New Year's Eve

Sesame Street has a cute New Year's Eve episode.
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The Best New Year’s Eve Episodes From Shows Like Sesame Street & More

Ring in the New Year with a few kids and teen favorites!

If bringing in the new year at home, cozy on the couch in front of the TV, sounds like your plans on Dec. 31, you’re in the right place. Not only is New Year’s Eve one of the few nights where kids get a free “stay up past your bedtime” pass, but it’s also a night of great television specials that remind us — hey, we made it through another year!

And good grief! what’s a year sendoff without rematching the Peanuts and Charlie Brown’s struggle to finish his book report. Or Rudolph The Red-Nosed Reindeer as he races against time, literally, to save the new year. And Elmo and Arthur’s attempts to stay up past midnight. Put your wish on a flying kit with Dora. And while most of the grown-ups are still drying our eyes from Steve’s Twitter message to his originals (yes, we said it), the little ones can catch all of their Nick Jr. favorites as they bring in new memories with Blue! Also, grown-ups, what better way to introduce our teens to the Y2K mania we experienced than baby tentacles, cryogenic freezing, and spaceship trips to the sun. Netflix also has a New Year’s Eve Countdown collection for kids.

From the ultimate New Year’s ball drop from space to Sesame Street’s version of the annual ball drop countdown celebration, there are plenty of episodes to ring in the new year. Below are our top 15 picks that should last you well past midnight.

Happy New Year, Charlie Brown

Another New Year’s Eve television special that’s not an episode but a signature New Year’s Eve must-watch. In the 1986 Peanuts flick, Charlie Brown has to read “War and Peace” for a winter break book report. Meanwhile, his friends are planning a big New Year’s Eve bash. To make time for the party Charlie goes to a bookstore to try to find an audio version of it, with no success. He ends up falling asleep on the front porch and misses the midnight clock strike. He’s also a little blue to find that his crush, Little Red-Haired Girl, came to the party and ended up dancing with Linus. Earlier that day, he was trying to convince Little Red-Haired to come to the party. Charlie ends up getting a D on the book report and another overwhelming book report assignment. Talk about a great start to a new year. Good grief. Once you’re done watching that, a follow-up to the 1986 special called For Auld Lang Sync, is streaming now on Apple TV+.

Watch Happy New Year, Charlie Brown on Apple TV+.

Rudolph's Shiny New Year

This is more of a television movie than an episode, but we can’t talk about New Year’s Eve without it. In the Rankin-Bass 1976 animated television special, Rudolph is in a rush to save Happy, the ‘Baby New Year.’ Happy runs away from home and is being hunted by Aeon the buzzard, who wants to prevent the new year from arriving. Father Time sends a letter to Santa Claus to notify him of Happy’s disappearance. In return, Santa sends Rudolph to Father Time to help search for him. Father Time sends him to the Archipelago of Last Years to search for baby Happy. When the old year’s reign is over on Dec. 31, they retire to the Archipelago and select an island, where time is frozen in the year they reigned. For example, the island of 1776 will forever look like colonial America and its year representative, who resembles Benjamin Franklin. Rudolph also travels to the islands of 4000 B.C., 1492, 1893, and 1965. Rudolph ends up fining happy, who only ran away because he was ashamed of his big ears. But after Rudolph explained how he overcame the bullying of his red nose, all was well and ‘19-wonderful’ was rang in.

Watch Rudolph’s Shiny New Year on Amazon Prime, Vudu, AMC and Apple TV+.

Sesame Street: “New Year’s Eve”

In Season 49, Episode 7, it’s New Year’s Eve on Sesame Street. Rosita and Telly try to help Elmo stay awake until the new year so that he can celebrate with his friends. To keep him up, they make a special party hat covered in noisy objects to keep him awake. But the hat is actually too noisy and Elmo still keeps falling to sleep. Meanwhile, Count von Count tries to explain the concept of counting down until the new year to Cookie Monster. He tells Cookie you’re counting backward, so Cookie goes on to count facing the opposite direction and later counts with a tray of cookies. Elmo eventually sneaks away and falls to sleep in a community center but wakes up, refreshed, in just time for the new year

Watch Sesame Street on HBO Max and YouTube.

