Christmas Specials Wiki
Christmas Specials Wiki

"A Simple Christmas" is the second Christmas episode of the ABC comedy The Middle, produced and aired as the tenth episode of its second season.


Christmas is a time to appreciate the orange. What's the orange, you ask? Let's find out.

Frankie's parents, Pat (Marsha Mason) and Tag (Jerry Van Dyke), are coming to stay at the Heck house for the Twelve Days of Christmas. According to Mike, that's about eight days too long. Now, we all know that grandparents tend to spoil their grandchildren with treats. The kids love it. The parents...not so much.

Frankie pleads with Pat to stop giving out so much fudge. She doesn't listen and Frankie pays the price. When Mike wonders why Frankie is reaching behind the furniture with a cloth, she says, "Brick ate too much fudge. The poor kid just crawled behind the chair like a cat and barfed." As for Tag, he's driving Mike crazy. He's constantly pestering him to be part of the annual family Christmas skit. Mike's been avoiding participation for years. Tag also follows him everywhere he goes.

Frankie feels the need to simplify Christmas when she finds an orange in a stocking. It's been in the cellar since last Christmas so it's not really orange anymore. Moldy blue would be a better description. Frankie always puts an orange into the kids' stockings because it's the only thing Pat ever got during the Great Depression. She wants her kids to appreciate the rewarding simplicity of citrus fruits.

The kids aren't thrilled to hear the plans for a simple Christmas. Nevertheless, the gifts this year will be all about quality instead of quantity. That may be difficult with grandparents in the house. Pat is constantly undermining Frankie's authority and Mike just can’t escape tagalong Tag. The simple Christmas plans take a hit when Pat gives each kid a hundred-dollar bill. It's Brick's very first $100.

Axl doesn't want to spend a dime on Brick, so he agrees to build him an igloo as his gift. He actually does a nice job. The dwelling is spacious and structurally sound; though it's missing the reading nook Brick requested during construction. The dreaded Glossner boys let out a sinister smile as they scope out Brick's new frozen home. Trouble is coming, so Brick enlists Axl's help to thwart an igloo attack by the bad boys down the road.

During this season of goodwill towards men, Sue attempts to make peace with Glossners. She stands outside the igloo belting out a touching Christmas carol. She looks like an angel. Then she looks like a snowman after the Glossners pelt her with boulder-sized snowballs. Fortunately, she’s able to crawl to safety under the car until it's time to go to bed.

Later, Frankie hangs the stockings and places the few presents under the tree. She and Mike are admiring it and think about how the kids will be taught the simpleness of this one in particular Christmas, but Pat and Tag give out 23 more gifts as they are the grandparents. When Frankie witnesses the extra gifts, she becomes enraged and attempts to dispose of them before the kids wake up, but Brick sees her and asks, "Why are you taking our presents mom, why?", just as Cindy Lou Who said. Just at that moment, Axl and Sue view the pile and tear through them rapidly. Frankie openly berates them, but retort that they should be "grand" about their status. In the afternoon, the Glossner kids are walking down the street, but Axl, Sue, and Brick throw the oranges at them as retaliation for attacking the igloo. The episode ends as the Hecks are singing "The Twelve Days of Christmas" with Brick and Axl participating.




Actress/actor Character
Patricia Heaton Frankie Heck
Neil Flynn Mike Heck
Charlie McDermott Axl Heck
Eden Sher Sue Heck
Atticus Shaffer Brick Heck
Marsha Mason Pat Spence
Jerry Van Dyke Tag Spence
Jeanette Miller Aunt Edie
Frances Bay Aunt Ginny
David Chandler Derrick Glossner
Parker James Bolek Wade Glossner
Gibson Sjobeck Littlest Glossner
Kurtis Bedford Kevin

See also[]

External links[]

