Written By Gregg Dietz (@ChubRockGeek)
Every year, around the winter solstice, the world stops to have a celebration of the birth of a very popular jewish guy. Now whether you are serious about this holiday or very impartial, you can't deny it’s overwhelming influence on the world. Well neither can TV studios, they seek to make you feel all warm and toasty on the inside with their yearly specials. Here is a list of the ones that will make you feel sick and confused, enjoy the 12 worst Christmas specials I could find.
12. Dinosaurs: Refrigerator Day (1991)
If you were old enough to remember this show, then you’re probably wondering why it’s on this list because you and I have fond memories of it. My major problem with this episode is that the show is supposed to be a satire on both sitcoms and real life events. Refrigerator day is when all dinosaurs celebrate the day the refrigerator was invented...really. What makes this terrible is that there is no context to what they are satirizing. Is it that christians celebrate a ridiculous holiday? Is it that people are greedy this time of the year? And why the refrigerator? They say the word “God” multiple times so that means they have a deity but no day for that deity? Look, I love this show but this episode makes little to no sense.
Earl Sinclair and family are getting ready for Refrigerator Day when Earl is given the bad news that the bonus he was expecting to receive is no longer going to happen. The consequence is his fridge is to be repossessed. This leaves the Sinclair family with no Refrigerator on Refrigerator day. Desperate to help Earl, the family agrees to return their gifts. The store has no return policy so the store buys back the gifts at a lowered rate causing the family to buy a styrofoam cooler. After performing their traditional Refrigerator Day pageant. The guys who work at the store from the previous scene bring back the fridge and the gifts with Earl’s bonus and a snow maker on the roof for no apparent reason. What was the message again?
11. Shrek the Halls (2007)
What happens when commercialism is more important than quality? The answer is an unnecessary Christmas special. Shrek is an ogre, as if that hasn’t been established by the first 3 movies, and that being the case, he has also never had a christmas. This year, for the sake of Fiona and his children, he wants to have a Christmas. He receives a book titled ‘Christmas For Village Idiots”.
He sets up decorations and then when Donkey, Puss ‘n Boots and Gingerbread man tell christmas stories, Shrek isn’t happy with them. While yelling at Donkey, the book falls out of his vest and donkey picks it up. A tug of war ensues and causes everything to become destroyed, ala a Rube Goldberg device. Shrek is pissed and kicks everyone out which makes Fiona leave with the kids. Shrek gets his shit together and saves Christmas. As with most christmas specials, it’s loaded with puns, however these have slightly better timing, still not good though. I’d say the best part is when the gingerbread man is telling his story and it’s about how his girlfriend was eaten alive by Santa Claus, it’s classic horror movie style, actually quite funny.
10. Grumpy Cat’s Worst Christmas Ever (2014)
The Grumpy Cat meme became a massive internet sensation and now has earned a supposed 100 million dollars. It was only a matter of time before a movie was made, and it was only appropriate it would be a terrible christmas special. The special starts with Aubrey Plaza as Grumpy Cat telling the audience, in a very annoying self referential way, to not watch the movie because it’s awful. The sad part is she actually isn’t wrong but my question is “was this an attempt to seem funny by telling me it isn’t funny or was this an actual warning?” As the plot continues, you are introduced to a series of characters you don't care about, this could be from very poor acting or overly cartoonish characters.
The pet store owner has to come up with the rent or the evil landlord will shut down his store, this also happens to be where Grumpy Cat currently lives. A young girl is teased by peers, makes a wish from a magical mall santa (im not kidding), and gains the ability to talk to Grumpy Cat. A heist breaks out when the pet store owner unveils a rescue dog thats worth an absurd amount, I think it was 10 million dollars, I really don’t remember, it’s not like this was important plot information anyway. And in true christmas special fashion, the little girl with Grumpy Cat in tow, fend off the bad guys before the cops arrive. Thats really it guys, there is a “twist” where the mall cop was in on it but did you really care about spoilers on this one? The worst part about this special was all the times the story was paused to make an awful joke about how bad it is. The thing about comedy is that a joke is really funny when it’s unexpected, these popped up every 10 minutes, at least. I recommend playing a drinking game with this one, every time a joke is made and no one in the room laughs, take a drink, you’ll be drunker than I wanted to be watching this.
9. The Smurfs Christmas Special (1982)
What is there to say about this one? The Smurfs are annoying and Gargamel is a dick. The main plot centers around 2 children who are asking for help because the sleigh they were in with their Grandpa has tipped over and killed him. Yep, that’s death and lost children right of the bat.