Sesame Street Stays Up Late!

This Sesame Street New Year's Eve television special first aired in 1993 and is still a favorite to watch. Everyone is getting ready for New Year’s Eve and celebrating at a party Around The Corner. But Telly is afraid of entering an unknown year and starts a campaign to prevent the new year from coming. Meanwhile, Elmo is the host of the Monster News Network, which shows how New Year's Eve is being celebrated around the world. Elmo’s cousins, Pepe and Elmo-noske join him from Mexico and Japan. Big Bird comes up with the clever idea to drop a beach ball at midnight.

Watch Sesame Street Stays Up Late on Apple TV+.

Dora the Explorer: “Happy New Year”

Wake the sun up and make your New Year’s Eve wish with Dora and Boots on a kite in this gameplay version. Dora’s wish was to take “many great adventures” with Boots. There are lots of fireworks, songs, and what’s a Dora episode without “Backpack, backpack, backpack, backpack. I'm the backpack loaded up with kings and nicknacks too, anything that you might need I got inside for you.” Although the children’s show ended in 2019, its impact is everlasting, as Mala Santa artist, Becky G, shared with People, “The only thing that I had growing up was Dora," Becky said. "And she was like an icon for me, but I didn't get a princess. I didn't get a superhero. I didn't get anything.”

Watch Dora The Explorer on YouTube.

Blues Clues:“Blue's Big New Year's Eve”

Sing the “The Goodbye Song” to the year 2021 with the Blues Clues gang.

Blue, Steve, Joe, and friends are celebrating New Year's Eve in the Blue's Clues house. Throughout the night they try to find out Blues’ favorite thing is to do on New Year's Eve. The clues were nighttime, fireworks, and the year 2019, which was the new year at the time for this television special. Special guests include Nick Jr. characters such as Dora and Diego, Little Bill, Little Bear, Mother Bear, Father Bear, Sidetable Drawer, Mailbox, Mr. Salt, Mrs. Pepper, Paprika, Cinnamon, Tickety, Slippery, Shovel, Pail, Periwinkle, Magenta, and Green Puppy.

Watch Blues Clues on Nick Jr., Noggin and Paramount+.

Arthur: “Arthur’s New Year’s Eve”

The 1997 episode is a two-part special. In the first part, “Arthur's First Sleepover,” Arthur, Buster, and Brain have a sleepover in Arthur's yard in hopes to catch some pictures of aliens and spaceships. D.W. wants to be at the sleepover, but she was not invited. To get back at them, D.W. plays a prank on the boys and uses her flashlight which the boys think is a real spacecraft. And in the second part, “Arthur's New Year's Eve,” Arthur always falls asleep before midnight on New Year’s Eve, despite trying to stay awake. But after learning about the New Year’s Police, who arrest people that have last year’s calendar, according to Francine, Arthur goes on to make sure his Grandma Thora avoids jail time!

Watch Arthur on YouTube and PBS.

Mr Bean: “Do-It-Yourself Mr. Bean”

A classic, fun New Year Eve’s episode to introduce the kids to. In Season 1, Episode 9 of this British comedy series, Mr. Bean decides to host a small party on New Year’s Eve to commemorate the end of 1993. But only two guests, Rupert and Hupert, end up coming over. Unamused by their host, including the leaf he stuck in the middle of their dinner plates, the two wind the clock prematurely to 11:59 p.m. to celebrate with Mr. Bean ( who thinks it’s actually New Year’s) and then sneak off to a neighbor’s bash nearby. Mr. Bean didn’t catch the time change memo until he hears “Happy New Year!” and “three cheers for Rupert and Hupert!” The following day, Mr. Bean starts the new year off a bang- literally. He started DIY, home improvement plans.

Watch Mr. Bean on YouTube, Amazon Prime Video, Hulu, Vudu, Apple iTunes, and Google Play.