Warner Bros.
Warner Bros. Pictures Christmas in ConnecticutGremlinsLethal WeaponNational Lampoon's Christmas VacationBatman ReturnsJack FrostThe Polar ExpressKiss Kiss Bang BangFred Claus
New Line Cinema The Long Kiss GoodnightElfThe Nativity StoryFour ChristmasesA Very Harold & Kumar 3D ChristmasThe Conjuring 2Collateral BeautyShazam!8-Bit Christmas
Blue Ribbon Content A Christmas Story 2A Cinderella Story: Christmas Wish
Warner Bros. Television National Lampoon's Christmas Vacation 2: Cousin Eddie's Island AdventureThe Year Without a Santa ClausChristmas on the Square
Live-action television episodes
Friends and Joey "The One With the Monkey" • "The One With Phoebe's Dad" • "The One Where Rachel Quits" • "The One With the Girl from Poughkeepsie" • "The One With the Inappropriate Sister" • "The One With the Routine" • "The One With All the Candy" • "The One With the Holiday Armadillo" • "The One With Monica's Boots" • "The One with Ross's Step Forward" • "The One With the Creepy Holiday Card" • "The One With Christmas in Tulsa" • "Joey and the Plot Twist" • "Joey and the Christmas Party"
DC Comics "Season's Greedings" • "Home is Where the Hurt Is" • "Twas the Night Before Mxymas" • "Lexmas" • "Gemini" • "Year's End" • "Three Ghosts"
Other shows "A Semi-Merry Christmas" • "Mel, the Magi" • "Mel's Christmas Carol" • "'Tis the Season to Be Jealous" • "A Christmas Story" (Growing Pains) • "The Kid" • "It's Not Easy Being Green" • "A Christmas Story" (Just the Ten of Us) • "Santa Goes Downtown" • "Let It Snow" • "The Night Court Before Christmas" • "Santa on the Lam" • "Have Yourself a Merry Winslow Christmas" • "It's Beginning to Look a Lot Like Urkel" • "Christmas is Where the Heart is" • "Miracle on Elm Street" • "Fa La La La Laagghh!" • "It Came Upon a Midnight Clear" • "Deck the Malls" • "The Christmas Show" • "The Man Who Canceled Christmas" • "Christmas Day-Ja Vu" • "A Country Christmas" • "The Gift" • "A Miracle Happens Here" • "Homeless for the Holidays" • "Do You See What I See" • "The Miracle Worker" • "How the Finch Stole Christmas" • "The Greatest of Gifts" • "I'll Be Home For Christmas" • "Hindsight" • "Twas the Night" • "All About Christmas Eve" • "City of Mercy" • "Meet the Cuban Parents" • "Christmas Punch" • "A Clear and Presentless Danger" • "George is Being Elfish and Christ-Misses His Family" • "Santa's Secret Stuff" • "A Very Supernatural Christmas" • "The Bath Item Gift Hypothesis" • "The Maternal Congruence" • "The Santa Simulation" • "The Cooper Extraction" • "The Clean Room Infiltration" • "Christmas" (The Middle) • "A Simple Christmas" • "A Christmas Gift" • "Christmas Help" • "The Christmas Tree" • "The Christmas Wall" • "Not So Silent Night" • "A Very Marry Christmas" • "The Christmas Miracle" • "It's Beginning to Stink a Lot Like Christmas" • "Jolly Red Elf" • "The World Ain't Over 'Till It's Over" • "Santa's Village of the Damned" • "Walnuts and Demerol" • "Warning, It's Dirty" • "One False Move, Zimbabwe!" • "Give Santa a Tail-Hole" • "On Vodka, On Soda, On Blender, On Mixer" • "Family, Bublé, Deep-Fried Turkey" • "Home for Christmas" • "Jingle Bell Glock" • "The Walk-Out" • "Yule Never Know" • "Merry Ex-Mas" • "A Very Carrie Christmas" • "Veronica's Christmas Song" • "Veronica's Secret Santa" • "An Echolls Family Christmas" • "One Angry Veronica" • "Hell Hath No Furies"
Animated productions
Looney Tunes and related shows The Shanty Where Santy Claus LivesBedtime for SnifflesGift WrappedBugs Bunny's Looney Christmas Tales • "It's a Wonderful Tiny Toons Christmas Special" • "'Twas the Day Before Christmas" • "Jingle Boo" • "The Great Wakkorotti: The Holiday Concert" • "A Christmas Plotz" • "Little Drummer Warners" • "No Time for Christmas" • "A Pinky and the Brain Christmas" • "It Happened One Night Before Christmas" • "In Arms Way" • "The Twelve Days of Christmas" • Christmas Eve with Yakko, Wakko & Dot • "Noel" • "The Christmas Tree" • "The Banks of the Delaware River" • "Feather Christmas" • "Yule Be Sorry" • "Christmas in July" • Bah, Humduck! A Looney Tunes Christmas • "A Christmas Carol" • "Tis the Seasoning" • "Winter Blunderland" • "The Legend of Burrito Monday" • Bugs Bunny's 24-Carrot Holiday Special • "Looneyburg Lights" • "How the Brain Thieved Christmas" • "Santamaniacs"
DC Comics "Christmas With the Joker" • "Holiday Knights" • "Frozen Out" • "Comfort and Joy" • "Storybook Holiday" • "Invasion of the Secret Santas!" • "Second Christmas" • "The True Meaning of Christmas" • "Halloween v Christmas" • "Teen Titans Save Christmas" • "Party Animal" • "Beast Boy on a Shelf" / "Christmas Crusaders" • "A Holiday Story"
Hanna-Barbera co-productions "A Dickens of a Christmas" • A Scooby-Doo! Christmas • "Ho Ho Horrors" • Tom and Jerry: A Nutcracker TaleScooby-Doo! Haunted HolidaysTom and Jerry: Santa's Little Helpers • "The Plight Before Christmas" • "Scary Christmas" • "Scroogey Doo" • "It's a Wacky Life" • "Dashing Thru the Snow" • "Signed, Sealed and Wacky" • "The Spirit of Frostnos" • Tom and Jerry: Snowman's Land
Other cartoons "Yuletide and Redtide" • A Cool Like That Christmas • "Santa Mask" • The Polar Express • "The Match Before Xmas" • A Miser Brothers' Christmas • "Da Grinchy Code / Duck" • "FROST / Undercover Claus" • "Fantastic Four Christmases / Red and White Collar" • Elf: Buddy's Musical Christmas • "Christmas in Oz" • "Top of the Naughty List" • "Mandora Saves Christmas" • Beebo Saves Christmas
Have Yourself a Looney Tunes ChristmasA Hip-Hopera ChristmasMerry Christmas: Animaniacs & Looney TunesThe Looney Tunes Kwazy ChristmasA Looney Tunes Sing-A-Long Christmas