The Simpsons

Season 1 Episode 1

Simpsons Roasting on an Open Fire

Aired Sunday 8:00 PM Dec 17, 1989 on FOX

Episode Fan Reviews (129)

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out of 10
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  • First 30-minute episode of the Simpsons. Homer has trouble having a good Christmas, so he becomes a mall Santa to raise money. He only gets $13 dollars, so he gambles it on a dog race. He doesn't win, but he gets to keep the losing dog.

    Overall, the Simpsons had a very good primetime startoff with this episode. This episode is a classic episode with its plotline and events, but it just isn't very funny. A few chuckles include Bart lying about his age and Homer stealing a Christmas tree. The plotline is excellent though, and the events go well together. The most classic moment, however, is when Santa's Little Helper is properly introduced. I like how he is dissed by his malevolent owner, yet he is heartwarmingly accepted by the Simpsons. All in all, this episode is one of feelgood elements, and that is what makes it a memory, though it is only average when compared to other episodes.
  • Not a bad pilot. Humble though considering the pop culture phenomenon this show would go on to become.

    When watching this pilot episode, you have to take it with a grain of salt. Ignore the spotty animation and the fact that Homer's voice is not itself. The characters aren't yet what they would become by the end of the season either. The pacing is slow and as such, the entire production seems choppy when compared to modern episodes.

    But this episode was important obviously. And if you are a fan of the Simpsons, you should watch it.

    It's a sweet episode in how it ends with Santa's Little Helper coming to live with the family. Despite the fact that this is a cartoon, I think the show's writers succeeded here because by the end we really care about the characters. To do that in a cartoon is pretty impressive. We have the solid work of Jim Brooks and Matt Groening to thank for that.

    In my opinion, that's what seperated this series from the pack early on. It made us laugh and we came to actually care about these characters here too.

    But the jokes are slow coming and there are hosts of other problems as described above, so I can only give it a "6."
  • c

    Este episodio es genial trata de como al comienzo Marge le pregunta a los niños que van a querer para navidad Bart quiere un tatuaje pero merge no lo deja entonces el decide hacer uno que diga madre(mother) pero solo se lee moth polilla en ingles y marge se pone brava y lo manda a quitar el tatuaje con loa ahorros de los simpsons para navidad entonces Homero decide trabajar como papa noel y todo iba bien hasta que Bart le quita la barba y lo delata para recuperar dinero Homero y Bart deciden ir a apostar pero apuestan por el peor perro, al prder el dueño del perro lo pone de patitas en la calle y los simpsons lo adoptan
  • This is the (so-called) series peremiere

    After the first time I ever saw this is episode,i thought it would be a classic. In my mind,here is what i thought made this episode a classic.
    1. Bart singing his version of jingle bells which has been a tradition to many kids around the holidays
    2.Homer could not find any christmas money,but still finding a way out that the joy of spending time with family is the meaning in this episode anyway.
    3.I thought when bart ripped off santa's or should i say homer's beard off.
    So what do i give this episode in my mind.. i give it an 8.2.
    See ya next time!
  • coll ep for the start

    this ep was alright for the first ep it was cool it was a good christmas ep but there have been better eps and there have been other bad eps aswell but i do like it but it is funny and thats the main thing and bart getting that tat god and marges has to get it removed
  • Christmas is almost ruined when Bart Simpson gets a tattoo and the family have to spend all the christmas money to get it off. Meanwhile at the plant, Homer doesn't get his christmas bonus and doesn't tell Marge. He trys everything to get money but they g

    I thought this episode was a classic because it is the first episode that aired. I liked how Bart gets a tattoo and Santa's Little Helper joins the family. I think it could of been better but it was only Season 1. They didn't know what they were doing. Yeh thats about it.
  • A great start for a great show.

    This was a fine pilot episode for The Simpsons. It gets into the characters for the first time, telling us what each one is like.

