"Holidays of Future Passed" is the eleventh Christmas episode of the animated sitcom The Simpsons, aired as the ninth episode of the show's twenty-third season. It was originally written as a possible series finale, as Fox was considering cancelling the show due to money issues stemming from advertising it. Once the issues were resolved with a pay cut for all involved with the show, the series was greenlit for another two seasons. The episode was nominated for the 2012 Primetime Emmy Award for Outstanding Animated Program (for Programming Less Than One Hour); however, it lost to The Penguins of Madagascar special "The Return of the Revenge of Dr. Blowhole".
After Thanksgiving dinner, Marge announces it is time to take the annual Christmas card family photo. When Bart and Lisa complain about the pointlessness of the photos, Marge tells them they will one day grow to appreciate the photos. We then witness a sequence of the Simpson Family Christmas Photo Album. The sequence shows considerable changes, including Lisa having possible lesbian relationships, and Maggie becoming a rockstar. Then, three separate photos of each of the children and their current lives are shown.
The sequence ends to Bart as a deadbeat. Bart is living at The Lofts at Springfield Elementary, or formerly "Room 203". He watched The Itchy & Scratchy Show by hologram, but is then interrupted by Seymour Skinner, who reminds Bart he is behind his rent. Bart assures him he will sell his good kidney with the belief they will grow back. Then Bart's two children arrive on a teleportation device, they accordingly express their disliking of him and the apartment.
Lisa is seen in her new modern household. Milhouse Van Houten (her husband) is suffering hay fever, Lisa sympathizes with him. Zia Simpson, their daughter enters in a troublesome manner. She then hooks herself online, leaving her unconscious. Lisa complains, Milhouse suggests she take Zia to her parents' house while he recovers from his illness.
We see Maggie in The Benny Hilton. She is pregnant and is tended to by Medbot. Medbot reports she cannot make a sound until the birth, as new research has revealed the umbilical cord is the vocal cord. Maggie's Band protest. Medbot than asks of the father, but they refuse to answer and switch football on the Medbot's screen.
Homer and Marge lay in their bed. Homer asks for 'future sex' (as his new penis will be there a week from tomorrow) before Marge receives a B-Mail of their children's arrival. Homer also receives one and opens it, despite Marge's warning of it being a virus. Homer suffers some sort of virus resulting in shaking.
When the family arrives, Lisa is impressed to see Homer building space ships in bottles. Homer expresses on how it helps him after becoming sober. The bottle flies to the ceiling and Homer says he would smash them all for one beer.
Bart is downstairs with his children attempting to set up the Christmas Tree. He complains about tangles in the lights, they then mention how their mother's boyfriend being great at untangling Christmas lights. Bart asks why doesn't she just marry him, they confirm that she has in fact married him, upsetting Bart. Homer enters and Bart requests he takes them out, he does so. Bart begins to complain to himself when Ned Flanders pops through the window expressing his sadness when Homer killed Edna. He then goes on to say he married Maude's Ghost, who then appears and tells a nonbelieving Ned that there is no heaven.
We see Maggie at Heathrow Teleport Departures. The worker tells her she cannot transport while pregnant, and must travel by air. We than see a largely out-dated plane reminiscent of Madmax. Maggie boards the plane.
Marge is preparing food while Lisa works on her laptop. Zia enters and rejects Lisa's offer to a 68% of Cher live show. Again she hooks onto the internet, making her unconscious. Marge attempts to help her, but Lisa ignores it.
We open to the airplane where they serve dog food. Homer enters after Marge told him of the issues. Lisa complains yet again. Homer then leaves to take Bart's Children to Downtown Springfield. Follows a sequence of Springfield. They visit the Kwik-E-Mart where Apu Nahasapeemapetilon and his children are robbed by a robot Snake Jailbird. They escape with Squishees. Homer throws a rock into Burns Manor. Charles Montgomery Burns orders the hounds on them and Waylon Smithers, Jr. empties a box full of dog bones before Homer and Bart's children. Kearney Zzyzwicz drives Maggie in a taxi. He then asks if he went with her brother to jail, before Maggie can answer she begins to suffer contractions. Kearney orders the computer in the car to take him to the hospital, but it takes him to Computer Hospital. He then gets out gloves and issues the command again.
Lisa goes into the backyard glum. Advertisements of Buzz Cola and Cookie Kwan are developed in the sky. Bart invites Lisa to the treehouse where they discuss their parenting problems. Lisa even confesses a relationship with Nelson Muntz. Bart also confesses his admiration for her. Homer is then seen playing with Bart's Children. Lisa leaves to apologise to Marge, causing the tree to come alive and lower to the ground — much like the trees from The Lord of the Rings. Lisa goes into Marge's room apologizing. Bart attempts to connect with his children by showing them The Krusty the Clown Show, yet the show's quality has declined and fails to impress them.
