Christmas Specials Wiki
Christmas Specials Wiki

"I Won't Be Home for Christmas" is the thirteenth Christmas episode of the animated series The Simpsons, aired as the ninth episode of the show's twenty-sixth season.


The episode begins with Comic Book Guy and Kumiko Albertson watching the Cosmic Wars Special, with CBG expressing shock and outrage that the special actually gets worse the more he watches it, and Kumiko stating he has every right to be angry.

Homer plans to fulfill Marge's Christmas Eve wishes by leaving work on time and arriving home to celebrate Christmas with his family. However, after suffering a car accident on the way home, he stops for a quick drink at Moe's, and when he says it's time for him to get home Moe convinces him to stay there by honestly telling Homer how lonely and depressed he is. Homer loses track of time and when he finally gets home, Marge is enraged and kicks him out, saying she does not want him in the house on Christmas. Homer then leaves on an odyssey through a deserted and chilly Springfield, with Moe inadvertently compounding his sadness by being preoccupied with karaoke when Homer shows up to try and talk to him, and to add insult to injury, Homer's car gets towed with his cell phone frozen inside it.

Meanwhile, Marge becomes depressed without Homer, but tells Bart and Lisa that she does not plan to forgive him. At that point, Moe, having found Homer's wallet that he left in the tavern, climbs down the 742 Evergreen Terrace chimney and tells Marge the truth about why Homer was out late on Christmas Eve. Marge immediately tries to call Homer and ask him to come home, but as he lost his phone, she ends up going out to look for him. Homer ends up at the miserable local movie theatre to watch a depressing Life is Beautiful-type of film about other lost souls like Kirk Van Houten, the Crazy Cat Lady, and of course Gil Gunderson.

After Marge searches through the city and Homer ends up at a depressing party for mall workers, they each have epiphanies: Homer says that being without his family at Christmas is much worse than being with them, and Marge says that she shouldn't always assume Homer is doing stupid things for no reasons. They finally find each other at the party, reconcile and look forward to a Happy New Year.


Title(s) Performed by
"Deck the Halls"
"Jingle Bells"
"O Tannenbaum"
"Silent Night" Hank Azaria and Dan Castellaneta
"Good King Wenceslas" Hank Azaria
"Carol of the Bells"
"Someday at Christmas" Stevie Wonder
"O Little Town of Bethlehem"
"Hark! The Herald Angels Sing"
Tchaikovsky's The Nutcracker:
  • II-XIIe. "Dance of the Reed Flutes"
  • II-XIVc. "Dance of the Sugar Plum Fairy"
"O Holy Night"


  • The opening sequence is a subtle rework of the opening from the previous season's Christmas episode, "White Christmas Blues". Among the changes:
    • As the clouds part at the beginning, Barney as Santa in a sleigh pulled by reindeer lead by Santa's Little Helper (as Rudolph) is replaced by the Rich Texan in a convertible pulled by buffalo.
    • As Bart snowboards away from the school, two polar bears play catch with Groundskeeper Willie. In the previous version, Bart's landing revealed Grampa under the snow, with a sign "Still warmer than nursing home," seemingly having been buried by Willie, who is shoveling snow nearby. Additionally, the newer version deletes a number of Christmas trees and buildings in the background.
    • The sign in the background as Homer works is changed from "94 days till March 28, actual birth of Christ" to "31 days until Greek Orthodox Christmas."
    • Gerald already has the "defective" stamp on his head, but Maggie gives him a present rather than him being taken away.
    • Instead of "Good King Wenceslas", the band plays "Jingle Bells", and when Lisa pops back in the door, snow falls on her.
    • Moe now stands at the door to his bar happy, with an ice "Venus de Milo" instead of standing there grumpy and alone.
    • Patty and Selma were originally Dr. Seuss characters, but are now hockey players.
    • As Bart passes the Chinese restaurant with Jewish characters Krusty, Dolph and Krusty's agent visible through the window, Rabbi Krustofsky is no longer seated at the table. Per his death in the season premiere, "Clown in the Dumps", he is now seen hovering nearby as a ghost, along with the ghost of Joan Rivers.
    • While Lou, Dr. Hibbert, and Carl appear celebrating Kwanzaa in season 25, Snake is seen holding up a sidewalk Santa in season 26.
    • As Marge drives herself and Maggie home in the sleigh, the Abominable Snowmonster of the North is added to the sharp right turn.
    • They are then chased down by Mr. Burns and Smithers in a sleigh pulled by Burns' guard dogs. In the season 25 version, the Crazy Cat Lady appears in a shopping cart pulled by her cats, which distracts Burns' dogs. The version in this episode also adds the Sea Captain in a boat on skis being pulled by belly-sliding penguins.
    • As the camera quickly pans across numerous characters over to the Simpson house for the family's return home, the previous version had Edna as an angel with wings (and her coffee mug). This was removed for season 26.
  • Martin, dressed as Elsa, was supposed to be in the couch gag but was removed. He was added, however, as Ice Princess Martin skin, to The Simpsons: Tapped Out, with the Ice Castle. In the game, he references the couch gag in the episode, asking to be Elsa in it, but Lisa says that she will be Elsa.


The episode was nominated for the 2015 Annie Award for Outstanding Achievement for Writing in an Animated Television/Broadcast Production; it lost to the Bob's Burgers episode "The Hauntening".