    This pilot episode was also a Christmas special. It shows Homer trying to put up the Christmas lights while Flanders shows him up, Bart and Lisa\'s Christmas list where all Bart wants is a tattoo and Lisa wants a pony, and it shows the famous scene where Santa's Little Helper leaps into the arms of Homer, making him a Simpson.

    What a great start it was for The Simpsons. This was just one of the many classic episodes.
  • Homer dosen't get his holiday bonus and must moonlight as a department mall santa. He only makes $13 and loses it at the track. This is where the Simpson's get Santa's Little Helper.

    This is a great episode that combines Christmas and the beginning of the Simpsons all at once. Love how it is shown the lengths that Homer goes for his family. A good beginning to a great series that will live on forever. From this episode we can see the start of the Simpsons journey.
  • A reason as to why the Simpsons are so popular.

    This first episode in the Simpsons reign is a classic, a perfect introduction to the yellow bellied dysfunctional family we all know and have grown to love. It introduces each member of the family showing just a few simple actions which tipify the character for the rest of the series, Homer's dumbness, Bart's cheeky and lying abilities which more than often land him into trouble and Marges sensibility and blue hair in which she stores the families savings. Another two characters are also introduced... marge's 'heshe' twin sisters whose hatred for Homer is shown. This episode obviously doesn't match up to the later episodes, however, how would it? The first episode I watched was a later one when the voices sounded so different, when I saw the earlier episodes I didn't know what had happened! However, it is definately a great introduction to the series!
  • Well this is not really a Pilot episode, although it was the first 30 minute episode of the simpsons that aired.

    This was the first aired episode of The Simpsons. Aired on December 17, 1989. It featured the introduction of the Simpsons, Ned and Todd Flanders, Patty and Selma, Millhouse, Barney. Some others were also introduced, Grandpa, Skinner, Smithers, and Burns were also in the episode. The episode does have its animation glitches, in coloring (Barney's yellow hair for example), and some continuity issues, but hey, the series was just starting, and it is just a cartoon (and a great one at that). The pacing of this episode is a little slower compared to the later episodes, but it has some good moments.
  • This is the first episode of one of the best shows ever

    In this episode Homer is low on money at christmas time and then he trys getting a job as a mall santa and so Bart (not know it was Homer) pulled off his beard and then tell Bart about hin being low on money. To get a christmas tree he chops down one from a forest.
  • Despite not actually being the first episode in the production run, The Simpsons' "pilot" episode is a fairly solid insight into the wacky adventures of Our Favorite Family.

    It's often debated whether this or "Some Enchanted Evening" is The Simpsons' TRUE pilot episode, seeing as how SEE was first in production, but SRoaOF was actually the first post-Ullman episode era. Nonethless, "Simpsons Roasting on an Open Fire" is a solid premiere. It follows the simple story of not being able to afford anything for the holidays, forcing Homer to take up a job posing as a mall Santa. Bart is the main source of comedy throughout this episode, as with the majority of the show's first season. The ending sequence with the introduction of Santa's Little Helper is far and away the most memorable aspect of the episode. Despite being only slightly above average for the series as a whole, it's still one of Season 1's best episodes.
  • the episode where they welcome santa's little helper

    In this episode they welcome a new member of the family, Santa's Little Helper. the simpsons start out as Homer not getting his bonus and having to work part time at a mall as an santa clause. there he is discovered by his son bart. well u kno the rest. for me this was a good show since they introduced santa's little helper and the result of being a family. the began the age of the simpsons
  • This is the pilot episode of the simpsons and it is great.

