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Simpsons Roasting on an Open Fire

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"Simpsons Roasting on an Open Fire", also known as The Simpsons Christmas Special, is the first full-length episode of the animated television series The Simpsons, thought it is actually the eighth episode produced for the show's first season. Originally aired on the Fox network on December 17, 1989, the episode was written by Mimi Pond and directed by David Silverman. The title is an allusion to "The Christmas Song", also known as "Chestnuts Roasting on an Open Fire".

The episode has received positive reviews from television critics. It was viewed by approximately 13.4 million viewers in its original airing. It was nominated for, but did not win, a Primetime Emmy Award in the categories of "Outstanding Animated Program (for Programming One Hour or Less)" and "Outstanding Editing for a Miniseries or a Special."

Synopsis

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Homer, Marge, and Maggie attend Bart and Lisa's Christmas pageant at Springfield Elementary School. Later, at home, Marge writes a letter for the family's Christmas cards while Homer is getting out the Christmas decorations, and Bart and Lisa are writing their Christmas wish lists. After Marge finishes writing the letter, Bart and Lisa show her their wish lists; Lisa wants a pony, and Bart asks for a tattoo. They then receive a phone call from Marge's sisters, Patty and Selma, who are coming to visit for Christmas (much to Homer's dismay).

When Marge, Bart, and Lisa go Christmas shopping at the mall the next day, Bart sneaks away to the tattoo store, where he tries to get a tattoo of a heart with the word "Mother" written across it. Discovering this, Marge interrupts the process at "Moth" and immediately takes him to a nearby laser removal clinic. She has to spend the family's Christmas money (which she had saved in a big jar) getting Bart's tattoo removed, assuming that Homer's Christmas bonus will cover future costs. Meanwhile, at the Springfield Nuclear Power Plant, Mr. Burns announces that the unskilled workers, including Homer, will not be receiving a Christmas bonus this year. Homer sighs, hoping that Marge's big jar of money will be enough for the Christmas presents.

When Homer returns home and hears about the loss of the family's Christmas money, he decides not to tell Marge his own bad news. Instead, he tells her that he is going to do the shopping himself and goes to buy cheap presents from a variety store which sells nothing over five dollars. Homer tries to be optimistic about the dismal presents he is buying, but while leaving the store, he runs into his neighbor Ned Flanders and enviously notices the plentiful amount of presents in fancy packaging that Ned has already bought for his family. At Moe's Tavern, Homer meets his friend Barney Gumble dressed in a Santa outfit. On Barney's advice, Homer secretly takes a job as a mall Santa. When he arrives home that night, Marge tells him that her sisters have now arrived. Patty and Selma point out the fact that the Simpsons don't have a Christmas tree, so Homer hurries out and steals a tree from a Christmas tree farm outside of town.

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While working as a mall Santa, Homer gets a surprise visit from Bart.

On Christmas Eve, Homer is working as Santa at the mall. Nearby, Bart and his friends Milhouse and Lewis are watching, commenting on how gullible the children are. Milhouse dares Bart to tear off Santa's beard and Bart agrees, not knowing that Santa is really Homer. Bart cuts ahead in line and, upon reaching Santa, grabs Homer's fake beard. Bart is shocked at this, and an angry Homer escorts him inside Santa's workshop, where he explains his situation to Bart.

Homer receives his paycheck and is dismayed to see that, after deductions, it is only for thirteen dollars. While a depressed Homer sits down to figure out what to do with the paycheck, an excited Barney tells Homer that he is going to the Springfield Downs to place a bet with his earnings. He invites Homer to come along with him, ensuring a win on a dog named Whirlwind; Homer is reluctant, but with encouragement from Bart, Homer agrees to gamble the paycheck and takes Bart with him to the track.

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Despite Barney's recommendation, though, Homer decides to instead bet on a last-second entrant named Santa's Little Helper, believing it to be a sign. Santa's Little Helper, however, comes in dead last (in fact, he does not even make it to the finish line), and his owner abandons him. The dog follows Homer and Bart, who eventually decide to keep him. When they return home, Homer plans to tell the family about his misfortune, but they think he brought the dog as a gift and everyone has a merry Christmas.

Songs

Trivia

Availability

The Simpsons Christmas Special

The cover to the 1991 VHS release.

