Christmas Specials Wiki
Christmas Specials Wiki

"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 show's 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.


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. It will make its high-definition debut on the Cheers: The Complete Series Blu-ray set, released on April 25, 2023.


Actor/actress Character
Ted Danson Sam Malone
Shelley Long Diane Chambers
Nicholas Colasanto Coach Pantusso
Rhea Perlman Carla Tortelli
George Wendt Norm Peterson
Ellis Rabb Eric Finch
Jack Knight Self
Robert Evan Collins Chauffeur
Kurtis Woodruff Sailor
John Ratzenberger Cliff

See also[]

External links[]

This page uses Creative Commons Licensed
content from Wikipedia (view authors).
Remember the NightChristmas in JulyHoliday InnGoing My WayStalag 17White ChristmasWe're No AngelsTrading PlacesYoung Sherlock HolmesA Very Brady ChristmasWe're No Angels (1989) • The Kid Who Loved ChristmasAll I Want for ChristmasIn Search of Santa [International] • Office Christmas Party [N.A.] • Daddy's Home 2
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" • "Reindeer Games
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" • "Santa Baby • "Everybody Loves Whom?" • "It's a Miserable Life" • "Mojo No Mo" • "It's Beginning to Look a Lot Like Venice?"