The Simpsons (1989– )
36 user 2 critic

Simpsons Roasting on an Open Fire 

The family is forced to spend all of their savings to get Bart's new tattoo removed, and with no money for Christmas, Homer is forced to become a store Santa.


David Silverman


Mimi Pond, Matt Groening (created by) | 3 more credits »




Episode complete credited cast:
Dan Castellaneta ... Homer Simpson / Barney Gumble / Elf Moldy / Grampa Simpson (voice)
Julie Kavner ... Marge Simpson / Patty Bouvier / Selma Bouvier (voice)
Nancy Cartwright ... Bart Simpson / Ralph Wiggum / SNPP employee / Radio singing voice / Boy / Lewis / Cashier / Elf Bubbles (voice)
Yeardley Smith ... Lisa Simpson (voice)
Harry Shearer ... 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)
Hank Azaria ... Moe Szyslak (voice)
Jo Ann Harris ... Girl (voice)
Pamela Hayden ... Santa Claus Girl / Rod Flanders / Santa Claus 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!


Animation | Comedy


TV-PG | See all certifications »

Parents Guide:

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Did You Know?


Matt Groening claims that this episode has been incorrectly credited with creating the "alternate version" of "Jingle Bells" that has become a well-known children's playground song. See more »


Marge comes through the door and you see that she has come from a room with a piano in it. It has a music book on it. But when the shot changes so we see Marge turn the jar upside down, the music book has disappeared. See more »


Marge: Okay, Kids, give me your letters and I'll mail them to Santa at the North Pole.
Bart: Oh please, there's only one fat guy who brings us presents and his name ain't Santa.
See more »

Crazy Credits

Copyright date given as 1990, despite a 1989 air date. See more »


References A Charlie Brown Christmas (1965) See more »


Dramatic Impact (2)
Music by Ivor Slaney
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User Reviews

A Great Kickoff To the Best TV Series!
8 August 2013 | by g-bodylSee all my reviews

The Simpsons is one of the best, if not the best animated television series to exist. This episode, "The Simpsons Roasting on an Open Fire" is a great pilot. Since this is the pilot, the animation is a little rough and the voices are not as coherent, but would you expect on such a cheap budget? This episode is pretty funny, but not hilarious. However, this episode features heartwarming, earnest moments from the Simpson family.

This first episode is set at Christmas time. Homer does not receive his Christmas bonus this year, so he thinks he will ruin Christmas because Marge had to use her money to remove Bart's tattoo. But he gets a job as Santa thinking this will help his family out. But will it? Overall, this is a great start to a long-running series.

This is one of the heartwarming episodes you will encounter in this series. I rate this episode 9/10.

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Frequently Asked Questions

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Release Date:

17 December 1989 (USA) See more »

Also Known As:

Especial de Navidad See more »

Filming Locations:


Company Credits

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Technical Specs


Sound Mix:




Aspect Ratio:

1.33 : 1
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