The Simpsons (1989– )
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Simpsons Roasting on an Open Fire 

When Homer receives no holiday bonus, he hopes to make extra money by becoming a Mall Santa, in an attempt to bring the family a happy holiday.



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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 Claus Manager / Santa Claus Teacher / Announcer / Clerk (voice)
Girl (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!


Animation | Comedy


TV-G | See all certifications »

Parents Guide:





Release Date:

17 December 1989 (USA)  »

Filming Locations:

Company Credits

Show detailed on  »

Technical Specs


Sound Mix:


Aspect Ratio:

1.33 : 1
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Did You Know?


This special went on to be the series premiere. It is now listed as episode 7G08, "Simpsons Roasting on an Open Fire". 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: What are the odds on Santa's Little Helper?
Clerk: 99 to 1.
Homer: Wow! You hear that, Boy? 99 times 13 equals Merry Christmas!
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 »


Referenced in Best of the Worst: The Star Wars Holiday Special (2014) See more »


O Little Town of Bethlehem
Music by Lewis H. Redner
Lyrics by Phillips Brooks
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Frequently Asked Questions

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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.

12 of 16 people found this review helpful.  Was this review helpful to you?

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