American Dad!

Season 3 Episode 9

The Best Christmas Story Never

3
Aired Sunday 9:30 PM Dec 17, 2006 on FOX
8.8
out of 10
User Rating
191 votes
13

EPISODE REVIEWS
By TV.com Users

Episode Summary

EDIT
When an injunction prevents Langley Falls from lighting their annual Christmas tree, Stan blames secular non-believers for ruining his favorite holiday. With Stan's holiday spirit at an all-time low, the Ghost of Christmas Past visits him and tries to show him the true meaning of Christmas. However, Stan is convinced that Christmas can be saved by changing the outcome of Vietnam, but finds that changing the past only dramatically changes the future.moreless

Who was the Episode MVP ?

SUBMIT REVIEW
  • Top 5 Episode

    10
    Seems every Christmas episode American dad produces is great! This one is one of my favorite episodes period! Tying Roger's storyline in creating disco from the cassette tape he found that was actually a present for him in the future, and him partying at the Hilton where Stan has to shoot his idol, President Reagan, at the same time is genious! The ghost of Christmas past character is a riot and how they depicted her throughout was awesome. Another gem for the best animated show on TV, period!moreless
  • Christmas review 15: great

    8.5
    When an injunction prevents Langley Falls from lighting their annual Christmas tree, Stan blames secular non-believers for ruining his favorite holiday. With Stan's holiday spirit at an all-time low, the Ghost of Christmas Past visits him and tries to show him the true meaning of Christmas. However, Stan is convinced that Christmas can be saved by changing the outcome of Vietnam, but finds that changing the past only dramatically changes the future. Being the first Christmas episode of the show, I thought it was great. My only problems is this episode lacked some humor. So that means in my opinion, this like the 3rd best Christmas on the show. The parts that I liked laughed at were Greg and Terry's appearance (the one in the quotes section), Roger revealing that his genitals are in his armpit, Stan getting mad about the Rapture thing, the 99 cent depot, and a couple others. Overall a great Christmas episode of American Dad. 8.5/10moreless
  • Overrated honestly.

    8.0
    When an injunction prevents Langley Falls from lighting their annual Christmas tree, Stan blames secular non-believers for ruining his favorite holiday. With Stan's holiday spirit at an all-time low, the Ghost of Christmas Past visits him and tries to show him the true meaning of Christmas. However, Stan is convinced that Christmas can be saved by changing the outcome of Vietnam, but finds that changing the past only dramatically changes the future.



    Overall, a great episode, yet a little overrated.



    8 out of 10moreless
  • superb

    9.0
    Stan is very disappointed with the lack of Christmas cheer in Langley Falls, so he is visited by the Ghost of Christmas Past, where he goes to the past and alters something, making for a different future. Now he needs to go back in time and fix what he changed before it is too late. Can he do it?



    Good episode. I do not remember a lot of jokes I laughed at, but the plot was really nice and that was their strong point in this episode. Of course, humor would have been nice, but there was probably at least a couple things I laughed at. Final grade is going to be a B, solid B, I think is fair enough for a grade.moreless
  • Christmas Special

    10
    In this episode of American Dad, Langley Falls is prevented from celebrating Christmas publicly due to an injuction. This annoys Stan to no end, and when he loses all of his christmas spirit, the ghost of christmas past comes to show him his past, but when Stan learns that Jane Fonda (the person he believes is responsible for the current dilemma in the present) he goes to kill her. But he soon learns that his actions changed the past significantly. I really liked this episode's epicness with the plot, and all the time-traveling, and the way the past was screwed up, and how they saved the day and Stan got his spirit back. 10/10 A+moreless
Lisa Kudrow

Lisa Kudrow

The Ghost of Christmas Past

Guest Star

Nat Faxon

Nat Faxon

Voice

Guest Star

Greg Berg

Greg Berg

Voice

Guest Star

Mike Barker

Mike Barker

Terry Bates

Recurring Role

Matt McKenna

Matt McKenna

Various

Recurring Role

Eddie Kaye Thomas

Eddie Kaye Thomas

Various

Recurring Role

Trivia, Notes, Quotes and Allusions

FILTER BY TYPE

  • TRIVIA (12)

    • Couldn't Stan just go back to 1970 and get Martin Scorsese back on drugs?