    The simpsons roasting on a open campfire is a good pilot episode. I liked it. This episode is a christmas special. It is funny like all episodes are. Bart gets a tatto and they have to remove it and it waste all their money and they can't get anything for anybody. They get a dog called santa's little helper. I liked this episode and alot of people should have seen this one since it is on the season 1 dvd. If you don't have it and haven't seen this episode you should see it.
  • Not the pilot, but still the first aired! {Spoiler warning}

    Christmas is nearly ruined when Marge has to pay all her shopping money on removing a tatoo that Bart recently got. To make it even worse, old man Burns isn't giving the employees at the power plant a Christmas bonus; Homer doesn't tell Marge about that. With almost no money for Christmas shopping, Homer secretly gets a job as a santa at the mall. When Bart sits on his lap and finds out, Homer is devastated.

    Then on Christmas Eve, when he and Barney receive their checks, he is persuaded to go to the Springfield Downs to watch the dog races. When Homer bets on a losing dog, Santa's Little Helper, he runs out of money. He and Bart see the dog being kicked onto the streets, Bart asks if they can keep him. Homer refuses, but then changes his mind when SLH licks him. Now the Simpsons have a new dog.

    For it only being in the first season, it wasn't really that funny or anything. Although, I did like Bart's vision of Marge loving his tatoo that he got. That cracked me up.

    It wasn't the best Christmas episode, but it started a whole bunch of them. It's like Treehouse of Horror I; it wasn't the best, but it shaped the mold. There are going to be a lot of good holiday episodes after this.

    Grade: B
  • The SImpsons at their start

    In 1989, a new cartoon primetime show came and took the US and Canada by storm. The SImpsons lept off Tracy Ullman straight to a 8pm time slot on FOX. The first episode shown was dealing with the Simpsons' losing their first cat, Snowball I, Homer not getting a Christmas bonus thanks to Mr. Burns, Bart's attempt to wow his mom with a tattoo gone astray, Marge losing the Christmas money because of Bart, and Homer having to work as a store Santa to fit the bills, whatever $13.50 can buy for a fmaily of five. A new pet comes into Homer's life and things look good but not Patty and Selma.
  • a great introduction to the simpsons characters

    this episode shows just how much the simpsons have changed and also how little they've changed. this episode immediately introduces bart as a troublemaker, changing the lyrics to jingle bells, getting a tatoo and pulling off "santa's" beard. it also introduces homer as being gullible enough to listen to barney who is introduced as a drunk. however the simpsons has evolved for instance, homer's voice, barney's hair and the animation has improved since this episode. i think this is the best way to introduce all of the simpsons characters as it shows that all of them will occasionally care about something when santa's little helper or number eight as homer was calling their new pet was brought into the household. this episode shows that this series would be more of a cartoon. and it still is
  • When i first saw this Simpons episode a year or so back, i couldn't believe that it was actually the first Simpsons episode.

    When i first saw this film i found it hard to believe that this episode, was the episode that would start the Simpsons series. I knew that it seemed to be one of the older Simpson shows, but not this old.

    The plot of this show is excellent, just like almost every other Simpsons episode. All the characters that were intoduced into this film are still in the Simpon cartoon series today.

    In this Simpsons episode, Homer and Marge have trouble getting the Christmas they had planned because of Marge spening her money on getting rid of Bart's tatoo, and Homer's work bonus not going through. Homer then decides to get a second job as Santa, but the pay was not as much as he had planned. Homer then goes to the dog track to bet some money and even though he didn't win any money, he still got a present which the whole family would love, a dog, Santa's Little Helper, who is still in the cartoon series today.
  • The first episode of the Simpsons

    really was a bit of a let down. it was a reasonably written episode it just lacked excitement. the whole thing just didnt live up to wat i thought it could. i dont think tat any family would spend their entire christmas fund to remove a tattoo. it was not like it was a bad tattoo, it was for his mum. it was really unrealistic
  • The first christmas episode!

    THis episode is great i only saw it once but it was great. Bart usually ruins christmas Here are some examples: Getting the tattoo,burning down the christmas tree, and shoplifting. Some examples he didnt do are: Funzo's,homer the cheapskate,and kids taking over the school. This is also the first episode!
  • The first ever episode and a great one at that.

