus, haven’t seen the baby or Janet. Janet invites them over for dinner and it’s a failure. Steve shows up at her parents’ house on Christmas Eve and tells them this is their last chance to be grandparents and love their granddaughter. Hmmm, do I smell the scent of a possible Sanders curse?

- Noah buys Donna plane tickets for a trip to Paris for her birthday. She’s on him about some previous lies, including that he never went to Harvard (well, duh) and that his dad bought his way out of a situation in which he was in a car accident after drinking some beers that ended up with his girlfriend dead. Donna can’t let the lies go and worries that this is who he is forever. He can’t let it go either and then breaks up with Donna on her birthday/Christmas!

- Dylan is running a community center for kids and deals with an unruly neighbor in only the best way you can in front of children; with a punch right to the mouth. Little RJ who idolizes him, then duplicates what he did by punching one of his center-mates in the nose for cheating at Foosball. Dylan can’t let Kelly go, buying her an expensive gift in the previous episode until she gives him an ultimatum. Either commit forever or go away. He doesn’t step up to the plate so she stays with the puss, Matt. Dylan and David, who were fighting over Gina in the episode prior, are now homies again and David tells Dylan that he needs to step up to the plate with Kelly. He decides to do this on Christmas.

- However, the night before, Matt proposes to Kelly. This is her answer:

- Just kidding. She accepts. Donna, oddly because Dylan’s heroin induced haze nearly killed her in an episode prior, tells Kelly that Dylan might be the one rather than that puss Matt. Okay, she didn’t say it that way.

The Sanders curse: Steve’s proposal to Janet’s parents actually turned out fine. They gave them their blessing and they are one happy family again. So the Sanders curse didn’t strike again.

Moral: Don’t be a puss like Matt. Actually, that’s not it. Matt, the puss, is on top here. The moral is actually about commitment.

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Way too many things happened during this episode, but the storytelling was better than most episodes in season 10. Plus, there were steps in here that were the precursor to the end of the show.

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