Christmas Specials Wiki
Christmas Specials Wiki


The cover to the DVD release.


Grandma Got Run Over By a Reindeer is an animated direct-to-video special directed by Phil Roman and released on Halloween Day of 2000. Inspired by the song of the same name, it airs every year on The CW during the Christmas season, through national syndication by SFM Entertainment. The cast includes producers/writers Jim Staahl and Jim Fisher, with the former of whom voiced as Santa Claus.


The special begins by introducing Jake Spankenheimer and his family, most notably Grandma Spankenheimer, who owns a small general store in the town of Cityville. The store also happens to be the only piece of property not owned by Austin Bucks, the town's richest man, whose company specializes in making Christmas easier and less involved for the town's overly busy residents. Grandma, however, tells Austin that his method of trying to make Christmas easier is not really for the best and refuses to sell. This runs afoul of Cousin Mel, the family's gold-digging relative, who is attracted to Austin's good looks but even more so, his money.

Jake loves the holiday season, as does his grandmother, though most of his family is not as excited about it. Jake and his older sister, Daphne, also quarrel over Santa Claus' existence, as Jake's parents try to gently break the news to him that Santa is not real. Meanwhile, Mel plans to sabotage Grandma's famous fruitcake recipe, secretly adding a disgusting ingredient with hopes that they won't sell, forcing Grandma to sell the store to Austin. Grandma then takes the fruitcakes and her other baked goods with her when she leaves the house on Christmas Eve night, but as she leaves, Santa flies by overhead and his reindeer, suddenly out of control, accidentally crash into her. Jake sees this from the window, but the family refuses to believe him. The next morning, however, Grandma is missing, and the police find only an imprint of her in the snow, along with her belongings; Mel also finds a piece of paper that she quickly hides from the others.


Almost a year passes without any trace of Grandma, and Mel comes up with a new plan to sell the store to Austin Bucks by tricking the somewhat-senile Grandpa Spankenheimer into giving her his power of attorney. She then plans to sell the store to Austin Bucks, but when Jake objects, Bucks agrees to give him another week to find Grandma before going through with the deal. Adamant in his belief that Santa ran over her, Jake e-mails Santa, and soon Quincy, Santa's head elf, comes to take him to the North Pole. It turns out that Santa had run over Grandma, but had then taken her back to his home for medical treatment. Unfortunately, she got amnesia, and until receiving Jake's e-mail, Santa had been unsure of who she was. However, when Jake explains the situation back in Cityville, Santa, Quincy, and the amnesiac Grandma agree to go with him to stop the deal.

When they arrive in Cityville, however, Mel and her attorney, I.M. Slime, quickly come up with a plan to kidnap Grandma. After Santa explains to Austin Bucks about what had happened (and also tells him about the kind of toy he wanted as a kid), Jake and Quincy discover that Grandma has gone missing again. Mel and I.M. Slime then accuse Santa of being behind her disappearance, and he is put on trial for kidnapping, leaving the scene of an accident, and "sleighicular negligence." The two then plot to sue him, deducing that someone who can pay for billions of presents must be incredibly wealthy.

Jake becomes suspicious that Mel is involved in Grandma's second disappearance, and follows her to a cabin in the woods where she and I.M. Slime have been keeping Grandma. They rescue Grandma, and also find the piece of paper Mel had found at the site of Grandma's accident — a note from Santa explaining what had happened — and a vial of the ingredient Mel had added to Grandma's fruitcakes, which turned out to be "reindeer-nip". They then manage to restore Grandma's memory by feeding her some of her own famous fruitcake, and then rush to the courthouse to prove that Mel had been behind everything that happened to Grandma.

Confronted with all of the evidence, Mel is forced to confess and is placed under arrest, charged with obstruction of justice and "almost ruining Christmas", while Santa is cleared of all charges against him with Mel's confession. Mel and I.M. Slime are sent to prison. Austin Bucks then approaches Grandma again, this time offering to franchise her store throughout the country, as he now realizes how much Grandma values her family and her store. The show ends with Grandma accidentally picking up the tainted fruitcake instead of her own recipe, which results in Santa hitting her again as he and Mrs. Claus are trying to fly back to the North Pole; fortunately, Grandma ends up being just fine as Jake and Grandpa help her back to her feet.



Voice actor/actress Character(s)
Elmo Shropshire Grandpa Spankenheimer (speaking)
Gary Chase Grandpa Spankenheimer (singing; uncredited)
Michele Lee Cousin Mel
Sue Blu Grandma Spankenheimer
Alex Doduk Jake Spankenheimer
Jim Staahl Santa Claus
Kathleen Barr Mrs. Claus
Rita Spankenheimer
I.M. Slime
Jim Fisher Officers
Cam Clarke Austin Bucks
Christopher Gaze
Phil Hayes
Scott McNeil Frank Spankenheimer
Pauline Newstone
Maggie Blue O'Hara Daphne Spankenheimer
Drew Rechelt
Venus Terzo


  • Cousin Mel's design is noticeably similar to that of Daphne Blake from Scooby-Doo. I.M. Slime also looks strikingly like network censor Lydia Karaoke from the Warner Bros. animated series Histeria!, and Santa's head elf looks quite a bit like Bill Straitman from the same show.
  • The female cop seems to be heavily influenced by a character in the film Fargo, in appearance and her heavy Minnesota accent.

External links