The Simpsons

Season 9 Episode 10

Miracle on Evergreen Terrace

Aired Sunday 8:00 PM Dec 21, 1997 on FOX
out of 10
User Rating
154 votes

By Users

Episode Summary

Miracle on Evergreen Terrace
We open with Homer and Marge doing the last-minute Christmas shopping. Back at home Marge tells the family that she has all the alarm clocks, so no one can wake up early and open the presents. Bart drinks a bunch of water so he can wake up and do just that. He plays with his new fire truck and accidentally burns down and melts their plastic Christmas tree and all of the presents. He buries the evidence in the yard and tells the family that he saw a burglar stealing the presents and tree. They get on the news in one of Kent Brockman's human interest stories. When the town sees them on television, they all come by to give them money. Homer buys a car with the money and wrecks it. The next morning Bart reveals the truth to the family. When Kent Brockman comes by for a follow-up report his crew discovers the torched remains of the presents. When the town sees the news report, they treat the Simpson family as pariahs. The townspeople decide to make it even by picking their house bare and stealing everything they own.moreless

Who was the Episode MVP ?

  • Yes,It's That Bad...

    The Simpsons tends to be a cruel show and most of the time,this works in the show's favor. Look at the Treehouse Of Horror episodes,or Homer's Enemy. I say most of the time because THIS episode exists.

    I'm not saying the show can't do some cruel comedy for a Christmas episode, but this is going too far. Let me jump straight to the chase: Bart accidentally burns the family's Christmas tree and their presents ,lies about it,hides this for a while,and when he finally admits it,the town hates them. What really kills the episode in general is the SUPPOSEDLY sweet ending where the Simpsons are robbed of everything in their house, even their pets .They try to forget about the event and say that they're grateful for themselves... Um... Merry Christmas?

    How can you be grateful for having a son who lied to you,screwed up your life badly by causing everyone in town to hate you and then have everything in your house stolen,including your pets?You just lost thousands of dollars and such... This episode might have been better if the end punished Bart only,not the entire family!What did they do?They could've stolen whatever was from Bart,or embarrassed him,but no,let's rob the entire family,who is already in debt,because WHO CARES ABOUT JUSTICE?BRB!Am I right?!

    There are a few fun jokes here and there, but yeah,this is really bad. In fact,one of the worst Simpsons episodes I've ever seen. At least for me,you do not make a holiday episode this cold and South Park made a more uplifting Christmas episode,and it was about the birth of the Antichrist. How....

  • Bart burns up the family Christmas tree and destroys all the gifts. Instead of telling the truth, he decides to make a bad situation worse.

    I have mixed feelings about this episode. On one hand it does have one of the best sequences of the entire series. Specifically Bart's dream after he drank the twelve glasses of water. I could not stop laughing at that very clever sequence. On the other hand, there are a lot of problems with the episode. First of all, notice when the Christmas tree burned up there was no smoke, no damage to the house despite the fact the tree was flush against the wall and the fact that the tree cooled and hardened in a few seconds which allowed Bart to take it outside and bury it in the snow. Also it was hard for me to sympathize with the townspeople. After all they encouraged the Simpsons to squander the money they donated. I understand that the money was donated under false pretenses, but at the time everybody except Bart was being sincere so it was not like Homer, Marge and Lisa intentionally scammed them. Finally I just could not buy the family letting Bart off the hook so easily. He ruined Christmas, turned the whole town against them and eventually led to their house being looted. Also since in the next episode the Simpsons had a fully furnished house again, I assume the townspeople changed their minds. Of the few Christmas episodes "The Simpsons" has done, this is one to be forgotten. Just watch the dream sequence and turn it off there.moreless
  • A touching Christmas Special

    When Bart wakes up early on Christmas morning, he opens up a present:A fire truck. He plays around with it, but it winds up hitting the electrical cord causing the tree to burn and melt. When the rest of the family wakes up, Bart tells them that a burgular stole the tree and all the presents. His sob story is now on the news, and the whole town donates money to The Simpsons. The next morning, Bart tells the truth to them, and Homer blurts it out on Live TV. The whole town now hates them, and they steal their stuff to get even. In the end, The Simpsons see all that's left is a washcloth. Greatful for what they have, they forget about the stealing and have a nice time.