"Simpsons Roasting on an Open Fire" was released on The Simpsons Christmas Special VHS by FOX Home Video in 1991. It was notably the very first home video release for the series.

On DVD, the episode was included on The Simpsons: The Complete First Season DVD set. It was also featured on the 2004 single-disc DVD release Christmas with the Simpsons (later repackaged as The Simpsons Christmas), which also included the later episodes "Mr. Plow", "Miracle on Evergreen Terrace", "Grift of the Magi" and "She of Little Faith".

Cast

Voice actor Character
Dan Castellaneta Homer Simpson
Abraham Simpson
Santa's Little Helper
Barney Gumble
Julie Kavner Marge Simpson
Patty Bouvier
Selma Bouvier
Nancy Cartwright Bart Simpson
Lewis
Cashier
Bubbles the elf
Yeardley Smith Lisa Simpson
Hank Azaria Moe Syzlak
Harry Shearer Mr. Burns
Ned Flanders
Principal Seymour Skinner
Mr. Largo
Tattoo guy
Waylon Smithers
Dr. Zitofsky
Loudspeaker announcer in shop
Santa Claus manager
Santa class teacher
Announcer
Clerk
Pamela Hayden Milhouse Van Houten
Todd Flanders

External links

20th Century Fox
Movies
Miracle on 34th Street (1955 remake) (1973 remake) (1994 remake) • Die HardDie Hard 2Home AloneHome Alone 2: Lost in New YorkTrapped in ParadiseJingle All the WayHome Alone 4The Family StoneDeck the Halls12 Men of ChristmasHome Alone: The Holiday HeistJingle All the Way 2
Television episodes and specials
Live-action shows
"Dear Dad" • "Dear Sis" • "Death Takes a Holiday" • "All About Christmas Eve" • "Christmas Story" • "Santa Baby" • "Kay's Gift" • "Merry Catnip" • "Christmas Carol" • "How the Ghosts Stole Christmas" • "Amends" • "Cookies for Santa" • "The Santa In The Slush" • "A Very Glee Christmas" • "Extraordinary Merry Christmas" • "The 23rd" • "Glee, Actually" • "Santa"
Animated shows and specials
The Simpsons "Simpson Christmas" • "Simpsons Roasting on an Open Fire" • "Marge Be Not Proud" • "Miracle on Evergreen Terrace" • "Grift of the Magi" • "Skinner's Sense of Snow" • "She of Little Faith" • "'Tis the Fifteenth Season" • "Simpson Christmas Stories" • "Kill Gil, Volumes I & II" • "The Fight Before Christmas" • "Holidays of Future Passed" • "White Christmas Blues" • "I Won't Be Home for Christmas • "The Nightmare After Krustmas"
King of the Hill "The Unbearable Blindness of Laying" • "Pretty, Pretty Dresses" • "Hillennium" • "'Twas the Nut Before Christmas" • "The Father, the Son, and J.C." • "Livin' on Reds, Vitamin C and Propane" • "Ms. Wakefield"
Family Guy, American Dad!, and The Cleveland Show "A Very Special Family Guy Freakin' Christmas" • "The Best Christmas Story Never" • "The Most Adequate Christmas Ever" • "Rapture's Delight" • "A Cleveland Brown Christmas" • "Road to the North Pole" • "For Whom the Sleigh Bell Tolls" • "Murray Christmas" • "Season's Beatings" • "Die Semi-Hard" • "Jesus, Mary and Joseph!" • "'Tis the Cleveland To Be Sorry" • "Minstrel Krampus" • "Christmas Guy" • "Dreaming of a White Porsche Christmas" • "The 2000-Year-Old Virgin" • "How the Griffin Stole Christmas"
Bob's Burgers "God Rest Ye Merry Gentle-Mannequins" • "Christmas in the Car" • "Father of the Bob" • "Nice-Capades" • "The Last Gingerbread House on the Left"
Other cartoons "A Christmas Surprise for Mrs. Stillman" • Olive, the Other Reindeer • "Xmas Story" • "A Tale of Two Santas" • "The Futurama Holiday Spectacular" • Ice Age: A Mammoth ChristmasDiary of a Wimpy Kid: Cabin Fever

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