500 user 198 critic

Bad Santa (2003)

1:43 | Trailer
A miserable conman and his partner pose as Santa and his Little Helper to rob department stores on Christmas Eve. But they run into problems when the conman befriends a troubled kid.


Terry Zwigoff
4,946 ( 548)
Nominated for 1 Golden Globe. Another 1 win & 11 nominations. See more awards »





Cast overview, first billed only:
Billy Bob Thornton ... Willie
Tony Cox ... Marcus
Brett Kelly ... The Kid
Lauren Graham ... Sue
Lauren Tom ... Lois
Bernie Mac ... Gin
John Ritter ... Bob Chipeska
Ajay Naidu ... Hindustani Troublemaker
Lorna Scott ... Milwaukee Mother
Harrison Bieker ... Milwaukee Boy
Alex Borstein ... Milwaukee Mom with Photo
Alexandra Korhan Alexandra Korhan ... Girl on Santa's Lap
Dylan Charles Dylan Charles ... Milwaukee Bratty Boy
Billy Gardell ... Milwaukee Security Guard
Lisa Ross ... Milwaukee Bartender


Willie T. Stokes is a convicted con man who's led a miserable life. He drinks heavily and constantly embarrasses himself publicly. He only works once a year dressed as Santa. But then come Christmas Eve, he and his pint-sized helper dwarf Marcus stage elaborate robberies and take their department stores for everything they got. This time around, Willie gets distracted by large women, a bartender who is attracted to Santas, and a kid who's convinced he's the real deal. However, Marcus must once again put up with Willie's heavy drinking and a series of incidents that constantly shoot themselves in the foot. Will Willie and Marcus make it to next Christmas? Or will this be the year the dynamic duo finally face justice? Written by halo1k

Plot Summary | Plot Synopsis


He doesn't care if you're naughty or nice. See more »


Comedy | Crime | Drama

Motion Picture Rating (MPAA)

Rated R for pervasive language, strong sexual content and some violence | See all certifications »

Parents Guide:

View content advisory »

Did You Know?


Tony Cox ad-libbed the "You probably shouldn't be digging in your ass" line. Director Terry Zwigoff found the line so funny that he admitted to repeatedly cracking up on set and even waking up in the middle of the night laughing. See more »


While Marcus takes a candy cane from Bob Chipeska's desk, there are three. In the next shot, there are four (after he took one). Also, the number of candy canes is inconsistent between shots. See more »


[first lines]
Willie: Hey, can I get another drink down here?
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Crazy Credits

There is a special thanks to Leonardo DiCaprio See more »

Alternate Versions

The director's cut of 'Bad Santa' has these changes:
  • The jingling bells heard on the Dimension Films logo are omitted.
  • Willie's voice-over at the beginning of the film is not heard.
  • The scene in which Willie and Marcus are at the bar after the first robbery, as well as the scene of Willie at the Miami Beach are both deleted, and it cuts straight to Willie's apartment instead.
  • The scene of Willie throwing the alarm clock and bottles is slightly longer, with him saying an additional "fuck you" and throwing another bottle.
  • Much of David Kitay's original score is removed and replaced with classical music.
  • When Marcus is berating Willie, his line is changed to "You blow this, we're broke for the whole fucking year!"
  • There's a longer and more vulgar conversation between Marcus and Willie in the mall parking lot on the first night.
  • The pinball scene with the underage girl is the same as on the unrated cut.
  • There's a longer and more vulgar argument between Marcus and Willie regarding the pinball scene.
  • There are some alternate scenes when Marcus discovers the BMW, and when beer containers spill out of the car, Marcus yells, "You cocksucker!" Also, there is an alternate shot of Marcus yelling, "Ever hear of the open bottle law?" He then adds, "You dumb, dip-shit motherfucker!"
  • The scene of Chipeska telling Gin about Willie having sex in the dressing room is removed.
  • All scenes of The Kid's advent calendar are removed.
  • The food court scene is the same as the unrated version.
  • The scene of Lois taking notes on what she wants Marcus to steal is extended.
  • The scene of Willie destroying the decorations is longer, with him saying "fucking spic" before punching the donkey decoration.
  • All scenes of Willie trying to teach The Kid to stand up for himself, including the boxing scene, are removed.
  • The car death scene is the same as on the unrated version.
  • An alternate car chase scene. Also, Willie does not say, "This is Christmas, and the kid's getting his fucking present."
  • The ending scene is changed to The Kid scrubbing Willie's blood off the front porch.
  • The end credits are different.
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Trepak (Russian Dance)
Written by Pyotr Ilyich Tchaikovsky
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User Reviews

Excellent casting
23 June 2004 | by =G=See all my reviews

He drinks and smokes and pukes and wets his pants and has sex in public places. He has a horrible attitude, a trash mouth, is mean to little kids, hates himself, and robs department stores. Ok, so he's not all bad, but he is without a doubt the worst department store Santa ever. There's not a lot of stretching required of Thornton to get into character in this flick which capitalizes on the grosser than gross sense of comedy/humor as it wends its way through a simple tale about a scamming Santa and his dwarf/elf sidekick who rip off a department store a year to avoid honest toil. A mildly creative love it or hate it flick which tries as hard to be disgusting as funny, "Bad Santa" has, for obvious reasons, received mixed reviews. Only for the thick skinned who aren't easily offended by bad language, bad attitudes, or bad, bad Santas. (B)

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Frequently Asked Questions

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Official Sites:

Official Facebook | Official site


Germany | USA



Release Date:

26 November 2003 (USA) See more »

Also Known As:

Badder Santa See more »

Filming Locations:

Long Beach, California, USA See more »


Box Office


$23,000,000 (estimated)

Opening Weekend USA:

$12,500,000, 30 November 2003

Gross USA:


Cumulative Worldwide Gross:

See more on IMDbPro »

Company Credits

Show more on IMDbPro »

Technical Specs


| (Unrated Director's Cut) | (Unrated Edition)

Sound Mix:

DTS | Dolby Digital



Aspect Ratio:

1.85 : 1
See full technical specs »

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