Christmas isn't complete without some classic Simpsons Christmas episodes. Here are all the holiday specials for the show, ranked.
Every year as Christmas approaches, that means it's time to start building a list of Christmas-themed movies and TV specials to get fans ready for the festive season. Christmas isn't complete without some classic Simpsons Christmas episodes.
While The Simpsons may be best known for its Halloween feature, there are also plenty of Christmas treats this time of year. Of course, like many episodes of the show, some are funnier than others. But fans should have no trouble finding the right episodes to celebrate the holidays.
Updated by Colin McCormick on 24 December 2022: The Simpsons remains one of the most beloved shows of all time, and its groundbreaking longevity means that generations of fans will return this holiday season to watch their favorite Christmas show Episodes. With over 30 seasons of episodes and showing no signs of slowing down, there are always more episodes being added to the list of The Simpsons' best Christmas episodes. While some are more memorable than others, it's up to fans to decide which ones are worth watching for some Christmas laughs.
Honorable Mention: Simpson Xmas (The Tracey Ullman Show)
because it is not part of the actual series It's not really a complete Simpsons Christmas episode, but it shouldn't be overlooked for seeing The Simpsons Christmas for the first time. Short sketches from The Tracey Ullman Show gave fans a look at the earliest iterations of these characters while also establishing their dynamics.
The short is a retelling of "The Night Before Christmas" in the style of The Simpsons. Barthes narrates the poem, detailing the shenanigans he pulls to gain early access to the gift.
Gone Boy (Season 29, Episode 9)
Despite opening with a festive and amusing Christmas sequence, "The Boy Who Gone" isn't even a Christmas episode. As the holidays approach, Bart finds himself missing after being trapped in an underground bunker. This leads to Sideshow Bob breaking out of prison to find his nemesis.
Even with the return of a fan-favorite character like Sideshow Bob, this Christmas episode of The Simpsons isn't much fun. Not only that, but it doesn't get any originality in the holidays, and its connection to Christmas seems pointless.
Bobby, It's Cold Outside (Season 31, Episode 10)
As one of the most likable villains on The Simpsons, it was nice to see Sideshow Bob become a regular on the recent Christmas episode of The Simpsons. Unfortunately, his other holiday appearances were not Much more enjoyable than his first time. This time, Bob escapes only to get a job as a mall Santa. When he is accused of stealing Christmas presents, he sets out to find the real thief.
It's a very messy and confused story, with obvious jokes awkwardly set up as underwhelming punchlines. This is another waste of a great character.
The Nightmare After Krustmas (Season 28, Episode 10)
Many fans may have forgotten that Krusty, the grumpiest clown in Springfield, actually has a daughter named Sophie. She returned to the show when she visited her father on vacation, only to shock Krusty to discover that she had been raised as a Christian, not a Jew.
If the show wants to go bolder and more creative with its storytelling, this could be a good opportunity to get a sense of the humor behind the religious aspects of the festival. Instead, the result is a bland and predictable product.
The Fight Before Christmas (Season 22, Episode 8)
"The Flight Before Christmas" draws on the plot of "Treehouse of Horror" to tell three separate Christmas stories. After the family starts to lose some of the Christmas spirit, they all have dreams to help them remember why Christmas is so special.
The short story is cute enough, but like the Halloween episodes in recent years, it feels rushed. The show seems more interested in referencing pop culture, including random parodies of Inglourious Basterds, and then telling a nice Christmas story.
I Won't Be Home for Christmas (Season 26, Episode 9)
In the Christmas episode of The Simpsons, Homer tries to please Maggie by getting home early on Christmas Eve, but instead stops at Moe's after a car accident.
As Homer is about to leave, Mo confides in him how frustrated he is, so Homer stays to comfort his friends instead of going home to be with his family. Marge and Homer had a fight, so he left and wandered aimlessly around Springfield, as Marge became frustrated by his leaving and both were unhappy with his choice to leave.
White Christmas Blues (Season 25, Episode 8)
This Christmas episode of The Simpsons attempts to comment on modern issues as global warming prevents snow anywhere in the United States during the holiday season. Snow eventually fell in Springfield, turning the town into a tourist hotspot, and the Simpsons decided to open their home to tourists willing to pay.
This episode doesn't offer anything that hasn't been seen in countless other episodes The Simpsons open their home to strangers. It also continues a common problem with recent episodes in that it's filled with too many half-baked ideas instead of a proper story.
Kill Gil, Volumes I & II (Season 18, Episode 9)
Another guest invited to spend Christmas with the Simpsons was Gil Gunderson, Springfield's greatest burden. After losing her job, Maggie takes pity on Jill and brings him along at their holiday celebration. But it doesn't take long for Jill to be overly welcoming.
Jill is an underrated Simpsons character who can have a lot of fun in small doses. Unfortunately, in the Christmas episode of The Simpsons, Jill annoyed not only the Simpsons but also the audience by sticking around.
A Springfield Summer Christmas for Christmas (Season 32, Episode 10)
The Hallmark Christmas Movie was a popular holiday gift for many viewers. However, they are also easy targets for imitation. The most recent Christmas episode of The Simpsons took a fun meta-approach to poking fun at the genre.
This episode focuses on the producers of one of the films being forced to travel to Springfield to film the next film. There, her life becomes her own iconic film when she falls in love with Principal Skinner. It's a fun gimmick for fans In these movies, even the Simpsons take a back seat in the story.