Voice actor/actress Character(s)
Dan Castellaneta Homer Simpson
Rich Texan
Hans Moleman
Groundskeeper Willie
Gil Gunderson
Abraham Simpson II
Julie Kavner Marge Simpson
Patty Bouvier
Selma Bouvier
Nancy Cartwright Bart Simpson
Ralph Wiggum
Yeardley Smith Lisa Simpson
Hank Azaria Moe Szyslak
Comic Book Guy
Chief Wiggum
Apu Nahasapeemapetilon
Kirk Van Houten
Old Jewish Man
Neon Sign Worker
Harry Shearer Mr. Burns
Vin Scully
Principal Skinner
Ned Flanders
Pamela Hayden
Tress MacNeille Crazy Cat Lady
Chris Edgerly


External links[]

20th Century
Miracle on 34th Street (1955 remake) (1973 remake) (1994 remake) • Die HardDie Hard 2Home AloneHome Alone 2: Lost in New YorkGeorge Balanchine's The NutcrackerTrapped in ParadiseJingle All the WayHome Alone 4The Family StoneDeck the Halls12 Men of ChristmasHome Alone: The Holiday HeistJingle All the Way 2Home Sweet Home Alone
Television episodes and specials
20th Television
M*A*S*H "Dear Dad" • "Dear Sis" • "Death Takes a Holiday" • "All About Christmas Eve"
Tracey Ullman "Santa Baby" • "Kay's Gift" • "Merry Catnip"
The X Files "Christmas Carol" • "Emily" • "How the Ghosts Stole Christmas"
Malcolm in the Middle "Christmas" • "Christmas Trees" • "Pearl Harbor" • "Hal's Christmas Gift
Bones "The Man in the Fallout Shelter" • "The Santa in the Slush" • "The Goop on the Girl"
How I Met Your Mother "How Lily Stole Christmas" • "Little Minnesota" • "False Positive" • "Symphony of Illumination" • "The Over-Correction" • "The Final Page, Part 1" • "The Final Page, Part 2"
Glee "A Very Glee Christmas" • "Extraordinary Merry Christmas" • "Glee, Actually" • "Previously Unaired Christmas"
New Girl "The 23rd" • "Santa" • "LAXmas" • "Christmas Eve Eve"
The Mindy Project "Josh and Mindy's Christmas Party" • "Christmas Party Sex Trap" • "Christmas" • "When Mindy Met Danny"
Last Man Standing "Last Christmas Standing" • "Putting a Hit on Christmas" • "Elfie" • "Wedding Planning" • "Gift of the Wise Man"
Other shows "Christmas Story" • "The Worst Noel" • "Haus Arrest" • "Amends" • "Blue Christmas" • "A Christmas Story" • "Cookies for Santa" • "In God We Trust" • "Road to Tradition" • "Afternoon Delight" • "Christmas" • "The Glitch That Stole Christmas" • "Secret Santa"
20th Television Animation
The Simpsons "Simpson Christmas" • "Simpsons Roasting on an Open Fire" • "Marge Be Not Proud" • "Miracle on Evergreen Terrace" • "Grift of the Magi" • "Skinner's Sense of Snow" • "She of Little Faith" • "'Tis the Fifteenth Season" • "Simpson Christmas Stories" • "Kill Gil, Volumes I & II" • "The Fight Before Christmas" • "Holidays of Future Passed" • "White Christmas Blues" • "I Won't Be Home for Christmas • "The Nightmare After Krustmas" • "'Tis the 30th Season" • "Bobby, It's Cold Outside" • "The Way of The Dog" • "A Springfield Summer Christmas for Christmas" • "Manger Things" • Feliz Navidad
King of the Hill "The Unbearable Blindness of Laying" • "Pretty, Pretty Dresses" • "Hillennium" • "'Twas the Nut Before Christmas" • "The Father, the Son, and J.C." • "Livin' on Reds, Vitamin C and Propane" • "Ms. Wakefield"
Family Guy, American Dad!, and The Cleveland Show "A Very Special Family Guy Freakin' Christmas" • "The Best Christmas Story Never" • "The Most Adequate Christmas Ever" • "Rapture's Delight" • "A Cleveland Brown Christmas" • "Road to the North Pole" • "For Whom the Sleigh Bell Tolls" • "Murray Christmas" • "Season's Beatings" • "Die Semi-Hard" • "Jesus, Mary and Joseph!" • "'Tis the Cleveland To Be Sorry" • "Minstrel Krampus" • "Christmas Guy" • "Dreaming of a White Porsche Christmas" • "The 2000-Year-Old Virgin" • "How the Griffin Stole Christmas" • "Ninety North, Zero West" • "Gifted Me Liberty" • "Don't Be a Dickens At Christmas" • "Santa, Schmanta" • "Christmas is Coming" • "Yule. Tide. Repeat." • "The First No L" • "Christmas Crime" • "The Return of the King (of Queens)" • "Family Guy Christmas for Hulu"
Futurama "Xmas Story" • "A Tale of Two Santas" • "The Futurama Holiday Spectacular" • "I Know What You Did Next Xmas"
Bob's Burgers "God Rest Ye Merry Gentle-Mannequins" • "Christmas in the Car" • "Father of the Bob" • "Nice-Capades" • "The Last Gingerbread House on the Left" • "The Bleakening" • "Better Off Sled" • "Have Yourself a Maily Linda Christmas" • "Yachty or Nice" • "Gene's Christmas Break" • "The Plight Before Christmas" • "The Nightmare 2 Days Before Christmas"
Other cartoons "Hook's Christmas" • "A Christmas Surprise for Mrs. Stillman" • Olive, the Other ReindeerIce Age: A Mammoth Christmas • "The War on Grafelnik" • "Miracle on Culpepper Slims Boulevard" • "A Very Solar Holiday Opposites Special" • "Dip the Halls Adventure" • "Xmas with The Skanks Adventure"