If there is one that I like watching around the Christmas season it is the usual specials that shows do that are based or set around Christmas. Now since that there have been shows like The Simpsons that have the usual specials throughout its near thirty year tenure, I will only be putting in one episode for each show.
4: Family Guy: Road to the North Pole: In 2010 Family Guy continued with their Road to series that has had quite a few popular moments and this is possibly my second favourite episode. In this episode Brian takes Stewie to see a Mall Santa that is rather disappointment so Stewie decides to go and kill Santa in the North Pole, bringing Brian along with him. After a few problems later Stewie and Brian find their way to Santa’s Workshop where they find it to only be a dark and gloomy factory that seems to be heavily polluted and a lifeless waste land where they then find that Santa is sick and depressed. Santa reveals to the two that over the many years that with the world’s population growing he had became overwhelmed with the demand for fancier presents for each and every year. Santa starts to get sicker and Stewie and Brian decide to take up the mantle of Santa and deliver the presents for him. This then leads to Brian and Stewie realising that Santa’s job is rather difficult since that in their first house they ended up being seen by the family and then realised that it was the wrong house and that took a whole hour. On Christmas morning the whole town finds that they don’t have any presents and Brian and Stewie appear on TV bringing out the dying Santa and informs the residents that humanity’s greed is killing Santa and that they should only get one present a year so that Santa can start to regain his health. One year later everything seems to be back together and Santa is a healthier thanks to the less of a demand for presents. I do like this episode since that it does have quite a nice message to it since that the world that we do live in seems to be more commercial and a proportion of people wanting more and more presents each year making the meaning of Christmas rather moot. The beginning of the episode is what rather seems to be more of the downside for the episode and I would just skip forward to when they get to Canada.
3: American Dad!: For Whom the Sleigh Bell Tolls: In 2010 American Dad too continued with their Christmas series with this episode and for me it is a rather good one to. As usual canon in the show Stan rather despises Jeff since that he hasn’t done anything good in his life but Francine wants Stan to have Jeff be joined in on the family traditions. Stan then decides that it time that Steve has a gun and against Francine’s wishes he still gives it to Steve and they use some snowmen in a parking lot. But it turns out that behind one of the snowmen was apparently a Mall Santa and with this Steve decides never to use a weapon again. Stan convinces Steve to hide the body from Francine to see if he was in the CIA database but it turns out that the DNA doesn’t match anybody at all. Francine and Hayley discover what they have done and that they all go into the woods and bury the Santa and make a pact to not share with anyone what they had done. The next day they then get messages all with Christmas based puns that somebody knows that Santa was killed. The Smiths return to the site when they find that the body was goneAn elf appears to them and says that Santa is rejuvenating and vows vengeance against the Smith family and they decide to hide out in the woods with Roger, who has his own side story looking for booze, with the help of Bob Todd. Jeff manages to find where the Smiths with Hayley telling him where they would be which also lead Santa finding them also to Jeff’s ignorance. It also is revealed that Bob Todd’s house is also an armoury where they all fend off the attack from Santa’s army that consist of Elves, reindeer and snow-trolls. In the end Stan gets injured and Santa gives a proposition for Jeff giving him the Relic from the Golden Compass. Jeff goes to Santa’s side but then heel turns stabbing Santa and dragging Stan away to safety. The two then start to see more eye-to-eye about things including their love for Hayley. The end of the war comes as Christmas Morning happens and Santa’s vengeance stops, at least until next year when Santa can get his revenge and now the Smiths now have a new tradition. I do like this episode since that it is written rather well with the continuity in hand, which I don’t think most shows usually have like this. Plus the lingering threat that Santa can strike again on Christmas Eve is something that does leave for a sequel which they do make.
2: Futurama: X-Mas Story: Futurama is one of my favourite animated series and this is a really good episode from the early days of the series. In this Fry celebrates his first X-Mas and the Planet Express staff decide to decorate the building to help him feel more nostalgic. Fry decides to go out and buy Leela a X-mas present since that she had a string of bad X-masses since that she grew up in an orphanage. The others inform Fry to be back before sun down since that Robot Santa Claus will come out and kill anyone who is outside then. They then give the back story of the Robot Santa that he was created to determine who was on the naughty and nice list but a programming error turned the robot into a killing machine when his standards set too high thus he would kill anyone that was on the naughty list which is everybody. Fry manages to find a present for Leela in the form of a parrot, but it flies away and Leela decides to go out and get Fry before Robot Santa arrives. Fry manages to find the parrot atop a large building and Leela manages to save Fry but it’s really too late, Robot Santa has arrived. He hunts down the two chasing them around the city. Fry and Leela managed to get into Planet Express but Robot Santa manages to break into Planet Express through the chimney and he tells them that they have all been naughty, except for Dr Zoidburg for some reason who manages to help the team force Robot Santa back into the chimney and blow him into the stratosphere with his reindeer as well. In the end everyone celebrates by singing a song to then see that Robot Santa promises that he will be back next X-Mas. I do love this episode since that the chase scene through New New York is rather cool and interesting and brings in, at least one of my most favourable quotes; your mistletoe is no match for my TOW missile. It is always a good episode that I do like to watch whenever it is on.
1: The Simpsons: Simpsons Roasting on an Open Fire: I had a pretty hard time deciding on which episode that I would have picked but the reason why I picked this was that it was the first actual episode of The Simpsons that was made for television that wasn’t a short. The episode begins at Springfield Elementary where the school is doing a pageant for Christmas where we see Lisa’s year covering the different ways countries celebrate Christmas. This then leads the family writing their letters to Santa yet when reading Bart’s letter to Santa, Homer and Marge become enraged to see that he wants to get a tattoo and they forbid him to get a tattoo. Whilst Christmas Shopping the next day Bart slips off to a Tattoo Parlour and attempts to get a tattoo done with the typical Mother design. Marge finds out that Bart is getting a tattoo and pulls him out and drags him down to a dermatologist to have it removed. This leads to using all the money that they were going to use on for spending money on getting the tattoo removed. Meanwhile when Homer is at work he finds out that Mr Burns isn’t going to be giving them their holiday bonus and then discovered that there is no money for presents he decides to become a Mall Santa as suggested by his friend Barney. On Christmas Eve Bart finds out that Homer is a Mall Santa but even worse is that Homer finds out that he has been paid less than expected. But Barney then comes up with the idea to take his pay and bet it on the greyhound races. Homer decides to bet all of his money on a dog called ‘Santa’s Little Helper’ as some sort of sign but looses it all as it comes in last place and he then see’s the dog’s owner disown him for losing the race. Bart pleads with Homer to keep the dog which he agrees to them. When they get home, Homer comes clean about not getting his bonus but the family considers Santa’s Little Helper to be their present which they all accept into the family. Even for the very first episode this episode does still hold up rather well and is a rather good story since that Homer goes out of his way to try and get money for presents since of the problems that occur.