The Simpsons

Simpsons Roasting on an Open Fire

Season 1, Ep 1, Aired 12/17/89
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  • Episode Description
  • It is up to Homer to save Christmas, when bonuses are cut at the nuclear power plant and Marge is forced to use the Christmas savings on an emergency.

  • Cast & Crew
  • Nancy Cartwright

    Bart Simpson, Nelson Muntz, Ralph Wiggum, Todd Flanders, and others

  • Al Jean

  • Larina Jean Adamson

  • Dan Castellaneta

    Homer Simpson, Grampa Simpson, Barney Gumble, Krusty the Clown, Groundskeeper Willie, and others

  • Mike Reiss

  • Fan Reviews (129)
  • The beginning of the Simpsons

    By VNB911, Dec 15, 2013

  • Great Unintentional Introduction!

    By AndrewOchwat, Jun 24, 2013

  • Great Way to start of a Great Series

    By TheCjm1999, Jan 17, 2013

  • Very very very touching pilot to the BEST SHOW EVER!

    By SLionsCricket, Oct 08, 2012

  • The first Simpsons episode happens to be a Christmas episode. Either way, it's a great start to my favorite animated series

    By tigerdude22, Apr 25, 2012

  • Trivia & Quotes
  • Quotes (32)

    • Principal Skinner: The fifth grade will now favor us with a scene from Charles Dickens' A Christmas Carol. Homer: Oh, how many grades does this school have?

    • Principal Skinner: Ah, the fourth grade will now favor us with a melody...err...medley of holiday flavorites.

    • Homer: Bart, did you hear that? What a name! "Santa's Little Helper." It's a sign. It's an omen. Bart: It's a coincidence, dad.

    • (At Santa training class, Homer tries to recall all the names of Santa‚Äôs reindeer.) Homer: Um, Dasher. Dancer. Instructor: Mm-hmm. Homer: Prancer. Instructor: Mm-hmm. Homer: Nixon. Comet...Cupid. Donna Dixon? Instructor: Sit down, Simpson.

    • (Santa's Little Helper is chased off by his owner, and comes running towards Homer and Bart.) Homer: Oh, no, you don't! No, no! Get away from me! Uh-uh! (Santa's Little Helper jumps into Homer's arms.) Bart: Oh, can we keep him, Dad, please? Homer: But he's a loser. He's pathetic! He's...(Santa's Little Helper licks Homer.)...a Simpson.

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    Notes (7)

    • First episode to feature snow.

    • This is the only episode that does not start with any kind of show opening. The title is shown and then the episode begins.

    • This episode was nominated, but did not win a Primetime Emmy Award in the categories of "Outstanding Animated Program (for programming one hour or less)" and "Outstanding Editing for a Miniseries or a Special."

    • DVD commentary revealed that the creators got letters of praise for heightening the awareness of the abandonment of racing dogs even though they didn't know it was a real problem when they created the episode.

    • When Lisa is doing the tribal dance, many people were curious as to why she isn't wearing anything from the waist down. Years later, the DVD commentary for this episode revealed that Lisa is actually wearing a body suit, and is in fact not naked.

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    Trivia (9)

    • Other dogs in Santa's Little Helper's race include: Whirlwind, Quadruped, Dog O' War, Fido and Chew My Shoe.

    • Marge parks in section ZZ in the mall parking lot.

    • Lisa requests a pony 6 times on her Christmas list.

    • Goof: In the scene where Marge thanks Homer for Santa's Little Helper, during one of Homer's lines, the background behind Marge and Homer appears upside down.

    • The Springfield Shopper gives the Christmas pageant 3 and a half stars; as seen on a sign outside of Springfield Elementary for the annual Christmas pageant.

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    Allusions (6)

    • Man o' War One of the dogs at the racetrack is named Dog o' War. This is a quick reference to the champion thoroughbred race horse, named Man o' War, who dominated many races in the early 20th century.

    • Dr. Seuss Illustrations Homer drives past a Christmas tree lot that features, "X-Mas Trees Slightly Irregular." The trees in this lot are drawn to resemble the trees in the Dr. Seuss children's books.

    • Richard Nixon/Donna Dixon While calling out the reindeer, Homer makes quick and funny references to famous 80's actress Donna Dixon and former U.S. President Richard Nixon.

    • Bart: 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 going to happen to us!
      Bart references two animated Christmas specials. The 1965 classic A Charlie Brown Christmas; and the 1982 yuletide special The Smurfs Christmas Special. (Also used as a parody in the form of The Happy Little Elves). Plus a reference to Charles Dickens' A Christmas Carol.

    • All in the Family The storyline of Homer being denied his Christmas bonus has been used in many sitcoms, including the first holiday-themed episode of All In The Family, where Archie puts off telling his family he was denied his yuletide bonus.

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