Manger Things (Season 32, Episode 16)
"Manger Things" may not air after Christmas, but it is still a holiday episode and one of the series' flashback episodes. As the family decorates their Christmas tree, Maggie tells the story of how Homer is sent on a quest for redemption after embarrassing her at the office Christmas party.
The story in this episode seems to be a bit disjointed, reaching a climax very quickly. However, it's been fun looking back at another drama-filled Christmas with the family that fans haven't seen before.
The Way Of The Dog (Season 31, Episode 22)
"The Way of the Dog" is another episode that may not be released on Christmas Day but still delivers on the Christmas spirit. It also contains one of the most emotional episodes of the franchise's signature episode, dealing with Santa's little helpers and his traumatic past.
While it may miss some of the real Christmas fun in the story, this episode deserves credit for its solid storytelling and focus on a character that doesn't often get the spotlight. As a bonus, it also features a link to the first episode of The Simpsons Let the fans burst into tears.
'Tis the 30th Season (Season 30, Episode 10)
Marge Simpson puts up with a lot about her wild family, which seems especially true in their holiday adventures. This Christmas episode of The Simpsons highlights Maggie's determination to make everything perfect for her family, and all the thanks she gets for it.
Disappointed after not being able to prepare the perfect Christmas present for the family, Homer and the kids try to cheer her up by doing something special. That combination of heart and humor has resulted in some of the rarer great episodes of recent seasons.
Simpsons Christmas Stories (Season 17, Episode 9)
"A Simpsons Christmas Story" is another Christmas-themed anthology story, but this one offers a lot of heart, some heartfelt laughter, and plenty of Christmas cheer. These stories include retellings of the birth of Jesus, Grandpa Simpson's World War II Christmas story, and The Simpsons' take on the Nutcracker.
While this Christmas episode of The Simpsons never reached the show's peak in its best year, it was still a bit of holiday fun. Some of the jokes were hilarious, and while the second story was a bit shaky, the ending was creative and touching musicals.
She Of Little Faith (Season 13, Episode 6)
While the show primarily focuses on delivering the laughs, The Simpsons occasionally touches on more controversial topics, such as religion. In "She's a Little Faithful", Lisa gets disappointed in the church in Springfield and becomes a Buddhist, so Maggie tries to lure her back to Christianity with the help of Christmas.
The episode ranks lower here because it only really turns into a Simpsons Christmas episode in the last five minutes. Still, it's an interesting and thoughtful look at Lisa as an individual and taught how to accept the beliefs of others.
Holidays Of Future Passed (Season 23, Episode 9)
One of the harsh realities of rewatching "The Simpsons" is that the later lackluster seasons now outnumber the good ones. However, there are occasional moments of greatness later in the series. "Future Vacation" was not only a great episode of the show's 23rd season, but many fans pointed out that it could have been a great series finale.
This "Simpsons" Christmas episode travels into the future to see what Christmas will be like when the kids grow up and move out of the house. It shows Bart as a deadbeat dad, Lisa married to Milhouse, and Maggie a famous singer. This hilarious episode does give us a glimpse into the family's future.
Skinner's Sense Of Snow (Season 12, Episode 8)
"Skinner's Sense of Snow", another Simpsons Christmas episode, doesn't talk about Christmas as much as fans like this time of year, but it's a fun winter adventure. Heading to school on the last day of school before the Christmas break, Principal Skinner finds himself and a few of his pupils in school where snow has fallen.
This episode is more about the students' revolt against Skinner, but also has some funny Christmas jokes, such as Skinner's hilariously lame Christmas special. There are also many funny moments between Homer and Ned as they try to rescue the children.
Grift Of The Magi (Season 11, Episode 9)
The idea of consumerism around the holidays is often explored in these episodes, but "The Gift of the Magi" is the most overt and funniest of them all. After kids' schools closed, a toy company took over and used kids to help create Funzo, the ultimate Christmas toy.
Despite theme, the episode never takes itself too seriously, and is very willing to embrace the odd side of the story. plus a great cameo from gary Coleman and this Christmas episode of The Simpsons have crafted a unique and hilarious holiday treat.
'Tis The Fifteenth Season (Season 15, Episode 7)
It seems like no Christmas special would be complete without someone understanding what the holiday really is. In this case, Homer helps the whole town make it happen. After selfishly buying himself an expensive gift, Homer tries to reform himself and be the best guy in town, much to the chagrin of Ned Flanders.
Another amusing example is this Christmas episode of The Simpsons, which riffs on classic Christmas stories such as A Christmas Carol and How the Grinch Stole Christmas. It's also fun to see such an enviable side of Ned Flanders.
Miracle On Evergreen Terrace (Season 9, Episode 10)
There seems to be a theme in the Christmas episodes of The Simpsons that either Bart or Homer is responsible for ruining the holiday. In "Miracle on the Terrace", it's Bart's turn as he tries to open the presents early and all of them are destroyed. When he lied about being a thief, the town rallied around him.
There are many great moments in this episode, as well as some interesting information in a unique Simpsons style. It's a good look how This flawed family might have an equally flawed vacation.
Simpsons Roasting On An Open Fire (Season 1, Episode 1)
Oddly enough, the show's record breaking began with the Christmas episode. When Homer and Marge run into some unexpected financial problems around the holidays, Homer sneaks a job as a mall Santa to make ends meet.
Season 1 of The Simpsons is now unrecognizable to many fans, but this Christmas episode of The Simpsons immediately sold the show's charm and humor. While the irreverent jokes are still entertaining, the episode ends up being heart-warming with the presence of beloved family pet Santa's little helpers.