The Big Comfy Couch: “The Longest Night of the Year”

This is more of a Christmas special than New Year’s Eve but what makes it a good watch is the idea of staying up all night long! In Season 4, Episode 13 special, Loonette, Molly, and the gang celebrate with a sleepover, playing the snow and exchanging gifts. The Canadian children’s show, which premiered in 1992, was about the adventures of a clown girl and her rag doll. She delighted kids to do the clock stretch in their living room for 15 years before ending in 2007. And who could forget the dust bunnies Granny Garbanzo's garden, Major Bedhead, and Snicklefritz! Introducing your kids to Loonette and the gang could also show them the importance of cleaning up! Spoiler Alert: Who made this big mess?

Watch The Big Comfy Couch on Tubi, Pluto TV, YouTube, Amazon Prime.

Phineas And Ferb: “Happy New Year!”

In the Season 4, Episode 177, Phineas and Ferb build a multi-dimensional New Year's Eve ball. Their goal? To drop the ball from space at midnight! All Isabella wants for New Year’s is to get a kiss from Phineas, but nothing is on his mind but dropping his ball from space. Doofenshmirtz activates his Resolution-Changer-inator. Meanwhile, Candace goes to her first grown-up party and makes a New Year’s Resolution to not bust her brother’s midnight ball plot before midnight. Ferb ends up launching the giant New Year's ball into space, where it explodes into fireworks. Needless to say, everyone brings in the new year in their own way. And don’t forget to sing the “Happy New Year” song!

Watch Phineas and Ferb on Disney+ and Apple TV+.

Teen Titans Go!: “More of The Same”

When it comes to New Year's traditions, the Titans do not have a good streak in Season 2, Episode 51. To flip the script, they try to bring in the new year correctly and have a good year by perfecting the toast, the countdown, the midnight kiss, and the song “Auld Lang Syne.” But like the past four New Year’s, things take a turn for the worst when Beast Boy makes an offensive speech during the toast and does not know how to count backward from 10. While practicing their midnight kisses, Robin accidentally hits himself in the face with a tree but redeems himself when he ends up being the only one to sing “Auld Lang Syne” perfectly. But in the end, the titans have another bad year which includes their T-Car getting towed and Cyborg accidentally destroying Santa Claus' sleigh with a bazooka. Their bad luck continues into their senior years and they finally meet the Masters of Time which consists of New Year Baby and Father Time and confront the pair about their years of misfortune.

Watch Teen Titans Go! on YouTube, Cartoon Network, Hulu, and HBO Max.

Futurama: “Space Pilot 3000”

Save this one for the teens! Space Pilot 3000 was actually the first Futurama episode and reflects the mania people had about Y2K. Yes, kids, we actually believed the world was going to end when the clock struck midnight on Jan. 1, 2000, or in this case, get accidentally frozen and wake up in a future world run by robots, aliens and some humans are still around. In the episode, it’s Dec. 31, 2000, gullible, pizza delivery boy Philip J. Fry, falls for another prank call. While eating some pizza, he falls into a cryogenic tube and wakes up 1,0000 years later in the year Dec. 31, 2999, thus kicking off Matt Groening’s iconic sci-fi series.

Watch Futurama on Hulu, Disney+, and Amazon Prime.

The Office: “Ultimatum”

Teens and older kids will get a kick out of this one. In Season 7, Episode 13 titled Ultimatum, Pam tries to get everyone to stick to their New Year’s resolutions. She puts up a board in the office so everyone can post their resolutions which include, Michael wanting to floss, Kevin wanting to eat more vegetables, Creed wanting to a cartwheel, and Pam wanting to drink less caffeine. But when Michael finds out that Holly is still with her boyfriend, he turns into a bit of a grinch and starts to put a dent in everyone else’s New Year’s plans, which includes force-feeding Kevin a bunch of broccoli. But on the other hand, it was Kevin’s resolution to eat more vegetables.

Watch The Office on Peacock.