"The Spy Who Came In for a Cold One" is the first Christmas episode of the NBC sitcom Cheers, originally aired as the twelfth episode of the its first season. The episode title derives from the 1963 John le Carré British novel "The Spy Who Came In from the Cold" (and its 1965 theatrical adaptation).


Stranger Eric Finch enters the bar and claims to be a spy. When Diane makes corrections, Eric admits that he is not. When he pulls out poems, claiming them as his own, Diane sees him as an aspiring poet and decides to give him another chance. However, Coach recites a poem that Eric simultaneously recites, which turns out to be from another author, destroying Diane's faith in him. Eric then claims to be millionaire "Thomas Hilliard III", who wants to buy the bar from Sam with a $2 million check. Angry and betrayed, Diane tears up the check pieces and expresses no regret until a chauffeur calls the man "Mr. Hilliard". To cheer her up, Sam assures Diane that he will never sell the bar.


Ted DansonSam Malone
Shelley LongDiane Chambers
Nicholas ColasantoCoach Pantusso
Rhea PerlmanCarla Tortelli
George WendtNorm Peterson
Ellis RabbEric Finch
Jack KnightHimself (Jack)
Robert Evan CollinsChauffeur
Kurtis WoodruffSailor
John RatzenbergerCliff


The episode was made available on the Cheers: The Complete First Season DVD set, released by Paramount Home Entertainment on May 20, 2003. CBS Home Entertainment through Paramount re-released the episode on the Cheers: The Complete Series DVD set on May 5, 2015.

External link

See also

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White ChristmasA Very Brady ChristmasThe Kid Who Loved ChristmasAll I Want for Christmas
Television episodes
Happy Days and related shows "Guess Who's Coming to Christmas" • "Richie Branches Out" • "Christmas Time" • "White Christmas" • "All I Want for Christmas" • "Oh Hear The Angels' Voices" • "O Come All Ye Bums" • "Christmas Show"
Cheers and Frasier "The Spy Who Came In for a Cold One" • "A House Is Not a Home" • "Christmas Cheers" • "Love Me, Love My Car" • "Miracle on Third or Fourth Street" • "Frasier Grinch" • "Perspectives on Christmas" • "Merry Christmas, Mrs. Moskowitz" • "The Fight Before Christmas" • "Mary Christmas" • "We Two Kings" • "High Holidays"
Other shows "The Voice of Christmas" • "A Full House for Christmas" • "Get Me Through the Holidays" • "A Christmas Story" • "A Keaton Christmas Carol" • "Miracle in Columbus" • "A Christmas Story" • "A Terminal Christmas" • "The Customer's Usually Right" • "Happy Holidays" • "Insanity Claus" • "Twas the Heist Before Christmas" • "All About Christmas Eve" • "Christmas" • "Have Yourself a Married Little Christmas" • "Here Comes Santa Claus" • "A Class Act Christmas" • "X-Mas" • "Everybody Hates Christmas" • "Christmas!" • "Everybody Hates Kris"
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