A stranger (he seriously has no name) wants to sacrifice them for more power (I guess) and the smurfs sing a song that makes him and his ring of hell fire disappear. The song by the way "Goodness makes the badness go away/Goodness makes you happy every day/Badness cannot start if there's goodness in your heart/Goodness makes the badness go away." Its the type of song that makes you root for the bad guy.
8. The Super Mario Bros Super Show - Koopa Klaus (1989)
“Christmas is a Bah Hum Koop!” If these specials are a representation of christmas, than I completely agree. This cartoon was on for about the same amount of time that the Sonic the Hedgehog cartoon was on, but different years and just as bad. The show was a mix of live action sequences and animation, the live action parts starred Captain Lou Albano as Mario and Danny Wells as Luigi. These live action sequences are way more entertaining than the cartoon episodes, the christmas special is no exception.
In the Cartoon, King Koopa kidnaps Santa, and unlike most villains, it’s simply because he wants to ruin christmas. Mario, Luigi, Toad and Princess show up at the north pole while heading to Hawaii Land because Toad loves Christmas so much. Well now the Mario bros. need to take out King Koopa in order to save christmas, and wouldn’t you know it, they do. The live action sequence is about kid named Brian who’s running away from home and through a comical story about Mario running away when he was a kid, they convince Brian to go home. the live action sequence makes this bearable but barely. The cartoon is loaded to the brim with puns and gags that’ll makes you sick.
7. Alpha's Magical Christmas (1994)
Zordon and Alpha are lonely this Christmas Eve and would like the Power Rangers to come and visit for Christmas. Alpha believes that if you decorate, they will come, however they cannot because they are helping Santa with a very important mission...that we don’t get to see.
So instead, we get to see Zordon and Alpha kidnap a group of children to sing a slew of christmas songs. What if one of those children was Jewish? That would have been awkward. At the end, 3 of the 6 Power Rangers (Tommy, Kimberly and Billy) show up to hang out with Alpha and Zordon because I assume they pity them. The hardest thing to watch about this one is it has more lens flair than all of J.J.Abrams movies combined. Also it so fucking boring!
6. Sonic Christmas Blast (1996)
This special is from the animated series “The Adventures of Sonic the Hedgehog”. The story behind this one is Robotnik kidnapped Santa Claus and made a robot Santa to announce retirement. Upon doing so, he demands everyone of Robotropolis to give him gifts instead. Why anyone would live in a place called Robotropolis is beyond me. Sonic is talking to a Princess Sally about how she doesn’t want anything for christmas this year, then behind her back, he explains to Tails that he’s going to get her a gift anyway because when a woman says she doesn't want something, she really wants 2 stores full. Tails asks how he plans on getting said gifts, Sonic explains that he will go to the mall and “be in and out in a flash”, I only assume since he has no pockets, he’s plans on stealing them. When Tails warns Sonic that Robotropolis is dangerous, Sonic responds with “not as dangerous as Sally if I don’t get her something for christmas”. So in summation, Sonic is misogynistic and a thief.
There is some exposition in Robotropolis about what has been happening, but unfortunately, that’s for Sonic’s sake, not the audience because we have already seen it transpire. When Sonic finds Santa, he recognizes this ring Sonic received from Sally last christmas and explains that the only way to save christmas is for Sonic to complete 3 trials to have the ring bestow upon him “Ultimate Velocity”. The show turns into the X-Games for a few minutes and after hes done all 3, he achieves “ultimate velocity” and becomes the flash and saves Christmas. Santa is so happy that he goes into retirement and Sonic is the new Santa. The animation in this is that classic 90’s rubber animation that is used so often that it just looks like a mess. Robotnik is constantly calling his robots incompetent which begs the question, if Robotnik built these robots, wouldn’t Robotnik be the incompetent one?
5. Christmas Comes to PacLand (1982)
This one is based off the short lived saturday morning cartoon series, Pac-Man, based off that game from the 80’s that no one can ever remember the name of. The synopsis is simple on this one. Santa crash lands in Pac-land and needs the Pac family who help gather all his lost gifts or christmas is lost. What makes this so awful is that it’s full of puns and gags, and almost all would easily go over a childs head.
The ghosts all sound like dick tracy bad guys and have winter clothing which makes little to no sense since they wear no clothing in the regular show. The only way to combat the ghosts is by eating power pellets which are scarce, so it would seem the ghost win a lot but apparently the pac family are really lucky...often. In the end, they help Santa and his reindeer get his gifts back and christmas is saved. This also stars the voices of Frank Welker (Megatron) and Peter Cullen (Optimus Prime).
