Season 4 Episode 9

Mr. Monk and the Secret Santa

Aired Friday 9:00 PM Dec 02, 2005 on USA
out of 10
User Rating
485 votes

By Users

Episode Summary

When an officer dies after drinking poisoned wine sent to Captain Stottlemeyer as a Christmas gift, the captain suspects Frank Prager, who tried to shoot him outside a bar several months earlier. Searching the crime scene for clues, Monk notes that the bullet holes seem to form a pattern, but neither he nor Stottlemeyer can figure out the message they're intended to convey. To solve the case, Monk is forced to go undercover... as Santa Claus.moreless

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  • Festive Phobias

    In this special Christmas episode; a detective is killed from drinking spiked port that was meant for the Captain. It's up to Monk and Natalie to feel out the Captain's enemies and at the same time, get through the misery of the holidays. The key problem with this episode is that they try and extract too much sympathy from the viewers and it could be interpreted as christmas messages, i see it as blatant emotional blackmail. Admittenly; the clue involving the greeting card was clever but the killer is basically shown in flashing lights leaving any form of mystery absent. We're meant to believe that a character who's in every scene but has never been in any previous episode has nothing to do with the murder. Stottlemeyer and Disher are given enough screentime but are stuck with the acts of contrasting stern with idiotic and it is getting tiresome. The "moments" they do have involving Frank and Terry just went nowhere. Laughs in this episode are few and far between with the scene that has Monk as a department store Santa providing the heartiest chuckles leaving pretty depserate alternatives. The final scene of Monk outside in the snow was genuinely heart - warming and whatever potato flakes or flour or bits of paper were used as the snow managed to pass off as the real thing well. Monk is better off with episodes based during working days as this weepy Christmas episode is not the best bauble on the show's Christmas Tree.moreless
  • No two snowflakes are the same... and yet somehow, snow's still beautiful! ~ Oh yeah, the episode- quite good, I would have to say. Very classic "Monk", with some sweet sentimental moments and a holiday twist!moreless

    No two snowflakes are the same... and yet somehow, snow's still beautiful!


    Oh yeah, the episode- quite good, I would have to say. Very classic "Monk", with some sweet sentimental moments and a holiday twist!


    I definitely enjoyed the episode- It had everything anyone could ask for in an episode of "Monk"! It had a little of every character, some of Monk's obsessive-compulsive (and cleanliness) disorder, a brief mention of Trudy, and a nice mystery that was relatively plausible and fun altogether. Who wouldn't like the episode?moreless
  • An early present for the holidays: a Monk Christmas special!

    Mr. Monk and the Secret Santa is the perfect holiday episode. It is not too corny, but also has the right amount of holiday cheer. There was quite a lot of character development here also, particularly with Captain Stottlemeyer. However, the episode isn't too heavy on drama, and I found it to be one of the funniest of the season. I especially enjoyed the hilarious duet with Stottlemeyer and Randy, and the Monk as Santa scene. Those were both gems.

    That being said, the episode was not perfect. The Captain's encounter with the nun seemed a little forced, as if the writers had to put something religious in there. Also, the mystery was pretty weak. But these are just minor flaws in a great episode. So grab a cup of hot chocolate and enjoy this delightful Christmas special.moreless
  • Good theme, a little too easy to solve

    It was nice to have a Christmas episode. I thought it showed the characters in a new light - it was nice to see Monk so jolly for a change. However, I thought the mystery was too easy. I solved it very early in the episode. Usually, you can figure out parts of the murder by the time Monk explains it...but you'll figure out everything in the first 20 minutes or so. I considered it my Christmas gift to be as smart as Monk for a change!moreless
  • Nothing like a little OCD for the holidays!

    With this holiday episode I found it a treat to watch. It gathered the spirit of the holiday and also stuck with the foundation of the show! A lot of times holiday episodes will steer away from the overall story line, I thought this episode was well written and stayed on target.

    I am amazed with every episode of the great acting involved. The writing is fresh and original, and never fails to entertain.

    Mr. Monk as Santa was classic, and they threw in the stocking scene but did not dwell on it! Great job all…and Happy Holidays!

Chet Grissom

Chet Grissom

Detective Terry Chasen

Guest Star

Clint Jung

Clint Jung


Guest Star

Dylan White

Dylan White

Detective Robbins

Guest Star

Emmy Clarke

Emmy Clarke

Julie Teeger

Recurring Role

Trivia, Notes, Quotes and Allusions


  • TRIVIA (3)

    • In "Mr. Monk Goes to the Office," Adrian loses his standing in the office gang because he wouldn't put on someone else's bowling shoes even though it meant losing the game. So, it is highly unlikely that he would put on a Santa suit, mustache and beard that had been worn by many past Santa Clauses.

    • When Frank is being questioned, the scene inside the interrogation room alternates from being mirrored to being normal. Monk and Stottlemeyer alternate from being on Frank's right in normal scenes and to his left in the mirrored scenes. The visitation rules on the wall confirm the mirroring.

    • The poisoned detective lands on his back with his head turned to his left side, but when the camera changes, his head is turned to his right.

  • QUOTES (25)

    • Disher: I used to have a rock band back in high school. The Randy Disher Project.
      Stottlemeyer: That's a good name. How'd you come up with that?
      Disher: Well, my name's Randy... Disher, and then... Project.

    • Stottlemeyer: Terry, hey! That's not straight. The left side is too low.
      Terry: It's good enough.
      Stottlemeyer: No, it's not. Adrian Monk is coming.
      Terry: Ah, hell. Okay.