    This is a touching story with great jokes. Probably the greatest Simpsons Christmas Special.

    Overall Grade:A+/100%moreless
  • this was a good ep

    in this ep of the simpsons its christmas time and bart and lisa cant wait for the toys and stuff .and everyone is excited thing is someone cant wait to the morning so bart is the one and he sneeks down before everyone to open his stuff thing he burns the tree and all the gifts. and says someone brok in and did this. and so the town takes pitty on them and buys them nice stuff and gives them money and then when the truth coems out the town is really angrey when the simpsons spend the money when they did not really deserve it. this was good holiday specialmoreless
  • Miracle on Evergreen Terrace

    Bart wakes up early on Christmas to open presents before everyone else, and he inadvertently stars a fire. Not wanting to get in trouble, he lies and said they were robbed of all the presents, and the tree. Soon, the town takes pity on them and gives them much money. But later, Bart feels so guilty he reveals he was the one who burned down the tree. The Simpsons are in shock, and once others find out, they are mad. So they loot the Simpsons stuff in their home as payback.

    A good episode, really touching in parts, a personal favorite. A+moreless
Julie Kavner

Julie Kavner

Marge Simpson, Patty Bouvier, and Selma Bouvier

Harry Shearer

Harry Shearer

Mr. Burns, Ned Flanders, Principal Skinner, Waylon Smithers, Kent Brockman, and others

Dan Castellaneta

Dan Castellaneta

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

Nancy Cartwright

Nancy Cartwright

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

Yeardley Smith

Yeardley Smith

Lisa Simpson

Hank Azaria

Hank Azaria

Apu Nahasapeemapetilon, Moe Szyslak, Chief Wiggum, Comic Book Guy, Lou, and others

Alex Trebek

Alex Trebek


Guest Star

Pamela Hayden

Pamela Hayden

Milhouse Van Houten, Rod Flanders, Jimbo Jones, and others

Recurring Role

Maggie Roswell

Maggie Roswell

Maude Flanders, Helen Lovejoy, Miss Hoover, and others

Recurring Role

Tress MacNeille

Tress MacNeille

Agnes Skinner, Brandine Del Roy, Dolph and others

Recurring Role

Trivia, Notes, Quotes and Allusions


  • TRIVIA (5)

    • Homer pulled out the washcloth out of nowhere.

    • Items that each person stole from the house.

      Miss Hoover: Boat Painting
      Chalmers: Rug
      Hans Moleman: Stove/Oven
      Wiggum: Stuffed Animals
      Lenny: A flame fire log
      Comic Book Guy: Silverware
      Alex Trebek: Food
      Krusty: Medicine
      Ned Flanders: His own gas grill
      Moe: Family Portrait and Tennis Racket
      Apu: Snowball II and Santa's Little Helper
      Principal Skinner: Goldfish aquarium
      Ms. Krabappel: VCR

    • When Lisa raises her hand and Miss Hoover says, "I'm not teaching you anything until I get my money back", there are two children in front of Lisa, a blond boy and a dark-haired girl. When Lisa turns her desk around a few seconds later, the two children in front of Lisa are a blue-haired boy and a blue-haired girl who is dressed like Sherri/Terri.

    • When Ned gives Homer the top of his tree, Homer says, "Thanks Ted," instead of saying Ned.

    • The eldest Hibbert child (seen in "Bart Sells his Soul") isn't with the Hibberts on Christmas.

  • QUOTES (35)

    • Marge: (to Homer) I know you're used to getting hate mail, but I'm not!

    • Kent: In my long career, I've seen some pretty shabby things. But this putrid fraud out stinks them all.
      Camera Man: Aaaaaaand cut.
      Kent: I just wanna thank you folks so much. This has turned out to be a really great story for me!

