"A Tale of Two Santas" is the second Christmas-themed episode of the animated television series Futurama, aired on FOX as the second episode of the show's fourth broadcast season (though it was actually made as the third episode for the show's third production season).
After a stern warning from Walter Cronkite, the crew works hard to secure Planet Express against Robot Santa. The Professor shows off his bulletproof shutters, and tells the crew they'll be safe as long as they don't leave the building. He then sends the crew to deliver a sack of letters directly to Santa on his Death Fortress on Neptune. On the trip, the crew read a few of the letters. They all refer to the violence that Santa wrought last year. Fry and Leela decide it's time to defeat Santa to bring back the joyous Xmas of Fry's time.
Upon landing, they are approached by malnourished Neptunians who are actually Santa's little helpers, and apparently desperate for food and money. They also hold each other's hands constantly, for unknown reasons (unless you listen to the commentary). Bender mentions toys, and the Neptunians reveal that, since Santa judges everyone to be naughty, the toy factory is out of service. The crew asks for volunteers to help them infiltrate the fortress, and one Neptunian wants to help. The Neptunian holding his hands is also unwillingly volunteered.
Santa is checking his video monitor, looking for naughty people. He judges the act of beating a shopkeeper for not paying his protection money to be equally naughty as the shopkeeper not paying his protection money. (Scruffy is also judged naughty for scratching his nose.) The Neptunians bring in the sack of mail. Santa turns off his monitor with a warning to the Neptunians, who flee. The crew emerges from the mail sack, and Leela attacks Santa with a logical paradox, which causes his head to explode. Santa's head, however, was built with paradox-absorbing crumple zones. The crew runs, and Santa pursues them with a large missile launcher. The crew runs into an elevator just as Santa fires, and the missile gets lodged in the doors. As the elevator moves, it shears off the warhead, and the crew is trapped inside the elevator with it. When the elevator reaches the ground floor, the crew runs, Leela carrying the warhead. When she realizes her mistake, she drops the warhead and continues running. The crew boards a sled, and with the help of the explosion from the warhead, they are propelled down the hill toward the ship.
Leela tries to take off, but Santa has meanwhile grabbed onto the engines, halting their progress. The exhaust from the engines melts the ice, and Santa sinks into the water. As Leela shuts down the ship, the ice re-freezes and Santa is trapped. The Neptunians rejoice, as they can finally start making toys again. At first, Fry volunteers to deliver the toys, but the task would be impossible for a human. Bender takes to the job easily enough, though, commanding the Neptunians to bow down to him. The Neptunians break into song and start up the factory again. They make many toys, whose quality is low due to time constraints. Bender is painted red to disguise himself as Santa.
Using Santa's hoversleigh, Bender arrives on Earth only to be blocked from his first chimney by a set of bars. Luckily, Bender's a bender, and he easily bends them. He offers the family inside Tri-Ominos, but they don't trust him and attack him. A damaged Bender tries the next house, and is waylayed by Petunia. She attacks him with a flamethrower, and he is eventually blasted back out the chimney. On the way to the next house, Bender meets up with Kwanzaa-bot. Bender asks for help, but Kwanzaa-Bot has no time, as he must give out the traditional Kwanzaa book.
Back at Planet Express, the crew prepares for Xmas. Fry tries the egg nog, but finds Zoidberg bathing in it. Leela reminds the Professor that Bender is Santa, but less than two seconds later, when Bender drops through the fireplace, the Professor opens fire with his shotgun. A badly mangled Bender then dumps the toys into the sewer, which offends at least one mutant. While Bender is celebrating his genius with a drink, Smitty and Url corner him.
Being mistaken for the real Santa Claus, Bender is brought before Judge Whitey to be tried for his "crimes". The Hyper-Chicken is the prosecuting attourney in this case, while Bender chooses to represent himself. Judge Whitey finds Bender guilty, and sentences him to execution at sundown. Bender is hauled away.
At Stattica Robot Penitentiary, Bender is brought into the execution room. Meanwhile, the PE crew returns to Neptune to take the real Santa to Earth to prove Bender's innocence. However, after cutting the block of ice out of the ground, it begins to melt. The newly-reopened factory has been pumping out greenhouse gasses which have heated the atmosphere. Santa attacks, and the PE crew is forced to escape the planet without Santa. However, unbeknownst to them, Santa has stowed away on the ship.
At the penitentiary, Bender is strapped into the Magnexecutioner by Mayor Poopenmeyer. He begins a countdown which may or may not ever reach zero (a random number generator). Before the countdown can complete, everybody from Planet express enters dressed as Santa (except Zoidberg, who for some reason is dressed as Jesus). However, the mayor doesn't fall for their ploy. The random number generator reaches zero, and the electromagnets fire up, tearing Bender apart slowly. His inhibition unit is disabled and he begins to sing. Just before he is torn completely apart, the real Santa breaks through the wall and destroys the Magnexecutioner. Bender fears for his life, but Santa reveals that he actually needs Bender's help to finish the Xmas rampage. Bender agrees to help, and they both leave. Much violence ensues, though most of it is merely property damage.
Back at Planet Express, the crew is huddled together for warmth, and Fry realizes that fear has brought them together. Up in the sky, Bender and Santa run into Kwanzaa-Bot, who invites Bender to Chanuka Zombie's luau at the B'nai B'rith. Before he can leave, Santa gives Bender a present, which turns out to be empty. Santa warns Bender that if he impersonates Santa again, he'll be killed. Santa then ejects Bender from the hoversleigh, and flies away, leaving the city in ruin.
The episode was made available on the Futurama: Volume Three DVD set, released on March 9, 2004.
|Billy West||Philip J. Fry|
Judge Ron Whitey
|Katey Sagal||Turanga Leela|
The Robot Devil
|Phil LaMarr||Hermes Conrad|
|David Herman||Mayor Poopenmeyer|
|Lauren Tom||Amy Wong|
Walter Cronkite's Head
- Futurama Wiki: A Tale of Two Santas (Futurama)
- The Infosphere - A Tale of Two Santas
- "A Tale of Two Santas (Futurama)" at the Internet Movie Database
- "A Tale of Two Santas (Futurama)" at TV.com
- "A Tale of Two Santas (Futurama)" recap at TV Tropes