"For Whom the Jingle Bell Tolls" is the Christmas episode of the animated television series Earthworm Jim, based on the video game of the same name. It premiered as the eleventh and last episode of the show's second and final season on Kids' WB! on December 14, 1996.
The episode's opening scene finds Earthworm Jim decorating his secret headquarters for Christmas with lots of lights, despite Peter Puppy pointing out the fact that it's supposed to be a secret hideout. Just then, they are attacked by the evil Queen Pulsating, Bloated, Festering, Sweaty, Stinky, Pus-filled, Malformed, Slug-For-A-Butt. Jim knocks her out of the sky and then presents her with an exploding gift box ("You gave me that last year!"). He then traps the Queen in some of his Christmas decorations, ties it to his rocket, and launches her into the sky, though it ends up wrecking Jim's decorations in the process.
Later, on Insectica, as Queen Slug-For-A-Butt is busy doing aerobic exercises, she asks the Archbug what he knows about Earth's Christmas holiday. When he tries to tell her all about Santa Claus, she initially finds the idea ridiculous until he mentions Santa's flying sleigh, saying he learned all this from the highest authority in the universe - Earth television. The Queen decides that she will bend Santa to her evil will and get him to help her conquer Earth. Soon, at the North Pole, Santa is ordering his elves to remove the "C" tabs from all the dollhouses when the Queen suddenly invades his workshop and captures him.
Meanwhile, Jim is at the Terlawk Shopping Mall with Princess What's-Her-Name and Peter, and he is all too anxious to visit the mall's Santa. What's-Her-Name is highly suspicious of Santa's judgment and does not find him trustworthy, but Jim explains to her and Peter that mall Santas are actually Santa's duly-deputized representatives who apply for the job at the North Pole, and that they all have a psychic link to the real Santa hidden in their fake beards (Jim says he heard this from the voices in his head). Jim then goes to visit the mall Santa, whom he recognizes as his cellmate Walter (introduced in "Conqueror Worm"), and tells him that he wants a pony for Christmas. Just then, Walter receives a message through his beard, saying that the real Santa is in trouble.
Jim, Peter, and What's-Her-Name take Jim's rocket to the North Pole, where they find Santa missing and his workshop in ruins, much to Jim's horror. He interrogates Santa's workers, but they tell him they've been too busy keeping their eyes on work to pay attention to Santa's kidnapping. The trio then goes to Santa's favorite hangout, the Personifications of Abstract Concepts Club. There, they encounter an irate red-nosed reindeer who was treated badly by Santa in the past and believes he deserved to get kidnapped. Jim accuses him of being the one who kidnapped Santa, but the reindeer tells him he's innocent and that the culprit was "some insect with a butt the size of a Macy's Parade balloon." Realizing the reindeer is referring to Queen Slug-For-A-Butt, the trio heads off to Insectica.
Meanwhile, the Queen is trying to turn Santa evil by showing him how stressful everyone gets at Christmastime, making him listen to bad Christmas-themed music, and hypnotizing him with a watch, but these methods do not work. Finally, she and the Archbug place a microchip inside his ear, brainwashing the big guy into thinking he is evil (and that Adam West did a better job at portraying Batman than Val Kilmer). Pleased about this, the Queen declares that she and Santa will go into all the homes on Earth and implant the brainwashing microchips in the brains of all the children, turning them into her mindless slaves. Jim, Peter, and What's-Her-Name show up at that point to stop her, but she jumps up and flattens all three of them ("I knew those aerobics would come in handy"). The Queen and the brainwashed Santa take off, leaving the trio in the clutches of some of her Zurb soldiers. Fortunately, What's-Her-Name takes the Zurbs out with an exploding birthday cake.
Queen Slug-For-A-Butt and Santa arrive in a typical Earth home, but when they find the room where the kids are supposed to be, they find the heroes there, waiting for them. What's-Her-Name and Peter go after the Queen, while Jim has to take on Santa. Jim, however, cannot bring himself to attack Santa Claus, and begs the big guy to not destroy Christmas. Santa is so moved by Jim's speech that the microchip in his brain burns out and he returns to normal, declaring that he has to save Christmas. When Jim questions how, Santa reveals that, he is also Woltan, the Norse God of Judgement. As Santa/Woltan defeats the Queen and restores the house's decor to normal, Jim observes, "Yes, Virginia, there is a Santa Claus... and he kicks butt!"
On Christmas morning, Jim gives his friends their presents - a pair of homemade antennae warmers for What's-Her-Name and an automatic haggis maker for Peter (though he obviously is not happy to receive that). Jim is then delighted to find that Santa left him the pony that he wanted (along with a card thanking them for saving Christmas) and declares that it's "the bestest Christmas ever", at which point a one-ton fruitcake falls on him, and a cow wearing a Santa hat emerges from it.
The episode was made available (along with all the other episodes of the series) on Visual Entertainment's Earthworm Jim: The Complete Series DVD set, released in 2012.
|Dan Castellaneta||Earthworm Jim|
The Grim Reaper
|Jeff Bennett||Peter Puppy|
|Kath Soucie||Princess What's-Her-Name|
|Andrea Martin||Queen Slug-for-a-Butt|
|Jim Cummings||Santa Claus|
- "For Whom the Jingle Bell Tolls" at TV.com
- "For Whom the Jingle Bell Tolls" at the Big Cartoon DataBase
- "For Whom the Jingle Bell Tolls" at the Internet Movie Database
|Video Game Cartoons|
|Nintendo||"A Christmas Story" • "Koopa Klaus" • "Santa Claus Is Coming to Flatbush" • "The Night Before Cave Christmas" • "Holiday Hi-Jynx" • "Christmas Night" • "Stantler's Little Helpers" • "The Kongo Bongo Festival of Lights" • "Delibird's Dilemma"|
|Bandai Namco||Christmas Comes to Pac-Land • "Happy Holiday and a Merry Berry Day" • "Santa Pac"|
|Other video games||"Just Like Old Times" • Sonic Christmas Blast • "For Whom the Jingle Bell Tolls"|