The Simpsons (1989– )
26 user 1 critic

Simpsons Roasting on an Open Fire 

The family is forced to spend all of their savings to get Bart's new tattooo 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 »

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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-G | See all certifications »

Parents Guide:

View content advisory »






Release Date:

17 December 1989 (USA) See more »

Also Known As:

Especial de Navidad See more »

Filming Locations:


Company Credits

Show more on IMDbPro »

Technical Specs


Sound Mix:




Aspect Ratio:

1.33 : 1
See full technical specs »

Did You Know?


Al Jean came up with the title. See more »


When Homer walks out Circus of Values with his purchases, he bumps into Flanders, and all the presents scatter everywhere. Watch out for a red present with a green bow that goes flying near the left hand side of the screen. As soon as it hits the ground it turns into a pink box with a white bow wrapped around it, with no shot changes. See more »


Homer: [answering the phone] Hello?
Patty: Is Marge there?
Homer: Who is this?
Patty: Marge, please?
Homer: This is her sister, isn't it?
Patty: May I please speak to Marge?
Homer: Whom shall I ask is calling?
Patty: Marge, please.
See more »

Crazy Credits

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


The Gold Diggers' Song (We're in the Money)
Music by Harry Warren
Lyrics by Al Dubin
Performed by Barney and Bart
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Frequently Asked Questions

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User Reviews

Seems to have been forgotten by most people
16 December 2005 | by CuriosityKilledShawnSee all my reviews

When you mention Christmas specials one would normally think of Charlie Brown, The Smurfs, He-Man/She-Ra or any other franchise that 'saves Christmas'. No one really remembers that the Simpsons began with their very own Christmas special.

Already a hit as an animated short series on the Tracey Ullman show, The Simpsons kicked off their 17-year plus career as a prime-time family with this festive episode.

Excited and filled with yuletide cheer The Simpsons come face to face with disaster when Marge's savings need to be blown on tattoo-removal surgery for Bart. And Mr. Burns cancels bonuses for all his semi-skilled employees. Flanders is already throwing his family the best Christmas ever and to make matters worse Patty and Selma show up and cast their judging eyes upon Homer in a more evil way than usual. He can't let them all down so he humiliates himself with a job as a mall Santa Claus.

The job pays poorly so he gambles it at the track, expecting a miracle to happen. Do you think it will? Since this was way back at the very beginning of The Simpsons the animation looks pretty rough and the voice acting (especially from some of the children) sounds a lot like the Charlie Brown phonetic acting. And since this is an older episode Homer isn't the machine he became in 1998+ seasons. He's still a human being with feelings who tries to be a good dad. Bart is still a kid who gets in trouble and Marge is still a devoted mum. You know what I mean when I say that none of this is really relevant in The Simpsons anymore since every new season just gets worse and worse as the writers get more and more cynical.

This one Christmas Special represents the exact opposite of all that. It was made to make a difference to your Christmas. And if your tired of the awful bore that it's become now then perhaps you should check it out.

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