The Simpsons (1989– )
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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-G | See all certifications »

Parents Guide:

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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
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Did You Know?


The 'slightly irregular' trees seen just before Homer chops down the regular tree are drawn to resemble the trees in Dr. Seuss books. See more »


When Marge tells Homer that the Christmas money is gone, he is standing in front of the kitchen. But when the camera cuts to Marge, she is the one standing in front of the kitchen. See more »


Bart: Come on, Dad, if TV has taught me anything, it's that miracles always happen to poor kids at Christmas. It happened to Tiny Tim, it happened to Charlie Brown, it happened to the Smurfs, and it's gonna happen to us.
Homer: Okay, let's go. Who's Tiny Tim?
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Crazy Credits

During the credits, the Simpsons sing "Rudolph the Red-Nosed Reindeer". See more »


References A Christmas Carol (1951) See more »


Dramatic Impact (2)
Music by Ivor Slaney
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Frequently Asked Questions

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User Reviews

A leaner but not meaner Simpsons
23 July 2006 | by BrandtSponsellerSee all my reviews

The most interesting thing for any contemporary Simpsons fans to notice in this first episode is how much everything has changed over the years.

The early Simpsons shows were created on a much smaller budget, necessitating a smaller, less experienced, and in some ways, less skilled team. As a result, the animation style here is much rougher. There are far fewer people doing voices. The voice work isn't nearly as smooth as it would become. The personalities of the characters hadn't settled into norms. There aren't as many layers of jokes zipping frantically by.

The feel, overall, isn't that removed from, say, a Beavis and Butthead episode. Not that that's a bad thing. I happen to love Beavis and Butthead, too. It's just a much rougher style than we've come to expect from The Simpsons.

Aside from all of that, though, this is a charming Christmas episode, almost a Simpsons version of A Charlie Brown Christmas (1965). Like that famous work, an elementary school pageant is featured prominently, there are problems procuring a Christmas tree, and the "true meaning of Christmas", aside from commercialism, is explored, although here it is done so unwillingly, and there are no religious-tinged speeches to accompany the proceedings--The Simpsons is known for its irreverence, after all. But at its heart, while humorously introducing us to the main characters, this really is a sweet Christmas story and worth watching for that purpose, which is what I plan to save future viewings for.

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