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Moved from Filler.Festive Filler:

https://static.tvtropes.org/pmwiki/pub/images/santa_reindeer_sleigh.png
Ho ho ho! Filler being delivered to you all!
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Sometimes the Christmas Episode can be an example of Filler in itself, if not done properly. Or even a Christmas Special (as some examples of a Non-Serial Movie can be).

Often due to its Standalone Episode nature, the Christmas episode can be used as a way to pad out the series (sometimes as an Extra-Long Episode) and in general, the events of the episode will rarely be mentioned again, but in other works it will get a Continuity Nod.

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Examples:

Anime and Manga

  • Dragon Ball had a New Year special Non-Serial Movie that was filler, Dragon Ball Z Year-End TV Special which is basically a Clip Show of the characters looking back at the Cell Games and Afterlife Tournament during the run-up to New Year. It was standalone and although it made a Continuity Nod, does not fit into the canon timeline of the show even if it uses the same animation style.

Live Action TV

  • Doctor Who did this a few times with Christmas Episode specials:
    • The First Doctor serial "The Daleks' Master Plan", a massive 12-parter (plus a prologue episode broadcast weeks earlier and notable for not featuring any of the main cast), had a Christmas Episode intentionally meant as filler (since it was thought nobody would be watching, and viewers would be lost if the plot advanced in their absence). The Doctor even broke the fourth wall to wish viewers a "happy Christmas", which was not typical for the show anyway.
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    • The 2005-present revival's Christmas Episodes (Tenth through Twelfth Doctors)' Christmas episodes were either absolutely vital to the ongoing story but in many cases were filler that's often significantly Lighter and Softer.
      • The Tenth Doctor's fourth Christmas special of five, "The Next Doctor", is the only one that really qualifies as filler, having no real connection to any ongoing plot threads other than the Doctor telling Jackson Lake that he's decided to stop taking companions. It's slightly more relevant than the below-mentioned Yet Another Christmas Carol, however, by having its events explicitly referenced in "Flesh and Stone".
      • The Eleventh Doctor has two filler specials followed by two vital ones. His first Christmas special, "A Christmas Carol", stands as the least essential of all of the series' Christmas specials, containing no references to any ongoing plot threads and not having been explicitly referenced in any future episodes.
      • Of the Twelfth Doctor's specials, only "The Return of Doctor Mysterio" is filler, because the series was in the midst of an unusually long break between seasons so there was no point in doing anything continuity-heavy. Even then, the special establishes that River Song's former associate Nardole is now hanging with the Doctor.

Western Animation

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