The Simpsons: Season 1, Episode 1

Simpsons Roasting on an Open Fire (17 Dec. 1989)

TV Episode  -   -  Animation | Comedy | Family
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Ratings: 8.2/10 from 2,933 users  
Reviews: 20 user

Christmas seems doomed for the Simpson family when Homer receives no Christmas Bonus. Homer becomes a mall Santa Claus, hoping to make money and bring Marge, Bart, Lisa, and baby Maggie, a happy holiday.



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Title: Simpsons Roasting on an Open Fire (17 Dec 1989)

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Episode complete credited cast:
Homer Simpson / Barney Gumble / Elf Moldy / Grampa Simpson (voice)
Bart Simpson / Ralph Wiggum / SNPP employee / Radio singing voice / Boy / Lewis / Cashier / Elf Bubbles (voice)
Lisa Simpson (voice)
Moe Szyslak (voice)
Mr. Burns / Principal Seymour Skinner / Mr. Largo / Ned Flanders / Tattoo Guy / Waylon Smithers / Dr. Zitofsky / Loudspeaker Announcer in Shop / Santa Clause Manager / Santa Class Teacher / Announcer / Clerk (voice)
Girl (voice)
Santa Clause Girl / Todd Flanders / Santa Clause Woman / Milhouse Van Houten / Son (voice)


During Christmas at the Simpsons, Bart asks for a tattoo. Marge takes them to the mall to buy presents. Bart sees a tattoo parlor and lies about his age to get a "Mother" tattoo. Marge catches Bart while the tattoo parlor is working on it. Marge runs in and drags Bart out. She spends all the Christmas money on removing Bart's tattoo, and Mr. Burns doesn't give out bonuses. Homer then gets a job at the mall as Santa Claus. Bart goes to the mall and pulls off Homer's beard. Homer is then left without a job, and only gets paid $13.00. Will Christmas get any better for the Simpsons? Written by

Plot Summary | Plot Synopsis


Twas the Week Before Christmas and Fate Played a Joke. No Tree and No Presents, Homer was Broke!


TV-G | See all certifications »

Parents Guide:





Release Date:

17 December 1989 (USA)  »

Company Credits

Show detailed on  »

Technical Specs


Sound Mix:


Aspect Ratio:

1.33 : 1
See  »

Did You Know?


The Springfield Shopper gives the Christmas pageant 3 and a half stars; as seen on a sign outside of Springfield Elementary for the annual Christmas pageant. See more »


When Marge tells Homer to close his eyes as she takes out the money jar, her necklace is red. When she takes it out of her hair in the next shot, the necklace is white. See more »


Homer: I don't wanna leave until our dog finishes.
[they wait five minutes]
Homer: Ah forget it, let's go.
See more »

Crazy Credits

There is no Blackboard or Couch gag in this episode's opening titles, owing to the holiday theme of the episode making the title sequence different. See more »


References Smurfs (1981) See more »


Santa Baby
Written by Joan Javits, Philip Springer and Tony Springer
See more »

Frequently Asked Questions

See more (Spoiler Alert!) »

User Reviews

The One that Started It All
6 December 2003 | by (Pocatello, Idaho, USA) – See all my reviews

I remember hearing about this special back in the third grade, "The Simpsons was the best cartoon, and you just had to see it!" Unfortunately, we didn't get Fox in my little Idaho town. Finally, when we did get Fox, I started my weekly ritual of visiting the Simpsons every Thursday and then on Sundays.

This is a solid Christmas special. It's a more heartfelt episode compared to the episodes produced today. Homer wasn't nearly as much of a buffoon as he is today, and this episode isn't as hysterical as future episodes, but what it may lack in some comedy, it makes up in story and character development. While Bart was quite the troublemaker, he still cared deeply for his father and his family. Plus, the family singing of Rudolph played in the credits was great!

This was our first meeting with the Simpsons, and it would continue to be a great relationship.

9 of 13 people found this review helpful.  Was this review helpful to you?

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