The Simpsons, the animated television sitcom that has brought us 22 seasons and is pretty much ready for a 23rd, began as a real TV show in this episode. Before this, it was just one minute breaks in the Tracey Ullman Show. This is a christmas special: when Marge takes Bart and Lisa to go christmas shopping, Bart secretly gets a tattoo, and Marge must pay the christmas savings to get it removed. Meanwhile, Mr. Burns neglects to give Homer his christmas bonus; the family is in for a rough christmas. Homer tries to get some money working as a shopping mall santa, but in the end only gets payed 13 dollars. He goes with Barney to the dog track, and bets the money on a dog named Santa's Little Helper. The dog loses, and Homer and Bart are ready to go home and admit to the rest of the family that christmas is ruined, when Santa's Little Helper jumps into Homer's arms. They keep the dog and christmas is saved.
Obviously a classic, this is perhaps not the most hilarious Simpsons episode, but I love seeing characters like Patty, Selma, Barney, Moe, Mr. Burns, and Smithers before they were really established.