    • Roger reveals his genitals are located near his armpit.

    • Roger is seen blowing cocaine. That's impossible. He doesn't have a nose. He even mentions that.

    • Stan's purchase at the 99 Cent Store totals $1.07 for a sales tax rate of eight percent. Not only is the tax rate in Stan's home state of Virginia not eight percent-- at the time of airing it was 5%-- but no state had a sales tax of 8% at the time the episode originally aired.

    • It is revealed in this episode that Roger crash landed on Earth in the year 1947, in Roswell, New Mexico, the site of a famous UFO incident in that same year.

    • Stan claims that liberals are the result of the Hippie Movement. In fact, they originated from the Progressive Movement.

    • This is the first time we've seen any of Stan's family (other than Francine, Hayley, Steve, and his dad Jack).

    • The alternate past shown to Stan contains a major historical error. President Walter Mondale is shown surrendering the United States personally to the Soviet leader Leonid Brezhnev (identified by his often caricatured bushy eyebrows and squarish head). Brezhnev had died in 1982 and was succeeded by Yuri Andropov. The Soviet leader at the surrender should have been Konstantin Chernenko who ruled the USSR from 2/13/84 to 3/10/85. Of course, this could have been the result of the Butterfly Effect, in which a small change in the past leads to major changes in the future, and thus Brezhnev did not die in 1982.

    • In 1970, Roger is asked about his audition for Ryan's Hope by a fellow employee at "Elaine's."

      Ryan's Hope was an American afternoon soap opera that did not begin production until 1975.

    • The Holiday Rapist looks almost exactly the same as the elf taking pictures in the mall.

    • As Stan is about to shoot Donald Sutherland, he cites his son Kiefer as one of the reasons why he hates him. But in the episode "Threat Levels," Stan was willing to spend the last 24 hours of his life watching the entire first season of 24. And the star of 24 is none other than Kiefer Sutherland.

    • Langley Falls Post front page headline: "Exclusive Photos! Santa Exits Sleigh, Flashes Crotch."

  • QUOTES (15)

    • Greg: Can I have everyone's attention, please? We've just received this injunction, telling us we have to cancel this function.
      Terry: You're rhyming again.
      Greg: I know, I hear it, I'm trying to stop!

    • Stan: You there! What day is this?
      Boy: The day? Why, it's Christmas day, sir.
      Stan: That's fantastic! Now get the hell off my lawn!

    • Stan: I've got it all wrong! Sutherland pushed her into politics! He's the one I have to kill!
      (Turns and gasps when he see Sutherland standing right next to him)
      Donald Sutherland: What did you say?
      Stan: Um...
      Donald Sutherland: Are you here to give Jane her massage?
      Stan: Yes. That seems pretty fun.
      (Stan enters Fonda's dressing room and closes the door)
      Stan: (Inside) Alright, Ms. Fonda. Lie down. You can finish that cat food later.

    • (The crowd are told that the function at the square is cancelled because the land is public and isn't an appropriate place for religious icons) Stan: What?! We're going to let the secularist non-believers dictate how we celebrate Jesus' birthday? (A man and his family walking past stop to talk to Stan) Man: Actually, I kind of see their point. I mean, if you're not Christian, all this Christmas stuff might make you feel a little uncomfortable. Stan: (Angry) Oh, I cannot wait for the Rapture. (Points to the man) You're going to be left behind. (Points to the man's wife) You're going to be left behind. (Points to the man's baby) You're going to be left behind. (Points to the man's dog) You're going to be left... Francine: (Interrupts Stan) Stan, uh... post-Rapture... feel free to use our pool. (the man and his family start walking off) Francine: Uh, you know, if... if it isn't boiling.

    • Roger: Disco's Biggest Hits: 1974-1980? This tape is from the future! But that's impossible! On the other hand I am a spaceman working in Elane's... perhaps I should expand my mind view a bit.

    • Donald Sutherland: (To Faye Dunaway) You know, you should get involved in politics. Let's talk about it over drinks. Maybe at my place?
      Stan: (To himself) Let's talk about it over your brains. Maybe all over the place? (Laughs) Delightful.