4. He-Man & She-Ra: A Christmas Special (1985)
This special has everything, robots, multiple crashing spacecrafts and a machine puppy. The story is about...actually, I’m not sure what it’s about, I know Orko is spying on Skeletor but crash lands on earth and meets 2 kids who explain Christmas. Then He-man and She-ra decided to help but have to go through a ration of shit to help.
Skeletor and Hordak are summoned by a villain named Horde Prime, and his goal is to kidnap the 2 children because they somehow will give him power over the Christmas spirit. And at some point, Skeletor turns into a good guy for the briefest of moments, and exclaims that he would rather be evil in which She-ra reassures him that christmas only comes once a year, as if thats an excuse. It’s your basic bad, lethargic voice acting over laid with subpar 80’s commercialism animation but with the “Christmas Spirit”.
3. The Christmas Tree (1991)
Oh man alive, where do I even begin with this one? First thing you’ll notice with this special just how terrible the animation is. I understand this was 1991 and I should have some leeway but the inconsistencies are so noticeable that it’s a wonder why this made it to television. One of the things that bothered me greatly was how the children look semi normal with their big eyes because children normally do have large eyes, however this was given to the adults as well. Another intriguing thing about this was the voice acting. I wonder if they just grabbed the nearest person off the street for a quick buck to record these lines. Some of the actors are actual children who are too young to be doing voice over roles and are clearly toddlers or kids with speech impediments because I have no idea what they were saying.
The villain of the special was this old lady who had no real agenda till the end. At one point, she was even willingly going to kill a group of kids and a grown woman to cut down a tree that children talked to, and no, the tree didn’t speak. She is then struck down by lightning and presumedly killed. Santa shows up to give you creepiest wink imaginable and then takes off to deliver gifts. Shortly after that, the evil old lady walks out from behind the house, completely unscathed. There are so many questions here, how did she not die from that lightning? Did she crawl back to the house after not dying? Did she take a very quick shower and change her clothes? Where did the chainsaw go, she was holding? How is she just a “good” person now? When will I be able to go back to a normal life after watching this?
2. We Wish You A Turtle Christmas (1994)
This special was made the year after TMNT 3, and I would rather sit through a 24 hour viewing of the new TMNT movie than this punch to the nostalgic balls. It was a weird time when the turtles were still quite popular but also starting to drop in said popularity and 20th Century Fox was gonna milk it for all it was worth. This one starts off with all 4 turtles decorating a tree for Christmas and shortly realize they forgot a gift for splinter, after getting said gift, they wrap it and give it to splinter, the end.
Upon hearing the synopsis, you might be thinking that this sounds like an episode of the cartoon but no, this is live action. The costumes are awful. The turtles look like $30 halloween costumes and the head pieces are literally puppet heads, the “puppeteers” aren’t even trying because throughout the entire special, when one of them is finished talking, the mouth continues to move. Splinters costume looks like a giant cat hairball on top of a Karate Gi. The turtles sing a bevy of songs, and not a one of them is the same, They range from rock to rap to the whole 12 day of christmas...The. Whole. 12. Days. And believe it or not, this is not the worst one...
1. The Star Wars Holiday Special (1978)
I welcome you as we come to the worst Christmas special of them all, The star wars christmas special. If you haven't had the privilege of seeing this wonderful gem, I’ll spare you the pain. It begins with Han Solo and Chewbacca running from 2 Star Destroyers in the millenium falcon, Han says to chewie that he promises to get him home on time for “life day” with his family. What is life day you ask? It's Fucking Christmas. You may be asking yourself “Chewbacca has a family?” well yes he does but that’s not where the absurdity ends, let me run down the names of his family members, Malla, his wife, Itchy, his father and his son Lumpy. I let you soak that in for a second........good? no? Me either.
The rest of the special plays out as a family drama with the occasional human/humanoid dropping by on kashyyyk, and little unrelated stories from both bad and good characters. The worst part about this is 90% OF THIS SPECIAL IS IN WOOKIE GROWLS AND YELLS, Nothing is subtitled, the only context to anything is the motion they have in their modified ghillie suits. This special does have one good thing going for it, a cartoon that introduces Boba Fett, keep in mind, this special came out the year after the first star wars movie was released, this pile of George Lucas pus and feces was the world’s first introduction to Boba Motherfucking Fett. I..I can’t...I...I just can’t...
Did I leave any out that you thought were just as terrible? Are you planning on watching any of these this Christmas season? Let us know in the comments section below, On our Facebook fan page, or tweet us @MissionStartP
Thanks for reading and have a wonderful holiday.
Thanks for reading and have a wonderful holiday.