|“||Touch but my hand and you will be upheld in more than this--would I tamper with a classic?||”|
— Christmas Ghost Felix Unger, who then decides to take the stairs instead
Oscar is not in a festive mood, certainly not as festive as Felix, whose admonition to fall into the joy of the season is cut short by real world concerns. In particular, a messenger arrives with a singing telegram, payment due upon receipt, for bad measure. Threatening Oscar with holiday jail time if he does not pay alimony to his ex-wife Blanche, said telegram is set to the tune of "God Rest Ye Merry Gentlemen". Felix almost gets Oscar to join his Christmas Carol production, but continued cynicism has him walking out, leaving Oscar alone that Christmas Eve with a culinary nightmare of a dinner sure to upset his ulcer.
Like many a Christmas curmudgeon, Oscar finds the season will not leave him be, as the very story he is seeking to avoid comes on TV. As he falls asleep, the narrator's voice changes to that of Felix, who for the sake of the dream serves as the surrogate for all four of Scrooge's ghostly visitors. After Ghost Felix proves unable to fly, they take the elevator instead. Oscar/Scrooge is seen as a miserable child, writing spiteful letters to Santa for a busted toy. The scene then switches to Felix as Bob Cratchit, surrounded by his "children", actually poker buddies Roy, Vinnie, Speed, and Murray - who is a somewhat oversized and addled Tiny Tim, endlessly repeating his catchphrase while Scrooge/Oscar sympathizes and wants to get the poor lad a nose job. Oscar also feels like a heel when Bob and his family sing him a Christmas carol. Finally, in the future, Oscar finds Scrooge's incredibly messy grave, with Ghost Felix leaving him alone with only his busted toy duck as company.
Oscar is shaken from the nightmare by a returned Felix, there to again plead with Oscar to join the play, though only because Roy, Speed and Murray asked him to. Of course chastened by his dream (which as Vinnie points out, was likely helped along by the spicy food Oscar has as a staple of his decidedly dicey diet), Oscar joins his friends while singing "Hark! The Herald Angels Sing". Upon their successful return, a nitpicking Felix only laments that Oscar played pre-reform Scrooge too nicely, lacking a contrast for play's end, but Oscar is happy that the kids were happy. The two friends exchange gifts apropos to their iconic personalities and wish each other a Merry Christmas.
- This episode may be the first Christmas Carol adaptation in which the staging of a play based on the Dickens novel plays a role in one of the series' characters undergoing Scrooge's journey on a personal level.
The episode was made available on The Odd Couple: The First Season DVD set in 2007. It was also featured on the Christmas Treats: TV Sets compilation DVD, released in 2010.