Culture of Pop

25 Days of Christmas Episodes: Simpsons Roasting on an Open Fire (The Simpsons)

We’re counting down the days until Christmas by looking back at Christmas episodes from a variety of TV shows. Tonight we’re talking about “Simpsons Roasting on an Open Fire” from The Simpsons. What Christmas episode tropes did this episode use? Let’s take a look.

Basic Info

Directed by: David Silverman

Written by: Mimi Pond

Episode Number: Season 1, Episode 1

Where to Watch It: iTunes or the Simpsons World app

Christmas Miracle

Homer doesn’t have the heart to tell Marge that he’s not getting his Christmas bonus, which they were counting on to get any presents.

When Barney suggests that Homer bet what little money he does have at the track, Homer is skeptical, but Bart gives him a pep talk about Christmas miracles. He says, “This could be the miracle that saves the Simpsons Christmas. If TV has taught me anything it’s that miracles always happen to poor kids at Christmas. It happened to Tiny Tim, it happened to Charlie Brown, it happened to the Smurfs and it’s gonna happen to us!”

Homer decides to bet on the aptly named “Santa’s Little Helper.” When Santa’s Little Helper is in last place, Bart says, “Maybe this is just to build suspense before the miracle happens!” But, alas, Santa’s Little Helper loses.

When Homer and Bart see Santa’s Little Helper get kicked out of the track, Bart suggests they keep him. Homer doesn’t immediately recognize this as the Christmas miracle he’s been looking for. He looks at Santa’s Little Helper and says, “He’s a loser, he’s pathetic, he’s…a Simpson”

Homer is still feeling defeated when he goes home to his family, but he’s surprised to see that they absolutely love Santa’s Little Helper and call the dog the best Christmas present ever.

Convenience Store Gift Shopping

Homer attempts to pull off Christmas on a budget by going to a $5 store. He gets panty hose for Marge, pads of paper for Bart and a squeaky toy for Maggie.

Christmas Songs

Bart’s class sings “Jingle Bells” and Bart gets in trouble for modifying the lyrics. At the end of the episode, the whole Christmas clan sings “Rudolph the Red-Nosed Reindeer” over the credits.

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