The Best Bar Mitzvah TV Episodes | MitzvahMarket | MitzvahMarket

The Best Bar Mitzvah TV Episodes

The Best Bar Mitzvah TV Episodes

Have the recent holiday celebrations got you itching for more Jewish content? Looking to prepare for an upcoming B Mitzvah or introduce someone to its themes and tones?

For many people, their first introduction to Jewish culture is the classic Bar Mitzvah-themed episode of their favorite TV show. Countless programs have portrayed beloved characters growing into young adults in hilarious, moving, and sometimes painfully awkward ways. With so many classic coming-of-age episodes to choose from, we picked our favorite episode from each genre of show so that you can get in the B Mitzvah spirit no matter what you like to watch!

Cringe Comedy

Pen15 features two actresses in their thirties traveling back to the early 2000s to play middle school versions of themselves, reflecting on the discomfort and excitement of growing up. Season 2, Episode 9 of the Hulu original series titled “Bat Mitzvah” shows the girls grappling with existential crises at a classmate’s Bat Mitzvah. Hey Alma called it “the best bat mitzvah episode of all time”.


Family Animation

The beloved and long-running cartoon Bob’s Burgers nailed the over-the-top and sometimes silly and stressful nature of B Mitzvahs with Season 4, Episode 13, “Mazel Tina”. Middle schooler Tina tries to impress popular girl Tammy at Tammy’s Bat Mitzvah, despite her family being hired to cater the event. 


Modern Sitcom

In Season 5, Episode 9 of Mindy Kaling’s show The Mindy Project, titled simply “Bat Mitzvah”, Mindy crashes the Bat Mitzvah of her new boyfriend’s daughter. The ceremony serves as the backdrop for hilarity and mischief as Mindy pretends to be a rabbi to impress her new man’s family and friends.


Nostalgic Animation

Any 90s kid will remember the Nickeloden classic Hey Arnold which aired its Season 1 Episode 22B episode “Harold’s Bar Mitzvah” in 1997. When Arnold’s frenemy Harold struggles with the meaning and value of becoming a Bar Mitzvah, Arnold has to help his peer embrace what it means to grow up and mature. Between the important life lessons and the huge dose of nostalgia, this episode is a hit.


Classic Sitcom

Season 10, Episode 6 of classic show Fraiser is the crossover of every Jewish Star Trek fan’s dreams. In “Star Mitzvah” non-Jewish Frasier makes the mistake of hiring a Star Trek super fan to tutor his son in preparation for his Bar Mitzvah. Chaos ensues when the son is taught a prayer in Klingon, rather than Hebrew. 


Sketch Comedy

Vanessa Bayer’s iconic Weekend Update character on Saturday Night Live “Jacob the Bar Mitzvah Boy” spoke to a generation of awkward Bar Mitzvah kids. The character will feel familiar and endearing to anyone who’s ever sat through a less-than-perfect B Mitzvah speech. Watch the whole playlist of sketches from over the years on Youtube.


Disney Channel Animation

In Kim Possible Season 1, Episode 20 titled “Ron the Man”, Kim’s best friend and sidekick, Ron Stoppable, explores what it means to be a man, physically and metaphorically. This nostalgic and fun episode of the classic Disney Channel cartoon is a formative piece of coming-of-age media.


Animated Comedy

The long-running and beloved cartoon sitcom The Simpsons tackled the Bar Mitzvah storyline in Season 15, Episode 6 “Today I Am A Clown”. When Krusty the Clown feels unaccepted as a Jew due to his lack of a Bar Mitzvah, he sets out to throw the event of the century, learning along the way that spectacle is not as important as tradition.


Disney Channel Sitcom

In Season 1, Episode 31 of the classic Disney show Lizzie McGuire titled “Gordo’s Bar Mitzvah”, Lizzie’s best friend Gordo feels inferior to the other boys in his class who seem to be growing up quicker than he is. In order to feel more mature and find himself as a young adult, Gordo decides it’s important to finally have a Bar Mitzvah ceremony.


Raunchy TV

The notoriously NSFW and boundary-pushing Netflix original series Big Mouth featured a B Mitzvah in Season 1, Episode 9 “I Survived Jessi’s Bat Mitzvah”. Bat Mitzvah girl Jessi grapples with her changing family dynamics and personal identity on her big day, leading to rebellion and self-discovery.

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