    It was all down to this episode that got The Simpsons train up and running.The downfall of many new programmes is that they have a poor few episodes and therefore aren't given the chance to get into their stride. But The Simpsons was different as instead of a mediocre start, it got off to a flier and was on its way to brilliance. A great script and storyline for this episode. Rather than just being an introduction to The Simpsons it got straight to the talking with Homer saving Christmas by bringing home Santa's Little Helper. Although there are better episodes than this ,Those episodes wouldn't have happened if it were not for this and its immediate followers. Thats what makes this a great episode.

    8.9 out of 10.
  • A perfect start to the Simpson's franchise

    Although the Simpson’s were first aired on the Tracy Ulman show, we remember this being the first ever episode of the Simpson’s on prime time. Simpson’s roasting on an open fire was a perfect start to the Simpson’s franchise because the episode has many laughs but also shows sadness since Homer receives no Christmas bonus this year and Marge has to spend all the money in the jar getting Bart’s tattoo removed. Just when all hope is lost the dog that they bet on (Santa’s little helper) runs and jumps on Homer. The line is “But he’s a loser, he’s pathetic, he’s a Simpson”.
  • The Simpsons debut

    The Simpsons first episode. It is a good induction to what the series is about to become in the future. Bart the boy who is always ready for doing naughty things (singing different "Jingle Bells" at the choir, ripping out Santa's (Homer disguised) beard at the mall), Lisa who will always want a pony, Marge the faithful wife, and Maggie the baby. And we also met Moe the bartender and its clients, Patty and Selma, to name a few. And we have a sweet ending of the episode
  • i like this episode

    i like this episode because this is the first episode that actually shows homer simpson actually "caring" for his family. i thought this was odd cos in later episodes he tends to be "incompetant" which is one of those mysterious that i dont understand. this episode is both funny and kinda depressing but mainly good.
  • The Simpsons Christmas Special: The Simpsons Roasting On An Open Fire

    This is the great episode of The Simpsons. Its the first ever episode and it was enjoyable. Not my favourite Christmas episode but really good anyway. It shows that they can have a good Christmas by getting a dog named Santa's Little helper from the dog racing track for free.
  • A good start

    How can I forget the first episode that made the Simpsons what it is today? It told us about the Simpsons and their origins, and also introduced Santa's Little Helper in the family. The animation wasn't at it's finest, and Homer wasn't very funny like he is in season 2 on, but still, this is a classic episode definately worth watching!
  • Not bad

    I thought this was pretty good for a Simpsons ep. It showed how SLH came into the family, and how desperate their times can be. I also though it was funny the way Homer couldn't remember the names of the reindeer. That was hilarious! It was a very funny ep, and I really enjoyed it.
  • Where it all began!

    This is the fist episode, first christmas episode and the story of how the simpsons got their dog - Santas Litte Helper.

    Obviously the visual quality characters voices have come a long way since this episode so I instead of focussing on that its the storyline that really matters.

    After Bart gets a tattoo that has to be removed Christmas is almost ruined because Homer isn't getting paid enough to by presents for his family.

    After a last ditch effort to get money fails, Homer gets Santa's Little Helper (the dog who he bet on but lost) after he got kicked out of the race tracks.

    Early on homer came across as a pretty responsible parent! I actually laugh at how different he was back then!

    The final rendition of Rudolph the Red Nose Reindeer is a great way to end this classic start to the show!
  • Ok!!!

    I think as it was the first episode it was good and a briliant start to the series of The Simpsons. Also I think it was a good Idea to bring the dog (Santa's Little Helper)into The Simpsons as it was a nice first episodes and give The Simpsons a good name.

  • Beginining of an epic

    Great episode. The begining of The Simpsons and started Fox's most sucesful show and, the longest running Sitcom in TV history. Also showed how Santas Little Helper was gotten [this was dne later than some of the season 1 eps]. The voices were a little off and the animation was weird but the show was just starting so it dosent matter.
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