At the Springfield General Hospital (now next to the Montgomery Burns Institute For Soul Extraction), Maggie is falling into labour. Kearney attempts to get her a room, but the receptionist refuses, but eventually agrees after Kearney argues with her (while referencing the Christmas Story). Back at the home Marge, Lisa and Bart converse. Zia is still hooked online. Bart is angry for Homer taking his children out. Patty and Selma enter with their 'lovebots'. Selma's Lovebot then refuses her affections, saying not even a robot could love her. he then leaves with Patty's Lovebot. Back at the hospital Maggie is further into labour. The nurse asks Julius Hibbert if they should start the epidural, but instead they give Maggie a pacifier. At Apu's Taj Mahal, Marge visits Apu, Manjula and the Octuplet's Octuplets. Marge leaves after receiving a B-Mail of Maggie's labour. Apu then tends to Sanjay (cow) — a cow which he has mistaken as the reincarnation of Sanjay Nahasapeemapetilon.
Back at the home Lisa is anxious about Zia, who is still online. Lisa chooses to go onto the Ultranet to check up on Zia. Upon entry she is taken into a vast world. She enters Google to find Zia. Zia's door is visible, and Lisa contemplates entry. We see bart driving Springfield looking for Homer and his children. He passes District 9 and District 10. He is pulled over by a now police officer Ralph Wiggum, however it turns out it is his clone and he kills himself — followed by many other clones dying. At Moe's Tavern, Bart sees Moe, Larry and Sam (barfly). Lenny and Carl then tell Bart where Homer is - they both swapped brains and therefore speak from different bodies.
Back at the Springfield General Hospital, Mr. Burns can be seen leading the Devil to his Soul Extraction facility. Marge arrives to Maggie's room. Dr. Hibbert makes a joke. Back on the Ultranet, Lisa enters Zia's Ultranet Room. She is surprised to find the room is more than appropriate, dealing with studies and contains posters of: Joan of Arc, Queen Elizabeth II, Marie Curie, Empress Zimzam and herself. Zia is unimpressed with her intrusion. Lisa begins to say she was worried, and she interrupts asking if she thought she would be flashing her boobs on Unripemellons.com. They both reconcile as they have more in common than Lisa first imagined. Milhouse briefly interrupts, after he leaves, the two hug. A door opens showing a club with people dancing, Zia closes the door without Lisa noticing.
Homer takes the children to Springfield Cemetery to a grave leading to the Cryogenic Facility. Inside are hundreds of frozen people, including Abraham Simpson. He explains he had a disease with no cure and froze himself. (They ask if there is a cure, Homer replies there is, but cryogenics is much cheaper than a nursing home.) He unfreezes Grampa, who begins to complain and Homer freezes him again. The two boys ask the reasoning for coming here, Homer answers that all fathers aren't the greatest, but as you grow older you appreciate them. Bart appears apologising to the children. They initially reject him, but eventually accept him. Homer is inspired to reconcile with his father and eventually succeeds.
We see the family at their house. They are all together when Maggie arrives with her new baby, Maggie Jr. They ask the pets to take a photo as they pose, at which point we see that Santa's Little Helper and the cat (it is unknown if it is Snowball II) both have human features, and large craniums. They take the photo.
All songs were uncredited.
- Tchaikovsky's The Nutcracker: "Dance of the Sugar Plum Fairy"
- "Sleigh Ride" - Ronettes
- "Yakety Sax"
- "Carol of the Bells"
- "Me and Julio Down by the Schoolyard" - Paul Simon
- "Deck the Halls
- "O Tannenbaum"
This episode made its home video debut as a bonus episode on The Simpsons: The Sixteenth Season DVD and Blu-ray sets, released on December 3, 2013. For some reason, though, it was cropped to pan-and-scan.
- When Lisa enters Google, she notes that their logo looks different because it is Dr. Seuss' birthday. Dr. Seuss' birthday is actually March 2nd.
|Dan Castellaneta||Homer Simpson|
Krusty the Clown
|Julie Kavner||Marge Simpson|
|Nancy Cartwright||Bart Simpson|
|Yeardley Smith||Lisa Simpson|
|Hank Azaria||Moe Szyslak|
|Harry Shearer||Principal Skinner|
Waylon Smithers, Jr.
Dr. Julius Hibbert
|Pamela Hayden||Milhouse Van Houten|
|Maggie Roswell||Maude Flanders|
|Matt Groening (uncredited)||Soccer presenter|
- The Simpsons Wiki: Holidays of Future Passed
- "Holidays of Future Passed" at the Internet Movie Database
- "Holidays of Future Passed" at TV.com
- "Holidays of Future Passed" recap at TV Tropes