    • Kent: Kent Brockman here for a follow-up with Springfield's favorite hard-luck family, the Simpsons. Folks, any words for the Christmas thief if he's watching?
      Homer: Eh, yes… Kent. Uh, hello… jerk. We may never find you, and we should probably all stop looking. But one thing's for sure… you do exist.
      Kent: Strong words, strong bewildering words.

    • Homer: Is this car $15,000?
      Salesman: (rubs off the $12,000 price tag) It is now. And because of your loss, folks, I'll throw in the undercoating for two hund---No, four hundred and ninety bucks!
      Homer: What a deal! I'd be a sucker not to get it!
      Bart: I don't know about this, dad, shouldn't we give the money to charity or some--Oww!
      Salesman: Oh, I'm sorry, I jammed you with my pen.
      Bart: Oww! You're still doing it!
      Salesman: I know.

    • Krusty: Fifteen thousand mazoolians? Holy shlamola! Whaddya gonna do with all that kablingy?

    • Kent: So while you're home today, eating your sweet, sweet holiday turkey, I hope you'll all choke… just a little bit.

    • Kent: So when you realized Christmas was ruined, how did you feel?
      Marge: (annoyed) How'd you think I felt?
      Kent: Absolutely devastated? (turns to camera) "Absolutely devastated," the words of a heartbroken mother.

    • Moe: Sounds like you're having a rough Christmas. You know what I blame this on the breakdown of? Society.
      Homer: (Drunk) Yeah, you're right Moe… you're always Moe.

    • Lisa: Hey, why don't we walk over to Grampa's and cheer up the old folks? That'll make us feel better!
      Homer: (moans) Okay, but they'll have to be pretty damn miserable to make me happy!

    • Bart: Hey, since when is Christmas just about presents? Aren't we forgetting the true meaning of this day… the birth of Santa?

    • Wiggum: Now, um, what did this Christmas thief look like?
      Bart: Well, he had a glass eye, a wooden leg, a big scar on his cheek.
      Wiggum: Anything unusual?

    • Marge: For once we're going to celebrate Christmas as a family!
      (Grandpa taps at the window)
      Grandpa: Hello? Anybody home?
      (Homer sneaks up beside the window, and pulls the shutters down.)

    • Bart: Hocus pocus! Mucus puke-us! My powers of deduction tell me you are getting a hand-made sweater, possibly… yellow!
      Lisa: Mom, make him stop!
      Marge: Bart, put down that yellow sweater!

    • (a noise is heard on the roof)
      Lisa: What was that?
      Bart: Could it be?
      (the kids look out the window. Some reindeer fall down,)
      Bart & Lisa: Aaaaah!!!
      (followed by Homer, who is hanging by his feet by an electric cable, he falls and the kids laugh loudly.)

    • Lisa: This year's tree is just perfect! That aluminum one was so fake!
      Marge: I couldn't agree more! From now on it's plastic all the way!

    • Marge: Hey kids! I made your favorite cookies! Christmas trees for the girls, and bloody spearheads for Bart!

    • Orphan: We gave them our vitamin money.

    • Bart: How swwweet it is!

    • Barney: Hey Homer, look, your house is on TV.
      Homer: (drunk) You take that back Barney.
      Moe: No, he's right, Homer.
      Homer: Stay outta this, old man!

    • Milhouse: Hey look what I got, Bart, a Tickle Me Krusty!
      (He pushes his finger into the Krusty doll.)
      Doll: (Krusty laugh) Hey kid, get your finger outta there!

    • Marge: Looks like the Flanders are having a good Christmas.
      Homer: Oh yeah, we'll show him. C'mon kids, pretend we got new cross country skis!

    • Marge: Huuuh! What happened?
      Homer: Wha...ti...wi...lo...Where's Christmas? Lisa, where's Christmas?

    • Bart: Dear Santa, if you bring me lots of good stuff, I promise not to do anything bad between now, and when I wake up, amen. (hits his elbow on bed side) Ow! I'll kill you!