    • Stan: Have you seen Donald Sutherland?
      Martin Scorsese: You might want to check between Fay Dunaway's legs.

    • Ghost of Christmas Past: You have to help me. I'm the Ghost of Christmas Past and I took your husband back to 1970 and he bolted on me.
      Francine: You lost my husband in the past?!
      Ghost of Christmas Past: Look, if a mom takes a kid to the mall and loses the kid, do you blame the mom?
      (Francine gives her a look)
      Ghost of Christmas Past: No, no, you don't, no!

    • (at the 99¢ Depot store)
      Stan: One of your items, please.
      Clerk: How about this cassette?
      Stan: Is it 99 cents?
      Clerk: It's $1.07 with tax.
      Stan: You ever think about changing the sign?
      Clerk: It's not really up to me.
      Stan: Well, Merry Christmas.
      Clerk: Happy holidays.
      Stan: I, uh, said Merry Christmas.
      Clerk: Happy holidays.
      Stan: Just say Merry Christmas.
      Clerk: Management doesn't want us saying that.
      Stan: (pulls out his gun, points it at the clerk's mouth) Just say it!
      (Stan gets thrown out of the store)
      Stan: I had a gun.
      (throws his gun out in gift wrap paper)
      Security Guard: Happy Holidays.
      Stan: Grrr!

    • Francine: Stan, did you remember to get a gift for Roger?
      Stan: Roger? He's not a Christian. You think he cares that 2,000 years ago our Lord and Savior was born in a mangler?
      Francine: Uh, I think you mean "manger."
      Stan: No, no, honey, you're thinking of "manager."

    • Stan: Ah, this is more like it. Two teenagers sitting on an old man's lap as a midget snaps a picture. If that doesn't commemorate our Savior's birth, I don't know what does.
      Hayley: This year, Santa smelled like whiskey and the midget smelled like pot.
      Steve: I know. When did they change it up?

    • Stan: Francine, I'm going to completely lose my Christmas cheer if I don't get someplace where they understand this holiday pronto.
      Francine: We can stop by church.
      Stan: I don't need to be bored, Francine. I need to be reminded of what Christmas is all about. To the shopping mall!

    • Francine: Well, isn't that cute. Roger's making a snow angel... a face down snow angel... in a pile of angel vomit.
      Hayley: He's passed out, Mom. He's been binge drinking since Thanksgiving.

    • Stan: There's no way I'm shooting Reagan, so we might as well start learning Russian. I wonder how you say, "Hold the door" in Russian?

    • (Francine is squatting behind a car)
      Francine: (Sighs)
      Stan: Francine!
      Francine: What? I've had to pee since the 70's!

  • NOTES (3)

  • ALLUSIONS (7)

    • The Big Shave

      Martin Scorsese claims Stan saw his 6 minute film about a guy shaving. He was referring to this 1967 film.

    • Boogie Nights

      Roger's disco party has 3 characters from this 1997 film sitting to the right of the phone: Dirk Diggler, Jack Horner and Rollergirl, seen wearing high heels instead of her trademark rollerskates.

    • Romy and Michele's High School Reunion

      The Ghost of Christmas Past's name is Michelle, possibly a reference to Lisa Kudrow's role in this 1997 film.

    • Roger Epstein
      Roger's name when he is a famous music producer is an allusion to Brian Epstein, manager of the Beatles during the early part of their career.

    • Script: Inspiration
      Large parts of the script seem inspired by not only Charles Dickens' A Christmas Carol, but Ashton Kutcher's The Butterfly Effect--i.e. Stan altering a seemingly insignificant event in the past has great ramifications in the future.

    • Back to the Future, Part II
      The 1970's era Roger becoming rich from the cassette brought back from 2006 is similar to the 1955 Biff Tannen becoming rich from information in a 2015 Sports Almanac in this 1989 movie.

    • Headline Reference
      The Langley Falls Post headline refers to an incident about a month before the original airdate of this episode in which Britney Spears was photographed getting out of a limo revealing to the world her lack of underwear.

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