    • Monk: That's the Cadillac of first-aid kits.

    • Sister Heather: You have strong feelings about this.
      Stottlemeyer: You're godda--yes.

    • Alice Westergren: How late do these things usually go?
      Stottlemeyer: Last year, Karen and I left around 2:30 a.m. And Terry--Detective Chasen--was still standing on a table in his boxer shorts, singing "Help Me, Rhonda." In Spanish.
      Detective Chasen: That's a lie. I don't speak Spanish. (Grins.)
      Stottlemeyer: Ah. Yes, you do.

    • Stottlemeyer: (reading the Christmas card accompanying a wine bottle) "Captain Leland Stottlemeyer. Thank you for your business. Eastwood Auto Supply." (to Alice) You know what this is? It's a bribe. Someone is trying to influence public policy. And I think it might work.

    • Julie: (looking at a snow globe) Is it beautiful?
      Monk: Is what beautiful?
      Julie: Snow.
      Monk: You've never seen snow?
      (Julie shakes her head)
      Monk: Oh, it's very beautiful. No two flakes are the same. But somehow, it's still beautiful.

    • Julie: Who's that for?
      Monk: Oh, this is from Trudy. It's for me.
      Natalie: From Trudy?
      Monk: Yeah. After she died, I found it. Every Christmas, I put it under the tree.
      Julie: You've never opened it?
      Monk: Nope.

    • Monk: (to Natalie) It's going to be a great party. I'm not completely dreading it.

    • Monk: I don't go out much during the holidays. It's too depressing. Because I'm alone. I don't have to tell you. I mean, you're not married, right: You don't have anyone.
      Alice: That's true.
      Monk: It's tough. Especially for people our age.

    • Monk: It's a--it's an air purifier for your house.
      Stottlemeyer: Are you saying my house smells?
      Monk: Not your house. But houses--like yours--sometimes get a, um, odor that's, uh, sour. Very unpleasant stench. Not your house.

    • Stottlemeyer: Do you know, um, what eBay is?
      Monk: No.
      Stottlemeyer: Good.

    • Monk: Ah. Oh. It's a funny card.
      Alice: Yes, it is.
      Monk: You can tell because--exclamation points.

    • Stottlemeyer: What are you doing?
      Disher: I'm picking my team. I'll take, uh, I'll take Monk.
      Stottlemeyer: (grabbing Monk's suit jacket) No, I'll take Monk.

    • Stottlemeyer: Monk, I can't go near the place. The wife filed a complaint against me. Said I'd been harassing her.
      Monk: Why would she say that?
      Stottlemeyer: Probably because I'd been harassing her.

    • Monk: Who are all these people? These folks have forgotten the true meaning of Christmas.
      Natalie: Yeah? Which is what?
      Monk: Which is leaving me alone.
      Natalie: Well, I love everything about it. The crowds, the shopping, the decorations...
      Monk: The fact that it's horrible doesn't bother you?

    • Natalie: Oh, my gosh. I can't believe he's still here.
      Monk: Who's here?
      Natalie: Mr. Preston. I used to work here.
      Monk: Wait a minute. How many jobs have you had?

    • Natalie: Mr. Preston liked me... a lot. A little too much.
      Monk: I've never had that problem.

    • Monk: (as Santa) What do you want for Christmas?
      Little Boy: A rock polishing kit.
      Monk: You're Santa's favorite.

    • Natalie: (as Santa's helper, abouit Monk) We have some new rules here in Santa's workshop. Before anybody can sit on Santa's lap, you have to use these magic wipes.

    • Disher: Wait. Wait. there's a nun in there. She won't leave.
      Stottlemeyer: A nun?
      Disher: She's sort of nice. She has--a nunny quality.

    • Sister Heather: My father once taught me an important lesson. There's no revenge so complete as forgiveness.
      Stottlemeyer: Your father.
      Sister Heather: He's your father, too.

    • Stottlemeyer: How was I supposed to know that was the letter M? This guy's the best detective in the Free World. He didn't know it was an M. (pause) You couldn't use a spray can like everybody else?

    • Julie: A first-aid kit?
      Monk: That is a hot gift this year. There's the Cadillac of first-aid kits. We're talking about one hundred feet of gauze, five kinds of ointment, and a tourniquet...

    • Monk: (looking at a goldfish he's received as a present) It's alive. It's a living thing. Is it going to die?

  • NOTES (3)

    • This was a bonus Christmas episode.

    • The guitar that Captain Stottlemeyer plays in his duet with Disher singing "Oh, Holy Night" belongs to the captain's wife, Karen. Disher notes that he has a Gibson guitar at home, a souvenir from his high school band, the Randy Disher Project, which is first mentioned in this special episode.

    • This special episode is listed as part of the season five sequence because the site is not set up to give it a number of its own.


    • Sister Heather: My father taught me an important lesson. There is no revenge so complete as forgiveness.
      This quote is actually from Josh Billings, an American humorist who lived from 1818-1885.

    • Stottlemeyer: And Terry--Detective Chasen--was still standing on a table in his boxer shorts, singing "Help Me, Rhonda." In Spanish.
      In "Help Me, Rhonda," a Beach Boys hit from 1965, songwriter Brian Wilson tells "Rhonda" that the girl he intended to marrry "let another guy come between us/And it shattered our plans." Detective Chasen, who reputedly sang the song at the previous year's Christmas party, is about to have his own plans irretrievably shattered.