    • Bart: 12 glasses of water, that'll wake me up nice and early. Then I'll have a big head start on opening presents. Pure genius

    • Bart: (after seeing Homer's Christmas lighting) It's crap-tacular!

    • Homer: Attention shoppers, register nine is now open for your shopping convenience.
      (Customers rush over to the aisle and Homer starts taking the items off them for himself.)
      Homer: Sorry, these are for display only, this has been recalled, ooh, Bart would like this! We're outta these.
      Lady: Out, but i jus--
      Homer: Register nine is now closed.

    • Marge: Hey, they're taking our stuff!
      Homer: What's going on here?
      Moe: Well, we hated being mad at you, Homer, so we decided to make things right.

    • Homer: Oh no, look at the line!
      Moe: (Noticing them) Oh there they are.
      Wiggum: Oh, look at the swindlers.
      (People start leaving.)
      Skinner: It's the Simpsons
      Moe: Aw, them Stinkin…
      Ned: Well, there goes Christmas dinner.
      Edna: Hah!
      (The restaurant's empty)
      Homer: (impressed) Ah, head of the line. A family could get used to being shunned. Huh? Huh?
      (Behind the counter, bitter teenagers spit in shakes and hamburgers.)
      Teen: (noticing them) Hey look, Shawn. It's that family everybody hates.
      Shawn: What-ever.
      (They continue spitting)

    • Homer: We've got to give this greedy town its money back!
      Lisa: But we don't have $15,000.
      Marge: Unless...
      (Cut to Marge, contestants, and Trebek on Jeopardy! set. We see the players' scores. $10,000 for the first, $8,500 for the second, and -$5,200 for Marge.)
      (As the Simpsons walk off the stage, they are confronted by Trebek)
      Trebek: Aren't we forgetting something, Marge? You were down $5,200.
      Marge: But Mr. Trebek-
      Trebek: I asked you before the game if you knew the rules and you said you did. Judges?
      (Two thugs carrying clubs step out from shadows)
      Lisa: Run, mom!
      (The Simpsons run off the set)
      Thug #1: Hmm, she's not getting the home game.

    • Sideshow Mel: You only get to live once.
      Apu: Hmph, speak for yourself.

    • (After hearing about the "robbery", Homer starts sobbing.)
      Homer: Can (Sniffle) we (Sniffle) skip (Sniffle) church?

    • Bart: There was no burglar. I accidentally burned up the tree. And the presents. I'm really sorry.
      Lisa: Why you little! (Runs over and starts strangling Bart)
      Homer: Lisa, no! Your hands are too weak! (He strangles Bart)

    • Marge: (reading) "You'll all get yours in hell, you lying, thieving," er... "blanking blankers. Sincerely, Moe."
      Homer: Oh, great. Now we have to send him a card.

    • Lisa: Miss Hoover! Miss Hoover!
      Miss Hoover: Forget it, Lisa. I'm not going to teach you anything until I get my money back. Now turn your desk around and stop learning.
      (Lisa turns her desk to the side)
      Miss Hoover: All the way!
      (Lisa does so)
      Ralph Wiggum: Hi, liar!

    • Barney: Jesus must be spinning in his grave.

  • NOTES (2)


    • The stock recording of Jingle Bells heard at the Flanders' house as they are enjoying Christmas day (consisting of a female chorus "La-la-la"-ing the melody) was also heavily featured on the Rocko's Modern Life episode Rocko's Modern Christmas.

    • The scene in which all of the townspeople bring money to the family and Lisa plays the piano is a parody of the final scene of the holiday film It's a Wonderful Life.

    • At the Springfield Retirement Castle, as "Jingle Bell Rock" plays, all the old people there are dancing. Several of the people there imitate dance moves similar to those in the 1965 cartoon A Charlie Brown Christmas.

    • Title: Miracle on Evergreen Terrace.

      The title was taken from the 1940s film Miracle on 34th Street. This classic holiday movie was remade in 1994.

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