Remember when Martin Crane got stoned for Christmas on Frasier?

Photo by Gale Adler/Paramount
Photo by Gale Adler/Paramount /

Frasier Christmas episode ‘High Holidays’ turns 17 this year

On December 9th, 2003, NBC aired the final holiday episode of Frasier. Given that the show was in its eleventh (!) season, the episode, entitled ‘High Holidays’, has absolutely no business being as good as it is. But it’s absolute gold from start to finish.

Even though “High Holidays” doesn’t have a very Christmassy plot, it certainly belongs on any list of the best Christmas sitcom episodes. Every line is a sparkling treat, guaranteed to elicit a smile from even the most jaded holiday grinch.

The basic plot goes something like this: Frasier’s (Kelsey Grammer) teen son Freddie comes to town for Christmas, but apparently he’s gone goth. The whole family is surprised at the development, but they settle into the idea quickly and reminisce about their rebellious days as kids. Except for Niles.

Niles (David Hyde Pierce) never had a rebellious phase. So, to make up for that, he decides to get stoned in front of his dad, the ex-cop, Marty Crane (the late, great John Mahoney).

However, things go immediately awry when a dieting Marty impulsively scarfs down the pot brownie that Roz (Peri Gilpin) leaves for Niles, and then he hastily replaces it with a regular brownie from Café Nervosa. And, in true Frasier tradition, misunderstandings and wackiness ensue.

“High Holidays” aired seventeen years ago, and the theme of childhood rebellion is certainly still fresh. Yet, if the episode was filmed today, things would be much different. Oddly enough, Washington state (where Frasier takes place) was the first state to legalize marijuana for recreational use in 2012.

If that Frasier reboot ever happens, it would be truly great to see Frasier and Niles visit a local dispensary and ooo and ahh over their various choices, perhaps sticking their snobby noses up at an indica blend because of some bougie New Yorker article they’d read a few weeks prior or debating the culinary merits of brownies versus gummy edibles.

Sorry, Pam Beesly, But Your Present Wrapping Advice Is Awful. dark. Next

Whether you’re enjoying your holiday season with a glass of sherry, a cold domestic beer, or getting your buzz on with an ooey-gooey brownie, “High Holidays” is an irresistible addition to any Christmas viewing list.

All 11 seasons of Frasier are currently available for streaming on Hulu.