"Birds Gotta Fly, Fish Gotta Talk" is a Christmas-themed episode of the classic 1960s sitcom Gilligan's Island, first broadcast on December 19, 1964. It is partially a clip show, although it uses footage from the unaired pilot episode "Marooned" as well as the actual series.
As the castaways try and handle their first Christmas marooned on the island, flashbacks show many of their first moments after being stranded, and they become even more depressed. Even blaming Gilligan for their foiled rescue attempts and his efforts to cheer the others up don't help. Finally, Santa Claus appears, though it is obviously the Skipper. Santa offers up hopeful insights into their predicament, the biggest of which is, while they may be stranded, they are all still alive, and with people they can for the most part get along with. Santa departs and the Skipper reappears---but he does so far too fast to have changed clothes. Further, the Skipper is wondering why everyone is so cheered up now. The implication of course is that the real Santa came to see them and give them a gift of hope. The ringing of sleigh bells and something that the Skipper and Gilligan see (but the others don't) seems to give further credence to this idea.
- This episode, filmed originally in black-and-white, is among the episodes from the show's first season that was eventually colorized.
- Gilligan's Island had no other Christmas episodes, but the 1978 made-for-TV movie Rescue From Gilligan's Island featured the former castaways having a Christmas reunion cruise aboard the Howells' yacht--only for a storm to promptly maroon them once again on the same island (till the next reunion movie).
- This was hardly Jim Backus' (Mister Howell) biggest foray into Christmas special; that would be Mister Magoo's Christmas Carol, which premiered about two years prior to this episode's original airing.
The episode was included on the Gilligan's Island: The Complete First Season DVD set, released by Warner Home Video on February 3, 2004.